Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Learn to Crochet - Lesson 7 - Afghan Stitch (zig zag)

Learn to Crochet - Lesson 7 - Afghan Stitch (zig zag)
And now for your final lesson. How to make the pattern that makes the zig-zag pattern in afghans.

You will start with a chain that is at least 1.5 times as wide as you want your afghan to be. The extra length will be taken up once the zigs and zags start forming.
For my example, I wanted to make 2 zig-zags with 9 Single Crochet stitches on each ascending and descending part of the zig or zag or "V". You need 1 extra stitch at the top to work THREE stitches into. And, you SKIP 2 extra stitches at the bottom to make the work start climbing back up again. So, for each full "V" shape, I will need 9+1+9-1. I like to leave a little wiggle room, so I make 44 Chains.
Once you calculate how many chains you will need, and you have finished the chains, lay them down on the floor (or a table) and form fake zig-zags to see if it looks about right to you. Remember -- you will need about 1.5 more length to your chain than what you really WANT the size to be when it is finished.
When you are finished with your chain, turn around and skip the first Chain (as always) and do 9 Single Crochet stitches. Into the next Chain (the 10th) do THREE Single Crochets into that ONE (the 10th) Chain stitch. After making those 3-in-1 stitches, make 9 more Single Crochet stitches into the next 9 Chains. Now you are ready to form the bottom of a "V" by SKIPPING 2 chains. Just finish your 9 and then ignore the next 2 Chains. Now do 9 Single Crochets and you are at the top of the "V" again. Do 3 Single Crochets into ONE Chain and then continue with the 9 Single Crochets down to the bottom of the "V" and SKIP 2 Chains.

Skipping the 2 stitches on the down side of the V:

3 Single Crochets in ONE stitch to form the up part of the V:
Continue this same way until the end of the FIRST ROW. Add your 1 additional Chain stitch to turn around.

Now, things change a little. You can see that you have been adding 2 extra stitches by making the TOP of the "V" - right? Well, now you need to do a little Math in your work and subtract back OUT those two extra stitches. If you forget, your sides will be SUPER CROOKED!!! LOL!

Here's the math: (Do NOT apply this to the first row you work on the Chain row. Do that first row as above.) On the second row, and all following rows, start with the extra chain at the end of the finished row. Turn around and do 2 or 3 Single Crochets, then SKIP 1 of the stitches (you just subtracted 1 of the 2 extra stitches). Work your way across the entire row (in my case, 9sc, 3sc in 1, 9sc, skip 2, repeat). When you get to the very last part (the final 9 Single Crochets), do 7 of the 9 and then SKIP 1 stitch and do the remaining 2 Single Crochets. You have reached the end and can now add the extra Chain and turn back around. Make sense?

The logic is that when you do the inside zigs and zags, you are doing the proper math by adding 2 extra stitches in the top where you do 3 in one hole, and then removing 2 stitches at the bottom of each zig zag. But. at each side, you need to remove one stitch. Therefore, you skip 1 stitch at each side before adding the extra Chain stitch and turning around.
After you do about a billion rows (remember the addictive quality of crocheting! LOL!) you will do these steps without even thinking about them or having to count them. Your work will just flow and you will be in that meditative state.

That ends this course on learning to crochet! I hope you are crocheting!! Send me email with any questions, and send me photos of what you work on!! I would really LOVE to see.


1 comment:

anne said...

Hi Holly
thanks for the detail! I have a couple questions though...
1) my sides look like they are missing stitches meaning they look crooked. I guess once I get past the first 10 rows or so it'll look straight.

2) where specifically do you skip the 2? because my holes where I skip are all over the place. I guess I really have to keep count on the stitches and can't eyeball it.