Join a New Yarn with Standing Crochet Stitches

Standing Double Crochet
Standing Double Crochet
Standing Double Crochet

A standing crochet stitch allows you to join a new yarn or a new color invisibly.  The technique is easy as pie, even for beginners. Once you see it, you’ll never go back to “join with slip stitch, chain” again!

Read on for more information and how to work standing single crochet, standing double crochet, and standing half double crochet. Scroll to the bottom of the page for the video tutorials.

What is a standing crochet stitch?

A standing crochet stitch is just a term for any stitch that has started “in the air” rather than from a previous stitch. You simply begin with a slip knot on the hook, then make the stitch called for in the pattern.

You can use standing stitches anytime you would otherwise join the yarn with a slip stitch, then do a turning chain or build-up chain to reach the level of the current (or new) row of stitches.

Why “standing”?

While the technique itself has been around for a long time, a lot of crocheters don’t know about it. In patterns, the instructions would be “Join (yarn) with sc in first st,”, or “Join (yarn) with dc in first st.” They were just telling you to do this standing stitch technique.

When I was writing Beyond the Square Crochet Motifs, my research didn’t turn up a a generally accepted term for the technique, so I called them standing stitches because they stand on their own without relying on a turning or build-up chain to connect them to the piece in progress.

I think that, by labeling the technique and having it become commonly used, we can help spread the information to crocheters everywhere.

Standing Single Crochet

Standing single crochet
Standing single crochet

To work a standing single crochet, begin with a slip knot on the hook, then work a single crochet into the stitch or space indicated in the pattern, as follows:

Standing single crochet step 1
Standing single crochet Steps 1 & 2

Step 1: Begin with a slip knot on the hook.

Step 2: Insert hook into first stitch.

Standing single crochet Step 3
Standing single crochet Step 3

Step 3: Yarn over and pull up a loop. Continue reading “Join a New Yarn with Standing Crochet Stitches”

How to Crochet Tower Stitches

First complete Tower Stitch

Tower Stitch Granny Square Tower Stitches are combination of extended double crochet stitches and regular double crochet stitches. Together, they present as a nicely pointed triangle of stitches, as you can see on this Tower Stitch Granny Square. I’ll show you how to crochet tower stitches on a swatch and give you a couple of ideas of how to use them.

I’m using American crochet terminology throughout. Follow the step-by-step instructions here, or scroll on down to the video.

This post contains affiliate links.

Tower Stitch Swatch Stitch Diagram

How to Crochet Tower Stitches

Single crochet rowBegin with a row of single crochet stitches with a multiple of 3 stitches + 2.

Location of first stitchStep 1. Chain 3 (counts as dc), skip 1 stitch, work an extended dc into the next stitch.

Extended double crochet, pulling through 1 loopExtended dc (Edc) : Yarn over, insert hook into stitch indicated, yarn over and pull up a loop, yarn over and pull through one loop (this creates a chain at the base of the stitch), [yarn over and pull through 2 loops] two times. 
Extended double crochet with arrow showing location of hook

Step 2. Double crochet into chain at base of extended double crochet, as follows:

Inserting hook into chain at base of EdcYarn over, insert hook straight through the chain from front to back (you’ll be inserting the hook under two loops), yarn over and pull up a loop, [yarn over and pull through 2 loops] two times.

First complete Tower StitchStep 3. Double crochet into same chain at the base of the extended double crochet.

Continue to follow the chart or watch the video to complete your swatch.

Designing with Tower Stitches

Tower Stitches can be used in crochet blankets, scarves, and even granny squares—just about anywhere!

Chemo Caps & Wraps cover imageYou can see Tower Stitches used in the Summer Sorbet Cap and Wrap on the cover of Chemo Caps & Wraps.

Mod Retro Afghan from "Unexpected Afghans"
(c)Joe Hancock

I used the Tower Stitch in my Mod Retro Afghan which appears in Unexpected Afghans: Innovative Crochet Designs with Traditional Techniques.

Now that you know how to crochet them, where will you use Tower Stitches?

Want to learn more interesting stitches? Take my in-person class “(You Want Me to) Put My Hook WHERE?”

Check out my Workshop Schedule for where I’ll be teaching next.


Books Worth a Look

Most of us begin the new year by looking forward, but I’m starting 2018 by taking a look at two knitting and two crochet books from 2017 which I never got around to reviewing. If by some chance you missed hearing about these, now’s your chance to find a new recommended title. These are keepers.

Stackpole Books, Interweave, and Fallingblox Designs provided copies of these books for my review. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own. This page may contain affiliate links, which help support me but don’t cost you anything extra.

Mosaic & Lace Knits Barbara Benson

Mosaic & Lace Knits

by Barbara Benson

I’m a huge fan of mosaic knitting. I love color, I love pattern, and I love how slip stitches can make simple knitting into something spectacular. I’m a fan of simple lace, as well. But when I heard about Mosaic & Lace Knits, I thought, “Huh? Can you even do that?” The answer is a resounding YES! Using her innovative techniques, designer Barbara Benson shows us how to meld slip-stitch knitting and simple lace techniques into fascinating accessories.

I’ve been lucky enough to see some of the projects up close, and they are truly eye-catching. I also met Barbara in person last summer, and I think I may have squeed just a little bit over her work.

Who It’s For: Intermediate knitters up for a challenge. Experienced lace knitters and mosaic knitters looking for their next project will be sure to find something here to fascinate.

If you want to try out basic mosaic knitting first, check out my Mosaic Knitting class on Creativebug.


Double or Nothing Alasdair Post-Quinn

Double Or Nothing

by Alasdair Post-Quinn

Let’s just get this out of the way: Alasdair Post-Quinn intimidates me a little bit. Not because he’s the least bit scary or mean—he’s a gentle, soft-spoken unassuming guy— but because his mad skills when it comes to double-knitting just blow me away.

In this self-published sequel to his first book, Extreme Double Knitting, Alasdair takes us where no one has gone before, presenting in-depth double-knitting techniques along with colorful patterns that are truly stunning. He provides many step-by-step technique photos, and nice large charts to help you on your way. Running throughout the text are sidebars of Alasdair’s “Craftstory”; his life story (to date) is so interesting and so different from mine that I read it all the way through, flipping from page to page, before I started the knitting portion of the book.

Double or Nothing Waterford CrossingI have seen some of the 14 jaw-droppingly lovely projects in person and all I can say is, if you are a knitter looking for a challenge, Double or Nothing is well worth your time.

Who It’s For: Experienced knitters. As the book’s subtitle says, this is “Reversible Knitting for the Adventurous”. You may also want to look into Alasdair’s Adventures in Double Knitting class on Craftsy**.

If you aren’t yet ready for “adventurous” double knitting, check out my Double-Knitting Workshop on Creativebug.

Top-Down Crochet Sweaters

Top-Down Crochet Sweaters

by Dora Ohrenstein

How did I miss bringing this one to your attention when it came out? <head smack>

Dora gives us 14 fashionable and flattering patterns that any crocheter would be proud to wear. Many crocheters shy away from making sweaters, but with top-down sweaters, there’s no need to be afraid. You can simply try on the sweater as you work and make adjustments for fit along the way. You’ll learn about choosing yarn and stitch patterns, what makes a wearable fabric, and how to adjust the patterns for a perfect fit.

Who it’s For: Intermediate and advanced crocheters who want to make attractive, fashionable garments.

Dora also wrote The Crocheter’s Skill-Building Workshop: Essential Techniques for Becoming a More Versatile, Adventurous Crocheter. If that one’s not on your bookshelf, it should be.


Step into Crochet Rohn Strong

Step Into Crochet

by Rohn Strong

Step Into Crochet is the book that everyone has been asking me about, when they ask me to recommend a crocheted sock book. Rohn provides clear and complete information on crocheting socks that fit, the basics of sock construction, and variations on heels, toes and cuffs. Knitters have had this information readily available for years, but until now we’ve been lacking a resource specific to crocheted socks. The eighteen sock patterns can be modified to fit your foot and ankle, and there are plenty of options for colorwork and texture to keep things interesting.

Who It’s For: Beyond-beginner crocheters who want comfortable socks that fit.


**Coupon Details: Get 25% off the full retail price of any Craftsy class. Excludes classes from our special Mastering in Minutes series as well as from our partner, The Great Courses. Cannot be combined with any other coupons. Expires March 29, 2018.

Review: Make Money Teaching Crochet

Marie Segares provided a copy of Make Money Teaching Crochet for my review. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own. This page may contain affiliate links, which help support me, but don’t cost you anything extra.

One of the questions I get asked most frequently is: How did you get started in your career?

There are many variations on this question, but the meaning behind all of them is the same: How can I do what you do? The answer, of course, is multi-faceted, but there are some resources you can use to turn your hobby into a money-making venture. One of these is Make Money Teaching Crochet.

A Success Story

Marie Segares Crochet and knitting teacher Marie Segares has turned her passion for yarn into a second career. As a blogger, she shares tips and projects on the Underground Crafter blog. As a podcaster, she hosts the Creative Yarn Entrepreneur Show, which focuses on the many aspects of having a yarn-related business. In Make Money Teaching Crochet, she offers a workbook-style approach to launching a teaching business.

Asking and Answering Questions

Written in a comfortable style, each section contains explanatory text. Depending on the format you choose (see below), you may have space to fill in your own answers on  blank lines and tables.

A series of questions helps you get started. Begin with examining your short-term and long-term goals, your technical skills, and your organizational and presentation skills.

Move on to the business of teaching, an admittedly less interesting aspect of teaching for many of us, but a crucial one if you are trying to make money. (Note the book title. Making money is why you are reading the book.) Have you considered how you are going to get paid? How much? What are your refund and cancellation policies? What about self-employment taxes? Marie takes you through each step.

The third section focuses on marketing your classes to your target audience, while a fourth section covers prepping for class. The final section, Resources, is full of helpful links to help get your crochet business off the ground.

The book comes in a number of formats and price points. You can get it as a Kindle ebook or Kobo ebook (without the worksheets), a printable edition with worksheets (the version I have), or as a pdf version with customizable worksheets.

Who Needs This Book?

If you have been considering teaching, or if you are already teaching a fiber craft, you’ll find Make Money Teaching Crochet a helpful exercise. Just be sure to actually do the workbook exercises to get the full benefit! Students currently enrolled in the Craft Yarn Council’s Certified Instructor Program may find it a helpful addition to their studies.

And don’t be mislead by the title! You can use the information here for any yarn-related craft class. If you want to teach knitting or weaving or whatever, there is a fount of information here. The workbook-style exercises allow you to use the book over and over again as your needs, interests, and teaching skills change.

Although I’ve been teaching crochet and knitting for years, I found the workbook a good review and check system. There were some questions that made me think outside my current box, and others that assured me that I’m on the right track. It also gave me some good ideas of new things to try.

Pros: Helpful exercises for all fiber arts teachers at many stages of their careers, as a jump-start, reality check or refresher course. Comes in a variety of formats and price points.

Cons: Unfortunately, I found the serif font used throughout the book difficult to read for long stretches. This may not be a problem for those with younger eyes, or those reading in digital format, but presented a challenge with my paper copy.

Additional Resources about Teaching

Craft Yarn Council Certified Instructors Program

Listen to the bHooked Crochet podcast, where Jenny Besonnette, Executive Director of the Craft Yarn Council and I talk about the program, or watch it on YouTube.

Crochet Guild of America Master of Advanced Crochet Stitches and Techniques

Craftsy class:

How to Teach It Craftsy Class
Coupon Details: Get 25% off the full retail price of any Craftsy class by clicking on the image above. Excludes classes from our special Mastering in Minutes series as well as from our partner, The Great Courses. Cannot be combined with any other coupons.