Crocheting through the back loop only, abbreviated as "BLO" is a technique that adds texture and dimension to your crochet work. In crochet, when you insert the crochet hook through the back loop of the stitch, you create ridges on the front side of your fabric, giving it a unique look. This technique is commonly used for ribbing, cuffs and other textured elements in crochet projects. Let's dive deeper into the concept of crocheting through the back loop only and explore its benefits and applications. You can work with any of your regular crochet hooks in any size or material as long as you are comfortable.
Understanding the Back Loop
In crochet, a stitch is typically made by inserting the hook under both loops at the top of the stitch. However, when you crochet through the back loop only, you insert your hook under just one of those loops – specifically, the loop that is farthest away from you as you hold your work. This creates a twist in the stitch and changes how the stitch looks and feels.
this technique can be used with any basic crochet stitches. Now let’s get familiar with the stitch first. Hold your row of crochet and look from the top. There are two loops in the form of a V shape. The loop facing your side is the front loop, and the loop far from you is the back loop. Now even though you change sides - RS (right side) and WS (wrong side), the loop further from you is counted as the back loop. When you follow a crochet pattern you get all the instructions on what to consider and how to work the stitch.
How to Crochet through the Back Loop
Crocheting through the back loop is quite simple once you get the hang of it. These step-by-step instructions will help you master the crochet technique. For practice make a small square, the size of a gauge swatch. Start with the chain stitch or work with foundation single crochet (FSC) or foundation double crochet stitches. Get to a few rows and then follow these instructions.
Step 1: Insert your crochet hook under the back loop of the stitch instead of both loops.
Step 2: Yarn over and pull up a loop as you would for a regular stitch.
Step 3: Continue with the stitch pattern. For single crochet (sc) or half double crochet (hdc), yarn over and pull through both loops on the hook. For double crochet (dc) or taller stitches, yarn over and pull through the remaining loops.
Step 4: Repeat for each stitch in the row or round.
Benefits of Crocheting through the Back Loop
Crocheting through the back loop only has several advantages that contribute to the overall look and feel of your project:
Texture: The most noticeable effect of crocheting in the back loop is the texture it imparts. The raised front loop creates a ribbed or ridged appearance on the fabric, adding depth and interest.
Elasticity: When you crochet through the back loop, the resulting fabric tends to be slightly more elastic than regular crocheted fabric. This elasticity is often desired for projects like hat brims, glove cuffs, and waistbands.
Visual Interest: Crocheting through the back loop can create visual interest and variety in your work. You can use it to create patterns, stripes, or other design elements that stand out.
Projects to use the Crochet in the Back Loop Technique
Crocheting through the back loop only can be used in various projects to achieve different effects:
Ribbing: Crocheting through the back loop is ideal for creating ribbing, which is commonly seen in cuffs, collars, and sweater hems.
Textured Patterns: You can use this technique to create textured patterns such as basketweave, cables and raised stitches.
Edging: Adding a back loop edging to your project can provide a clean and defined edge.
Amigurumi: When working on amigurumi or stuffed toys, crocheting through the back loop can help define the shapes and create interesting surface textures.
Crocheting in the Back Loop With Single-Ended Crochet Hooks
Crocheting with a single-ended crochet hook is a traditional art and is an easy way to crochet in the back loop. The good thing is that crocheting in the back loop only is beginner-friendly. Before you start, firstly you want to get your favorite color yarn, a single-ended crochet hook, stitch markers, and a tapestry needle to start the project. Secondly, make chains of the desired length and make your basic stitch all through the chain to form the first row. Remember that you are starting the back loop crocheting in the next row, so you must insert your crochet hook in the center of the V and exit underneath the loop, which is the farthest. Yarn over the crochet hook and pull it through the loop; again, yarn over and pull through to make a single crochet. Follow the pattern’s instructions for making further stitches.
Always avoid tension on the yarn thread when making the BLO stitch. Too much tension in the yarn will make it challenging to make stitches in the back loops.
How to Crochet in Back Loop with Interchangeable Tunisian Crochet Hook
Traditional Tunisian crochet involves using a long and straight hook that resembles the knitting needle. Using interchangeable Tunisian crochet hooks for regular crochet requires you to not attach the cord but when working the Tunisian craft you need a cord in the length that accommodates all your stitches. It helps you to make from small accessories to big blankets with ease. It also requires the same procedure to make BLO. Repeat the same process until your project gets its maximum desired length. Then cut the thread leaving a tail, yarn over, and gently pull tight to secure it.
Tips for Crocheting BLO:
- Select the appropriate hook size and cord This will help you to make stitches neither too tight nor too loose.
- Try to learn on a swatch first to avoid mistakes in the main project. Practice it until you get satisfied with your stitches.
- Experiment with different stitching styles, crochet hook sizes, and yarns to see how they interact with the back loop crocheting.
Remember that practice makes a man perfect. BLO is a fantastic crochet technique that offers a new level of creativity. So grab your crochet hooks, select yarn and embark on your own crafting adventure.