How to Crochet the Sea Tangle Jacket: Part 1

Have you seen the Sea Tangle Jacket by Jill Wright? This unique pattern is in the Interweave Crochet Winter 2015 issue, and it has received a great deal of attention.  The silhouette is classic, and I love the single fastener. But many crocheters have expressed the worry that this pattern is too difficult for them.

Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, this crochet sweater pattern is actually quite easy and definitely accessible. We invited the designer of the Sea Tangle Jacket, Jill Wright, to create a series of blogs for us. These blogs will help you from start to finish, from creating the half double crochet stitches that comprise the crochet fabric to the direction of work, adding the collar, and finishing.

Without further ado, here is Jill with Part 1 of How to Crochet the Sea Tangle Jacket.

 

In Turmoil Over Sea Tangle?

 

Do you love the look of the Sea Tangle Jacket, but think it looks too complicated, and that you couldn't possibly manage it? Well, think again! Seriously, it's worked in one stitch – only half double crochet, that 'in between' one – but, with this jacket it's all about where you place your hook to form that stitch! So, here I am to help you with some up close images so you can see exactly where you're going and get to work on this gorgeous jacket!

First of all, I want to let you know that the body and the sleeves are both worked sideways on a smaller hook, as you'll see from my graphics here. I chose to work it this way so that the faux knit stitches would run vertically, just as knit stitches do. The collar and edging is worked in the larger hook (for better drape), in the round, but you should turn after each round so that the stitch pattern stays correct.

 

You will find the pattern on pages 25 and 26 of the Winter 2015 issue of Interweave Crochet. As you look over the pattern you'll see that you begin with foundation half double crochet (fhdc). There are some great instructions on page 93 which show you exactly how to execute this wonderful stitch. I chose this one as a beginning base rather than chains, as the fhdc and other stitches with the 'built-in' foundation chain allow more stretch, flexibility, and fluidity when it comes to picking up and working on the edgings. I think you'll find it more evenly mirrors the last row at the opposite front edge too.

 
  Faux knit right side
 
Faux knit wrong side  

I want to show you a close-up of the front side and the back side of the fabric here. As you can see, the front side (RS) shows almost an open knit stockinette stitch or rib look, and the reverse side (WS) shows no knit look stitches, but rather a 'purl side' look.

Let's first look at how you get the stitch to look this way. If you flip to page 14 of your magazine, you'll see that there's another excellent tutorial on various half double crochet stitches. In this jacket you'll be using all of the first 3 you see on this page: hdc blo, hdc2tog, and hdc in horizontal bar (which I describe as hdc in bar below front loop), but, it is the same stitch formation.

 

So, how about we check out the anatomy of an hdc stitch? When you look at the image I have here of the RS & WS of an hdc row, you'll notice a few subtle differences. The RS looks quite smooth, with a diagonal twist from low right the high left. The holes where you would usually place the hook are clearly visible directly beneath the 'chain' strip along the top of the row.

Now, take a look at the WS image – this looks quite different. Here we see a tiny 'v' at the bottom of the stitch, a 'horizontal bar' above, then comes the 'chain' strip along the top of the row, but the usual stitch holes are quite invisible here. Now, this 'bar' across the stitch is where the hook goes under from bottom to top in order to form each stitch on every WS row, Using this bar to work the stitch 'flips' the chain (which runs along the top of the row over) to the front side which forms a faux knit stitch column (hdc in horizontal bar, or bar below front loop).

 
Hdc in the back loop only (blow)

Now, if you go back to the RS image, if you look at the topmost edge of the stitch (the chain look along the top), the section of that stitch farthest from you is named the 'back loop', being on the back side of the fabric, and that's the loop you work into for every RS row stitch (hdc blo).

 
  Hdc in horizontal bar below front loop

Working into the back loop here forces the horizontal bar on the back side of the previous row and the front loop onto the front of the fabric, again forming a faux knit stitch column. I've included a couple of images here, so you can see clearly where the hook is going for each of the stitches I just described.

— Jill Wright

Start your own Sea Tangle Jacket!

How to Crochet the Sea Tangle Jacket: Part 2

How to Crochet the Sea Tangle Jacket: Part 3

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