Sunday, June 8, 2014

Free Pattern: Deca-Stitch Lacy Cowl 2.0

  When I made the original Deca-stitch Lacy Cowl, I noted a few minor difficulties in the pattern. First, being made with thread, it took longer to make than I thought it would. Next, it was slightly difficult to work the extended stitches into the beginning chain with even tension. Lastly, every row seemed to take forever to complete, because the extended stitches require more time to form.

  I wanted to recreate the project to make the beginning chain easier, and speed up the process of creating the cowl. By changing to a worsted weight yarn and adding a few rows of double crochet, I completed the new cowl in a few spare hours over the weekend.

  The result is a bulkier, satiny version of the original pattern that makes a bold statement without overpowering. The large open spaces created by the Deca-stitch produce an airy fabric still suitable for a summer accessory.

  Size before joining is 34" (86 cm) wide, 5 3/4" (14.5 cm) tall. Finished size is 6" (15 cm) wide, 16" (40.5 cm) long, as worn.

Skill level:


Hook size H/8 - 5.00MM

Needle or smaller hook to weave in ends

Caron Simply Soft acrylic yarn, less than half a skein

  I used color Limelight, in honor of my good friend Don, may he rest in peace. His favorite color was Grabber Green. They don't sell yarn in engine paint colors, so it was as close as I could find. Hope you like it, Pops.

In 4" x 4" (10 cm x 10 cm)
2 rows of 10 deca-stitch, or 8 rows of 10 double crochet

Pattern is worked in rows and joined into an infinity cowl when adding the border.
Use yarn tail to weave closed gap left when joining.

Click the stitch description for a step-by-step tutorial if you need any help.

Chain (ch)
Single crochet (sc)
Double crochet (dc)
Deca-stitch - Yarn over eight (8) times, insert hook, pull up a loop. (Yarn over, pull through 2 loops) 9 times.


To begin, ch 88.

Row 1:
1 dc in 4th ch from hook, 1 dc in each of remaining 83 chs. (85 dc)

Row 2:
Ch 10 (counts as 1 deca-stitch), turn. 1 deca-stitch in each of remaining 84 dc. (85 deca-stitch)

Row 3:
Ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), turn. 1 dc in each of remaining 84 deca-stitch. (85 dc)

Row 4:
Repeat Row 2.

Row 5:
Repeat Row 3

To make border and join:
Turn, sl st into space directly after st (post sp), ch 2 (counts as 1 sc, ch-1). (1 sc, ch 1) in next 83 post sps. Bring work around to join, flip 1 time. (1 sc, ch 1) in each of next 84 bottom post spaces. Join with a sl st to beg ch-1. Bind off, leave enough tail to weave gap shut, weave in ends.

Friday, May 30, 2014

How to: Bobbles, Clusters and Popcorn

  Popcorn, clusters, and bobbles, oh my! All of these stitches are close in nature, and have a similar effect, but what's the difference? Each one is typically made with a combination of five stitches. Besides yarn weight and gauge having a factor in the size of the bumps, extra stitches can be added to create more texture in each stitch. The placement of the stitches are what change the result. Follow along to learn how to create each of these three-dimensional stitches, or maybe just to brush up on your technique.

  Have you ever been confused by the names of each of these stitches? I'm guilty of it myself. When creating variations of these stitches, I often label them incorrectly. The single crochet "bobble" I used for the Bobble and Chain baby blanket is actually a cluster!

  So, this is my attempt at redemption for my mistake. Forgive me and accept your new knowledge with my humblest of apologies.

This tutorial will:

  • Teach you the differences between the bobble, cluster, and popcorn stitches.

  • Help you understand which stitch to use in your own patterns.

  • Guide you with step-by-step photos of how to make each stitch.

  • Show you how to use each stitch in your own patterns.

  • Provide an extra lesson on the "Ball" stitch

  Let's begin! Use whatever size hook and yarn will be most comfortable for you, or if you are practicing for a specific project, use the materials your pattern calls for.

  I'm using the same amount of stitches for every practice piece, so if you would like to begin again for the next example, you won't have to redo your starting chain. Each piece begins and ends every row with a double crochet (chain 3 for beginning dc).
  Chain 17 for the number of stitches, plus 3 for the first double crochet. Begin in the fourth (4th) chain from the hook.

Bobble stitch (bo):

Worked all in one space, this stitch creates a nearly symmetrical bump almost like a half-sphere in your fabric. Commonly five double crochet are combined to complete the stitch; more stitches can be added for a bump with more density.

Regardless of the number used to make a bobble, it will only equal one (1) stitch when complete.

For bobbles to stand in the same direction, a return row will need to be made. A bobble can be made every row when working in the round, or in rows for a double-sided fabric.

To begin, yarn over, insert hook in next st. Yarn over, pull up a loop.

Yarn over, pull through 2 loops (1 half-closed dc).

(Yarn over, insert hook in same st, pull up a loop. Yarn over, pull through 2 loops) 4 more times

(5 half-closed dc).

Yarn over, pull through all loops on hook.

To complete the row, I made (one dc in the next st, beginning the next bobble in the following st) 7 more times, 1 dc in the last st.

Cluster stitch (CL):

Very similar to how the bobble is made, this stitch is worked across multiple stitches, creating a triangular or teardrop-shaped raised area. Like the bobble, the cluster is usually completed with five double crochet.

This is another one-direction stitch. A return row will need to be worked, unless making a double-sided project or working in the round.

The cluster will reduce your stitch count by four (4) for each stitch made, becoming one (1) stitch when complete. To continue without a count reduction, four (4) stitches need to be added for each cluster made.

To begin: Yarn over, insert hook in next st, pull up a loop,

yarn over, pull through 2 loops (1 half-closed dc).

(Yarn over, insert hook in next st, pull up a loop, yarn over, pull through 2 loops.) 4 more times.

(5 half-closed double crochet)

Yarn over, pull through all loops on hook.

Popcorn stitch (pc):

The most versatile of all, the popcorn stitch can be worked backwards, so that it can be used every row when crocheting back and forth. This creates a bump very similar to the bobble, but with much more definition.

When worked with five (5) stitches, the three (3) middle double crochet of the stitch will be hidden, making it difficult (almost impossible) to work into. The first and last of the double crochet are workable, meaning the popcorn equals two (2) stitches.

See later how to turn this stitch into a free-standing ball by adding more double crochet.

To begin, make 5 dc in the next stitch.

Remove hook, insert in top loops of 4th st from dropped loop (first of 5 dc) from front to back.

Pick up dropped loop, pull through.

To finish the row, make one popcorn in every other stitch (skip 1, 1 pc). End with one (1) dc.
To make the stitch "pop" to the back of the fabric, after removing the hook, insert from back to front in the 4th st from dropped loop (1st of 5 dc).

Pick up dropped loop, pull through.

"Ball" Stitch:
I know I've seen this somewhere before, but after much searching, I still can't find a name for it, so I label it for the shape it makes. Maybe I'm not searching correctly. Maybe it really is called the "ball" stitch. Whatever it is, enjoy learning it.

This is simply the popcorn stitch made with ten (10) double crochet, then joined with a slip stitch. Use for jewelry and button making.

Chain a desired number of stitches (I made 17), plus 3 more for first double crochet.

Yarn over, double crochet in 4th chain from hook,

Make 8 more dc in same st.

Remove hook, insert in 9th stitch from hook, from back to front.

Pick up dropped loop,

pull through stitch.

Slip stitch in stitch or around post space directly across from current loop.

You can continue with the chain to create as many more as you like by repeating the steps.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Free Pattern: Deca-stitch Lacy Cowl

  A light, lacy cowl can be a great accessory for your Spring and Summer wardrobe. Made with cotton crochet thread, this light and breezy cowl could be a bright addition to a blouse and jacket, or worn to dress up a simple tank.

  Using the "deca-stitch", an extended stitch, this pattern creates a uniquely lacy fabric while simply working in straight rows. A few turns and a twist change a rectangle into an infinity cowl while adding the border. 

  Pattern before joining is about 37 inches (94 cm) wide, 4 inches (10 cm) tall, as worked. Finished size after joining, as worn is 17 1/2 inches (44.5 cm) long, 4 inches (10 cm) wide. Simply add more rows to the pattern for a bulkier cowl.

Skill level:


DMC Traditions size 10 crochet thread color 5109, or any size 10 crochet thread in your choice of color.
Steel crochet hook size  7 US (4 UK)
Needle or smaller hook to weave in ends


4" x 4" (10 cm x 10 cm) = 4 rows, 16 sts


Need help with the deca-stitch? Click here for step-by-step photos.


Chain (ch)
Single crochet (sc)
Deca-stitch - Yarn over 8 times, insert hook into stitch, pull up a loop.(Yarn over, pull through 2 loops) 9 times.


To begin, chain 140.

Row 1:

Yarn over 8 times, complete deca-stitch in 11th ch from hook. 1 deca-stitch in each of remaining 128 chs. (130 deca-stitches)

Row 2:

Ch 10, turn. 1 deca-stitch in each of next 129 sts. (130 deca-stitches)

Rows 3 and 4:

Repeat row 2. Do not bind off.


Sl st into post sp after last st, turn. Ch 2 (counts as 1 sc, ch-1). (1 sc, ch 1) in each of next 128 post spaces. With work flat, flip 1 time. (1 sc, ch 1) in each of next 129 bottom post spaces. Bind off, leaving enough tail to weave gap closed. Weave in ends.

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