In today’s post I will discuss the direction of working crochet and where it matters.
A while ago I discovered that a lot of Victorian Crochet Patterns instruct or assume you to work only in one direction without turning the work. This means that you need to cut the work every row and rejoin again, obviously resulting in a lot of ends to weave in.
For most modern patterns this is not done except for Mosaic crochet, this technique is commonly employed in mosaic crochet.
I decided to do some tests to see what the visual difference would be. The main motivating factor for this test was that I recently translated a pattern for some Victorian Crochet cuffs and I wanted to see if it was really worthwhile crocheting it in the Authentic Victorian Direction and weaving in all those ends.
For the first pair of swatches I did a copy of the crochet cuff I wanted to do. I did the one direction, non turning, swatch first with the recommended number of stitches. Seeing that this would ultimately be too small I did the second swatch bigger as these were both swatches to see the stitch pattern and also to see size.
The one with all the ends is the one which was done in one direction without turning.
If you look very closely there is actually a slight difference in the way that the stitches look between the two swatches. However I decided that for this piece it was not different enough to warrent me sewing in all those ends. I think that the reason that there is not a stark difference is because of all the open work.
Next I did two swatches in American Single Crochet / UK Double Crochet. Again the swatch that was not turned is the one with all the ends.Comparison of the two swatches side by side.
I only put one photo of the turning swatch as it looks the same on both sides but as you can see the swatch which didn’t turn look very different on the front and the back. Two things were immediately obvious to me. First the difference in the non turning swatch was reminiscent of when one works in the round, which is sort of a “duh” moment for me as when you work in the round you don’t turn! But the other more interesting observation is that the work that is not turned all slants slightly to the right. I counted my stitches on every row and they are all the same number so it is the work that is slanting naturally.
The impact of these swatches is that in future, for my Victorian Pattern translations, I will continue to translate the open work with the option for turning. However for tight closed work such as the Single Crochet/Double Crochet swatch I will translate it was working in one direction, without turning.
Here is a reminder of what Mosaic Crochet looks like, as I said before this is 21st Century Technique which still calls for working flat without turning.
I hope that you found this interesting and that if you are intersted in this factor of crochat that I could save you the effort of swatching. 😉
Peace and Love,