Texture in crochet. It looks complicated, but in fact, it’s incredibly easy and remarkably approachable. Most of the time, crocheted texture starts off with just a few basic stitches (usually a chain, single crochet, or double crochet) and then continues with an easy repeating pattern to make an all-over textured fabric. Special stitches such as puff stitch, bobble stitch, and popcorn stitch are also very popular for creating texture. For knitters who are familiar with linen stitch, moss stitch, and rib stitch, you can find a crochet version too. The magic of textured crochet is that you can create a complex-looking fabric with the simplest pattern. And, of course, crochet can also create delicate fabrics with a more complicated composition of stitches. The possibilities are endless.
Since textured crochet is a broad topic (and I don’t want to pretend I know everything about it), I’ll focus on a few of my favourite stitches that I have come across in my crocheting experience.
Linen Stitch, Even Moss Stitch, Rib Stitch
These three stitches create texture by alternating two to three different stitches within row one. The crocheted piece grows in size by simply repeating the established row. It is also very easy to substitute one stitch for a very different effect. For example, substituting a single crochet with a double crochet in the Rib Stitch will create a wider ribbing. These kinds of compositions are the simplest and most often seen in textured crochet.
Puff Stitch, Bobble Stitch, Popcorn Stitch
Puff, bobble, and popcorn are three very easily confused stitches. They look similar but each is composed a little differently from each other, and are used for different effect. Puff stitch and Bobble stitch are used often in motifs. The biggest difference between them is that Puff stitch is more 3-dimensional and Bobble stitch is more 2-dimensional. From the crochet samples below you can see the Bobble stitch has less spacing in between stitches compared with Puff stitch. This is because the clustered stitches in Bobble stitch expands sideways, filling in the gaps between the stitches and remaining flat. On the other hand, the Puff stitch gathers all the yarn overs together and causes the motif to expand into a 3-dimensional shape. These two stitches can be composed of at least three double crochet (or half double crochet) but most often are composed by four or five double crochet (or half double crochet). Popcorn stitch is created by clustering a fan stitch, which usually composed of five double crochet, but there are patterns used treble or quadruple crochet. Having a hollow at the back is the unique point of the Popcorn stitch.
Post Stitch, Raised Stitch, Relief Stitch
The method used in the Post stitch is simply “crochet below”. The idea is similar to ‘knit one below’ but instead of crocheting on the stitch two rows down, the stitch is crocheted on the post of the previous row. It creates an overlap between two rows which add to the thickness of the fabric. Alternating crochet one and crochet below (see sample below) can create a highly textured fabric.
The Post stitch is also the stitch for those who are into cable crochet. Crossing the post stitches can mimic the look of a knitted cable. Most of the time post stitch is a mutation of double crochet, but it can also be used on treble, quadruple, quintuple crochet and so on. The longer the stitch length, the bigger the loops are in between stitches.
This is a bonus stitch here! It is my favourite texture stitch. The composition of the Star stitch is very similar to the Puff stitch. However, instead of clustering a numbers of yarn over in one spot, the roots of each yarn over in Star stitch is located in four-five different stitch that align against each other. This creates only the bottom half of the stitch. Half double crochet are added in the next row to complete the stars. Using Star stitch with Rib stitch or Post stitch can result in a sturdy yet soft fabric.
These are only a handful of textured stitches commonly used in crochet. There are more stitches for exploration, such as diamond crochet, basket weave, texture wave, ridges, Jasmine star and more. Dive in and have fun crocheting some textures now! &