Tiny Slip Stitch Has Great Possibilities

Dora Ohrenstein has an insatiable curiosity about all things crochet. She is particularly interested in seeking out the origin of crochet, a quest that has brought her to far regions of the world. In 2009, she visited Bosnia to seek out the origins of slip-stitch. She did not find actual slip-stitch crochet there, but a photo of slip-stitch lace sent by a friend in Mostar encouraged Dora to continue her quest.

Dora shares all this history as well as basic slip-stitch techniques in Beyond the Basics in the Fall issue of Interweave Crochet. What you'll love about this piece is discovering the many ways that this most basic of crochet stitches can be combined to produce extraordinary textured fabric. To accompany the piece, Dora developed two hat patterns: The Acorn Cap (in the magazine) and the  Five-Spice Hat (available as a free download on CrochetMe).

I decided to give the Five-Spice Hat a try-out. So I began slip-stitching the brim. Working with a size P hook, I looped the yummy Misti Alpaca Tonos Chunky (50% alpaca/50% merino; color TTC01 Lord of the Reds). Then I looped it some more, making those simple slip stitches, one after the other. Just one more round, I thought, marveling at how quickly the fabric formed under my hands. How can that happen with such a short stitch? Oh, and look at what happens when I slip-stitch into the other loop! Just another round.

Just about an hour later, I held a finished hat.

It's that addictive.

 

 

 

Dora's quest brought her most recently to Tajikistan. Here's Dora, with a few words about her trip and what she found there:

I just returned from a trip to Tajikistan in search of the origins of
slip stitch crochet! 

The women who live in the Pamirs—a mountainous area that is part of the Himalayas—make stunning colorwork socks, called Djurabs, using slip stitch. They have been doing so for many generations, and photos of Djurabs appear in several books published in the 19th century.  The women spin and dye their own yarn and sell the socks to tourists, but in the old days, they were
worn and cherished as heirlooms. 

The sock at left is one sample of the old socks I saw while visiting the Pamir town of Khorog.

 

Aren't they gorgeous?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dora will continue exploring the origins of crochet and sharing her knowledge in the pages of Interweave Crochet. We're cooking up a follow-up to her slip-stitch story for a future issue.

Meantime, you can read about her adventures in her online magazine, Crochet Insider.

And you can continue to find in-depth articles on crochet history and technique in the pages of Interweave Crochet.

See you there.

Best,

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