When I learnt to crochet, my Mother was really specific about where I needed to place my hook in each stitch. There was most certainly a Right and a Wrong way of doing things. As I look around at others’s work and fiddle with a few patterns, it’s obvious that there are many other schools of thought. Those that believe that any place is good for a hook. Although I don’t disagree, depending on where you cast your next stitch, your work will look and feel different – so as long as you know the consequences, just carry on!
So it’s time to examine your stitches.
To start with, you have a rope of chains. Observe that on one side the chains form lovely “V”s and on the other side you see little bumps.
Each “V” is a stitch and my Mother taught me that when you are working into a foundation chain row, you MUST work your hook into both sides of the “V”. And of course, I tried and worked away and it is HARD. Of course, I didn’t realise that this method was only one way to do it. And that her method was the most challenging for a beginner. The good news is that this way of starting gives a really firm and even edge to your work and the edge to your project will have the even bumps along the side, so it is most definitely worth persevering with.
However, if you want to have those beautiful “V”s edging your work then you need to do the exact opposite and work into the bumps on the back of your “V”s. This way round, not only do you have only one strand to work through, you also have the option of extending your work easily by working into the “V”s later. And if not, it’s a pretty edge to your project. Simple!
Or if you prefer, you could work into either the front OR the back loop of that “V” stitch. More on what this creates below.
Presuming of course that you’ve got as far as the second row of crochet, you have the same decisions to make – where do I put my hook? So a quick summary to help you decide:
- Working through the top two loops of your “V” creates a flat, reversible fabric. This is mostly what you’re after.
- Working through the back loop only, your fabric will have a horizontal ribbed effect – see Asymmetric Crochet Cowl and on the beginning of your work, your chain foundation row will be angled.
- Working through the front loop only, your fabric will be looser (avoiding that sometimes stiff feel to crochet fabrics) and your stitches more open. Be careful if you need a firm fabric as this way, your work is more likely to stretch.
Of course if you want to create freeform crochet, just throw the rule book out altogether! Insert your hook in between stitches, around the post of a stitch, or into stitches in a row below…there are no rules then.