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Stitch Masterclass: Overlay Crochet

Push your layer limits! Add texture and layers to your patterns by overlaying stitches

overlay crochet cushion

Here at Crochet Now we love the different ways crochet can be used to create amazing items. One method that really catches our eye overlay crochet. While it’s often described as a relatively new technique, overlay crochet is one that has enjoyed a great deal of interest. This is because if it is used correctly, you can create some really fantastic and interesting looking projects!

The idea of crocheting over the top of your stitches might seem a little foreign, not to mention daunting. Knowing where to put your stitches can be difficult to work out if you’re not familiar with the technique, but it’s definitely worth sticking with because using stitches in different ways can completely change how a project looks and feels.

Overlay crochet works by utilising the front or back of stitches, but there are many other techniques that can be used to give your project that three-dimensional appearance. This can include wrapping your yarn around stitches using a front post method or simply using front loops to create a raised effect. By crocheting into rows below the one you’re working you can make gorgeous textured layers.

The basics

If you can do basic crochet stitches you can do overlay crochet. It mostly utilises doubles, trebles and a few special stitches mean it might be towards the adventurous end of the scale. However, while it sounds tricky it is pretty easy once you get the hang of it!

Let’s have a go

Step 1: 

Working into the back loops (BLO)

Overlay crochet often utilises front and back loops separately. You may work your first stitch into the back loop, which will leave the front loop free for later.

To use the back loop of a stitch hold your project so you can see it from the side. Locate the ‘v’-shaped stitches around the top and simply insert your hook between the ‘v’, into the back loop only. Double treble (dtr)

Step 2:

Having worked in the BLO only, this leaves the front loop (FLO) for us to use. This enables two stitch types to sit on one row. As we’re using the FLO two rows below, we use a nice, long stitch like a dtr to ensure the work doesn’t bevel. To create the start of the double treble, yrh twice. You should have three loops on your hook. Working dtr into front loops (FLO)

Step 3:

Insert hook into FLO two rows below and yrh. You should have four loops on your hook. Pull through two loops three times

To create the stained glass posts

Step 4:

This involves making a series of dtr and 3 ch. dtr as many times as the pattern calls for. By changing where you put the dtr and the chain repetition you can create different shapes over the top of your MC

Crochet over chains

Step 5 & 6:

To finish off we must then secure the loose chains, stitch over the top. Using the same colour used in Rnd 2, crochet into the top of the treble below the 3 ch. This will create the next round, which you can then work back into as necessary

Project inspiration

Dedri Uys’s Sophie’s Universe is a perfect example of overlay crochet in the mandala style! Why don’t you take a look.

See if you can make a cushion like ours using overlay crochet found in issue 19 of Crochet Now!

About Liam Marshall

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