Mind the Gap: Avoiding the Turning Chain Hole
Do you dislike the pesky little gaps left by the ch 3 turn when working rows of double crochet?
See how obnoxious?
Part of the problem is that a ch 3 just does not have enough width and substance to look like its neighboring dc. Secondly, it is supposed to replace a dc, so you skip that stitch right after the ch 3 which only exacerbates the problem. Hence, ugly hole. An additional "bug" for me is that working into a ch is always harder than the top of a normal stitch when you get back on the next row.
Before I figured out some better options, I tried working a ch-2 instead which worked a titch better but not much.
So I have 3 options that I'll show you. You can use whichever is the easiest for you and gives you the result you desire. I use all three at times depending on the project at hand.
This option is a bit difficult to master at first. Here's how I do it...
Turn your work for your next row and pull up your loop a bit. Holding the loop in place tightly with your forefinger, wrap your hook counter-clockwise (right-handed) or clockwise (lefties). It will then look like this with your loop wrapped around your hook. (Keep holding it with your finger.)
Then yarn over and draw your loop behind the first loop shown here. (Behind your initial twisted loop.) Notice that my hook is down low at the level of my work.
Now yarn over and draw through both loops on your hook.
It looks pretty good. Definitely not a dc, but it has good height, more substance then a ch-3 and the top is a bit like a normal stitch with 2 loops for working into on your return trip--albeit a bit tighter. Like I said, this technique is a tad tricky and takes a little practice to twist and hold and yarn over and pull through. If you want to see it in action, take a peek at Moogly's video here.
See the little comparison above? It definitely looks better. But still not my favorite.
Turn your work and get ready for the new row. Chain 1...this will raise your hook just enough. Now complete a dc in the first st.
This is what the final stitch looks like. You just "pretend" that the ch-1 isn't there and you are now dealing with a regular dc that is just a bit thicker. Sometimes this is a problem, but usually not for me. It also works well in the round, too. Some folks think it is too hard to work with only a ch-1, but I just pull my loop a little longer before the dc and have no problem.
I also really like that it is easy to work into since it's a regular dc. Sometimes it seems to be pulled down a bit at the top--in other words, it tips down a wee bit. But I find that once it has been worked into it stands up taller and very much looks like a normal dc.
This might be my favorite option. It's easy, it looks the most like a normal dc without the gap, tipping, or hard to work top, and it can be used for taller stitches, too. Let me show you...
First, turn your work to start the new row. Then without any chains, work a sc into the first stitch. This is like the bottom half of your dc. Now see that X? Insert your hook under that loop...
...yarn over and draw through.
Yarn over again and draw through again.
It's basically like 2 sc stitches stacked on top of each other. I like it! And because you "topped it off" with a sc, it works like a normal stitch on the return.
Speaking of making it taller, all you do is repeat going under that "X" loop and it's like making a treble. Pretty nifty, huh?
Give these three a try and let me know your preferences. And if you have any other little turning chain tricks I would love to know what they are.
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