A long, long time ago … in a galaxy far, far away … NO!
That's not it!
Well, maybe it feels like it because I've had the striped tricot scarf completed for more than a year but, despite promises and a few teasing pictures, never got around to blogging about it properly … until now.
|A pair of tricot hooks|
|"Workshop Scarf" in tricot stripes.|
Made by Jodiebodie
This "workshop scarf" began in May 2015 at the Adelaide Stitches & Craft Show where Prudence Mapstone (of freeform scrumbling fame and Knot Just Knitting) was conducting a "Pop-up Class" on how to use a double-ended crochet hook to create her "Horizontal Striped Scarf".
I'm always keen to participate in classes–there's always something new to learn–and even if I am familiar with the technique on offer, one can always use extra opportunities to practice skills; plus, it is fun to meet other crocheters and discover more than one way to achieve an effect.
I immediately recognised Prudence's technique as tricot.
I have never known one technique to have so many nicknames.* Perhaps that is because it has elements of both knitting and crochet.
It involves casting on stitches one row at a time and then casting them off, just like knitting; yet the stitches are worked with a hook, just like crochet. This is unlike regular crochet which can be worked one stitch at a time in any direction, not necessarily in rows.
|Two different bamboo tricot hooks|
Top: long single-ended straight 4 mm hook;
Bottom: short double-ended 6 mm hook.
Ordinary tricot hooks resemble long knitting needles except they have a crochet hook at one end instead of a point.
Some tricot hooks have a cable attached to accommodate long rows of stitches–the overflow can slip off the hook and rest on the cable which has a stopper on the end to hold the stitches securely and prevent them from dropping off.
|9 mm bamboo tricot hook with a cable|
A double-ended hook is especially useful for colourwork because it allows one to easily work with two different colours at a time without the need to cut yarn between colour changes or carry floats (loose strands) along the edges. The other benefit of a double-ended hook is that it can produce a truly reversible fabric as displayed in my scarf.
|The double-ended hook makes a reversible fabric with neat, matching edges.|
|9 mm 'cro-hook'|
I did some experiments to compare double-ended tricot with single-ended tricot. I used Cleckheaton Country 8 ply wool which was thicker than the 5-ply (sportweight) used in the scarf. Therefore I chose to use a thicker 9 mm hook for my experimental samples instead of the 6 mm used for the scarf.
My only 9 mm double-ended hook was not in bamboo but anodised aluminium and 35 cm long! This one was Boye brand and marketed as a 'cro-hook'. The pointy heads of smooth aluminium slipped through the woollen stitches very easily but the length of the hook made it heavy and cumbersome for the short crochet rows in my samples. I would recommend choosing a shorter hook whose length is more suitable to the task.
Each sample used the same striped stitches where each stripe is made up of one forward pass and one reverse pass: 6 stripes of basic tricot stitch (marked with the orange lines) and 6 stripes of the scarf's pattern stitch.
Example A: double-ended tricot hook.
Each colour feeds to a separate end which makes fewer tangles between the source yarns.
The basic tricot stitch (simple stitch) looks unusual because the work was turned at every colour change to swap hook ends.
In Example A, one can see the right side of the dark stitches and the wrong side of the light stitches. In the bottom (marked) section, we can see the back of the white reverse pass' horizontal chains.
This reversible property works perfectly for the scarf's pattern stitch (top, unmarked section) which allows one colour to dominate while the other sits in the background as an accent colour. In this way, the scarf can be mainly green with red accents on one side or mainly red with green accents on the other!
Turning the hook to swap working ends also helps to control the bias of a tricot pattern stitch. Bias is when the crocheted fabric or pattern stitch has a diagonal lean. More discussion of bias in the next example.
Example B: single-ended tricot hook.
All the yarn colours in Example B feed from the same edge. Often there will be floats along a side edge when using regular tricot with a single-ended hook. Floats are unworked strands that get carried behind the stitches or rows until they are ready to be worked again. They can be tidied by twisting them around each other as they are raised to the next row but one needs to be careful not to tangle strands or have loose strands protruding too far. One option is to contain floats by working a border around them but that adds an extra step to the work.
The bottom (marked) section looks like the familiar grid-like simple stitch that is commonly called 'afghan stitch'.* Use of different colours for the forward and reverse passes creates a 'tweed' effect. In these examples, I swapped colours at the start of the reverse pass.
Some pattern stitches lean quite heavily towards one edge and that is true of the scarf's pattern stitch.
In the scarf, the bias was controlled by swapping the working ends of the hook after every pair of reverse and forward passes. When working with a single-ended hook, the control of bias takes a bit more work such as alternating the position of the first stitch of the row–requiring careful observation of row counts–or heavy blocking.
The single-ended hook method also produces mismatching row ends. The left-hand edge of the sample looks different to the right-hand edge of the sample. Compare photos of the scarf which has row ends that look alike.
|Reversible ends of the same scarf. Top view shows the edges of each row looking neat and tidy.|
Prudence Mapstone's "Horizontal Striped Scarf" was designed to practice the double-ended hook technique with two different coloured yarns. More information about the project can be found in an earlier blog post Adelaide Stitches & Craft Show (9 May 2015). The pattern was basic and produced a long rectangular strip of fabric. The short ends were straight and plain, inviting embellishment.
When in doubt, 'put a fringe on it'! That's one of my favourite mottos so I chose to add a fringe full of curlicues. I love them because they are bouncy and fun and make me happy!
|A fringe full of spiral curlicues for fun and frolic.|
I love this fringe, the way the curlicues spring and bob, and how they intertwine to give a 'ruffled' look when worn up high, close to the neck; so warm and soft!
|The pattern stitch and fringe create interesting textures.|
The tactile nature of this scarf makes it a pleasure to wear.
|A favourite way to knot this scarf.|
The curlicues were all intended to be the same length and they have all been created with the same number of stitches. Some of them are more 'springy' than others, so the spirals that are more 'tightly wound' appear shorter than the others.
Perhaps there were inconsistencies with my tension as I made them or could there have been a factor in the yarn itself? If you have had experience with curlicues, I'd be keen to receive your opinion.
|Two balls of Frog Tree 'Alpaca Sport'|
(100% alpaca 5 ply yarn)
and the beginnings of my scarf.
I did enjoy working with this Peruvian 'fair trade' yarn which was produced by a women's not-for-profit cooperative and made of 100% alpaca fibre.
|Green is the main colour on one side|
and red is main colour on the other side
or this reversible tricot scarf.
|A simple scarf knot.|
My wardrobe was lacking a scarf in green but I also wanted one in a deep plum or maroon. I loved both colours equally so decided to put them both together!
Now the double-coloured scarf from a double-ended hook does 'double duty' and gets a lot of wear.
|Being silly and having fun|
with my striped, tricot, curlicue, scarf!
If there were a cartoon 'thought bubble' above my head
in this photo, what do you think it might contain?
* Tricot is also known as:
- Tunisian crochet
- afghan stitch or afghan crochet
- idiot stitch
- shepherd's knitting
- Scottish knitting
- tricot ecossaise
- railway knitting
- Tunisian knitting
Keep smiling, learning and having fun
but most of all, keep crocheting!
Links, References & Resources
Sellick, Michael, "Railway Knitting Workbook: the Journey Continues", online article, The Crochet Crowd, 18 May 2015: http://thecrochetcrowd.com/tunisian-knitting/
Fanton, Darla, Reversible Scrap Afghans with the Double-Ended Crochet Hook, book 1331, American School of Needlework Inc., ISBN 1-59012-009-4, ASN Publishing, 1455 Linda Vista Drive, San Marcos CA 92069, USA, 2003.
- Formerly www.asnpub.com, this is now Annie's Publishing: http://www.annies-publishing.com/
|Tricot can also be used to create lace |
as demonstrated by this scarf.
Pattern: 'Ewetopia Scarf'
by Prudence Mapstone
- Information about their yarns (including 'Ewetopia') can be found at Island Wools: http://www.islandwools.com/pages/frog-tree-yarns
Some of the yarns have been taken up by other businesses. Sadly, the 'Alpaca Sport' yarn used in my scarf has been discontinued.
Mapstone, Prudence, Knot Just Knitting, web site: http://knotjustknitting.com
- Pattern instructions: "Horizontal striped scarf, created using a double-ended hook" 2014.
Johnson, Kathleen Power, "Using Color in Tunisian Crochet" Interweave Crochet, Special Issue, 2004.
Ravelry project page (Jodiebodie): http://www.ravelry.com/projects/Jodiebodie/prudences-horizontal-striped-tricot-scarf
Wilkins, Dela, Railway Knitting, e-book [PDF], Knotty By Nature (KBN Fibres), Canada, 2012.
- Dela Wilkins has published a new version entitled Railyway Knitting Workbook: The Journey Continues, ISBN 978-1-4602-5789-0 hardcover, 978-1-4602-5790-6 paperback, 978-1-4602-5791-3 e-book; FriesenPress Inc., Suite 300–990, Fort Street,Victoria, BC, V8V 3K2, Canada, 2015: http://www.friesenpress.com/bookstore/title/119734000017172790/Dela-Wilkins-Railway-Knitting-Workbook
Related Posts on Lupey Loops
|More of the springy curlicues.|
"Adelaide Stitches & Craft Show", 9 May 2015: http://lupeyloops.blogspot.com.au/2015/05/adelaide-stitches-craft-show.html
"What Do Trains Have to Do with Crochet?" 16 April 2015: http://lupeyloops.blogspot.com.au/2015/04/what-do-trains-have-to-do-with-crochet.html
"Two Elephants", 25 October 2014: http://lupeyloops.blogspot.com.au/2014/10/two-elephants.html
|An example of the 'basic' tricot stitch.|
It makes a fabric with a grid-like pattern
–the perfect ground for cross stitch.
This sample used an intarsia technique
to create the 'E' (for 'Elephant')
This stitch is also known as
Tunisian simple stitch (Tss)
or afghan stitch.
|A long double-ended hook |
holds a sample of different tricot stitches
–my experimental practice in preparation
for the DY Placemats