The Versatile V-Stitch
If you’re just starting out on your lace crochet journey, there’s no better stitch to start with than the versatile V-stitch. It’s a fantastic everyday lace stitch that’s easy to learn and it has a great structural foundation from which you can develop your skills. It’s lovely and functional no matter what size yarn or hook you use, and can become a cozy thermal layer or a wispy accessory.
How to Crochet the V-Stitch
The fundamental structure of the V-stitch is two stitches worked into the same space with one or a few chains worked between them. The number of chains between the stitches and the height of the stitches will determine how open or airy your lace fabric will be.
One chain, paired with shorter stitches like single crochet, will create a fairly dense, nearly solid fabric. Without the tall stitches to add drape, or the chains to add openness, this version of the V-stitch may not even be immediately recognizable as lace. But it still has some of lace’s properties, and it’s a great fabric for thermal garments or accessories. The small open eyelets will store warm air like insulation. Try this variety of V-stitch for sweaters, cowls, scarves, and blankets.
Three or more chains and taller stitches make for very open work. The taller stitches, such as treble crochet, flow like happy, yarny willow boughs, and the open spaces between them make the fabric very light and ethereal. This is the perfect fabric for stoles or shawls, as it’s more suited to elegance than warmth.
Two chains paired with medium stitches, like a double crochet, create a balanced fabric. The fluff of the yarn and the puff of the open space are in perfect harmony. The resulting fabric has enough of a stitch matrix to be a garment, but enough laciness to be a decorative accessory. It’s the best balance of warm and flowy. This is what was used to make the stole pictured above from Love of Crochet Fall 2017.
Creating Drape with Different Hook Sizes and Yarn
Other elements also play a role in the lace’s characteristics. The size of your yarn and hook, and the fiber content of the yarn all contribute to the look of your finished piece.
At one end of the spectrum, a fine laceweight yarn in a drapey fiber like silk, bamboo, or rayon has the maximum natural drape. If worked with a larger hook, with tall stitches and more chains, your lace will be as wispy as a spider’s web. But because of its properties, this fiber can be worked with a much smaller hook and still retain very lacelike qualities. Silk laceweight yarn worked on a tiny hook, even with taller stitches, will create a very warm and elegant fabric.
Fingering-weight yarn in a nylon/wool blend has lots of natural structure, so to get drape from it, you might want to use a larger hook or taller stitches with more chains. Tightly worked wool and nylon, while warm, won’t have the flow of the looser fabric—which might be useful for pieces that benefit from those properties, such as hats or autumn sweaters.
Worsted wool also has lots of structure. In order to get a flowy fabric with worsted wool, you’ll have to balance the stitches with lots of open space. At that gauge, it’s ideal for shrugs and lightweight cardigans. When worked more densely with a smaller hook, it creates a lovely stretchy, thermal fabric that works very well as a more flexible alternative for single crochet or half double crochet.
Cotton yarn is a very good friend to the V-stitch. Worked tightly, it could be a rug or a basket. Loosely, it can be anything from a bridal veil to a market bag.
Incorporating Other Stitches and Colors
Because V-stitch has such a simple structure, it lends itself well to insertions of other stitch patterns, so it acts as an excellent backdrop for lace stitch samplers and exercises. If you’re looking to practice your lace stitchery, working a long V-stitch stole with sections of more elaborate work will result in a gorgeous Bohemian accessory in addition to valuable knowledge. The stitch, with only one row that is repeated as many times as you like, also works up quickly so it’s a useful tool for short-notice gifts (or long-notice gifts left for the last minute).
Try it with colorful stripes for a bright, modern look, or in white cotton thread for antique charm. The stitch suits all styles and is easily adapted for nearly any use. Working with it is quintessential creative crochet play—perfect for the stitch experimenter looking to learn or design their own piece from scratch.
Grab your yarn—any yarn, and hook—any hook, and have some fun exploring the versatile V-stitch.