With the crochet sea glass tee I learned 1×1 crochet colorwork. Don’t know if I would attempt it in knitting though.
The Briefest History of Crochet Colorwork
Colorwork crochet is the new black.
Before beginning my experience with the crochet 1 x 1 colorwork technique , I wanted to give a brief history of crochet colorwork. Turns out, this is still a work in progress. As mentioned in Dora Orenstein’s article for Interweave, the textile history of crochet is still unclear. Concrete evidence of crochet is seen in the 19th century but references to a 16th century practice do exist.
If the textile history of crochet is still a little muddled, what about colorwork crochet? That my friends is a tiny bit clearer. The date is not too specific but the item is. Can you guess?
Yes friends, Jurab socks to be more specific. This technique originates in the Pamirs of Tajikistan in Central Asia. Simplified it’s a slip stitch color work sock. Yes, you read that right. Slip stitches.
As it happens slip stitches, or Shepards Knitting is an older technique to “crochet.” A reference to this type of crafting is found in Memoirs of a Highland Lady, originally published in 1912.
As crochet colorwork gains popularity we see many different techniques for it. These being, mosaic, tapestry, intarsia, and fair isle crochet.
The most popular stitches for colorwork crochet are variations of a single crochet stitch. Interweave spring 2018 is a great issue for dipping your toes in tapestry crochet. Also, issue 5 of Wecrochet has a great article on mosaic crochet and some very drool worthy colorwork patterns as well.
What is 1×1 Crochet Colorwork
Have you used any of these colorwork techniques? I’ve tried mosaic and tapestry crochet. Between these, I like mosaic because you only work with one color in every row.
Now that we’ve had the briefest glimpse at crochet colorwork. What is 1×1 colorwork? Like in knitting, 1×1 colorwork is when you change color with each stitch. Yes, it can seem daunting, but really it’s all in how you hold the yarn.
While I often dable in color blocking to make garments, I hadn’t worked with 1×1 crochet colorwork until Selena approached me to test crochet the Sea Glass Tee. The pattern from wool.and.pine.designs is available in knitting and crochet and it’s a lovely scrap busting project.
No, that isn’t a typo. Because of it’s construction you really only need enough yarn to complete a round. As a top down yoke sweater the crochet sea glass tee is a very beginner friendly pattern. All you really need to know is the single crochet stitch and how to read a pattern. There is no shaping, and the pattern provides stitch counts for the yoke division as well as for the increase rounds.
My Crochet Sea Glass Tee
Did I do any planning before starting my crochet sea glass tee? No. I simply grabbed all my scraps that had blue, green, or some version in between and randomly paired them together. I used around 14 different colors, give or take a color and 205 grams of yarn.
Even though I used 205g of yarn, the pattern does state that you need a total of 300 grams for the smallest size. . But only after I handed in my tester notes in.
The scraps in the project hold a special place in my heart. I had been saving many of them for over 3 years. Don’t you just love crocheting your memories?
- In this tee you will find the yarn from
- my first pair of crochet socks – from Step into Crochet book
- the second las nubes top – two different colors
- remus lupin colorway from Kay Jones
- and peruvian instant darkness powder from littlebeanlovesyarn
- a pair of knit christmas socks – Yarn from Vicki Brown
- my ollivander shawl – design from Kay Jones
- a vintage peplum pattern from Interweave
- my six wives shawl – design from PotterandBloom
- my first second socks syndrome swap
- mindandmusecrafts first sock pattern – my sweet socks
- leftover from the bobble in time top
- micro skein from little bean loves yarn in my favorite colorway of hers. The Dark Mark
- the fade sweater I’m making – two different colors from BurrowandSoar
- blue/sea green
- a variagated skein with greens, purples, blues
Changes made to the pattern
The pattern calls for a 5mm hook. Since I was going with the smallest size I wasn’t overly concerned with my gauge being 1 stitch off. Acceptable for the yoke, but not for the body. We will get to that in a minute.
After the increases, I immediately split for the sleeves and completed them before working the body.
Because I didn’t measure my gauge or tried it on during the making process, I actually ripped back the completed tee to work the body differently. For the body of the sweater I completed 2” in the 5mm hook, switched to a 4.5mm, and then to the 4mm.
With these changes the crochet sea glass tee is still loose but not overwhelmingly so.
To finish off the sweater I completed 3 rounds of single crochet and then switched to a 3.75mm hook to complete a crab stitch border.
My top measures 15.5” in length and 38″ around the bust 36 around the waist.
- Patience is a virtue – I find working yoke sweaters particularly daunting and sometimes want to hurry the process along, but that resulted in too loose a gauge.
- Gauge swatch – Even if you can’t match the tension, it’s important to swatch and block to see how much your work will actually stretch so that you have an idea of how many inches/cm you need to crochet.
- Don’t plan – treat the crochet Sea Glass tee like an abstract canvas and don’t worry about color order. Just choose a palette that speaks to you and work from there.
- Video help – watch the videos included in the pattern before you start your project.
Final Thoughts on crochet colorwork and the sea glass tee.
Although some people find that colorwork has no place in crochet, or that it lacks the finesse of knit colorwork, I like it. Because crochet stitches are bigger than knit fingering weight makes the best yarn for garment color work.
Also, just like knitting crochet colorwork takes time. Don’t expect to rush through it. Lastly, colorwork does not stretch as much as non colorwork crochet, so be sure to swatch.
I really like the effect the 1×1 colorwork technique gave the sea glass top. It looks like one hank of yarn was used throughout. And like I mentioned, it’s a great scrap busting project.