I received an email the other day asking for some extra clarity for where to insert the hook when working the main fabric for Rabbit Alice Sweater, and that has led me to this post about extended double crochet. My Daisy Chain Cardigan and my Rabbit Alice Sweater have the same main fabric extended double crochet stitch pattern. I made the Cardigan first with the daisy chain lace insert down the sleeves, then I thought what if it was a sweater instead with a more open lace insert? ….and down the rabbit hole I went (thus the name).
These patterns use Scheepjes Metropolis merino/nylon blend yarn, which are great for garments as it softens beautifully when washed, and it has a lovely weathered fleck to it.
What’s an extended double crochet? I hear you say – well, I am glad you asked! An extended double crochet (ext-dc) is a dc st that is made taller (extended) by a chain at the bottom of the post (the vertical body of the stitch). Chain and slip stitches don’t have height so they cant be extended, but any other stitch that has a vertical height (a “post”) can.
Here is the stitch instruction:
extended double crochet (ext-dc) Insert hook in designated st/sp, yoh, pull up a loop, yoh, pull through 1 loop, yoh, pull through rem 2 loops on hook
Let’s look at that again with some explanation inserted along the way:
Insert hook in designated st/sp, yoh, pull up a loop, (you have now done what I like to call “loaded your stitch” as you have put all the loops on your hook before starting to work them off again), yoh, pull through 1 loop (this is the extended part – its making a chain instead of pulling through 2 loops), yoh, pull through rem 2 loops on hook (this is the normal dc part of the stitch).
And you can extend other stitches by applying the same logic. So if you wanted to make an extended treble for example, first you would “load your (treble) stitch”: (yoh, insert hook in designated st/sp, yoh, pull up a loop), then you would extend the treble stitch by making a chain: (yoh, pull through 1 loop), then work the rest of the stitch as normal: (yoh, pull through 2 loops, yoh, pull through rem 2 loops on hook).
I like using ext-dc stitches because they make an interesting triangle shape. The Main Fabric for Alice and Daisy garments is a mesh of (ext-dc flo, ch1) worked as a grid pattern so each of the ext-dc sts are worked front loop only (flo) into the ext-dc sts of the previous row. The chains between the ext-dc still count as stitches, but their function is to provide space and more open-ness (yes that’s a word – I just made it up) to the fabric. Working into the front loop only is essential for the fabric to drape well, and have give/stretch around the body, but at first it can feel a bit fiddly or difficult to see where to insert the hook – so I have made a little video! This one is for you Margaret 😁
If you think that working under the flo is too much bother and use the 2 loops instead, it dramatically changes the fabric, and will not be anything like the schematic at the end! (So don’t do that 😬). The same stitch count will produce a fabric that is A LOT wider and shorter, and quite stiff (less elasticity and drape). It’s amazing what one little change can do, …so I really do mean to work the stitches flo.
One great thing about working flo every row is the parallel lines of subtle texture that are created by the unworked back loops and the chain stitches between them. I like the effect, and it also makes counting the rows easy because you will see a line of unworked loops every second row. Bonus!
You might notice in my video that working the last ext-dc flo of the row creates a hole along the edge of the fabric. As a stand alone fabric that’s not a great finish, but for these garments, you edge across the ends of rows with a technique that makes these holes disappear, and stabilises the fabric edge in preparation for the feature lace inserts down the sleeve etc. All that detail is included in the pattern document with close-up photos so never fear, those holes don’t hang around.
The other thing you might notice, is that an ext-dc is very similar to a foundation dc (fdc) ……..(Check out my other Crochet Tutorial on fdc). It’s the same sequence of working the loops on and off your hook – the only difference is the designated location where you insert your hook! (This is a crochet geek moment). The fdc inserts into the bottom of the previous stitch (ie. the chain part of the previous fdc), and the ext-dc inserts into the next st of the previous row or round. Again, change one little thing and BOOM – totally different result!! Mind blown??
That covers the essentials for extended dc stitches for now and should help as extra support for my Rabbit Alice Sweater and Daisy Chain Cardigan patterns that you can find in my Ravelry store. If you are after these scrumptious yarns, Scheepjes Metropolis and Whirlette can be purchased via:
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