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mityeltu

Crochet the V or the V+Bar?

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Ok, so please pardon my complete ignorance, but I only started with the crocheting 3 days ago and already I've run into something I don't understand. I've been watching videos and trying to follow along and have been having limited success. I'll keep trying.

Here's the current issue. In some videos I see that the first single crochet is 'fed' into the the stitch and only captures the top of the 'V'. In other videos I see that the stitch captures the top of the 'V' and the bar across the back of the 'V' in the rear of the work. I hope this makes sense to you folks. I don't know any other way to describe what I'm seeing. The question then is this. Which one is the correct way to make the stitch? Does it matter? Are they bother right? Is it a matter of preference? When following a pattern (this is a long way off for me I suspect) will it say to use one or the other?

I know that's a lot of questions, but I just don't understand why one has it one way and other has it the other. It's confusing and I hope you folks have the answer. Thank you for any help you can offer.

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Welcome to the ville, and to crochet!

I believe you are talking about how to work into the foundation chain, not into a stitch - but I'll review both just in case.  Also am assuming you are working back and forth, not in the round.

The foundation chain - not to be confused with a foundation STITCH, you might see FSC (foundation single crochet or FDC (foundation double crochet stitch).  An FSC for example makes a row of sort-of SC without making the initial chain first.  I would discourage a beginner from trying foundation stitches right away.  They are fiddly and more confusing than using a chain, and don't work in every stitch pattern.  I crocheted for decades pre-internet before even hearing about them.  

OK, the chain.  There are 3 ways to work into the chain.  (1) with the chain-looking part facing you, insert the hook under the top loop only.  This is the way I learned, works for any project worked back and forth, and has a nice tension.  It makes an underside edge of 2 loops, looks like the chain with it's legs crossed.  (2) with the chain facing,  insert the hook under the top loop AND the back loop, leaving the bottom loop unused.  This method has an OK tension but makes a bulkier edge, there's 1 unused loop on the underside (3) flipping the chain over, there's a 'back bump' that looks sort of like - - - - -.  This method leaves the chain as the unused loops on the underside, which looks nice, but also pulls the chain quite tight (and IMHO is more fiddly to work).  One usually has to use a hook 1 or 2 sizes bigger than the rest of the project to make the chain, then switch to the 'right' hook for the project.  All of these methods are legit, I've tried all of them but stick to #1, and would recommend that method to a beginner.  But, try them all and see what works.

Now, working into stitches.  You mentioned SC so I'll describe that.  Let's assume you made a row of SC into the chain using any method above, and are now working the second row of SC across the first row.  If you are working flat (back and forth), you turn 1 (the turning chain to bring you up to the height of the next row-this chain does not count as a stitch for SC*.  If the pattern doesn't say differently, you insert the hook under the top 2 loops of the stitch - the top 2 loops that look like a chain.  

There are other variations, but the pattern would tell you - example,  SC BLO (use the back loop of the top of the stitch only.  There's a stitch that's similar to SC but has a different name (wainscot stitch or short SC), where you do insert the hook farther down beneath the  top 2 loops of the stitch that looks like a chain, but this is not very common and the pattern wouldn't call it a SC.

* turning chains for taller stitches usually count as a stitch.  Example, for DC it's 3 chains, skip the first stitch (because the chains count as 'filling' it), then DC in the second stitch.

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Granny, thank you for the reply. Yes, I was speaking of staring with the chain and then working into that. I was assuming there was a right/wrong way to do this. So, if I'm not working to a pattern, then it doesn't really matter which I choose, I guess. So, I'll try both and see which one I like better. I'm not working to any pattern as I just want to see if I can even do this.

I have tried knitting and macrame (I know they are vastly different) and I think part of my problem is that I tried macrame first and that I'm an old man and an engineer. The idea that knots and stitches should be loose just does not compute. I like my knots tight and that causes problems trying to pull the hook through and makes knitting almost impossible. Like I'm trying to squeeze the life out of the needle kinda thing. Tension is a problem - most of it seems to be in my shoulders right now as I think I'm working way too hard at this.

Anyway. Thank you for the tips. I'll give this a whirl tonight and let you know how it goes.

I want to start working on a beginner blanket I saw in this video: Beginner Crochet Blanket, Full Class

I might be able to manage that if I can get the first row figured out and not wind up with a tangled unrecognizable mess like I did when I tried knitting.

 

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You're welcome!  Glad to help.  

I'm retired and totally get the aches and pains.  It really does take some practice to get the gauge right, not too loose or too tight.  Tight=pain, and fabric like cardboard, and makes it harder to make stitches...not good things.  

Tip - when I was a beginner I stitched tightly and realized I was using the very tip of the hook, not the shaft, to form stitches.  It's the shaft that forms the stitches, so I forced myself to move the stitch further up the shaft until it became habit, now I have a fairly 'average' gauge (judging by patterns).

The sort of hook you use might make a difference, don't know if you've encountered the Boye vs. Bates controversy (tapered vs. inline--google terms for details).  One is not better than the other, but crocheters are usually firmly in 'their' camp.   Just bringing this up in case 'the other' style might work better for you.  

I looked at your pattern, it looks like an good pattern to start with.  I didn't want to sign up & download the pattern, but I watched the beginning of the video and have a comment - at about 5:20 or so, she mis-speaks - it's the point where you've done all the chains, and are inserting the hook into the chain for the first stitch - she calls the chains Vs, and says 'insert the hook into the first V' - did you notice she actually inserted the hook into the SECOND V?  What that does is cause the first V to be the 'turning chain' I spoke of before.  I've never encountered a pattern where you stitched into the first chain....  also, it looks like she is using the top (1) loop of the chain to work into.  if you followed what she said, not what she did, in the video, you'll have an extra chain - no worries, you can pick it out, it will not unravel from the knot end.  (In fact, I often over-chain by a few for long starting chains in case I miscount, easier to unpick chains than rip and start the first row over because you counted short.)

Another comment - while it's OK for this pattern, at around 7:20 she chains 3, turns, and stitches into the first stitch (was the last stitch of the first row, but you've turned, so now it's the first).  I just want to point out that this is not typical--see my note about the turning stitch for DC in the last sentence of my first post.  This pattern instructs you to ch 3 and not skip the first stitch, but if patterns don't specifically SAY which stitch to use for the first 'real' DC, it is understood that you skip the first stitch and DC into the second stitch of the prior row (otherwise you will be increasing the stitch count).

I noticed she is using a Bates type (inline, not tapered) hook.  I also noticed the way she holds the hook, and tensions  with her left hand, and want to point out that there is no right or wrong way (example, my holds are completely different, both hands).  If you're having aches and pains doing it one way, you might try another.

 

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I was noticing something of the "bates v boye" issue yesterday. I was having a lot of trouble getting the hook back through my stitches and noticed that the hook is offset from the midline of the shaft and a bit tapered on the back - almost as if it is meant to be sort of pivoted on the back of the hook when pulling the loop back through the stitch. I was thinking there was something wrong with the hook. I was considering grinding off the top of the hook. Now you tell me it's supposed to be that way. As an engineer, I have to wonder why. Someone obviously made it that way for a reason. I think I'll pick up one of the bates hooks and see if that helps.

I didn't pick up on any of the stuff you mentioned about the video, but I'll watch again and look more closely. 

Thanks again for the help.

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The Boye/tapered style=pointy (pointy hook end of the shaft--tapered front to back, and side to side, and pointy hook tip).  For Bates/inline fans, I understand the pointy Boye hooks cause them to split the yarn.  For me (since Boye/tapered style is what I learned on, and still use), the Boye tapered style makes it easier to poke the hook smoothly into the right spot of a stitch, and to grab the yarn to pull thru stitches. 

The Bates style is inline=blunt (dome shaped hook end of the shaft, broad blunt hook tip; no narrowing of the shaft).  For me, buying one of these hooks ('by mistake' after years of using only Boye style), I had serious finesse issues inserting the hook into a stitch and grabbing the yarn to pull thru. Hopefully a Bates fan will chime in with more details of their positive attributes, I'm guessing it's just a motor memory thing, doing something almost the same but just different enough to be irritating.  NOT saying that one style is better than the other; one works for me, the same or other might be best for you.

If you shop for hooks on the internet, brand x from China might be one or the other and you'll have to look closely at the photo to determine the hook style--it probably won't say inline or tapered.

You might find this interesting https://www.interweave.com/article/crochet/crochet-holds-variation/ , different ways to hold hooks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Granny Square

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I also learned with Boye hooks and prefer them.  There is a difference in my old Boye hooks versus the ones they sell now.  I prefer my old ones.  

The "having a lot of trouble getting the hook back through my stitches"  most likely means you are pulling your stitches too tight as you make them which is a common occurrence when first learning to crochet.  It also makes a difference if you are working with cotton instead of acrylic.  I have to loosen up a bit working with cotton to get my hook through my stitches.

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I just re-read Mityeltu's post and focused on "the hook is offset from the midline of the shaft and a bit tapered on the back ", which I must have skimmed over before.

Have to admit that my steel thread hooks are all Boye, but my yarn hooks that I use 99% of the time are actually Hero brand (but tapered style, so Boye-like).

A while back in another Boye/Bates discussion I scanned my 'bought-by-mistake' Bates H hook, and an aqua plastic Boye, size I, circa 1970 (was the only Boye I owned close to H)  to show their anatomical differences.  And now just eyeballing the Boye, aside from the oddly squared edges then versus now, the inside-most point of the Boye does seem a tiny bit back from center...I'd never noticed.  My Hero hooks' "inside spots" (not pictured) seems to be more centered.  But it's a REALLY tiny difference.

.....Strange to watch your fingers instead of the stitches, but I just dug out the aqua Boye and equivalent Hero hook and made a little swatch -- I really can't tell the difference I make in the motions I make with either hook.  The hook mostly stays at the same angle most of the time, except with both hooks there's a little forward nod of the tip at the last step of pulling the yarn thru the stitch.  So if that nod is a pivot, the slight hook back opening position doesn't make a difference.

Boye versus Bates.jpg

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Granny using this 

https://lacebuttons.com/?page_id=670

differences in my old and new Boye aluminum I hooks include:  old hook is longer, old hook handle is ever so slightly larger around, on old hook grip is lower down or closer to the head, old hook has a longer taper in the throat, old hook has a smaller neck (circumference).   I got the new ones for spares but I can hit gauge easier with my old one since that is what I am used to.

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Notice the diagram is in-line, heh....  Since after getting a pretty complete set of Heros after starting out with a couple of plastic Boyes I very seldom use Boyes outside of a few that I later got that were outside of the size range of my set.  Just compared my Hero I to the old blue Boye I, the shafts are identical in size but the Hero is slightly longer, Hero grip a little further down and the Hero throat is shorter.  I don't think those subtle differences would make a difference since the size seems to match.

But, I think you may be right on the Boye sizing being iffy,  and maybe more recently.  Sometime within the last 20 years, I bought some Boyes to fill in smaller sizes (B, D, E) that didn't come with my Hero set, and noticed they all seemed to be about the same.   (I don't use this size range a lot).  Last year while visiting relatives my BIL happened to be using a micrometer and I had him measure those hooks, including my Hero C.  The Hero C, and the Boye B and D were within hundredths of a mm of a true C, and the E was about 0.2 of a mm bigger, which is between C & D.  Grr.

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Granny I knew it was an inline but posted the link so I could use terms to reflect the areas on my hooks when noting the differences.  Actually your plastic ( the blue one right?) Boye's head is shaped differently from my aluminum ones.  The heads  on mine are round where yours looks flat on either side.   I dont use B D E much either.  Mostly use G and H.   I wonder if the changes came about when they started adding the mm size on the Boye hooks.  The newer hooks may actually be the ones that are closer to correct size.  I just dont know.  My larger hooks G through K are circa 70's.    I bought the newer hooks 3 to 5 years ago.   I got them for back ups but that did not work so well because there is a noticeable difference in gauge between using an old H versus the new H.  I cant use them interchangeably in the same project.

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I know, was just teasing on the inline example ;) 

It is odd that the blue plastic Boye flat sided, isn't it -- but it doesn't interfere with stitching. I picked up a few of that style early on (started crocheting in High School) before getting the (aluminum, smooth and looks like modern Boye) Hero set.  Those old plastic ones are my 'spares' now, the only problem is the size was heat-stamp-painted on, and the paint has mostly worn off - I have to take a magnifying glass to peer at the heat impression to read the size now (not the blue one  which I know is I, but the others (F, G, J) all happened to red.  It was the gold aluminum H to complete that series that was the accidental Bates...

 

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Just a note to Granny Square--in reference to the sizes being "worn off" on your hooks:  I bought an etching pen (for other craft projects) and found out that it is great for marking the sizes on my hooks!!  (I sometimes put tape on the flattened part of the finger grip part if my hands are getting  sore--after too much crochet without a rest!!-and that covers up the size!)  I etch the size on the end of the hook--that way it doesn't wear off! My Mom used to "jury-rig" things all the time, so I guess I get that honestly! 

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Avon Lady, great idea!  I think DH has a Dremel tool. it must have an attachment that would work.  Doesn't have to be pretty, just bigger than the original tiny printing.

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So, I've picked up a bates hook and have noticed a significant difference in my stitches. For me it's much easier to pull the yarn through, but more difficult (slightly) to catch the yarn over. I still keep my stitches to tight, but I'm still figuring out the tension aspect of this business. I guess I'm still sort of in macramé mode with keeping everything tight - really making some of this learning curve very steep. I'll keep after it though.

Another question I have that's a bit off this topic is the instruction I found in a blanket I would like to try (attached).

The instruction say to chain 128. So I should have 128 chains and my hook in a loop at the end, right? No problem, but row 1 is double-crochet in 4th chain from hook (aka skip 3 ch, right?) and in each chain to the end. The instruction say that I should have 126 double crochet stitches. How does that add up? If I have 128 chains and then skip 3, that leaves me with 125 doesn't it? What am I missing?

Easy Double Crochet Baby Blanket.pdf

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1 hour ago, mityeltu said:

So, I've picked up a bates hook and have noticed a significant difference in my stitches. For me it's much easier to pull the yarn through, but more difficult (slightly) to catch the yarn over. I still keep my stitches to tight, but I'm still figuring out the tension aspect of this business. I guess I'm still sort of in macramé mode with keeping everything tight - really making some of this learning curve very steep. I'll keep after it though.

Another question I have that's a bit off this topic is the instruction I found in a blanket I would like to try (attached).

The instruction say to chain 128. So I should have 128 chains and my hook in a loop at the end, right? No problem, but row 1 is double-crochet in 4th chain from hook (aka skip 3 ch, right?) and in each chain to the end. The instruction say that I should have 126 double crochet stitches. How does that add up? If I have 128 chains and then skip 3, that leaves me with 125 doesn't it? What am I missing?

Easy Double Crochet Baby Blanket.pdf

The chain 3 counts as your first dc.

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