Tips and Tricks for Seamless Crochet

Hi folks 🙂

I’m often asked how I get my crochet to look as it does and sometimes have a query about why I write my patterns as I do.

Flower by Shelley Husband

I want my crochet to be as seamless as possible, without it being obvious where rounds begin and end. To do this, I use some little tricks in my patterns that may at first make you go ????? I hope this post will clarify why things are as they are in my patterns and I’ll also show you the tricks I use to make things look good. They’re all small things, but they go together to make a big difference.

Let’s start with where I begin each round on a square pattern.  I like the starts and ends of rounds to be as invisible as possible.  Starting a round along the side somewhere leads to a visible seem as you can see in the following picture.

See the line through the middle of the top side?

See the line through the middle of the top side?

So I start in a corner, but not at the start of the corner, as I don’t like having to slip stitch to get to the spot to start the next round like you can see in the following picture, as it makes the stitches you ss’d into bulkier than others.  If you have to work into those stitches, it’s also a bit trickier.

Can you see the slip stiches?

Can you see the slip stiches?

To avoid these things, I begin in the middle of a corner, where the needle is pointing in the next picture and work to the left as you normally do if right handed and finish with the other part of the corner.

 

granny square by Shelley Husband

To end a round, I will join with a number of chain stitches and a stitch to place me where I need to be to begin the next round which is usually (but not always) in the middle of the corner. I might say “join with dc” or “join with htr”  or other stitches depending on the size of the chain space required.

This is an old technique often employed in doilies so you can do pretty loopy lace without slip stitching along long sections of chain to get to the middle of a loop to start the next round.

 

So for, example, in a pattern of mine (that’s not yet been released), one round ends with the instruction to “ch 1, join with tr to 4th ch of st ch”.  (tr = dc US folks) All other corners of the round have 6 ch as the corner.  Can you see how I’d have to work backwards to begin the corner if I did ch 6 & join with ss in the picture on the left?  On the right is the ch 1, join with tr. Can you see how I’m in the right spot to begin the next corner?  The corners of the next round are (5 dtr, ch 3, 5dtr) so the next round’s instructions say to begin with “ch 4 (st ch), 4 dtr over joining tr”. This means I am not working backward and so the corner is not skewed.

ch & ss vs ch & st

However, when I am changing colours at the end of a round, I do chain the same number of stitches as other corners then join with a ss. There is no need to end in the middle of the corner and it’s easier to deal with the ends. Another small thing to make things seamless is to attach your new colour to a different corner to where you just ended.

The last thing I do to make things look as seamless as possible is to use a false stitch instead of a starting chain.  I think a st ch stands out so much as you can see in the green squares above. So when you see ch 3 (st ch) in my patterns, in reality I do a false tr. You can see my YouTube video of the false stitch here.

I also do this for larger stitches, so for example, a ch 4 (st ch) which is used in place of a dtr (tr US folks) I would pull up a larger loop and wrap the hook twice before a yo.

When changing colour, I don’t like to use an alternative to a starting chain  – the standing stitch, where you attach your new yarn to your hook with a slip knot, then work the stitch as normal. Doing it this was means that you will have 2 ends of the same colour to deal with in the same spot if you are only doing one round of that colour which can add extra bulk and may be visible.

To see all of this in action, check out my YouTube video showing how it all works here.

My last tip for great looking crochet that has nothing to do with how the pattern is written.  It is to block your work.  It really doesn’t take long and it makes the world of difference. All I do is pin it to a foam board and squirt it with steam from my iron.  Easy.

Granny Squares by Shelley Husband 2015

So there you go. I hope all this helps you understand the reasoning behind my pattern writing and create some lovely crochet.

 

16 thoughts on “Tips and Tricks for Seamless Crochet

  1. Joyce

    I just recently crochet a doily which used your method – its great and really does hide the joins, thanks for sharing – can’t wait for your FlowersAboundCAL to begin

    Reply
  2. Sakeenah

    Very good info. I like the false stitch you did here vs. using a turning chain alternative stitch, which can look a little bigger than the other stitches. Will give this one a try.

    Reply
    1. Shelley Husband Post author

      Good luck Sakeenah! It is a bit fiddly when you first try, but persevere and it’s so worth it. it also gives you a great space to work into when you need to join into it.

      Reply
  3. littlewoollie

    Shelley I love that way of using a stitch to end a round rather than chains, that is genius! I have often wondered how to end a round and end up in the middle of a corner rather than at the edge and have to slip stitch across. Thanks for the tips, my crochet will be better for for it! 🙂 Have a great weekend! xx

    Reply
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  5. Marianne Dekkers-Roos

    Isn’t the www a fab source of information? I have so loved learning crochet tips and tricks from talented people as yourself. It really does make the difference between “good” and “best”! Thanks for sharing, Shelley! Marianne xx

    Reply
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  7. Bekka

    Great advice, thanks 🙂

    I have a question concerning the false treble in the beginning of a new round: What do you if you have to work the next round after that into the stitch which is a false treble instead of a treble? I am missing the characteristic treble loop to work into in these cases.

    Thanks,
    Bekka

    Reply
    1. Shelley Husband Post author

      Hi Bekka 🙂 I find the false treble gives me the same look at the top of the stitch as a normal stitch and so I work into it in the next round as normal.

      Check out my YouTube video showing it – you’ll see the 3rd stitch I make is worked into a false tr of the previous round and I also show the top of the false tr so you can see where to join up to at the end of the round.

      Reply
  8. Laura

    I wished you’d explain it in a video and slowly. Although I have a slight idea of what you are saying , I am not positive. I confess I am a rookie, but trying to learn it right the first time. Mind to make a good video if this technique please?

    Reply

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