Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Avoiding Stiff Crochet

Working in front loop only.

Many folks feel that crocheting produces a very stiff fabric, which can be uncomfortable to wear and gives a less-than-desirable drape. If you’re in this camp, then read on!

I discovered that working in only the front loop or the back loop of the base stitch increases the flexibility and drape of a finished item. My grandmother used this approach, but she never explained it to me--I just noticed that we were doing the same thing. Also it helps to use a hook that is larger than the yarn label recommends, for making a flexible crocheted fabric. This is very important for the Gypsy Turban in Crochet pattern, to provide the right amount of drape.

Of course, the first row usually has a length of chains as the base, so there’s no front or back loop. But subsequent rows of single-crochet, double, etc. will present two top loops, which are usually both worked through. Using just the front or back loops for a row helps the stitches move easier as the finished item is worn or draped. It also produces a nice-looking ridged texture in the work.

Working in back loop only.

For crochet tips and variations on the Gypsy Turban in Crochet, see:
Scrappy Gypsy Turban
Novelty Yarn-Trimmed Turban
Tying Off After Joining
Slip-Stitch Join

7 comments:

  1. Thanks for this hint. I just finished a cowl that could have benefitted from this approach.

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  2. Also someone suggested to soak in fabric softener

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  3. Very well written! This helps tremendously! Thank you!

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  4. I am so glad to finally find out a way to make my blankets and scarves look like they should without being sooo heavy.

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  5. Do you mean you use this method throughout the entire piece or just at the beginning of the work?

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