Crocheters are all abuzz about this ‘new’ technique for creating the base chain and foundation row stitches at the same time (instead of making a chain, then going back across with foundation stitches). I emphasize the word ‘new’ because apparently the technique has been around for many years, although not widely used by most hookers.
Besides shaking up the designing world with her fabulous crochet work, Doris Chan has brought this method for creating a foundation chain to the spotlight. It’s worth taking notice when the hottest designers are converting and singing it’s praises.
There are several advantages for using this method, but the one that stands out in my mind is that it does away with having to count the traditional starting chain…over and over and over….which is something I always have trouble with when starting a new project. Using the foundation chain method, you just complete the required number of stitches….the starting chain and foundation row are all done in one fell swoop. Brilliant!
Oddly, there are not many sites that have visual tutorials on the method. I found several sites that give written instructions, but I’m one of those that sometimes needs visuals to help me ‘get it’. It took some digging, but I managed to find a few. The best, in my humble opinion, is on Serendipity Crochet, where there are tutorials for not only single crochet, but half-double crochet and double crochet base chains as well. Check it out and let me know what you think.
One of the fun parts of this here blog is checking the ‘stats’. Another popular search referral term is the basketweave stitch, usually listed as ‘basketweave, stitch, pattern’. For those newbies just learning to crochet or someone who’s trying to add new stitches to their repertoire, there’s really no pattern, per se, for basketweave. It’s simply a technique…a different way of doing double crochet stitches that creates the effect of basketweave. And it’s not as difficult as it looks.
Crochetme has an excellent tutorial on raised double crochet stitches written by the talented designer Annette Petavy. The article includes pictures (yay), showing exactly how to create the basketweave effect as well as different variations of basketweave and more. Go check it out here.
This morning, I’d laid my work down to walk to the kitchen for a cup of coffee and, as I was walking back into the living room, the light from the windows cast just the right angle of light to show the full dimensional effect of the stitches in conjunction to the color bands. Along with the bands of color created by the SWS yarn, the diagonal box stitch created bands of ridges, only visible from certain angles. And from different angles, the appearance changes to reveal a basketweave effect.
This is what makes crochet exciting…..when color and stitch combine to produce unexpected results that surprise and delight!
Paton’s SWS, Natural Earth, 2 skeins. J hook. Diagonal Box Stitch. Finished size 3 1/2″ x 63″.
Well, I didn’t think I’d be posting anymore this week, but I actually have something to show!! The large basketweave project I alluded to here 2 months ago(!) is finally complete.
The vital statistics are as follows: 46″ x 60″, made in Red Heart Super Saver with my trusty J hook. I have to admit, it was a challenge. The BPDCs would quickly tire my wrist and, as the afghan got larger and more heavy, I nearly had to wrestle it as I was working along. Who would have thought that acrylic yarn could end up being so heavy? I failed to keep precise count, but I think I used 9 skeins, which would bring it in at a couple ounces under 4 pounds. And the basketweave stitch makes a very thick cloth, lemme tell ya. It is a yarn-eater.
I must say, however, that I’m quite pleased with the finished project. The stitches are prominant enough so that the basketweave effect is clearly visible. The only thing I’d do differently, if/when I make another, is to use a lighter weight yarn….4 ply worsted is simply too thick and heavy for this stitch/pattern in this (gulf coast) climate.
Looking for new stitches that add interest to a piece is something I spend alot of time doing (that, and browsing the incredible selection of yarn that’s available these days). I imagine most crocheters have their favorite stitch, one they find themselves using more than others. One of my all-time favorites is the granite stitch, aka seed stitch.
It’s one of the most incredibly easy stitches; sc, ch 1, sk 1 st, sc in the next stitch. On the return row, you sc in the ch-1 spaces and ch-1, sk next sc, sc in ch-1 space. It works well using solid colored yarn or variagated yarn. But the magic really happens when you use different color yarns on alternating rows.
The first pic shows what you get using 3 colors. I really like using the black and white with a 3rd color. Imagine using complementary or contrasting colors. The possiblities are endless.
This next pic (ignore the loose ends….it’s a swatch) shows the magic that happens when using only 2 colors, alternating rows…..instant stripes!
I encourage you to learn new stitches to add to your repertoire. Use the stitches and yarn to their full potential and make the magic happen!