Monday, May 6, 2013

What crochet stitches are you forgetting?

OK, so all of us hookers have finally been blessed with crochet coming back in style.  We see it in accessories, photo props, cozy covers, and tiny stuffed animals.  SO we now pattern demand is up, but how do you make YOUR pattern stand out?  It is all about texture and DETAILS.  The general rule of product supply is you either have to be the first, be the fastest, or be the best.  Obviously, it is fairly hard in the year 2013 to be the FIRST to crochet anything.  And fastest works for the supply portion, but won't help us sell patterns....I guess we have to be the BEST.
To be the BEST, we have to get the details right, this is where having a barrage of special stitches to choose from will set you pattern that tiny step ahead of similar patterns available.

Changing colors - Often when creating a pattern, I remind myself not everything has to be an appliqué.  There are times you can use "Tapestry" crochet or working over the color, to crochet one piece with various designs.
Crocheting stitches "in the round" to create dimension - I have found this helpful in creating 3 dimensional shapes.  For example a triangle is flat, but a CONE is round AND easier to crochet.  There are MANY other uses, but it is a think outside of the box method of pattern creation.  Check out this Star cocoon where I turned the triangle points into cones for baby's arms, and legs, and head.
Baby Bath Time Star Cocoon
Get the  Crochet Bath Time Baby Star Cocoon Pattern via SICKLILMONKEYS on Craftsy
Crocodile Stitch - Granted this stitch is more advanced, but is an excellent petal effect for great floral patterns, and leafy patterns.  I have even seen it used as scales!  Check out this GREAT pattern by The Hookeraholic Crochet's Shannon Kilmartin.  I would NEVER have thought to use this stitch so smartly!

Get the Finished Japanese Koi Fish Photo Prop crocheted by SICKLILMONKEYS 
Get the Pattern by The Hookeraholic Crochet to make one yourself on Craftsy

Curls - For an extra POP of curly cuteness, or even to imitate locks of hair, try adding a curl to your project.  This ""Lil Rag Doll Hat" uses curls, FPDC, BPDC, FLO and BLO stitches.

Get the 'Lil Rag Doll Hat Pattern via SICKLILMONKEYS on Craftsy
FLO and BLO benefits - The most helpful trick I have learned to help with my 3D style pattern creations is remembering to utilize BOTH loops.  It is easy to forget crochet stitches have TWO loops.  If need you can crochet  a round or row in each side of the stitches.  This is helpful when you want to attach an end for stuffing inside of an item.  You can attach the stuffing stopper to the back loop, which leaves the front loop free for the next continuing round or row.  This is also helpful to make a CLEAR place to join an applique.  Do the round where you want an appliqué attached later in the back loop only.  It will leave a nice line of front loops to easily see where to add the appliqué.  Another use is to create ridges in your final product, does the item you are designing need a standout ribbed texture?
Reverse direction - Sometimes a ribbed Stitch is great, but then there are times when the "bump" of repeated rows throws of the finished look.  This is a great time to incorporate reversing direction.  In this method, instead of turning the work, you crochet the opposite direction.  This somewhat removes the ridges usually created from turning at the end of each row.

Picots - Sometimes a picot is great for creating a clear point on the tip of something.  Using a picot rather that just using a TC in the center will help define things you want to have a point.

Cables - Use a Front post or back post double crochet over the same numbered stitch each row to create a vertical cable across the horizontally crocheted rows.  (Also good for hairlines)

And AS I went to publish this blog, this amazing little tip about symmetrical crochet halves came through my email!  This must have been the right day for this post!  How to Divide Yarn for Symmetrical Crochet Projects

There are HUNDREDS of other great stitches, these are just the top few in my notebook.  Comment below and share with me your top stitches.

Come back for our next article on The most underused crochet resources on the net.  Some aren't even labeled for crochet!

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