Friday, February 25, 2011

Crochet Primer: Double Crochet Stitch

Hello and welcome back for Part Four of our little crochet tutorial. If you're just joining us, please go back and recap with part one, part two, and part three. If you already know how to set up, do the chain and the single crochet stitch, then you're in the right place.
Going one step more can yield great benefit in any craft. With crochet, you might wish to take your new craft to the next level by adding the double crochet stitch. This stitch can speed up your crochet projects, because with just a bit more maneuvering you can increase the expanse of your fabric exponentially. The double crochet stitch is taller than the single, which is taller than the chain stitch.


Whether you are working flat or in the round, you will need to set up the double crochet stitch by working three chain stitches. If you are working from a chain, you will begin your first double crochet stitch in the fourth chain from the hook. This brings your stitches up to the appropriate level for working the first double crochet stitch. Sometimes a three-chain counts as one double crochet stitch. Refer to the instructions in the pattern you are working for whether this is true--it varies from pattern to pattern.


The next step in the double crochet stitch is to take the hook under the working yarn and wrap it around the hook, creating a loop.


Insert the hook into the next stitch (here we are working into a single crochet stitch), take the hook over the working yarn and draw the yarn through the stitch below, creating another loop. Now there are three loops on the hook--the one you began with, the one you wrapped before inserting the hook into the stitch below, and the one you made by drawing the working yarn through that stitch.


Take the hook under the working yarn and draw it through the first two loops on the hook. Now there are two loops left on the hook. Take the hook under the working yarn once more and draw it through the remaining two loops on the hook. Your stitch is complete.

Your new double crochet stitch should look like this. In this picture the new double crochet stitch is standing beside its matching three-chain. Now work another double crochet stitch in the next stitch below. For this swatch we are working one double crochet stitch into each stitch in the row below.


As I've been telling you all week, these lovely photos were taken by my daughter Natalie and are from the Learn to Crochet Cowl. Because of that, they show working these stitches in the round. You can certainly work these same stitches as a flat swatch for practice, but why not go ahead and make an accesory that you could wear when you're done? I hope you'll try the cowl pattern. After all, it's free and it's a great way to not only learn crochet but to get some good practice while you're doing it. I designed the cowl to teach some basic stitches and to show how the single and double crochet stitches work differently. The cowl is made up of a series of alternating single and double crochet stitches, which perfectly illustrates how they each behave differently, yet compliment one another.
If you decide to make a LTC cowl, I would love to see how it turns out. Please show your results on Ravelry or send me a picture at jen@jenhagan.com.
This last lesson admittedly skipped a couple of maneuvers, so let me know if anything wasn't quite clear. I'd love to have Natalie photograph more steps for you!
Best Yarny Wishes and Happy Crocheting!

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