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21  FIBER ARTS / Weaving: Discussion and Questions / Finishing on: July 29, 2012 11:41:48 AM
I've made a second thing on my Cricket Loom (I tried out plaid this time) and don't want a fringe, but I can't figure out how to get rid of it at the top and bottom.

Is there a resource list somewhere that I'm missing?  Every Google search I try thinks I want "loom knitting", probably because that's the only kind of loom I've looked up before this weekend. *sigh*

ETA: after some more searching I finally came across the term "hemstitching" which answered my question.  It seems that since I've cut the project off the loom I may be stuck with the fringe.  Oh well! Next time!
22  FIBER ARTS / Weaving: Completed Projects / My first scarf on: July 28, 2012 05:18:14 PM
Today is my birthday (yay!!) and my fiance and I went down to a LYS and he bought me a Cricket Loom.

I set it up this afternoon and made my very first project: a scarf!

It's about 5' long and almost 5.5" wide.

Here's an in-progress shot:

I used Bernat Satin with a solid coloured warp and a variegated weft:

My edges are pretty wonky, but I figure that will fix itself over time.  It's a scarf - it'll be warm, wonky or not. Tongue

I'm still getting used to all of the new lingo, but I'm hoping I'll pick it up fast!

I think I'm going to try a plaid for my next project... then try some of the neat techniques I've found on Youtube. ^_^
23  CROCHET / Crochet: Discussion and Questions / Single Crochet Blankets on: July 25, 2012 07:31:52 PM
I've been chatting with some crocheters lately on the subjects of blankets that are made up entirely (or almost entirely) of single crochet stitches (US terminology.  In UK terms it'd be double crochet stitches).

There seem to be two schools of thought on the subject: either it's no big deal or they can't imagine ever making a project that large out of so small a stitch.

I was wondering, where do you all fall on this question?

If you wouldn't normally make a project that large with such small stitches, do you think you'd reconsider if the end result was really awesome looking?
24  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / loom knit stocking on: July 09, 2012 08:33:56 AM
We've already started getting Christmas items in at work.  I know, I know.  It's July, for crying out loud!  I've been working so much that seeing the stuff we have in so far has already gotten me into the mood. 

I thought I was losing it, too.  After all, I did recently do an 11.5 hour shift... I'm not sure I've found all of my sanity that I lost that day yet.  But then I checked the calendar, and you know what?  It's only 168 days until Christmas.  That may seem like a lot of time to some of you, and I certainly crochet fast enough not to have to worry really, but I do work in retail, and my personal time gets cut less and less as we march towards the Big Day.

Since I was feeling the bug anyway, I thought I'd roll with it and finally try to make a Christmas stocking on a knitting loom.

I look the smallest round loom (24 pegs) and some Patons Melody yarn in two colours (not Christmassy ones, I know... this is just a prototype).

I started with the black yarn, and worked with it until it was twice as long as I thought the cuff should be, and then used the "hat brim" technique to fold it up.  I cut the black and switched to purple and continued to work normally for about 8".

I didn't cut the purple, but added the black to make a short-row heel over 14 pegs.  The decreases were fast, one on each row, but the increases were slower, increasing only every other row.  Once I got back up to 14 pegs, I cut the black then continued on with the purple for about 4".

I cut the purple then switched to black to form the toe, going for a couple of inches (just eyeballing it, really).  Then used the "drawstring gather" technique (from making hats) to finish off the toe.

And ta-da!

Here it is next to a measuring tape:

You can maybe see that it measures about 16-17" in length.  I ended up using almost exactly half a ball of each colour (about 43 yards -ish each)

This thing is on the small side for a Christmas stocking, but rather huge when compared to actual footwear.  At least, it would be if you had normal-sized feet. I, on the other hand, have Amazon Feet, and so on a lark, I decided to try it on. 

Just for a bit of a laugh, you know...

25  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Two-person lap-ghan on: May 14, 2012 08:27:37 AM
Mr.Fantastic and I like to relax on the love seat after a long day's work.  Sometimes we get chilly, so I made this blanket just wide enough to cover both of our laps.  I made it the same length as the couch is wide so that when not in use, it fits perfectly on the back. ^_^

I used Oddly Linked stitches (10 loops tall) and Bernat Waverly yarn in Aqua Frost, Greek Sea, and Turtle Green.  I really love this yarn - it's so cushy!

Close up:
26  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Ladder Joined Blanket on: April 30, 2012 11:23:34 AM
I can't remember what we were talking about, specifically, but the other day mr.fantastic asked me if you could use the Jacob's Ladder technique to join motifs together (keep in mind, he doesn't crochet at all - apparently he just pays really close attention!).

I, of course, had to try this out as soon as possible.  

IMG354.jpg by fantasticmio, on Flickr


IMG355.jpg by fantasticmio, on Flickr


IMG357.jpg by fantasticmio, on Flickr

Granny squares are super quick for me to make up, especially when they're in a single colour, so I made 36 of them, about 5" wide, with a sc border.

Then I used a different colour to create ch10 lines joining the squares together.  I first went one way:

IMG348.jpg by fantasticmio, on Flickr

IMG350.jpg by fantasticmio, on Flickr

Then the other:

IMG352.jpg by fantasticmio, on Flickr

IMG353.jpg by fantasticmio, on Flickr

I worked on the wrong side to minimize the amount of the dark blue yarn you could see on the front.  After making a ch10 and joining it to the next square, I slip stitched up three stitches on the square before making another ch10 and linking back to the first square.  When leaping to the next pair of squares, I did a ch2 before joining to the square above, then went back to ch10, back and forth.

After that it was simply (ha!) a matter of laddering it up.  I wanted each ladder to alternate between going over and under the crossing ladders, but that turned out to be trickier than I imagined.  Usually when I cross ladders, I go by with the one that goes under before going by with the one that goes over.  For this, though, I ended up sometimes having to take a ladder under an established ladder... absolutely possible, but tricky.

I used pipe cleaners to hold the ladders in place once I was done so that I could remove the blanket from the bed to add the border (which eventually holds the ladders in place).  

After that, I added a reverse single crochet border, and then it was just a matter of weaving in the ends.

I'm pretty happy about how it turned out.  This blanket was started as a proof of concept, and now that I know it works, the blanket will be donated to charity.  For the next one I make, I'm trying to find some self-striping yarn that I'm not allergic to (I'm allergic to animal fibres and also to Bernat Mosaic Sad  It's been quite the challenge!)

27  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Owl-shaped swatch on: April 25, 2012 06:30:19 AM
I was messing around with the crocodile stitch and thought that, in brown, it looked like feathers, and so I made this owl:

I just sort of winged it (er, no pun intended), and am not totally happy with the ears, but it works.

I didn't have anything in mind for what to do with this when I was finished (hence the title), but I imagine it could work nicely as an appliqu - the best idea for this I came up with last night when I was imagining a blanket that looked like a zoomed-in picture of a tree (focused on the branches with the trunk off to the side) with a bunch of these owls attached so they were sitting on the branches.  I guess I'm going to have to make that now!

I figured you're never really going to see the back, regardless of what you do with this, so I wasn't as careful with weaving in the ends.  Here's the back:

28  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Broomstick Lace wrap on: April 10, 2012 11:56:17 AM
A coworker of mine has been really great - she gives me a ride when we close the store together, and she was a sympathetic ear and had some great advice when I was having problems with one of the managers.

After some super secret intel, I ended up making her this wrap:

It's Lion Brand Homespun in the colour "Tudor".  A simple pattern, that basically went in rows of: sc, dc, sc, broomstick lace (groups of 3).

I thought the yarn would obscure the broomstick lace, but it turns out that when you wear it, it all stretches out and shows it off nicely. ^_^

I hope she likes it!
29  CROCHET / Crochet: Discussion and Questions / Crocheting with Sashay (ruffle yarn) tutorial on: April 09, 2012 12:25:08 PM
It seems to be a little known fact that you can, in fact, crochet with that ruffle yarn that is so popular these days.  Personally, I'm not a fan of this kind of yarn.  I find it to be a pain in the butt to work with as it tends to curl up on itself at the slightest provocation.

I did find it slightly easier to work with when crocheting than with knitting, though, so there's a plus!

Here's how to do it with Red Heart Sashay yarn using a 6mm hook (it's pretty much the same method for all the yarns of this type... you just need to figure out where to put the hook)

First you need to spread the yarn out - you'll see that it's a net.  There's an edge that has some sparkle to it, that's the bottom edge.  You will be crocheting with the top edge only.

Along the top edge there is what people call "train tracks" - a series of holes that alternate between big and small.

We will be concerning ourselves only with the large holes.  Ignore the small ones.

You don't need a slip knot to start with this yarn, you just insert your hook and off you go.  Now, when I start, I fold the end over a bit and work into both layers for about an inch or so.  It's not shown in this picture because, frankly, I took that picture and you couldn't see what was going on. Smiley

To get the ruffle effect, you simply skip a large hole and go into the next:

That's it.  Every time your pattern has you "yarn over", you skip a large hole and insert the hook into the next large hole.

Start with a base chain that is approximately the length of the scarf you want to make (up to 6' long is a safe length for one ball)

Here's what it looks like when you pull that second "large hole" loop through the first:

(chain made)

Here I am, grabbing the next spot, two large holes away:

When you have the length you want, turn and sc in each chain.  Now, the chain is hard to see, both in this picture and in real life:

But do your best - only work into one loop of the chain.  It's too much of a pain to work it any other way, in my experience.

When you've sc across, turn and slip stitch back down again. And you're done!  Finish off by cutting the yarn and pulling the *whole* thing through the loop on your hook.  Pull it snug, and then trim the end if you find it's sticking out too much.  The end should basically hide itself in the ruffles.

30  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Mermaid Bag on: April 02, 2012 01:58:45 PM
Well, I finally got around to trying out the crocodile stitch (sometimes known as the scale stitch).

It works up a bit differently than I imagined when I first saw a project using this stitch, but it's fairly straightforward once you get the hang of it. (And before you ask, this is at the top of my list of tutorials to do over the next couple of days. As long as I'm not called in to work, all should go to plan. ^_^)

One thing to know about this stitch is that it uses up a lot of yarn! 

Anyhow, here's the bag I made (I think it would be a good size for a little girl)

For the back, I just made a single crochet panel:

I just winged the handles (I know you all love it when I say that Tongue)

The one down side to this pattern is that it leaves some pretty big holes, so this will probably need lining:

It used up almost an entire ball of Bernat Satin.  I chose this colour because it reminded me of mermaids and I thought it would go well with the scale-looking stitch pattern.
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