Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Crocodile Stitch! (How To)

I feel like so much is going on this week. I've written a novel, learned how to knit, learned SO MUCH about holistic medicines for asthma, and the most exciting one: I learned the crocodile stitch.

While I can't wait to post about all my other November adventures (...Noventures?), I'm going to have to hold off for now and teach you guys this fantastic crochet stitch. I can't seem to find the actually stitch for free anywhere, but I don't see why it shouldn't be available for free. I have done one project with it, and I'm so excited! It makes things look like DRAGON SCALES! Anyone who knows me know that crocheting and dragons are two of my favorite things, and I'm finally able to combine the two into one amazingly perfect...thing!

So far, all I've made with these are these crimson arm warmers that totally look like DRAGON SLAYING GAUNTLETS! I am astounded by them, and completely in love. While the stitch requires a bit of work, it's totally worth it in the end.

I've never done a crocheting tutorial, so please let me know if something should be further clarified or expanded upon.

I'm going to be doing a small swatch totaling 5 crocodile stitches to show you how it works.

The Crocodile stitch is very simple and consists of two simple stiches, the V stitch (V-st) and the Frost post Double Crochet (fpdc).

V stitch (V-st)- Work (dc, ch 1, dc) into a single indicated stitch.

Front Post Double Crochet (Fpdc)- Yo and insert hook from front to back around the post of the dc of the previous row, then complete as for a regular dc. This is kind of wonky to picture, so you can watch this youtube clip.

So, to start, I'm going to chain 17. (This will be a ch 13, plus a 4 ch to count as one dc and the ch 1 of the 1st V-st.)

1. Dc in 4th ch from the end, sk 2, v-st, which I'm then going to repeat until the last st, where I'm going to place my last v-st

2. Now you have 5 v sts. Turn your work, sl st in 1st ch-1 space, then do 5 fpdc from top to bottom of the 1st dc of the 2nd v-st from the beginning, ch 1 at end of 5th fpdc. I like to face my piece to the left when doing this, so the bottom of the V st faces the left.

3. Now do 5 more fpdc from bottom to top. When doing this, I like to point my V st towards the right. Push down the fpdc as often as you have to so that you can do them from bottom to top, while still having enough room.

Now you have one crocodile stitch!

4. Skip one V-st, and do 5 fpdc from top to bottom, ch 1, 5 fpdc from bottom to top..

Skip on V-st, doing your next 5 fpdc on the right dc of the 4th v-st from the beginning.

Now you should have 2 crocodile sts.

5. sl st in ch 1 space of last v-st, sl st into last ch, then ch 4 (counts as 1st dc and ch 1), dc into same st. Now, make a V stitch in the spaces between the croc sts and on each side, so you'll have another 5 v sts

See how the bottom of the V sts are in the center and on either side of each croc st

6. Ch 3 (counts as first dc), and 4 fpdc around 1st side of V st, ch 1, 5 fpdc. Skip v st, repeat (so the crocodile sts will now be on the 1st, 3rd and 5th V sts, instead of the 2nd and 4th, so that the 'scales' will alternate with each other).

Repeat the row of V sts and then the rows of fpdc to create a scaly pattern.

And obviously this is just a quick swatch to practice, but when you add more scales and more rows it builds up nicely to make a very dragon like piece of artwork.

While I can not provide you with the pattern for the dragon slaying gauntlets arm warmers, I can tell you that I got the pattern from Bonita Patterns. She has a lot of crocodile stitch patterns (and I hear she even has a book, too), which might be worth spending a couple bucks to see how the stitch works in an actual piece.

I look forward to seeing all of your dragon scale armor textiles!

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