Ages ago I saw this image and fell in love with that stitch.
|Image from here|
Can you see how it looks like a cross? And it creates quite a dense looking structure, too. On closer inspection it looked a bit like a double crochet (US single), but it certainly didn't look like mine...
I followed the links and searched around, but alas, the pattern no longer exists and my search ended.
Then, I started to see this stitch in lots of places- often used in baskets, but again, despite scouring the web, I couldn't find any mention of how this nice little stitch was created.
|Image from here|
Eventually I found a vintage pattern, where the baskets clearly show the crossed stitch.
So I bought it.
Yayyyyy!! Its secrets would be revealed.
I would be making that stitch in no time at all....
|Pattern from here|
The pattern, although very clear and thorough, just states to use a plain old double crochet. No more details.
Another dead end.
It was obviously something to do with the way I crochet- perhaps the people who can make this stitch hold their hook differently, or at an angle. Perhaps it was a yarn-feeding-thing, or a tension-thing.
So I gave up.
Then, whilst searching for something completely unrelated on YouTube, a moment of inspiration struck me. All I needed to do was find a video of someone who crochets in this way. I could learn from watching them do it.
And I did. I found a pattern for a little amigurumi here.
And I watched. And I gasped at how ridiculously easy it was. And how the way I make a double crochet (US single) just needed one, teensy, tiny change...
1. Hook into stitch as usual, pull up a loop.
THIS IS THE DIFFERENT BIT!!
2. Instead of yarn over hook and pulling the yarn through the stitch, twist your hook over the yarn and pull the yarn through .
3. Complete the stitch in the usual way- yarn over
4. And pull through both loops.
And that's it.
Changing the second step completely alters the stitch, twisting the yarn and forming the cross that I wanted to achieve.
Here's some comparisons between a 'normal' dc (US sc) on the left and the new cross-dc on the right:
The 'normal' dc creates a slightly larger, looser shape, with bigger gaps between the stitches. The crossed dc is more sturdy, with a far denser construction. It also produces that amazing crossed stitch I've been searching for.
And so my quest is complete!
I shall be using the cross-dc for those projects where I want a little more structure- I'm thinking simple baskets and bags and it might even feature in some of my amigurumi designs in the future.
Enjoy your week,