Maker Basics - Not so Basic Stitches


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Hook size recommended by yarn choice

The Wordy Bit

A couple weeks ago, I went over how to tie a slip knot, how to chain, and how to perform the single crochet. If you've got those down, and are ready for more complex stitches, then read on. 

Slip stitches (which I haven't covered because they're still difficult for me) and single crochet stitches are "short" stitches. It takes lots of rows to get length. More complicated stitches like half-double crochet, double crochet, and treble crochet, are taller. This means is takes less rows to get height, but it also means an airier fabric, as the gaps in the yarn will be larger. Look at it this way: it take roughly 2-3 rows of single crochet to get the same height as you would get from 1 row of double crochet. The row heights and fabric density plays a huge role in designer's reason for choosing different stitches. We'll get into that more once we've discussed how to perform some taller stitches.

Half-Double Crochet

Half-double stitches are mid-way between single crochet and double crochet in height. This is an extremely versatile stitch. It allows an item to be worked up quicker than single crochet, but the fabric is more dense than one made with double crochet. I've seen this stitch used in a lot of garment-making (I'm using it myself on a cardigan pattern I'm designing.) for its versatility and warmth. 

To complete a half-double crochet stitch, here is what you do:

Step 1: Wrap the working yarn around the hook and insert the hook into the chain.
Step 2: Draw up a loop. There should be 3 loops on the hook.
Step 3: Wrap the working yarn around the hook and pull through all 3 loops.

You'll notice this is going to be very similar to performing a double crochet, and it's okay to get the two of them mixed up at first. I highly recommend making wash cloths to get used to the twp stitches. This way, you can also compare the stitches in size, shape, and fabric-feel. 

Note: When making any crochet item, counting becomes one of the most important things in the world. (Not even joking, either.)

Double Crochet

The tallest stitch that many dare, the double crochet gives a nice, open fabric that's not too hot and not too cool. It also works up super quick, which is good for the completionists out there. This is my preferred stitch for blankets (especially spring/autumn ones), and when combined with bulkier weight yarns, makes a snuggly warm and soft garment or throw.

This stitch is fairly straight-forward, too.
Step 1: Wrap working yarn around hook and insert the hook into the 4th chain from the hook (this is for your first row of double-crochet).
Step 2: Draw up a loop. You should have 3 loops on your hook.
Step 3: Wrap the working yarn around the hook and pull through the first two loop on the hook. You should end this step with two loops on your hook.
Step 4: Wrap the working yarn around the hook and pull through both loops on the hook. This completes one stitch and should leave you with one loop on your hook.

I really hope these little tutorials inspire you to at least try crochet. It's a lot to remember at first, but it sticks quick, I promise. If you do find yourself giving it a whirl, let me know! Snap pictures and show me your work, and even ask questions! I'm available in the comment section here and at:

Happy hooking!


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