There are so many great crochet resources on the internet, but one of my favorites is the Antique Pattern Library, a collection of scanned needlework books that are now in the public domain. I love perusing the patterns from the early Twentieth Century. So many beautiful things! The yoke of my daughter's blessing dress was an adaptation of a yoke from "How to Crochet Cluny Laces" By Marie Antoinette, 1915.
The trick with using these old patterns is that they often use old-fashioned terms and materials, which can be a bit confusing. However, I have found that with a bit of experimenting, I can usually come up with something that resembles the original.
Recently, I came across some fun, textural stitch patterns in a 1915 booklet called "
Meet the first stitch I tackled, "Shell Pattern." Sure, it looks quite a bit like the shell stitch commonly used in crochet, but it's got something a bit different, don't you think? Let's compare:
The Woolcraft version is thicker, fuller, puffier. Right? The secret is a stitch the booklet calls a "treble;" however, this treble is different from the UK treble or US double crochet. In today's US terms, I would call it a "long double," and here is how it is worked.
Begin with a yarn over. Insert the hook into the desired chain or stitch.
Yarn over and draw through a loop (3 loops on hook). Pull up on the yarn so the two bottom loops are lengthened until they are brought up to the height of the last loop (See image below).
Yarn over and draw a loop through the two long loops. Two loops remain on hook. Yarn over and draw through both loops.
Basically, the stitch is worked just like an American double crochet, except that the two loops closest to the hook are longer. I would suggest practicing a few rows of the stitch to get the length of the loops right. If the loops are too long, the stitch will become too loopy, and if they are too short, the stitch will not have the full, puffy look we are going for.
Here is a swatch of the Antique Shell Pattern:
To make this swatch, I used a worsted weight yarn and an H hook. (Normally, I use a larger hook with this size yarn, but a smaller hook seemed to work better for this stitch pattern)
To work this pattern, begin by chaining a multiple of eight. This swatch began with 32 chain stitches.
Row 1: Work 1 long dc (ldc) into the fourth chain from hook. Work 4 more ldcs in same ch. Skip 3 chs, sc in next ch. *Skip 3 chs, 5 ldc in next ch. Skip 3 chs, sc in next ch. Repeat from * until end of row. Turn.
Row 2: Ch 3, 3 long dc in sc. *Skip 2 ldcs, sc in next ldc (middle ldc of shell). 5 ldcs in next sc. Repeat from * until two ldcs remain. 3 ldcs in last st. Turn.
Row 3: 5 ldc in next sc. *Skip 2 ldcs, sc in next ldc (middle ldc of shell). 5 ldcs in next sc. Repeat from * until end of row. Turn.
Repeat Rows 2 and 3 until desired length is reached.
This would be a great pattern for a pretty, comfy, and simple scarf. Or, for something a bit more fancy, watch for a pattern using this stitch pattern coming soon!