Discover Bosnian Crochet
You have probably heard of Bosnian crochet, though perhaps you know of it by one of its many other names, including Dutch knitting, shepherd's knitting, pjoning (Norwegian), smygmaskvirkning or påtning (Swedish), gobelinstitch (Danish), or schaapherderssteek (Dutch). This traditional slip stitch technique is not well known in the United States, but has long been a traditional crochet technique in many countries throughout the world.
Bosnian crochet is a slip stitch crochet method in which slip stitches are worked into either the front loop only or back loop only to create a thick, warm fabric. Worked primarily in the round in wool yarn, this stitch was traditionally used to make mittens and hats in climates with cold winters. The traditional Bosnian crochet hook has flat hook at one end, a wide handle, and was generally handcrafted from fishbone, wood, or even old spoons.
More than just a warm fabric, Bosnian crochet's beauty is evident in the creative use of this one stitch. Working slip stitch alternately in a pattern of front loop only and back loop only stitches creates beautifully subtle texture and patterning. You can see a simple example of this texture in the hat band of the Bosnian Twist Hat (below) in the March/April 2012 issue of PieceWork.
Colorwork was also very popular. Unlike tapestry crochet, which is worked in single crochet over the unused yarn, the examples of Bosnian crochet I have seen stranded the unused color on the wrong side of the piece. Many of the simple colorwork patterns seen in knitted garments were also used with Bosnian crochet.
Thankfully, this beautiful technique is currently experiencing new popularity. You can find Bosnian crochet hooks online or use your traditional crochet hook to create this traditional fabric yourself. You can also find patterns in historical as well as fashion crochet publications.
You can find out more about Bosnian crochet in the March/April 2012 issue of PieceWork. Subscribe to PieceWork today to learn more about traditional crochet techniques as well as knitting, quilting, tambour, embroidery, and more.