Crochet is an artful pastime enjoyed by young and old alike. Though simple enough to learn in basic form, the crochet stitches have numerous intricacies and designs that even a pro would be hard pressed to say he's mastered all. Crochet stitches come in a wide variety of styles. Let's start with the basic crochet stitches that most of you will already know, or will remember quickly from any past crocheting, and then move on to the more complex and lesser-known crochet stitches.
The category 'basic crochet stitches' consists of the foundation stitch, and the single, half-double, double, and triple crochet. We'll begin with the foundation stitch.
Make a slipknot on your needle. Yarn over (yo-this means to grab the yarn with your hook so the yarn is wrapped around the head of the needle. If this isn't a clear enough explanation, try this. With the mouth of the hook facing you, wrap the yarn behind the hook. Bring the yarn around so that it hangs between you and the hook. Turn the hook face down, and grab the yarn with the hook. This is a yarn over.) Pull the yarn through the slipknot. This is the foundation stitch, the most basic of all crochet stitches, and also the most important. Nearly all patterns begin with this as their foundation. Let's move on to single crochet.
Stick your needle into the foundation chain. Yo, and pull back through the chain. Yo again, and pull through the two loops presently on your needle. This is one single crochet stitch.
This is similar to the single crochet, though you begin the stitch with a yo. Yo, and then stick your needle into the foundation chain. Yo again, and pull through. There are now three loops on your needle. Yo again, and pull through all three loops. This is one complete half-double stitch.
This stitch is almost exactly the same as the previous stitch. Yo, and stick your needle into the foundation chain. Yo, and pull through, leaving three loops on the needle. Yo, and pull through the first two loops. Yo again, and pull through the last two loops. This is one complete double crochet stitch.
Again, exactly the same as the previous only add one step. Yo twice, and stick your needle into the foundation chain. Yo, and pull through, leaving four loops on your needle. Yo, and pull through the first two loops on the needle. Do this twice more. This is one complete triple crochet stitch.
These are the basic crochet stitches. After practicing them a few times, maybe a scarf or two later, you can try your hand at some of the more creative crochet stitches. Here are a few crochet stitches that I find to be fun and pretty changes from the basics.
A beautiful stitch to throw into your pattern is the butterfly stitch. This stitch can be added to any stitch you are working, and can be altered to whatever size pattern being used. And best of all, it's so simple! Here's how: (again, whatever stitch you like can be used on either side of the butterfly) we need four rows stitched. The size of your pattern will determine how many stitches need to be in each row. Let's use 12. For the first three rows, chain 12 each. For the fourth row, chain six. Then drape the yarn over the first three rows (from behind up over the top of the third row, to the front), and grab it from under these three (so that you've created a loop of yarn around the three rows). Finish by completing a single stitch to secure the loop around the three rows. Chain the last six to complete the fourth row of the butterfly, and continue with your pattern as usual.
Here's a fun addition to most average crochet stitches. Try including beads in your pattern. Figure out how many beads you'll need for the entire project, and string them on before you start your pattern (note: if you're working with a lot of beads, you may want to work row by row, stringing enough beads for that row only, and breaking the thread after each completed row). Put your needle through the back loop of the stitch you are working with. Yo, and pull through. Bring the bead as close to the stitch as possible, and yo again with the bead secured within the yo. Pull through both loops on the needle. This will keep the bead in place.
Clusters make a nice pattern even cozier. It's another simple, but great, addition to any crochet pattern. The pattern you are using will tell you how many stitches to use, but we will work with something nice and easy, two double crochet stitches. Yo, and stick your needle into the next stitch. Yo again, and pull through the first two loops. Leave the last loop on your needle. Yo again, and stick the needle into the next stitch. Yo, and pull through the stitch. Yo again, and pull through the first two loops on the needle. Now there are three loops on your needle. Yo, and pull through all three of these loops. Complete the cluster by chaining one.
Ready for a bit of a challenge? Let's try the bullion or roll stitch. This stitch is worked in coils wrapped around the needle. Yo over as many times as the pattern requests. You will have several loops across the length of your needle. Stick the needle into the foundation. Yo, and pull through one loop. Yo again, and carefully pull through all the loops on your needle. Do this very slowly and carefully, as the hook can stick easily, and miss a loop, leaving an incomplete coil that can unravel. Yo once more, and pull through the last loop. Tricky but fun, right?!
These are only a few of the myriad crochet stitches available to you. Now you can practice them on your own. Once you've mastered these, however, don't stop! Look for other amusing crochet stitches such as: the knot stitch (also known as the Lovers' knot), the pineapple stitch, the diagonal shell, the crazy shell, the rick-rack stitch, any of the beautiful and delicate filet crochet stitches, the cross-stitches, the popcorn stitch, the cluster stitch, the star stitch, and, of course, the always popular afghan, also known as Tunisian, stitch. Any is fine, and all are good for countless hours of entertainment and delight.
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| September 21, 2018
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