E is for…

Alright, here’s the deal: when I started this alphabet series, I didn’t put a ton of thought into what exactly I was doing. I knew I didn’t want to do techniques or simple stitches. I wanted fun things that you may not see anywhere else or that you may not have learned to work yet. Upon thinking about the letter E, I have come to the realization that there just aren’t any interesting letter E stitches. There are Extended stitches (extended double crochet for example) but that’s really a technique. There are some motifs that start with E, but motifs are also a category unto themselves (in my book anyway). There’s edgings, basics and cop outs, but no REAL stitches that start with E (feel free to argue that point, if you have one I really DO want to know about it!).

So, just for you all. Because I made a commitment to you and I don’t want to let you down, I would like to introduce: The Eye Drop stitch by Natalie Laffranchi.

What is it?

You know when you put eye drops in and no matter how accurate you are they roll down your face? Aside from being really irritating, that’s what this stitch reminded me of and how it got it’s start.

To begin, chain a foundation that is a multiple of four plus one. Then chain one to turn and single crochet in every foundation chain across to make the first set up row (you should have 21 single crochets and one turning chain that you don’t do anything with).

row 1

For set up row two, chain two to count as your first single crochet, then double crochet in the next single crochet.

start row 2

Now, working in the FRONT LOOP ONLY, triple crochet. We’re going to use that back loop for the drop stitch on row four.

Next double crochet then single crochet and continue on in that pattern of double, triple in the front loop, double, single across the row.

 

Now it’s time to begin the pattern rows proper, the first is really easy, just chain one to turn (like before) and single crochet across. You’ll notice that the row of single crochets sort of pulls the wavy from row two straight. Don’t worry, it works itself out.

Chain four to start the next row. That will count as your first triple crochet, then double crochet.

Next we’re going to work a sort of modified half double crochet drop stitch. For those of you unfamiliar with the drop stitch technique, any time you work a stitch into the any row below the row you’re working, you’ve used the drop stitch technique (not to be confused with the DROPPED stitch which means you’ve lost a stitch in your row–not usually good).  Now, if you’ve never done a drop stitch they’re really easy, but they don’t USUALLY stretch across a triple crochet. The key with this stitch is to take it slow the first couple of times and make sure you have a nice, even tension. You want your drop stitch to lay nicely across the face of the work without pulling too much.

Insert your hook into the exposed back loop under the triple crochet on row two.

drop stitch

Yarn over and draw that through the loop.

draw up loop

Then insert your hook into the next single crochet on row three.

through sc

Yarn over and draw through the stitch. You should have three loops on your hook at this point. Make sure you’re happy with the way the dropped part on the other side of the work looks.

three loops on

When you’re ready, yarn over one more time and draw that through all three of the loops on the hook to complete your stitch. For the sake of this pattern, that stitch is now named the eye drop.

draw through three

In the next stitch, work a double crochet and then start the pattern over. Triple crochet (still working triples in the front loop only), double crochet, eye drop, double crochet across and end with a triple crochet.  Chain one to turn and work another row of single crochet.

pattern rows

Chain two to count as your first single crochet. If you’ve paid close attention to this point, you’ll see already that you’re not going to work the eye drop at the beginning of the row, you won’t work it at the end of the row either.

So, moving on, work a double, then a triple in the front loop and then a double and an eye drop.  Continue in the pattern across and work a single crochet in the last stitch of this row.

pattern rows done

And you’ve got it! Congrats! And have fun with Eye Drop Stitch!

What Else Can You Do With It?

Well, here’s the thing, I just came up with this, so it’s a bit untested. You can do whatever you’d like with it! Wanna make it a square? Just end on a single crochet row to give it faux boarder. Wanna make it a circle? Join your foundation chain with a slip stitch.

I think this stitch would make a great afghan, decorative pillow, or basket. I also think that doing this stitch in two colors would be fun as well.

The Short Version

Pattern Stitch

Eye Drop: insert hook into exposed back loop, yo draw through, insert hook into next sc, yo draw through, yo draw through all three loops on hook.

Chain a multiple of 4+1

Set Up Rows

Row 1 (RS): ch 1 to turn, sc in each ch across.

Row 2 (WS): ch 2 (counts as 1st sc) *dc, tr in front loop, dc, sc rep from * across

Pattern Rows

Row 1 (RS): ch 1 to turn, sc in each ch across.

Row 2 (WS): Ch 4 (counts as 1st tr) dc *eye drop, dc, tr in front loop, dc rep from * to last stitch, tr in next sc.

Row 3: rep row 1

Row 4: ch 2 (counts as 1st sc) dc, tr in front loop, dc, *eye drop, dc, tr in front loop, dc rep from * to last stitch, sc in next sc.

Repeat pattern rows 1-4 until desired length is reached.

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D is for Daisy

To be honest, in knitting, there aren’t a whole lot of D’s. The great Debbie Macomber who is not only an amazing knitter, but also a prolific author; the Drooping Elm Leaf Stitch which very nearly made this post; and Daisy stitch are some of the big D’s outside of double and diagonal.

Not gonna lie, the real reason I’m not posting about Drooping Elm Leaf Stitch is that it just has too many pieces to it. I wanted to keep this beginner friendly and that one really isn’t. If you’ve had some practice with knitting and want to give it a go (drooping elm leaf stitch would make a beautiful table runner for fall) I’ve posted a bonus short version at the bottom of this entry as well as linked to new stitch a day where you can see the video for how to do this stitch.

For now, let’s talk Daisy!

What is it?

Daisy stitch is a lovely textured stitch that is very simple to work in one, two or a million colors.  To start, you’ll want to cast on a multiple of four stitches plus one. I’ll be working with 21 stitches today.

The first row is VERY easy, just knit across:

knit a row

See, told you that would be easy.

The next part is a little more tricky, but not difficult. First, knit one stitch, then purl three together, but do NOT let those three off that needle. They need to hang out for a minute:

p3tog on

Next, yarn all the way over and around (we’re going to purl again in just a second):

yarn all the way over

Now, purl those SAME three together again.Effectively you just lost three and gained three all in the same stitch.Knit one more and you’ll have a look at your pattern already:

begin daisy

Repeat the purl three, knit one gig across the row and then turn and knit another row. You should be able to see the “flowers” starting to come together:

one set done

For the final row in this pattern, start off by knitting one, purling one and knitting another one. Then work our same purl three yarn over, purl the same three from row two.  Repeat that across and end with a knit one, purl one, knit one combo.

How Else Can You Use It?

Daisy stitch is a wonderful way to break up a long sweater, coat, or dress pattern. It makes a great belt, edging or scarf detail. I think that even by itself it would make a fun “micro scarf” (if you’re not super into fashion, a micro scarf is the same length as a normal scarf, but usually about 3 inches wide).

As mentioned above, Daisy stitch is a prime candidate for stripes, just work rows one and two in color A and switch to color B for rows three and four. Switch back to color A or just keep using up your scrap yarn for a fun, textured, blanket or scarf.

The Short Version

Daisy Stitch

Cast on a multiple of 4 +1

Row 1: k across

Row 2: k1, *p3tog do not drop, yo p same 3 tog, k1 rep from *to end

Row 3: k across

Row 4: k1, p1, k1 * p3tog do not drop, yo p same 3 tog, k1 rep from *to last two sts, p1, k1

The BONUS Short Version

drooping elm leaf

Drooping Elm Leaf Stitch

So, no joke, this is the short version. You would be reading for DAYS if I tried to explain the whole thing. The good news is that all of the individual pieces are pretty basic. The bad news (and the piece that keeps this from being beginner friendly) is that this stitch takes a LOT of focus.

You know what though? If you need help, just contact me and I’ll walk you through each step. And who knows, maybe I will post this stitch someday, just not today.

Cast on a multiple of 15 sts + 1.

Row 1 : *k1, yo, k1, ssk, p1, k2tog, k1, yo, p1, ssk, p1, k2tog, yo, k1, yo; rep from * to end, k1.

Row 2: p1, *p4, k1, p1, k1, p3, k1, p4; rep from * to end

Row 3: *k1, yo, k1, ssk, p1, k2tog, k1, p1, sl 1, k2tog, psso, yo, k3, yo; rep from * to end, k1.

Row 4: p1, *p6, k1, p2, k1, p4; rep from *.

Row 5: *(k1, yo) twice, ssk, p1, (k2tog) twice, yo, k5, yo;rep from *, end k1.

Row 6: p1, *p7, k1, p1, k1, p5; rep from *.

Row 7: *k1, yo, k3, yo, sl 1, k2tog, psso, p1, yo, k1, ssk, p1, k2tog, k1, yo; rep from *, end k1.

Row 8: p1, *(p3, k1) twice, p7; rep from *.

Row 9: *k1, yo, k5, yo, ssk, k1, ssk, p1, k2tog, k1, yo; rep from *, end k1.

Row 10: p1, *p3, k1, p2, k1, p8; rep from *.

 

D is for Dew Drop

In crochet, D will usually be attached to C to mean double crochet (dc), but since we already covered that and since I wanted to bring you all something a little more interesting; today, D is for Dew Drop Stitch.

What is it?

Dew drop is a cross hatched cluster stitch that creates a fun textured “lace” stitch. It’s not a really lace, but it does have a few gaps which puts it right on the edge of the lace category. To start, make a foundation chain that is any multiple of four and two more stitches. Then chain four more to be your first single crochet and chain 3 set.

foundation chain.png

The next thing you’ll need to do is a technique called a cluster. Many people will tell you that a cluster is an actual stitch, but it’s not really. Clusters are a technique (rather than a stitch) that can be done a multitude of ways. The basic idea is to work a few stitches (in this case double crochets) into the same space and only add one stitch in the process. Clusters are similar to baubles in that they are many parts worked together into one stitch, but they are NOT the same as baubles (which are worked exclusively with yarn overs).

To work the cluster, start out like you’re going to make a double crochet (yarn over, insert into the stitch, draw the yarn through the stitch, yarn over and draw the yarn through the first two loops on the hook)

begin cluster

Repeat that a total of three times.

four loops

Then draw the working yarn through all four loops on the hook and you’ve created your first cluster.

cluster

Now that you know how to cluster, the rest of this should be easy. Chain one, skip the next two chains on your foundation and single crochet into the next chain.

Chain three and do another cluster. The chain three sort of looks like the spine for your cluster and will be the space that you working for the coming row to make the clusters work in opposite directions.

sc ch2

Repeat the pattern across to the last two stitches. Chain two and double crochet into the last foundation chain.

end row 1.png

To start row two, chain four and work your cluster into the chain two space that you just made.

start row 2.png

cluster row 2.png

Chain one and single crochet into the next chain three space (the “spine” of the cluster on the row below). Chain three and work a cluster in the same chain three space.

row 2 moving

Repeat that across to the last two chain space. Just like before, chain two, and double crochet into the fourth chain in the previous row (that’s the one near the base of the previous row).

end row 2

Now that you have two rows done, you have mastered the Dew Drop Stitch. Repeat that second row until you’re happy with the length and then fasten off.

What Else Can You Do With It?

I keep coming back to working these stitches in the round, so today I’m going to give you a slightly different idea. Try making this stitch into a flower.

flower

The base stitch does need a bit of modification to support the approach, but it isn’t so very different that I would call it a new stitch. Just change your chain one into a chain three and you’re set. Need a little more help? Here’s the pattern:

ch 14 join in round with sl st

Round 1: ch4 cluster, *ch3 sk2 sc ch3 cluster, rep from *to last two chs, ch 3 join in 1st ch of round 1 with sl st.

Round 2: ch 4 cluster *ch 3, sc in ch 3 sp, ch 3, cluster in same sp rep from * around, ch 3 join in 1st ch of round with sl st.

The Short Version

Special Stitches

  • Cluster: *yo, insert hook into stitch, draw yarn through stitch, yo draw through first 2 loops on hook rep from *3 times (4 loops on hook), yarn over, draw through all 4 loops

Chain Multiple of 4 +2

Row 1: ch 4 (counts as sc, ch 3), cluster, ch 1, skip 2 ch, 1 sc into next ch, *ch 3, cluster into next ch, ch 1, skip 2 ch, 1 sc into next ch, rep from * until last 2 sts, ch 2, dc into last ch, turn.

Row 2: Ch 4 (counts as sc, ch 3), cluster into first 2 ch space, ch 1, *sc into next 3 ch space, ch 3, cluster into same 3 ch space, ch 1, rep from * to last ch space, sc into last ch space, ch 2, 1dc into 4th chain in previous row, turn.

Repeat row 2 until you’ve reached the moon…or your desired length.

C is for Cane

With the holidays approaching I couldn’t help thinking of this stitch for C…so today, C is for (candy) Cane Stitch.

What Is It?

Cane stitch is a lace stitch that sort of looks like little canes, see:

cane

It works up really quickly and is kind of fun once you get in the rhythm of it. It is reversible which is nice because you don’t have to keep track of the front or back of your work. It also has a garter stitch boarder built in to the sides, so it is really easy to make cane stitch into blocks or pieces that can be sewn together.

So, how do you get it started? First, cast on a multiple of three stitches plus four stitches.

Now, if this is your first time working lace, you may want to knit a row first just to have a firm row to work row one on. If you’re comfortable working with lace, you don’t need to knit a row, just jump right in.

To start row one, knit two. Then slip one, knit two together and pass the slipped stitch over the knit stitch. Then yarn over twice. You should have something that looks like this on your needle:

row one cane

Work that across the row like that to the last two stitches and knit those last two. You should be starting to see the holes coming through already, but if they’re not terribly apparent, don’t worry. They will be soon.

For the second row of this stitch, knit the first two. For the next two stitches, you’ll be working in the two yarn overs from the last row. First purl one. You should have a sort of long loop left on your needle.

long loop

Knit the next yarn over loop and then purl the next stitch. Follow that same purl one, knit one, purl one to the last two stitches and knit the last two. The third row is really easy. Just knit across and you’re set.

cane done

What Else Can You Do With It?

Cane stitch is pretty straight forward. It can be worked in the round by casting on a multiple of three and dropping the two knit stitches at the beginning and end of rows one and two.

To make a square for sewing, you can knit three rows of garter stitch before your start into the pattern stitch and then knit three rows of garter stitch before you bind off. Stick a few of those together to make a lacy shopping bag or purse, or work a couple long rectangles together for a quick vest. I think this would make a lovely sweater myself.

The Short Version

cane when done

Cast on a multiple of 3+4

Row 1: k2 *sl 1, k2tog, psso, (yo) twice rep from * to last 2 sts, k2

Row 2: k2 *p1, k1, p1 rep from * to last 2 sts k2

Row 3: knit across

C is for Crocodile

Since writing the Mermaid Tail Blanket Pattern, I have had more questions about this stitch than anything else in crochet. So, C is for Crocodile this time.

What Is It?

Crocodile stitch is a fun and unique stitch that creates the appearance of crocodile scales. It is worked in two rows, a double crochet row and a “scale” row. Now, some tutorials (like this one) will tell you to work two double crochets, chain two, then work one double crochet. There is nothing wrong with that method (in fact, it can save you some yarn), that’s just not the way I learned it, so that’s not the way I do it. Whichever way you’re more comfortable with it gives you the same result.

So, let’s get started, to make things a little less confusing, I’m going to break this down into a few steps for each row.  First, we’ll chain a multiple of six plus one.  Chain 3 more to count as your first double crochet  then double crochet in the last chain of your foundation (as a side note, I was once asked why I have people make the foundation chain and then have them chain more rather than put it together. The answer is that I feel like it’s a clearer way for people–especially beginners–to understand what’s what). Chain two and skip two then work two double crochets into the next chain. Repeat that across and you’ll have finished step one–which also happens to be the first row.

2016-11-19 19.29.28

The next step is REALLY simple. Take that whole thing and turn it sideways:

2016-11-19 19.30.09

Step two isn’t required to work crocodile stitch, but I think it makes crocodile a lot easier. Step three is to work five double crochets (chain three to count as the first double crochet) around the POST of the last double crochet on the previous row.

2016-11-19 19.30.48

If you’re not familiar with working around the post, it just means that you’ll just the side of the double crochet rather than the top.

Step four is to chain one and work five more double crochets up the other side to complete your shell (or scale, whatever you prefer to call it):

Chain one and skip the next two chains, two double crochets, and two chains from row one (it seems like a lot, but it’s not really). Work five double crochets around the post of the next double crochet just like we did for the first shell and you’re on your way.

To start the next row, chain three for your first double crochet and slip stitch into the center of the shell you just made.

shell center

Chain three to be your first double crochet, double crochet into the same shell. Then chain two and work two more double crochets in the space between the next two double crochets from row 1, wrapping both the chain one between the shell you just worked and the next shell into the double crochets like so:

Work that across and you should have a familiar scene:

set up row 2

Now you’re ready for your next set of shells. We’ll be working in an offset pattern, so this row will actually have less shells than the last row, but don’t worry. You haven’t dropped a stitch, that’s normal.

So, chain one (to help stretch) and work five double crochets around the third double crochet from the hook.

3rd dc

Chain one and work five more double crochets up the post of the next double crochet from the previous row and you’ve got your shell.

Work that across until your last pair of double crochets and slip stitch into the last pair to complete your second shell row.

shell row 2

Work another set up row and another shell row and you’ll be on your way to doing the crocodile rock….

finished croc

Ok, not really, but you will have a lot of stitching that looks like scales!

What Else Can You Do With It?

At this point, you’re probably aware that you can work Crocodile stitch in the round, but here’s a quick how to for that. First we need to change the amount that we chain for the foundation. Chain a multiple of three plus one for working in the round. Then work the first set of crocodile scales.

Take that first set of crocodile scales we made and make a ring. For the sake of this demonstration, lay it scale side down

2016-11-22 16.13.42

Then fold it in about thirds to make the ends meet:

2016-11-22 16.14.46

Now, you should have a loose set of two double crochets on row one that are just hanging out behind the first shell. You’ll need those for the next round that you make, so no, you don’t have extras really.

Next, insert your hook into the first shell and join with a slip stitch:

The two shells where the ends meet may look a little squished to start with, but the work will pull them slightly as you go and you won’t notice when it’s done.

2016-11-22 16.17.14

Now you’re ready to start your next row and get going on your own Mermaid Tail Blanket!

The Short Version

Chain a multiple of 6+1

Set up row1: chain 3 (counts as 1st dc), dc in 4th chain from hook, *chain 2, dc 2 in same chain rep from* across

Set up row 2: Chain 3 (counts as 1st dc) dc 4 around post of last dc on row 1, *ch 1 dc 5 around post of next dc on row 1, skip ch2, 2dc, ch2 rep from *across

 

 

B is for Brioche

B is for Baubles, Blocks, and today, Brioche Stitch. When I started knitting up this stitch, I was using a fluffy worsted weight yarn and as I got farther and farther into the project, I couldn’t help but think of this little girl:

giphy

What is it?

Brioche is a type of rib stitch, but unlike traditional ribbing, you aren’t ACTUALLY purling to get the effect. Actually, it’s the way my ribbing came out on a good day before I learned how to switch from knitting to purling in the middle of a round. So, if you struggle with switching from knit to purl, you may have a really easy time of this. To start, cast on any even number of stitches. I’m going to add this onto an existing piece, so I’ll skip the cast on and knit a row. For those of you who want to add on to something, you don’t need to knit that row, you can just start right into the pattern stitch.

Now, bring the working yarn forward (wyif) and slip the first stitch purlwise

slip one purl

And with the working yarn still in front, knit the next stitch.

brioche knit

See that business there? In the middle?

yarn over business

That is where the yarn came OVER the needle so you could knit your stitch. In a normal rib pattern, that would be bad (granted you can just drop that yarn over as you work if it was a mistake), but in Brioche stitch, that is EXACTLY what you need to get the lovely, extra squishy texture. So let’s just do that all the way across. Bring the yarn back around, slip one purlwise, and knit the next one.

row 1

Well done. Now to turn, keep the yarn forward, slip the first stitch purlwise and knit the next stitch and the yarn over together. We’re going to call knitting the yarn over and knit stitch together a brioche knit stitch (bks–so we don’t confuse it with brk meaning break) for the sake of the short version. In a few rows, you’ll have a lovely rib that I am someday going to make a blanket out of. As it stands, this is the perfect stitch for a quick scarf or ear muff I think.

What Else Can You Do With It?

Brioche is a very versatile stitch that can take the place of ANY rib stitch. It is worked in a 1×1 pattern (slip one, brioche knit one), but anywhere you see “rib” you can plug this in no matter what the pattern calls for.

As I mentioned above this stitch would be perfect for a scarf or ear muff, so let’s make one, but just for fun, let’s turn this on it’s side. Cast on 40 and brioche knit for about 26 inches. Bind off, weave in ends and then sew the two ends together to make an infinity scarf that can be pulled over the ears if needed.

The Short Version

brioche

WYIF = with yarn in front

BKS= Brioche knit stitch (knit yarn over and next st together)

Cast on any multiple of 2

Set up row: wyif, sl one purlwise, yo, kn1 across

Row 1: wyif, sl one purlwise, yo, bks across

B is for Broomstick

Today we’re working on “B” and that could mean baubles or braids, but today I’m thinking all about Broomstick! Broomstick is a stitch I’ve been wanting to try, but just haven’t found the time to do, so here we go!

What is it?

Broomstick is a sort of lace stitch worked with a large dowel and a crochet hook. You can use a knitting needle (like a 35), a dowel (about one inch diameter), or in fact, a broom stick (if you really want the length). The length of the dowel you’re using will determine how wide your work can be. While you can go shorter than the dowel, making a work longer than the dowel only works for a couple inches and the stitches will have to be jammed up and that can effect the tension.

To begin, you’ll need a multiple of five stitches. We had 20 last time, so lets stick with that and add to our Astrakhan stitches. Join your yarn and single crochet across 20 stitches (if you aren’t adding this to something that’s already started, chain 20 and chain one to turn):

broomstick set up

Now, just like Astrakhan, DO NOT TURN! I know, it’s like the cool kid thing now. Stretch the loop on your hook and pull it over your dowel (I’m using a size 35 knitting needle, more on why in a minute).

35

Loop to dowel

Then repeat that for each single crochet across. You should have something like this:

loops on

Now is the crazy part, slip five giant loops onto your crochet hook (you can remove the dowel at this point if it’s easier to work, I found it easier to keep them on the needle and pull them as I went), then yarn over and draw the working yarn through the center of all five loops.

slip 5

ch 1

Chain one, and single crochet five times in the same space.

sc through 5

Then slip five more giant loops onto your hook and single crochet five times in the center of those. Repeat that step across and you’re done with your first row of broomstick!

To start the next row, draw up loops again and work back and forth like we just did until you’re done.

broomstick

TIP: Broomstick stitch can be a little finicky when it comes to tension. Even if you have GREAT tension, it can be loose or slide around. You can pull the single crochets slightly left or right to help your work look better and this is one of the few times I’ll recommend blocking crocheted work.

What Else Can You Do With It?

Working any stitch back and forth is easy enough, but what about working it in the round? Broomstick may seem like a stitch that CAN’T be worked in the round because you’re stuck dealing with a very straight dowel, but don’t let THAT stop you! Knitting needles are sold in pairs of two and are often times available in circular sets that will allow you to work broomstick around. Just work one side of your work on one needle and the other side on the other needle. When you single crochet around, join the first and last stitch with a slip stitch, just like you would for a normal round, then slip stitch back into the last single crochet to start your loops for the next row.

in the round

Want to work an increase into this business? Work six single crochets (rather than five) across five sets of five loops, so that you add five stitches. This will give you five extra loops on your next round and allow you to increase your work by one broomstick stitch.

The Short Version

Chain any multiple of 5

set up row: sc across

Row 1: With dowel in left hand, draw loop over dowel. *Using crochet hook, insert hook into next sc, YO, draw yarn through sc, and draw loop over dowel rep from * across

Row 2: With crochet hook, slip 5 loops from dowel, YO and draw through loops, ch 1. Sc 5 in center of loops, *slip 5 loops from dowel, sc 5 in center of loops, rep from * to end.

Repeat rows 1 and 2 until desired length is reached.

 

A is for Andalusian

A is for many things really, but today–since we’re beginning our alphabet stitching–it stands for Andalusian Stitch.

What Is It?

The Andalusian stitch is a very simple, textured stitch that gives the work a little pop without working too hard. To begin, you’ll need to cast on any multiple of 2 (2,4,6,8, etc…) and one more. This is sometimes see this noted as “multiple of 2 plus 1.”

I think I’ve mentioned before, but any time you see the notation of “multiple of (n) plus (x),” multiply the (n) and cast that number on, then cast on (x) as well. Don’t add the numbers together and then multiply. I’m not saying it won’t work, but it is much more likely not to.

I’m working 21 stitches for my square, but I’m only making a sample, use your best judgement to decide how many you would like to do.

So, have you got your cast on ready? Good!

cast on

Next knit a row.

1 knit

Then Purl a row.

2 purl

Now the “hard” part: knit 1, purl 1 until the last stitch. Knit the last stitch.

2 k1p1

Purl the next row and you’ve done it!

Repeat those four steps until you’re happy with the length or get the general idea. I did about 20 rows just for fun.

andalusian

What Else Can You Do With It?

Andalusian stitch is perfect for learning how to add beads! Adding beads (or bells) to your knitting is super simple, just slip the bead through the stitch you want it on before you knit (or purl) it. Andalusian is great because the knit 1, purl 1 row gives you an easy way to remember when to add beads and a convenient spacing method. Adding one bead every four to six purl stitchs should give you nice spacing and plenty of bling for any project.

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Want to work this in the round for a cowl, sleeves, or socks? cast on a multiple of 2, knit 2 rounds. Knit 1, Purl 1 around. Knit around and repeat those four rows until you have the length you want.

The Short Version

CO multiple of 2 plus 1

Row 1: K across

Row 2: P across

Row 3: *K1, P1, repeat from * to last st, K1

Row 4: P across

Repeat rows 1-4 ad infinitum or until you’re done.

 

A is for Astrakhan

A is for Astrakhan! Well, at least today it is…just remember, DO NOT TURN!

What is it?

Astrakhan is a crazy stitch that seriously reminds me of a shag carpet. It has a fun, sort of random wiggle to it that makes it great for scarves, edging, and rugs (Side note: we totally had orange shag in my parents house when I was a kid.). To begin you need to chain any number of stitches. I’m going to do 20.

Chain 3 more to count as your first double crochet and double crochet in each chain across.

Astrakhan step 1

DO. NOT. TURN. You’ll hear that a lot in this stitch because rather than being worked from right to left and turned or rounded, this stitch is worked from right to left, then back from left to right in a similar fashion to the Tunisian stitch (for those of you who aren’t familiar with that stitch, we’ll get there for T).

For the next row, we’re going to work from left to right, so I’m going to break it down into a couple steps. First, Chain 7.

chain 7

Then (again working from left to right–I know it feels a little backwards for us right handed people) and working in the FRONT loop only, slip stitch into the double crochet to the right.

to the right

Repeat that step across and you have what looks like a cool lace cuff edging.

one done

To start the next row, chain three to count as your first double crochet and double crochet across, working in the BACK  loop only. Chain 7 and repeat your left to right row to get back to the beginning and you’ll have row 2 done.

What Else Can You Do With It?

As mentioned above, Astrakhan is a great stitch for rugs, edging, or just a fun scarf or sweater (and according to my husband, beards). Need a project idea? Make some towel yarn (the same way you make T-Shirt yarn) or get your favorite plush bulky yarn (if you’re in Georgetown, TX The Knitting Cup just got in some wonderful bulky yarn!) and a K hook (6.50mm) and chain 75 or about 32 inches. Work the Astrakhan stitch for 20 rows (one set of double crochets and one set of chains) or about 22 inches. Fasten off and weave in your ends and POOF you have a bathmat sized rug.

bathmat

Want to work it in the round? Rather than working right to left and then left to right, continue around in a spiral. This will still give the astrakhan effect, without the “backward” feeling of working left to right.

The Short Version

finished

Chain as many as you’d like

Row 1a: chain 3 (counts as 1st dc here and throughout), dc across. DO NOT TURN

Row 1b: Working left to right, chain 7. Sl st into FRONT loop of tr to the right. repeat across.

Row 2a: Working right to left, chain 3, dc in BACK loop of next dc across.

Row 2b: Working left to right, chain 7. Sl st into FRONT loop of dc to the right. repeat across.

Repeat rows 2a and 2b until work is finished.

 

Time for a Recheck

Earlier this year I did a short post on what I was hoping to accomplish in 2017. So lets take a look at where we’re at:

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Nesting Basket Pattern…….Check!

Christmas Stockings……Crochet Check and Knitting Check!

That leaves me down to the pattern bundles. I have a few patterns ready for the bundles, but with two boys and my husband’s work schedule gone crazy, time is not something I am finding in abundance. It looks like y’all will have to wait a bit longer for those to come out. In the meantime though, I’ll be starting a series of VERY short blog posts on the A-Z’s of crochet and knit stitches.

The goal of these posts will be to work on stitches you may have never heard of or seen (like astrakhan crochet or Andalusian knit stitch). My goal with these is to expose you all to some unusual stitches you can try out over the holidays and to show you how to use them in different or unique ways (yes, there will FINALLY be a tutorial on Crocodile stitch in the round). Sometimes I’ll show you how I increase or decrease in a stitch (like crocodile), and sometimes I’ll just show how the stitch is worked. I may even have a project or two to go along with some of them.

If you have any questions on a specific stitch (how to work it a certain way, decreases, increases, etc…) or would like to see a specific stitch covered, now would be a really good time to email me! I’m planning out the next couple months of stitches along with my pre-school lessons for my older son and would love to include your questions in my posts!

There is ONE other thing I need y’all to help me with…

I have been asked for business cards a couple of times and I would LOVE to give some out, but I need to finalize a design for them. What do you all think of this:

Logo 1000px

It’s just a draft, but I would love to have some feedback on it.

I think that’s all for now, so happy crafting!