Create Crochet Ribbing: Two Techniques to Explore
In crochet, ribbing can be used when stretch is needed, and it is essential when part of a garment, such as the cuff of a mitten, needs to expand and contract. Other times, ribbing serves no functional purpose and is used for decoration. In this article, we’ll discuss two techniques used to create crochet ribbing: complementary post-stitch combinations and nontraditional hook insertions.
In complementary post-stitch combinations, a bit of functional magic happens when you alternate front post double crochet (FPdc) and back post double crochet (BPdc) stitches across and then build on them row after row. Vertical columns form, and the fabric stretches and contracts horizontally. The surface area of the fabric remains the same, but when FPdc and BPdc alternate and build, they tend to scrunch up a bit next to each other like an accordion, and it’s this scrunching that creates the functional characteristics of ribbing.
Front or Back Loop Only
Changing where the hook is inserted into the stitch creates ribbing and stretch in crochet fabric. Traditionally, the hook is inserted into the top two loops of a stitch; working into the front loop only (flo) or the back loop only (blo) will have a great effect on the density and drape of the fabric. The fabric will be less rigid and therefore more fluid.
Can we combine techniques to really explore the effects of ribbing and density of fabrics? Can ribbing go both vertically and horizontally? The answer to both questions is yes, and the effects will produce a fabric that not only stretches in both directions, but also reinforces as it moves and supports as it contracts. Try it in the Every Way Ribbed Mitts by Lisa Naskrent in Interweave Crochet Winter 2018.
LISA NASKRENT is, at heart, a creator. She loves to combine techniques, especially cables and lace. Find more of her designs at www.crochetgarden.com.
Editor’s Note Learn more about crochet ribbing and check out the course Crochet Ribbing 7 Ways with Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby.