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Two Fancy Crochet Favorites Combined in One Stitch Pattern
Star stitches and love knots (aka lovers knot or Solomon's knot) are beloved crochet stitches for very different reasons. Both seem to have originated in the 1800's, probably in different areas of the world -- star stitches in a cold, northern climate and love knots in a warm Mediterranean-type climate.

Star stitches were almost exclusively worked in wool yarns. Before the stitch was favored for making thick, dense coats and baby blankets, it was a spidery lace for ladies' wraps and head coverings in lace weight wools. The earliest star stitch pattern I've found so far is written in Norwegian.

Unlike the wooly star stitch, love knots were crocheted in very fine cotton and silk threads for delicate, summery, fanciful edgings, baby bonnets, and petite "opera bags". It's possible the unusual stitch was originally designed to mimic macramé.

I don't recall ever seeing these two unique stitches combined in one stitch pattern. Use this basic pattern to create elegant afghan squares or panels, a simple scarf, or a special stole.

Both stitches are considered Intermediate in skill level. I teach three-hour classes on each stitch and have attached some basic tips and how tos for them. I recommend that you use wool yarn (or an acrylic blend). A single ply type of yarn like I've used here will show off the texture contrasts the best.

Posted by vashti b. Published See vashti b.'s 7 projects »
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  • Step 1

    Pattern Notes:
    1. If your gauge matches mine, the following instructions will yield a 6.5" square, after blocking. Change the number of foundation chains to change the dimensions, or change the yarn thickness and crochet hook size.

    2. Stitches Used and their pattern abbreviations:
    ch = Chain
    dc = Double crochet {UK: treble}
    hdc = Half double crochet {UK: half treble}
    Lhdc = Linked half double crochet {UK: linked half treble}
    LK = Love knot (aka lovers knot, Solomon's knot)
    sc = Single crochet {UK: double crochet}
    ss = Slip stitch
    tr = Treble crochet, optional {UK: double treble}
    yo = yarn over

    3. The turning chains never count as a stitch.

    4. This is an eight row stitch pattern: Rows 1–4 (or 9–12) form the star stitch stripe. Rows 5–8 form the love knot stripe.

    5. Some of the instructions may look long. It's not because it's a difficult pattern. I just want to answer most people's questions before they occur :) These aren't difficult stitches, they're just unusual.
    You'll be able to crochet these rows quickly when you understand how they work together.

  • Step 2

    Chain 31 (or a multiple of 4 + 3).

    Row 1: Hdc in the 3rd ch from your hook, hdc in each remaining ch, ch 3, turn: 29 hdc.

  • How to make a crochet. Star Stitches with Love Knots - Step 3
    Step 3

    Row 2, Right Side (begin star stitch; note: pull up a bit when you pull up each loop):

    Insert hook in 2nd turning ch from your hook, yo and pull up a loop and leave on hook, insert hook in 1st hdc, yo and pull up a loop and leave on hook, insert hook in 2nd hdc, yo and pull up a loop and leave on hook, yo and pull through all 4 loops on hook, ch 1.

    Note: the ch-1 completes the star, giving it an "eye". The eye will be referred to later.

    Next star stitch of row: *insert hook in eye of star just made, yo and pull up a loop and leave on hook, insert hook in the side loop of the star (choose the one that's sort of behind the star; see photo), yo and pull up a loop and leave on hook, insert hook in the next hdc of row, yo and pull up a loop and leave on hook, insert hook in the next hdc, yo and pull up a loop and leave on hook, yo and pull through all 5 loops on hook, ch 1.*

    In this photo, a new star has begun: a loop has been pulled up in the eye and in the back loop of the side of the star.

    Notice that each star only takes up two new hdc of the row. This will help you to avoid accidentally increasing or decreasing.

    Repeat from * to * until 1 hdc of row remains, then end with a linked hdc: yo, insert hook in eye of last star made, yo and pull up a loop and leave on hook, insert hook in last hdc of row, yo and pull through all 3 loops on hook to complete hdc, ch 2, turn: 14 stars + 1 Lhdc.

  • Step 4

    You're now looking at the backs of the stars. They look weird. As long as you can identify their EYES, you'll be fine.

    Row 3: Skip Lhdc, 2 hdc in the eye of the first star, 2 hdc in the eye of each remaining star of row, end with hdc in the top of the turning ch-3, ch 1, turn: 29 hdc.

  • How to make a crochet. Star Stitches with Love Knots - Step 5
    Step 5

    Row 4: Sc in each hdc of row, ch 4, turn: 29 sc.

    This completes the star stitch stripe. The next two rows will be love knots, yay!

    Unlike star stitches, the fronts and backs of love knots look the same.

  • How to make a crochet. Star Stitches with Love Knots - Step 6
    Step 6

    Row 5: Pull up the loop on your hook to a length of 5/8" (that's halfway between a half inch and a 3/4" length, see note below), yo and pull through this long loop: you've just made a long ch stitch. Now insert your hook in this ch so that one strand (the chain's "bump" loop) is on the left of the hook and the two top loops of the ch are on the other side of the hook (see note below), yo and pull up a low tight loop, yo and pull through both loops on hook: you've just made a sc around the strand that's to the left of your hook. This is one complete love knot. Skip the first 2 sc of row, sc in next sc. To finish this row, read these notes next. The row resumes after the jump:
    ---------------------------------
    Notes:
    - You don't have to make your long loop exactly 5/8". Ballpark is fine, just try for no shorter than 1/2", no longer than 3/4". It'll come naturally after a while.

    - In the illustration, the strand that should be on the left of the hook is labeled "A". If you're crocheting LEFTIE, the strand "A" that you sc around with be to the right of your hook, not to the left.

    - The tighter your sc, the better.

    - The way I worded the instructions sounds weird. There's actually no easy way to write it that will sound good to the most people. It's crazy how this stitch has been explained in some antique patterns, back when it was new to everyone.

    Here's my personal way of looking at it: it's a compound of the two most basic stitches of crochet: you make a loose ch, you then sc into it. Boom. That's it.

    That loop left on your hook after you finish a LK? Pull up on it to loosen it, and finish it off as a LK too. This is how to do 2 LK. >>Whenever you have a loop on your hook, you can launch into a LK instantly, because it's actually a type of **foundation stitch**.
    ---------------------------------
    Let's finish this row! *Make 2 LK, skip 3 sc, sc in next sc*. Repeat from * to * until 2 sc of row remain, then 1 LK, skip next sc, dc in last sc, ch 1, turn: 14 LK (6 LK pairs + 2 LK singles).

    If your dc is not the same height as 3 ch, end with a treble instead.

  • How to make a crochet. Star Stitches with Love Knots - Step 7
    Step 7

    Row 6: Sc in dc, 2 LK, skip first LK, sc in the sc of the next LK, *2 LK, skip next LK, sc in the sc of the next LK, repeat from * until 2 LK remain, 2 LK, sc in top of the turning ch, ch 4, turn: 7 LK pairs.

    Note: I blogged about a nice way to keep LK from loosening over time. The link is in the attached PDF.

  • Step 8

    Row 7: Skip first LK, sc in sc of next LK, *ch 3, skip next LK, sc in sc of next LK, repeat from * until 1 LK remains, ch 1, dc (or tr) in last sc of row, ch 1, turn.

  • Step 9

    Row 8: Ss in first dc, ch 1, skip next ch, *ss in next sc, ch 1, ss in ch-3 space, ch 1, repeat from * until last sc of row remains, ss in next sc, ch 1, ss in top of turning ch, ch 2, turn.

    The main reason for this row is to have all star stitch rows face the front. It does also add symmetry to the star stitch stripe.

  • Step 10

    Row 9 is a repeat of Row 1, only you're crocheting hdc in each ss and ch (except for the turning ch-1 at the end of the row) instead of each foundation ch: 29 hdc. Then repeat rows 2–4 to complete another star stitch stripe.

    Repeat Rows 5–8 to complete another love knot stripe.

    I completed my square with one more star stitch stripe, ending with the row of sc (a repeat of Row 4); omit final turning chains.

  • Step 11

    Final finishing step: fasten off and weave in ends. Spray with water liberally to dampen, or immerse in water briefly, stretch gently in all directions, then spread out to finished dimensions, and dry flat.

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Comments

Margaret D.
Margaret D.
This color is amazing. I love your articles.
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