Reading your stitches – Part 1

The summer-time fun is in full force here at Casa Graves. My boys have been keeping me on the run. Which is why there is only one blog post this week. We have a lot going on, including visits with family. Loads of fun, but doesn’t leave a great deal of time for blog post creation.

Today I wanted to address some crochet basics. For some of you this is going to be review, but you may find it helpful for when you are teaching new crocheters.

One of the questions I get asked by a lot of beginning crocheters is how to tell where the top of the stitch is. Spotting the top of your stitches and being able to identify which loops to work into or under is key to mastering crochet patterns.

Where is the top of the stitch?

Stacking the Vs

The simple answer, for most stitches in crochet, is the top of the stitch looks like a V.  I often have new crocheters stop and hold their work so they can see those Vs stacked. As long as you don’t remove your hook from your working loop you can manipulate your fabric without losing any stitches.

How is the top of the stitch created?

Working loop

For me, understanding that question really helped me read my crocheted fabric. When you finish a stitch you have a working loop of yarn on your hook. That loop becomes the top of the next stitch you make.

Am I working in the right direction?

Once you can identify the top of your stitch it becomes a lot easier to tell if you are working in the right direction.

Vs pointing away

If your pattern tells you to turn at the end or beginning of a row, then the Vs of the stitch tops of the row you are working into, should be pointing away from your hook.

Working in the Round

If you are working in the round without turning at the end of each round, then the Vs of the stitch tops of the row you are working into, should be pointing at your hook.

Where do I insert my hook in the stitch?

Insert hook under 2 legs

For your typical standard crochet pattern you are going to insert your hook under the 2 legs of the V in the top of your stitch.

Gap to Insert Hook thru

To avoid splitting your yarn look for the little gap on the side of your stitch just under that V.

Some patterns will give you special instructions about where to insert your hook to create different textures in your fabric.

Back loop

If your pattern instructs you to work in the back loop of your stitch.  This is generally referring to the back leg of the Vs after you’ve turned your work to begin your new row.

Front loop

The same is true for working in the front loop or your stitch. You would be inserting your hook under the front leg of the Vs after you’ve turned your work to begin your new row.

What if I need to work more than one stitch in the same stitch?

This can be tricky when you are new to crochet. Especially once you work the first stitch your V is obscured. My favorite trick involves manipulating the fabric.

Pulling up to find stitch

If you gently pull up on the stitch just made it becomes easy to see where the base of that stitch goes into the previous row.

Next time I’ll address the Half Double Crochet stitch. One of the trickiest to read properly in your fabric.

2 thoughts on “Reading your stitches – Part 1

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