PLT Back Loop Join by Charissa Ragsdale of MadMadme.com
PLT (Pull Loop Through) joining, is a join as you go (JAYG) method of connecting different pieces of crochet fabric together, names granny squares, blocks and motifs.
Just as the name indicates, you will systematically drop the loop on your hook, insert your hook into a corresponding stitch, and pick that loop back up and pull the loop through the stitch. This is a bit time consuming but the result is a lovely braid or twist that looks great and holds fast.
I’ve chosen to make the single crochets for this join in the back loops of the last round on the motif since I enjoy the way this technique frames each square. You can use both loops, rather than the back loop, if you prefer.
Traditionally, you would join the last round of your motif as you went along to an adjacent motif. In this case, all of the motifs are already finished, we are creating a join as you go single crochet join around all sides of the finished motifs. Rather than working around each motif systematically, I’ve simplified the process by first joining all the motif horizontally across the length of the finished piece, and then joining them all vertically, with a final edging that travels completely around the outside of the finished piece.
I’ve created nine small squares to demonstrate this join technique and I hope you find it helpful and beautiful. I created this tutorial to accompany the Lucky Thirteen granny pattern, but it can be used with any motifs or grannies you need to join.
NOTES & TERMINOLOGY:
Figure out an arrangement for your squares. (Right handers will work from right to left). Connect the BOTTOM ROW OF SQUARES FIRST, along their tops using single crochet stitches done in back loops only.
To Begin: Starting with the bottom right square, join your yarn in the corner, fasten with a slip stitch,
*[Single crochet into the corner space.
Back loop single crochet into each stitch across top of square, single crochet into corner space, Chain1]
Repeat instructions until you have crocheted across the tops and connected all of your bottom row squares (as shown on the right).
Rotate your work so you can manipulate the hook to pass back and forth from working into the new squares and the corresponding squares you just connected. I find that a 90° angle (or one quarter turn clockwise) allows for this need.
[Single crochet into the corner of the new square, now called the “square in progress” (this is the first square you are attaching from next row of squares).
This begins the “pull loop through” portion of the join…
Drop loop (this means pull your hook out of the loop carefully, making sure the loop remains), insert your hook into top of corresponding stitch from the row of single crochets you worked into the top of the previous squares,
Pick up the loop you dropped, and pull it through the stitch. You have completed your first PLT join stitch.
Insert your hook into the back loop of the next stitch of the square in progress and
Make a single crochet. Repeat across the square, dropping a look, pulling through the corresponding stitch, and making a back loop single crochet in square in progress,
After you PLT join the corner stitches, chain1,
drop loop, insert your hook behind chain1 (gap between squares), pull up a loop.]
Repeat between [ ] until you have worked across the entire row of squares, …
On last stitch, cut yarn and pull end up through current stitch.
You can see now that you have joined the first two rows of squares. Continue to join rows horizontally in this manner.
When all horizontal joins are completed, it’s time to work on the vertical joins. It’s easy! Just rotate your work ¼ turn and begin to join following the horizontal join instructions.
Here is the fabric with all the horizontal joins completed (and already rotated ¼ turn).
ROTATE YOUR WORK 90° (1 QUARTER TURN IN EITHER DIRECTION).
Now you can follow the same instructions from the beginning, working on joining in the spaces that were vertical, and are now horizontal. (Tips continued below…)
Start off just like you did when you were connecting your first squares,
When you get to the corners, just keep going as before, with a sc + ch1 + sc from square to square...
When you get to the end, do the same ch1, then turn your work ¼ turn so you can now join the connected squares and work back into the row of single crochets you just made...
When you get to joining the corners, finish you corner PLT join, ch1, drop loop, insert loop behind the ch1 you made when you were working in the other direction, pull up the loop,
sc into corner of next square.
When joined to the end of the fabric, cut yarn, and pull through completely to leave a tail.
This PLT join make a nice flat braid join. Worked into the back loops like this, it creates definition around each block, adding to the texture and design of your fabric.
When all squares are joined, sc around the entire outside of your work.
Join edge yarn with a back loop sc to any stitch in the side of a square, you will back loop single crochet entirely around the piece.
Please see photos and tips below on how to handle the corner and joining stitches you made earlier.
WHAT DO I DO WITH ALL THE ENDS FROM THE JOINING? As you work your outer sc’s, simply work over them and you won’t have to weave them in.
Simply back loop single crochet along the sides of the squares.
You will do 2 sc into the joining rows you created. So your edging at each join is (sc into corner of square + sc into next two available stitches + sc into next corner of next square).
When working into the sides of stitches, you can work into the post of the stitch or the top loops of the stitch, your choice.
At each corner of your work, you will (sc + ch2 + sc).
Join to first sc of edging, finish off.
This is what the back of the fabric looks like. As you can see, the join is pretty on both sides, flat on the back with a braid on the front.
All Rights Reserved, Copyright Charissa Ragsdale 2017. Pattern created by Charissa Ragsdale of www.MadMadme.com and may not be sold or distributed without express permission. You may, of course, sell items created with this pattern. Enjoy!