U is for Uneven Berry

Since we’re just past Independence day, and I’m sure everyone is sick of Red, White, and Blueberry everything, let’s go for a different berry. Today, U is for Uneven Berry.

What Is It?

Uneven Berry is a bauble stitch. The bauble in this case, being the “berry, ” you’ll start by making a chain of any even number plus one. I’ll start with fifteen.

Now, the plus one in that chain is really a turning chain, so if that confuses you, chain an even number and then chain one to turn.

Whichever way you choose, the first row will be to single crochet in each chain across. Like so:

Uneven Berry 1

Row two is where we start using the Berry stitch, so let’s pause a second and learn the thing.

To start the Berry Stitch, yarn over, insert your hook into the next stitch, yarn over, and draw the loop through the stitch. This should be pretty familiar by now, but it looks like this:

Uneven Berry yo Uneven Berry draw Uneven Berry through

Then, yarn over again and draw it through the first loop on the hook only.

Yarn over and insert your hook into the same stitch you just worked (it’s a bauble remember), yarn over again and bring it back through the stitch, you should have five loops on your hook.

Uneven Berry five yo

Yarn over one more time and draw through all five loops, then chain one just to keep the stitch safe.

And that’s the Berry Stitch we’ll be using for this pattern. I’m “abbreviating” it Berry this time. Using BS as the abbreviation just didn’t seem right…..

Alright, row two for real now. Chain one to count as your first slip stitch, skip the first stitch and berry into the next stitch. Slip stitch into the next single crochet and keep alternating berries and slip stitches across the row, ending with a Berry. It should look something like this:

Uneven Berry 2

Remember to ignore your turning chain from row one. It doesn’t exist. We’re NOT using it.

Row three is very simple, if not completely straight forward. Chain one to count as your first single crochet, and skip the slip stitch you just made. Slip stitch into the chain one that finished off your berry stitch, and single crochet into the next slip stitch.

U sl st

Keep working that sentence till you reach the end of the row and it looks like this:

Uneven Berry 3

Row four is very much like row two, but as we’ve been seeing with other things, it’s offset from row two. Chain one to count as your first Berry and slip stitch into the next slip stitch. then begin a repeat of berry in the next single crochet and slip stitch in to the next slip stitch across. When you get to the last stitch, slip stitch in it.

Uneven Berry 4

The last row in this pattern is row five, and row five looks a lot like row three. Start it off with a chain one and skip the first stitch, then single crochet into the next slip stitch and slip stitch into the next berry across to the end. Just remember, that chain one from row four counts as your first Berry, DON’T FORGET TO SLIP STITCH IN IT!

Uneven Berry 5

After a couple repeats, it should look something like this:

Uneven Berry

What Else Can You Do With It?

Uneven berry stitch is a wonderfully textured stitch for a rug, towel or blanket, but if you want to really put a spin on it, try working the even rows in a different color than the odd rows. Work that in a circle skirt pattern or a sweater for something lively and different.

Still want something different? Try using uneven berry to make a sack blanket, the baubles can look a bit like shark skin or snake scales in the right colors.

The Short Version

Berry Stitch (Berry): yo and insert hook into next st, yo and draw through, yo and draw through 1st loop on hook, yo and insert hook into same st, yo and draw through a loop, yo and draw through all 5 loops on hook, 1ch to secure st.
Chain a multiple of 2 sts
Row 1: Chain one to turn, sc into each ch to end, turn.
Row 2: ch 1 (counts as 1st sl st), skip 1st st, *Berry, sl st into next st; rep from * to last stitch, Berry.
Row 3: ch 1 (counts as 1st sl st), sc in next sl st, *sl st into next Berry, sc into next sl st, rep from * to end, turn.

Row 4: ch 1 (counts as 1st Berry), sl st into next sl st, *Berry into next sc, sl st into next sl st, rep from * to last st, sl st in last st, turn.

Row 5: ch 1, *sc into next sl st, sl st into next Berry; rep from * to end, turn.

Repeat rows 2-5 until you have a basket full of berries.

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T is for Tunisian

I really wanted to avoid anything that is truly a technique like this, but I also promised that we would cover it, so today, T is for Tunisian Stitching!

What is it?

Tunisian Crochet is a style of crochet unto itself, so I’m not going to hit everything Tunisian stitch today, but I will show you the most basic stitch and we’ll go over other stitches another time.

First off, we’ll need a different hook than you’ve been using. This hook is an extra long hook or may even have a wire. Mine looks like this:

The hook

It’s a little beat up, but it’s been around a LONG time and made quite a few mermaid tails with me, so I love it.

Tunisian hooks come in the same sizes as regular hooks (although usually in the I-K range), so for those of you who don’t have one, you can get the gist of Tunisian stitching by working five to seven stitches on a regular crochet hook, just watch the back end of it so they don’t fall off. I’m going to use this method today to show you all how to work the stitch.

Start by chaining any number of stitches, I’m going to work 10.

ch 10 t

There, easy enough.

Now, rather than the whole chain one, move on thing, we’re going to insert the hook into the foundation chain and draw a loop through like so:

draw up loop t

Now, in other forms of crochet, you would be pulling yarn through the two loops and moving on, in Tunisian Crochet, you’re going to repeat that step in the next chain and all the chains across so you have a ton (or ten in my case) of loops on your hook.

10 loops t

Ok, we have a bunch of loops on the hook. All of those loops are considered “active” loops because if you drop one it will pull out all the way to the bottom of your work. Half a row from here, so not a big deal, but seriously, don’t drop one. To deactivate the loops, yarn over the hook and pull through the first loop.

 

Then yarn over and pull through two loops and repeat that across to the end.

yo deact 3

And that’s your first row of Tunisian Stitch done!

ts r1

Working the next row and every row after that is very similar, but rather than working into the chain, you’ll work into the vertical bar for each stitch across:

vbar

Insert the hook and yarn over in each bar across and don’t forget the last bar! You should still have the same number of stitches as you chained.

draw up vbar

Then using the same method as row one, “deactivate” the loops:

 

Keep working a few rows like you did row two and you should have something that looks like this:

two ts

Keep working for a nice little square:

TS done

What Else can you do with it?

There are SOOOO many things you can do with Tunisian Stitch. Colorwork, bastkets, blankets, sweaters, anything!

What I’ve shown you here is only ONE out of several ways to stitch in Tunisian Crochet. There are whole BOOKS written on the subject. I won’t cover it all, so I encourage you to get out there and find some patterns! Maybe start by conquering the Mermaid Tail Blanket

The Short Version

Tunisian Stitch (TS): Using the afghan hook, insert hook into stitch, YO, pull up loop. Repeat for as many sts as needed. You will have several loops on your hook at this point. To finish the row, YO, pull through first loop on hook. *YO, pull through two loops. Repeat from * until there is only one loop left on the hook.

For you second row of TS and every row thereafter, you will insert the hook into the part of the stitch that looks like a vertical bar.

 

S is for Static Stitch

For those of you who remember having an analog television antenna, today is for you. And for S, which is for Static Stitch.

What Is It?

Static stitch is a type of drop stitch that will help to get you familiar with the technique without getting too complicated. Start off by chaining any multiple of three plus  one. I’ll be working with nineteen today.

To start row one, you may want to put a stitch marker in the last chain of your foundation chain. If you are a confident crocheter, just chain five more to count as your first double crochet and chain two. Skip two from your marker (or the last chain of your foundation) and double crochet in the next stitch. Continue the chain two, skip two, double crochet all the way across the first row.

S row 1

Row two starts with a chain one to turn and single crochet in the double crochet you just made. Then we start the repeat and get a little tricky….

Working OVER the chain two, double crochet in the next two foundation chains. Like so:

dc over ch2

Then single crochet in the top of the next double crochet and repeat that across. You should end up with something that looks like this:

s row 2

Notice there is no chain two hanging out. You do not want to see that chain two, you want to have it neatly wrapped under your double crochets.

Now, the pattern rows are done, but it doesn’t look much like static yet does it? Part of the reason for that is that it’s solid and blue. Try a few rows of this alternating contrasting colors for row one and two and you’ll get a very different look:

bw static

What Else Can You Do With It?

There are about 11 zillion dishcloth patterns out there, and this stitch is used for several of them. It’s a good scrubbing pattern and the alternating colors make for a fun pattern. Throw a variegated yarn into the mix and it can be a texturally interesting and colorful addition to any kitchen.

If you’re sick of dishcloths, you can always make this stitch into a blanket, sweater, pillow, or panel for just about anything.

Make sure to take the time to play with the colors as well. Try working four rows in a variegated and two in a solid, or work the whole thing in a black and white variegated to see if you can re-create that off-the-air feel of analog tv.

shot_2

The Short Version

Ch a multiple of 3 +1
Row 1: Ch 5 to count as your first dc and ch 2, *sk 2 sts, dc in next st. Repeat from * to end
Row 2: ch 1 to turn, sc in the first dc. *Make a dc in each of the sk st in the previous row working over the 2 chs from row 1. Sc in dc, repeat from * to end.

Repeat rows one and two until it’s static.

The Short Multi-color Version

With color A, ch a multiple of 3 +1
Row 1: Ch 5 to count as your first dc and ch 2, *sk 2 sts, dc in next st. Repeat from * to end
Row 2: With color B, sc in the first dc. Make a dc in each of the sk st in the previous row working over the 2 chs. Sc in dc, repeat from * across ending with a sc in each of the last 2 sts. Ch 3, turn.)

Repeat rows one and two alternating colors until it’s static.

R is for Ribbing

That’s right, just like knitting, crochet has a way to make this, so today R is for Ribbing!

What is it?

Crochet ribbing is visually the same as knitted ribbing, but different in several aspects. The elasticity isn’t the same, so you need to be careful with your tension and gauge when using it for garments, and the crochet rib is worked “sideways” rather than “straight”…let me explain.

I’m chaining 24 today and then working a row of single crochet across that to start off today. Notice that the single crochets are not offset like knitted ribbing might be. That’s because we’re working this sideways, so each row will work like one column of knits.

R row 1

You’ve probably guessed already, but ribbing is VERY easy to work and is basically just rows of single crochet. Row 2 throws a twist into that theory however, and is a row of slip stitches worked across each of the single crochets you just made. Why the slip stitches? They’ll work as you foundation chain for row three and in effect are the column of purl that you would see in knitted ribbing.

Row three will have you single crocheting across again, but make sure that you’re working in the slip stitches, NOT the single crochets from row one. They look almost identical, but the slip stitches will be on the back.

R slip st

And that’s it. With row 3 done, you’ve finished the pattern rows!

R row 2

Doesn’t look much like a rib yet does it? Keep working a few rows and then turn it sideways and you’ll see it.

r-finished.png

What Else can you do with it?

Just like in knitting, crochet rib can be used for edging on sweaters or socks. As mentioned above, it doesn’t maintain the same elasticity as knitted ribbing, but with the right gauge and tension, it will do the job.

If you’re looking for something a little different to do with ribbing, it works great as a welcome mat, a thick blanket, a pleated skirt (use a lace or sock weight yarn for a light skirt), or a dust cover for a stick and plate style broom (just like we did in Kabeli stitch)–by the way, the super plush blanket yarns work really well for picking up dust!

The Short Version

Chain any number of stitches

Row 1:  sc into each chain st across, turn.

Row 2: ch 1 to turn, sl st into each sc across, turn.

Row 3: Ch 1 to turn, sc into each sl st across, turn.

Repeat rows 2 and 3 until your ribs are in stitches.

Q is for Quahog Shells

I needed something unique for today. So I popped onto Crochet Kitten’s Blogspot and found out that today, Q would be for Quahog Shells.

What is it?

First, what’s a Quahog? No, not just a made up word like my son says, A quahog is another name for a round clam.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Click here for more information on the photographer of this. It wasn’t me.

 

To start, chain any multiple of eight plus three more, I’ll be working 16 today.

To begin row one, you may want to mark the last chain in your foundation so you don’t lose your place. Chain six to count as your first double crochet and a three chain. If you marked your foundation chain, you should be able to see the last chain in the foundation and count three to skip very easily. If you didn’t mark your foundation chain, you’ll still skip three of the foundation chains and double crochet in the 10th chain from the hook. Double crochet in the next four chains to make a “shell” of five double crochets.

Chain three and skip three chains, then work five double crochets across the next five chains. Repeat that across to the last four chains, then chain three, skip three chains and work a double crochet in the last chain.

Qrow 1

You can already see that unlike other shell stitches, Quahog Shells are not as round. This is because the double crochets are grouped across five chains rather than being all in one chain. Technically this means it is NOT a shell, but I’m gonna roll with it this time because we’re talking stitches, not techniques.

Row two is going to be your set up row for this pattern and is sort of a mock foundation chain it’s self. Start by chaining one and turning your work. Then single crochet in the first double crochet you made (remember, turning chain ones fall out side of the pattern and are ignored for counting).

Chain three and skip three stitches, then single crochet in the next double crochet. Repeat that across to the last four stitches again and then chain three, skip three and work a single crochet in the top of the chain that counted as the first double crochet for row one.

Qrow 2

Now that we have the set up done, row three will be almost identical to row one, except you’ll be working your sets of five double crochets in a chain three space rather than working across five stitches (which leans this stitch back toward being a true shell).

Chain six to start the row (again, this counts as one double crochet and a chain three space) and skip the first chain three space. In the NEXT chain three space, work five double crochets, chain three and skip three. Repeat that sentence across to the last single crochet and double crochet in the single crochet.

Qrow 3

Repeat rows two and three until you’re happy with the length and you know how to make the Quahog Shell stitch!

Q done

What Else Can You Do With It?

Quahog Shell is a fun lacy stitch to work up quickly. It get’s to be a mindless stitch (which is a GOOD THING for this busy mom who needs a break from time to time!!) and that makes it a good “telly watching” stitch. That also makes it a great stitch to teach those who are new to crochet or to shells in general.

I think this stitch would make a very fun blanket in a super chunky yarn or a lacy beach cover up in a sport weight yarn. It would also work well for a skirt to go over leggings or as a cardigan.

If you want to get a little bit different look, off set the shells by working as follows:

Row 3: Ch 3(counts as 1 dc), 4dc in first ch 3 sp, *ch 3, skip next ch-3 sp, 5 dc in next ch-3 sp; rep from * across to last ch 3 sp, 4dc in ch 3 sp, dc in last sc.

Row 4: rep row 2

Row 5: Ch 6 (counts as 1 dc and 3 ch), skip 1st ch-3 sp, *5 dc in next ch-3 sp, ch 3, skip next ch-3 sp; rep from * across to last sc. Dc in last sc.

repeat rows 2-5

IMG_20180412_095801_883

The Short Version

Foundation chain: Multiple of 8+3

Row 1: Ch 6 (counts as 1st dc and ch 3) Dc in 10th ch from hook and next 4 ch, *ch 3, skip next 3 ch, dc in next 5 ch; rep from * across to last 4 ch. Ch 3, skip next 3 ch, dc in last ch.

Row 2: Ch 1; turn. Sc in 1st dc, *ch 3, skip next 3 sts, sc in next dc, rep from * across to last 4 sts, ch 3, sc in 4th ch of turning chain.

Row 3: Ch 6 (counts as 1 dc and 3 ch), skip 1st ch-3 sp, *5 dc in next ch-3 sp, ch 3, skip next ch-3 sp; rep from * across to last sc. Dc in last sc.

Rep rows 2 & 3 until you want to clam up….

P is for Pineapple

This stitch is an oldie but a goody. It’s really easy and fun to work. Today, P is for Pineapple!

7207322_f520_medium

Photo from Ravelry © Moira Durano-Abesmo get her free patterns here

What Is It?

Now, don’t confuse Pineapple stitch with Pineapple LACE. They are VERY different. Pineapple Lace is a gorgeous MOTIF that you can use in all sorts of applications from blankets to dresses and beyond. It looks like this:

img_6865

And Craftsy (from whom the picture came) has  great “how to” on the subject. I am including the instructions for Pineapple Lace as a BONUS Short Version, but not going into it here.

The Pineapple Stitch is a vintage stitch that is amazingly simple and works easily in a round. This stitch really is a single crochet two together, but you’re not actually decreasing with it. To get started, chain any even number. I’m working with 20 today.

chain

Insert your hook into the third chain from the hook and draw the yarn through the chain.

insert into 3rd chain

Skip the next chain and insert your hook into the following chain and draw the yarn through the stitch.

insert 2

Then yarn over and draw through all three loops on the hook.

one pineapple

Chain one and then insert your hook into the same chain as the last loop you drew up and draw up a loop.

insert for next

Skip the next chain and insert your hook into the following chain again. Then draw the yarn through to have three loops on your hook again.

and again

Draw through all three loops again. Chain one and repeat that process across the foundation chain then fasten off the yarn.

row 1 pineapple

Yeah, cut it. This stitch is worked right to left only and there’s really no way to go backward like some of the stitches we’ve worked on. The GOOD news is that if you’re working in the round, you don’t have to cut it here, just start row two–which we’ll start now.

Join the yarn in the top of the chain from the previous row.

start row 2

Chain three, draw loops through the first and second spaces from the previous row. Make sure to use the space between the chain and the first “stitch” as your first space or you’ll lose a stitch.

add pineapples

Draw a loop through the last space used and the next space and then through all three loops on the hook and repeat that across to finish row two.

row 2 pineapple

Break the yarn and just repeat row two as many times as you need. Again, if you’re working in the round skip the cutting of the yarn and just move on to the next round.

pineapple done

What Else Can You Do With It?

Work it in the round!! This stitch really is best for working in a round because you don’t waste as much yarn. That’s not to say you can’t work it flat, especially if you’re going to be switching colors every row anyway it can be very pretty and fun to work.

This stitch is a fun book bag or striped mat. It’s also a really good stitch to use for making a wreath if you don’t want to use amigurumi or if you want to wrap an existing wreath.

The Short Version

Chain any even number

Row 1: Draw yarn through 3rd stitch from hook, skip 1 chain, draw through next chain and draw through the 3 loops on hook; chain 1. *Draw loop through the same stitch as last loop, skip 1 chain, draw through next chain, draw through the 3 loops on hook; chain 1. Repeat from * to end of row. Break off.

Row 2: Fasten yarn through chain of previous row; chain 4. Draw loop through 1st st, through 2nd st, through the 3 loops on hook; chain 1. *Draw loop through space last used, through next space, through 3 loops on hook; chain 1. Repeat from * to end of row. Break off.

Repeat row 2.

The BONUS Short Version: Pineapple Lace Stitch

Chain 4

Row 1: dc in fourth ch from hook. Ch 2, 2 dc in same sp, ch 4, turn

Row 2: 12 tr in ch-2 space Ch 4,turn.

Row 3: *Ch 1, tr rep from * all the way across for a total of 12 ch-1 spaces. Turn

Row 4: *Ch 3, sc in ch-1 space. Repeat from * all the way across for a total of 12 ch-3 spaces. Turn your work

Row 5: Skip the first ch-3 space. *Ch 3, sc in next ch-3 space. Repeat from * all the way across for a total of 11 ch-3 spaces. Turn your work.

Row 6-15: Repeat row 5, skipping the first ch-3 space at the beginning of each row so you have a shorter row than the row previous.

Fasten off, weave in ends.

O is for Open Hexagons

First this comes first with this post: it’s my baby’s first birthday!!! Happy birthday sweet boy!!!

Ok, now to the real post, I found this while I was wandering around the internet on little blogspot called Engineered Crochet. If you are a designer I SERIOUSLY encourage you to check it out. She talks through her process for each project and is kind enough to share her patterns as well! If you’re just here for the stitch, then today, O is for Open Hexagons by Sarah of Engineered Crochet.

What Is It?

Open Hexagons is a fun lace stitch that was created by an Chemical Engineering student a few years ago. I know how much work can go into designing something like this, so I thought it would be a nice thing to spread her hard work to you all! I did update the pattern slightly to be a little clear and more consistent with standard patterns, however I left most of it as is. You may notice that the pattern repeats don’t finish neatly and expect you to understand that the last repeat of the pattern is a partial repeat. This is a common feature of free online patterns and I want you all to see that here too so that you can learn to understand some of these patterns better and learn how to reason out what’s going on with them.

Hopefully learning about these less literal patterns here will help some of you to open up a whole new world of patterns online (for free even!) and to grow your understanding of crochet in general. If you have trouble with how the pattern is written here, PLEASE contact me and I will walk you through it.

We’ll start by chaining a multiple of 6 plus 2, I’ll be working 26 and a smaller gauge today to give a better effect for this stitch. This stitch does work for a larger gauge, but I LOVE this red that I found in my scraps bin (thanks Mem!) and I was struggling to get the right tension with a larger hook on this one.

Anyway, once you have your chain done, we’re going to single crochet in the second chain from the hook (think of that as your chain one turning chain and then single crochet into the next one). Skip two chains, work five double crochets in the next chain, skip two chains and single crochet in the next chain. Work that across and you have row one done!

row 1

Now, I’m going to pause here to explain what just happened with that row because it is very important to understand if you’re going to fall in love with shells. First and foremost, what we just did there was make a five double crochet shell. This is a relatively common stitch in shell work. The single crochets on either side of the five double crochets hold the shell down and help to give it the shape that it’s so famous for. The chain two that we skipped is space so that the shell will lay down flat and fan out at the top. If you want a bunched shell or if you want to give your work a three dimensional effect, you can work both of those chains and the group of five will stick out like a beautiful (and hopefully NOT sore) thumb!

Row two is going to begin our open work hexagons. First, chain three (which will count as your first double always in this pattern) and work two more double crochets in the last single crochet of row one. These three will work to be “half” of your five double crochet shell and start off your row. When working with shell, “half” shells will often be the beginning and the end of every other row. Skip two (so your shell can lay down) and and we’ll start our pattern repeat. Work one single crochet into the  center double crochet of the shell from row one, chain two, skip the rest of the shell (two double crochets), double crochet in the single crochet, chain two, skip two single crochet in the center double crochet of the shell (that’s the end of the open work part of the repeat), skip two (to give our shell some space) work five double crochets in the next single crochet and repeat that across.

Now, you all are smart enough to figure this out, but just to be clear, when you get to the LAST repeat for this row, you do NOT want to work five double crochets into that last single crochet, you want to work a “half” shell which is three double crochets ONLY. This will keep the edge of your work flat and keep you from having some awkward turning chains along the way.

row 2

Row three is the second part if our open work and it will start with a chain one (to help you turn the work–if you don’t need it, don’t use it) and a single crochet into the last double crochet from row two. Then we get to our repeat, skip two, and work three double crochets in the single crochet on row two, chain two, skip two, single crochet in the center double crochet of the open work on row two, chain two, skip two, three more double crochets in the single crochet, skip two and single crochet in the center double crochet of the shell on row two (are you seeing the theme here?). Work that across your row and row three is done.

row 3

Remember: when you’re working a chain one to turn you ignore that chain on the next row. So, ignore the turning chain and work row two one more time to complete row four.

row 4

Row five is effectively row one over again, so I’m going to go over much of it here. Just like row one, row five is a set up row of shells to get you ready for another set of openwork. Rather obviously you’re not working in chains for this row, so in “The Short Version” this row is re-written to reflect the changes. For the long version, I’m just going to say: work row one and you’re done with row five!

row 5

Now that we’re all set up, we can start row six which is almost identical to row two except that they’re offset from each other. Chain three and work two double crochets in the first single crochet to make your “half” shell. The repeat portion is to skip two, single crochet, skip two, work five double crochets, skip two, single crochet, chain two, skip two, double crochet, and chain two. Just like row two, when you get to that last single crochet work another “half” shell of three double crochets.

row 6

Just like row six is basically row two, row seven is basically row three, but again, it’s the offset version. Chain one to help with turning (if you need it) and single crochet in the first double crochet. Then skip two to help your shell and work five double crochets in the next single crochet. Now we’ll start the repeat part, skip two, single crochet, skip two, work three double crochets in the single crochet, chain two, skip two, single crochet in the double crochet, chain two, skip two, work three double crochets in the single crochet and work that to the last double crochet. Single crochet in the last double crochet and you’re done with row seven.

row 7

The last two rows are just repeats. For row eight, repeat row six to finish up the open work section.

row 8

For row nine, repeat row five to set up for starting the pattern over.

row 9

Repeat rows two to nine for the full pattern and stop at EITHER row five or row nine. This pattern is nice and gives you some options, just remember that you shouldn’t stop your pattern EXCEPT at row five or row nine unless you want to end on an openwork row and have a partial hexagon.

What Else Can You Do With It?

open hex

This stitch was made to explore the idea of taking a netted open work stitch and making it at least partially solid using a shell pattern. I think it would be a fun replacement for any solid shell stitch that could stand some holes.

It would also be a good beach cover up or bag, a fun market bag, throw, or valance (the curtain that looks like bangs on kitchen windows among others). It might make fun stockings as well. Be creative with it!

The Short Version

Chain a multiple of 6 + 2
Row 1: sc in 2nd ch from hook, *sk 2, dc 5 in next ch, sk 2, sc in next ch rep from * across, turn.

Row 2: ch 3 (counts as first dc here and throughout),  dc 2 in first sc, sk 2, *sc in dc, ch 2, sk 2, dc in sc, ch 2 sk 2, sc in dc, sk 2, 5 dc in sc rep from *to last sc, 3 dc in last sc, turn.

Row 3: ch 1 sc in dc, *sk 2, dc 3 in sc, ch 2 , sk 2, sc in dc, ch 2, sk 2, dc 3 in sc, sk 2, sc in dc rep from * across, turn.

Row 4: repeat row 2.

Row 5: ch 1, sc in dc, *sk 2, 5 dc in sc, sk 2, sc in dc rep from * across, turn.

Row 6: ch 3, 2 dc in first sc, *sk 2, sc in dc, sk 2, 5 dc in sc, sk 2, sc in dc, ch 2, sk 2, dc in sc, ch 2 rep from * to last sc, 3 dc in last sc, turn.

Row 7: ch 1, sc in dc, sk 2, 5 dc in sc, *sk 2, sc in dc, sk 2, 3 dc in sc, ch 2, sk 2, sc in dc, ch 2, sk 2, 3 dc in sc rep from * across, sc in last dc, turn.

Row 8 : repeat Row 6

Row 9: repeat Row 5

Repeat Rows 2-9 for pattern, ending with either row 5 or row 9.

N is for Norman Arch

It’s time for something that works up big and quick without bulky yarn. Today, N is for Norman Arch.

What Is It?

Norman Arch is a sort of lace stitch that has a solid arch in the middle of it. To start, chain any multiple of 9 plus one. I’ll be working 19 today.

chain 19 arch

Chain one to turn and start row one (remember this chain is ignored throughout the pattern and is only used to facilitate turning if you don’t need it, don’t use it). Row one will have a flat (chain three) and arches (chain seven) then has two flats back to back (chain three, single crochet, chain three) and an arch and so on. The flat areas will be space for the double crochets on the arch to lay in.

Moving on, single crochet into the second chain from the hook (or the 19th foundation chain), skip the next three chains and single crochet into the next chain. Chain seven to serve as your arch and single crochet into the next chain. Chain three, skip three chains and single crochet into the next chain. Repeat that to the end and you’ve finished row one.

norman 1

Row two is really very easy, chain one to turn (again, we’ll be ignoring that chain and if  you don’t need it, don’t bother), then single crochet into the first stitch, skip that chain three and work thirteen double crochets into the chain seven space (if 13 bothers you, you can use 11 or 15 instead, just make sure it’s an odd number) to make the arch.

arch

Skip the next chain three so the arch has some space and single crochet into the next stitch. Then skip the next chain three and make your next arch, repeating that pattern to the end and single crocheting into the last stitch.

norman 2

NEW STITCH ALERT!!

Row three will start with a chain of 6 that counts at a Double Treble Crochet…

you-want-me-to-do-what

Don’t worry, it’s not hard, just a lot of wrapping. I’m sure you all remember the treble crochet from some of our first lessons, the double treble crochet is almost identical to that, we’re just going to wrap the yarn around three times rather than two.

dtr wraps

Then insert the hook into the stitch you’re working and yarn over and pull through the stitch.

insert yarn over dtr

Yarn over and pull through two loops on the hook until you only have one loop on the hook.

You should be left with a unicorn horn worthy twist of yarn that we call the double treble crochet (or dtr for short).

unicorn worthy

So, you should have your chain six already to count as your double treble crochet, skip the next five double crochets on the arch and double crochet in the 6th double crochet on the arch. Chain three and double crochet in the next double crochet, twice. Skip the next 11 stitches and repeat that again (starting in the 6th double crochet of the next arch). When you get to the last six stitches, skip five of them and work a double treble crochet into the last stitch (skipping that turning chain).

Norman 3

The next two rows are really a way to get back to a flat base to start your arch from. This would be a great place to play around with stitches and work anything that you’d like as long as you have a relatively even row to start your next arch from.

As the pattern is written though, row four starts with a chain three (counting as a double crochet) and works in the chains from the last row. Skip the first double crochet and across the next chain three, double crochet, chain one double crochet. Chain three and then repeat that work across the next chain three from row three. Skip the next two double crochets and start on the next arch. When you get to the end of the row, skip the last double crochet and double crochet in the top of the chain six from row three.

Norman 4

Row five is the last row in this pattern and is the set up row for the next set of arches. Chain six (this time to count as a double crochet and a chain three), just like row one, the chain three flats on this row will only be used to give some space for the arches. Skip the first chain one space and in the chain 3 space single crochet, chain seven, and single crochet again. Chain three and skip the next chain one space, then double crochet in the space BETWEEN the two double crochets on roe four to bridge the arches:

dc in sp

Chain three more and repeat that, ending by double crocheting in the double treble crochet at the end of the row.

Norman 5

And that’s it. Work a few more sets to have the fastest blanket in the west…or east..or wherever.

Norman Arch

What Else Can You Do With It?

Norman Arch is an amazingly quick stitch. It would be a great edging on a tunic top, or a skirt for summer beach wear. It’s a fast blanket or scarf and when used in the right gauge is a beautifully delicate lace.

You can even use it for some unusual things like a mask, a lace panel for a blouse or jewelry!

The Short Version

Abbreviations: dtr–double treble crochet

Multiple of 9 sts + 1.

Row 1: (Wrong Side): ch 1 to turn, sc into 2nd ch from hook, *ch 3, skip 3 ch, sc into next ch, ch7 , sc into next ch, ch 3, skip 3 ch, sc into next ch; rep from * to end, turn.

Row 2: ch 1 to turn, sc into first st, *skip 3 ch, work 13 dc into next 7 ch arch, skip 3 ch, sc into next st; rep from * to end, skip tch, turn.

Row 3: ch 6 (count as dtr) skip next 5 dc, *[dc into next dc, ch 3] twice, dc into next dc, skip next 11 sts; rep from * to last arch, [dc into next dc, ch 3] twice, dc into next dc, skip next 5 dc, dtr into last sc, skip tch, turn.

Row 4: ch 3 (count as dc), skip next dc, *dc into next ch, ch 1, skip 1 ch, dc into next ch, ch 3 , skip the next dc, dc into next ch, ch 1, skip 1 ch, dc into next ch, skip next 2dc; rep from * to last arch, dc into next ch, ch 1, skip 1 ch, dc into next ch, ch 3 , skip the next dc, dc into next ch, ch 1, skip 1 ch, dc into next ch, skip next dc, dc into top of tch, turn.

Row 5: ch 6 (count as 1dc and 3ch), *in next ch 3 sp, work [sc, ch 7, sc], ch 3, skip next ch 1 sp, dc between next 2dc, ch 3; rep from * to last arch, in next ch 3 sp, work [sc, ch 7, sc], ch 3, skip next ch 1 sp, dc into top of tch, turn.

Repeat rows 2-5 until you have a plethora of arches.

M is for Mat Stitch

This is it! You’ve made it half way through the alphabet and halfway through the series on crochet stitches! Today is for M and M is for Mat Stitch!

What Is It?

Mat Stitch is a very simple shell stitch that weaves into a nice texture that is perfect for–well, a mat! We’ll start out by chaining any multiple of six plus 2. I’ll be working 20 today.

chain 20

The first thing you will need to learn for this stitch is the double V stitch. It really looks more like a W, but we’re going to call it a double V because a V stitch (double crochet, chain one, double  crochet) is a fairly common stitch to find and this just adds onto that. The double V stitch is worked all in the same stitch (or chain) and creates a shell stitch in the work.

Work one double crochet into the stitch you’re going to double V in and chain one.

dc ch1-2

Then do that again.

dc ch1-2

Then double crochet once more and you’ll have your double V.

finished shell

Now that you know how to do that, the rest of this pattern is easy. Start row one by working a single crochet in the second chain from the hook. Then skip two chains, double V in the third chain.

skip 2

Skip two chains and single crochet in the third chain and work that way across, alternating double V’s and single crochets.

row 1

Row two is basically the same as row one, but you’re off setting the double V’s on this row. Chain four to count as your first double crochet and chain one, then double crochet into the first single crochet. This effectively is a half double V, but we’re not using that term since it only appears at the beginning at end of this row.

Single crochet into the middle double crochet of your double V and chain one (the chain after the single crochets throughout this pattern help the single crochets to reach the double crochets. If you find your tension is such that you don’t need the chains, omit them). Then work  a double V in the next single crochet and single crochet into the  middle double crochet of the next double V. Repeat that across, ending with double crochet, chain one double crochet (or half double V) in the last single crochet.

row 2

The third row is identical to the first row, but written to account for the double V’s you’re working over as opposed to the chains of the first row. Chain one to turn and work a single crochet into the first double crochet. Work a double V into the next single crochet, single crochet into the center of the next double V, chain one and repeat across to the end. Make sure that last single crochet gets into the third chain of the turning chain from row two.

row 3

And really, that’s it. Have fun making Mat Stitch!

What Else Can You Do With It?

Mat stitch is a very good stitch to build beginner confidence. Many times students can feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of stitches and styles available to them. Mat stitch is an easy way to show students that they can create something complex without needing overwhelming directions or unusual stitches.

That said, I think this would be a great stitch to use some rough rope and a huge hook to make a door mat for outside; a very fine lace weight yarn and steel hooks for a basic table cloth; or a pair of soft worsted weights and a larger hook for a custom nap mat.

For something a little off the matted path, try using this stitch to make a fall/spring skirt to go over leggings, a lighter hat, a quick baby blanket, a sweater, or a seat cozy for baby.

NOTE: If you don’t know what a seat cozy is, it’s this:

71l1cvto0ul-_sy355_

They go over baby’s car seat to help keep him (or her) warm.

The Short Version

Pattern Stitch: Double V (dbl V)–worked into same stitch, [dc, ch1] twice, dc in same st.

Multiples of 6 + 2

Row 1: sc into 2nd ch from hook, *skip 2 ch, work dbl V  into next ch, skip 2 ch, sc into next ch; rep from * to end, turn.

Row 2: ch 4 (counts as 1st dc, ch 1), dc into first sc, skip 1 dc, sc into next dc, *dbl V in next sc, skip 1 dc, sc into next dc, ch 1; rep from * to last sc, into last sc work [dc, ch 1, dc], turn.

Row 3: ch 1, sc into first dc, *dbl V into next sc, skip 1 dc, sc into next dc; rep from * to end placing last sc into 3rd of 4ch at beg of previous row, turn.

Repeat rows 2 and 3 until you have reached the end of the line.

L is for Leafhopper

I think I am JUST about ready for spring, so let’s get started with something leafy. Today, L is for Leafhopper.

What Is It?

Leafhopper is a textured stitch that uses clusters worked around the post of the previous row to look like budding leaves ready to unfold. To start, chain a multiple of four plus one. I’ll be working 17 today.

chain 17

The first row is really easy, just double crochet across.

row 1

The second row is easy once you get the hang of it, but before we go into that, let’s talk about our pattern stitch: the Leafhopper Cluster.

First and foremost, what is a cluster? A cluster is a group yarn overs or stitches that are worked around two or more stitches (as opposed to a puff stitch or bobble stitch which are both worked over only one stitch). In this case, our cluster will be worked on the row BELOW the row we are working on. Row one in this case.

To work the cluster, I’m first going to designate three stitches. Stitch A will be the stitch we just double crocheted in; Stitch B will be the next double crochet to work on the active row (row 2 this time); Stitch C will be the double crochet after Stitch B on the row you just worked (row 1).

Now that we have that figured out, let’s get to work. Start off by bringing the yarn over the hook and insert the hook from right to left behind the post of Stitch A.

cluster yo insert

Yarn over and draw the loop through about the height that a half double crochet would be on the active row (row 2). This is done for the sake of tension and keeping the stitches about the same level when you’re finished.

draw up to hdc

Yarn over and insert the hook behind the post again. Yarn over and draw the loop through again so that you have five loops on the hook. Yarn over once more and draw through four of the loops ONLY.

Skip Stitch B and move on to Stitch C. We’re going to do the same thing to Stitch C that we did to stitch A, leaving you with three loops on the hook and two puffs of yarn over facing opposite directions and coming together at the top. Yarn over and draw through all three loops on the hook.

cluster

So, backing up to row two, chain three (again, this counts as your first double crochet) and double crochet in the next two stitches. Work your cluster and then double crochet the next three stitches. Repeat that until you get to the last four stitches. Work one more cluster then double crochet in the last two stitches.

Row three is the same as row one, just double crochet across.

Row four is basically the same as row two, but it is off set from row two. So, chain three and double crochet into the next three stitches. the work a cluster. Work three double crochets and a cluster in repeats until you get to the last three stitches. Then work double crochets in each of the last three stitches.

row 4

Now you should have offset clusters and know how to work the Leafhopper stitch!

What Else Can You Do With It?

The Leafhopper stitch is really only one of an innumerable amount of ways to use cluster stitches. It employs an inverted “v” cluster in an offset pattern. You could take that same Leafhopper cluster and work it in aligned in columns up your work (just repeat rows one and 2) or space them out even further (work the dc row twice between cluster rows). There is a lot of versatility when it comes to texture techniques like clusters.

I think that this would make a very fun baby blanket or a good color work project (try making the clusters a contrasting color to the double crochets!). You could also use this for a hat and scarf set or for a nicely textured rug. Maybe even a doll or teddy bear sweater!

The Short Version

Pattern stitches: Leafhopper Cluster(LCL)- worked across 3 sts, st A–below previous dc, st B–next dc on previous row, and st C– dc after next dc on previous row. [yo, insert hook at front and form right to left behind post of st A, yo, draw loop through and up to height of hdc] twice, yo, draw through 4 loops, skip st B, [yo, insert hook at front and form right to left behind stem of st C, yo, draw loop through and up to height of hdc] twice, yo, draw through 4 loops, yo draw through 3 loops.

Chain a Multiple of 4 sts + 1.

Row 1: ch 3 (counts as 1st dc here and throughout), dc across, turn.

Row 2: ch 3, dc in next 2 sts, *LCL, dc into each of next 3 sts; rep from * to last 4 sts LCL, dc in next 2 sts, turn.
Row 3: ch 3, dc across, turn.
Row 4: ch 3, *dc into each of next 3 sts, LCL rep from* dc 3,  turn.
Repeat rows 1-4 as desired.