One of the crochet stitches that’s important for the house bag is the crocodile stitch. Look, here it is, used for the roof of the house, which forms the flap for the bag:-
It’s not difficult but it looks fancy, and it’s a stitch that works well for scarves. Since you work the scales one-at-a-time, it can carry a variegated yarn quite well, more so than – say – a granny square, which can get weirdly splodgy in a variegated yarn.
Just don’t make an entire cardigan in this stitch, especially not in green, or you will look like an actual crocodile – which is not a good look (except on crocodiles, of course).
Whilst I finish off writing up the bag pattern, I thought I’d put together these instructions, because although there are a lot of crocodile stitch tutorials out there, they really do vary in quality. (I found this out the hard way when I was first learning the technique.) Here’s a version that most definitely works. And it really is easy. So without further ado, permit me to present… the crochet crocodile stitch photo-tutorial:-
(Actually there is a bit of further ado.) PLEASE NOTE: NORTH AMERICAN CROCHET TERMS USED THROUGHOUT.
ch = chain
ss = slip stitch
dc = double crochet (which would be a treble in UK crochet terms)
sk = skip
st/sts = stitch/stitches
1. Chain multiples of 6+1. Just to orientate you, you’re beginning at the bottom of your work and progressing upwards. In the little sample I’m making below, I’ve chained 19, i.e. (3×6)+1. This will give me a piece with rows alternating between 4 scales and 3 scales wide, like this:-
2. Pinch your last chain and ch3 (to act as your first dc). 1dc into the st you’ve pinched. (Ch1. Sk2 links of chain and work 2dc into next stitch) until the end of the row. (You should find yourself working 2dc into the final stitch.) You will have made something that looks rather like a ladder. There will be an odd number of pairs of dcs:-
3. Turn your work clockwise through 90◦ so that your ladder is hanging downwards. To make the crocodile scale, you’re going to work stitches into the gap between the pair of dc posts, initially from right to left down the first dc, and then back up the other side via the other dc in this first pair. So, ch3 (counts as your first dc), then, working from right to left along the first dc, make 4dc. Ch1.
Turn your work through 180◦ so that the rung of the ladder you’re working on is now at the bottom. Working from right to left, make 5dc in the second of the pair of dc stitches from row 2.
Now ch1. You’ve made a scale.
4. Turn your ladder through 180◦ again, so that it’s hanging downwards. Skip the next pair of dc sts from row 2 and instead work 5dc from right to left into the first dc of the following pair. Ch1, then turn your work through 180◦ and work another 5dc back up the other dc of the pair. Ch1.
5. Continue in this way, working down and then up every alternate pair of the dcs that you made in row 2. You should finish on the final pair of dcs and should now have 4 scales. Instead of your final ch1, work a ss into the top of the middle of the last scale, so that its right hand side curves nicely at the top. Your scales won’t look very neat at the moment but don’t worry, as you work the next (set-up) row, you’ll anchor them in place and make them behave.
6. Hold your work horizontally with the scales facing you and pointing downwards, and with your initial chain at the bottom. You’ll now make a new row of pairs of dcs, each pair separated by a ch1, with each pair worked into the gap between one of the pairs of dcs below. Where this coincides with the edges of two scales (ie alternate occasions), you work your dcs into the ch1 between scales as well as into the gap between dcs, thus anchoring these together. The first dc of the very first pair only should be replaced by a ch3. You should have the same number of pairs of dcs as in row 2, i.e. 7 pairs in this example.
7. You’re now going to work across again with another set of scales. However, on this row you will make one fewer scales than before – 3 in this case – because they’re slightly offset from the previous row. So, no need to begin with a ch3 this time. Instead, work 5dcs from top to bottom into the first post of the second pair of dcs. Ch1. Work 5dcs up the other side. Ch1. Continue working scales across the row until you have 3. This time, you’ll finish the final scale with a ss into the last pair of dcs, and your scale will not protrude any further than this pair of posts.
8. Make the next set-up row, as in row 6. Ch3 (to act as your first dc). 1dc into the base of this ch3. (Ch1. Sk2 stitches and work 2dc into next stitch) until the end of the row.
9. Repeat 3-8.