POW: Alterknit Goes Crochet
One day many months ago, the people of crochet corner were sitting at our desks, writing blog posts and making magazines. All of the sudden, a large box of swatches walked past us. They were the coolest swatches we’d ever seen. “What are those and where are they going?” we asked. Those swatches, dear crocheters, were the 200-plus colorwork samples that were going to become the Alterknit Stitch Dictionary by Andrea Rangel. We pulled out the swatches then and there and sat down to crochet. Yes, Alterknit is a knitting book, but that didn’t stop us. After all, Andrea said, “My goal was that people would use the book for their own creativity.” So that’s what we did.
This week, instead of sharing one pattern of the week with you, we’ll share 200! (Well, 3 of the 200; you’ll have to get the book to see the rest.) This is the story of some determined crocheters making a really awesome knitting book work in their craft. Crochet corner is making Alterknit go crochet, and we’re just getting started. Use our adventures as a starting point, and then start getting creative with the rest of the colorwork patterns.
Dana Bincer, associate editor for Love of Crochet, made the Skull and Crossbones pattern into a drink cozy using Paintbox Yarns Simply Chunky in her favorite colors, black and pink. The color pattern is worked into a repeat in the book, but Dana separated it out into one pattern without repeats. She worked single crochet in the round with the tapestry crochet color-changing method. She doubled the number of stitches needed to make the skull and crossbones and worked the skull in pink on one side, leaving the other side black. It turned out pretty great!
Susanna Tobias, project editor for Interweave Crochet, Love of Crochet, and PieceWork, chose the squirrel pattern from Alterknit to make a coaster. Like Dana, she removed the repeat and worked a single squirrel on his own. Rather than working in the round, Susanna worked all right-side rows by joining the yarn on the right-hand side and binding off after completing a row on the left-hand side. To avoid weaving in lots of ends, she opted to keep the fringe as a design element. She used Brown Sheep Lanaloft Worsted in yellow and Plymouth Encore Worsted in brown.
If you think Susanna’s swatch looks like knitting, you’re not wrong! She made her single crochet stitches look like knitted stitches by working a center single crochet through the center of the stitch rather than the top of the stitch. This also helped keep the stitches on top of one another and prevented the slanting you usually find in traditional crochet stitches. Pretty cool, huh?
I grabbed some Red Heart Yarns Size 3 crochet thread I had on hand to work the Mediterranean pattern in repeat. I made sure I chained a multiple of the color repeat, then I joined it in the round with a slip stitch. I worked a round of regular single crochet at the beginning and the end to create a border and then worked extended center single crochet using the tapestry crochet method. Extended center single crochet was easier for me to work than center single crochet (the stitch Susanna used) because it is easier to fit your hook into the correct part of the stitch. I really love how it turned out.
You may notice that we all worked either in the round or right side only rows: this helps the color stitches line up a bit better so you can see the color pattern. You may also notice that we all used a different kind of stitch, which is one advantage of working colorwork patterns in crochet—you aren’t limited to just knits and purls. Knitted colorwork is cool, but the possibilities for crochet are nearly endless!
How will you make Alterknit Stitch Dictionary work for crochet? Let us know in the comments!
Associate editor, Interweave Crochet
Alterknit Stitch Dictionary and Crochet – It Works!