Learning how to Crochet the Linen Stitch gives you more of a woven look that is perfect for Summer Crochet Projects.
One of the fun parts about getting really comfortable with a hobby is being able to do unexpected things with it. Exploring yarn as our crochet “art medium” I have seen gorgeous results from people who creatively turned stitches into a lookalike of something else. Crochet that looks like knitting, painting, embroidery, macrame, and even fur are all interesting techniques that have made me want to look closer.
Well, today’s stitch is another technique that, in my opinion, creates the look of something different. Learning how to crochet the linen stitch will give you a way of making something that can almost look woven, or perhaps like crochet stitches are worked around rope and holding it together.
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About the Linen Stitch
The linen stitch is made out of alternating single crochet and chain stitches. It is also called the granite stitch or the moss stitch. Each row of the pattern made with the linen stitch is offset from the one below it, meaning that you end up with single crochet stitches above chains, and vice versa. As a simple variation of single crochet stitches, it does look a bit like the waistcoat stitch(also known as the knit stitch of crochet).
Because the single crochet stitches in this pattern are worked into chain spaces(around the chain stitches instead of through them), each row turns out “shorter”. This means that in terms of gauge, it can take a more rows of linen stitch to get the same height as you could with normal rows of single crochet. But, while the pace of this pattern may be a bit slower, it is definitely worth it.
Not only does the linen stitch boast an easy-to-do, visually appealing texture, it also has extra stretch. Again, because of how the single crochet stitches are done, the rows overlap slightly more. This gives the finished a lot of give vertically up the rows, with normal stretch g side to side. This, along with the chain spaces, gives the linen stitch a very nice drape if not done too tightly. Personally, I think it would be a very flattering choice for tops and scarves.
How to Crochet the Linen Stitch Step-by Step
Really quickly, here are the abbreviations I am using below to explain the linen stitch.
- sc-single crochet
- rep-repeat. Repeats are shown inside a pair of asterisks (**).
- sc2- work two single crochet stitches into the same stitch
Working the Linen Stitch Normally
The basic repeat of the linen stitch is to *sc, ch1 and skip a stitch*. In every other row the pattern just needs to get started so that the sc stitches are getting worked into the ch spaces from the previous row. I accomplished this by putting two sc stitches at the beginning of even-numbered rows. To end up with a sc on both ends of the work, work with an odd number of total stitches.
Important Note: It can be difficult to actually tell where your chain spaces at the beginning. In my experience, the chain spaces can actually look smaller than the sc stitches when seeing the back of your previous row. Be sure to look at both sides of your work to be sure.
- Ch an even number of stitches.
- Row 1: skip a ch and sc. *sc, ch1 and skip a stitch*. Rep across the row to the very last ch. sc.
- ch1 and turn.
Row 2: sc, sc again into the very first ch space. ch1 and skip a st, and then continue the *sc, ch1 and skip a stitch* across the row until the last ch space. Sc into the ch space, and then sc into the very last stitch.
- Row 3: ch1 and turn
- *sc, ch1 and skip a stitch*. Rep across the row to the very last ch. sc.
Continue repeating rows 2-3 as many times as you want/need to. After the first 4-5 rows are done the “linen” pattern should be easy to see.
In the video below I take you through making a swatch of linen stitch for younrself. As with the directions above, I decided to stick with an odd number of stitches in my work so that I could keep a nice solid edge on both sides. After a few rows it really starts to come together.
Shaping the Linen Stitch
With regular chain spaces to work with, the linen stitch is not as straightforward as some other stitches to increase and decrease with. However, here are a few ideas that you can come back to if you try this stitch and decide to use it as part of a garment or other shaped project. This is definitely optional and may not be something you need to look into right away!
To increase with the linen stitch, you could add extra sc stitches closer to the edge of your work. In the following row(s) some of those stitches could be worked as chain spaces to bring the pattern all the way back out to the edge. To keep things more open, I would personally try to work a sc, ch, sc all into one chain space if that would work. That way, one whole extra repeat is getting snuck in at once.
Then to decrease the linen stitch, there are also several options. With the way that I work the linen stitch, I could probably just skip doing my second sc stitch at the edges of an even-numbered row. Another very easy option that could be used anywhere in the work would be skipping certain ch stitches. Either way, the visual impact is minimal.
I hope that after trying your hand with the linen stitch, you have lots of fun using it in your own projects. While this tutorial used thinner weight yarns, I would love to see the results you get with bulky, cozier yarns as well.
And if you liked learning along with me with the linen stitch, be sure to get on the email list here at Amelia Makes so that you can be the first to hear about the new tutorials and patterns/projects that are getting added all the time. As a bonus for signing up for emails, I’ll send you a free download of 101 crochet ideas right away!
Keep the crocheting delightful!