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Crochet has been long known, but it has only become a favorite with the fair votaries of the needle, during the last few years. It is very difficult to describe, though easy of execution, and can be applied to a variety of useful and ornamental purposes. It is most frequently adopted in working shawls, table covers, pillows, mats, slippers, carriage mats, and a great variety of other things of elegance and utility. Silk, cotton, and wool, are employed, and the work is so easy, that a moderate share of attention to details, will make an expert workman.

Stitches.—These are called plain single crochet, plain double crochet, plain stitch open crochet, and open crochet, with a variety of stitches. It is not easy to describe the manner of working crochet stitch, though it is easy of execution: perhaps the following will be found tolerably correct. Take a skein of wool, and having wound it, make a loop at one end, like the first link in a chain; through this draw another, and so on, until the chain is of the length required. Each must be made rather tight as it is drawn through its preceding loop. This forms the foundation, and the young worker may then proceed with the article she intends to make. She must pass the needle through the last loop of the[143] foundation, and catching the silk or other material from behind, draw it through and so proceed with every succeeding loop of the foundation, until the row is completed. Having thus formed the first row, she must proceed as before to form a second, and so on from right to left, and from left to right, until she has all the rows required. This is the most effectual way we know of for the learner to pursue and she will find that her work is the same on both sides, producing raised and depressed rows in alternate succession. In working she must not generally work backward and forward, but must finish each row separately.

Plain Crochet.—Make only one loop in each stitch. In making common purses in crochet, this is the stitch generally employed.

Plain Double Crochet.—Keep two loops on the needle before finishing the stitch. This stitch is more generally in use than any of the others described.

Plain Stitch Open Crochet.—This stitch is done in the following manner. To the last link of the foundation chain, crochet five stitches, which must be again crocheted in the fifth stitch of the chain. This is to be repeated to the foundation. The rest of the rows are to be done in the same way, attaching every fifth stitch to the centre one of each loop in the row preceding. This looks extremely well for purses, and it can be varied by employing two or more colors as taste or fancy may direct.

Open Crochet.—This stitch is difficult to describe; an attention to the following rules will, we hope, enable the reader to understand it. First make a chain of the length required for the foundation; then work one stitch plain, and bring the material round the needle, which must be passed through the first loop of the chain, through which bring the material, and you will thus have three stitches on[144] the needle. Through the two first of these the material must be drawn, which will leave two; through these the material must be again drawn, and that will leave one, through which you are to make one stitch plain, as at the commencement. You then put the material over the needle, and through the fourth link of the chain, and proceed as before. You will thus have one plain stitch between each two double ones, which will leave an open space.

Double Open Crochet.—This is a similar stitch, only the single stitch is omitted, and the two long stitches are made together, by passing the needle through the next loop without making a stitch. Thus you will have two long stitches and one open stitch in succession.

Treble Open Crochet.—This is exactly like the last, only making three long stitches, instead of two, before every plain stitch. It looks neat and elegant, and may have beads introduced, which produce a charming effect. The following directions will enable the novice to work with beads with freedom and accuracy. Thread the beads on a strong silk, and pass one on to the middle stitch of each of the three long ones.

This will, of course, place a bead in the centre of each square. Beads of various colors may be introduced, so as to form a diamond. A gold or polished steel one should form the centre of each diamond.

Double Stitch Crochet.—To work this you have only to take both meshes of the chain, instead of one, as in common crochet.

Plain Stitch Elastic Crochet.—Work backward and forwards, first taking one mesh of the chain, and then the other. The upper mesh must be taken first.

[145]Bead Stitch.—If you wish to work with beads, you must thread all you intend to use, before you begin to work. Then when you wish to insert a bead, no matter what the pattern is you are executing, you have only to pass a bead down to the last stitch you have worked, and to fasten it on by working the stitch as usual; but this will leave it on the wrong side; to prevent which, you must bring the crocheting thread to the front, having it on the fore finger of the left hand: by thus keeping the bead in front, and inserting the needle from the back of the stitch you are about to work, you can draw the thread through the back, and make the finishing loop in the common way: you will then find that the bead is on the right side.

Edge Stitch.—To work this stitch you are to draw a loop through the first stitch on the row, or on the round, if you work in rounds, then draw a second loop through the one last made. Thus the edge stitch is formed. It is of importance to attend to the regular working of this stitch, because if it is not done, you will lose in each row a stitch. On a round, it is not necessary to work the edge stitch; but when the work has to be turned to work round the contrary way, the edge stitch is indispensible.

A Raised Stitch.—Make this by passing the needle through, both meshes of the chain, and working two stitches instead of one, in the same space or hole.

To increase or decrease a Stitch.—In the former case, make two stitches in the mesh; and in the latter, take two stitches together as one, or miss one.

True Stitch.—This means to keep the stitches exactly over each other, when working in different colors, so as to conceal the half stitch. This must be done with care: and the more attention is paid to it, the more beautiful will the work appear.

[146]To fasten on or off.—The former is done by laying the two ends of the material contrary wise, and working a few stitches with both. The latter process is performed by drawing the material through the last stitch, which must be fastened at the back.

A Dividing Line.—The most general form is that of working two stitches up and down alternately, between the stripes in the groundings; but it can be varied according to taste.

What is called making a stitch, at the beginning and end of a row, means making one stitch of a chain before the first and after the last, which new stitches are to be crocheted in the succeeding row.

To Carry on a Thread in Double Crochet.—It is a very common thing to work a pattern in crochet, in more than one color; when this is the case, it is necessary that the colors, not required, should be so managed, as not to make loops, or stitches, at the back. To accomplish this, they must be worked in the following manner. Let the threads, that are not required, be laid along the fore finger of the left hand; and the crochet needle must be inserted in the usual manner, into the stitch; you are to let it go below the threads you are carrying on, and the thread with which you are working is to be drawn at the back, through the stitch, into which you inserted the needle or hook. Make the finishing loop as usual, which you carry over the threads, and pull through the two loops you have upon the needle. Thus you will make one stitch, and the process is to be repeated as often as your work requires it.

Joining the Threads.—In order that threads may be united neatly and properly, observe the following directions. Do not work up the thread quite to the end, but leave a small portion; then, on the fore finger of the left hand, by the end of the thread[147] you are about to commence working with, the end to be toward the tip of the finger, the ball will of course be toward the arm; work over it for about six stitches, proceeding as you do in carrying over the threads; then by the thread you worked with, but on the same finger, and continue with the thread you have last fastened on, and work over it, in the same manner, for about six stitches. The ends are then to be cut, and you work on as usual, with the thread just joined. This is the best method we know, of making the work appear neat, and, at the same time, of securing the required degree of fineness.

To Increase a Stitch in Crochet.—The process by which this is done, is as follows. First, make the stitch as usual, then work it again from the hinder or back part of the stitch. This prevents a hole, which would otherwise occur.

To take in a Stitch.—To do this, two stitches are taken on the needle at the same time, and you work them off as one.

We have given the fullest explanation of the various stitches in crochet, that our limited space will allow; and we hope that the directions are so plain that no one will be at a loss to comprehend their meaning. But we cannot promise any votary of this delightful employment, even tolerable success, unless she will assiduously apply her own mind to the various directions. “No one can become an expert needlewoman, who does not think, and think deeply, too.[148]


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