An Old Crochet Stitch, Done in a New Way

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So…I’m going to let the stitch out of the bag – and I am going to provide you with a photo and a video tutorial to teach you how to crochet this stitch successfully!

Over a year ago I found this fabulous vintage Crochet book:

Photo Credit: Public Domain – via

The book was copyright 1913-1915, W.G. Perry, Chicago and is now in the Public Domain.

The stitch that intrigued me was the New Chain Stitch (Waistcoat) on page 25.

Photo Credit: Public Domain – via

The instructions in the book indicate the stitch is to be worked in rows and the yarn is to be broken at the end of each row; then reattached at the beginning of the next row to begin again.

I wanted a stitch that could be worked in rounds, so this was perfect for my purposes.

I have to admit there is a bit of a learning curve with the stitch – it can be hard on the hands – and be very time consuming – it really all boils down to your choice of yarn and hook.  Some yarns and some hooks work better than others for this stitch.

After months of keeping this my ‘secret knit stitch’ I am ready to share it with you 🙂 I’m certain someone else has found it between 1915 and now – but here is my take on how to crochet it effectively.

Video Tutorial:

Waistcoat Stitch Photo Tutorial

An Old Crochet Stitch, Done in a New Way

Basically, this is a single crochet stitch done in the post of the stitch; rather than in the front and back loops.

In order to create the stitch effectively you must maintain a relaxed gauge.

Here is a look at the stitch from the front and the back (so you can see the difference).  It is extremely important to keep the hook in the correct placement under the horizontal bar on the back of the stitch.

The fabric is reversible – both sides maintain the “V” stitch look when worked properly.

Here is one final photo to assist you with placement:

…and a video tutorial (my first video – fingers crossed it works!).  I am not including audio as my house is always very crazy busy/noisy with my two Littles running about – I hope it assists you even without the audio 🙂

…and…because there is no point in providing you with a stitch without giving you a pattern to test it out on…here is the Toddler version of the Is it Knit? Basically Just a Crochet Beanie pattern – free for you, from me 🙂

…and because I am in a super generous mood today 😉 I am going to be releasing the Is it Knit? Basic Crochet Cowl pattern as a Free pattern after the Testers are finished testing 🙂

…and last, but certainly NOT least…one of my fabulous Testers, has agreed to share her LOVELY flower pattern for free on my blog – so you can embellish your hat too!  I used it on Darla’s hat in the photo below; I just added a wood bead to the centre when I attached it to the hat.

Is it Knit? Basically Just a Crochet Beanie Pattern

© Oombawka Design, 2013

Gauge: 3sts/1” and 4.5 rounds/1”

Yarn/Hook: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton, WW yarn – 10 WPI (wraps per inch); 6.50mm hook
Supplies: Stitch markers
Special Stitch: Waistcoat Stitch (WST) (see Tutorial p 8-11)

Pattern is worked in continuous spirals. Do not join rounds or chain-1 unless indicated.

sc: single crochet, st: stitch, sts: stitches, ch: chain, , ss: slip stitch, FO: finish off, WST: waistcoat stitch, sWST: ss done in the same position a WST is worked

This is a very simple pattern; however, the stitch can be difficult to master. Try to keep your stitch tension relaxed.

I love this stitch and the look it gives my projects; my desire to have a hat look ‘knit’ but be crochet was all the incentive I required to keep at it to make the stitch work for me.

It took a few attempts for me to get it right. Don’t give up – it really is worth the effort!

Stitch Diagram

Waistcoat Stitch Diagram Oombawka Design Crochet Waistcoat Stitch Diagram Oombawka Design Crochet KEY

12-24 months (to fit Head Circumference of 18”)

© Oombawka Design, 2013

Create a magic loop (or adjustable loop) to begin and sc 6 into the loop.

R1: 2sc in each st around (12)
R2: (2WST in the 1st st, 1WST in the next st) 6x (18)
R3: (2WST in the 1st st, 1WST in each of the next 2sts) 6x (24)
R4: (2WST in the 1st st, 1WST in each of the next 3sts) 6x (30)
R5: (2WST in the 1st st, 1WST in each of the next 4sts) 6x (36)
R6: (2WST in the 1st st, 1WST in each of the next 5sts) 6x (42)
R7: (2WST in the 1st st, 1WST in each of the next 6sts) 6x (48)
R8: (2WST in the 1st st, 1WST in the next st), 1WST in each remaining st around (49)
R9-R31: 1WST in each st around (49)
R32: 1sWST in each st around (49)
R33: 1ss in each st of R31 around (done in the regular loops of the stitch – i.e. front/back loops of the stitch) (49)

F/O and sew in loose ends. Embellish as desired.

Crochet Flower: Designed by Sharon K.

© Sharon K, 2013
Create a magic circle and work 5sc sts into the circle, 1ss to the 1st sc to join
R1: (1sc, 3dc, 1sc) in each st around (5-petals created)
R2: ss to the back of the post where you sc in R1, ch3; repeat around until you have 5 chain-3 spaces
R3: (1sc, 4dc, 1sc) in each ch3 space around (5 petals)
R4: repeat R2 to create 5 chain-3 spaces
R5: (1sc, 5dc, 1sc) in each ch3 space around (5 petals)
R6: repeat R2 to create 5 chain-3 spaces
R7: (1sc, 6dc, 1sc) in each ch3 space around (5 petals)
*Please note:
If you want an even fuller flower you can continue the repeat of the rounds and do the following:
R8: repeat R2 to create 5 chain-3 spaces
R9: (1sc, 7dc, 1sc) in each ch3 space around (5 petals)
If you have any questions about, or would like to contact and Thank Sharon for her lovely flower pattern please visit her on her new Facebook page: Candy Bouquets and Unique Boutique.
If you would like the other sizes of the Is it Knit? Basically Just a Crochet Beanie Pattern you may purchase them from my shop on Etsy.

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  1. Is it possible for you to make this Baby Hat pattern into an Adult Hat pattern? I dont have babies to crochet for any longer only adults.

  2. Great tutorial! I never realized the waistcoat stitch could only be used on one side of the fabric. Thanks so much.

  3. Hi Susan, This stitch can only be worked on one side of the fabric. A similar stitch called the center single crochet can be worked on both sides but the arrows won’t line up exactly on it. If you want to use the waistcoat stitch (it is super strong) you need to finish off at the end of each row and then rejoin at the beginning of the next row. Hope this helps, Rhondda

  4. Hi Susan, You cannot work this stitch in rows unless you finish off at the end of the row and rejoin at the beginning of the next row. The stitch can only be worked on one side of the fabric. Best of luck for the handle! Rhondda

  5. I am working a flat piece. The arrows do not line up. I cant figure what I am doing wrong.
    Thank you

  6. I am trying to do this on a flat piece (handle for a bag). Do I ch 1 at the end of each row? Having trouble finding my last stitch. Any advise would be appreciated.

  7. what an amazing find! sad that it only works in rows breaking the yarn, but i’d rather work in the round anyway. best!

  8. The results of this stitch are gorgeous! And totally awesome find on that book. Thanks for sharing!

  9. These stitches are worked on the right side of the project only. The row previous would be a single crochet stitch row. If you are working in rounds you would just continue making the single crochet stitches but the placement of the hook would change position to become the waistcoat stitch. If you are working flat you would need to finish off and rejoin your yarn at the beginning of the next row on the right side of the fabric. You would then need to work the stitches into the row of single crochet stitches. You can join with a slip stitch join or simply by doing a standing sc stitch into the center of the single crochet stitch from the previous row. (The Waistcoat Stitch is a Single Crochet Stitch Worked in a Very Specific Spot of the previous rows Stitch). Hope this helps! Rhondda

  10. Nice and clear diagram, however i am unclear how to start this stitch. It’s very clear how to continue the pattern, but how do you start from another type of stitch in the row below? Thanks.

  11. Brilliant! I have yet to try this stitch. Thanks for the pattern 🙂

  12. Very interesting and love the way something old can be made new and easier. Many thanks

  13. A big surprise to found this, because of my Carpal Tunnel it is very painful doing tunisian crochet.

  14. I love this tutorial, it’s sneaky hehe
    i also knit but crochet is so much quicker and easier.
    We can really learn a lot from the old vintage crochet books.
    I’ve never seen this stitch before.
    I’m going to try some of the hat patterns with this stitch

  15. This stitch, as I said on the cowl pattern, is trying to win me over… and your tutorial is going to be great to learn it. Thanks a lot!!

  16. I love the look of this stitch. Thank you for taking the time to demonstrate it!

  17. I love the look of this stitch. I worked it by accident once when playing around with a pattern and liked the look of it and promptly forgot about it. Thank you for reminding me.

  18. Hi Rhondda,
    I was very excited to find this stitch being used. I’m having a lot of trouble getting it started though. I think the biggest problem is I’m wanting to work a flat piece as opposed to round. After I work my foundation row and flip to work the next row I don’t have the “v” shapes to work into. Do I need to bind off at the end of each row and work only the front side?

  19. Hi Sheila 🙂 It produces a lovely dense fabric 🙂 Let me know how you like working it in the round. I think it would work wonderfully for scarves since when you have to end it at the end of each row it would make a great fringe! Plus you wouldn't have to weave in all the ends! Thank you for stopping by to leave a comment, Rhondda

  20. I've been crocheting this stitch for many years, especially like it for scarves. I had no clue it was a "new" old stitch! I've never done it in the round so will have to give it a go! Thanks!

  21. Hi Liz! I'm happy to hear you tried the stitch and I want to thank you for sharing the link to the pineapple stitch! It gives a very similar appearance but reversed! I want to try this one! Rhondda

  22. I especially wanted a crochet stitch with this type of appearance. Thanks for posting it! I used double strands of variegated yarn and was very pleased with the result. I haven't seen this stitch elsewhere, but tonight I noticed that the Pineapple Stitch at… is quite similar.