Novel Crochet Stitches

Clone Stitch (‘Clones Knot’): traditionally used in Irish Crochet using a fine cotton thread – however, I have recently been incorporating Clones to my freeform work using all sorts of yarns & hook sizes & loving the results – separate each Clone stitch with a number of chains or work the Clones close together with just a chain or 2 between each Clone – it does take a bit of practice & patience to get the hang if it but, with a little experimenting, you’ll be having heaps of fun in no time

The following instruction are worked over a number of chains

1) make a number of chains then draw up the loop on hook to about 1cm – 2cm (1/2”-3/4”) long (the length of this loop will determine the size of your Clone) – from now on work loosely around this long loop just made

2) * (YO, twist & draw up a loop from under the long loop, YO & draw up a loop over the top of the long loop)**

3) repeat from * to **as many times required to cover the long loop,


4) YO & draw through all loops on hook, join with a ss to chain directly before long loop


Crochet Cord: make this decorative cord using any yarn of your choice, each will create an individual result – fingering, metallic, ribbon, chunky or even try using 2 or more threads together – the cord can be incorporated into your freeform work, used as a handle strap or sewn on as binding to created a beautiful edging

1) start with 2 chains & work dc (US sc) in 2nd ch from hook then turn work clockwise

2) work dc (US sc) in unused back loop of same chain then turn work clockwise

3) from now on work dc (US sc) in both loops at side of cord then turn work clockwise

4) continue working in this way until cord is desired length, finish off.


Crab Stitch (reverse double crochet US sc))

Although Crab stitch is most often used as edging, creating a rope-like finished edge to your project, it is also a versatile stitch that can be used in freeform to tidy an unsightly seam or join or as an embellishment to liven up a dull, uninteresting patch. Crab stitch can be a little tricky at first but soon mastered with a bit of patience & practice.

Crab st: (reverse dc (US sc)) is always worked on right side & in the opposite direction as usual – join yarn as required, 1 ch, * insert hook into the next st on right, YO & draw up a loop, YO & draw through both loops on hook, repeat from * across


Offset Puff (also known as a pineapple stitch)

Offset Puffs are always worked on right side. Use them to add texture to your work or as  decorative edging

1st Offset Puff: 3 ch, tr in same st, then work (YO, insert hook around post of tr just made & draw up a loop) 4 times (you should have 9 loops on hook), insert hook into next st & draw up a loop, draw this loop through all 9 loops, 1 ch to close, **

Subsequent Offset puffs: work (YO, insert hook around vertical loop of st just made & draw up a loop) 4 times (you should have 9 loops on hook), insert hook into next st & draw up a loop, draw this loop through all 9 loops, 1 ch to close,

Alternatively… work from **, tr in next st then work (YO, insert hook around post of tr just made & draw up a loop) 4 times (you should have 9 loops on hook), insert hook into next st & draw up a loop, draw this loop through all 9 loops, 1 ch to close,


this is another handy Offset Stitch to incorporate into your work

Offset treble (US dc) Cluster:

(YO, insert hook around last tr (US dc) made, YO & draw up a loop, YO & draw through 2 loops) 5 times or as many as pattern instruction, YO & draw through all loops on hook


Bullion Stitch

Bullions add wonderful textures & interest to your work & are well worth the patient effort required to master…

The following instructions are for a 3-wrap-bullion worked off a foundation chain… however, any number of wraps can be worked in the same way & can be worked in rows into existing stitches or in the round as free standing motifs…

Part 1: make any number of ch plus 3 (or number of ch required to accommodate bullion height), * wrap yarn around hook shaft 3 times (4 loops on hook)

Part 2: insert hook into 4th ch from hook & draw up a loop (5 loops on hook)

Part 3: draw this loop just made through the 3-wrapped-loops only (2 loops left on hook)

  • Drawing through all the wraps (known as swooping) is the most difficult part when mastering bullions & some very clever crocheters can accomplish this in one action – however… don’t despair if you are like me & find this difficult…
  • I find the following techniques much easier &, with a little practice, just as efficient…
  • a) draw through one wrapped loop at a time by using your left thumb to separate each loop on hook then slipping your hook under each loop until 2 loops remain
  • b) or lift off each loop manually with your fingers until 2 loops remain – (you may like to roll the bullion just made between thumb & fore finger to even it out)

Part 4: YO and draw through both loops (1 loop on hook)

for subsequent Bullions repeat from * inserting hook into next ch


Tubular Crochet

Tubular crochet as the term suggests produces a continuous tube that can be used for sleeves, cowls, leggings & such. Adapt rounds to suit particular shaping needs by increasing/decreasing rounds as required

Foundation ch: make a number of chain required for the circumference of circle required for project & join with a slip stitch to form the circle

Round 1: start the round with a beginning chain equivalent to the stitch that going to be used (1 ch for dc (US sc), 2 ch for htr (US hdc), 3 ch for tr (US dc) & so on), this is your 1st stitch of round, then being careful not to twist the ring, work the specific stitch into each chain around & join with a slip stitch to the top of the beginning chain

Subsequent rounds: start the round with a beginning chain equivalent to the stitch that going to be used (1 ch for dc (US sc), 2 ch for htr (US hdc), 3 ch for tr (US dc) & so on), this is your 1st stitch of round, then work the specific stitch into each stitch around & join with a slip stitch to the top of the beginning chain, continue working the tube to desired length


47 thoughts on “Novel Crochet Stitches”

  1. Hi Karyn… sorry, no videos… but I hope my notes, drawings & instructions are still helpful for you… all the best & welcome to the crochet world… enjoy 🙂

  2. I am fairly new to the world of crocheting. Have learned everything from videos, by any chance do you have a video on these stitches? Thanks. K Dugger

  3. Wow. Thank you so much for all these lovely, decorative stitches. They will certainly add pop to even the most mundane projects.

  4. I am just starting freeform crochet and love the texture that these stitches give. Thank you for the great illustrations.

  5. Thank you so much. Want to start freeform fell in love with it whe I saw it but to find tutorial is n problem. Thank you for your kindness

  6. I have been trying to find techniques of irish crochet lace, and all I found were 100 year old pattern books. Thankyou so much for explaining the Clones knot!

  7. Excelente información, lástima que no se inglés, pero los gráficos están muy bien hechos.

  8. Wow I really appreciate all the info you include in your instructions. That’s not being nitpicky, I love learning the stories behind the stitches. The more I learn the more interesting it becomes, thank you very much. Leticia Bermudez from Puerto Rico.

  9. Thank you, Jill…. practice is half the fun… remember, in freeform, there are no mistakes, only artistic adjustments 🙂

  10. It is called Clone St as it is named for the place in Ireland where it was created. Lots of Irish crochet/motifs were named for the place where they where created.

  11. I don’t know how or where this stitch got its name, Clone st is what I’ve always known it by… perhaps other readers have a better answer for you…

  12. My daughter sent me a photo of a stitch and i had to forward it to a friend up on new foundland to get an i.d. For it. That led me to this page. I love learning new stitches. By the way it was the offset puff stitch that she sent. Id never seen it done like that before.

  13. this is a really great tutorial. I’m starting to design my own patterns and getting bored with the stitches i know. I can see some of these being incorporated soon in a blanket for a friend. Thank you for the hard work.

  14. Thanks Renate,
    I have been trying to teach myself the cord stitch from russian diagrams for ages. Because I don’t understand russian it has been hit and miss. I would see results for a bit but then get those two side stitches wrong. Now thanks to your toutorial I have cracked it. I love this stitch and will not end up in a muddle again.

  15. the crochet a cord totorial was great, Hard to understand at first, but after the first couple rows it became easy. Thanks very much. I didn’t like the other pattern I was using. I want the cord to hang crochet bulbs and weathes from to make a garland for Christmas.

    Thanks again

  16. What a wonderful site and a fabulous freeform crochet resource, Renate! I’m going to add it to my blog roll and tell my freeform crochet students (I teach at an LYS in Honolulu, HI) about the site. I’ve been crocheting for 40+ years and some of the stitches are new to me – always nice to make these kinds of discoveries.

    Btw, the offset puff stitch looks a bit like a bullion stitch.

  17. Thank you for that bit of information, Lilycobweb – it’s not nitpicking at all, it’s always good to have the correct information – I found this stitch in an old, old leaflet in amongst my many books, magazines & pattern leaflets that I’ve collected over the years & been using it here & there in my Freeform work – it’s such a cute little stitch & I’ve enjoyed experimenting with it
    Thank you also for your lovely compliments – enjoy your Freeform journey… have fun with it & never stop asking yourself… ‘ I wonder what would happen if I tried this or that’… I’m a firm believer in ‘it’s all in the doing’ – you’ll never know if you never have a go….

  18. Hi Renate, just discovered your blog and I’m fascinated! I love crochet and have dipped my toe into freeform, with many false starts and a little bit of success. Your tips and pointers are really useful:)

    I’m Irish, and if you’ll allow me, can I give you this piece of information? The first stitch you talk about which you refer to as the Clone Stitch. is actually correctly called the ‘Clones Knot’. Clones is the name of a town in County Monaghan, which is famous for the lace crochet it produced in the 19th. century. The famous Marie Treanor runs a lace crochet summer school there. ‘Clones’ is pronouned ‘Clonez’, with the emphasis on the ‘Clo’. Hope that doesn’t sound too nitpicky.
    Have enjoyed looking at your gallery of really original creations:)

  19. Thanks Renate,
    Wow ! Just had to try the crochet cord stitch….Patterns can be so hard to actually understand sometimes….something quite simple, just seems really confusing, until you finally crack it.
    Even ‘tho I have used patterns a little bit, I found this one hard….probably just did it 8-10 times ’til I finally got it….lol.

    Not sure if it is my ‘flu-ey’ brain at present, or the fact that I was looking at the picture, and not reading properly, in part 3…..the picture wasn’t clear that it was halfway thru a dc, even ‘tho the text said dc……

    Now I have got it !!

  20. Your crochet tips and tricks is a great idea. The Pineapple stitch is new to me. Keep this going, I love it.

  21. wow, this is great Renate, makes me want to take up my crochet hooks again.
    this is a great idea, what a lot of work.
    do you have your own book? I see your ebook and patterns on the sidebar, just wondering if I missed it somewhere. ;D

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