Crocodile stitch

I first came across this stitch while doing a CAL in 2014 (it was the stitch used to give petals in the appropriately named "crocodile flower" square). Although it is called a 'crocodile' stitch, it seems to mainly be used for making flower petals or leaves rather than making crocodiles - at least in some of the examples that I've seen. I've also seen it used as roofing tiles on amigurumi houses (and I've made my own amigurumi house design with crocodile stitch roofing tiles) and as feathers for owls. It also makes great scales for mermaid tails (though you need a large amount of yarn to make most mermaid tails as it is a yarn eater stitch).

I am not sure if there is a "standard" method for making this stitch as I have seen it worked in a few different ways. The stitch is made in two parts. Firstly you make a row or round with double crochets (or half double crochets) and then you work around the posts of the row or round of double crochets (or hdc) to make the crocodile stitches. I have seen the first part done in a couple of different ways. Some people make a solid row/round of dc and then work their crocodile stitches onto that. Other people work 2 double crochets then they chain 3 and skip 3 so that the placement of the crocodile stitches is obvious (which is a sensible idea if you don't mind the potential for gaps showing in your work). The crocodile stitches can be added in the row/round immediately after creating the double crochets/half double crochets on which they will be worked. However, you can also wait until you have done several other rows and then can add the crocodile stitches around the appropriate stitches. In addition, between each set of front post stitches, you can either do a chain 1 or you can make a picot stitch depending on whether you would like a rounded or pointed tip to your stitch pattern. You can also do a half crocodile stitch at the end of rows if you are alternating the position of your stitches - eg when you are creating roof tiles for an amigurumi house.

I thought the best way to illustrate this stitch was to do it in a few different ways with different colours for the background stitches to the crocodile stitches themselves so you could see the difference.

I've tried to keep things consistent and, because this stitch spreads out a bit, I haven't limited myself as much as I normally would with these samples (normally I would try to limit myself to 10 stitches across). The number of stitches required across a row is 5+3 though, of course, your starting chain needs extras so that you can create your first half double crochet or double crochet stitch (and if you are working in the round you can get away with having a multiple of 5 for your first round provided you keep going up by a multiple of 5). I have compressed my stitches down to half double crochets (both for the background and the crocodile stitches themselves) as this means I only need to add on one extra chain to my starting chain (ie multiples of 5 + 4 for my starting chain).

This first version was done by creating my first row of hdc and then immediately working a crocodile stitch so that you can see how the basic stitch is done. For the other versions I created several rows of hdc in one colour and then went back and added the crocodile stitches on every second row (they need space to spread out).

Here is version 1 where I created my row of hdc and then turned and worked the crocodile stitches on that row (note that this row is shorter than my later versions):

 Basic row of hdc
Adding the first FPdc around the 3rd st
5 FPdc down the post of the 3rd st of row 1
Ch 1 and Row turned and getting ready for the first FPdc around the post of the next st. This first FPdc is near the bottom of the post and the next 4 will go up the post
This shows my first completed crocodile stitch with my work upside down. I need to turn it up the other way to add in the first half of my next crocodile stitch
Skipping 3 stitches before beginning the next crocodile stitch
This is my first complete row of crocodile stitches. If I was to continue with this to make a swatch I would then work hdc in all the stitches of my first row and then probably at least add one more row or more before adding the next row of crocodile stitches so that they were a little spread out.


How I created the rest of my versions with a basic hdc background are set out below:

Ch 16

Row 1: hdc in the 2nd ch from hook and each st across, ch 1 and turn.

Rows 2-6 hdc in each st across, ch 1 and turn. 

I worked my crocodile stitches on the 1st, 3rd and 5th rows so that there was a little gap between the stitches since they spread out quite a bit.

Version 2

For this first crocodile stitch I have made a ch 1 between sets of FPdc. I began with a slip knot on my hook and made a standing FPdc around the post of the first hdc of row 1. I then made 4 more FPdc around the post of the same st working down the post, ch 1 and then turned my work and did 5 more FPdc around the post of the next hdc but working them up the post. I then turned my work back, ch 1, skipped 3 stitches and worked a new crocodile stitch {5 FPdc around the post of the first st going down the post, ch 1, turn, 5 FPdc around the post of the next st going up the post} and continued to the end

Version 3

For this second row of crocodile stitches, I decided to do the same thing as the first row of crocodile stitches except that I started with the second half of the stitch (ie working 5 FPdc up the post of the first st to create a half crocodile stitch) before working the first full stitch. This is useful if you are wanting to stagger the stitches between rows to do something like creating something that looks like roof tiles.

Version 4

This is the same as the other stitches except that I added a picot (ch 3, sl st in the 3rd ch from hook) between the sets of FPdc in each crocodile stitch. I've done this in three different ways. The first was worked from the same side as the other 2 sets of crocodile stitches and you can see the difference of adding the picot in the photo below:

This next crocodile stitch was worked by starting from the opposite side of the row just to show that you can work the stitches in either direction (just turn your work in the middle of the crocodile stitch and then work your next 5 dc up the post of the previous st from the row).

The last version I worked the whole row of crocodile stitches but I worked them so that they are upside down compared to the other crocodile stitches just to show that they can be worked in both directions. 

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