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Inverse (Not Reverse) Crochet Inklings
I've been in a state of wonderment about the possibilities opening up with inverse stitches. 

Shamlian Weltie by Vashti BrahaI started out not enjoying inverse crochet and didn't see its full range of possibilities. Then I tried just sprinkling in some inverse slip stitches among regular ones, and I haven't been the same since! I saw this happen for others in my Advanced Slip Stitch class too. Pictured: some inverse slip stitches create the stretchy fluted edge of Shamlian Weltie

I suspect that crocheters everywhere stumble upon inverse crochet accidentally, and others use it on purpose in isolated instances (to solve a problem or create a new texture, see below). It's a well-known strategy for working tapestry crochet in rows instead of rounds.

I'm starting to see it as a power tool for all kinds of crochet. Inverse stitches saved the day for my Bivector Bangles! While beading rows of slip stitches and changing thread colors, the color changes looked messy on both the front and the back. With inverse stitches I could put it all on the back and put the beads uniformly where I wished. That's power. (I'll keep you posted on more inverse power moves as I confirm them...)

"Inverse" is not the most common name. I don't mean to confuse the issue. I actually want to be very precise. People use other names for it that also mean other things: crocheting backwards and reverse crochet refer more often to that nice "crab stitch" edging when you crochet across a row the opposite direction instead of turning to being a new row. Crocheting leftie, yarn to front, purlwise or as if to purl might apply but it depends on how the stitch is entered. It can also depend on how you do the yarn over with the yarn in front of the hook.
Tunisian Purl for texturePictured: Tunisian purl rows create the defining texture in this swatch (used for Tunisian Petals pattern, see right column).

Have you ever watched crochet stitches form from behind as you crocheted them, so that they face the other way? What do you call that, or what would you expect it to be called? (Please email me.)

Dee Stanziano calls it "Pushmi Pullyu" and teaches a great class on it! Dee writes, "Coined by me (Dee Stanziano) in 2008, Pushmi Pullyu is the crochet technique of making crochet stitches forwards (Pushmi) and backwards (Pullyu) within the same row, or by alternating hands for each row without the need to turn work.  This creates a unique look in the fabric, almost like Illusion Crochet.  In 2011 Hazel Furst coined this as "Back to Front Crochet."

Hazel Furst's Back to Front Crochet website is an important resource for this technique. Hazel entered some very intriguing afghans that display its possibilities in CGOA's Design Contest.

100% Sl st ribs vs 100% Sc ribsPictured: Mix of inverse and non-inverse stitches; on the left, 100% slip stitches. On the right, 100% single crochet (UK: dc). See bigger:

About David Burchall's term "inverse": As far as I know, David is the first to use it, as a type of slip stitch. (Dee and Hazel use single crochet and other stitches.) Now I'm wondering if David is also the first to create vertical slip stitch ribbings. His term has been working the best for me so far when it comes to pattern writing. Like David does at his Yarnified Life site, I like to designate a slip stitch as inverse by simply putting an "i" in front of the stitch abbreviation: David's explanation of his term in a Ravelry forum thread

Is Inverse Crochet Easy or Difficult?

  1. It's definitely easier when learned in person rather than from only written instructions. I'll have to create some videos and step by step photos. (Sandra Petit at Crochet Cabana has photo stepouts for inverse single crochet; she uses a yarn over type instead of the "yarn under" that I prefer
  2. It's easier for people who seem to naturally invert things or seem equally comfortable with mirroring things. This is why I'm sure inverse crocheting has been stumbled upon by many. See what Hazel said about her husband at her site, for example.
  3. It's difficult because it adds to the confusion many crocheters have with spatial crochet terms like right side, front loop, etc. See Marty Miller's blog post about this: "Wrong Side, Right Side, Which Side is Which?"
  4. Shortcuts exist! -- for entering a stitch loop the opposite way and for the yarn over (which is sort of a yarn under).

That's it for #42! If you know someone who would enjoy this kind of newsletter, please forward this to them so that they can subscribe. (Click here to subscribe: ) If you have any comments or suggestions, please email me. Thanks!      --Vashti
Inverting for Excellence!
Bivector Bangles Slip Stitch Crochet by Vashti Braha
Bivector Bangles: inverse slip stitches let the sunshine through.

Backs of Bivectors close up
Back side of Bivector: Inverse stitches put all color changes on the side of my choosing. Photo set:

Stitchmerge design variation in progress
These stitches all face the same way too...but because it's a double-faced technique, not inverse. (New design in development; see Stitchmerge: and this early newsletter issue on the topic:

Links I Enjoyed This Week
I subscribe to Susan Lowman's blog-website, The Crochet Architect:

The fluted edge of the Shamlian Weltie (see below) is actually a vertical ribbing made possible by inverse slip stitches. I love it so much that I thought I should make a whole scarf of it! Well David Burchall already didRavelry: See alternate yarn in Flickr:

"Tidy Away Ends & Colour Changes" a video that a lot of us in the Crochet Partners Yahoo group enjoyed:

DesigningVashti News
photo © Bonnie Barker 2012Doris Chan's popular Spirals design on the fashion show runway in Manchester! Photo © Bonnie Barker; Flickr set:
Spirals pattern:

New Slip Stitch Crochet pattern! A popular design in my Advanced Slip Stitch Crochet Class.
Shamlian Weltie slip stitch design by Vashti BrahaShamlian Weltie 
DV site:
Ravelry: If you're in Ravelry, tls2011 has a project page already! 

This just in! Doris is completing a new DJC design for the DesigningVashti site! Cat's Cradle v2. It'll be in 4 sizes up to 3X for normal medium weight (worsted & DK)  yarns. If I can't send out another newsletter before the Reno conference, we'll blog & post updates on it in Twitter and Facebook

Next up, in preparation for the Five Peaks Shawl Class in Reno: 
Four Peaks Scarf by Vashti Braha
Four Peaks Scarf, Remastered
photo set:

Fresh blog post about hard lessons I learned over the years of photographing the Tunisian Petals pattern and other beaded designs:
Tunisian Petals Ring Scarf & Cowl
Tunisian Petals

Class resources posted so far: (in progress; scroll to see them all) Love Knot Adventures, Slip Stitch Crochet, Five Peaks Shawl, From Design Idea to Professional Proposal.

Doris Chan "Pretty Baby" skirtSee Doris' Pretty Baby skirt pattern, and article about filet designer Elizabeth Hiddleson, in the new issue of Crochet Traditions magazine. It's a great issue.
Like Crochet Inspirations Newsletter #42: "Inverse" (NOT Reverse) Crocheting on Facebook
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Subscribe to this newsletter. Vashti Braha is a professional crochet designer & teacher who resides in Florida (USA). She writes 100% of each issue and emails it to subscribers
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