Waves and Ripples: How to customise a pattern
The other day I asked my Facebook fans if they had anything they needed help with and this is what Alycia Dooley asked:
I’ve been having trouble with coming up with a ripple stitch pattern for a 12inch pillow form. Doing the base chain in multiples of 14, it comes out too long or too short. I’m having a hard time figuring a pattern out on my own. Would love your input!
So, I did a bit of research into ripple patterns.
I haven’t actually made many ripple stitch projects, but the fact that you can alter the shape of a piece of crochet by adding and skipping stitches intrigues me.
As you may know by now, Robyn Chachula’s Crochet Stitches Visual Encyclopedia (there’s a link in About Me) is my go-to book when it comes to crochet stitches. I analysed the stitches in the book, there are six wave (or ripple) stitch patterns in the book and the principle is always the same, no matter how intricate the pattern may be.
I am going to illustrate the point with the help of a simple ripple pattern diagram.
Above is a fairly simple ripple pattern consisting of Double Crochets and Chains.
As you can see the pattern is a repeat of 12 +3. That means you need to chain a multiple of 12 and then add an extra 3 chains. The extra chains form the turning chain.
Row 1 consists of 5 DCs, 2 skipped chains, 5 DCs 2 added chains etc.
So, if like Alycia, you want to customise a pattern you can simply add, or leave out DCs.
You could also change the angle of the ripple by adding and skipping more stitches. So, instead of adding two and skipping two, as in the above example, you could add and skip three, or four.
There is really no right or wrong to this. You can do pretty much what ever you feel like.
You could also experiment with the type of stitches.
Why not try adding cluster stitches? Or change the stitches between rows, i.e. one row of DCs and one of SCs?
The variations are limitless. Just remember that the more complex the pattern the more difficult it will be to customise and/or play with.
Of course you do have to make a swatch for a wave or ripple pattern because the foundation chain will always be longer than the final product and if you want to make an object of a specific size a swatch is a good way to find out how many repeats you need for your project.
Remember, the nature of a ripple pattern is that it shortens in length, that’s how the ripples are formed.
I hope this has been helpful, Alycia.
For now let me leave you with some wave and ripple inspiration.
Here’s a simple ripple that has been given a bit of flair with the addition of some cluster stitches.
I really love the soft pastel colours and design of this star-shaped ripple baby blanket.
This ripple is so versatile. You could make a blanket using hexagons and then work the ripple around the blanket or you could alternate a row of hexagons and a broad stripe of the ripple.
I love the look of this fun and colourful blanket.
Isn’t this shell and fan ripple just gorgeous? Just imagine a shawl. Oh, I think I need one!
And lastly, I just had to add this fabulous bag.
I don’t know if you could recreate the look with a different yarn but it would be worth a try.
At first I thought it had been felted but it looks like the yarn is very fluffy.
So, that’s it for today.
If you would like me to answer crochet related questions feel free to leave a comment below or to email me.
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