Saturday, April 26, 2014

Mrs. M's Mock Invisible Join ~ A New Crochet Technique, with Callida Sampler Pattern

In my last post, "The Problem of the Telltale Seam in Crochet", we looked at several ways of joining and starting crochet rounds, ending with a glimpse of a brand-new method I call the Mock Invisible Join. As promised, here's a tutorial for this exciting new technique.

Detail of Callida Jar Cosy, including seam area

All crochet terminology is American.

The Mock Invisible Join - How It Works

The Mock Invisible Join mimics the technique of the Invisible Join, using a tall loop drawn up from the final stitch of a round to weave it together with the first stitch. The tail of the tall loop then becomes the working loop for starting the next round. Because the loop tail ends up behind the work, it allows for a standing-stitch type round start, thus eliminating the starting chain.

When to Use It

The Mock Invisible Join is suitable for non-reversible, joined-round projects worked Right Side facing at all times, including:
  • Hats, cowls, mitts, slippers, socks, bowls, baskets, doilies, amigurumi, and more
  • In-the-round projects with repeating stripes or colour changes
  • Rounds worked in the back loop or the back bar
  • Blocks or motifs worked in joined rounds, such as granny squares, circles, and mandala
The Mock Invisible Join is:
  • NOT suitable for projects with turned rounds
  • NOT suitable for very open stitch patterns (such as meshwork)

Key Steps to Making a Successful Mock Inv Join

1. Replace the first stitch of your round with the recommended stitch (see "Replacement Stitches" below)
2. At the end of the round, join the final stitch to the second stitch of the round. (The Mock Inv Join becomes the new "top" of the first stitch.)
3. When join is complete, ch 1 (either with same colour or with new colour yarn), then remove hook from loop, turn, and replace hook in the opposite direction. (This keeps the loops flat behind your work.)
4. Start all new rounds by stitching into the top strands of the Mock Invisible Join you just made.

Replacement Stitches for Starting Rounds
  • Dc rounds - start with sc + ch 1 (equals first dc of round).
  • Hdc rounds - start with sc (equals first hdc of round).
  • Sc rounds - start with sc.

Tip for Working Circular Increase Rounds

Whenever possible, do not place increases in the first stitch of the round, as this will make the join more noticeable. Example: if your pattern reads "Increase in first stitch, 1 dc in each of next 2 stitches around", then instead of increasing in the first stitch, you would shift the increase to the second or third stitch.

The Two Sizes of Mock Inv Joins

1. DC Join: used for double crochet rounds, it takes the weaving loop through one extra strand to the side of the join. This extra step will help close the gap that can form between the first and last dc stitches of the round.
2. Short Join: used for hdc and sc rounds, it eliminates the extra step of the Dc join, as gapping is not a problem with these shorter stitches.
What About Taller Stitches?

The Mock Invisible Join has not yet been tested on any stitch taller than a double-crochet (UK treble). In theory the DC version should be adaptable to any tall stitch, simply by adding extra chains to your sc + ch-1 starting stitch. However, the more chain stitches used, the more your starting stitch will stand out from the stitches around it. (I can think of a few ways to tackle this - one would be to chain to an appropriate height behind the work, then start the round with a very tall standing stitch. Perhaps one of you will discover the key to a subtle replacement for tall starting chains ... if you do, be sure to share it with the rest of us!) :)

Had enough theory? Let's get down to some practice!

Mock Invisible Join Video Tutorial (see also phototutorials below)

Dc Mock Invisible Join Phototutorial

Remember to start dc rounds with sc + ch 1 (counts as first dc).
When round is complete, draw up a tall loop (about 3/4" to 1" tall):

(Drop working yarn and hold behind work until join is complete.)
Drop hook from loop.
Skipping over the sc + ch 1,
insert hook from wrong side to right side of 2nd stitch of round (the first "real" dc of round):

Draw tall loop through to wrong side and drop from hook.

Turn your work over so the wrong side is facing you.
Find the ch-1 from the first stitch of the round, and look for the back ridge of the chain.

Insert your hook from right to left (if you're a leftie, from left to right) through the back ridge,
then up through the back horizontal bar AND the back loop of the final dc:

Pick up the tall loop tail and gently pull it down and through all the strands on your hook.
Next, chain 1 with the working yarn (sorry, no photo of the ch-1 bit).

Turn your work around,
remove hook from loop, and replace it in the opposite direction.
(This step is optional, but it will keep the join from forming a tiny knot on the wrong side of the work.)

And your Dc Mock Invisible Join is complete!

Your hook is now behind and slightly above the work, ready to start the new round with a complete stitch. (No starting chains!)

To start the next round, insert hook under the top strands (all 4) of the join you just made.
This requires a little hook-wiggling:

Start every new round with a single crochet (for dc rounds, sc + ch-1):

That's it!

It sounds rather fiddly, but after a few rounds, it will become second nature. :)

Short Mock Invisible Join

Use the Short Mock Invisible Join for hdc and sc rounds. (Remember to start your hdc and sc rounds with 1 sc.)

To make a Short join, draw up a tall loop,
drop loop from hook.
Skipping over the first sc of round,
insert hook from wrong side to right side of 2nd stitch of round;
draw tall loop through to wrong side, drop loop from hook;
with wrong side facing, insert hook from bottom to top
through back strands ONLY of final stitch of round,
draw tall loop through,
then chain 1 with working yarn (or new colour) before starting next round.

Note: Half-double crochets have 3 back strands, and single crochets have 2. Be sure to draw through the appropriate number of strands.

Starting a New Colour

After drawing the tall loop through the appropriate strands, drop old colour and chain 1 with the new colour:

Be sure to catch the new yarn tail in your first sc:

Change complete!

How about a trial run? Here's a free pattern which makes full use of the Mock Invisible Join.

~ ~ ~

Where's that seam? (Hint: left photo)

Callida Crochet Pattern

Callida is an adaptable pattern that makes a lovely crochet bowl, jar cosy, or hat. It can be worked to any size, using any yarn and colours you like. Start your Callida with a flat circular core, and finish with any combination of edging rounds to suit your particular whimsy.

To change the finished project size, simply increase or decrease
the number of core and edging rounds.

Callida Variation 1: Jar Cosy (stretches to fit a 1-pint canning jar)

Finished size: 5-1/4" tall x 8" diameter
Materials used: Planet Penny Cotton Club yarn in Lime, Cornflower, and Aqua, OR any light DK weight yarn, in colours of your choice
Hook: US F/3.75mm

Pattern is worked RS facing at all times. Carry unused colours behind work.

Inside view

Core (Increase Rounds)
Knotless Ch 2 (click here for Knotless Chain tutorial), OR make a Magic Ring and ch 1.
Round 1: Working in second ch from hook (or in ring), sc + ch 1 (always counts as first dc), dc 11, Dc Mock Inv join to second stitch of round, ch 1 behind work. (12 stitches)
Round 2: Starting in join just made, sc + ch 1, dc in same st, 2 dc in next stitch and in each stitch around (24 stitches), Dc Mock Inv join to second stitch of round, ch 1 behind work.
Round 3: Starting in join just made, sc + ch 1, (2 dc in next st, 1 dc in next st) around, ending with 2 dc in final stitch (36 stitches),  Dc Mock Inv join to second stitch of round, ch 1 behind work.
Round 4: Starting in join just made, sc + ch 1, dc in next 10 stitches, 2 dc in next st, (dc in next 11 stitches, 2 dc in next stitch) twice (39 stitches),  Dc Mock Inv join to second stitch of round, ch 1 behind work.

Increase rounds are now complete. Work any combination of Edging Rounds to the desired height, changing colours whenever you like, OR follow the Callida Sample Rounds (next section) for a cosy like mine.

Edging Rounds - may be combined in any order
Sc Round: Starting in join just made, sc in each stitch around, Short Mock Inv join to second stitch of round, ch 1 (in same colour or in new colour) behind work.

Hdc Round: Sc in join just made, hdc in next stitch and in each stitch around, Short Mock Inv join to second stitch of round, ch 1 (in same colour or in new colour) behind work.

Dc Round: Sc + ch 1 in join just made, dc in next stitch and in each stitch around, Dc Mock Inv join to second stitch of round, ch 1 (in same colour or in new colour) behind work.

Granny Cluster Round: Sc + ch 1 in join just made, 2 dc in same stitch, (skip 2 stitches, 3 dc in next stitch) around, Dc Mock Inv join to second stitch of first cluster, ch 1 (in same colour or in new colour) behind work.

Hdc in the Back Bar: Sc in back bar of sc below join just made, then hdc in back bar of next stitch and in each stitch around, Short Mock Inv join to second stitch of round, ch 1 (in same colour or in new colour) behind work.

Callida Sample Rounds
Work Core Rounds 1-4 (above) in Lime.
Round 5: With Lime,  work 1 Dc Round
Round 6: With Aqua, work 1 Hdc Round
Round 7: With Cornflower, work 1 Sc Round
Round 8: With Lime,  work 1 Granny Cluster Round
Round 9: With Aqua, work 1 Hdc Round
Round 10: With Cornflower, work 1 Sc Round
Round 11: With Aqua, work 1 Hdc Round
Round 12: With Cornflower, work 1 Sc Round
Rounds 13: With Lime, work 1 Hdc Round
Rounds 14-15: With Lime,  work 2 Hdc in Back Bar Rounds
Round 14: With Aqua, work 1 Hdc Round
Round 15: With Cornflower, work 1 Sc Round
Round 16: With Lime,  work 1 Granny Cluster Round
Round 17: With Aqua, work 1 Hdc Round
Round 18: With Cornflower, work 1 Sc Round
Round 19: With Lime,  work 1 Dc Round
Round 20: With Lime, work 1 Sc Round

Cut yarn, join last round with standard Invisible Join (click here for Invisible Join tutorial).

Weave in ends, slip your new cosy onto a jar, and admire your new crochet technique!

I like to drink hot tea from jars like this...
no more burnt fingers!
P.S. Those joins really are
almost invisible. :)

~ ~ ~

I realize this is an awfully long post - but since Ravelry frowns on posting tutorials (on Ravelry) that don't include a pattern, this combined approach seemed the best way to reach the widest Ravelry audience with what I feel is an important crochet technique. If you've read this far, thanks for your patience! (And Ravelry - how about adding a Tutorials section?)

I hope you find the Mock Invisible Join useful for your own projects. If you have any questions (or find any mistakes), please feel free to mention them in the comments section below, or contact me in Ravelry.

You may do whatever you like with objects made using this technique and pattern, but you may not sell the Callida pattern, or reproduce the text without permission. (Links to this post are welcome.) If you reference this technique, please credit the author. :)

Thanks for viewing, and happy crocheting!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


  1. I come from youtube..... and copy my comment of the video ;)
    "I knew this way, but yours is more advanced, and detailed. One more time, thanks a lot for sharing your knowledges, Mrs Teacher !! Friendly, Leelou"
    Merci beaucoup !!

  2. thank you so much, Sue-- what a wonderful tutorial (as always!) and pattern. I love your cozy-- such bright and cheery colors! :)

  3. Thanks so much for this tutorial Sue, you did it so well, and I enjoyed hearing your voice explaining the steps! Your Callida pattern is rather gorgeous and gratefully received also, thank you; your chosen colours are lovely! Joy x

  4. What a wonderful, informative post. Thank you so much for the lessons.

  5. Sue! Your work is amazing! Thank you for so skillfully and generously sharing your design and instructions. You inspire me. xx ps I enjoyed hearing your voice as well, and your presentation is wonderfully clear :) ]

  6. What a cute jar cover. Not only useful, but very, very pretty too.

  7. I don't remember how I found your blog, but it a lucky find indeed. I love that you think about ways to improve on the status quo. Your tutorials are awesome.

  8. Sue, You are positively brilliant, truly you are! With your expert instruction, I MIGHT be even able to do it! I have difficulty learning new things, so wish me luck!
    I truly appreciate the time it must have taken you to do this post, and you could have been out riding your bike! :-)

  9. That is just so amazing. I couldn't find the seam.

  10. Thanks Mrs. Micawber, I applaud your patience with tutorials preparation, so detailed and so clear.
    Let's see if I start any new project, I will us ethe technique. Ravelry shall definitely start tutorials section, as we don't always post purely patterns.
    Loving the yarn you chose for a jar cozy - my type of colors :)

  11. I like the colors for your jar cover. I watched your video tutorial and I am currently making a granny square blanket, will have to try that method when changing colors. Thank you!

  12. I think you're just brilliant Sue! Thanks so much for taking the time to write up this really wonderful tutorial, and for the great video...and the lovely pattern too! xoxo.

  13. I didn't think your post was too long at all. But I guess I can be the queen of long posts, so the number of paragraphs never bothers me.

    This is a wonderful tutorial and a great project. I, too, love the colors of your cozy. They'd go great with the socks I featured a couple of weeks ago!!!

    I hope you will link this post to your previous post so all the join links will be available in one post. Don't ask for much, do I? :)

  14. Hello again! I do have a question about using this technique with bulky yarn. For me, I ended up with a visible crowding along the "seam" compared to the rest with spaces between stitches. Is this normal? Is there any way to lessen the crowded look? Also, this seam did creep just slightly to the right! Is that normal or is that how I lost a few stitches along the way? From a stitch count of 39 to 36. Thanks for your help!
    (Same Claire that just commented under the invisible join tutorial also) =)

    1. Hi again Claire - I'm not sure this is the best join for bulky yarn. Unless you get the tension absolutely right where you join, there will be some crowding. You could try to keep the tension extra loose while joining and see if that helps.

      To be honest, I think this join is best saved for projects where you're working in the back bar of the stitch below and want to preserve the "chain stitch" look you get with this technique. Depending on your project, you might want to try a "slipped slip" join instead (which I totally forgot to include in the comparative joining post). This involves removing your hook from the loop, then inserting it through the first stitch of the round and pulling the working loop through. Then you snug up the working loop and go on from there. You can see an example of this in the Limpet Mitts Part 1 post, either in the video or about halfway down the post in the phototutorial (

      Regarding the seam creep - I have had that happen too. All crochet worked in the round with RS facing will "creep" to the right - because the stitches don't stack up perfectly on each other.

      Regarding the lost stitches - I can't help you there. The most likely reasons I can think of would be: joining to the wrong stitch, or not starting the new round in the Join itself. Or you could have just skipped a stitch here and there along the way. :)

      Good luck with your crochet, and always feel free to ask if you have a question!

    2. Thank you so much for your reply! I will have to look into this "slipped slip" join because I truly hate all the the other ways of joining rounds that I've tried, which leave either big huge gaps or too much crowding with a very visible seam. Thanks again =)

  15. Oh my gosh....I am over the moon. You have set my Crochet world on fire..... You made my year..... I have been trying so hard so alive this problem. You are a genius.

  16. Thank you very much for all of your invisible seams/invisible joins tutorials - very ugh appreciated. I've always been unsatisfied with my seams and joins - yours look so neat/tidy. Now, will just need to "mirror" you as I'ma lefty! LOL thank you again!!

    1. That *should* read: very MUCH appreciated!

      Darn auto correct!! Oy.

    2. That *should* read: very MUCH appreciated!

      Darn auto correct!! Oy.

  17. Amazing! Many thanks for your video, your pattern... My crochet knowledge is now seriously increased... Thank you, Mafalda

  18. I'm so glad you have the link to your tutorials prominently displayed - I may never have found this otherwise! This is an EXCELLENT method for an invisible join! I frequently work in the back loop only, and this method lets me have rounds (rather than a spiral) AND keeps the front loops connected in a solid line all the way around. Yay!!! I'm looking forward to going through the rest of your tips and tricks!!


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