Miriam is a knitter who crochets. Amy is a crocheter who knits. We both came to crochet first, as children, and we both learned to knit about fourteen years ago. We share an appreciation for the inherent beauty of both knitting and crochet. Miriam loves lace and designs intricate patterns that enthrall knitters with their form and flow. She's designed over two dozen shawls including two published here on Knitty. Amy designs crochet garments that combine fit and wearability with captivating constructions. She has a particular fondness for hats. Amy naturally picks up a hook when she's thinking of designing something new, and Miriam reaches for her needles, but we each enjoy the challenges of both knitting and crochet.
The Ripple Effect
One of the magical consequences of letting your crochet and knitting play well together is the opportunity to experience the varying properties of two techniques in one yarn and project. Kestrel, the yarn chosen for the Crane Hill Tank, is a beautiful 100% linen yarn with a knitted construction. There's another fun interaction for you: with every stitch you crochet in Kestrel, you're crocheting something that's already been knitted (albeit by machine). Kestrel turned out to be a wonderful yarn to introduce another classic crochet stitch: the ripple. Knitty's editor, Amy, thinks that crocheted ripple stitches are like an addictive drug without any drawbacks...the definition of wanting to do just one more row.
Ripple stitches have tons of variety -- they can be open and lacy, or solid. They can sharply zig zag, or undulate gently like the one Miriam uses in Crane Hill. Ripples are created by a repeated increase and decrease pattern. If you've knitted old shale or feather and fan, you've knitted a version of a ripple stitch.
Increases and Decreases
Here's how to work the increases and decreases in Crane Hill's ripple pattern.
2dc into same stitch: If you've been making grannies along with us, you've already increased in double crochet. To work the Increase in the crane hill pattern, work 2 dc in the next stitch of the row.
Decreasing 2 sts together:
Work one dc as usual
Then work a second in the same stitch from the previous row
2dctog: The decrease will work these two stitches together.
yo, insert the hook into next dc, pull up a loop, yo, pull through 2 loops (this is the first half of a dc)...
yo, insert hook into next stitch, pull up a loop, yo, pull through 2 loops.
Now you have the first half of a dc times two.
yo pull through final 3 loops.
Ripples and Ridges
Part of what gives Crane Hill the texture it has is the fact that each new round is worked into only the back loop of the previous round. If you look at the top of a row of double crochet, you'll see what looks like a row of chain stitches. Typically a stitch is worked by inserting the hook under both of those chain loops, Working into the back loop means inserting the hook only into the loop of each hook furthest from you. You'll notice in the photos above that those stitches are worked into the back loop.
Something from Nothing
So far, every pattern we've created for this column has begun with some variation on a chain ring: a very small circular start. Traditionally, crocheted fabric that's worked flat or in large even rounds like Crane Hill begins with a foundation chain. Traditional foundation chains have inherent rigidity. In some places (perhaps a shoulder or the opening of a bag) that rigidity has function, but often, the foundation chain (just like the cast-on) becomes the least elastic part of a project. With Crane Hill, Miriam wanted the foundation of the garment to have more stretch, so, she used foundation double crochet (fdc).
Foundation double crochet builds stitches across your foundation (first) row without a chain. It's a kind of "linked" stitch because each of these foundation stitches is joined at the bottom of the previous stitch instead of worked into a chain or existing fabric. (Sometimes, fdc is called "chainless foundation," but it's not really chainless: the chain stitches are just made one at a time for each dc instead of beginning with a long chain.) Another benefit is that just like it's easy to twist your cast on when you join in the round, it's easy to twist the foundation chain when it gets very long. The fdc avoids this.
To create a foundation double crochet:
First FDC: Ch 3 (this will count as a dc, just as your chain up in a granny square counts as a dc)
Yo, insert hook in to 3rd chain from hook, pull up a loop (3 loops on hook),
yo, pull up a loop loosely, (1 ch made)
yo pull through 2 loops, yo pull through 2 loops (1st fdc made).
All subsequent fdc: Yo, insert hook into chain made during last stitch
(at the bottom of the previous stitch.)
If you've made the chain too snug it can be hard to get your hook in. If that's the case, pull back until that point and redo the chain more loosely.
Pull up a loop (3 loops on hook), yo pull up a loop (1 ch made)
yo, pull through 2 loops, yo, pull through 2 loops (this is a dc).
by Miriam L. Felton
Miriam was teaching in Florida when she was struck by the beauty of the sandhill cranes. Those cranes inspired the name of this tank which she designed in the round in crochet for the bodice, then divided and knit for the front and back of the arm and neck shaping. Amy was thrilled with the name because those same sandhill cranes make a visit to Alaska each fall and spring signaling the change in seasons.
Crane Hill is a wonderful dip of your toe into the warm waters of crocheting a garment. You'll practice your increasing and decreasing skills without worrying about sizing and shaping in the crochet part of the garment. The small bit of positive ease in the tank means the crochet fabric falls gently and can be a great summer shell or a layering piece in cooler months.
PATTERN NOTES [Knitty's list of standard abbreviations and techniques can be found here.]
Ripple Stitch: Working only into the back loop of the previous round, ch3, dc in same st as ch3, 3dc, dc2tog twice, 3dc, 2dc in same st, (2dc in same st, 3dc, dc2tog twice, 3dc, 2dc in same st) to end, sl to join round.
Instructions for grafting with Kitchener stitch can be found here:
With crochet hook, using the Foundation Double Crochet (fdc) (see article), work 120[144, 168, 192, 216, 240, 264] dc, then sl to join in the round, being careful not to twist the edge.
Work 23[24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29] rounds of Ripple Stitch. Do not fasten off.
Transfer final loop to the knitting needle and pick up one stitch through the back loop of every crochet stitch from the last round. 120[144, 168, 192, 216, 240, 264] sts. Place marker for beginning of round.
Rnd 3: K to last 1[2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] sts; stop here.
Split front & back Rnd 4: *BO 2[4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14] sts (removing BOR marker as you do so), k until you have 29[34, 39, 44, 49, 54, 59] sts on the needle, pm for neck split, k29[34, 39, 44, 49, 54, 59]; rep from * once more. 58[68, 78, 88, 98, 108, 118] sts each on front and back.
Front/Back are worked flat and worked the same. You can place the first half of the round on a holder while you work the back half first. Turn your work ready to start a WS row.
Row 1 [WS]: Sl2 wyif, p to end. Row 2 [RS]: Sl2 wyib, ssk, k to last 4 sts, k2tog, k2. 2 sts decreased. Row 3 [WS]: Sl2 wyif, p to end.
XS, S sizes only:
Work 4 rows as follows: RS Rows: Sl2 wyib, k to end.
WS Rows: Sl2 wyif, p to end.
All sizes: Proceed to Neck Shaping.
Neck Shaping XS, S, M sizes only: Row 1 [RS]: Sl2 wyib, k to 4 sts before marker, k2tog, k4, ssk, k to end. 52[58, 66, -, -, -, -] sts
Row 2 [WS]: Sl2 wyif, p to marker, remove marker. Attach a second ball of yarn at this point, to divide for neck. Continuing with new ball of yarn, sl2, wyif p to end.
Note: From this point your fronts will be worked separately with two balls of yarn. You can work on them at the same time on the same needle. 26[29, 33, -, -, -, -] sts for each side.
L, 1X, 2X, 3X sizes only: Row 1 [RS]: Sl2 wyib, ssk, k to 4 sts before marker, k2tog, k4, ssk, k to last 4 sts, k2tog, k2. -[-, -, 74, 84, 94, 104] sts.
Row 2 [WS]: Sl2 wyif, p to marker, remove marker Attach a second ball of yarn at this point, to divide for neck. Continuing with new ball of yarn, sl2, wyif p to end.
Note: From this point your fronts will be worked separately with two balls of yarn. You can work on them at the same time on the same needle. -[-, -, 37, 42, 47, 52] sts for each side.
Row 3 [RS]: Sl2 wyib, ssk, k to last 4 sts before marker k2tog, k2. SWITCH TO THE OTHER SIDE & YARN. Sl2 wyib, ssk, k to last 4 sts, k2tog, k2. 2 sts decreased each side.
Row 4 [WS]: Sl2 wyif, p to end. SWITCH TO THE OTHER SIDE & YARN. Sl2 wyif, p to end.
1X size only:
Repeat Rows 3-4 once more. -[-, -, -, 38, -, -] sts for each side.
All sizes: Next Row [RS]: Sl2 wyib, k to 4 sts before marker, k2tog, k2. SWITCH TO THE OTHER SIDE & YARN. Sl2 wyib, ssk, k to end. 1 st decreased each side.
Next Row [WS]: Sl2 wyif, p to end. SWITCH TO THE OTHER SIDE & YARN. Sl2 wyif, p to end.
Repeat these last 2 rows 13[13, 16, 16, 17, 21, 24] more times. 12[15, 16, 18, 20, 23, 25] sts remain for each side.
Place shoulder stitches on holder or spare needle and place the other half of body stitches on the needle. Attach yarn at armhole edge ready to start a WS row and repeat Front/Back for second half of stitches.
With WS together, join shoulders with Kitchener stitch. Weave in ends (don't forget to join the chainless foundation) and block. Don't be afraid to beat up the linen yarn a bit in the wash. It will help to soften it and relax the stitches.