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More on Double Strand Crocheting

Still quite inspired by the whole double strand crocheting topic.

It’s way too big for a measly newsletter issue! Double strand crocheting is a whole world of fun. It tames wild yarn textures. It welcomes glitzy bling threads. It speeds up big projects, recycles yarn scraps, and adds warmth to winter accessories. All this, plus it comes with its own specialized gadgets and filaments. You can get exotic reeling stands to manage multiple threads. Reflective filaments can turn a crocheted beanie into nighttime safety garb.

If you’re just coming in on this topic, be sure to also see the newsletter issue that launched it, “Fun With Double Stranding.” Then see the gallery of overflow images I blogged here yesterday.

In the past 24 hours I created a new Pinterest board.

I’m so glad I did. It already has 55 pins! (I’m holding myself back from pinning everything I see.) Visit it here: “Double Strand Crochet.” Also, here are a few more images I found today in my hard drive. They would have been included in yesterday’s overflow gallery:

It’s really the perfect way to do lots of timely things:

  1. Double stranding says, “I’m ready for the fall crochet season!” Hats and scarves are instantly thicker and warmer.
  2. I’m thinking multi-strand slip stitch crochet could be pretty interesting.
  3. My old yarn stash is too big. As mentioned in the newsletter, tinting and “upcycling” a plain yarn with a fancy one is a creative way to make old stash new again. Crocheting two or more strands of yarn together is a classic way to use up scrap yarns.
  4. Double strand crocheting is perfect for winter holiday BLING! I can’t imagine an easier way to throw in all kinds sparkle. Some of the fanciest yarns are designed to be carry along threads. They may be unpleasant to crochet with by themselves, but dreamy to crochet along with another yarn.

 It makes sense that double strand crocheting is lighting up my weekend, now that I think about it.

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Double Strand Crochet: Oh, The Overflow

I found too many double strand crochet images to show in issue #63 of my newsletter!

The topic is crocheting with two (or more) strands of yarn held together. Here’s a gallery of my double strand crochet projects and designs over the years:

Please leave a comment, I love comments! Especially as I tinker with new upgrades to this blog.

To scroll through more recent posts, click here: Quickposts.

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Tunisian Lace Crochet Pattern Test

Filet lace crochet pattern for summer top
My son and me, circa 2003. I love green and lilac together! He loved fiery tie dye.

About twelve years ago I crocheted myself a top in an easy lace crochet pattern.

It was in Sandra, a European pattern magazine. I used apple green sport weight cotton yarn from my stash. These are regular ol’ double crochet and chain stitches. See next photo below for close up view. My sparky son there in the photo with me was probably four or five years old (he’s fifteen now!).

The double crochet stitches  [abbreviated dc, or tr in the UK] are grouped into three-row blocks of six stitches each. These are alternated with lacy spaces (i.e., eight-chain bars, to use another Filet Crochet term). For a fun texture change, some of the solid blocks alternate with “blocks” of V-stitch instead. In this case, the V-stitch is [dc, chain 1, dc] in the next stitch twice. (Some V-stitches don’t have a chain-1 between the two dc; you might like this popular newsletter issue, “Unpacking V-Stitches.”)

Personally, I consider this lace crochet pattern to be based loosely on a filet crochet structure. It uses the same logic of double crochets and chain spaces. It’s easy to memorize and feels like filet crochet to me while crocheting it. I like the lacy gingham plaid effect!

Tunisian Lace Crochet Pattern vs Regular Crochet
Tunisian crochet (red), regular crochet (green)

Now for the Tunisian Lace Crochet Pattern Version.

Now compare the dark red Tunisian lace pattern swatch. I crocheted this a few months ago for my class on Tunisian Filet Crochet technique. Like the earlier green swatch, I used a sport weight cotton yarn — a test of the DesigningVashti Lotus yarn in Grenadine.

I used Tunisian double crochets (Tdc) in place of the regular dc, and Tunisian yarn overs (Tyo) in place of chains.

One interesting difference is how rope-like the Tyo bars are, compared with the chain-8 bars in green. They look a lot like very tall stitches running horizontally, don’t they? Like double treble crochet stitches, perhaps.

Another difference is how much taller the Tdc blocks are. Here’s an important thing to keep in mind, though: twelve years ago I was still making my dc stitches kind of short and compact. In other words, I used to be a “Rider.” Since then, I’ve gradually altered my crocheting style to be more of a “Lifter.” This is such an important thing to keep in mind about double crochets! If you don’t know what I’m talking about, please see this post.

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Crochet Swatch Puzzler

Most of the time I can pick up a crochet swatch and identify its top (last row crocheted) and bottom (foundation row). I save crocheted swatches for reference, so it’s important to me to be able to do this confidently and accurately.

Here’s a swatch that puzzles me at first, each time I see it. Then I remember helpful identification clues.

A crochet swatch that's not easy to "read"
Is this crochet swatch right side up?

The swatch in hand puzzles me almost as much as this photo of it.

Being able to quickly identify how a crochet swatch was created is a special skill. It may take many years of crocheting to develop it.

This is true for images of crochet (photos and drawings) as well as for the actual piece.

The single most helpful clue about this swatch is that it’s Tunisian crochet.

This means it’s likely that we’re looking at the right side of the stitches. Tunisian stitches usually all face the front, and look distinctly different on the back. Usually.

I can quickly make sense of a new-looking Tunisian crochet swatch if I can identify where the return row stitches line up. The return row is when the loops are worked off of the crochet hook. If I know whether the crocheter is crocheting leftie, then I know which direction the return row stitches should be traveling. They go toward the right edge if crocheted right-handed. (I’m right handed.)

Thirdly, I know two basic ways to make Tunisian crochet lacy. You can:

  • Use the Tyo (Tunisian Yarn Over stitch), and/or
  • Add chain stitches during the return rows.

This issue of my Crochet Inspirations Newsletter briefly contrasts the two kinds.

I’ve started a project page for this in Ravelry. I’ll add updates to it as the project takes shape.