There are days I need to get into a rhythm with my crochet and the continuous granny square helps me do that.
It does not require counting. It does not require joining, it just keeps going in a spiral. This is prefect for creating scrap squares, of entire scrap blankets.
What I like most is that I do not have to think about the motion of my hands. Anytime I reach a corner, I put in a corner, any time I find a side, I work a side. It really is that simple.
Where I found this technique
I learned about this square judging a “Fastest Hook” competition at a CGOA conference. The continuous granny square was worked by all participants, as it really does lend itself to speed.
To make it all you have to do is start the beginning of a circle just like you always would. The first round of a granny squares as 4 sides made up of 3dc each, and 4 corners. The last corner is worked differently creating the spiral.
Lets get started
Round 1: Ch 4, 2 dc in 4th ch from hook, [ch 3, 3 dc in same ch] 3 times, ch 6. DO NOT JOIN ROUND
Round 2: Skip over the next 3 dc, and [(3dc, ch 3, 3dc) in next ch-3 sp (corner made), ch 3] rep 3 times, (3dc, ch 3, 3dc) in ch-6 sp, ch 3. DO NOT JOIN ROUND
To work all subsequent rounds, work a corner (3dc, ch 3, 3dc) in a corner, work 3 dc a side in ch-3 sp, and make sure that you ch 3 between all blocks. It is that easy.
To help ensure that you end with an actual square, I mark the ch-6 sp, as this is the same corner of the square that I would end at to have even sides.
At finishing, I will work the beginning tail up the side of a dc at the ch-6 sp and make a connection between the 2 un-joined sides in Round 1. This ties it all together and makes it look like traditional granny squares.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
Once you have your fingerless glove made, the next set is to put it one. Take 3 removable stitch markers (or safety pins), insert them between your fingers through both the front and back of the glove fabric.
Join yarn anywhere along the finger edge of the fabric. If you were working a pattern that was stitched wrist to fingers, you can simply keep working the yarn from the last round without finishing off.
Start crocheting the “separations”
Work stitches, I recommend single crochet, evenly along edge. Work a slip stitch to the adjacent stitch (the one on the fabric on the other side of the hand) whenever you come to a stitch marker. This will create the “separation” between the fingers. I even just work this technique when I am still just creating fingerless gloves. I feel like it helps them stay in place and not twist around my hand.
Spiral your fingers
When you begin to work on the opposite side of the hand, and come to a slip stitch, work a single crochet in the one leg of the slip stitch that is closest to the last single crochet worked. Single crochet in a spiral by working on the fabric side previously worked, and work a tube the length of your finger.
Finish off your yarn, and join to fabric right next to the finger just made. Make the next finger working a stitch in the “one leg” of the slip stitch, of each side of the finger, and continue with the spiral method until the length meets your need. Repeat this of the remaining two fingers.
Make a thumb
Work the thumb in the same manner, joining to the edge of the thumbing opening and crocheting around it. However this opening may be much larger than the end of your thumb. Work two single crochet together (sc2tog) once in the first and second round. Then continue until the desired length is reached.
Cinch them closed
Prepare to weave in the ends. Thread the tails at the ends of the fingers through the stitches in the last round of each finger and pull tight to cinch closed.
I do recommend that working fingers, it is best to use thinner weight yarn, nothing above a sport weigh (number 3). I usually work most of my gloves, and even fingerless gloves out of wool blended yarns that are either a fine or medium weigh (number 2 or 3). This is because anything heavier just becomes too bulky and feel clumsy on my hands. The nice thing about gloves is that you can complete a pair with only one hank of yarn, and feel really accomplished in your skills.
There are essentially two different approaches to creating gloves. One is to work in the round, making a tube. This approach needs a little more attention to detail, as the tube needs to adjust in size a bit to feel like a nice fit. When working from the cuff to palm there needs to be an increase a couple of rounds before the thumb and then create a loop for the thumb, while decrease a couple of stitches to help the gloves fit the fingers.
However if you work a rectangle in the length you want your gloves and continue until the width can wrap around your hand, then you can make a glove.
Make your Gloves
This rectangle can be created in any stitch pattern, so you have complete creative control. If you want a bit of extra stretch I would recommend working a fabric of back loop single crochet. It offers a ribbing like effect and allows for a comfortable fit.
Then the beginning row is folded over to the last row. I place my hand in this fold and use stitch markers to mark either side of my thumb, essentially marking the opening for my thumb. Then it is as simple as seaming the edges together with the exception of the thumb opening.
It really is that simple.
I have found to step these gloves up a bit more, I find a yarn that has a great color change, or nice texture. This makes the rectangle that can really be something that is fabulous.