Monday, 22 August 2016

Quest for a stitch

Ages ago I saw this image and fell in love with that stitch.

Image from here

Can you see how it looks like a cross? And it creates quite a dense looking structure, too. On closer inspection it looked a bit like a double crochet (US single), but it certainly didn't look like mine...

I followed the links and searched around, but alas, the pattern no longer exists and my search ended.

Then, I started to see this stitch in lots of places- often used in baskets, but again, despite scouring the web, I couldn't find any mention of how this nice little stitch was created.

Image from here

Eventually I found a vintage pattern, where the baskets clearly show the crossed stitch.
So I bought it.
Yayyyyy!! Its secrets would be revealed. 
I would be making that stitch in no time at all....

Pattern from here


The pattern, although very clear and thorough, just states to use a plain old double crochet. No more details.
Another dead end.

It was obviously something to do with the way I crochet- perhaps the people who can make this stitch hold their hook differently, or at an angle. Perhaps it was a yarn-feeding-thing, or a tension-thing.
So I gave up.

Then, whilst searching for something completely unrelated on YouTube, a moment of inspiration struck me. All I needed to do was find a video of someone who crochets in this way. I could learn from watching them do it.

And I did. I found a pattern for a little amigurumi here.

And I watched. And I gasped at how ridiculously easy it was. And how the way I make a double crochet (US single) just needed one, teensy, tiny change...

Here's how:

1. Hook into stitch as usual, pull up a loop.

2. Instead of yarn over hook and pulling the yarn through the stitch, twist your hook over the yarn and pull the yarn through .
3. Complete the stitch in the usual way- yarn over
4. And pull through both loops.

And that's it. 
Changing the second step completely alters the stitch, twisting the yarn and forming the cross that I wanted to achieve. 

Here's some comparisons between a 'normal' dc (US sc) on the left and the new cross-dc on the right:

The 'normal' dc creates a slightly larger, looser shape, with bigger gaps between the stitches. The crossed dc is more sturdy, with a far denser construction. It also produces that amazing crossed stitch I've been searching for.

And so my quest is complete!
I shall be using the cross-dc for those projects where I want a little more structure- I'm thinking simple baskets and bags and it might even feature in some of my amigurumi designs in the future.

Enjoy your week,
Sarah x