Spirit of Summer shawl - stitch tutorials & videos

When I showed you the beginnings of my new shawl I promised to post a tutorial for the stitches because I'm getting so much pleasure from crochet and am keen to encourage any 'crochet-curious knitters' amongst you to give it a go. This shawl is not very taxing, makes a great travel project and works up quickly (I designed it as a top-down triangle which gets shorter on every row) - I'll be publishing the free pattern here very soon.

UPDATE: By request, I've put together a 7-page downloadable PDF which includes all of the stitch tutorials and the written pattern and you can download it from Ravelry for a small fee. Or you can find the free pattern here

So this is how the fabric looks in-progress. If you are an experienced crocheter, you may recognise it as the 'Honeycomb Trellis' pattern, which is made up of just three very simple stitches. UK terms are used. 
  • Chain 
  • Double crochet
  • Slip stitch
These are all basic stitches, as demonstrated below. This post is concerned with the stitches rather than being a general introduction to crochet, so I'll work on the assumption that you know how to hold a hook and how to tension the yarn in your non-dominant hand - if you don't, you can find lots of tutorials online (this is a good one) and you will also be able to see how I do it from the slow-mo videos included (if you're a 'Continental' knitter, it's essentially the same).

Note that I am right-handed, if you are left-handed you will need to reverse the written instructions. For your convenience, I've uploaded flipped video clips to my vimeo page and links to the individual videos are listed below. 

You can practice these stitches with any weight yarn and appropriate hook (check the ball band), so that you will be ready to start the pattern when it's published and the recommended yarn is available to order. I'll post the materials list at that point.

The Chain Stitch (ch)

The chain stitch (ch) is the foundation for many patterns - the equivalent of casting on in knitting - as well as being used to turn rows and to form increases and different shapes. In the Spirit of Summer shawl, it's used for all of these things.

Steps 1 and 2 apply to the foundation row only.

1. Start by making a slip knot.

2. Place the slip knot onto the hook and tighten it up.

3. Place the hook beneath the working yarn, and scoop the yarn onto the hook, by moving anti-clockwise. (LH: move clockwise)

4. Gently pull the hook and looped yarn through the slipknot already on the hook, to create the first chain stitch.

5. Repeat the same motion (as in 3 and 4), pulling each new chain through the previous chain on the hook.

NOTE: If your hook won't fit through the existing stitch to pull the loop of yarn through, or if it's really  loose and sloppy,  you will need to adjust your tension. For this pattern, the foundation chain needs to be fairly loose, so if you naturally crochet tightly, you could use a larger hook for the foundation chain, before switching back to the smaller hook.

I've slowed this video down after the first stitch so you can see how it looks when repeated. Notice how the working yarn is moving through my fingers (it's anchored around my little finger) as I make the chain longer.

Crochet Chain from Sarah Knight on VimeoFind the left handed version of this video HERE.

By the time you have 10 - 15 cm of chain stitches, you should be ready to move on. 

Double Crochet (dc)

A double crochet (dc) is worked into an existing stitch, and is very straightforward. You can practice this using the chain you've already made. For the first stitch, you will need to work into the second chain from the hook (indicated below) to allow for turning. After that work into each stitch, for practice.

1. Insert the hook into the required stitch, from front to back. BOTH strands of the stitch should be visible on the hook (below).

2. Scoop the yarn anti-clockwise (L/H: clockwise) over the hook, and pull the hook and scooped yarn through the chain stitch...

3. You will now have two loops on your hook (see below). Yarn over the hook once more, and pull that yarn through both loops to finish your dc stitch.

Repeat steps 1 to 3 across your chain to practice the double crochet stitch.

Again, the video below has been slowed down after the first stitch. Note that as the foundation chain is quite flimsy I'm adjusting the way I hold the work, which makes it easier. This is something that will come automatically when you're used to crocheting.

Slip Stitch (ss)

A slip stitch isn't much of a stitch at all and for the shawl, it's only used to make neat edges. There isn't a video for this one - if you can make a chain and a double crochet stitch, you will have no problem. 

1. Insert the hook into the stitch indicated in the pattern, then put the yarn over the hook.


2. Pull the yarn through the stitch so there are two loops on the hook. 

3. Pull the new loop through the first loop on the hook, to slip the stitch. 

If you can manage these stitches, you can make the shawl! If you'd like to know more about the brand new Scheepjes Spirit yarn head on over to this post. It's available from Deramores*, Wool Warehouse* and other Scheepjes stockists. 

*Yarn supplied by Scheepjes. Stockist affiliate link. 


  1. Great tutorials Sarah! I love that the pictures are so clear and the videos are slow mo to make it easier to see and follow.


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