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 Fortune-Teller 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 Fortune-Teller Turban in Crochet, see:
Scrappy Turban
Novelty Yarn-Trimmed Turban
Tying Off After Joining
Slip-Stitch Join


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

  2. Also someone suggested to soak in fabric softener

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

  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.

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

  6. Ivebeen crocheting foryears and this explains very well the mistake I was making Thabk you. Also the hint to soak in Fabric softnr and do rinses was also helpful.