Hiding Behind Crochet- Crochet Together

Sometimes I feel like I am hiding behind my crochet, but crochet together with others can make a difference. Crochet can be an ice breaker, and open up discussions with new people. Yet crochet can be a shield to avoid difficult situations.

It might seems a bit odd to think that this simple hobby/craft/art can be used in emotional ways. I have secretly been doing it for years.

I feel a bit naked talking about it, showing more vulnerability and such. However I think crochet is an avenue for bringing people together, and in that train of thought honestly works best.

Found some crochet in Istanbul….my daughter pulls out some crochet while waiting in line to enter the Hagia Sophia

I seek out crochet when I travel to help build bridges and feel a connection to the places I visit. Fortunately crochet is everywhere, and even if we don’t speak the same language the language of crochet is the same. These are tricks I use as ice breakers. I find out that we have more in common then we have as differences.

I am always amazed by the art that I find. Everyone is quick to point out their mistakes and reluctant to take the compliment. This must be a universal trait. It is fun to see the different way they put their stitches together, and get inspired by their work.

On the other hand, I bring my crochet to events that I might feel uncomfortable in. Situations that might be awkward or difficult are perfect for crochet. In these cases I might still be trying to find a new friend by putting forth my flag to find others that share the craft. Almost like a little passcode to a fellow member of an underground organization.

Hopefully I can find someone that will help make the situation less anxious.  

I guess I am trying to say that crochet is my way of finding my people and adding feeling of belonging when I need it. I am sure that this works for others as well. Hopefully, they can see me crocheting at the table in the coffee shop and feel that their people are there too. Making them feel welcome. (If you need some new tips on different crochet techniques, check out some of these.)

I always advocate for crochet world dominance. Maybe it is because I want to feel like I can always belong.

Work Into a Foundation Chain

It is not often considered, how many ways can I work into a foundation chain? The answer can be a bit surprising as it is six.

Typically when you start a crochet project, it doesn’t really matter how you work into the chain. As long as you are consistent and work into the chain the same way every stitch, everything is fine. However the chain has a unique structure and how you work into it can give you a little different result.

The Foundation Chain…the beginning of all crochet projects.

There are 3 parts to every chain. Often these are referred to as the top loop, the bottom loop, and the back bump. This is referenced by looking down at the chain seeing a “V” that looks like the top of a completed row of crochet.

Yet it may make more sense to think of the chain as the top of a crochet row. In which case the “top most loop” would be the back loop. The “bottom most loop” would be the front loop. While the Back Bump would be where the post of the crochet stitches would be located.

The most common ways to start a chain utilize inserting the hook into 1 or 2 loops. Inserting the hook under just 1 loop can be a really good option if you crochet tightly.  Working in either to top/back loop, the back bump, or the bottom/front loop allow for the yarn from the remaining 2 loops to be pulled up. This gives a bit more flexibility in your fabric.

Working in 1 loop of the foundation chain

One of the most commonly used, inserting the hook under the top/back loop. This is a great way for tight crocheters to begin their work.
Working in the bottom/front loop is probably the least used. You need to rotate the chain so that the back bump is facing upward and insert the hook under the now top most loop. Rotating the cahin creates a different effect.
Working in the Back Bump…with the “v” of the chain facing downward, insert the hook under the bump of the chain. This can look like a raised vertebrae of a dinosaur. It offers the neatest finish on the bottom edge of the crochet fabric.

An additional consideration for working only in the back bump is that the bottom of the stitch fabric will resemble the top of the crochet stitches. This can be a very nice finishing trick.

If you happen to be a loose crocheter using only 1 loop can cause there to be a wide gap between the bottom of the crochet stitch and the unused 2 loops of the chain. It might feel a bit flimsy.

Working into 2 lops of the foundation chain

Working through the top/back loop and back bump is the most common approach for working in 2 loops of the foundation chain.
A bit uncommon, but rotating the chain so the the back bump is facing, you can insert your hook under the back bump and the bottom/front loop (the rotation of the chain will place them at the top of the chain)
Working under the top/back and bottom/front loops of the chain is probably the tightest and most sturdy method to work into a chain as it has the least amount of opportunity to stretch out of shape and create gapping

The methods of working in 2 loops, be it the top/back loop & back bump, or the top/back & bottom/front loop, or the bottom/front loop and back bump results in less flexibility. This may be a bit more stable, but if you are a tight crocheter this might be a little difficult to work. For a loose crocheter this approach may offer the least amount of “gapping”.

In the large scheme of things, each of these approaches offer just a little subtle difference. So, play with it and see what you may like.

Inset Mosaic Crochet- 1 of 3 Methods

Inset Mosaic Crochet is an additional 1 of 3 methods of a unique color work within crochet. Creating geometric designs that have stunning results.

This technique has some pros and cons, and varies from Overlay Mosaic Crochet and Mosaic Magic.

Overlay Mosaic work is never turned, and every row has the yarn cut. Resulting in many ends to weave in. Inset Mosaic is worked with 2 rows, allowing you to carry the color changes along the side of the work.

Work rows of color, the design reaches a point that the opposite color will be “brought down” to create the vertical line. Where the vertical line is to be worked, the color below is worked as chain spaces skipping the stitches below.

Brown yarn shows chain spaces where the cream yarn is going to be worked to create vertical lines.

Now work the opposite color. Creating the vertical line is simply working a double crochet in the skipped stitches 3 rows below, in front of the chains.

The vertical cream lines, are worked as double crochet stitches in the stitches 3 rows below, with the chains of the brown color pushed to the back (wrong side) of the fabric.
Notice the chains are in the back of the stitches.

There is a “wrong side” and “right side” of the fabric.

Sides of the fabric are easily distinguished as the patterns for Inset Mosaic have longer lines, due to the 2 rows of the same color.

Right side of fabric for Inset Mosaic Crochet
Wrong Side of Inset Mosaic Fabric

Overlay Mosaic Crochet- 1 of 3 Methods

Overlay Mosaic Crochet is 1 of 3 mosaic crochet methods that are color work methods that create stunning geometric designs.

The Overlay Mosaic Method has some ready to see benefits, but is also has some draw backs especially compared to Inset Mosaic and Mosaic Magic.


To begin with it uses simple stitches, the entire base of the fabric is created with single crochet worked into the back loop. It creates bands of colors. Working double crochet loops 2 rows below in the unused front loop of the fabric. As a result this causes the color of the double crochet stitch to cover the color the row below. This ensures that the color work looks more difficult to work than it actually is.

Overlay Mosaic Crochet- work single crochet stitches in the back loop.
Overlay Mosaic Crochet, works a double crochet 2 rows below to create the dynamic color work.


However, this fabric is only worked on the right side, so you never turn. In addition, it is worked with only 1 row of color at a time. The result is a fabric that needs to be joined and fastened off for every row.

The easiest way to deal with the loose ends is to have fringe. Leaving the tails long of both the joining and fastening off. More modern methods have utilized this method in the round, so that the right side is always facing, and the color is carried at the join.

5 Rows of Overlay Mosaic Crochet- note that each row is joined and fastened off, and the fabric is never turned.
Working Row 6 of Overlay Mosaic Crochet

Mosaic crochet historically makes a cycle of popularity. This overlay method classically known for such patterns as Apache Tears and Navajo Indian Blanket.

I have stumbled across a Continuous Overlay Mosaic Crochet Method, put together by Susan Lowman. It is brilliant for creating this fabric in a flat method with far fewer ends to weave in. Make sure sand check out her video here. I like to use Overlay Mosaic for hats and fingerless gloves. I find this approach to be very straight forward and easy to follow. Creating some fun highlights for colors.

Overlay Mosaic patterns in hats

2 Ways -Thermal Crochet

Essentially there are 2 ways to create a thermal crochet stitch. I was first introduced to this technique over a decade ago. “Thermal” is worked one way, and today you can find it worked in a completely different manner. This is proves to me even more, that you cannot rely on the fancy names of crochet stitches, make sure and check the special stitches of a pattern.

However, I thought I would share what I have learned about this stitch. Basically a thermal stitch is one that creates a double sided fabric. Stitches are connected by working through the loops of 2 different rows to create the third.

Bottom Up method of Thermal Single Crochet Fabric
Top Down Method Thermal Single Crochet Fabric

Bottom Up -1 of 2 ways thermal crochet

I learned to connect these stitches from the “bottom up”. Insert the hook through the loop of the row 2 rows below upwardly and then through the front loop of the row typically be worked into. Yarn is wrapped around the hook and then pulled through these 2 loops. There is an additional yarn over, and pull through the last two loops; a single crochet thermal stitch is created. Learn it here.

Inserting hook from the “bottom up” to create the thermal single crochet

The bottom up method creates a fabric that has the “front” or “right” side of the fabric facing outward, while the “back” of the stitch is captured in the center of the fabric.

Top Down -1 of 2 ways thermal crochet

The latest way I have seen this stitch explained, uses the same loops of the stitch rows has the base of the stitch, but instead works the hook down through the front loop of the regular working row and then through the unused loop of the row 2 rows below.

Created from the “top down” method thermal single crochet

To prevent the stitches from twisting, the work is essentially worked “backwards”.  Meaning that you are crocheting the fabric in the opposite direction from that which you usually do. This “top down” method creates a fabric that has the “wrong” of “back” side of the fabric facing outward with the “front” encapsulated in the center.

There are some slight visual differences with these methods, and the Bottom up approach tends to lend itself better to working in the round.

This is an interesting stitch, either way you work it. I am continuing to explore its possibilities.