Saturday, January 20, 2024

Crochet Stitch - Waistcoat Stitch, How to

I used to call the Waistcoat Stitch the Knit Single Crochet (ksc) but Knit Single Crochet Stitch is properly known as the Waistcoat Stitch.

Oops! Sorry – I didn’t know that when I thought I “invented” it!!! 😂😂😂
Waistcoat Stitch aka Knit SC Stitch

Note: This stitch is best suited for working in the rounds. Hence it is ideal for tapestry crochet bags and amigurumi projects.

I called this stitch the “ksc stitch” (knit single crochet stitch). AKA vsc because we work the sc into the “v” of the stitch below. I came upon it in experimentations. I call it “Knit single crochet” (or ksc for short) because it looks like a stockinnette knit stitch, doesn’t it?

For me, this is the ideal stitch for use in crochet amigurumi doorstops and for tapestry crochet bags. The Waistcoat stitch produces a very strong fabric (almost like woven canvas) and is so dense that it is prevents weighted amigurumi small stuffing from falling out.

Common Crochet Stitch used in Amigurumi dolls

On asking Google and Pinterest and even from amigurumi patterns, I can see that the most commonly used crochet stitch is the standard sc (single crochet). However I found that no matter how tightly I crocheted, the resultant holes (spaces between stitches) were too large for my liking.
In this first amigurumi project, I was making an amigurumi doorstop. I was using glass beads for the required weight. The beads kept seeping out, bit by bit, through the holes. So this first creation was later hacked and cut up to rescue the precious heavy beads! (Good stuffing materials are expensive!)

Here is a close up of the crocheted fabric using single crochet stitch (sc). See how large the holes are. (You can even see the orange stuffing of recycled materials within.)

Not only can small pellets/beads fall out, but it is a bit unsightly (to me) to be able to see the stuffing especially as most stuffing is white in colour. That really shows up if you are using dark yarn for your amigurumi crochet.

So I went searching for a better stitch. One that would produce a strong and dense fabric.

Common Crochet Stitch used in Tapestry Crochet and Wayuu Bags

In the meantime, I was also trying out tapestry crochet. The Wayuu bags are a good example of tapestry crochet. They looked very enticing to me so I decided to do some research.

Some crocheters use the standard sc stitch in tapestry crochet and in their wayuu bags. However I find that that produces a fabric that is too ‘holey’ and not quite strong enough to ensure durability in the face of possible rough, daily usage.

If I was going to make these kinds of bags, I wanted a resultant fabric that felt and was in fact, very strong to ensure that the bags would be sturdy and long-lasting.

There are lots of videos on Wayuu bags and on tapestry crochet on youtube. Most crocheters seem to use a stitch which they call “modified single crochet” in the making of Wayuu type bags. As I said above, if you look around, there is more than one version of “modified single crochet” around. The video below is an example of the most popular type of ‘modified sc’ used in wayuu bags.

This video, by All Tapestry Crochet, is particularly clear and instructive. As she says, she is using “modified single crochet”.

This version of “modified sc” seems to be the most commonly used sc stitch for tapestry bags and for Wayuu bags in particular. It’s main advantage is that it produces stitches that are stacked on top of each other (ideal of creating “pictures” in your crochet with minimal distortion or slanting stitches).

It also produces a horizontal ridge in your crocheted fabric. This can be very useful and decorative when used effectively.

I tried out this modified sc and while I like it, it does not produce as strong a fabric as does my ksc stitch (knit single crochet stitch).

Note: For a long while, I thought that there was just one single crochet (sc). Then recently I paid more attention to a stitch called “Modified single crochet”. But shortly after that, I found that there was no one definitive type of ‘modified sc’. In fact, there are various ‘modified single crochet’ stitches so that the name by and of itself is not very helpful nor definitive.

The Waistcoat Stitch

Once again, I apologize for not being able to make a how-to video for you. I just don’t know how even though I have tried and tried. I only produce shockers.

The advantages of waistcoat stitch:

  • very very strong and dense fabric (perfect for bags and amigurumi stuffed creations)
  • stitches stack up vertically (which is important when crocheting 'images')

The waistcoat stitch is a very easy variation of the single crochet stitch.

Instead of putting the hook through the top 2 loops, insert the hook into the “v” of the previous row. Then do as you would a normal sc: yarn over, pull through, yarn over and pull through the 2 loops on hook.

Tip: if you are doing tapestry crochet and are using multiple colours, you don’t need to float the unused yarn behind. In fact, you don’t want to do that. Rather, catch the strands of unused yarn as you work.

Here are a couple of WIP (work in progress) photos. They illustrate the use of waistcoat crochet stitch. The waistcoat stitch is currently my favourite crochet stitch for amigurumi projects for its tough sturdiness, its ideal suitability for creating un-skewed images, and for its densely packed stitches.