Tuesday, June 14, 2011

How To: Double Crochet Stitch

How To: Double Crochet Stitch

This is my favorite stitch.  It adds good height, so when making an afghan, if this stitch is used the most, it seems to go faster for me.  So, lets start with the chain...to give height to the edge of the DC (double crochet) you usually start your double crochet stitch in the 3rd chain from the hook.

YO, and insert hook into 3rd ch from hook.

YO, and pull through ch space.  This will give you 3 loops on the hook
YO, and pull through 2 of the loops on the hook

YO once more and pull through the last 2 loops on the hook
That completes your Double Crochet Stitch.  Now finish the chain to practice and even out your stitches.

How To: Single Crochet Stitch

How To: Single Crochet Stitch

Ok, so now that you have your chain, use 1 ch space as the edge to build up the side.  In the 2nd ch space, we will start the single crochet stitch. 

Now, yo (yarn over) and pull through the chain

Now, yo again and pull through both loops on the hook

That completes the single crochet.  Now finish out the chain with single crochets to practice and you should be able to maintain even stitches. 

Monday, May 30, 2011

How To: Chain

To start, make a slip knot at the start of your yarn. 
YO (yarn over) - now, this is the funny part...I have been told that I do this backwards and the yarn should come from the front to the back, I do it that way for the chain, but for actual stitches, I yarn from back to front.I have never had any trouble with how I do it...so, my suggestion once again is to do it how you are comfortable.
Now, pull the yarn through the loop.

Woo Hoo!!! You just started your chain.  Now, for good practice, chain a long strand just to try and get each stitch even. 

This picture is the top of the chain.  It's just a braid, but important to understand that this is what it looks like.  There are 2 strands of yarn on top.  These are considered Front Loop (frond lp) and Back Loop (back lp).  Some patterns call for stitches to be made in a single strand of yarn instead of both.  When this is done on an afghan, it gives it more texture to sight and touch. (I will go over this at a later time)

To be honest, I don't mind crocheting chains, but my least favorite part is the first row of anything when you have to crochet in the chain.  Once I get past that, it's all a breeze.

How To's

For those of you who already know how to crochet, please bear with me for a short time while I try and zoom through the individual stitches that I will use.  Once I get through those, I will be able to start showing actual stitch patterns. 

How To: Read Pattern Abbreviations

There are others, but these are the main abbreviations that I use

beg ........ Beginning
CA ... .....Color A
CB ........ Color B
CC ... .....Color C
ch ... .......Chain
dc ... .......double crochet
hdc ... .....half double crochet
lp(s) ... ....loop(s)
rep ... .....repeat
sc ... ......single crochet
sl st ... ....slip stitch
tr ... ........treble crochet
yo ... ......yarn over

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

How to: Begin

My mom taught me how to crochet when I was 10 yrs old.  As you can imagine, trying to hold the crochet hook the way you are supposed to was very awkward for me.  The advise my mom gave me was to hold it how ever it felt comfortable.  This is how I ended up holding the hook:

So - good advise! You have to feel comfortable holding the hook, or you will never finish a project.  If you do, and you still aren't comfortable holding the hook, chances are, you won't crochet much more.

The second thing she taught me was to wrap the yarn around my pinky in order to give tension to the yarn to keep my stitches even.  This was also very awkward for me and I really hated it.  So, once again, I held it how I felt comfortable and this is it:

I place it so it goes over my pointer finger, under the 2 middle fingers and back over my pinky.  My middle finger and thumb hold the blaket.  I have found that the control with that works the best for me.  So, you can wrap it around your finger, or weave it in and out...what ever makes you the most comfortable and still gives you control of the yarn.  It is very important to have that tension in order to maintain even stitches throughout your project.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Plum Ribbon

Plum Ribbon Afghan from Crafting Friends Designs

Plum Ribbon Afghan

This is a pattern I just made up.  I wanted something similar to the V-Stitch and have seen some, but didn't have any patterns to use.  It's extremely simple to make! 

UPDATE 2/17/14
This pattern is now available for free.

Size: 34” x 34”                                                              Materials: 16 oz Caron Simply Soft Yarn 4WW
Hook: Size G                                                                Gauge: 4 SC & 4 Rows = 1”      
Stitches: Ch – Chain                                                     Sl St – Slip Stitch                           
               Sp – Space                                                               Sk – Skip
   SC – Single Crochet                                                  DC – Double Crochet
               Rep - Repeat

With Chain 150

Row 1: DC in 3rd Ch from hook and in the next 2 Ch Sp, *Ch 1, Sk next Ch Sp, DC in next 3 Ch Sp*,
            Rep *to* across ending with 4DC
Row 2: Ch 1, Turn, SC in next St, *Ch 4, Sk 3 St, SC around next Ch 1 Sp* Rep *to* across ending with
             A SC in Ch 3 Cp
Row 3: Ch 3, Turn, *3 DC around Ch 4 Sp, Ch 1* Rep *to* across ending with a DC in end SC
Row 4: Ch 1, Turn, SC in next St, *Ch 4, Sk next 3 St, SC around Ch 1 Sp* Rep *to* across ending with
             A SC in Ch 3 Sp
Row 5-77: Repeat rows 3 & 4

Fasten off and weave in ends.  Add your favorite border stitch.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Petal Perfection

Sage & Cream Petal Stitch Afghan Pattern

Since I don't have the pattern to say what the name of the stitch is, I will just call it the petal stitch.  I'm not sure how else to describe it, but it reminds me of how rose petals poke out.  Here are the directions I was able to come up with tonight based on the purple afghan I just made.  The original has fringe on both ends and I have used it on some of the blankets, but not everyone likes fringe.  If you want it, just cut 6 (12") strands per chain space on top and bottom of afghan and knot around chain.

Petal Stitch Afghan

Finished size: 44" wide x 56" tall
Hook size: F
Gauge: 4 DC & 2 Rows = 1"
Materials: 6 Skeins Red Heat Super Saver Yarn

Chain 153
Row 1: Sc in 2nd ch from hook
            Ch 3, DC within sc just made 
            Skip 2 ch sp, SC in next ch sp
            This completes the first Petal Stitch

This completes your first petal
***Ch 3, DC within sc just made, sk 2 ch sp, sc in next ch sp *** 
Repeat from  *** across ending in sc in last ch sp.
Ch 1; turn

Row 2: ***Sc in sc space, Ch 3, DC within sc just made, SC in next sc space.***
Repeat accross ending in sc, ch 1; turn

Repeat row 2 until desired height.  I worked 195 rows for 56" in height.

How to's

I am going to start posting directions on how to do different stitches.  As soon as I get a my camera charged, one will be posted.  I have had several people tell me they want to learn to crochet, so I thought I would help them out.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Free Pattern

This is a pattern I have used for quite a few years.  All of these afghans were made with this pattern.  Though they have changed the name from what I have, the pattern is still the same.  It is easy to use and fun to do.  Click on this link for the free pattern:  Country Cozy Afghan Pattern