Knitting and crochet are two distinct crafts, and there are many knitters who have no interest in learning how to crochet. However, there are times when combining knitting and crochet together in one piece can produce fantastic results, and there are a few crochet techniques that can prove invaluable to knitters.
Occasionally, patterns in The Knitter incorporate small crochet details, such as edgings, trims or cast-offs. To a complete beginner these techniques might seem daunting, but most are very simple. Here we will go through the basic stitches and a few simple edgings which could be used to give your finished projects that little something extra. All of these edgings can be worked into a knitted edge, working into the existing stitches.
Note that although our step-by-step photos show these stitches being worked into crochet fabric, the same concepts apply when working with knitted fabric.
We also use UK crochet terms throughout.
Working a chain (ch)
This simple crochet step forms the basis
of crochet stitches and will make the foundation row. To start, make a slip knot and secure it onto your crochet hook.
1 Hold the hook and yarn end in your right hand, and the working yarn in your left hand. Move the hook under and over the yarn to wrap it around anti-clockwise.
2 Pulling the hook towards the knot, and catching the yarn in the hook, pull it through the loop. This forms the first chain stitch. Repeat steps 1 and 2 to form a chain.
3 This is what your row of chains will look like. Hold the chain with your right hand near the hook, to keep the tension. Keep going until you have the number of chains stated on your pattern.
4 Each chain or loop counts as one stitch. Do not count your slip knot or the loop on the hook. For accuracy, make sure the chain is not twisted and that the front is facing you - this looks similar to knit sts on the RS, while the back resembles purl bumps.
Working slipped stitches (ss)
5 You can make a slip stitch in any chain or stitch, to join stitch this to the working loop on the hook. To make a slipped stitch simply insert the hook into the stitch instructed, from front to back.
6 Catch the ball end of the yarn with the hook, so the yarn wraps anti-clockwise around it (yarn round hook or yrh).
7 Gently pull the hook and the yarn wrapped around it back towards the two loops on the crochet hook. Draw the yarn through both the loops on the hook.
8 This will finish the stitch, and you’ll see how the slip stitch has joined the working loop to the chain or stitch you inserted the hook into. You can also use slip stitch to form a neat edging.
Next week in part two of our crochet guide we'll look at simple stitches and edgings, plus more detailed edgings, and the crochet cast-off.
To read more of our knitting masterclass guides, click here.