Creating Straight Vertical Lines With a Modified SC

mscheaderFor me, one of the greatest downfalls of doing tapestry crochet in the round is that the vertical lines are slanted. There have been numerous times when I decided not to do a pattern because I didn’t think it would look as good slanted. Luckily, there’s a way to combat this. I call it the modified single crochet.

The Origins of the Modified Single Crochet

If you’ve been a fan of tapestry crochet for a while, chances are you’ve stumbled upon the famous Wayuu bags, or mochilas. (You might remember from your high school Spanish class that mochila means backpack.)wayuumochilas

The modified single crochet is what is used to create the unique look of a mochila. What made me want to learn the Wayuu method was not necessarily the desire to make a mochila, but the desire to create straight vertical lines, like the ones in the bag below.









The modified single crochet creates something like a ridge along the top of each round, which is different from the smooth look you get with round tapestry crochet. It’s not ideal, but to me it’s worth it to have the option of being able to create straight vertical lines.

How to do a Modified Single Crochet

As the name implies, a modified single crochet is basically a regular single crochet with just two small differences. Let’s look at it one step at a time.

Step 1: Insert hook into back loop only.msc1
Step 2: Yarn over and pull through.msc2


Step 3: Yarn under and pull through.msc4


And that’s pretty much it! The two small differences are that you insert the hook into only the back loop, and that you yarn under instead of over before pulling through the two loops on the hook. The yarn under motion takes a little getting used to. And you probably noticed that the ridges I was talking about are created because of the fact that you’re only crocheting into the back loop.

Simple, right? I will definitely be using this method regularly now that I know about, and I hope you do too 🙂 If you do make something using this method, I would love for you to come over to the All Tapestry Crochet Facebook page and share your work with your fellow tapestry crocheters! As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask away in the comments below. Happy crocheting!tabletcover

Rebecca Medina

Rebecca Medina

Hello there, I'm Rebecca! I love creating beautiful things from nothing, which is why I love crocheting. I especially love the tapestry method.. but as I've been picking it up, I've noticed that it's completely underrated! I made this site to spread the word about the greatness of tapestry crochet. I hope that my passion becomes yours and that you create something beautiful today 🙂
Rebecca Medina

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7 thoughts on “Creating Straight Vertical Lines With a Modified SC

  1. April Sanner says:

    You are the first English speaker I have found to explain this method so simply and yet thoroughly. Thank you. Could you please explain how you make a diagonal line? I see you’ve done it on your pink, blue and white project, but I couldn’t quite figure it out. Your projects are beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

    • Rebecca Medina says:

      Hi April! You can create diagonal lines in a couple of ways. You can do a regular single crochet stitch, but of course with that stitch you’ll be able to make diagonal lines but not vertical lines. If you’re using the modified SC, diagonal lines can sometimes be less smooth and defined. For example, if the diagonal line is rising from left to right, like this ( / ), then the line will be smooth. If it’s falling from left to right like this ( \ ), then it’ll look less connected. It’s kinda hard to describe in words, but let’s say you want to make a blue diagonal line with a white background. On the first round you’ll make the first blue stitch of the diagonal line. In the next round when you want to continue the diagonal line, you just put the next blue stitch either in the stitch before the blue stitch or in the stitch after the blue stitch (into one of the white stitches directly to the left or right of the blue stitch). You may have been a little confused because of the way it can sometimes look disconnected. If you haven’t seen it already, you can find the pattern by following this link. It might be a little easier to understand by looking at the pattern:

  2. Taryn says:

    Hi Rebecca! This video is extremely straightforward, I’m so happy I found it. I feel like other tutorials don’t understand this (or at least don’t mention that there is a difference) and so I had to dig a little to make sure I read the whole back-loop, yarn-under thing and didn’t make it up in my head!

    How would you go about mixing diagonals and verticals in one patter? Which would be the cleanest way, probably doing it all with modified single crochet stitches? Because then at least your vertical line is crisp. I have a feeling this will create a “stair-step” look for the diagonal lines. Am I right?

    Any thoughts or opinions?

    • Rebecca Medina says:

      Hi Taryn! You’re correct, diagonal lines done with a MSC will have a stair-step look to them. It’s usually more obvious on lines that slant this way \ than lines that slant like this / The easiest way to fix this is to make your diagonal lines more than 1 stitch wide. It’s still noticeable with lines that are 2 stitches wide but looks quite a bit smoother when a diagonal line is 3 stitches wide. If you examine Wayuu-style bags closely, you should be able to notice that most of their diagonal lines are done this way. I’ll sometimes use diagonal lines that are only 1 stitch wide if the diagonal line is an outline of another shape. The stair-like effect seems to be slightly less noticeable in this application.

  3. Barb says:

    Hi Rebecca, I am glad I found you and wanted to tell you how incredibly understandable your instructions are. I am glad you provided both a pictorial and a video tutorial on this stitch. I do much better with the picture tutorials because I can look at them while I try to imitate the stitch. I sometimes get distracted by the talking from a video, silly I know. So thanks for what you do. You are very talented.

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