Waistcoat Stitch Tutorial

Today I’m sharing a tutorial for the Waistcoat Stitch, aka the Knit Stitch! Despite the name, this stitch is a crochet stitch that’s actually very simple – it’s basically just single crochet – but creates a distinctive structure that’s perfect for tightly formed fabric with a smooth surface texture. Plus, it looks a bit like knitting 🙂

Waistcoat Stitch (abbreviated to “WS” or “ws”) is worked in the round to achieve the smooth knit-look texture. You can work this stitch back and forth, but because the WS relies on the Right Side to create the effect, back-and-forth WS will not look smooth and pretty like in-the-round will. The firm texture, the neat look of the surface, and the reliance on working in rounds makes this a perfect stitch for hats!

In fact, I already have one hat pattern written in the Waistcoat Stitch, available both for free on my blog and purchasable as a portable, ad-free PDF – that’s the Vintage Derby Hat, shown above & below.

And I have yet another pointy hat being developed right this very minute, ready to be published soon, which also utilizes this awesome technique – so I’m doing a tutorial here today in preparation which includes a video demo – keep scrolling for the free instructions! <3

Waistcoat Stitch Tutorial

So how do we work this amazing little stitch? As I mentioned, the WS is basically a single crochet, so you don’t have to learn any fancy yarnwork to create it. The secret to this stitch is all in where you insert your hook to draw up the first loop for your crochet stitch.

In the first round, you’ll be working traditional single crochet stitches into your ring or your round of chains (remember, we don’t work this back and forth but in rounds instead).

Once you have established a round in single crochet, the next round will work single crochet stitches but through the vertical bars of the stitch below, not through the top two loops as normal.

Highlighted here are the top two loops (first image above) where you would normally insert your hook to draw up the first loop for your stitch. In the second image above, I have highlighted the vertical bars of the crochet stitch below, which form a bit of a “V”. You’ll be inserting your hook in between these two bars from the front and emerging through the body of the stitch to the back of the work.

Pictured Above: Inserting the hook through the middle of the highlighted vertical bars of the stitch below

At the back of the work, the vertical bars of a single crochet stitch form an upside-down “V” shape. Your hook will emerge between these vertical bars, at the point indicated by the white dot.

Pictured Above: The hook emerging at the back of the work, between the vertical bars. The stitch beside it is highlighted to show the configuration of the bars when viewed from the back, with the white dot indicating where the hook should emerge.

From there, draw up a loop. YO and draw through two loops as normal to complete one Waistcoat Stitch. Your stitch will now emerge from the center of the stitch below, coming out from the vertical V shape.

Insert your hook again through the V of the next stitch, then draw up a loop and complete the single crochet as normal. Voila! You are working waistcoat stitch!

After a few rounds of this stitch, the texture starts to become very smooth and even, with the v-shapes mimicking the loops of knitting but with a firmer, thicker fabric perfect for structured projects.

Increasing and decreasing in Waistcoat Stitch are handled the exact same way as with single crochet, but again – inserting that hook in between the vertical bars instead of the top loops. So to increase, simply work two Waistcoat stitches in the next vertical-bar “V”, so that you have an extra stitch in the same place. To decrease, work a single crochet 2 together (sc2tog) but draw up your first two loops from between the vertical-bar “V”s 🙂

I’ve created this video tutorial to help you navigate the basics of this stitch – I didn’t get quite the video quality I wanted for this, but I’m working on upgrading some of my technologies for doing better videos (and dealing with some malfunctions) so stay tuned and thanks for your patience 🙂

Waistcoat Stitch Video Tutorial

As I mentioned (a lot) just love this stitch because it’s particular qualities are so good for hats! Firm fabric and a neatly smooth textured surface – it’s just perfect <3 You can also substitute this stitch for regular single crochet in many simple hat patterns – I might try it on my Mori Girl Beret pattern next!

Thanks for visiting and stay tuned for my newest hat pattern, to be released in just a few days!

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