Pattern Fudgin’

Making it work for the crocheter

How often have you gotten to the end of a row, only to realize that your stitch count is off by one? Or maybe a few… Or hey, what about when you realize that the mistake you made is actually six rows back? Doesn’t that just burn you up?!

Heavy sigh, and maybe a bad word of two, and then I guess it’s time to frog. Or is it? Maybe not!

We all know that there is a time and place for ripping out hours of work (ugh) in order to make our finished item exactly how we want it (although I’m a huge fan of using blocking to hide a multitude of sins.) If the mistake is clearly noticeable, or if it is messing up your stitch counts in a way that can’t be faked, then sometimes we have to suck it up and get to ripping. However, it’s just not always necessary. We want to enjoy the journey of our craft, so if there’s a way to hit on a quick fix and move on where nobody would ever notice, then shouldn’t we give that possibility a day in court? Let me help you with some easy fixes so you can continue on with what you love. We’ll leave the frogs in the pond.


Adding Stitches

Sometimes when your stitch count is short just one or two, it’s easiest to squeeze in a couple of stitches here and there and keep going, rather than frog. However, putting two stitches into one stitch can be noticeable, especially if you’re using bulky yarn or working at a tight gauge.
My preferred method is to work a decrease as an increase. Yes, you read that right! Ready? Here we go!

  • work your next stitch as usual
  • now work a decrease in the SAME stitch as the stitch you just worked AND the next stitch
  • and now work a new stitch in the same stitch into which you finished your decrease

    Do you see what just happened? You just worked three stitches (regular stitch, decrease, regular stitch) into two stitches. I have found this to be the least noticeable way to squeeze in stitches, although it works better with single crochet than it does with double. Give it a try on a swatch and see what you think!

Decreasing Like a Pro

Just as there can be less noticeable increases, there is a little known decrease that is equally less detectable when done correctly. I can’t figure out why this isn’t the new standard way to decrease, as it’s super easy and almost can’t be found even when you’re looking for it later. I did not create this decrease, but you can thank me for the info when you decide that your life has been changed 😉
Let’s do it!

  • To decrease the next two stitches, insert your hook into just the front loop of the next stitch. Do not draw up a loop!
  • Now insert your hook into just the front loop of the next stitch. Do not draw up a loop! You should now have two front loops on your hook.
  • Work your stitch as usual (a regular sc, hdc, dc, or whatever you happen to be doing.)

    Yep, that’s it. Dead easy, right? Once you’ve worked a couple of rows/rounds, go back and look at that decrease. It’s almost invisible! It also uses less yarn than the standard 2tog stitches. You are very welcome.

Fudge for the win!

Are you liking how this is working? Fudging is my favorite way of getting a project back on track, as long as I can make it work. Using these two tricks can help you modify so many other stitch patterns so that your mistakes are mostly covered up without the need to rip out so much of your precious time and effort.

Sometimes we want things to be perfect (wedding dress, perhaps?) We also sometimes can’t fudge in a way that won’t be glaringly obvious (ask me about the V-stitch turned dc right smack dab in the middle front of a sweater I made…) When we can though, saving ourselves the time and aggravation tends to be our best bet for continuing to enjoy our project. As my friend Kristy says, “If they can’t see it when you’re riding by on a galloping horse, then it doesn’t matter.” 

Til next time, friends. Enjoy your stitching ♥

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