This is an excerpt from the Book - Learn to Crochet. Click here to buy the full book.
If the pattern is written in rows, crochet the first row then turn the work, continue the next row to the end, turn the work again and then proceed with the 3rd and following rows, turning at the end of each row.
If the pattern is written in rounds, crochet the first round, ending with a slip stitch into the top of the beginning stitch of the round. DO NOT TURN the work between rounds.
When the instructions are inside a bracket, repeat them as many times as specified, for example (5ch, 1dc in next dc) 6 times, this means to work all in the brackets 6 times only.
An * (asterisk) in a pattern means that the instruction after the * is repeated as many times as specified, in addition to the original instruction that followed the asterisk. For example, (Miss 2tr, * 1tr in next tr, 5ch; repeat from * to last 1tr, 1tr in last tr), means to miss the first 2tr, then work 1tr in the next tr and make 5ch, then continue to repeat doing 1tr in the next tr and 5ch until 1tr remains, then work 1tr in the last tr.
Precise instructions for increasing are usually given in each pattern. However, a simple increase will consist of working two stitches (instead of one), into one stitch of the previous row. This may be done at either end of the row or in any part of the row. The pattern will usually specify the correct procedure. Refer to example.
When decreasing, the pattern will specify the method to be used.
"Miss one stitch" - miss the next stitch and work into the following stitch. This will decrease the number of stitches by one. Also referred to as "skip 1" in some patterns.
"Work 2sts tog" - (work 2 stitches together) This is achieved by not finishing either of the next 2 stitches, but leaving the last loop of each stitch on the hook in addition to the loop already on the hook. Thread over, and pull the yarn through all the loops to form 1 loop on the hook. This produces a less obvious space.
For example to "work 2sts tog" or decrease over treble, complete the first treble to the point where there are 2 loops on the hook. Work the next treble until there are 4 loops on the hook (Fig 28).
Thread over and draw the thread through 2 loops (Fig 29), thread over again and draw the thread through the remaining 3 loops. One loop remains on the hook. This is often referred to as treble decrease or decrease treble. (Fig 30)
When decreasing at the beginning of a row, simply slip stitch over the required number of stitches to be decreased, then work the turning chain and continue the row.
When decreasing at the end of a row, work to within the number of stitches to be decreased, turn work and continue the next row.
Increases and decreases in stitches and changing the type of stitch are the basis of all patterns. For example, 1dc in next st, miss 2sts, 5tr in next st, miss 2sts, 1dc in next st (Fig 31), forms a shell design.
Make a length of chain (foundation chain). Depending on the stitch to be used, extra chain will need to be added to form the height of the stitch. These chain count as the first stitch unless otherwise stated. Some patterns say to "miss" a certain number of stitches at the beginning of the first row. This also gives the required height. Use the table below as a guide.
When crocheting in rows, for example in trebles, work a foundation row and when the last treble is completed, turn the work so that the reverse side is facing. Work 3 chain (turning chain) for height, and because the turning chain will count as the first stitch of this new row, miss the last worked stitch of the previous row and work the next treble into the top of the next treble (Fig 32).
Remember to always insert the hook under the two top threads of each stitch, unless the pattern states otherwise.
Continue across the row. The last treble of the row will be worked into the top of the turning chain, that is, into the 3rd chain of the beginning 3ch of the last row.
Some patterns, in which the turning chain does not count as the first stitch at the beginning of the row, require you to work into the last stitch of the previous row, and in this case you do not work a stitch into the turning chain at the end of the row.
The turning chain table is used as a guide only when determining the number of stitches required for a turning chain. Depending on the type and texture of thread / yarn used, the number of chain can be varied. Similarly, rows of dc, htr, dtr, and other sts are worked, varying the height of the turning chain.
|Stitch used in row||Turning chain|
BREAK OFF is to finish off or end off. Simply cut the thread about 8 - 10cm long. Bring the cut end through the last remaining loop on the hook and pull tightly (Figs 33 and 34). Weave this end back into the main part of the work with a blunt needle.
When crocheting in rounds, unless stated in the pattern, never turn the work between the rounds. Each stitch is still worked under the two top threads of the stitch in the previous round. A "right side" will be noticeable in the crocheted piece. Rounds are joined with a slip stitch (sl st) [Figs 35 and 36]. Rounds can be worked in a variety of stitches. The example below is worked in treble only.
To begin, make 4ch. Join with a sl st into the first ch to form a ring. Do not twist the work.
Round 1. 3ch, (this is for height and will count as one st). Work 11 treble into the centre of the ring. Join the round with a sl st into the 3rd ch of the beginning 3ch. (12tr)
Round 2. 3ch, 1tr in same place as sl st, 2tr in each of the other tr, join the round with a sl st into the 3rd ch of the beginning 3ch. (24tr) This is increasing in every stitch.
In the next round the stitches must be increased evenly, so proceed as follows:
Round 3. 3ch, * 2tr in next tr, 1tr in the next tr; repeat from * to last st, 2tr in this st. Join the round with a sl st into the 3rd ch of the beginning 3ch. (36tr) The increase was made in every second stitch.
Increasing is achieved by working a required number of stitches into one stitch. Most patterns state when to increase and the method to use. The aim is to increase at a rate that allows the crocheting to remain flat.
Variations of terminology:
"Round 1" may read "1st round", and "into the 3rd ch of the beginning 3ch" may read "into the top of the turning ch".
CLUSTERS AND POPCORNS are commonly used in edges, motifs and patterns. Any number of stitches can be used and so can any combinations of any type of stitch. It is common for most patterns to use the one stitch for height.
A cluster may vary from two to six stitches. It may be worked over a given number of stitches, into one stitch or into a space. Following are examples of these variations.
1. A 4dtr cluster over 4 stitches. Leaving the last loop of each stitch on the hook, work 1dtr into each of the following 4 stitches, thread over hook and draw it through all the remaining 5 loops on the hook (Fig 37).
2. A 3tr cluster worked into one stitch. Leaving the last loop of each stitch on the hook, work 3tr into the one stitch, thread over hook, pull through all 4 loops on the hook (Figs 38 and 39).
3. A 3dtr cluster worked into a space or loop. Leaving the last loop of each stitch on the hook, work 3dtr into the space of the previous row, thread over hook and draw it through all the remaining 4 loops on the hook (Fig 40).
A popcorn is a group of three or more stitches worked into the same stitch of the previous row and is completed as follows:
To make a 4tr popcorn. Work 4tr into the same stitch (Fig 41).
Remove the loop from the hook, insert the hook into the top of the first treble of this group, then into the loop just dropped (Fig 42).
Pull the loop through the first treble (Fig 43). A popcorn is usually, but not always, followed by 1 or more chain to define the popcorn.