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

 Plum Ribbon Afghan

(c) 2011 copyright by Kate Wagstaff of Crafting Friends Designs
(c) 2014 photo copyright by Ash & Co
(c) 2017 photo copyright by Ash & Co

An ad free pdf of this pattern is available for a small fee HEREhttp://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/plum-ribbon-afghan

Size: 36”L x 39”W  or customizable                                                            
Materials: 926 yrds Caron Simply Soft Yarn 4ww

For the purple afghan, you'll need 532 yrds of main color and 396 yrds of 2nd color.  Colors change every 6 rows

For the teal afghan, you'll need 400 yrds Pegoda, 264 yrds Robins Egg, 264 yrds Soft Green

Hook: Size G                                                                

Gauge: 7 dc & 3 rows = 2”      

st(s) - stitch(es),    sl st - slip stitch,     ch - chain,     yo - yarn over,  sc - single crochet, hdc - half double crochet, dc - double crochet      

Special Stitches:
HDC Foundation Chain: If you’re unfamiliar with how to work foundation chains, this photo tutorial may help http://craftingfriendsdesigns.blogspot.com/2014/12/hdc-chainless-foundation.html
Plum Ribbon Afghan

  1. Beginning ch 3 counts as a dc
  2. When changing colors, do so in the last step of the last stitch of the row before the color change

Row 1: HDC Foundation Chain of 145.  
To customize, work the foundation chain in multiples of 4 + 1

If you prefer a basic chain, chain to 147, turn, hdc in 2nd ch from hook and in each ch space across (145 hdc). To customize a basic chain, work in multiples of 4+3

Row 2: Ch 3 (counts as dc), turn, skip very first st, *dc in next 3 sts, ch 1, skip next st,* repeat from *to* across to end 4 sts, dc in end 4 sts

Row 3: Ch 1, turn, sc in very first st, ch 4, skip next 3 sts, *sc in next ch-1, ch 4, skip next 3 sts,* repeat from *to* across to end st, sc in end st, sc in top of end turning ch

Row 4: Ch 3 (counts as dc), turn, skip very first sc, 3 dc around next ch-4, *ch 1, skip next sc, 3 dc around next ch-4,* repeat from *to* across to end st, dc in end sc

Rows 5-76: Repeat rows 3 & 4 or continue the repeat until you reach your desired height

Border 1: Ch 1, turn, 2 hdc in very first st,  hdc in each st across to end st, 3 hdc in end st, ch 1, rotate to work down first side of afghan, work 2 hdc in side of each dc and 1 hdc in side of each sc row down to bottom corner, work 3 hdc around corner st, ch 1, rotate to work across bottom of afghan, hdc between each st on the foundation row to next corner, ch 1, rotate to work up next side of afghan, work 2 hdc in side of each ch-3 row and 1 hdc in side of each sc row to next corner, work hdc in same corner st as beginning 2 hdc, sl st to beginning hdc

Border 2: Ch 1, turn, 3 hdc in same sp as ch-1, hdc in each st down to bottom corner, 3 hdc in corner st, rotate to work across bottom of afghan, hdc in each st across to next corner, 3 hdc in corner st, rotate to work up next side of afghan, hdc in each st to next corner, 3 hdc in corner st, rotate to work across top of afghan, hdc in each st across to next corner, sl st to beginning hdc to connect.  Fasten off yarn and weave in ends.

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