Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Stitch-A-Long: Rows 4-23

You might be thinking that it is crazy that we only finished Row 3 and we are already moving onto Rows 4 through 23!  The fact is that I have taught all of the stitches in this piece, now it is just a matter of trucking along and completing the rows.
I have been given some feedback on my instructions, which I greatly appreciate.  This is my first time doing a stitch-a-long, so I am more than open to hearing a bit of feedback on how I can improve on instruction.  PLEASE let me know any questions you might have and anyway that I might help.

Okay, on to Row 4:
Row 4: Ch 2, (counts as first Dc), skip st and Dc in each Hdc around. Join with sl st to top of Ch 2. (55 Dc)

Some of the feedback I received was that it would be helpful to rewrite the row without abbreviations, but with the full stitch name.  So, this row revised would be:

Row 4:  Chain 2 (counts as first double crochet), skip stitch and double crochet in each half double crochet around.  Join with slip stitch to top of chain 2.

So, this row is the exact same as Row 2.  You have already done this row before, so this should be familiar. 

Row 5 and 6 is just repeating this same row. 

Row 7 is repeating Row 3.  If you remember this is Row 3:
        Chain 1, (counts as first Half double crochet), skip stitch and Half double crochet in each
        around. Join with slip stitch to top of Chain 1. (55 Half double crochets)

Row 8 is repeating Row 4.

Row 9 is using a Single Crochet. We did this for Row 1:
          Chain 1, Single crochet in each Double crochet around. Join with slip stitch to Chain 1

Rows 10-17 is repeating Rows 2-9

Rows 18-23 is repeating Rows 2-7

At the end you fasten off.  I admit that I do not fasten off the way you are technically supposed to.  I cut the yarn and leave a decent amount of length.  I pull the long yarn tail all the way through the last loop on my hook.  Once I pull it through I pull the yarn through a yarn needle, loop it back to the opposite side and knot it.  It's not the "technical" manner to finish, but I feel that it keeps the piece secure and tight.  Be sure to do this with the tail at the beginning of your piece. 

The GREAT thing about this cowl is that it is a lot of repetition, so you get a great opportunity to practice the main stitches of crochet. 

Below are some refresher videos to remind you of how to do each of the basic stitches.  I have already completed my cowl and I plan to take a picture and post it.  My husband isn't here right now to take the pic for me :-) 

I have heard very little feedback on how things are going.  If anyone has questions will answer them in the next post.  Let me hear them






Pin It!

Stitch-A-Long: Half Double Crocht Revisions

It has been brought to my attention that the video for half double crochet is awful. I apparently posted the wrong one. So sorry if this has confused anyone! PLEASE refer to this video instead. It is much more correct :-) Thanks, Mandi, for the feedback!!

I am hoping to finish up a post for tonight to keep moving in our stitch-a-long, and hopefully by the end of the week we can to a link party!

Pin It!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Stitch-A-Long: Half Double Crochet

Next step! If you have made it this far you are totally on your way in the world of crochet!

Here is the next row:

Row 3: Ch 1, (counts as first Hdc), skip st and Hdc in each around. Join with sl st to top of Ch 1. (55 Hdc)

This is just like the last row except that you half double crochet (hdc), rather than double crochet. Here is how you half double crochet:

You yarn over the hook, place it in the loop, yarn over again, and pull through one loop, yarn over again, and pull it through ALL the loops. Here is the video:

Once you hdc in each stitch around be sure to join it to the chain 1 with a slip stitch.

ll post pics soon of my project. I have been having trouble uploading pics.

How is everyone doing????

Pin It!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Stitch-A-Long: Double Crochet

I know, I know...I should have posted this a couple of days ago. PLEASE forgive me. I don't know where my head has been. Seriously, I feel that I am striking out on a regular basis. Yesterday I put Belle down for a nap and accidentally shut our dog in the room with her. I couldn't figure out why she wasn't falling asleep and why my dog kept barking. The mystery wasn't solved until 45 minutes after putting her down for her nap when I decided to see what the issue was.

I had to continue with my spaciness today by forgetting to bring Belle's overnight bag when I dropped her off to my mom today. Where is my head??? My mom is the greatest ever because she insisted on going out to buy Belle clothes rather than having me head back home to get her bag. I really feel blessed to have such an amazing mom who is so supportive.

Okay, now time to work. The next stitch we are going to learn is the double crochet(dc). If you have mastered the single crochet, this one should be easy. Here are the instructions for the next row:

Row 2: Ch 2, (counts as first Dc), skip st and Dc in each Sc around. Join with sl st to top of Ch 2. (55 Dc)

Okay, you are first going to chain 2. When the pattern says "counts ad first DC," this means that you count this chain as one of the 55 DCs of the row. You are going to skip the stitch that your chain 2 is in (the same place that you joined from the previous row) and begin stitch double crochets in each sc from the previous row. If you look at the top of your previous round it will look like a bunch of sideways V's. You are going to be placing your hook under the V's. There is a hole underneath each V that you will put your hook into. Here is how you make a double crochet:

You yarn over first, THEN put your hook in the stitch from the previous row, yarn over and pull the yarn through one loop, yarn over pull through two loops, yarn over and pull through two more. Here is the video:

You finish off the round by make a slip stitch into the chain 2 that you started with. If you remember you do this by putting your hook through the top of this chain 2, yarn over and pull through all the loops on the hook.

You have completed Row 2 :-) I would show a picture of mine, but blogger isn't letting my upload pictures. BOO! Hopefully soon.

How is everyone doing so far?

Pin It!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Stitch Along: Beginning Basics and Single Crochet

Here we go! Finally, it is time to start the Stitch-a-long I have been talking about. This post is going to be lengthy as we are going to go over making a slip-knot, chaining, single crochet, and how to read a pattern. Please be patient with yourself. I actually taught myself to crochet by reading instructions in a book. I didn't understand it and gave it up. A year later I tried again and it all of a sudden clicked! Crocheting comfortably and quickly take s a lot of practice--as does reading patterns. I still run into patterns that I have to read through a couple of times and start over on before it makes sense. I plan on putting video tutorials in this post to help you along. I thought about making my own videos, but why recreate the wheel. So many others have already created them for us. Okay, enough chatting, time to stitch!

Holding the Hook:
There are two common ways to hold a crochet hook.

The first is to hold the hook between your thumb and index finger like a pencil. This is called the underhand method:

The second is to hold the hook in an overhand manner, like a knife. This is how I prefer to hold my hook, but everyone is different. Do what feels most comfortable:

Getting Yarn onto Hook:

I figured the best way to show this was through a video. This woman explains how to put a slip knot onto your hook:

Holding the yarn:
There has to be some tension when you are holding your yarn to keep it nice and tight to work with so it doesn't slip off the hook. I tend to hold the yarn in my left hand and wrap it around my index finger from back to front. Some people go all out and even wrap it around their pinky finger and then up to their index finger. Either way, make sure you hold the yarn in your left hand in a manner that keeps it nice and tight.

Making the Foundation Chain:
Almost every crochet project begins with a foundation chain. The stitches look like a chain, therefore the name. You will build row upon row of stitches on this foundation chain.

First, make a slip knot. With the hook in front, take the yarn and run it over the hook from back to front. Hook this loop. Turn the hook so it faces downward, slide it through the original loop, and bring the yarn with it.

You have just made one chain stitch! Practice this technique until you can make them fluidly and evenly.

I found a video that helps demonstrate this, but I couldn't embed it, so check out this link.


We are now going to begin crocheting the Convertible Cowl pattern from The Crimson Owl.

We have covered the basics of getting started. This is often the most difficult part of crocheting. Once you get comfortable with these steps you will be able to easily move through the others. So, here we go with the pattern:

Make sure you have your hook and your yarn. Make a slip stitch onto the hook to get the yarn on the hook. The first part of this pattern says:

"Ch 55 and join with a sl st into back of chain, being careful not to twist your chain."

Ch is short for "chain." Anytime you see Ch you will make that number of chains. In this case you are going to make 55. So, you have your slip knot on your hook. Now yarn over (short for yarn over is yo) the hook and pull the loop over and through the first loop. You will do this 55 times. You will have one long string of chains.

Joining with a slip stitch (sl st) means to connect the end of the long string of chains to the beginning. You will do this by putting your hook through one of the loops made by making the chains. You will put your hook under this loop, yarn over, and pull this loop through the two loops on the hook. Your piece will look like this:

Are we good? If you get this far you have probably completed the most difficult part of the piece. Now onto the next row. We will work through this row and then end for the night. This may very well take some of you ten minutes, and it may take others a good hour. Don't get discouraged. Remember that if this is new to you it may be a struggle to figure out exactly where to put the hook. Okay, Row 1:

"Row 1: Ch 1, (working in back of chain) Sc in same Ch as joining. Mark stitch. Sc in each chain around and join to marked stitch"

Ch1. This means to make 1 chain. Now, the next piece about working in the back loops of the chain can be tricky if you don't really know what you are looking at. If you are looking straight onto your row of chains, you will place the hook into this loop as you did when you joined the first rows together:

You will only go into this loop on the first row unless otherwise mentioned.

Sc stands for single crochet. This is a stitch that is slightly more in-depth than a chain. With a single crochet you put your hook into the right loop on your piece, yarn over the hook, pull the hooked yarn under the loop of your piece you just put the hook in, you will yarn over again, and pull through the two loops left on the hook. Yup, we need a video! Click here. The instructions say to put the sc in the same as the joining stitch. This means that your 1st single crochet on this round will be put right back into the same loop you made your joining stitch into. It says to mark you stitch here. I put a bobby pin right through this stitch. You mainly mark the stitch so you know right where you will end. You don't need to do this for every row, but it makes it easier with single crochets.

So, from this point on you will put single crochet stitches into the back loops of the chains you made. Therefore you will end up with 54 single crochets. When you reach your stitch marker you will join you row into the beginning of the row....remember how to do this? You will put your hook into your loop made from your first sc, yarn over the hook and pull the loop through two loops on the hook.

Okay, one row done. How did we do? I promise that it gets easier from here. Beginning any project is the most difficult. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE ask questions if you are struggling to know what you are doing wrong or where to put the hook exactly. I was once where you are. It takes practice. A couple more days and we will get on to the next row....hopefully that gives you enough time to get this far and feel confident with your piece.

Pin It!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Stitch Along: Hook Correction

I know I just gave all of the details to get prepared for the stitch-along yesterday, but I realized that I need to clarify my hook information. I learned something new today about crochet--even after 7 years!

Apparently there is an N-13 hook that is 9.00mm and an N-15 hook that is 10.00mm. I want to make sure that everyone gets the hook that is 10.00mm. ALWAYS follow "mm" suggestions in patterns over the actual letter. I just found mine at Hobby Lobby. Sorry for the bad pic, but be sure to look in the upper right hand corner of the package for the size.

Oh, and I bought Lion Brand Jiffy yarn in Avocado. I am obsessed with green and I can't wait to see how this yarn looks all worked up!

Pin It!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Let's Get Stitchin'!

Looks like there has been a positive response to the Convertible Cowl for our stitch-along! I am planning on heading out tomorrow to get some yarn, so I thought I would touch base with everyone about what to get in order to prepare!

This pattern calls for an "N" hook (N15) or an 10.00mm hook (same thing). Hook choice is EXTREMELY important because it determines the size of the stitches you make. Be sure to get an N15 hook and not an N13 hook. You can buy hooks at any craft store, or even at Meijer! The needle is larger, which is great for a beginner.

Second, this pattern calls for any bulky yarn or you can hold 2 strands together of medium weight. If this is your first go at crocheting I suggest buying the bulky yarn, rather than figuring out how to do things while holding 2 strands. Eventually, you can work up to this, but I would start with one strand.

So, how do I know if the yarn is bulky? Most yarns will say that they are bulky, but there is also a symbol printed on the labels that looks like this:

I will let you all know which yarn I buy tomorrow! Be sure to buy enough yarn to finish your piece. Lion Brand Jiffy Yarn is a great bulky size yarn to use and is $3.39 at Hobby Lobby. Each skein is 135 yards, and this pattern calls for 110 yards! Perfect! Be sure to always double check the number of ounces or yards needed for a pattern. Sometimes I just buy an extra skein for good measure. I hate nothing more than buying a skein of yarn to just barely run out by the end of the project and needing to run out to get another.

Another item this pattern calls for are yarn markers. I don't mess with these too often. When I really need them I tend to just use bobby pins to mark where my stitch is. If you prefer to use yarn markers you can buy them at any craft store. They are cheap and they look like this:

There you have it! Those are the basics! Go get those supplies and we'll be hookin' soon!

Pin It!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Stitch-Along Project

I have been researching all over for the right pattern for a stitch-along to teach the basics of crochet and to all work on together. I think that I have found the pattern, and I wanted to run it by everyone.

I have been wanting to make myself a cowl or one of those neck warmers. I figured, "what better time to make this than with a stitch along??" This pattern looks like something that works up quickly and incorporates a lot of the basic stitches, so I thought it was PERFECT! Let me know your thoughts! To see the pattern click here: Convertible Cowl

If everyone is in, then I will get started writing up the first blog post soon!

Pin It!


Related Posts with Thumbnails