Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Single Crochet 1, Chain Stitch 1




Sc1, ch1 Sampler notes


I didn't used to like single crochet, how it looked by itself, how easily it stretched out of shape.  But combining it with chain stitch changed my mind.  Here are a few variations that make really useful fabrics.

This sample is a Log Cabin construction, starting with a central rectangle in one stitch, working a variation along two sides of the block, then working another variation along two more sides, and continuing for a total of 6 different variations of the same (single crochet/chain stitch) combination.

1. Chain-1 Net stitch on the diagonal
In a really loose gauge, makes a lacy scarf.  If you have trouble seeing the turning chain at the end of the row (it can be tricky), just work the last stitch into the last sc of the previous row.  This makes a stretchy fabric – I am experimenting with it to make socks.
Row 1:  Chain (ch) 3, single crochet (sc) into last stitch (st) from hook.
Row 2 (Increase Row):  Ch2, turn.  Sc in last sc, *ch1, sc in next ch space (sp).  Repeat from * across, ending with sc in turning chain from previous row.
Repeat Row 2 until piece measures 4 inches on each side.
Next row (Decrease Row):  Ch1, turn.  Skip 2 sc, sc in next ch sp.  *ch1, sc in next ch sp.  Repeat from * across, ending with sc in turning chain from previous row.
Repeat last two rows until the long edge measures 6 inches.
Repeat Decrease Row only until 1 sc remains. Do not finish off.

The Math:  Count how many rows there are in the swatch, how many are along the short sides (_____), and how many are along the longs sides (_____).  Next step is to figure your gauge:  The other stitches are all (sc1, ch1), so the stitch gauge is about the same, even though the row gauge will be different for each because of how they are worked.  Measure along a row, which is diagonally on the rectangle.  This is a good time really to see your stitches.

Stitches over 4 inches: _____ Stitches per inch: _____

Multiply the stitches per inch by 4: _____.  That is how many stitches to work along a short edge of the rectangle.  Compare this with the number of rows to see how they match: _____ sts per _____ rows.
Multiply the stitches per inch by 6: _____.  That is how many stitches to work along a long edge.  Compare this with the number of rows to see how they match: _____ sts per _____ rows.

Now, back to stitching:

2. Chain-1 Net stitch
This has a square gauge (same number of rows and stitches to the inch) so it is really handy for a log-cabin afghan.  By itself, it is an easy stitch for afghans.  You are always inserting the hook in a chain space, which makes it go fast.
Row 1:  With the hook in the loop from the last stitch, rotate the piece to work along the long side.  Ch2 to start the row.  Remember how many stitches to work for how many rows (from THE MATH).  Working along the long edge and stitching into the row ends, (sc1, ch1) to the next corner, ending with a sc in the corner.  (ch1, sc1) in the same stitch to turn the corner.  Continue along the short edge to the next corner, ending with a sc in the corner.
Row 2:  Ch2, turn.  *Skip 1sc, sc in the next ch sp. ** Repeat from * to the next corner, working (sc1, ch1, sc1) in the corner chain space.  Then repeat from * to ** to the end of the row, ending with a sc1 in the ch2 turning chain.  Repeat this row for a total of 9 rows for this sample.

Note:  working an odd number of rows means you always end up in the correct position to start the next stitch section.

3. Single crochet lite
This makes a fairly solid fabric that is almost single crochet.  It is flat and about as plain as you can get with crochet, which is a very texture-oriented craft.  I like it for sweaters.  The chain stitch keeps the single crochet stitches from stretching out of shape.
Row 1:  With the hook in the loop from the last stitch, rotate the piece to work along the long side.  Ch1 to start the row.  Remember how many stitches to work for how many rows (from THE MATH).  Working along the long edge and stitching into the row ends, (sc1, ch1) to the next corner, ending with a sc in the corner.  (ch1, sc1) in the same stitch to turn the corner.  Continue along the short edge to the next corner, ending with a sc in the corner.
Row 2:  Ch1, turn.  *Sc in the next sc, ch1. ** Repeat from * to the next corner, working (ch1, sc1, ch1) in the corner chain space – note the middle sc of this increase.  Then repeat from * to ** to the end of the row, ending with a sc1 in the last sc of Row 1.
Row 3:  Ch1, turn.  *Sc in the next sc, ch1.  ** Repeat from * to the next corner, working (sc1, ch1, sc1) in the sc in the middle of the turn.
Repeat these two rows for a total of 9 rows for this sample.  Do not finish off.  Keeping 1 loop on the hook, rotate the piece to start the next stitch.

Note:  At this point, all the edges of the original 4x6 block are covered, and from here on, new stitches are worked mainly into stitches and only into a few row-ends.  Because the row ends are now straight, and not on the diagonal – and there are only a few of them – figure one stitch per row end.

4. Chain-1 net stitch in back loop only:
Working in the back loop only makes the fabric more textured and lacy, depending on how the fabric hangs.
Set-up row:  Ch2, turn.  *skip 1sc, sc in the next ch space.  ** Repeat from * to corner, working (sc1, ch1, sc1 in the corner space.  Then repeat from * to ** to the end of the row, ending with sc1 in the last stitch.
Pattern row:  Ch2, turn.  *Skip 1sc, sc into the Back Loop Only (BLO) of the chain stitch. ** Repeat from * to the next corner, working (sc1, ch1, sc1) in the BLO of the corner chain stitch.  Then repeat from * to ** to the end of the row, ending with a sc1 in the ch2 turning chain.  Repeat this row 7 more times, for a total of 9 rows for this sample.  Do not finish off.  Keeping 1 loop on the hook, rotate the piece to start the next stitch.

5. Bag stitch
Makes a very solid, non-stretchy fabric.  I like it for bags and button-bands – anywhere I want a solid fabric.  I work it in a slightly looser gauge in wool for a purse, then felt it to make a bag that does not need lining.  Lately, I have worked it in the round, in a coil, to make baskets. I like it a lot.
Set-up row:  Ch2, turn.  *skip 1sc, sc in the next ch space.  ** Repeat from * to corner, working (sc1, ch1, sc1 in the corner space.  Then repeat from * to ** to the end of the row, ending with sc1 in the last stitch.
Pattern row:  Ch2, turn.  *Skip 1sc, sc into the sc of the row before last, enclosing the ch1 of the last row. ** Repeat from * to the next corner, working (sc1, ch1, sc1) in the middle of the corner turn.  Then repeat from * to ** to the end of the row, ending with a sc1 in the ch2 turning chain.  Repeat this row 7 more times, for a total of 9 rows for this sample.  Do not finish off.  Keeping 1 loop on the hook, rotate the piece to start the next stitch.

6. Bag stitch in back loop only
This is just like bag stitch, but slightly more relaxed.  The visual effect of the front loop that is not enclosed makes this stitch look different from Bag Stitch.
Set-up row:  Ch2, turn.  *skip 1sc, sc in the next ch space.  ** Repeat from * to corner, working (sc1, ch1, sc1 in the corner space.  Then repeat from * to ** to the end of the row, ending with sc1 in the last stitch.
Pattern row:  Ch2, turn.  *Skip 1sc, sc into the sc of the row before last, enclosing the ch1 of the last row. ** Repeat from * to the next corner, working (sc1, ch1, sc1) in the middle of the corner turn.  Then repeat from * to ** to the end of the row, ending with a sc1 in the ch2 turning chain.  Repeat this row 7 more times, for a total of 9 rows for this sample.  Do not finish off.  Keeping 1 loop on the hook, rotate the piece to start the next stitch.

7. Lite crab stitch
Now for the edging:  Ch1.  WORKING FROM LEFT TO RIGHT – this will feel strange, but it works.  *Insert hook in the next st to the right.  Yarnover and draw up a loop.  Yarnover and pull through both loops to finish a backward single crochet, also called a crab stitch.  It is a single crochet that is twisted around.  Ch1.  Skip 1 stitch.  Repeat from * to the next corner.  Ch1, and make another stitch in the same stitch, to turn the corner.  Repeat from * around the remaining edges.

When you get back to the beginning of the row, you will see that you can’t really continue because this stitch makes an edge you can’t work into.  Finish off and tuck in the loose ends.

These stitches have a dramatic effect on color work (using variegated yarns or changing color each row).

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