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Category Archives: Tips

Back Front Right Wrong

Front and Back
A user in the 2013BAMCAL on Ravelry was having difficulty with telling which side was the “right” side of the crochet blocks. I posted a little mini tutorial and then decided to post it here, too. Maybe someone might find it useful.

To determine the “front” or “right side” of a crochet block there are a few cues you can look for. The “front” of the piece is more defined–you can clearly see each post, especially in taller stitches like DCs. Conversely, on the “back” the stitches are less defined making it look more like one solid fabric. There will also be a little ridge coming toward you at the base of the row on the back. (See the first photo of the two teal squares.)

I kind of describe the back of a piece as being “crochet static”. You can see the stitches but clusters and rows look like one piece from the back, and like individual stitches from the front.

On a piece that’s turned after each round, you’ll have a front and a back on both sides! (See the second photo of the pink square.) The center is usually going to be worked right side facing so it will have the defined stitches. In the example, the rounds with the X on them are the “back side facing” stitches. You can see the ridge at the base of every other row on both sides of the work. Here you can also see front side facing and back side facing stitches next to each other to compare the front and back appearance.

Of course if you’re legally blind and crochet by feel, this doesn’t help. But that’s probably a subject for someone else to address.

I think this is probably difficult to tell for a lot of people. I have seen printed, professional crochet books with photos showing the back side of the blocks. Hopefully the blocks aren’t embarrassed by having their derrieres shown for posterity‚Ķ

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Posted by on August 9, 2013 in Tips

 

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End Weaver

On some of the boards I moderate on Ravelry there’s always someone asking about weaving in their ends on projects. Everybody has a “foolproof” method that they use. I found this video on the Red Heart website which is pretty much how I do it. The demonstrator shows going forward and back in a straight line while I sort of go up and down AND back and forth. And believe me, those ends are in there for good. I’ve wanted to change rounds on squares I’ve already woven and I’ve had to resort to cutting them so I’m confident in my method! When I can, I also crochet over some of the tail, but I still leave enough to do the weaving, too.

She also shows three needles. On a personal note I like the bent tipped metal needle. It helps get into those tight stitches. I tried some plastic ones and they snapped. Or maybe I’m just too tense‚Ķ

What do you think? Is this how you weave in? What kind of needle do you use?

 
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Posted by on July 31, 2013 in Tips

 

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Don’t Be Stifled by Patterns

As a moderator of several groups that do squares from various books, I keep running into “Oh, I want to do these but I don’t have the weight/color/brand/style yarn they mention.” That shouldn’t stop you from making something. A different kind of yarn will make a different feeling square most likely, but that doesn’t make it “wrong” or substandard.

I like to think of a pattern as a suggestion. They tell me the steps used to make an object, but I’m highly unlikely to use the colors they recommend, or the arrangement they show, or even the hook they suggest. Crochet is a creative endeavor. Even if you’re following a pattern someone else wrote, you can make it uniquely yours with yarn choice, hook choice and color layout choice. This is very apparent in our Block a Month Cals. The same pattern turns out squares that don’t look remotely similar to each other because of the different styles of the stitchers and the colors that appeal to them. Squares that are written with suggestions of bright colors, become absolutely stunning done in a single color and vice versa.

Don’t let patterns paralyze you. It’s hard to choose color sometimes but you know, if you make it and you don’t like it, you can try again! Or you might find that oddball colors you have lying around might turn out to make something spectacular.

To me, crochet shouldn’t be stressful! It should be a fun and rewarding endeavor that lets you be creative while making something that can be useful or just sit on your desk to make you smile. Getting twisted up about having exactly what the book calls for only puts a roadblock in front of something that might turn out to be wonderful with the things you have on hand.

 
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Posted by on March 31, 2013 in Scraps, Tips

 

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What Do You Do With Yarn Scraps?

Yarn ScrapsI have a confession. I’m a yarn scrap hoarder. I can’t bear to throw the little things away! I put them in a big zipper bag and all the colors are pleasing to look at.

If a piece of yarn is longer than my arm, I bundle it up and keep it for something else. I call them yarn morsels. Sometimes they’re just right for an embellishment or a bow. If there’s enough yarn to make a granny square center I will do that. A lot of squares start out with a center made of 3DC, CH2 four times. If I run across a square that needs one, I have one made!

If I have a 10 yard piece sometimes I put those in my Etsy shop! I noticed that people seemed to be selling such things and I thought to myself “Why in the world would you want a 10 yard piece of yarn?” I found that you can do a lot with 10 yards. You can make a 4 inch granny square! You can make a flower. You can make a couple of YoYos.

Here are a few more things you can do with them:

  • Stuff them into amigurumi (I put them in netting or something)
  • Put them outside in the spring for birds to nest with.
  • Donate them to a preschool or kindergarten. They use them for crafts!
  • Knot them together securely and crochet something with them. It’s a cool effect.
  • Fill clear glass ornaments with them
  • Use them in a decoupage or mixed media project
  • Put them in a jar and admire them

What do you do with your scraps? And at what length do you tell yourself you just can’t keep it? Let me know!

 
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Posted by on January 22, 2013 in Scraps, Tips

 

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Foundation Frustration

As I was working on my chain for the handle of the bag I’m making, it occurred to me to pass along this little tip. I found it extremely helpful when I discovered it. Working into a foundation chain can be an annoying exercise, especially if the chain is long. I always ended up with one end that seemed like it was pulled too tight. Now of course you can use a chainless foundation. They look really good, but personally it’s just about as fiddly as the chain is. My trick is to use a hook one or two sizes bigger for the foundation chain. You don’t have to worry about crocheting loosely, your chain is even because you can crochet at your normal tension, and it’s MUCH easier to work into. Since I usually use an “H” hook for most things, I use an “I” for foundation chains. Once my chain is made, I go back to my “H” and things work out just fine!

Let me know if you try it and if it works out for you!

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2013 in Crochet, Tips

 

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