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About Charles Voth
Charles is a crochet and knitting designer, teacher, tech editor, podcaster, and YouTuber — in his spare time! He’s also an ESL teacher. He lives in Canada with his family but he is originally from South America. I have had the pleasure of knowing him (virtually) since 2011. You can learn more about Charles in this interview I did with him. You may also enjoy his book, Emoji Crochet: 20 Easy-to-Make Projects Expressing Attitude & Style, which I reviewed here…
…or his Craftsy class, See It, Crochet It: Reading Diagrams.
How To Crochet the Flat Ruching Stitch
Crochet Pattern and Tutorials by Charles Voth Designs
- This pattern uses US crochet pattern abbreviations. You can find a master list of abbreviations here.
- A complete video tutorial is available after the written pattern.
I know that many, many, many crocheters don’t really like to work up swatches to check their gauge or their tension, or to see if they are using the right hook for the yarn they’ve chosen to crochet. Some people avoid it with a carefree attitude, and others with a guilty conscience. In this post, I’m not going to harp or preach about swatching to get gauge. However, I think that swatching is a super practice and a great one for learning new stitch patterns, and more importantly for uncovering amazing looking crochet.
In fact, I was swatching and experimenting with stitches for a few hours one day, and what resulted was my discovery of this beautiful stitch pattern, which I’ve called the “flat ruching pattern”. To pronounce this word take the “oo” sound from “boot” or “root” and say “rooshing”. It comes from a French word meaning “frill”, but this was based on a Celtic word meaning “tree bark”. Ruching is a way to gather fabric in rows to make larger widths of fabric fit across shorter widths in order to sew them together. I think it does look like what I image tree bark would look like if it were soft and silky, instead of hard. The tight small ridges that divide the longer evenly gathered strands of yarn are like the stitching worked in sewn fabric to create the gathers.
The wrong side of this stitch pattern, shown above, highlights the frilly rows of stitches differently, and the gathering rows look like miniature zig-zag ribbons, also called rick-rack. For some projects, I would consider using this as the public side, just because I really like the “rick-rack” rows and how they look.
The fabric that results from crocheting the flat ruching pattern is quite stretchy and squishy…There is a lot of “air” or loft in the rows that have the long strands. I think it’s perfect for garments because it has lots of movement. I crocheted this swatch with a bamboo/cotton blend, that’s a DK weight (#3 according to yarnstandards.com) and a size E (3.5mm) hook. But I have made washcloths with worsted weight kitchen cotton yarn, and DK-weight acrylic, and sock-weight sheep’s wool… It looks great with any yarn, but especially one with a sheen to it.
To crochet the flat ruching pattern, we use two different stitches. First we work an inverse single crochet, which simply means that the hook is inserted from back to front. The other stitch is the hitched double crochet, which I think will be new to all of you, unless you have worked a similar stitch, called the Love Knot or Solomon stitch. I borrowed one of the steps of the Love Knot and applied it to a double crochet to invent the hitched double crochet. Maybe I should say I only unvented this (discovered something that has already been invented, but isn’t widely known). Regardless, I’m going to break down how to crochet the flat rushing stitch pattern.
- First, here are the instructions; below them, I explain how to make the 2 stitches we use.
- Chain any number of stitches.
- Row 1: Sc in second ch from hook and in each ch across, turn.
- Row 2: Ch 2, dc in first st at base of ch-2, ht-dc (hitched-double crochet) in the back loops only of each st across to last st, dc in last st, turn.
- Row 3: Ch 1, sc in first st, inv-sc (inverse-single crochet) in the front loops only of each st across to last st, sc in last st, turn.
- Repeat Rows 2 and 3 for pattern.
How to crochet the hitched double crochet
- Yo, and insert hook into the back loop of the next st. Yo and draw up a loop and loosen it to the height of the previous dc
- Pinch the base of the pulled up loop and the yarn feeding in from the ball.
- Yo, and pull through the first 2 loops, ensuring that you don’t let go of the pinched yarn strands.
- Insert the hook in the gap between the pinched strand and the raised loop, yo, and pull up a loop. Then pull this same loop through the remaining 2 loops on the hook.
- Bring the yarn to the front of the hook and insert hook into the front loop of the next st.
- Yarn under, or in other words, lay the chin of the hook over the working yarn and draw through the fabric. As you draw the hook through rotate it around so that it is in its normal position to continue.
- Yarn over, and pull through the 2 loops on the hook.
Not everyone likes to learn new stitches from words and photographs, so I’ve also made a video which you can watch below, or here.
I hope you try making either a washcloth, or a summer tee, or a wool scarf for the cold weather with the flat rushing stitch pattern. It’s unique drape and texture will make all your yarns look great!
© 2018 by Charles Voth (Charles Voth Designs) and published with permission by Underground Crafter. This pattern is for personal use only. You may use the pattern to make unlimited items for yourself, for charity, or to give as gifts. You may sell items you personally make by hand from this pattern. Do not violate Charles’s copyright by distributing this pattern or the photos in any form, including but not limited to scanning, photocopying, emailing, or posting on a website or internet discussion group. If you want to share the pattern, point your friends to this link: https://undergroundcrafter.com/blog/2018/07/17/how-to-crochet-flat-ruching-stitch/. Thanks for supporting indie designers!
Thanks, Charles, for sharing this beautiful stitch pattern with us!
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