Mastering the Waistcoat Stitch: Back and Forth in Rows Tutorial

Last week we did a video on waistcoat stitch or split single crochet as it’s often called in the round. And you can look up that video if you want to, but a lot of people ask me for the same stitch worked back and forth in rows. So the thing you have to realize is any single crochet has a front and a back. And the front of the stitch, the right side of the stitch, the side of the stitch that’s facing you when you make it makes a V like this, but the wrong side of the stitch, the back of the stitch, that is the side that is away from you when you’re making it doesn’t make that same v.

If I tried to put my stitch here, it would be under the top of the stitch. It would just be a regular single crochet. It would not be a waistcoat stitch. So what you want to look for when the wrong side of the single crochet is facing you is an upside down V. There is my upside down V and that is where I’m going to put my hook. Remember, I am trying to keep a relatively loose tension because the fabric is so dense. I am also using a hook that is larger or thicker than I might normally for this yarn. I don’t want to try and do this stitch tightly. It is an unpleasant experience. So once again, I’m looking for an upside down V, not a right side up V like we did when we did it in the round. I will also say when I was practicing this stitch, I had a hard time at the beginning with stitch counts. So I would highly recommend that at the end of every row, you count and make sure that you have the number of stitches that you intended.

Chain one in turn. In my case, I wanted 10. So let’s see how I did. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10. Remember for that first one, we don’t have a whole V. We only have half a V. So I’m going under that and all the way through for my first stitch. That’s the only one that’s fiddly since I’m turning my work at the end of every row the wrong side of the single crochet is always presenting itself to me. So I’m looking for my upside down V, and that’s where I’m putting my hook. Upside down v, and that’s where I’m putting my hook.

Now, I do want to point out a couple of things. There is a slight difference, let’s get this hook out of here, between the way the stitch looks in the round and the way it looks in rows. So here is the swatch I made last week. And if you look at these VS this is the one in the round, they line up perfectly, one right on top of the other. So you get a strong vertical appearance. When you’re working in rows, you still get the v stitch look, but the columns are not the same. They tend to stagger every two rows. I don’t know why that is, it’s just the way the fabric is made. But if you look at these two guys, that one’s sitting right in this one. But for the next two rows, they moved over a half a stitch. This guy sitting in this one now, this guy is sitting in this one. So it happens in twos, I believe. It’s the way we work it to keep the side straight.

One of the things about working in the round is the stitch spiral a little bit. And I think it’s the spiral action of working in the round that keeps those columns so straight. And the fact that we’re working in rows gives us that slight difference. It’s still a cool stitch. It’s still very thick and luscious. It still looks good on both sides, unlike in the round, where the inside looks very different than the outside. And then here’s the right side, the working it in rows means it is completely reversible. It looks exactly the same on both sides. So for those of you who asked, I hope this helps. Oh, I also wanted to say both for working in the round and working flat, your first row or round is just plain old single crochet and then you switch to the waistcoat stitch after. So thanks for hanging. I’ll see you later.