This causes the final stitch height to vary. This means that the row gauge (number of rows per inch) can vary from one crocheter to another, even if they have the same stitch gauge (number of stitches per inch).
A taller double crochet has advantages:
- It could be the solution to matching the row gauge required for a project (a common and pesky problem)
- Increases fashionable drape in crocheted clothing; the double crochet stitches look less chunky, more limber, longer-legged, and elegant.
- Certain stitch patterns such as the popular "V-Stitch" double crochet pattern have a smoother look and more flex (important for crocheting clothing, especially when using bumpy or stiff yarns)
Regarding Advantage #2: I next saw this issue addressed by Dee Stanziano, who distinguishes three types of crocheters: Lifters, Riders, and Yankers. Doris Chan, who knows a thing or two about drape, has a great blog post about it: "Confessions of a Lifter."
Regarding Advantage #3: I used mostly V-stitch for my Work@Home Vest (see photo above for close up). The Peaches 'n Creme cotton version (at right) is a pleasant surprise: it drapes! It feels soft, flexible, and smooth-textured instead of having hard lumps where the dc's are worked into the spaces between the stitches.
If you think of the base of a crochet stitch as having two "feet" anchored in or around a stitch, then pulling up higher while working the stitch creates longer "legs." Longer legs create enough room for stitches to flex and drape, even when anchored around multiple strands of yarn. This is something I'm going to keep in mind when I use other stitch patterns featuring stitches that are worked into the spaces between stitches.
Today I discovered a Crochetville conversation in which Jean Leinhauser describes her "Golden Loop" method for the dc (or UK tr) stitch:
"YO, insert hook in specified stitch and draw up a loop -- NOW STOP! This is the Golden Loop, and it determines the ultimate height of your stitch. If you need a taller stitch, draw this loop up higher. If your stitch is too tall, don't draw this loop up so high.Now just finish the dc as usual. You may need to practice a few rows with the new height to get it to become automatic. It is this one loop, not the size of the hook, that determines row gauge."I learned to crochet decades ago from my mother. In Dee's terminology, Mom and I were "Riders." For a long time I wondered why one is supposed to chain 3 to begin a row of dc, instead of 2. This is because my ch-3 was taller than my dc's.
I've seen other crocheters say the same thing in forums, and crocheters have their favorite tricks for avoiding that hole that results between the ch-3 and the first dc. For example, some simply chain 2 instead. As long as shorter rows of dc won't be a problem for your project, this is a fine fix.
|First Thread Cardigan project (needs to be blocked)|
In my case, I hit a snag in 1999 when I began my first cardigan made of mainly dc....in THREAD....with BEADS. After much crocheting, I just could not match the row gauge even though I could get the stitch gauge. I was baffled and worried that there was something wrong with how I crochet!
If I didn't get the right row gauge, then the armholes would come out too small: yikes! My fix at the time was to change all dc into "extended dc" ("edc"). It's like adding a chain to the stitch's height. Kristine Mullen has a great photo tutorial of how to do this stitch. She also contrasts the height of it with a regular dc and with a regular treble crochet stitch.
An advantage of using edc in place of dc for the cardigan is that the stitches have a bit more drape. They're slimmed down because a chain is slightly less meaty than the post of a dc. A disadvantage is that an extra step is added to each and every stitch. Combined with the beads I was adding, this was too much extra fuss to be fast and fun. (I still haven't completed it.)
If I'd known back then about being a "Lifter" instead of a "Rider" I would have learned to make lifted dc instead. I'd rather change my "riding habit" than to add an extra chain to each dc for such a big thread project.
Nowadays I'm more often a "Lifter" by pulling up a bit on the "Golden Loop," especially when crocheting clothing. My goal is for my dc stitches to be 3 chains tall, my trebles to be 4 chains tall, and so on.