Thursday, March 18, 2010

Bosnian crochet in Colour

This maybe the only post that I make this year because of my infrequent blogging habits, but I have been inspired by a couple of posts on Ravelry, the most recent being this one.

By shear coincidence, over the last couple of weeks I've been experimenting with Bosnian/slip stitch and other forms of crochet. My chief interest though is in Bosnian or slip stitch crochet which I blogged about a couple of years ago (in another rare post). Over the last year or so I have been collecting images of crocheted socks from Central Asia which utilize this simple but much ignored crochet stitch. Much as I would like to post images here, I am going to refrain because it would probably be a violation of some form of copyright.

Instead, here are some images of my own. These are test swatches that I crocheted using colourwork slip stitch crochet and motifs I have seen in eastern socks:
The above is slip stitch (aka Bosnian) crochet through the back loop carrying three colours.

In the following image the black and white section is slip stitch crochet through the front loop in two colours.
I am hoping to one day crochet a pair of Tajik-style socks in this manner, so just doing a bit of experimentation for the time being.

I have also made myself a couple of crochet hooks for the purpose. Here is a picture of one of the hooks:

It doesn't have the thick handle like on pjoning hooks, but the head of the hook is relatively flat so it slides nicely into the slip stitches which tend to lie rather flat. I am thinking of putting a nice fimo handle on it, but it seems ok to use as is. I made this hook from a "twig" from our privet (or maybe even box) hedge that my husband pruned earlier this year.


Ross said...

I was wondering exactly how you carry your colors throughout your Bosnian crochet work. I've tried different methods of carrying, but don't like any of them. The problem with carrying yarn through slip stitches is that since you don't YO that second time, like in every other stitch, the yarn you're working with doesn't wrap around the running yarn. How do you solve this problem? Thanks.

The swamp knitter said...

Hi Ross,

I have used a couple of different methods. The first one I tried was this:

Lets say, for example, that I have black and blue yarns, and I am just doing a simple 2 blue, 2 black pattern. I hold blue over my left pointer finger, and the black colour with the next finger, so that it will be running across the top of the stitches. To crochet a stitch in the blue, I insert the hook into my stitch (either through the back of the loop for Bosnian crochet or the front of the loop for shepherd's knitting). Then I go under the black strand with the hook, hook the blue strand and pull through both loops on the hook. To make another blue stitch, I insert my hook into the next stitch, this time go over the black yarn, hook the blue yarn and pull it through both stitches on the hook. To make the next stitch in black I insert the hook into the loop, go behind the blue yarn and hook the black yarn, then pull it through both loops. The next black stitch would then be made by interting the hook in the next stitch, hooking the black and pulling through both loops. Now back to needing blue, so repeat from the beginning.

There is an issue with doing it this way, and it has to do with "peek-through", as I believe crocheters call it.

If you are doing Bosnian crochet, this method works a treat and there are not many peak-through issues. But if you are doing shepherd's knitting, you can get really ugly peek-through happening.

I did a bit of experimenting and came to the conclusion that I prefer to strand colours (knitting style) for shepherd's knitting to eliminate peek-through. I do this by tensioning the strands of yarn around my neck in the old eastern way, and crocheting from the back of the work rather than the front. I use this technique a lot now for my colourwork knitting (and now colourwork crochet) adventures, but I won't go into it in a comment section as it would take a while.

Jennifer Niskanen said...

I would love to see a YouTube video on the colour changing "in the eastern style" as well as any other help you could give. There are hardly any videos on this topic in English.