Thursday, August 11, 2011

Seamless Stripes in Double Crochet

Okay, so I was working on a project and noticed the huge gaps that exposed where my seam was. I knew there had to be a way around this ugly mess, so I went and tested out various methods to hide the double crochet seam, especially when doing stripes, or continual color changes. I came across this tutorial:
Which explained very nicely how to hide your seams by cutting and starting over. However, with my method, you do not need to cut, and your seam will be completely invisible. Not convinced? Check out the following photos:

The left photo shows the exposed seam. See how the gaping holes kind of curve around the project? It's hideous! You can see exactly where I joined!

So I searched online forums and tutorials on how to join. I tried a few of the suggestions...

1. Don't count the starting chain as a stitch. In essence, you chain 2, then double crochet in the same stitch (but not through the slip stitch), and form the first double crochet that way. This is the result:
Yes, the holes are mostly gone, but there is still an ugly line from the slip stitches. the seam is still visible!!!

2. Slip stitch through the back loop only. I came across this one looking through "how to join rows" instructions. They say you should slip stitch through the back loop  and top of the chain before it. I know it may sound confusing, and it kind of is:

I'm still making progress, the gap is hardly visible, but you can still see the slip stitches and only doing it through the back loop made horizontal bumps from the left over loop. And the chain looks a little mangled.

3. Take out the crochet hook and pull the loop that was on the hook through the stitch you want to join. I didn't find any tutorials on how to do this, especially with changing colors, so I made it up as I went:
Check out that seam.... Or can you?

I feel like I've struck gold!!! No more hideous seams!!

Here's how to do it.

For instructional purposes, I chained 15 and joined with a slip stitch to make a circle. Starting chains using this method are 2 chains tall. So chain 2, and double crochet across. DO NOT double crochet in the same loops as your starting chain.

Finishing the first round, about to join

Loosen loop on hook. Remove the hook and insert from behind into the chain on top of the first double crochet. NOT the starting chain. It looks like the 3rd chain.

Put the loop over the hook
and pull it through

Remove hook again, and reinsert from the FRONT into the SAME chains

Yarn over the NEW COLOR. You do not need to slip knot it to the hook first (I actually haven't even tried that yet.)

Pull the loop through

Chain 2, and double crochet around. This is what the first one looks like.

As you double crochet around, you'll notice that before the last loop, your pulled-through loop will stretch alot. Don't worry, that's OK. In the image above, there are TWO more double crochets left. You will double crochet into the loop pulled through the chain earlier.
This is what it should look like after you'ev finished double crocheting

Now that you've done all the double crochets, pull the loop so it is long

Remove the hook and put through the top of the first double crochet

Replace the loop

and pull it through

Insert the hook from the front into the same chains

Yarn over the loop left over from the last round of the FIRST COLOR

Pull through, chain 2, and double crochet.

Again, when you come to the end of a round, you pull the loop so it's long

insert the hook into the back of the chain at the top of the first double crochet

Replace the loop

Pull it through

Insert the hook into the front of those same chains

Put the left over loop from the last round onto the hook.

and pull it through

Chain 2, and continue around!

I hope all that makes sense. Please leave me a comment if you need further clarifications. Now, onto fastening off:

Fasten off the top color as you would normally. Do the second color by looking at the back, you'll see the tail and the last loop left over from the previous row.

insert the tail into the loop

and pull it tight.

And then you're done!!
Beautiful seams and flowing stripes!!

Now, please keep in mind that I just BARELY developed this like, an hour ago. I posted this to get some feedback and let me know what you think! I realize that you can sort of see the seam because of the loop pulled up through to start the new round. However, I'm working on a solution to that, and I'll post you any updates to this technique after I get back from vacation in two weeks!

Happy crocheting!