Stitch Order Can Make All the Difference

Simple stitch switches can create a very different appearance. Sometimes these “switches” happen by mistake…I speak from experience, and sometimes they are thoroughly thought out.

Often my students look at me with a bit of “sure, that is true” look whenever I explain that crochet essentially has only 3 stitches, everything else is just variations. They think I am even crazier when I explain, it is all about stitch location that causes all the different looks.

I happened to reinforce this for myself just the other day. I was working up a pattern, and looking at my notes it stated “sc, dc” stitches. Pretty straight forward and I thought I knew what I meant, however when working up my fabric is was not looking like the sample swatch.

I had to go back and study my sample swatch…I was working my stitches in the single crochet on both fabrics so why were they so different in appearance? I finally found my answer….I worked the stitches in the opposite order. I was working a single crochet then a double crochet in the next single crochet stitch in the swatch sample, but in the fabric I was working a double crochet then a single crochet in the next single crochet stitch. Wow, I was surprised by the difference it caused.

One swatch looks like little blocks turned slightly aside, while the other looks a bit lacy, and almost like a stacked “v”. They are both worked with the same hook, the same yarn, the same number of stitches, yet the simple error of working the stitches in the opposite order caused a very different look.

I plan on playing around more with “switching” my stitches, you never know where I new idea can be generated and maybe by intentionally changing the stitch order I might find something truly fabulous…I will have to keep you posted.


Crazy Afghans

ScannedImageMy 9 year old daughter has taken up sewing, and recently I showed her how to make a crazy quilt by simply putting scrap fabrics together and sewing them upon each other and stitching them together. This gave me an idea, could you create a crazy afghan?

So I have begun grabbing swatches from my stack. I have quite a pile of swatches, as essentially my work as a designer requires me to understand what the yarn will do, and create new ideas with it, so I make a lot of different sized crochet fabric pieces. They are not all square, but most at least have a couple of straight edges. I just started to single crochet the pieces together, and have found that it is quite therapeutic, and relaxing. I am not worried about creating something perfectly square, I can always add stitches to uneven areas to make it more usable, and adding an edging on anything makes it looks like you intended to it.


Random swatches coming together

I don’t know where this afghan will end up. Maybe I will add it to my automobile “emergency kit”, this is a “kit” that I have modified over the years and it is not for your typical emergencies, it is for those last minute opportunities. Having a throw in the car makes it easy to stay warm when someone else in the vehicle likes the air conditioning colder then I prefer. It is a pillow for long road trips, as well as being perfect for a spur of the moment picnic. It also has practical use, living in a region that can get a sudden mountain snow storm, you may be stuck in your car at some point was you await safer driving conditions.

I have been finding this project more enjoyable then I thought I would and may have to create a crazy handbag in the same fashion…oh, the ideas….