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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.

What are your thoughts?

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