As I've been working m way through different afghan square patterns, I've learned several new techniques and stitches. While I've crocheted for most of my life, I generally don't gravitate towards projects that are highly textured. Like Practical Crocheter, most of the things I crochet are fairly practical and of my own design. I also like to play with color, and I don't like it when color and texture compete with each other. I use simple stitches that make fairly plain, usually smooth fabrics that have a good drape. The exception to that has been when I've played around with lace. Making afghan squares with lots of posting and popcorns is completely outside my wheelhouse, and that makes this project a real learning experience.
In the patterns I've used thus far, I've found three stitches in particular that I'm keeping in my repertoire for future use. The first two come from a square by Pam Knighton-Haenor, called Madux James. The third is from Floral Dimension, by Laurie Dale. Both patterns are free downloads on Ravelry.
First, this pattern made a really attractive lattice pattern early in the square using crossed trebles. I've used crossed double crochets before and really like that look, but this was a bit more elegant and mesh-like.
For this pattern stitch, tc2tog means (yo twice, insert hook in skipped st in the middle of prev tc2tog. Working only infront of prev tc2tog, draw up a loop, yo, pull through 2, yo pull through 2, yo twice, insert hook in st immediately after the second leg of prev tc2tog, draw up a loop, pull through 2, yo pull through 2, yo pull through rem loops on hook.
Crossed Treble Mesh: Ch2 (counts as first leg of first tc2tog), sk2, 1tc in 3rd st (counts as 1 tc2tog), (ch2, tc2tog) across. If working in the round, work final tc2tog so that the second leg is in the second stitch of the round and worked behind the starting ch2. If working in rows, end with ch1, tc2tog with first leg in the middle of prev tc2tog and second leg in the same st as the second leg of the prev tc2tog.
Since the legs of the tc2togs are not worked around each other, I can imagine working a couple rows of it in thread or a thin, smooth yarn, and then threading ribbon through both rows to make a pretty, but really easy, bookmark.
Second was Herringbone Half Double Crochet (hbhdc). The stitch glossary also included Herringbone Double Crochet (hbdc), but that didn't feature in the pattern iteself. Hbhdc differs from hdc or an elongated hdc in that it starts with a slip stitch.
Herringbone hdc: Yo, insert in next st, draw up a loop AND draw that loop through the first loop on the hook, yo, draw through rem loops.
The first few don't look like much, especially close up, but a row or more of them creates a subtle herringbone pattern that's quite nice. This stitch also does well to firm up preceding, looser rows, which is how it's used in the pattern where I found it.
Third are Treble Scallops. I found this technique in a different square pattern from the other two, and I can imagine multiple uses for it. As you can see from the pictures, it looks different when used as an edging from what it looks like in the middle of the fabric.
Treble scallops: Over a multiple of 4 sts, *Sl st in next st, ch 3 or 4 (it doesn't matter, since this is not a turning chain and you won't work into it later. I used ch 3, but the pattern said ch 4), 1 tc in the same st, sk3, rep from * across, ending with a sl st in the final st, or if working in the round, sl st in first sl st of rnd.
It makes pretty, small scallops when used as an edging, and I like how these look as an edging better than I like shell stitch. In the middle of a fabric, it almost looks like ruching. If you are using these scallops in a fabric, you work the next row in the slip stitches of the scallops and in the 3 skipped stitches of the previous row, working behind the scallops. If you don't want to work directly into the slip stitches, make the slip stitches in the front loop only, and then work those stitches in the next row in the back loop only.
Because these scallops have evenly spaced gaps where you skipped 3, this is a good stitch for creating spaces where you can weave in a decorative ribbon or add a drawstring.
This post has been linked to Busy Monday, Inspire Me Monday, Your Moment, Heartsie Girl, Wonderful Wednesday, Wow Me Wednesday, The Stitchin' Mommy, Thursday Favorite Things, Friendship Friday, and Fabulous Friday.