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