Fashion designers are currently ruffling everything in a dramatic way. I'm inspired to try different ways to crochet ruffles. I'm excited about...
-: Make-Ahead Strip Ruffles :-
Have you ever crocheted strips of narrow rows of stitches, then slip stitched them onto the edge or surface of other crochet? It has never occurred to me before now, even though I've sewn fabric ruffles this way. The blue one above is all double crochet. The other one is Tunisian simple stitch. Each row has about five stitches in it.
I skip 2 or more stitches/rows to gather them as I attach it to something with slip stitches. It's so easy to do pleats this way: fold some stitches and slip stitch them all together. In fact, I'd block the strip with folds in it first.
One of the best things about this "strip ruffle" method is that you could slip stitch right down the center of a strip and have an instant double ruffle.
Ruffle Test Shortcut
Swatching new ruffles could be quite time consuming! My shortcut is to run a string through a swatch I've already made, and use it like a drawstring to see how the stitches look when they're gathered up. See the swatches in the top right photo.
With this drawstring step I can spot the stitch patterns that look pretty when they bend into ruffles. A surprise is the swirly intrigue of ruffled broomstick lace! Another surprise: I usually prefer the ruffles of any stitch when the rows are vertical (perpendicular to the drawstring).
Here's another view of the Tunisian ruffle from the top photo. The stiffer, denser return pass stitches run vertically, from the top of the ruffle to its bottom edge. The ruffle is perkier and smoother this way.
Meanwhile, only a few of my star stitch patterns have enjoyed getting ruffly. (By the way, ruffles are kind of hard to capture well in photos. One really needs to be able to feel them, see them move from other angles, etc.)
I can also see how the rims of the ruffles look, and if weaving the drawstring through different groupings of stitches look better. The purple swatch shows the stitches grouped for a box pleat look.
The Traditional Ruffle
If you've tried a crocheted strip ruffle I'd love to hear about it. I searched Ravelry today for ruffled crochet patterns and turned up 2500. So far it looks like they use the traditional type in which you crochet roughly twice the amount of tall stitches into the next row. Sometimes another row or two is added for a longer ruffle.
Here's another nontraditional way to crochet ruffles: short rows! Undaria is a perfect example.
I expected to include examples of some of my older, more traditional crochet ruffles. I've run out of room so I'll blog about it.
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