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. The purpose is to create whatever you want, without the limitations.
As a bonus, I'm using a variegated yarn to show you the interesting results you can achieve with taller stitches. For practice, use whatever size yarn and hook is most comfortable for you.
There is a solid rule of how a crochet stitch is made. For a moment, forget what stitch you are making, and consider what makes it happen.
All basic crochet stitches (excluding half-stitches) are created by pulling up a loop through a stitch, then you yarn over, pull through two loops, until there is only one loop left on the hook. The amount of times you yarn over before you begin the stitch determines what height it will be.
We'll cover the three most common basic stitches quickly:
Single crochet (sc) - 1 chain high. Do not yarn over. Insert hook into stitch, pull up one loop, yarn over, pull through both loops on hook.
Double crochet (dc) - 3 chains high. Yarn over, insert hook into stitch, pull up a loop, yarn over, pull through two loops, yarn over, pull through remaining two loops.
Triple crochet (tr) - 4 chains high. Yarn over twice, insert hook into stitch, pull up a loop. (Yarn over, pull through two loops) three times.
Then there is the less common five chain-high Double triple crochet (dtr), which requires three yarn overs. Although its use has been documented, this stitch is often left off the list of basic stitches.
As you can see, each basic stitch increases one chain in height with each extra yarn over. So what is stopping us from making a stitch any height we want?
Get out your calculator, you'll have to do some complicated math to figure this out...
I'm kidding, relax. The simple, magical formula to make a stitch in any height is:
(Number of chains high - 2) = Number of yarn overs.
How do you figure the starting chain? Once you have worked the number of chains needed, chain the amount equal to the number of chains the stitch is high. This counts as your first stitch. Add one to the number you just chained, and that is how many chains away from the hook you will begin.
(Starting chain + stitch height) = Total number to chain
(Stitch height + 1) = Number of chains to skip for beginning stitch
And to make sure you are completing the stitch correctly, count the number of steps you make to complete the stitch, beginning with the first loop pulled up. The number of steps will be the same as the number of chains high the stitch is.
I would love to complete such a stitch, just to say "I did it", but I don't have room to yarn over so many times on a regular hook.
I just finished designing a cowl using a stitch 10 chains high, but I don't know what to call the stitch in the pattern. I considered using metric prefixes, calling it the "deca-stitch", but then what would you call a stitch 20 chains high? A double-deca? Spoken aloud, it sounds silly to me. Maybe you can help me decide.
What is the tallest stitch you can accomplish? Would you give these stitches names or just label them by height? I would love to hear comments or see pictures of your results.
To make a stitch 10 chains high:
The formula is 10 - 2 = 8, so you will yarn over 8 times.
Insert hook into designated stitch, pull up a loop.
*Yarn over, pull through 2 loops*
* 3 times
Now you've completed a stitch 10 chains tall, twice the height of the double triple.
20 - 2 = Yarn over 18 times.
Yarn over, insert hook, pull up a loop.
*Yarn over, pull through 2 loops*
It takes some practice, especially for a beginner. When I first began experimenting with these stitches, the top of the stitch would be twice as wide as the bottom, because the loops at the back of the hook would loosen as I worked the stitch. Originally, I assumed tighter tension would be better, but I was wrong. I found it best to keep my tension slightly loose when I yarn over, which becomes more difficult with each additional loop. Experiment, practice, hone your skills, and change the way you think of crochet.
Can these stitches be utilized in everyday crochet? Would you use taller stitches in a project? What would you make?