Friday, November 8, 2013

Stretchy Star Stitch, as featured in the Picea Hat ~ Corrected Instructions and Tutorial

The Stretchy Star stitch was developed especially for the crown of the Picea Hat pattern, recently published in Interweave Crochet Accessories 2014. Unfortunately, Interweave's instructions for the stitch contain a small but critical misprint* which would affect stitch quality and gauge.

This tutorial demonstrates the correct way to make the stitch.

Picea Hat
(Image courtesy of Interweave/

Though it looks like a traditional star stitch, the Stretchy Star is really a slip stitch with flourishes. Its unique construction yields a cushy, textured, and very stretchy fabric.

Original swatch submitted to Interweave
showing the Stretchy Star crown

The Stretchy Star is designed to be worked in the round, with right side facing at all times. It lends itself beautifully to spiral rounds with increases, making it a perfect choice for hat crowns.

You could also work it onto a foundation chain (joined into a loop) for a smashing textured cowl or wristwarmers, or use several rows as a decorative band at the beginning or end of a project. (If using as an edging, start or finish with at least one row of tighter stitches to keep edge from stretching out of shape.)

Note: In the Picea Hat pattern, the Stretchy Star is referred to simply as "star stitch". But I am sticking with my original name. :)

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Written Instructions for Stretchy Star:

Tip: For best Stretchy Star fabric, use a slightly larger hook than recommended for yarn.

Ch 2, ins hook in back lp of 2nd ch from hook, yo and pull up a lp, ins hook in bottom ridge lp of same ch, yo and pull up a lp (3 lps on hook), ins hook in next stitch, yo and immediately draw through all lps on hook.

Remember: the Stretchy Star is a slip stitch variation. Do NOT pull up an extra loop after inserting hook into next stitch! :)

Video Tutorial:

Photo Tutorial:

To swatch the Stretchy star, you can start with a round of plain stitches, as below (I used 6 half double crochets worked into a magic ring).

You can also work into a foundation chain. If using a foundation chain, work the first row of Stretchy Stars flat, then join ends and continue working in the round.

When working into Stretchy Stars, skip over the ch-2 at the side of the stitch, and work into the top strands of the stitch. (These will be larger and looser - very easy to identify.)

Another view of where to insert hook for future stars:

That's it! Pretty simple, isn't it? Later this month I'll post a free hat pattern with a Stretchy Star crown.

If you have any questions, please feel free to use the comments section, or contact me in Ravelry.

You may do whatever you like with the items you make from this tutorial, but you may not re-print the text of this tutorial. (Links are always welcome.)

Thanks for viewing, and happy crocheting!

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* What is the misprint? The Interweave pattern instructs you to pull up an extra loop after inserting your hook into the next stitch. The correct method, as shown above, is to insert your hook into the next stitch, yarn over, and immediately pull through all loops on hook. (Just like a slip stitch.)

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  1. Love the description "cushy". Tho this means 'easy' over here and I think you are describing 'cushiony' perhaps?
    This looks like a lovely hat - I may be brave and try making some clothing soon *scared face*
    Susan x

    1. and by 'easy' I mean 'unchallenging' not, you know.........

  2. Thank you so much for this tutorial Sue I have tried the stitch before and can never seem to get it right. :)

  3. I love this stitch Sue, it's genius to have made it stretchy x

  4. I just picked up my Interweave Accessories 2014 yesterday after a long wait and search. Thank you so much for your tutorial.

    1. I thank you, also. I've had a difficult time trying to figure this pattern out.

  5. Many thanks for this great tutorial!

  6. Sue, you have done it again. Wonderful tutorial, I love the stitch.

  7. That stitch is so cool, thanks for the close ups. You really make it look possible to do. And beautiful, you really make such beautiful things.

  8. The really nice thing about the misprint is it allowed you to really show off that stretchy stitch a lot earlier than you would have been able to!!! Gorgeous stitch and even more beautiful color!

  9. I love this hat, and your really clear tutorial has helped me to finish the stretchy star section. But now I am stuck on the cluster stitch on the band. Do you have a tutorial for this part - I can't get it to work over 6 stitches, and am confused about working into the vertical bar.

    1. Dear Milo - so sorry I missed your comment until tonight. Did you message me in Ravelry? If so I sent you an answer there. If you aren't the person who messaged me, just check the Ravelry pattern page comment section and you'll find an answer there. :)

  10. Es genial este punto, pero la banda de la frente so se como tengo que han de hacer aumentos en el gorro?

    1. I think you are asking: "Do I need to enlarge the band?"

      If you make a swatch of the band pattern, you can measure it, and then decide what size to make. The band will be tighter than the crown.

      If this answer does not help, please ask again. :)

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  12. Sassy,
    I can not figure out how to make the band for the picea hat, please help, I need to finish for christmas

    1. Dear Unknown - I am assuming you have the magazine with the pattern in it. If not, you need to buy the magazine - I can't give the pattern here. :)

      For more help, go to the Ravelry project page:

      Look at the "errata" posted there. Also see this page:

      And this photo from another crocheter:

      Hope these are helpful!

  13. I so dearly wish you had a tutorial for the cluster stitch. I am not mother tongue English and have had a terrible time trying to figure out the stitches... in particular the difference between sl st blo and sc. This would be my first hat in crochet and as such I am particularly "stuck".

    Merry Christmas Hollidays!


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