It ain’t gene splicing. It’s Foundation Single Crochet (Fsc) splicing, and it’s a handy way to create more fabric at the fronts of a garment while keeping the right-hand and left-hand fronts looking exactly the same. I’ve been fielding a few questions from crocheters concerning this technique and fervently pray that the following exercise will help clear up some of your issues.
Many garment designs fit better if the front neck is lower than the back neck. There are other ways of creating this front neck drop, but I really believe the method offered here gives the most balanced result. Many of my garment designs are crocheted seamlessly from the top down beginning with a back neck foundation. From the foundation, the yoke grows as it goes, with increases in stitch pattern that create raglan-type shoulder shaping. Once you get to the level where you want the front neck to lie, it is necessary to add pattern repeats at each front neck edge. My method requires you to finish off a row, then start the next row with new yarn, beginning the new row with a short foundation, splicing into the working row on the yoke, then ending the row with a short foundation. I call these bits of foundation “front neck extensions”. I could have called them “pangalacticgargleblasters”, but that word already has a totally different usage and although the term is highly descriptive, it is not descriptive enough of the crochet technique. So “front neck extensions” it is.
Here’s an example. Those who know me will be totally astounded that I swatched something. Those who know me too well will know why I did it. This is the cardigan design Cinnabar, from the book Everyday Crochet. You are seeing the Yoke for size 40 through Round 3.
The blue things are wrapped yarn markers, anchored into the back neck foundation, flipped back and forth across the rows as you work them, marking the four increase points or “corners” of the yoke. At this point you fasten off. End the yarn. Take out your scissors and cut that sucker loose.
With new yarn, make the Fsc required, then return to the piece, go along and work across the row as if nothing happened. When you get to the other end, use your Fsc skills to add another little length of foundation.
In the following row (not shown, because I do have a life), you will fill in the front neck foundations with some stitch pattern, in this case V’s and Shells. You now have the start of a round-neck cardigan yoke that is lower in the front neck, with right-hand and left-hand edges that can meet at the center front. It all looks wonky right now, but trust me. Once you finish that neck edge with some stitches or trim it will be beautifully and symmetrically rounded.