Extended Crochet Stitches can be a blessing for 2 primary reasons:
1) They raise the length of your stitch up by approximately the width of your yarn. If you need a bit of length in a pattern, doing extended stitches can give you that without changing your row count. If your row gauge is a bit short extending the stitch can help there too.
2) Do your longer stitches (double crochet, triple crochet, etc.) lean a bit? Do they end up looking squishy? Extending them can help them straighten up.
There is an extra benefit for those of you who love Filet Crochet. Doing extended stitches versus normal stitches will actually help to square up your blocks and reduce the lean. Plus you don't have to change pattern rows, so your design will come out perfectly.
As you can see, in the picture to the left, my stitches tend to lean and become squishy (on the top). When I use extended stitches the problem is solved (on the bottom). The swatches are straight off my hook and not 'made pretty' for a picture.
Every kind of crochet stitch can easily be extended.
Chunky yarn or fine thread, a monster hook or one so small you can't see end - they all work in extending a regular crochet stitch.
From single crochet (sc) to a nonuple treble (NonTr) and beyond, the stitches can be extended.
If you have 2 loops on your hook, you can extend the stitch.
What happens to your Gauge is that your stitch count will stay the same, your row count is what changes. Extended stitches increase the size of the row by (approximately) the width of your yarn.
In the pictures below I am showing this with double crochet. Remember as long as you have, at least, 2 loops on your hook (like in single crochet) you can extend the stitch.
When you have loops on your hook, and you are about the finish the stitch, is the time that you can use extended crochet stitches.
To extend a stitch simply pull your thread through the first stitch only.
You will have the same number of loops on your hook. But, as pictured, there will be a partial stitch just below the first loop. This can also be called an extra chain. It's this extra little bit that will raise the stitch.
Then, no matter what stitch you are using, finish it as you normally would.
That's it. Very simple to do and it's amazing how it can change the look of your normal stitches.
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