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Stitch talk: The Diagonal Stitch

I was playing around with different yarns and different stitches, trying to inspire myself to design a shawl. My daughter calls that ‘doodling with a crochet hook’. So while I was doodling, the Diagonal Stitch happened. By accident. I haven’t seen it anywhere before, but in the world of crochet you never know. I hope though, that this will be as special to you, as it is to me!

This is a corner to corner stitch, but calling it anything remotely that like, is going to cause huge confusion, so I decided to call it the Diagonal Stitch. Simple and straight forward.

Let me show you how it’s done! Remember, I use US terminology.

To start with this stitch pattern, do a slip-knot, and chain 2.

In the 2nd chain from the hook, (sc1, hdc1, dc1) all in the same stitch.

We will call this a cluster. Remember, cluster = (sc1, hdc1, dc1) all in the same stitch.

Chain two to turn.

Crochet a cluster in the 2nd chain from the hook.

Skip two stitches (the double crochet and half double crochet of the previous row), crochet a cluster in the third stitch (the single crochet of the previous row). Chain 2 to turn.

We are now going to repeat the process. Crochet a cluster in the second chain from the hook.

Skip the next two stitches and crochet a cluster in the third stitch.

And again….. you can now see your triangle!

Repeat the row as many times as you need.

When you have done enough increase rows, we you can start decreasing. Decrease rows also start with a chain two.

Skip the two chains and two stitches and do a cluster in the third stitch. Place a stitch marker in the single crochet of the cluster. Skip two stitches and cluster in the third stitch. Repeat this across the row just like the you did with the increase rows. When you reach the very last stitch, instead of a cluster, crochet only one single crochet.

Chain two to turn. Skip the two chains and THREE stitches, and crochet a cluster in the fourth stitch. Place a stitch marker in the sc of the cluster you just made. You will immediately see the new corner. Complete your row in the normal fashion.

Be careful of the last stitch of this row – it will fall slightly over to the back of the work; simply tilt your project towards you to get the complete V of the stitch. For this row, it is the stitch with the stitch marker. Keep placing the stitch marker in the 1st sc of each decrease row, so that you can easily see the last stitch when you do the next row.

Continue in this fashion, until you can only crochet 1 single crochet in the very last row. All you need now is a nice little border and off you go!

This stitch pattern is perfect for face cloths, dish cloths, place mats and blankets. It is especially excellent for baby blankets as it is nice and sturdy, with no holes for little fingers to be caught in.

I made a facecloth with this stitch and it works perfectly! Here is the pattern for you to try.

Face Cloth Pattern

Requirements

  • 50g MoYa DK
  • 3.5mm crochet hook

Abbreviations

  • st – stitch
  • ch – chain
  • sc – single crochet
  • hdc – half double crochet
  • dc – double crochet
  • sk – skip
  • cl – cluster (sc1, hdc1, dc1) all into the same stitch
  • tdc – twisted double crochet (SEE VIDEO)

Pattern

The increase section

  • Row 1 – Chain 2, start in the 2nd chain from the hook, cl into the 2nd ch, ch2 to turn
  • Row 2 – Start in the 2nd chain from the hook, cl, sk2, cl, ch2 to turn
  • Row 3 – Start in the 2nd chain from the hook, cl, (sk2, cl) across the row, ch2 to turn
  • Repeat row 3 17x times more – 20 rows, 20 clusters across the last row

The decrease section

  • Row 21 – sk4 (2 ch & 2 sts), cl, (sk2, cl) across the row until 3 sts remain, sk2, sc in the last st, ch2 to turn
  • Row 22 – sk5 (2 ch & 3 sts), cl, (sk2, cl) across the row until 3 sts remain, sk2, sc in the last st, ch2 to turn
  • Repeat row 22 18x more – 40 rows in total

The border

  • Turn your project to work down the side.
  • [(ch3, sk over two clusters, sc between the clusters) x10 times, ch3, sc in the same space last used to create a corner loop] x4 times, ss to close the round
  • ss into the next 3-ch-space, (tdc1, dc3) in the 3-ch-space, (dc4 in the next 3-ch-space) x9 times, [(dc2, ch2, dc2) in the corner 3-ch-space, (dc4 in the next 3-ch-space) x10 times] x3 times, (dc2, ch2, dc2) in the corner 3-ch-space, close the round with a ss to the tdc
  • ch1, (sc in each sts across the side, sc3 in the corner 2-ch-space) x4 times, sc2, cut off your working yarn, close the round with an invisible join, weave in all your tails.

Block your face cloth.

It’s as easy as that!

 

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Yarn Weights

Yarn weights can be very confusing, especially for newbies in the world of yarn. You get sock yarn not suitable to make socks with. You get worsted spun yarn that has nothing to do with worsted weight yarn, and so the list goes on. To make matters worse, terminology differs between continents and countries, adding even more to the confusion.

Today I was waiting for the laundry to finish, and grabbed the first book I could find, just to browse around for 5 minutes. The book that landed in my lap, was A Knitting Adventure, by Dana Biddle from Colourspun.

If you are into knitting, this book is worth buying. And right now, it is a steal at only R99 at Takealot. The usual price is over R200. Even if you are not a knitter, the yarn information in this book makes it so worth the money!

Dana has some amazing information in this book, among other, a very helpful table on yarn weights! I got her permission to share it with you.

How’s that? I absolutely love this; the last column is the best!

Thanks Dana!

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The Leaning Square

I don’t think there is a crocheter alive, who hasn’t wondered about the leaning square at some point in time. This photo, courtesy of Christelle Botha, perfectly shows what I am referring to. The square, isn’t square! It is leaning over to the right hand side. Christelle is clearly right-handed. If this was done by a left-handed person, the square would have been leaning to the left.

The common advice given to prevent this from happening, is to “turn around every now and then, and crochet with the wrong side facing you”. But why?

To keep things simple, I will use notation for a half-double crochet (US) / double crochet (UK).

The official notation for this stitch, looks like this:

The diagram for a tiny swatch with this stitch, will look like this:

Be warned. This is very misleading. I wish I could change the entire world of crochet and use different notation. Sounds crazy right? Let me explain. Look at the photo below. I have indicated the stitch hole and the stitch post, of the last stitch made. If you look closely, you will see that the stitch hole, is slightly to the right of the stitch post.

The notation should actually look like this:

This is a much more realistic way of showing it. With this notation, you can even determine the direction in which the crochet should be done. The diagram below not only gives the pattern, it also indicates that the piece should be turned around after each row!

So what does all of this, have to do with the leaning square?

Look again at the diagram above. The posts of the stitches are not on top of each other, yet because you are working back and forth, that slight movement, is corrected automatically. But what will happen if you continually crochet with the same side facing you? This!

BAM! You will have a leaning square!

To keep a square from leaning, you have to turn around EVERY round! Not only will your square be SQUARE, it won’t have a wrong or right side either. Unless you are like me. Then the last round will determine which side is the right side!

Pity I cannot change the entire world of crochet to use more realistic notations.

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