How to work a crochet spike stitch

Today we are getting spikey with it and looking at how to work a spike stitch.

The Malvern Cowl from Crochet Yeah! uses spike stitches for a colour work effect.

The Malvern Cowl from Crochet Yeah! uses spike stitches for a colour work effect.

Spike stitches are a decorative technique worked in crochet. Normally worked in double crochet rows using two or more colours in the piece, they are an easy way to introduce a colour work effect into crochet without having to juggle more than one colour in the same row.

Spike stitches are worked into previous rows by inserting the hook through the fabric rather than into the top of the stitch. They are a great way to add shading and texture. Playing with the depth and frequency of spike stitches along a row can add a variety of geometric colour patterns. Altering the length can create triangles or chevron effects in a piece or keep the spike stitches the same length to add squares or rectangles.

Why not try using rows of spike stitches in amongst rows of double crochet when working with colour change or ombre yarns to give an interesting effect?

Maple Falls Sweater uses multiple spike stitches to look like leaves.

Maple Falls Sweater uses multiple spike stitches to look like leaves.

It is just as easy to work multiple spikes in the same stitch to give an effect like leaves or a birds foot. Simply repeat Steps 2-4 as many times as needed before moving to Step 5 and do not restrict yourself to just working directly below the stitch.

Spike stitches make a great border on a plain piece and can even be worked effectively on a piece of knitting.

The reverse side is very similar to the right side so the fabric is reversible. This doesn't hold true of stitches with multiple spikes so if you want a reversible fabric, steer clear of these.


STEP ONE:  Work up to the stitch before the spike stitch.

STEP TWO: Insert your hook from front to back through the fabric on the row below (or two or more rows as required by the pattern) making sure that the hook is in the column below the stitch.

STEP THREE: Keeping the yarn held at the back, yarn over and pull a loop through the fabric.

STEP FOUR: Draw the loop up to the height of the new row making sure it is neither puckered nor too slack.

STEP FIVE: Yarn over and pull through both loops on the hook (just like a normal double crochet) The stitch is completed.


Be careful where you place your hook in the rows below to give an even finish.

Make sure you pull the loop up to the same height as the new row to avoid puckering.

If you want to practice your stitch then you might be interested in buying the Malvern Cowl Kit - it contains all you need to make the cowl including three skeins of Socks Yeah Yarn, Crochet Yeah book (which contains the pattern plus five others), hook and stitch marker. It is available exclusively from our Etsy shop priced £27 plus p&p.

The book containing the Malvern Cowl pattern, Crochet Yeah, is available in print for £12 plus p&p or as an e-book for £10.

Maple Falls Sweater is available as a pdf download for £4


This article was originally written and photographed by Joanne for  and is republished with permission.

Contour Shawl

So, I guess you all really like the Contour Shawl, huh?  We are totally blown away with the response to our latest release.  Not only has it flown off the (virtual) shelves, but we have seen so many finished and in progress shawls popping up all over the internet!  Yay!!


At least once a day, we have been pouring through your makes - so in love with the different colour choices, it has us itching to make one in every single colour.  However, deadlines, so we will have to live vicariously through your awesome makes. 

One of the first to finish was Sarah from Crafts from the Cwtch.  You can read all about her gorgeous shawl here and how she handled that very familiar game of yarn chicken


You can see more awesome contour shawls on Instagram and, if you haven't started one yet, you can get the pattern here

Three From The Top

We are so excited to release our newest collection, Three from the Top.  It is our first cardigan collection with 3 patterns sized from Baby to a 60in bust.  There is something for everyone!!


You can buy the print version here for £12

Alternatively, if eBooks are your jam, you can purchase the PDF from Ravelry for £10

Edinburgh Yarn Festival

The web seems to be abuzz at the moment with people planning and plotting their trips up to Edinburgh Yarn Festival (EYF).

Your Mileage May Vary from The Shawl Project Book One, which launched at EYF 2015

Your Mileage May Vary from The Shawl Project Book One, which launched at EYF 2015

Last year EYF was our first ever show and we were nervously packing, wondering if we would sell anything and if anyone would like our new look and new designs. It was an amazing success - we sold out of our first book The Shawl Project: Book One that weekend. And it still sells well a year on, with hundreds of copies in the hands of eager crocheters around the world. We think very fondly of EYF 2016 as the start of an amazing year, the year that The Crochet Project became a viable, profitable business.

We really wanted to have a stand again this year but our family commitments meant that wasn't going to be possible, we just couldn't make it work. It turns out to be quite lucky really as Kat has broken her elbow and her wrist and would not be well enough to lug stock and spend two full days working on a stall. But we are really sad that we not to have a stall this year, and we certainly plan to be back next year (if they will have us!)

Kat is hoping to make it along for the day (subject to her arm being well enough) - if you see her give her a (very gentle) hug from me or a high five (right arm only)!

But even though we can't be there we are still representing and you can still buy our books thanks to our lovely friends.

Victoria of Eden Cottage Yarns is stocking limited quantities of The Shawl Project Book One and Book Two and will have some samples made up in her beautiful yarn (including some of the originals we have loaned her) find her at stand  B1. All the Book One designs take one 100g skein of 4 ply and all the Book Two designs take two, so it is the perfect show purchase - you know whatever yarns you pick up around the show can be paired with the perfect pattern when you get home!

And Rachel of Coop Knits will be selling our new book, Crochet Yeah! on her stand (A7) and has all the samples from the book for you to squish and stroke and of course the yarn to make them all. Rachel says that colours combos from the book have been selling well and I know she ran out of some colours at Unravel so do head over soonish!

Tenbury Mitts from Crochet Yeah!

Tenbury Mitts from Crochet Yeah!

So that we don't feel too left out, if you are there in person can you do us a favour please? If you are wearing something designed by us, you spot one of our designs in the wild, you see our samples on display, you are buying our book or flashing your stash then take a photo and share it with us on social media by tagging @thecrochetproj on instagram and twitter of The Crochet Project on facebook and #thecrochetproject #theshawlproject or #crochetyeah please. That way we will get to see it and live vicariously through you!

Introducing the Malvern Cowl

...And a GIVEAWAY!

Now that Crochet Yeah is available on full release as an e-book (£10) or print book (£12 + p&p), it is time to start introducing the patterns.

We'll start with probably the simplest design in the book, the Malvern Cowl. Its a lovely soft cowl, very easy to make and to wear and worked in just one stitch all the way. Yes, it is all double crochet (US single crochet) worked in a spiral around and around. Crochet doesn't get more relaxing than this! (To paraphrase the Masterchef judges) Even the pretty colour work effect is created using spike stitches which are just double crochet worked a few rows below - don't worry, its all explained in the pattern!

I think this Cowl in my mind will always have fond memories of the delicious meringue I was scoffing in the shoot and the lovely doggy friend I made!

I was particularly pleased with this pattern on a technical level though because I worked out how to do the crochet equivalent of Kitchener stitch ( a sewn reproduction of the stitch to make an invisible join) in order to graft the cowl closed. You can try out my instructions in the pattern (or just sew a seam if you prefer.)

And should you wish to make the cowl here are all the technical information you might need before you start:

One size. 
Finished width: 15cm/6in
Length: 66cm/26in

1 50g skein Socks Yeah in Danburite (105) - Col A
1 50g skein Socks Yeah in Chryso (108) - Col B
1 50g skein Socks Yeah in Iolite (109) - Col C
4mm (US G) hook

28 sts and 28 rows in double crochet to 10 cm/4 in using 4mm hook (or size needed to achieve tension) 
Note: while this item doesn’t need to fit anywhere, not working to specified tension may make the fabric different to the picture and yarn quantities will vary.

Difficulty Rating

Skills Needed
Basic crochet stitches, working in continuous rounds, spike stitches (explained).

Worked in rounds in a continuous spiral without turning or turning chains. Ends are then sewn or grafted together to form cowl.

Rachel Coopey of Coop Knits tells me that as soon as the cowl pattern details were put up on Ravelry she started getting orders for the three colours together!

With that in mind she has very kindly given us three skeins of beautiful Socks Yeah yarn to give away! They come in the Malvern Colours but you could always use them to make a Bromsgrove hat or add an extra colour to the Tenbury hat and mitts or make a stripey version of Worcester or Evesham.

Want to get your hands on the yarn? Its easy. Just go take a look at the patterns in the book and comment below to let us know which you'd make first and why.

The competition is open worldwide and we will pick a winner at noon GMT on Wednesday 9th March 2016. Make sure you leave your Ravelry name or email address so we can get in touch with you!

Manipulating Stitch Patterns - using washi tape

In the two Shawl Project books we talk about how to design for different shapes of shawl and a little about how to work in different patterns.

I wanted to share with you today a quick tip that I use when I want to work out how to manipulate a charted stitch pattern to use it in a design where the pattern needs to grow or expand.

And it uses washi tape! Who doesn't love a washi-tape tip?

Find a pattern you like and mark out, with washi tape, the direction and kind of shape you want it to expand into. Once you've blocked out the stitches you don't need it should be fairly easy to work out how to add chains or expand stitches to get them to the point you need them for the next row. It really helps you visulaise what needs to happen even if it doesn't give you all the answers.

And the washi tape is easily removed so the book isn't ruined.

In associated tips: Try placing a mirror on the washi tape line if you need a pattern to turn a corner.

Christmas Gifting: Our top three

Are you making for loved ones this Christmas? Are you on schedule for your making plans? I do feel lucky as a crocheter that work grows much faster than knitting so more can be achieved!

Today we are sharing with you our favourite three giftable projects from The Crochet Project. - Remember we do love to see your gift makes so please tag us @thecrochetproj or #thecrochetproject when you post them on social media.


Forest Forager Handwarmers

These simple mitts work up very quickly and are a great way to use up stash (they use 4ply) and maybe try a new technique at the same time - they are tunisan crochet but we provide all the instructions to help you make the leap from standard crochet. These make a great gift as they are easy to personalise with the yarn choice and choice of buttons, don't need to be made to an exact size and suit everyone, male or female. Treat your nearest and dearest to a luxury yarn and those vintage buttons you've been saving. You'll have the pair made in an evening.

The Pattern for the Forest Forager Handwarmers is £3 - full pattern details here.

Saunders Socks

Who doesn't feel loved in handmade chunky socks? These cosy numbers are worked in a heavy DK, worsted weight or aran weight yarn - as long as its squooshy (technical term!) you are good to go! We've sized these from teeny baby toes to the largest man's foot so it really is one pattern for all your making needs. The simple pattern is easily memorised and doesn't use any tricky techniques so your crafting will be a joy. Play with colour and fibre types to personalise it for each recipient. We love it in the semi solid shades of a hand dye but it works just as well in a plain or maybe even an ombre! Baby sized gifts will be done in an evening, a size 12 pair might take you a couple more. 

The Saunders Sock pattern costs £4 - full pattern details here.


Well, we had to include a shawl didn't we! Acer is the perfect gift make because it can be made in pretty much any weight of yarn - just raid your stash and pair it to the recipient, the style suits almost any of the women on your gifting list and it looks a lot more intricate than the easily memorised four row repeat it really is. Acers work up really quickly, doesn't need to be swatched before hand, just check you like the fabric as you work and the pattern even looks good unblocked if you are being a total last-minute-Louise. We expect a flurry of pattern sales on Christmas Eve! You can finish an Acer in a few evenings or one frantic all night session!

Acer pattern is £3 and is available here.

Of course, if you have an avid crocheter in your family you might want to treat them to one of our books - we are more than happy to sign and personalise them - just let us know.  You might also want to leave the link lying around for yourself...

You can buy print books The Shawl Project: Book One and The Shawl Project: Book Two from our etsy shop.

If you want guaranteed Christmas delivery please order by:

Worldwide: Friday 4th December

New Zealand and Australia:Thursday 10th December.

To the EU, US and Canada: Monday 14th December

Mainland UK: 2pm on Monday 21st December.