Introducing the brand new ‘Breaking Waves’ crochet stitch pattern. It’s a two colour (or more) pattern repeat which can be used for scarves, cowls, pillows or blankets.
In this tutorial, which includes written and video instructions, I will show you how to crochet it to make the Breaking Waves snood. I will also explain how you can adjust the stitch pattern to suit your project.
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The breaking waves design process
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post talking all about cosy crochet stitches; what makes them cosy and which ones were my favourite.
When I started that post, one of the stitches I wanted to include was the Catherine Wheel Stitch. However, as I started to work up a sample, I found that the ‘wheel’ of the stitch wasn’t quite round.
It’s a beautiful stitch but this slight miss-match bothered me. So I set about experimenting with the stitch to see if I could adjust it to something that didn’t disturb my mental need for symmetry!
I tried lots of variations, including the similar harlequin stitch but couldn’t find a modification that I was happy with. So I set it aside and left it out of my round up.
Scrolling through instagram a week or so later, I saw some beautiful jacquard style diamond weave fabric – think horizontal diamond stitches with an outline in a contrasting colour.
My brain immediately began to wonder whether that could be recreated in crochet. With my Catherine wheel experiments fresh in my mind, I wondered if adding a kind of outline or border (a chevron row of single crochet?) would achieve this look. So I picked up some scraps and began to experiment once more.
After a LOT of playing around, swatching and frogging, the Breaking Waves pattern was created.
I basically split the Catherine wheel stitch in two, added a taller stitch in the centre and shorter stitch on the edges. Varying the stitch height is a technique often found in more traditional ‘wave’ stitch patterns..
These waves however, were broken up by the chevron rows and this is what gave the pattern it’s name.
The shape in the main colour is more like a suggestion of a hexagon than a diamond. It’s one of those patterns that looks a bit different on each side, the ‘right side’ being a little more angular and geometric and the ‘wrong side’ having softer more rounded shapes.
I still can’t quite decide which side I prefer. In the image below I have folded the fabric over to compare – can you tell the difference? Do you have a favourite?
In the end, and after doing a poll on instagram, I used the left side as the right side but you can flip it round as you prefer.
Regardless of indecision about sides, I was super happy with the stitch pattern that I created and am excited to share it with you below.
I wanted to take a moment to talk about this design process, because it illustrates that sometimes you set out to do one thing but end up somewhere quite different, and all the better for it!
Like Art, crochet imitates life!
The Breaking Waves Crochet Snood Pattern
Below you’ll find the pattern instructions for the Breaking Wave Snood. You can use this same pattern to create other accessories and homewares by altering the length of the foundation row and the number of pattern repeats.
- Please read all the pattern notes before starting your project
- This pattern uses standard US crochet terms (UK equivalents are given in brackets in the abbreviations list)
- Turning chains do not count a stitches throughout
- Chain stitches within the pattern (not at the start of a row) are included in the stitch count
- Numbers at the end of a row indicate the number of stitches in that row and are only given where there is a change.
- Instructions written after *asterisks should be repeated as indicated
- I have nominated the more angular, defined side as the right side but this is down to your personal preference. The fabric is reversible, though the patten does differ slightly on each side.
- The pattern is worked in rows, turning at the end of each row
- The snood / cowl is created by stitching together the sides (row ends) at the end
- I carried the colours up the side and hid them in the seam to reduce ends, but you can also fasten off after each colour change if you prefer
Stitch and Row Multiples
The pattern uses a stitch multiple of 8+1 and has an 8 row pattern repeat.
To adjust this pattern to make a throw, afghan, scarf, cushion or other accessory, change the number of the stitches in the foundation row (ensuring it retains the multiple of 8+1) to the length suitable for your project.
If you are starting with a chain, not a foundation single crochet row, add 1 extra stitch to your starting chain, work a single crochet in the second chain from hook and each stitch across to achieve a multiple of 8+1 stitches.
This pattern is suitable for adventurous beginners or those with some experience, but is not especially complex – it may just take a few rows to get into the swing!
You will use the following techniques:
- Working in rows
- Simple increases and decreases
- changing colours
- Skipping stitches
- Foundation rows
Note that the stitch count stays the same throughout.
The breaking waves crochet stitch pattern can be made with pretty much any yarn and a suitable hook. For the snood you see here, I used about 150g / 240m of Aran weight yarn (learn more about yarn weights here) and a 5mm crochet hook.
I used Paintbox Wool Mix Aran, 50% wool, 50% Acrylic, 100g = 180m / 197yds
- 100g / 180m Main Colour (MC): Washed Teal (shade 232)
- 50g / 60m Contrasting Colour (CC): Kingfisher Blue (shade 834)
- Pink CC: I added a flash of pink too for a colour pop – this was from some scraps in my stash and I’m not sure what the yarn brand or shade was!
Yarn Substitution Options
This pattern should work with most yarns. It’s a great opportunity to get creative with colours and textures and to use up leftovers from your stash!
You may find this post useful in choosing a substitute yarn.
Measurements & Finished Size
The snood you see here measures 50cm / 20in circumference and 30cm / 12in deep.
I like my snoods / cowls to be super cosy (i.e. tight) and quite tall but you can increase the circumference by increasing the foundation chain length and change the height by adding or removing more row repeats.
If you wanted to make a scarf, I suggest working the pattern horizontally, working the foundation row the length of the scarf you want to achieve.
Stitches & Abbreviations: US terms
(UK Equivalent in Brackets)
- CC = contrast colour
- ch = chain
- dc = double crochet (UK treble crochet)
- dc3tog = double crochet 3 together (UK treble 3 together) (Learn about decrease stitches here)
- fsc = foundation single crochet (UK foundation double) – click here for chainless foundation row tutorial
- MC = main colour
- rep = repeat
- RS = right side
- sc = single crochet (UK double crochet)
- sc2tog = single crochet 2 together (UK double crochet 2 together)
- sk = skip (UK miss)
- ss = slip stitch
- tr = treble crochet (UK double treble)
- st(s) = stitch(es)
- WS = wrong side
Note that in this pattern, on the single crochet rows, when you work a sc2tog at the bottom / trough of the chevron (excluding those at the start and end of the row), you will do so over 3 stitches, skipping the middle stitch. This is indicated in the pattern but I wanted to draw some additional attention to it here to avoid confusion. This is shown clearly in the video if you struggle with the written pattern.
Gauge is not especially important in this pattern, however, to give you an idea, below is the following gauge I achieved for the 8 row pattern repeat:
18 sts and 12 rows in 10cm of the 8 row breaking waves pattern using a 5mm crochet hook.
Breaking Waves Crochet Stitch – Written Pattern
For the snood:
Row 1 (RS): Make 97fsc (or a multiple of 8+1 stitches of a length to suit your project). 97 sts
Fasten off CC, join MC
Row 2 (WS): Ch1 (does not count as st throughout), ss into first st, *sk 2 sts, 3dc in next st, 1tr, 3dc, sk 2 sts, ss in next st; rep from * to end, turn
Drop MC (carry up sides or fasten off), join CC
Row 3: Ch1, sc2tog over ss and next st, 1sc in next 2 sts, 3sc in next st, 1sc in next 2 sts, *sc2tog over next 3 sts (skipping the ss in the centre), 1sc in next 2 sts, 3sc in next st, 1 sc in next 2 sts; rep from * to last 2 sts, sc2tog over last 2 sts, turn
Row 4: Ch1, sc2tog over first 2 sts, 1sc in next 2 sts, 3sc in next st, 1sc in next 2 sts, *sc2tog over next 3 sts (skipping the middle st – which is the sc2tog from the previous row), 1sc in next 2 sts, 3sc, 1sc in next 2 sts; rep from * to last 2 sts, sc2tog over last 2 sts, turn
Drop CC (carry up sides or fasten off), pick up MC
Row 5: Ch3 (does not count as st throughout), 1tr, dc3tog, ch2, ss in next st, ch2, dc3tog, 1tr in next st, *dc3tog, ch2, ss in next st, ch2, dc3tog, 1tr; rep from * to end, turn
Row 6: Ch3, 1tr, *3dc in next st, sk ch2, ss in next st, sk ch2, 3dc in next st, 1tr in next st; rep from * to end, turn
Drop MC, pick up CC
Row 7: Ch1, 2sc in first st, 1sc in next 2 sts, sc2tog over next 3 sts (skipping the ss in the middle), 1sc in next 2 sts, *3sc in next st, 1sc in next 2 sts, sc2tog over next 3 sts (skipping the ss), 1sc in next 2 sts; rep from * to last st, 2sc in last st, turn
Row 8: Ch1, 2sc in first st, 1sc in next 2 sts, sc2tog over next 3 sts (skipping the middle st), 1sc in next 2 sts, *3sc in next st, 1sc in next 2 sts, sc2tog over next 3 sts (skipping the middle st), 1sc in next 2 sts; rep from * to last st, 2sc in last st, turn
Drop CC, pick up MC
Row 9: Ch1, ss in first st, *ch2, dc3tog, 1tr In next st, dc3tog, ch2, ss in next st; rep from * to end, turn
Row 10: Ch1, ss in first st, *sk ch2, 3dc in next st, 1tr in next st, 3dc in next st, sk ch2, ss in next st; rep from * to end, turn
Rows 11 – 33: Rep Rows 3 – 8, finishing on a row 9 rep (you could also finish on a Row 5 repeat if you are working a different number of repeats).
Fasten off MC and join CC
Note that in one set of repeats, I replaced the Kingfisher Blue with a neon pink. You can mix up the colours as you choose.
You can also change the number of row repeats to change the depth.
Next row: Ch1, 1sc in each st and ch to end, turn
Final row: Ch1, 1sc in each st to end
Fasten off CC, weave in ends
To create the snood, weave in ends, and stitch together the row ends using MC to form a tube.
I added an additional round of sc using CC to the bottom of the foundation single crochet row after joining. This helped to straighten out the slight wave created by working into the foundation row.
The Breaking Waves Stitch Video Tutorial Pattern
I hope you enjoy crocheting this stitch pattern. Personally, I found it very therapeutic and am planning to make a stashbusting blanket using it.
I would love to see how you get on! If you fancy sharing, here’s how you can do it:
- On Instagram, you can use the hashtag #HookMeHappy or just tag me @doradexplored
- You can add photos to my Facebook page
- And if Pinterest is your happy place, you can add them there too – check out my Pinterest account for lots more crochet inspiration from makers across the web!
DoraDoes 2020. You may sell what you make from my patterns, but please credit me as the designer. This pattern is for personal use only and may not be shared or reproduced without prior written consent.