Reversible Shells- A unique fabric

Creating unique reversible crochet fabric is a really fun thing to do. The Reversible Shell stitch is a great technique that can create a memorable blanket, scarf, hat, or really just about anything.

It looks more intimidating than it really is. This technique is worked as a 4 row repeat, working 2 rows in each color.

One of the things that can be a bit trying about this stitch is that after working 2 rows of one color, you remove the hook from the working loop and pick up the loop of the other color and work 2 more rows.

Lets Get Started

Start with a beginning chain of a multiple of 4. The first row has a little different stitch pattern in order to keep the project looking symmetrical.

To work the first row, put a stitch marker in the 4th chain from the hook (this is to help find the location to join the second color), dc in 5th ch from hook, 3 dc in next ch, dc in next ch, [ch 1, sk 1, dc in next ch, 3 dc in next ch, dc in next ch] repeat across, leave last ch unworked. Do not turn.

The beginning foundation of Reversible Shells in crochet
Reversible Shells, Row 1

A Little Unnerving Way to Start A New Row

Now for the unnerving part, pull your working loop up kind of long and remove your hook. With the second color join with a sc in the marked chain (to work a standing sc, check it out here), now ch 6, sc in the skipped chain of the beginning, (ch 6, sc in next ch) across, working last sc in the unworked last chain. Chain 1, and slip stitch to the last stitch worked in the other color making sure to keep the long loop and the working yarn of the other skein out of the way. Now you turn the fabric.

Using a standing single crochet to join for Reversible Shells
Reversible Shells- drop the working loop and join the new color with a standing single crochet
Adding the first row of a new color in Reversible Shell crochet stitch is a chain loop
Reversible Shells- Work chain 6 and single crochet across, working a single crochet in the unused beginning chain.
Slip Stitch to attach this unique reversible fabric
Reversible Shell- Slip Stitch in last stitch of the other color, make sure to keep the long loop and working yarn out of the way.

Join the Fabrics

This row essentially joins the two colors. When working the shell the hook is inserted through the indicated double crochet and chain 6 loop of the same color that is being worked. Ch2, sk 1 dc, Shell (5 dc in next dc and ch-6 loop), [ch 1, sk 4 dc, Shell in next dc and ch-6 loop (this is the center dc and the chain loop)] repeat across, sc in turning chain. Pull up the working loop to a long loop and remove hook. Do not turn.

Work through the two rows in Reversible Shell crochet stitch
Reversible Shell- Insert hook through both the indicated stitch and the chain 6 loop that is the same color as the working yarn.
Single crochet in last stitch or turning chain.
Reversible Shell- Single crochet in the last stitch or turning chain

Back to Working Only the Same Color

This row works through the same color. Start by inserting the hook in the other color loop, and resize the loop to fit the hook. [Ch 6 and sc in the ch-1 sp (between the 5 dc stitches)] repeat across. Turn and work the Row of joining the two colors.

Single crochet in the chain 1 space between the double crochets of the same color
Reversible Shells- Chain 6, single crochet in the chain 1 space between double crochets of the same color

And Repeat

Repeat the stitch pattern rows or working ch-6 loops, turning and working a joining shell. Then you drop the working yarn, pick up the other color and work the same stitch repeat.

Reversible Shells crochet
Reversible Shells- Work the pattern until the desired length.

Work this until you have the desired length.

I like to finish my work so that it has a little visual balance, so I work a row of the ch-6 loops, and fasten off that color. I then turn and pick up the other color loop. Chain 4 and [sc in the same location I would work a shell, picking up the ch-6 loop, ch 3] repeat across, sc in 2nd ch of ch-6 loop. Then fasten off.

I have found that it works nicely with a wide range of colors and yarn types. Lending itself to endless possibilities.

Candy Cane Lace

I have begun decorating candy canes with lace to help get into the mood for a great holiday season.

Honestly, I am not a fan of the candy cane. It is a candy that I usually pass on, but I have a couple of candy canes that have decorated my tree for decades. A friend created these decorated candy canes and I treasure them.

Candy Cane Lace Solid Shells and Lacy Loops

I want to share my own approach to these decorations to help adorn your tree or even a package or gift. Since it is a simple two row pattern that you can be altered and personalized many ways it is great way to spread cheer.

Materials

  • #10 Crochet Cotton Thread (or a lace weight yarn)
  • C/2/2.75mm crochet hook

The First Row- Creates the Woven Strip

Row 1: Ch 55, dc in 6th ch from hook, [ch 1, sk 1, dc in next st] across.

Option 1- Solid Shells

Round 1 Option Solid Shells: Ch 1, working around the last dc st or Row 1, sc around post, ch 1, 5 dc around same post, ch 1, sc around same post, turn to work over beginning ch, [5 dc in next ch-1 sp, sc in next ch-1 sp] across to end, ch 1, working around the end ch-5 loop, 5 dc in same space, ch 1, sc in same sp, turn to work over the top of Row 1, 5 dc in next ch-1 sp, [sc in next ch-1 sp, 5 dc in next ch-1 sp] across, sl st to first sc. Fasten off.

Option 2 Lacy Loops

Round 1 Option Lacy Loops: [(sc, ch 5, sc)] 3 times around last dc, (sc, ch 5, sc) in each ch-1 sp across to other end, [(sc, ch 5, sc)] 3 times around beg ch-5 loop, (sc, ch 5, sc) in each ch-1 sp across, sl st to join. Fasten off.

Finishing Up

Weave in ends and weave candy cane through the spaces or Row 1.

Tall Stitches, More Loops, More Possibilities

Crochet is all about the loops and how you work them, and working tall stitches can create lace . This lends itself to infinite possibilities.

One way to explore crochet is through tall stitches. Tall stitches utilize the same concept as the standard double crochet. Yarn over your hook, insert it into a location, yarn over and pull up a loop, then yarn over and pull through two loops until you only have one loop on your hook.

The more times you yarn over before inserting the hook into a location the taller the stitch will be using the above method. There are names for each stitch depending on how many times you yarn over, but honestly I have to look them up every time I write them in a pattern, and in this description I want to share the concept and how to play with them.

Playing with multiple yarn overs can, and pull throughs at varying points can create many different affects.

This might seem like you can create inches of fabric faster and really whip through your projects, but these stitches have some slight disadvantages. The taller the stitch the holey the fabric. This is because the stitches are only connected at the top and bottom. Allowing movement and space between them.

More yarn overs before starting the stitch makes for tall airy stitches.

You can link the yarn overs, as is demonstrated in Linked Stitches (here). Essentially you are inserting the hook into each yarn over of the adjacent stitch and pulling a loop through it. This closes the gap between stitches and creates a denser fabric. However in reality you are really working Tunisian crochet in the opposite direction as is standard. It is a nice process and some might say trick, but it may not be the look you are going for.

Linking the yarn overs of the adjacent stitches closes the gaps and creates vertically worked Tunisian crochet stitches

The other thing you can do with tall stitches is create some interesting lace stitches, some that resemble letters or rune marking. These can be created in various ways. Here is a demonstration of just one possibility.

You begin the stitch as normal, in this case I have yarned over 5 times. Inserted the hook, yarn over and pull through 1, and then worked 3 of the yarn overs off my hook. I then yarned over an additional 3 times, skipped a couple of stitches and reinserted my hook. Yarn over pull up a loop and worked off the 3 added loops. Now I completed the remaining of the loops to finish the stitch.

After yarning over 5 times and beginning the tall stitch, I stooped after working 3 of the 5 yarn overs. I added 3 more yarn over to my hook.
I then inserted the hook in a new location and worked all the loops off the until only 1 loop remained.

If I wanted to make this effect more symmetrical, I chained the number of stitches I skipped and worked a double crochet at the “join point” of the stitch. This gave me an “X” effect. (Learn more about tall stitches here)

By adding some chains and then adding a double crochet where the “join” is, I created a more symmetrical shape.

These are really airy stitches, but make quick lace. Give these tall stitches a try for yourself, and play a bit. I find that it is the best way to gain real insight into my craft.

1 For Me, 1 For You- Wave Block

Help me help local communities by creating blocks for Warm Up America, by making a block for yourself and one for a community project with this free pattern. I will be creating a new block every two weeks and sharing it with you, I just ask that make one for donation.

Warm Up America is a nation wide organization that encourages local donations, but will also except donations to be sent to their office so that blocks can be assembled and then blankets can be donated through the United States.

Even if you do not want to participate with Warm Up America, please consider creating blocks, or blankets for your local community. There are various places in every community that accept donations.

Wave Block

Wave Block

This block uses varying stitch height to create “waves” of color. This is a great way to easily create a “ripple” effect without having to use increase or decrease stitches. This block also uses extended stitches, these are a great way to add just a little bit of height to standard stitches.

I have also added a simple row of single crochet stitches to add a visual break between the waves.

This stitch technique always reminds me of hills and valleys, giving me a little sense of home.

Gauge: Square measures 7”x 9”

Materials

Medium weigh yarn, four colors (A), (B), (C), (D)

K/10 1/2 /6.50mm crochet hook

Special Stitches

Extended Double Crochet (edc): Yo, insert hook in indicated stitch, yo, pull up a loop, yo pull through 1 loop, yo, pull through 2 loops, yo, pull through last 2 loops.

Block Pattern

Ch 26

Row 1: With (A), sc in 2nd ch from hook, [hdc in next ch, dc in next ch, edc in next ch, tr in next ch, edc in next ch, dc in next ch, hdc in next ch, sc in next ch] rep 3 times, change to (B), turn. -4 sc, 6 hdc, 6 dc, 6 edc, 3 tr

Row 2: Ch 1, sc in each st across, change to (C) turn. -25 sc

First Full Wave

Row 3:  Ch 4, [edc in next st, dc in next st, hdc in next st, sc in next st, hdc in next st, dc in next st, edc in next st, tr in next st] rep 3 times, change to (C) turn. -4 tr, 6 edc, 6 dc, 6 hdc, 3 sc

Row 4: Rep Row 3, change to A at end of row.

Row 5: Rep Row 2, change to D at end of row.

The Next Wave

Row 6: Sc in same st from hook, [hdc in next st, dc in next st, edc in next st, tr in next st, edc in next st, dc in next st, hdc in next st, sc in next st] rep 3 times, turn. -4 sc, 6 hdc, 6 dc, 6 edc, 3 tr

Row 7: Rep Row 6, change to C at end of row.

Row 8: Rep Row 2, change to B at end of row.

The Final Full Wave

Rows 9-10: Rep Rows 3-4, change to D at end of row.

Row 11: Rep Row 2, change to A at end of row.

Row 12: Rep Row 6. Fasten off.

Rnd 1: Join with B to any corner, working around edges of block, sc evenly working 3 sc in each corner.  Fasten off. Weave in ends.

Lisa’s Ladder Cowl- Free Pattern

A free pattern means that it is that time again, the New York Sheep and Wool Festival (a.k.a Rhinebeck)! Just like most everything else this year, it will be done a bit differently…as in virtually (find out information here).

This means that you do not have to live in or travel to Duchess County New York. You can be anywhere in the world and take classes, visit booths, and get a little hint of the New England turning leaves.

Lisa’s Ladder Cowl

For the last several years I have been teaming up with Lisa Souza Dyeworks and providing a free pattern to accompany her limited addition colorway for the week. This year is no different.  

Lisa’s Ladder Cowl

Materials

J/10/6.00mm crochet hook

Pyrenees Worsted 100% Merino wool; colorway Rhinebeck 2020; 1 Skein

Lisa’s Ladder close up

Pattern

Row 1: Ch 62, sc in 2nd ch from hook, [sk 3 chs, 2 dc in next ch, sc in next st] rep across 12 times, turn.

Row 2- until desired length: Ch 3, [2 dc in ch-3 sp, ch 3, sc in next dc] rep across 12 times, turn.

Block. Seam last row to row 1. Weave in ends.