Saturday, August 27, 2016

What's this Stitch? DC2tog

I've learned a lot about crochet, but I've always avoided decreasing and increasing in patterns. Not because I thought it'd be difficult but just because I was afraid it'd be time consuming, But I'm in the middle of  project that is a garment--my second one!--and I came across the stitch, dc2tog. And having no idea what this was, I had to hit the internet and lo! it's a decrease stitch.

How do you make this stitch? It's actually easy, I didn't even need a video. The written instructions with pictures are here for you. And believe me, if you can double crochet, doing this will be just as easy. I don't know why I avoided decreasing and increasing now that I know this stitch. Whatever will I learn next in crochet? I'm excited to find out!

 I'm also including a video because videos are always super helpful when learning something new in crochet.

I hope you find this useful. I'll keep you prosted on the garment I'm making with this decrease stitch. 

Happy Hooking,

Friday, August 19, 2016

Working with Fine Yarn

Not too long ago, I was in a yarn shop and found this lovely yarn that I just fell in love with. I also got to see what it looked like when worked up and it was simply lovely. It was pricey yarn but I decided to take the plunge and buy one skein.

Of course, I wanted to start crocheting with it immediately. But I needed a pattern. I found one I liked but I had a good chunk of worked up when I realized, that no, this pattern wasn't going to work for me. There were certain things about it that got on my nerves and affected the overall look and I knew the end product would be nice, but would not be what I wanted. So I unraveled and started fresh.

And made my own pattern. My own very simple, pattern which I will share with you when the project is complete. It's the first pattern I've created, so it's nothing very creative, but it's turning out nicely so far. But this yarn is fine, and I'm using a 3.75mm hook. I don't normally work with such a small hook or yarn, I tend to stick to worsted yarn and fatter hooks. But even though I feel all thumbs I think it's good practice because I do want to learn lace crochet (which I started by the way) and the thread is even finer.

I have to wonder if I'm all thumbs not only because the yarn is fine and I'm not accustomed to working with it, or if it's also because I hold my crochet hook all wrong. Maybe the technique I am using doesn't lend itself as well to crocheting with finer yarn or thread. So I'm trying to re-train myself. It's hard to teach an old dog new tricks though, and it's slow going at the moment. I'm sure it'll get better!

I haven't crocheted much of this scarf, but I've gotten a good start. and I'm loving the look of it so far. I think it will be nice in the cooler fall months, which could be right around corner for me here in the great white north. I like the look of it and the way it drapes, and the delicate feel of it. I think it will turn out to be a very nice accessory piece. I haven't decided yet if I'll add a boarder or fringe, but we'll see.

Stay tuned for more of this project! Pictures of completed project and pattern to come.

Happy Hooking,

Monday, August 15, 2016

Knit Like Crochet Stitch

Recently, I was looking for a pattern for a scarf for the fall. I like making scarves, and I love that they keep me warm, so having a few different ones is useful to me on cold days. I spent four hours looking for a pattern because I had a very specific look in mind, simple but not plain or basic. I didn't want anything too lacy looking, or open weave but I wanted it to have a bit of oof, so no basic double crochet for me. I finally, finally, finally found a stitch that gave me the kind of look I had been searching for all afternoon.

And that stitch was a stitch I found on, which looks very much like knit but isn't because it was total crochet fun! It's a ribbed effect, very nice and I used a 6.5mm hook which made the scarf feel thick and warm. Here is the this neat knit stitch.   I promise you that even if you are a beginner, working on easy patterns, this is a stitch you can do. It was so much fun, that after making this lovely hunter green scarf, I made another in white. I'll give it to a friend for Christmas. I can't wait to wear this in the fall. The scarf worked up quick and I think this stitch can be used for baby blankets, the effect of it is lovely.

The instructions are very easy to follow, and the creator of this stitch has also provided very useful pictures to assist you. Once you take a look at it, you'll probably experience the same "ah-ha" moment that I did because you'll know immediately what to do. I started immediately and finished this scarf in only a a few hours.

So, if you are looking for something easy and quick as well as something that catches the eye a bit, this is one stitch that fits the bill.

Happy Hooking, 

Monday, August 8, 2016

Coasters and Crochet

I don't know why I decided to make coasters one day, but I did. Maybe I thought it'd be a quick and easy project (and it's supposed to be) or maybe I thought they'd be fun adornments but whatever the reason, I recently hooked up some coasters. And it wasn't easy. First of all, I couldn't find a pattern I liked. I tried several, but something was always off. Then, I finally settled on what looked like a simple pattern. Unforunately, working in the round using a single crochet was hard work. I crochet too tightly, and it was slow going because as much as I tried to ease up on the tension, I was also working with a 4.25mm hook. Anyway, these were not fun to make, and I've one more to make for a set of four.

I found the pattern on Ravelry, and I'm sharing it with you here. I made some changes though, switching to a half double crochet in row 5, and then I used a puff stitch and chained one and made another puff stitch in the same stitch, chained one, skipped a stitch and repeated around in row 6. I couldn't make row six work, maybe due to my tension, or perhaps I miscounted somewhere, so I did my own thing. 

They look cute and I'm happy with the result, but I won't be hooking these up again any time soon unless I learn some trick to loosen up my tension. I might try other coaster patterns however. We'll see what I create next! I'm  undecided at the moment, so stay tuned.

Happy Hooking,

Friday, August 5, 2016

Autumn Infinity Scarf

I recently realized that I make a lot of scarves or cowls. This is primarily because they are fun and easy, and I can use them all through the fall and winter, which lasts many months here in Canada. Summers are hot but winters are longer here. Last fall, I made a cowl from some beautiful merino wool and I wanted to share it with you today.

I actually use this beauty to accessorize my outfits, rather than for warmth. The colours called to me the minute I saw this lovely yarn, and one skein was just enough to make a scarf that twists around me once. It's not very wide, but that doesn't matter since it gets thicker when you twist round. To make this, I chained until the length was longer enough to sit on shoulders and fall to my waist. Then I simply half double crocheted in every stitch and repeated that until I ran out of yarn. I joined the ends, and viola! 

Don't know how to half double crochet? Easy peasy. Yarn over the hook, insert into a stitch. You now have two loops on your hook. Yarn over again the hook again and pull through all three loops. You've just made a half double crochet. Need some visual help? Here's a link to help you out. 

Working with merino wool was awesome. It was soft and easy to work with, and the scarf feels so soft and comfy. If you've never used a good quality yarn (and I still mostly stick to acrylic though I'm trying to get better yarns now) do try one out, it makes such a difference to how your projects turn out. Good luck and, 

Happy Hooking,

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Cross Stitching Fun

I have been working on some projects that I'll need in the cooler months, and I'm sharing one with you today. It's a fun project, and I enjoyed hooking up this scarf for my nephew. I got the pattern from Rescued Paws Designs, a site that is quickly becoming a favourite of mine. I love the free patterns, and the site is easy to use.

This pattern uses half double crochets, but it also requires you to cross them. Which is easy enough, you simply insert your hook into a stitch, half double crochet, then half double crochet into the stitch behind your first double crochet. The pattern will explain this as well. Don't be scared off by the fact that the pattern requires an intermediate skill level. Cross stitching in this way is one of the first things I tackled when I still considered myself at an easy level (and I'm still judging myself to be at an intermediate level in skill) and I had no trouble with it whatsoever. I'm sure you can do it too! 

I really hope my nephew likes this scarf. I decided not to include a fringe in case he felt that was too girly. And I know he likes blue so fingers crossed, I hope he likes it as I intend to include this as apart of his birthday gift. The pattern was very easy to follow, and it was super fun to hook up so once again, a pattern from Rescued Paws Designs wins!

Happy Hooking,

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Crocheting in the Bump

I was recently working on a pattern that asked me to crochet in the bump. This is also called crocheting in the ridge. And it got me thinking how recently I learned how to crochet in the bump, and why it's such a neat trick. I learned to crochet from my aunt, who knows the basics but apparently no one taught her to crochet in the bump. Or maybe she overlooked this when teaching me, I can't say for sure.

So what does it mean to crochet in the bump or ridge? It's really quite simple. Once you have your foundation chain, you'll insert your hook into a chain stitch and crochet a single crochet, double crochet or whatever stitch you are working with. And this makes a neat loopy sort of edge at the bottom of your piece. Ever notice that when you finish a piece though, the top doesn't have that edge? That's because you didn't crochet in the bump, so the top and bottom edge of your work don't match. Which isn't necessarily a problem if you're going to add on an edging anyway, but when you crochet in the bump, you turn that starting chain over and there's a little bump or ridge on the back of each chain. Insert your hook into that bump and crochet your stitch. You'll see the difference at the bottom of your work immediately, as it looks more like a V. When you complete your piece, the top will match your bottom. I've found this useful for simple pieces like scarves when I'm not adding on an edging or broader. I've added a video from YouTube to demonstrate this and I hope your find it helpful!

Happy Hooking,