If you read my last post on the Crochet Blog, you know that I’m working on motivating everyone to get ready for the beach, so today H is for Horseshoe Crab Stitch!
What Is It?
First off, what the heck is a horseshoe crab? A horseshoe crab is a crab that sort of looks like a stingray, they have a very hard outer shell and look like the little critter from “Alien” if you flip them over (I’ll spare you the creepy side photo) :
Horseshoe Crab Stitch is technically a lace stitch that makes a pattern like several of these chasing each other up the work.
To begin, cast on any multiple of 12 stitches plus 3. I’ll be working 27 today.
Rows one and three use the “PSSO” or pass slipped stitch over technique quite often so I’m going to pause here to review that decrease. The instructions read “slip one, knit two together, pass slipped stitch over.” So to begin the decrease, slip the stitch in question:
Then knit two together.
Then pass the stitch you slipped OVER the stitch that you just completed (the one that knit two together):
And you’re done with the slip one, knit two together, pass slipped stitch over! On to row one.
Knit one, knit two together and draw the yarn over (increase). Then knit two, yarn over (increase), knit one, slip one, knit two together, pass the slipped stitch over, knit one, yarn over, knit two yarn over, slip one, knit two together, pass the slipped stitch over, yarn over and repeat from “then” until you’re at the last twelve stitches (also take a big breath if you tried to read that sentence aloud). For the last twelve stitches, knit two, yarn over, knit one, slip one, knit two together, pass the slipped stitch over, knit one, yarn over, knit two, slip one, knit one, pass the slipped stitch over, knit one and you’re done (take another big breath after that one)!
Row two is much simpler. Just purl across. (For those of you who noticed my multicolored needles here, I’ll go on a short tangent: They’re both size 8, but I couldn’t find the partners to either set. Working with two different material needles is not ideal, but for a sample it won’t hurt anything. I would not advise it for a big project, but if you’re in a pinch, it works.)
Row three runs in similar fashion to row one, but not quite as complicated. Knit one, knit two together and yarn over to start off. Then knit three, yarn over slip one, knit two together and pass the slipped stitch over, yarn over and repeat from the beginning of this sentence to the last six stitches. For the last six, knit three, yarn over, slip one, knit one, pass the slipped stitch over, knit one and that’s it!
The fourth row is the same as the second, purl across.
Now that you’ve gotten through all that, just repeat rows one through four until you have enough crabs for a low county boil (please don’t try to put real horseshoe crabs in your boil, there really isn’t much edible on them).
What Else Can You Do With It?
There are SO many possibilities with this stitch! It would make a lovely scarf, throw, or baby blanket just by itself, but you can also integrate this as a panel into your favorite sweater pattern or use it as a sleeve. I think my favorite idea for this right now is to us it as the top of a flared sleeve (think medieval princess dress sleeve) with an English mesh from the elbow down. I’m not sure what exactly I would attach that to yet, but it’s just starting to brew, so you never know where you may see it pop up from here.
The Short Version
Cast on a multiple of 12 sts plus 3
Row 1: K1, k2tog, yo, *k2, yo, k1, sl 1, k2tog, psso, k1, yo, k2, yo, sl 1, k2tog, psso, yo; rep from * to last 12 sts, k2, yo, k1, sl 1, k2tog, psso, k1, yo, k2, yo, sl1, k1, psso, k1.
Row 2: Purl.
Row 3: K1, k2tog, yo, *k3, yo, sl 1-k2tog-psso, yo; rep from * to last 6 sts , k3, yo, sl1, k1, psso, k1.
Row 4: Purl.
Rep rows 1-4 until you’re done being crabby 😉