Embellishing with a Crochet Hook

Sometimes it’s nice to outline an intarsia shape with some embroidery, like in the last post. And then sometimes it’s easier to do that embellished embroidery with a crochet hook instead.

A knitted flower formed with concentric circles of colour worked in the intarsia technique, bordered with contrasting colour chain stitch embellishment.

The chain stitch is one of my favourite embroidery stitches and it’s really the same thing as a crocheted chain that goes through a supporting fabric. Why not crochet it instead?

The plan for this project is to crochet around the concentric circles in the flower shape. This will help make a smoother transition between colours for the rounded shape. There’s also the added benefit that it masks any sloppy intarsia colour transitions—great for beginners!

Supplies

Several butterflies of yarn in bright colours with a crochet hook and threaded tapestry needle resting on top.

You’ll need coloured yarns in the same or similar weight to your knitted project. They can be contrasting or matching. You’ll need a crochet hook (the same size or slightly smaller than the project needles) and a blunt tipped tapestry needle. I used Cascade 220 Superwash Sport with size 3.75 mm (US 5) to knit the project and I used a 3 mm (approx US D-3) crochet hook.

Step-by-Step

1. Choose a point to begin and insert the crochet hook from front to back.

Crochet hook held in right hand and pointing to a location on the outside of the flower motif where the hook will be inserted through the fabric.

2. Pick up a loop of yarn on the crochet hook, from the back …

Crochet hook inserted through knitting fabric along outside edge of an intarsia flower motif.

3. … and pull the loop through to the front.

Crochet hook with a loop of yarn round it forming a stitch that has been drawn through knitted fabric at the edge of an intarsia flower motif.

4. Move the crochet hook one stitch to the right and insert hook again.

Crochet hook with a stitch on it being inserted through knitted fabric to the right of where the previous stitch was created.

5. Wrap the yarn once around the hook and pull it through to the front.

View of back side of knitted fabric with head crochet hook coming through fabric and yarn wrapped around the hook.

6. There are now two sts on the crochet hook. Slide the first stitch through the second stitch, leaving one st on the hook.

Several chain stitches created with a crochet hook bordering a circular motif worked in intarsia; crochet hook has two stitches on it.

7. Continue in this manner around your shape.

Crochet chain stitch border around circular knitted motif with one stitch on crochet hook and it appears that there's one stitch left to do.

8. To join the crocheted chain to it’s beginning to become an enclosed shape, cut the yarn leaving a tail at least 6″ (15 cm) long and pull it through the loop on the hook. Thread the tail onto a needle.

Tail of yarn threaded on needle and it's coming front centre of last crochet chain stitch worked around circular knitted motif.

9. Insert the needle behind both sides of the first stitch.

Threaded tapestry needle is inserted underneath both strands of first chain stitch.

10. Gently pull the yarn through the stitch, maintaining tension.

First half of last chain stitch is complete with second half left to do and yarn tail is threaded through tapestry needle.

11. Insert the needle into the pointy end of the tear-drop shaped stitch you’re creating and through the fabric to the WS.

Fingers inserting tapestry needle into centre of last chain stitch worked, in order to complete the final stitched chain stitch.

12. Pull the yarn through and secure on the WS.

Completed crochet chain embellishment encircling intarsia knitted motif.

A knitting pattern book opened up to design number 60 showing a photograph of the Flower Motif Pullover on the right and written instructions on the left.

The Flower Motif Pullover pattern by yours truly can be found in 60 More Quick Baby Knits, published by SoHo Publishing.