beccalovely

Increasing a shell stitch

14 posts in this topic

Hi all, 

 

I'm going to do the bottom part (skirt area) of a dress and I'd like to do it in a shell stitch so that it is quite open if that makes sense. I'd like to make a sort of A-Line effect, so it is wider at the bottom, having started from the waist (which measures 19.5 inches). It is for a 2 yr old so won't need to be particularly long, say knee length when finished (am awaiting length measurement from her mum, or may just try on as I go along). 

 

My question is how do I increase the stitches when doing the shell stitch? I've only done it on things that remain the same width. I know how to increase in stitches where each row the stitch goes into the one below, ie put more than one stitch into each of the stitches from the previous row, but I'm thinking this is going to be different as with a shell stitch it isn't as simple as that? 

 

perhaps I could do the shell, then a row of single crochet, then another row of increasing single crochet, then another shell stitch row - I hope that makes sense, perhaps it would be easier? 

 

Any help appreciated - newbie here! :) 

 

Thanks! 

 

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It has occurred to me that perhaps I haven't given enough information in order to elicit the necessary help, so I'm going to try and clarify!! 

 

The stitch I'm doing is called 'Arcade' and I got it from page 79 of 'Handbook of Crochet Stitches: The complete illustrated reference to over 200 stitches' by Betty Barnden. (Thank you for the excellent book recommendation fellow Villagers!)

 

Working from the top of the skirt part of the dress (will make and attach a separate bodice), I began by chaining 120 and then doing a hdc in each chain as a sort of starting row. The stitch itself involves a row of: 3dc,  3ch (skipping 3 stitches) 3dc and on. The next row you: place 5tr in the centre of each ch3, then a dc in the centre of each 3dc. 

 

Hopefully that makes sense to you experienced crochet gurus! 

 

So, how do I increase? I'm presuming any increases would have to be done at the beginning/end of each row, as I can't really change it mid row I don't think? 

 

Oh it's really flummoxed me this, hope someone can help! 

 

Becca x

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Hi Mary, 

 

It basically goes back to the previous row, ie 3 dc in the middle 3 of the 5tr, ch3, 3dc in the middle 3 of the 5tr, ch3 and on... 

 

I've been looking in my Crochet Answer Book by Edie Beckman (another great recommendation, thank you) and it says you can add stitches at the end of a row... I've never done this before but will try it. 

 

I'm making it in long rows at the moment which will then be stitched together with a seam to form the round skirt. As this is the case, would I need to increase/add stitches at both the beginning and end of the row, or is it ok just to do it at one end? 

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When you start fooling around with increases and shells, it changes the look of your pattern,,, it's scary to me and I avoid it unless I'm following a set pattern. (maybe that's why no one answered you yet, lol.

 

Sometimes you can slip in an extra chain, but that gives a more open look to your result, not what you would want in a skirt. You notice a lot of crocheted skirts have a flounced hemline, the skirt is pretty straight, with a flouncy edge. If the skirt is a full skirt, it's often done in pineapples, which can be increased easily (easier) starting from the waistline, working down to the hem.

 

Becca, google "doilies" sometime and then enlarge them,,, picture them as a skirt, so you can "see" how the increases in a doily are worked into the pattern, crocheted full skirts are increased much the same way, not so many increases, of course, but they will show you how the pattern changes allow for the increases to be made, and work right into the pattern. (you might want to try making a little simple doily sometime, their construction teaches you a lot about making circular things that you can carry over to other projects.)

 

I'm assuming you are using yarn and not crochet thread, you might want to try an old standard doily increase, and do several rows of chained stitches... start with a row of chain 4, 1sc all the way around... next row do chain 5, 1sc... next row do chain 6 1sc, ... then pick up your shell stitch again. This doily shows how those chains are used to increase, it's all that lacy work in those two areas on both sides of that line running midway thru the doily.

 

Good luck... the more things you try, the more you will learn, you are catching on fast... nice to see you are so enthusiastic!

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Thanks mattenylou, I see what you mean now.

 

I guess I'm one of those infuriating people who just learns by diving in and making mistakes - I realise now that a shell stitch probably wasn't my best option for the first attempt at a skirt haha! 

 

Oh well its all good fun, and the new yarn I'm using that arrived this morning is absolutely beautiful (Drops Fable Rose Mist). Not bad for a 3am purchase when I couldn't sleep ;) 

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I'd be inclined to try to make the increases like you might see them in a sewn garment - if you had an A-line fabric skirt, say with vertical stripes, you'd see the shaping at the side seams.  You expect to see shaping at the side seams. 

 

It would take some fiddling, but I'd increase a couple of stitches at each side of the skirt, and also make sure that the same spot in the shell pattern hit exactly at the side.  You could increase a couple of stitches in the base row, spaced evenly around, to achieve this.

 

I'd make a swatch a couple of shell repeats wide, then practice making increases in the middle of the swatch before I started the skirt.  You'll undoubtedly be doing a lot of ripping before you get something you like the look of (or at least that's the way it usually works when I start fiddling); much less painful to rip out a little swatch a few times than several rows of a skirt.  You shouldn't have to swatch too many rows, after a few rows the increases should get you back to where you started in the pattern. 

 

Back to the doily theme, some doilies increase by sort of giving birth to more motifs;  like, start out with 6 pineapples around, then the pattern starts to diverge and at the end you end up with 12 pinapples.  That's what I'm imagining with your shell pattern, and what I meant by 'you'll get back to where you started".  like this for example.

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/pineapple-sunburst-doily

 

edit, having said all that, I just looked up the arcade stich (oddly, on page 79 of the Crochet Stitch Bible by the same author--also containing 200 stitches, hmm).  This looks like a tough one to increase tidily.  How about the iris stich - is it on page 78 of your book too?  It's pretty open, but would be easy to 'sprout' a 2 new irises out of 1 and not be too noticeable.  Or rope stitch, like the iris maybe even more open (both are V stitches). 

Edited by Granny Square

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Hi all, 

 

Been having some technical problems which meant that I couldn't access the site from the UK - big thanks to Amy for getting the website host to fix it. 

 

So, I couldn't get on here and see your lovely replies to the difficulty I was having. Because I wanted to carry on with the project I ended up finding a bit of a cheat method. All I did was add in one row of dc followed by a row of 1dc, 2dc,1dc, 2dc and so on, meaning that I'd increased from 120st to 180st. Worked well for what I wanted to do, it obviously isn't an a-line look but I'm actually far happier with the result as the pattern and the way the increases were done makes it hang in a frilly way, very pretty. And personally I don't think the two rows of dc ruin the over all look. Picture to show you: 

 

post-67796-0-47289800-1373726625_thumb.jpg

 

Granny Square, thank you so much for taking the time to explain it all to me, I'll definitely be able to use that advice on a future project. 

 

Becca x

Edited by beccalovely

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Looks nice!

 

Sometimes you just have to dive in and give it a try, keep in mind there are no "wrongs" if it works out okay, you can just say it is part of the 'design'... lol.

 

Enjoy!

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It has occurred to me that perhaps I haven't given enough information in order to elicit the necessary help, so I'm going to try and clarify!! 

 

The stitch I'm doing is called 'Arcade' and I got it from page 79 of 'Handbook of Crochet Stitches: The complete illustrated reference to over 200 stitches' by Betty Barnden. (Thank you for the excellent book recommendation fellow Villagers!)

 

Working from the top of the skirt part of the dress (will make and attach a separate bodice), I began by chaining 120 and then doing a hdc in each chain as a sort of starting row. The stitch itself involves a row of: 3dc,  3ch (skipping 3 stitches) 3dc and on. The next row you: place 5tr in the centre of each ch3, then a dc in the centre of each 3dc. 

 

Hopefully that makes sense to you experienced crochet gurus! 

 

So, how do I increase? I'm presuming any increases would have to be done at the beginning/end of each row, as I can't really change it mid row I don't think? 

 

Oh it's really flummoxed me this, hope someone can help! 

 

Becca x

Personally, I would add extra DCs to each shell across a row to create flare.

For example, if the original shell is 3DC, CH2 , 3DC into the CH Space of the previous row, work 4DC, CH2 , 4DC.

Then on the last row work 5 DC etc with maybe a Picot instead of CH2 in the centre.

Of course, I don't know what sort of shell pattern you are using so this is just an overall idea.

If you tell us exactly what shell you are planning on using I will be able to tell you exactly what to do.

Have fun.

Colleen

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Thanks Colleen, that is really helpful for when I use shell patterns. As I say I sort of came up with a cheat method this time, but the sort of thing you describe did occur to me afterwards, and I think it would make a really nice pattern. 

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