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.

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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.


How to Draw Crochet Symbols Using Adobe Illustrator

How to Draw Crochet Symbols

How to Draw Crochet SymbolsEveryone who draws crochet diagrams approaches them somewhat differently. In this post I share details with you about how I draw crochet symbols using Adobe Illustrator, and invite you to watch a video so you can work along with me.

How to Draw Basic Symbols

One of the questions that I get asked most often is how to draw symbols. I’ve recorded a video (below) that shows how I do it. You can follow along with your version of Illustrator, and pause the video as needed to keep up with me. Note that I use US terminology throughout. The symbols indicate the same stitch, but if you are in the UK you’ll notice that what I call a “single crochet” you call a “double crochet”.

Size Specifications

I find that starting with specific standards sizes helps me when I start to build my diagrams. The preferences and sizes that I used for the symbols are:

Keyboard increment .01″
General units Inches
1 pt black stroke, no fill
Ch dimensions .09″ wide x .03″ high
Sc dimensions .07″ wide x .09″ high
Hdc dimensions .09″ wide x .2″ high
Dc dimensions .09″ wide x .3″ high, hash .04″ wide
Tr dimensions .09″ wide x .4″ high, has .04″ wide

Symbols are Just the Beginning

Being able to draw the symbols is the easiest part of the process. Having a library of custom-made symbols is a good start, but you’ll need to understand how to use them and adapt them for each situation. That’s a much more complex topic. My method is a part of an ever-evolving process; as I learn more about the features of Illustrator and shortcuts that I can use to be more efficient.

If you are interested in learning more about drawing crochet charts, contact Edie for more information and to set up a customized tutorial to take you to the next level of crochet chart creation.

If you are already drawing charts successfully, please comment below; I’d love to have an exchange of ideas so we can learn from each other.

Read: In Search of Crochet Charting Software, Part 1

In Search of Crochet Charting Software, Part 2

Want to see how Edie can help you create your own custom crochet charts? Complete this questionnaire.

Every Which Way Crochet Borders: The Blog Tour

February is short, but it’s full of great things: Super Bowl Sunday, my husband’s birthday, my daughter’s birthday, Valentine’s Day, National Carrot Cake Day**, AND the blog tour for Every Which Way Crochet Borders!

Starting tomorrow, we’ve got a great line-up of bloggers here, including some from across the Atlantic! I was super-excited to discover a couple of new-to-me blogs, Rest assured that their readership has gone up by at least one this month.

Here’s a list of folks you’ll be hearing from in the next couple of weeks:

February 7: Cre8tion Crochet

February 8: Crochetville

February 9: Crochet Spot

February 10: Crafts from the Cwtch

February 11: Crochet Concupiscence

February 12: Fiber Flux

February 13: Moogly

February 14: The Stitchin’ Mommy

February 15: ELK Studio Handcrafted Crochet Designs

February 16: Felted Button

February 17: The Messy Brunette, My Hobby is Crochet

February 18: Not Your Average Crochet

February 19: The Twisted Yarn

February 20: Petals to Picots

February 21: Beatrice Ryan Designs

February 22: Underground Crafter

February 23: Crochet Guild of America (CGOA)

February 24; Jessie At Home

I’ll be sharing on social media each day, and I hope you’ll follow along and perhaps learn about some new-to-you blogs at the same time! You can follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

**February is apparently also the time we celebrate National Boy Scouts’ Day (February 8), National Clean Out Your Computer Day (February 13), and Susan B. Anthony Day (February 15).

 

In Search of Crochet Charting Software, Part 1

Granny Square for blog post(2)Question: What software do you use to draw crochet symbol diagrams?

I’m asked this about once a week, and more often than once a day at fiber events.

My Answer: Adobe Illustrator

The reaction to this response is almost always a sigh, a shake of the head, and a quick retreat with shoulders slumped. (Even if the question was posed online, I can hear the sigh and feel the disappointment.)

Why the universal sorrow? Because drafting crochet charts is not (yet) as straightforward as typing in a set of text instructions and having a program spit out a lovely finished chart. Instead, you have to understand crochet diagrams and the construction of the crochet fabric, as well as have the skills to draw the chart using a vector-based drawing program like Adobe Illustrator, which is pricy to purchase, or the free, open source Inkscape. It takes practice, and the learning curve can be steep.

Even among those who do have the requisite skills, their approach to drawing a crochet diagram varies, even when they are using the same software. Having studied this matter for some time now, I have even come to recognize certain telltale “signatures” that hint at which illustrator drew the diagrams for a particular publication.

I asked some of these folks to share examples of their work. What follows are variations of granny square-style motifs. They aren’t all the same motif, but they do offer a glimpse into the ways that individual diagram drafters put their own stamp on their work. Unless otherwise noted, all of these diagrams were drawn using Adobe Illustrator.

Karen Manthey_Granny SquareYou might recognize Karen Manthey’s work. Karen is a prolific tech editor and illustrator who works behind the scenes on many of the publications you are familiar with. Here’s an example of a classic granny square from Karen, with alternating black and blue rounds.

My granny square (shown above) looks a lot like Karen’s.

 

 

 

 

Lindsey Stephens Granny Square

Lindsey Stephens, designer and tech editor, presents a black-and-grey diagram. She can be found at www.poetryinyarn.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robyn Chachula_Granny Square DiagramRobyn Chachula, author of Vintage Modern CrochetBlueprint Crochet and other best-sellers, draws in AutoCad Lt then moves the drawing into Illustrator to create jpgs as needed. She’s a trained architect, so she uses the drawing program she knows best.

 

 

 

 

 

Joan Beebe_Granny squareJoan Beebe provides another classic granny. Look her up at ssknits.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charles Voth Granny SquareCharles Voth offers this variation on a granny square. He can be found at www.CharlesVothDesigns.ca. He also teaches a Craftsy class called See It, Crochet It: Reading Stitch Diagrams. Check it out!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Granny Square_Alla KovalAlla Koval draws diagrams for all of her designs. You can find her patterns at mylittlecitygirl.com.

But back to the original dilemma. Is there a software program that helps the ordinary crocheter draw stitch diagrams? In my next post, I’ll share a bit more on the subject.

Meanwhile, if you are drawing your own crochet diagrams, pipe up in the comments section and let me know how you are doing it!

For more on creating charts, read In Search of Crochet Charting Software, Part 2, and How to Draw Crochet Symbols using Adobe Illustrator.

Want to see how I can help you learn more about creating crochet charts? Fill out this short questionnaire and we’ll get started.