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Waistcoat Stitch, Make Crochet look Knit

A recent trend lately is making crochet look like it was knit instead. This trend is popular because knitting takes color work a bit better than crochet due to how the stitches are created. A prominent example of this would be fair isle work which is often depicted with quick color changes and intricate patterns.

Stockinette stitch is a popular stitch in knitting, and is what you will see most with color work. It creates a series of “v” stitches that stack stitches right above the other. This makes it easy when reading from a chart as you don’t have to worry about the stitch slant. Slant can create an issue by skewing the image or pattern. This slant is seen when trying color work with the basic single crochet (SC). There are ways to work around this. This first way ,which is a tapestry crochet technique, is by slanting the image so when crocheted it appears straight. A new way that has been popping up recently is by using Waistcoat Stitch (WST), which is also known as Center Crochet Stitch (CSC).

This stitch has been around for some time, but has grown in popularity. Waistcoat stitch is worked similarly to a single crochet stitch, but instead of inserting your hook into the open area underneath the front and back loops the hook is inserted directly into the post. Once the hook is inserted into the post you would pull up a loop, yarn over, and pull through both loops. When a few rows are done you will begin to see the pattern emerge as it mimics Stockinette Stitch. (see Fig. A)

waistcoat stitch
Fig. A – Example is the bottom of a zippered pouch being created by working in the round.

 A few things need to be considered before taking on Waistcoat Stitch.

  • Waistcoat stitch creates a very dense fabric, it is recommended to go up a hook size or two to compensate. In the example above I used worsted weight cotton yarn and a 6.0mm hook instead of the standard 5.0mm hook that would typically be used.
  • Tension also plays a big factor. Stitches will need to be created loosely to not only help with density, but to make it easier to create the stitch so you don’t have to struggle getting the hook through.
  • Working in the round works best as you always work on one side of the work. This stitch is typically used with hats, gloves, bags
  • Choose a yarn with stitch definition. Cotton is a good example. You don’t want to use a textured yarn as it will pull away from the stitch design, and it will become difficult to see where the hook needs to be inserted as it will blend together.