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Swatch #1 – Hairy spiders

March 27, 2013

I literally can’t do what it says in the books – to keep your swatches with a label attached giving full details of – all the – details. So, with apologies to those who do not care (but not very sincere apologies, I admit) I am putting it on here.

Swatch 1

Yarn

Wendy Allegra, shade 954
Alpaca, acrylic & polyester.Really fluffy!

Hook

8mm, bamboo

Stitch

I’ve heard this called bow stitch, butterfly stitch and spider stitch, depending on what the namer thinks the little bunches of chains look like. I was aiming for something like hairy spiders…

It basically goes –

  • One or more foundation rows in a plain stitch (can be sc, hdc, or dc).
  • Choose how many stitches you want to skip when you make each spider. This number is “x”. Choose the length of chains (slightly longer than x). This number is “y”.
  • Spider row 1 – * plain stitch to where you want the spider. Chain y, skip x stitches, repeat from * to end.
  • Spider rows 2 and 3 – * plain stitch to spider. Chain y, skip chain space, repeat from * to end.
  • Spider row 4 – * plain stitch to spider, chain half of whatever y is (round down if y is an odd number!), loose sc around the three chains already worked, chain the other half of y, skip chain space, repeat from * to end.
  • Return to sanity row 1 – * plain stitch to spider , chain x, skip spider, repeat from* to end.
  • Return to sanity row 2 – *plain stitch to chain space. Work x plain stitches into chain space. Repeat from * to end.

You could do 3 spider rows, or 5, instead of 4 (by either omitting or repeating row 3) although it would have 6 or 10 legs then!

I experimented with different sizes of spider.

  • The bottom pair are made using ch6 chains in a 5-stitch space, where the rows either side are worked in single crochet. These turned out far too small too see what was going on with a yarn this fluffy!
  • The middle spider is made with ch7 chains in a 5-stitch space, with the rows on each side worked in half-double crochet. This is a bit better but you still don’t get the full effect.
  • The two big spiders at the top are worked with ch8 chains in a 7-stitch space and this gives a much clearer spider. Unfortunately, though, the size of the gaps is now far too big for my liking! I could reduce that problem by making the first and last row into single crochet rows, I think, which will make the space above and below the spiders considerably smaller – and by increasing the amount of solid fabric around each spider.

Outcome

I haven’t measured or blocked this swatch as that would be too much like real swatching. It is roughly 20cm by 30cm in size.

It may be worth trying this stitch with a hairy yarn again, and the adjustments noted above. I think the hook size is about right.

But, overall, I suspect the stitch pattern will suit a smoother, finer yarn much better.

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