Tag Archives: crochet

Interesting fibery links

Random fibery links I found online. These mostly came from Pinterest, but I’m probably going to gather up links from all over.

Frilled Cast On – this looks like a nice decorative edge, though it takes four times as many stitches as usual. The page bills it as a match for the picot bind off (scroll down), but I’d rather use the picot cast-on for that. Still, it caught my eye and I thought I’d share.

Note: something I like to do with these cast ons in certain circumstances is to spread out the pointy bits. I’ll make one picot, and then cast on some stitches normally, and then make another picot. If I’m using a stitch pattern, the spacing of the picots will be determined by the pattern. Same for picot bind offs.

A phototutorial for a very pretty scalloped crochet cast on. I can’t seem to track down the original post, but this link is faster-loading than the one I saw first on Pinterest. The watermark on the photographs is for fibergraph.livejournal.com, but that’s not a guarantee that they were originally from fibergraph. Anyway, it’s an interesting-looking cast-on.

This is an unusual cast on. I’m not sure I like it, but it makes me wonder what else might be hiding in old Russian books about fiber arts. (I came across it while looking for the original of the scalloped cast on.)

I’ve been interested in slip stitch crochet for the last year or so. (If you don’t want horribly stiff fabric, the key is to use a big enough hook.) Here’s a tutorial for short rows in slip stitch crochet from Vashti Braha.


Not dead yet

Hey look, I made something! Well, several somethings, only I haven’t posted about them either. Oops.

Anyway, here, look, I made a bag to hang from my loom and keep tools in!


Oh, didn’t I tell you? I got a loom! I had one before, but I’d gotten it for free and it turned out to be too badly cracked. I bought a loom from someone I know from online, and swapped the pieces of the other one (as spare parts) to her for some nice heddles to use with it. (The heddles are the things you run warp threads through; when the heddles go up and down, so do the warp threads, making it easier to weave.)

Here’s my new-to-me loom in an earlier stage of being fixed up.


I’ve done some work on her since I took that picture: wiping everything down with diluted Murphy’s oil soap, rubbing in some Wood Beams, getting the rust off with wire brush and naval jelly, moving the treadles around to the back where they started out, and replacing the rusty and pitted lower warp beam. I have a little rod stock on order to replace a rod in one of the harnesses. Finding metric rod stock in small quantities in the US is hard to do. I wish I could say I was surprised. After that, the only thing I need is tie up cord. I’m waiting until I can afford the fancy TexSolv tie up cord, because I gather it’s worth its cost.

And then I can start warping the loom (putting the warp threads on) and get to weaving.

She’s a Lillstina 46″ floor loom (means I can theoretically weave 46″ wide fabric on her)—a counterbalance—and her name is Diamond Lil.

Other bits I already have that I’m going to need: a tall chair that I hope is the right height, a warping board, shuttles and bobbins, and lease sticks.

First steps in slip stitch crochet

I got a pjoning hook (that’s the traditional flat hook with angled sides) from Lacis for doing slip stitch crochet.


I really like it! It slips into the stitches really easily, and while I was worried about getting correct gauge because of the angled sides, it turns out that the angled sides are there to help with correct gauge!

At least, that’s my hypothesis.

Gauge is established with the foundation chain; I admit, I used a regular crochet hook for that part because I was worried about evenness.

With slip stitches, the size of the last loop you made is determined by where the angled hook sits in the stitch from the previous row, except that I want the loop to be a little bigger because it’s also going to hold the next stitch I make and so I need a little slack. Having the loop of the next stitch formed below that on the hook means that it will be just that little bit larger.

There’s a sneaky thing about knitting stitches that many people don’t realize, and I think it holds true for slip stitch crochet as well (probably fiber arts in general, now that I consider the matter): the size of the stitch I just made is partially determined by how I pull on the yarn as I make a new stitch. I think it might actually be more important in crochet than in knitting because there’s no needle sitting in the stitch until the end of the row to keep it from shrinking too far.

So, after I make a new stitch, there’s a loop on the hook, right? It could end up being any size depending on what I do next.


I insert the hook into the next stitch from the previous round until the stitch is tight around the hook. You see how the loop on the hook is underneath?


Then I pull gently on the yarn as I make the next loop on the hook so that the loop already on the hook is snug but not tight. This will keep my gauge the same. Or it will once I’ve practiced enough that I pull the yarn consistently after each stitch. But it’s pretty clear to me that consistent tension will lead to consistent gauge because of the angled sides of the hook.

A bit of my design thought process.


  1. I’m knitting one thing at the moment, but I’m considering how to make a variant that will combine knitting and crochet. Here’s some of how my thinking has been going (while I’m knitting, mind).
  2. Okay, so this part is garter stitch and that part is stockinette. I think the garter would look nice replaced by crochet.
  3. But crochet tends to be thicker than knitting, so would the two parts sit side by side nicely?
  4. Garter stitch is thicker than stockinette; is crochet thicker than garter stitch? In other words, would #2 matter?
  5. But this yarn is worsted weight and I generally don’t personally care for crochet done in worsted weight. (Note: this is a matter of personal taste, I know. My design process, not suitable for everyone’s consumption. 😉
  6. Contrast colors in different weight yarn? (A thought set aside for later contemplation).
  7. This yarn has four plies, could I unply some of it and turn it into twice as much two ply yarn?
  8. Too much work. Not enough time. This is a giftmas present as well as a design sample. (This thought also set aside for later contemplation, along with a million and a half other such thoughts left over from other projects.)
  9. Hey, wait, rather than split a thick yarn, how about using a thin yarn for the crochet and doubling it for the knitting?
  10. When doubled, isn’t fingering weight yarn doubled about the same as worsted weight?
  11. If in doubt, swatch!

I have rummaged in my stash and have found some fingering weight yarn. Tonight, I swatch!

Fancy Tricot Stitch (No.2)

A stitch from S.F.A. Caulfeild’s Dictionary of Needlework, p. 129, rewritten in modern terms.

Fancy Tricot Stitch
This is a netlike stitch which stretches vertically, but not particularly horizontally.
Original description:
This is a pretty stitch for handkerchiefs, shawls, etc, or as a stripe for a blanket. Cast on a foundation chain the length required. First row–raise all the loops as in Tricot, and work back very loosely. Second, or pattern row–keep the wool to the front of the work, take up the little stitch at the top of the long loop without drawing the wool through, put the hook from teh back of the work between the next two loops, draw the wool through to the back across the long loop, pass the stitch just formed into the one above the long loop without taking the wool on the hook again, take up the next small stitch above a long loop (the wools should be still in front), insert the hook from the back between the next two long loops, draw the wool to the back, and pass this stitch into the last raised, continue to the end, work back in the usual way very loosely, and repeat the second row.

Modern reinterpretation:

Foundation row: Work one row of Tunisian Simple Stitch (TSS) as usual on any number of stitches. Work back as usual, but loosely.

Stitch pattern:

*With yarn in front, insert hook into  the chain loop directly above the second vertical bar. Do not pull a loop through yet.

Now insert the hook from back to front between the second and third vertical bars.
Pull a loop through both this space and the bump on the chain. The yarn remains in front.*
Repeat up to the very last stitch, which is worked as TSS. Work back as usual, very loosely.

Please let me know if you have any questions!

Fancy Stitch 2

A stitch from S.F.A. Caulfeild’s Dictionary of Needlework, p. 122, rewritten in modern terms.

"fancy stitch"

This stitch forms a lattice with the chains peeking through.  It can have a lovely effect when worked with variegated yarn. It biases strongly to the right. (It ought to be okay in the round, though.)

Original instructions from the book:

A suitable stitch for couvrepieds when made in thick fleecy wool and with a large No. 8 bone hook, but which does not look well worked with fine cotton. Make a foundation chain of an even number of stitches, work a row of Tricot, and work back. Second row–Work the first stitch plain, and then put wool round the hook, bring it out at front, push the hook through the next two long loops, still keeping the wool before the work, put wool round hook, as shown in Fig. 221, and draw it through the two loops. Put wool again round hook, thus making a stitch for the one lost in the work, and continue to end of row; work last stitch plain. Draw the wool back through the edge stitch, and then through two stitches, as in Tricot. The second row is repeated throughout.

Make a chain with an even number of stitches, and work a foundation row of TSS and back.
Bring the yarn to the front of the hook, and then over.

Bring the yarn over the top of the hook again; you should now have wrapped the yarn around the hook twice.

Insert the hook through the next two vertical loops.

Bring the yarn back to the front so it crosses in front of those two loops.

Gently pull a new loop back through the two loops.

You now have a total of two new loops on the hook.  Repeat the two wraps and purling the two loops together to the end of the row; work the last stitch as usual for TSS. Work back as usual.

(For the knitters among you, this is structurally the same as *yo, p2tog*, except for the chaining back part, though the maneuvers to get there are different.)

Open Raised Tricot Stitch

A stitch from S.F.A. Caulfeild’s Dictionary of Needlework, pp. 130-131, rewritten in modern terms.

This is an open, netlike stitch with thick horizontal ridges.

Original description:

A handsome raised stitch used for crossovers, petticoats, and comforters. It should be worked in double Berlin or four thread fleecy wool. Make a foundation chain of the width required, and work a row of Tricot, and then back. Second row–work the first stitch plain, then bring the wool in front of the work and put the hook into the hollow between the first and second loop, allow this to catch hold of the wool at the back, the wool passing from the front to the back over the work, bring the hook back again to the front with the wool on it, put it into the hole between the second and third loops, and let it catch the wool, returning with it on the hook, where there will now be three loops for the one stitch, draw the last made loop through the other two (see fig.248), and retain it on the hook. For the next stitch, put the wool forward, and the hook into the same space as before, between the second and third loops, and repeat from * [transcriber’s note: there was no *]. Work the last stitch as the first stitch, and work back in Tricot.

Modern interpretation:

Work a row of regular TSS (the most basic stitch in Tunisian crochet), and work back.

Bring the yarn forward, in front of the hook.

Insert the hook into the space between the first and second stitches, bring the yarn over  to the back, and pull a loop through.

There are now two new loops on the hook.

Insert the hook between the next two stitches, and pull a third loop through.

Pull that loop through the previous two loops.

*Yarn forward, insert the hook into the last space you pulled a loop through, and pull another loop through. Insert the hook into the next unworked space, pull a loop through, and pull the same loop through the previous two loops.* Work the last stitch as you would for Tunisian Simple Stitch, making sure to not pull it tight, as the Open Raised Tricot stitch grows vertically.

Tricot Ecossais

Tricot Ecossais

A stitch from S.F.A. Caulfeild’s Dictionary of Needlework, pp. 128-129, rewritten in modern terms.


  • YO = Yarn Over
  • TSS = Tunisian Simple Stitch
  • st(s) = stitch, or stitches

Chain a multiple of 3 stitches, plus 1.

1: Sk 1 chain. *YO. Pick up one st in each of the next 3 chains. Pinch the YO in the hand not holding the hook and pull the last three sts on the hook through the YO. (This leaves the three sts on the hook.)* Return as usual.
2: Skip the first vertical bar. *YO. 3 TSS. Pull the last 3 sts on the hook through the YO.* Return as usual.
This is very similar to some maneuvers from knitting, like passing a slipped stitch over another one.

(I expect the name has very little to do with the stitch’s national origin – the name means Scottish knitting in French.)

Josephine Tricot Stitch

Josephine Tricot Stitch

A stitch from S.F.A. Caulfeild’s Dictionary of Needlework, p. 130, rewritten in modern terms.

This stitch has fewer similarities to knitting than the other Tunisian crochet stitches I’ve tried. It makes a nice mesh.

Special abbreviation:

JTS: Insert hook in a stitch, pull a loop through, and chain one.
Repeat in the same stitch. Pull a third loop through the same stitch,
and then pull a loop through the last three stitches on the hook.

Original version (but with modern terms):
Start by making a chain the length you want, plus three.

Row 1: JTS in the fourth chain from the hook, repeat in every chain to
the end. Return row as usual.
Row 2: Chain 2, then work a JTS in each chain space. Return row as usual.
Repeat row 2 as desired.

If you find that the start of the row is a little too tall, try doing
1 chain instead of 2.

I found that I could get a version that draped more softly if I added
some extra chains, like this:


Start by making a chain with an even number of stitches, plus one.

Row 1: JTS in the third chain from the hook, repeat in every other
chain to the end. Return row: Chain 1. *Chain 1, pull a loop through
the first 2 stitches on the hook.* Chain 1.
Row 2: Chain 1, then work a JTS in each chain space. Return row: Chain
1. *Chain 1, pull a loop through the first 2 stitches on the hook.*
Chain 1.
Repeat row 2 as desired.

This stitch pattern lends itself well to being fringed. Omit the last
return row and knot two pieces of yarn through each stitch.

Persephone deconstruction

I spent a while yesterday taking Persephone apart. T got to help take some of the screws out after some of the trickier bits got done. (That is, things weren’t in imminent danger of falling on him.) All the small bits (screws, pulleys, still-functional cords) went into a bin, and everything else got stacked in the library.

After T went to bed, I started wiping the boards down with diluted Murphy’s Oil Soap. I got about a third done. I rinsed them with a damp rag, and then dried with a soft cloth. We clamped the piece with the worst crack in it in hopes of keeping the crack from getting worse before I get a chance to glue it–after all, the worst damage to the loom was water damage.

I expect to finish washing the wood bits today. While the boards are drying I’m going to dig out our sandpaper (I’m looking for 100 and 150 grits, at S’s recommendation) and see if I can find our sanding block. I am seriously wondering how much time the previous owner spent on the sanding the manual recommends. I don’t mean to impugn her. Well, I do a little, I suppose. After all, Persephone did get left upside down on a dirt floor!

I have some plans for some detail work which I hope work out. It’s nice to have S around as a resource: his grandfather was a professional carpenter, and S spent a lot of time hanging out in his workshop.

I’m glad that I’ve gotten moving on this project. The way I work, I need to get the refinishing done as soon as possible or else it won’t happen for another five or ten years. And if I’m not going to do it, then someone else should get the loom. No sense having her go to waste.

I also spent a little time yesterday staring at some crochet edging that was passed down in my family to figure out how it was made. It’s one of the nice kind that doesn’t require a horribly long chain for a foundation. You start at one end and keep repeating the whole pattern until it’s the length you want.

In the process, I might have come up with a crocheted scarf pattern based on the edging. Which, really! I need to jot a few notes and finish the patterns I’m supposed to be writing.