Celtic knots and plaitwork are always drawn with an edge so that you can see clearly how the ribbons cross over each other and I thought that this did not show clearly enough on my original cross. which is why I started experimenting with adding slip stitches. At the time I did try adding the slip stitches to the back loop only so as to give an edge but found that this made the strip so much wider. I thought of using dcs (US-scs) for the central ribbon but knew this would be more fiddly so decided against it.
I was also finding slip stitching more difficult than dcs (US-scs) at this time so I tried adding a dc edge but could see that the cross was then so much bigger. (I did increase the number of stitches as well and could have reduced them a bit but it would still have been bigger than I wanted.)
Recently however I decided to bite the bullet, as they say, and try making the main ribbon of the cross out of dcs (US-scs) instead of trs (US-dcs).
I knew this would make it harder to keep track of the stitches when checking to see I hadn’t made a mistake but I persisted and my first attempt turned out like this. I could see that this was much smaller than the original and was not entirely surprised as crochet is very stretchy in a sideways direction (especially the upright of the cross) but had noticed that adding the slip stitches removed this, as with the cross with the purple slip stitches above.
So I decided to increase the number stitches and use a bigger hook.
Now I have lots of tiny steel hooks, inherited from my mother, but only a few, still small but larger, aluminium ones and the smallest of these is a number ‘3’. My smallest aluminium hook was a 2.5mm and larger so I decided I would use the no. 3.
(Looking at some crochet hook charts I now think that this might be a 1.9mm equivalent hook.)
With the increased stitches and the new hook my cross turned out like this. You can see here how these two attempts compared with the original. So I decided that as with my other slip-stitched crosses it wasn’t necessary to increase the stitch numbers except for the upright and the circle and tried again.
Here are all my three attempts next to each other together with the original. The slip stitch edged cross (bottom right) does not really need stiffening and had finally given me what I was after.
The original is of course easier to make and attractive in it’s own right but I like the new one best!
So here are the three different styles.
The one on the right with the inner slip stitches is the thickest and the top central (original one) is the thinnest.
I also experimented recently with making an equal armed cross with the added slip stitches but don’t really like it. Though I am not sure why!
I have updated my pattern page with patterns for all four different types of Celtic Cross.
This has been really hard work and I have tried to double check everything but if you decided to use one of the patterns and find anything that seems wrong, or any typos, I would be really grateful if you would let me know so I can change it for others.