Welcome to the fourth entry in our ongoing series Learn a Stitch, Make a Cowl! Each month in 2015 we will teach you a new crochet or knit stitch. You can then use the stitch when you make the featured cowl. This month our stitch is drop stitch crochet, and the cowl is the Drop Stitch Crochet Cowl in Medley. Use the hashtag #learnstitches to talk about the series.
Drop-stitch crochet creates bands of regular stitches interspersed with loose loops. It looks similar to dropped stitches in knitting. You will need your yarn, crochet hook, and a very large knitting needle. This cowl is made in Medley, but the examples are done in Soft so you can more easily see the stitches. The real cowl will also be wider than the example photos.
You'll start with a row of half-double crochet (hdc).
At the end of the row, do NOT turn. Instead, chain 1. Make the loop of the chain 1 very large, and put it on the needle.
Note: Make sure you put all of the loops onto the straight part of the needle (orange in this example) and not on the tapered point (red in this example) and pull them snug but not tight. Placing them like this will ensure that all of the loops are the same size.
Skip the first hdc, then put your hook into the second hdc, yarn over and pull up a loop. Do a chain 1, elongate the loop of the ch-1, and place it on the needle. By doing the chain 1 instead of just pulling the loop through you are ""locking"" the bottom the loop at the row of regular crochet so it will not change size when you remove the needle later.
Continue working from left to right across the row making the drop stitches and placing them on the needle.
Carefully slide the needle out, holding the last loop you made (on the far right) so it does not change size.
Working at the top of the most recent loop, on the right, insert hook into loop, yarn over and pull up a loop, chain 1, then hdc into that loop. Continue to hdc across. Treat the loops as if they were regular stitches you are working into.
Turn the work for the first time, ch 1, and hdc across as normal.
You'll continue to work the pattern of drop stitches then two rows of hdc to make the cowl. See the pattern for the number of repeats and how to finish the cowl.
Marly Bird teaches how to do the drop stitch crochet as she makes this Month's Drop Stitch Crochet Cowl