The beauty of the crochet-work depends upon the regularity of the stitches, as is the case with every other style of needlework. The stitches must be elastic, but if too loose they look as bad as if too tight. The size of the needle and that of the cotton or wool must correspond; work only with the point of the needle, and never move the stitch up and down the needle.
All crochet-work patterns are begun on a foundation chain; there are three kinds of foundation chains–the plain foundation, the double foundation, and the purl foundation chain.
The plain foundation chain (illustration 216) consists of chain stitches.
Form a loop with the cotton or other material with which you work, take it on the needle, and hold the cotton as for knitting on the forefinger and other fingers of the left hand. The crochet-needle is held in the right hand between the thumb and forefinger, as you hold a pen in writing; hold the end of the cotton of the loop between the thumb and forefinger of the left hand, wind the cotton once round the needle by drawing the needle underneath the cotton from left to right, catch the cotton with the hook of the needle and draw it as a loop through the loop already on the needle, which is cast off the needle by this means and forms one chain stitch. The drawing the cotton through the loop is repeated until the foundation chain has acquired sufficient length. When enough chain stitches have been made, take the foundation chain between the thumb and forefinger of the left hand, so that these fingers are always close to and under the hook of the needle. Each stitch must be loose enough to let the hook of the needle pass easily through. All foundation chains are begun with a loop.
(217) The Double Foundation Chain–Crochet 2 chain stitches, insert the needle downwards into the left side of the 1st chain stitch, throw the cotton forward, draw it out as a loop, wind the cotton again round the needle and draw it through the two loops on the needle, * draw the cotton as a loop through the left side of the last stitch (see illustration), wind the cotton round the needle, and draw it through both loops on the needle. Repeat from * till the foundation chain is long enough.
(218) Purl Foundation Chain–* Crochet 4 chain stitch, then 1 treble stitch–that is, wind the cotton round the needle, insert the needle downwards into the left side of the 1st of the 4 chain stitches, wind the cotton round the needle, draw it through the stitch, wind the cotton again round the needle, and at the same time draw the cotton through the last loop and through the stitch formed by winding the cotton round the needle. Wind the cotton once more round the needle, and draw it through the 2 remaining loops on the needle. The 4 chain stitches form a kind of scallop or purl. Repeat from *. The following crochet stitches require foundation chains like Nos. 216 and 217; they are all worked in separate rows excepting the two Nos. 222 and 234. Make a loop at the beginning of every row, as has been described (No. 216), and take it on the needle.
(219) Slip Stitch–Draw the needle through the back part of a foundation chain stitch, or in the course of the work through the back part of a stitch of the preceding row, wind the cotton round the needle, and draw it through the stitch and loop on the needle. The illustration shows a number of slip stitches, the last of which is left quite loose; the arrow marks the place where the needle is to be inserted for the next stitch.
(220) Double Stitch.–These are worked nearly like the preceding ones. Draw the cotton as a loop through the back part of a stitch, wind the cotton round the needle, and draw it through the two loops on the needle.
(221)–These double stitches are worked nearly like the preceding ones; the 1st row is worked like that of No. 220; in the following ones insert the needle into the two upper sides of a stitch of the preceding row.
(222) The Ribbed Stitch–This stitch is worked backwards and forwards–that is, the right and wrong sides are worked together, which forms the raised ribs. Insert the needle always into the back part of every stitch. Work 1 chain stitch at the end of every row, which is not worked, however, in the following row.
(223) Slanting Stitch, double stitch–This stitch is worked like that described in No. 220; the cotton is not wound round the needle the first time in the usual manner, but the needle is placed in the direction of the arrow, above the cotton. Draw the cotton through as a loop; the stitch is finished like the common double stitch.
(224) Cross Stitch–This stitch is worked like No. 223 on a foundation like No. 217, only insert the needle through the two upper sides of a stitch.
(225) Long Double–For this stitch wind the cotton round the needle, insert it into the back part of a stitch, draw the cotton out as a loop, wind the cotton again round the needle, and cast off together the two loops and the loop formed by winding the cotton round the needle.
(226) Treble Stitch–These stitches are worked as has been described for the purl foundation chain, No. 218. The treble stitches are worked on a foundation chain or in the stitches of the preceding row.
227 Long Treble–These are worked like treble stitches, only the cotton is wound twice round the needle; the double long treble (illustration 228) is worked by winding the cotton three times round the needle. The loops formed by winding the cotton round the needle are cast off one by one with one of the loops on the needle. The two loops that remain at the end are cast off together after winding the cotton round the needle.
(229-231) Cross Treble–Illustration 229 shows this stitch completed; illustrations 230 and 231 show them in the course of the work. Wind the cotton twice round the needle as for a long treble, insert the needle into the stitch in which the first half of the cross treble is to be worked, wind the cotton round the needle, draw the cotton through as a loop, wind the cotton again round the needle and cast off together with the same the loop on the needle and the loop formed by throwing the cotton forward; you have now 3 loops left on the needle, 1 of which has been formed by winding the cotton round the needle; missing these, wind the cotton again round the needle, miss the 2 next stitches of the foundation chain, and draw a loop through the third stitch. You have now 5 loops on the needle. Always cast off 2 loops at a time till only 1 loop remains on the needle. Work 2 chain stitches (if you wish to have the stitches more or less) slanting, work 1, 2, or 3 chain stitches, missing, of course, the same number of foundation chain, work 1 treble stitch, inserting the needle, as shown by the arrow on No. 231, into the 2 cross chain of the completed treble stitch.
(232) Raised Spots–The grounding on which these spots are worked consists of double crochet. They are worked across 3 rows of the ground, and formed of treble stitches, the spots of one row being placed between those of the preceding. Work first 2 rows of double stitch, in the 3rd row work first 2 double stitches and then 1 spot as follows:–1 treble, inserting the needle into both sides of 1 stitch of the first row (the preceding row is missed); the treble stitch is only completed so far that 2 loops remain on the needle; then work 2 treble stitches in the same stitch as the first, which are also only completed as far as the first treble stitch, so that after the 2nd treble there remain 3 loops and after the 3rd 4 loops on the needle (see illustration). The 4 loops are cast off together by winding the cotton once more round the needle and drawing it through. Miss under the spot the next double stitch of the preceding row; the spots are repeated at intervals of 5 stitches and in every other row.
(233) Hollow Spots–The ground is worked in double crochet (illustration 220). These spots, which appear raised, consist of 5 treble stitches; they are worked in every other row at intervals of 5 stitches. For working them leave 1 loop on the needle, insert the needle between the 2 long sides of the last-worked double stitch, and work 5 treble stitches, always inserting the needle into the front part of 1 stitch of the preceding row. The first 4 treble are completed entirely without taking up the loop which was on the needle; with the fifth treble stitch only the 3 loops are cast off together by winding the cotton round the needle. Miss 1 stitch of the preceding row under the spot.
(234) Open-work Spots–These spots are treble stitches divided by 2 chain; miss 2 stitches under the latter; for the rest, they are worked like the raised spots (illustration 232).
(235) Raised Treble Stitch–These stitches are long treble worked on a ribbed ground (illustration 222), and are thrown across 3 rows of the same. The raised treble are always worked on the same side of the work and in the long side of the corresponding stitch of the last row but two. After every row with treble stitch comes a row in ribbed stitch. At the beginning work 3 rows of ribbed stitch; the treble stitches begin only in the 4th row.
(236) Purl Stitch–These purl stitches imitate a lace edging perfectly well. Work 1 double, draw out the loop to a certain length (this forms the purl), take the needle out of it, insert it in the front part of the last stitch which has been worked (see illustration), wind the cotton round the needle and draw it through as a loop; 1 double, 1 purl, and so on.
237 Purl Stitch turned upwards–Work 1 treble, then 7 chain stitch. Insert the needle into the 2nd of the 7 chain stitch downwards, so that the chain stitches form a scallop upwards (see illustration), wind the cotton round the needle and draw the cotton through; work 1 chain stitch and 1 treble in the next stitch but 3, missing 3 stitches under it.
238 Purl Stitch turned downwards–The chain stitches form a scallop turned downwards. After having worked the 7 chain stitches take the needle out of the loop, insert it underneath the upper chain of the 2nd chain stitch, from right to left, and draw it through the loop in the direction of the arrow. Wind the cotton round the needle and cast all the loops off together. It is evident that the purl stitches may be worked at larger or smaller distances.
Beeton’s Book of Needlework – 1870