Herringbone chains are naturally sleek, strong, dense and flatter than regular crochet chains. This makes them as useful for functional reasons as for decorative ones. They twist up less than regular chains. This type of chain stitch has the same structure as the decorative military bugle cord that knot tyers traditionally make. They have a single bugle, double bugle, triple and more; we’ll learn how to crochet all of these!
This handy new crochet stitch resembles fishtail braids and soutache cord. When crocheted very loosely, it also looks like nålbinding.
Herringbone-Chain cord experiments with beads, stitch size, color & fiber changes.
Flickr photo album for this class. A great way to see class material at full resolution, and an array of new uses and variations. I use stitch albums like this one for my own reference. I’m continually creating swatches and photos to add to this album.
Still need to register for this class? Register with CGOA. This is a NEW two-hour class held online over two days: Wednesday, May 18 & Thursday May 19, 2022 at 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm Central Time. Registration closes 5/15/22 or when the class is filled.
For this project class I’ll be posting some tips, like the two swatches below, to help you choose your yarns, color/texture combinations, and crochet hook size for the kind of project you want to make.
This is no ordinary stitch pattern! I’ve just sent out a crochet newsletter (issue #105) about it. So, along the way I’ll be including some crochet theory and construction method aids. Bookmark this page and check back.
Original Zegue on the left, original Ziggy Vest on the right, Rhianrhod beaded bracelet in the center.
Like the Zegue Wrap is a riff on the Ziggy Vest, the name Zegue is my riff on the name Ziggy. Both refer to the zig-zaggy ripple stitch pattern I used for both and which was a unique look for Tunisian Crochet. (Maybe still is, in its lacy way?) I pronounce Zegue zeg.
It’s a Self-Healing & Reversible Yarn Blender.
Zegue is self-healing when cut. In fact, Zegue is a great first-time experience with cutting crochet stitches. If you’ve recently taken Self Healing Stitches you’ve experienced the empowering freedom of this.
It also has extended stitches in both the forward and return passes. Extending Tunisian adds easy laciness, stretch, and shaping (such as the shells and clusters you might be able to see here). It’s even reversible enough that if you choose to use a double-ended crochet hook, you’ll get the same look with different color options!
Easily blend yarns of different weights and textures. The odd balls in your yarn stash will likely look their best in Zegue stitches.
The difference between these two chunky Zegue swatches is when you change color. For the upper swatch, I changed color at the start of a new forward pass. For the lower one, I changed color to begin each new return pass. You can tell by looking at where the beginning yarn end is when each color was first attached.
The upper one has a spike-stitch look because the new forward pass covers a return pass of a different color. I personally prefer the lower one because my eye travels smoothly along the wave pattern.
The Class Resources
Designs & Patterns
Zegue: in Ravelry (it’s a variation of Ziggy Vest, see #3 below)
Great steeking experiences with these patterns that use the main stitch in Zegue: Mesmer Veilspattern. Smokestackpattern.
Zegue Swatches, Zegue Tests
Flickr photo album for this class. This is a great place to see class material at full resolution, and to see an array of new pattern variations. Zegue itself is a fun variation of the Ziggy Vest. I love scrolling through stitch albums. I’m continually creating swatches and photos to add to this album.
Still need to register for this class? Register with CGOA. This is a NEW two-hour class held online over two days: Wednesday, April 27 & Thursday April 28, 2022 at 11:00am – 12:00pm Central Time. Registration closes 4/24/22 or when the class is filled.
A NEW class for 2022. This is a three-hour class that was held online for CGOA over two days: Tuesday February 1 and Wednesday February 2, 2022.
Extended Tunisian stitches bring new textures and flexibility to Tunisian Crochet, sometimes dramatically! With less yarn, and so little effort too. I’ve been exploring extended versions of standard Tunisian stitches for many years. Scroll down to see the Extended Tunisian Stitch Design Gallery.
Here’s why I do it:
Make quick progress on a big project, or with very fine yarn. Each row is taller.
Get more mileage out of a small pricy skein. An extended Tunisian fabric weighs less because extended stitches are a bit thinner.
It’s easy to add shells and other groups of increases wherever you like. This is not true of the most common non-extended stitches–unless you start the stitch with a yarn over, such as a Tunisian double crochet, which is a bit bulkier.
Do fine gradations of stitch heights: get the perfect row gauge as well as the stitch gauge stated in a crochet pattern. Make sloping rows for cool color effects. These are options we take for granted with regular crochet.
Many of these stitches are self-healing, meaning if you cut (“steek”) them later to make armholes or a head opening they will form their own safely bound off edge.
New mosaic–overlay–intermeshed types of colorwork with Tunisian get a boost from extended stitches. See my recent Embossed Stars post.
Makes Great Fabrics!
Eliminate the “Tunisian curl”–that annoying thing that happens when the edges of your work roll up while you’re crocheting more rows onto it. Crocheting lace avoids this curling, but extended Tunisian stitches work for dense, non-lacy patterns too.
Clothing fits comfortably. Extended Tunisian fabric has more flex, more drape, more stretch. Really thermal yarns, like mohair, alpaca, and Angora have room to expand and breathe.
The Class Resources
Extended Tunisian Stitches: Design Gallery
Rivuline ShawlPure Handspun AngoraExt Color-Pooled SilkInverse Ext Tunisian silk!Graven collar Ext StitchExtended St ChevronExtend + Shallow StitchesSuperfine Extended NetGlistening GlossDense or LacySelf-Edged Extended StWarm Embossed Ext Stars
Flickr photo album for this class. This is a great way to see class material at full resolution, and to see an array of new stitch patterns. I love scrolling through my stitch albums. I’m continually creating swatches and photos to add to this album so check it again!
Crochet class resources are always a mix of physical items (yarns, crochet hooks, class handouts, crochet designs) & digital links to patterns, videos, books, and other helpful references. Having one online page to list all of these things, with URLs to click, has been so helpful all around.
My crochet class resources are listed below as topic cards, from the newest to 2012.
DispLays in a three-column grid on desktop, and in one column on most mobile devices.
Not Just for Students
It saves the teacher (me) a lot of space in a printed class handout, and a lot of time while teaching. I can simply refer to the resource page URL for the class!
The class participant saves just one bookmark to revisit. (Sometimes I add more resources to a page after the class is over.) The resource page can also help people decide which Chain Link class to take when registration opens.
Tall Stitch Virtuosity is a new crochet class for 2020. I’ve discovered more than I imagined is possible about tall stitches! In fact, the official class graphic above is about six months old and already seems out of date.
Originally scheduled for the July 2020 Chain Link conference (an annual national event of the CGOA), Tall Stitch Virtuosity is now virtual. The traditional in-person conference is postponed until next summer. The virtual version is split into one-hour sessions over three consecutive days.
This is the first resource page I’ve created for a virtual class. At first I thought a virtual class wouldn’t need one. I started these pages back in 2012 to make online links easy to visit for an in-person event. I’m finding that I don’t want to load up the class handout (a PDF in this case) with what I think of as miscellany. Also, members might have a chance to visit this page over the three days of the class.
Jenny Guldin: “Most lists of the basic crochet stitches end with the triple crochet. Call it a new technique, or call it breaking the rules: I’m tired of being limited to the height of a triple crochet, and I’m not going to take it anymore! Why isn’t there a taller stitch? I’ve received varying answers from many crocheters, but I’ve never heard the suggestion “try it”. There are two basic points of view I’ve heard about the subject: It doesn’t exist, or, there’s no purpose for it. With all due respect, I have two responses: I’ve made it exist, and there is a purpose.”
CrochetSpot’s Amy Yarbrough: “These stitches are not very well known today because most modern crochet patterns do not use them. This begs the question, when are they used then? Perhaps the most I have seen these taller stitches used would be in patterns with crochet thread. Such as Irish Crochet Lace, crocheted Antebellum Dolls, and crocheted Doilies.”
Issue 102: Wild Whys of Y-Stitches
Crochet Inspirations Newsletter sent to 8,600 subscribers on June 13, 2020.
These semi-circles are crocheted of Y-shaped stitches. In each case I started with a quadruple-treble stitch (quad; in the UK and AUS I do believe it’s a quint). Yarn over 5x to begin one. After each completed quad I chained 2, then crocheted a shorter stitch into the side of the quad to turn it into a Y-stitch (Y-st).
I’m going to call the shorter stitch a branch that is crocheted into the taller one, or host stitch.
The Y-sts in these semi-circles vary from very deep (farthest left one) to very shallow (upper right). The longest branch, a triple treble (I yarned over 4x to begin it), is crocheted close to the base of its host quad. The shortest branch is a half double (hdc in the US, htr in UK/AUS). I crocheted it up close to the top of the quad.
Don’t you love how the lacy look changes just from this simple difference?
I also really love how Y-sts look when they radiate from a center. It’s what lured me down a rabbit hole of new delights.
Every stitch you see in this newsletter is my own new stuff.
Branched? “Rune” Stitches?
I searched 34 crochet books for these stitches (16 are stitch dictionaries and the rest are guides to crocheting). Of the 34, 14 at least mention X-stitches. Very few include Y’s and inverted Y’s, or really run with with any of them.
When I think of “Y-stitches” I picture a category of stitches that remind me of runes and ancient symbols!
The list above is about half of some old letters I’d like to try crocheting with branchy tall stitches. See my swatch of a few modern letters in Instagram. (These crazy B’s are for Braha and for Black, as in Black lives matter, and for Because of course they do.)
The first blue wheel above was inspired by ancient wedge-shaped cuneiform strokes. I see the green motifs as being Druidic wheels of seven “trees”. In fact, lately I see Y-stitches all over the place in nature!
My three favorite sources on these stitches: James Walters, Duplet magazines (Irene Duplet), and Sheruknitting videos (Elena Rugal). It’s not a stitch shape. It’s a way of thinking. Thank you so much James, Irene, and Elena!
I need to blog that. I have ideas for how to sort out the yarn overs, and make the most of them for motifs. Until then, I mention Y-stitches with a how-to link in my tall-stitch circles blog post. Also try some Sheruknitting videos.
Can you spot the Y-sts? And X-sts in the upper-right blue circle? Y’s are fabulous for reducing the number of tall stitches in round one AND for suavely doubling every stitch as required in round two.
Using tall stitches for circles is how I got here. I had no idea how practical and problem-solving Y-sts could be for crocheting circles—the taller, the better. They offer creative solutions and pretty options for tall-stitch circle crocheting!
OK One More Y-Why for Today:
Convert Two Rows into One
[This section got its own blog post a few weeks later; the light green swatch referred to is also pictured there.]
Sometimes, two or even three rows of a stitch pattern can be turned into one row, using using taller into-the-side stitches. Here’s a two-row shell-and-cluster stitch pattern (upper swatch) turned into one-row one lower swatch).
You can get more stitches to face the front this way. It also removes a “grid” effect caused by the connections between every stitch across a row. It fits in the “clever substitutions” category which is the topic of newsletter #92.
That grid effect adds structure to the fabric. Removing them adds more drape. So it depends on the yarn and project.
Vashti’s Crochet Shop
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