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.
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.
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.
TOP TIPS FOR GETTING IT RIGHT
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.
This article was originally written and photographed by Joanne for and is republished with permission.