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Topic: How to make my crocheting stretchy like this?  (Read 675 times)
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chutzpaw
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« on: November 03, 2009 04:28:24 PM »

I've been asked to make a couple hats for people who I'm not going to see in person.  When I've made all my hats, they aren't stretchy hardly at all, but I have my head to try them on as I go so it doesn't matter.  I'm kinda worried about making these for others.  Are there any tips in general on how to make crocheting stretchy?  Using a big hook was my best guess and it doesn't seem to help much.

The pics below are of a scarf a friend made me a few years ago.  It's hard to stretch it both ways and still hold the camera, but you can see how hers is nice and stretchy and flexible. 




This is the beginning of a scarf I decided not to finish, and I believe this was done with a K hook.  You can barely even tell I'm stretching it in the 2nd pic.




Help!  Please and thank you!!  Smiley
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CrazyCristyC
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« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2009 06:59:01 PM »

I think your problem may be the type of fiber you're using.  For example, a 100% acrylic yarn (like Red Heart or any "cheap" yarn) will have much less stretch than 100% wool or other animal fiber.  You could test each yarn in the store to find the one you like most.  Unfortunately, these also tend to be more expensive, but I guess that's just what you get when you buy high quality materials...  On the bright side, they're much softer and warmer!

You could also contact the friend who gave you the original scarf and ask her what yarn she used.

Hope that helps!

- Cristy
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« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2009 11:11:11 PM »

Yes, and also your tension - if you are pulling tightly when you crochet it will not stretch, but if you loosen up your piece will have more stretch.
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chutzpaw
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« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2009 09:05:46 AM »

I'm following you about the yarn quality, it makes sense.  I think mine was made of that scratchy Red Heart.  I can't contact my friend to see what she used because she moved away and I haven't seen her since. 

Can any of you girls (or guys, I know there's some guy craftsters) recommend a wool blend yarn that's reasonably priced and available at chain stores?  I live in a small town and the only place to buy yarn here is Walmart, which of course means Red Heart.  I'm about an hour from a Hobby Lobby and a Michael's.  There is one LYS about that distance, but the yarn there was like CRAZY expensive.  But beautiful.... omg pretty stuff.

And I know wool is what you use to felt, does it all felt?  I don't want to send a hat to someone and it felts on them the first time they wash it.  If you hand wash does it stay yarn and not felt?

Just when I think I'm getting the hang of all this, I have so many more questions.  Thank goodness for message boards!!
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grannyt
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2009 02:00:06 AM »

I think if you use a front loop OR back loop only it will be stretchy. Try a piece and see if it works. don't forget when you turn to do the stitch  down that row also!
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Selnith
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« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2009 07:17:01 AM »

Red Heart have a really good selection of yarns so you might be able to get some good yarn at walmart, just check the lable and see what mix it is

100% wool will felt (with much washing and aggitating), blends don't tend to, or at least not that i've found, they may go a little fluffy, but that's it
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boogiedu
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2009 07:40:33 PM »

the scarf your friend gave you is double crochet
in the back loop on each row with a larger than
usual crochet hook and that makes it stretchy.
when i want stretchy i usually use up to a size M or N with worsted weight.
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« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2009 10:44:18 PM »

I've found Lion Brand Homespun at Wal-Mart and it's SUPER stretchy.  The scarf I made ended up about 1/2 the width and 1/3 longer than it started out at.

I think if the yarn feels slippery the better it will stretch.
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chutzpaw
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« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2009 07:12:58 AM »

Thanks for all the help guys.  I bought a wool blend yarn yesterday and I'll try using back loops only.  I'll be sure to post my results!
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