Getting back to basics...

For all of those beginning crocheters hot to make an army of crafted critters, but a little bit fuzzy on this "inc" and "dec" business, I'm putting together a quick crash course in basic crocheted toy making.

Today's topics are single crochet increases, decreases, and working in the round (as a spiral and as concentric rounds)

Click here to go on to the tutorial....

Also, please feel free to leave comments with questions or suggested future topics!

Single Crochet Increase

(also written as inc, or sc 2 in 1)

Step 1: sc 1 in the space where the increase is to be made






Step 2: Begin another sc in the same space






Step 3: Finish the second sc normally. You should have two single crochet stitches fanning out from the one space.






Single Crochet Decrease

(also written as dec, or sc 1 in 2)

Step 1: Make the first loop of a single crochet stitch in the next available space.






Step 2: Continue without finishing the first sc and make the first loop of another single crochet stitch in the available space after the first.






Step 3: Draw the yarn through all of the loops remaining on the hook to finish the decrease. You should have a small cluster of two single crochet stitches bundled into one.






Working in the round (Single Crochet)

The only difference between working in spirals versus working in rounds is how you transition from one row to the next. In a piece made as a spiral, you simply continue working around and around in an unbroken spiral. With rounds, there is a slip stitch to end the current row and some number of chain stitches to "jump" up to the next row.

Working in a spiral is easier for some, and also allows one to avoid the seam that results from each row's slip stitch join when working in rounds.






There are also some advantages to working in rounds: I find that it is somewhat easier to count how many stitches have been already made in the current row when working in rounds instead of a spiral, and each row is more evenly horizontal






(working in a spiral means that each row slants slighty upwards, like a spring. This effect is more pronounced in pieces with a small number of stitches and/or rows)






Also, when fastening off, there is more likely to be a small "step" in the finished piece if working in a spiral.






If a smooth edge is desired, one can choose to work in rounds, or finish off the piece with a few slip stitches.






Working in the round (spiral)

Step 1: Start with a finished row of stitches (I started with a row a 6 single crochets in this example)






Step 2: Your next stitch goes in the space at the beginning of the round. Finish the sc normally.






Step 3: Continue to work stitches around. One complete turn around the piece counts as a row.






Working in the round (rounds)

Step 1: Start with a finished row of stitches (I started with a row a 6 single crochets in this example)






Step 2: Your slip stitch goes in the space at the beginning of the round.






Step 3: Chain stich 1 to "jump" up to the next row






Step 4: Continue to work around normally.






Repeat these steps at the end of each row.

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