Today, I want to share with you a very pretty stitch called the star stitch! It is an intermediate stitch with a couple of tricky parts, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be cruising along in no time! And like I said, it is a really beautiful stitch and totally worth the effort! Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered with photo and video support!
The star stitch is a stitch pattern using a 2-row repeat, the first row establishing the bottom half of the star stitch and the second half establishing the top half. The bottom halves are formed by single crochet cluster stitches that are linked to one another, with each loop you pull up making what looks like a spoke on a wheel, what we call a “leg” of the star stitch. Each star stitch bottom is closed with a chain stitch that forms an “eye.” The top halves of the star stitches are formed by working either single or half-double crochet increases (two stitches in the same location) into the eye of each star stitch from the previous row. Whether you use a single crochet or a half-double is a matter of personal preference.
One problem I’ve come across with the traditional method of working this stitch is that I’m left with gaps along the left edge of the front side of my work. I also noticed that my work wanted to slant from a rectangle into a parallelogram. I am not a fan of either of those things, so in this tutorial, I’m going to share how I like to work this stitch to avoid both!
NOTE: If you would like to see the traditional method of working this stitch, I illustrate both the traditional method and my personal method in my video tutorial farther down.
As mentioned above, the second row of this stitch can be worked in either single or half-double crochet. In each of the swatch samples above, the bottom two sets of star stitches (rows 1-4) use single crochet for the second row of the two-row repeat. The upper two sets of star stitches (rows 5-8) use half-double crochet for the second row of the two-row repeat. For this photo tutorial, I’m going to use single crochet, but half-double crochet works exactly the same way.
Traditionally, you need an even number of stitches + 1 for the foundation chain to work this stitch, but to avoid unsightly gaps, the first thing I do is use an odd number of stitches + 3 for the foundation chain. The odd number avoids the gaps and the +3 foundation chains means that the width you chain remains what you need it to measure. If you are making a 9″ wash cloth and chain out an odd number of stitches until your chain measures 9″, then add 1 for your turning chain, the first star stitch is going to eat up a good portion of that 9″ and you’ll end up too short. If you add 3 more chains to your 9″ chain, then you’re already accounting for the chains that the first star stitch will eat up and your 9″ width remains unchanged.
Star stitches are worked over 2 stitches, which means you’ll have 1 star stitch for every 2 stitches of the original chain, but don’t worry, I’ll show you how to both avoid that gap and take care of that extra stitch since we started with an odd number.
For this tutorial swatch, I’m going to use a foundation chain of 13 + 3 = 16.
Row two of the star stitch pattern repeat can be worked either as single crochet or half-double crochet. I’m going to show it to you in single crochet, but we’ll do a comparison later. Regardless of which type of stitch you choose to work for this row, just know that the stitch placement is the same.
Here’s a quick comparison of working single crochet versus half-double crochet for the second of your two-row repeat.
If you want to see this stitch in action, I’ve recorded a video tutorial for you as well! This tutorial goes over the traditional method as well as my personal method and explains in more detail about what causes the slanting and why my method fixes it.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! If there’s a stitch you’d like to see me make a tutorial for, let me know in the comments below!
Until next time!
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