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11  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Greyscale Blanket on: May 09, 2013 09:57:52 AM
I've had this white, grey, and black Caron Simply Soft yarn staring at me for a while, just screaming to be made into something.  I'm in the process of updating my Oddly Linked Blanket pattern to include more information about changing the height of the rows, and also to add more yardage information for bigger blankets.

I really, really don't need more blankets at home, though, so I made this one specifically to the size used by Blankets For Canada.  Once I'm done getting good pictures of it, I'll send it off.

IMG3304 by fantasticmio, on Flickr
(You really don't get a clear idea of how lumpy your mattress might be until you try to lay out a striped blanket on it Tongue)

For those who are already familiar with this pattern, I did stitches that were 10 loops high on each row here.

IMG3308 by fantasticmio, on Flickr

And since the whole point was to get the yardage, this blanket used 2208 yards of Caron Simply Soft.
12  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Pom-pom hat on: March 11, 2013 08:16:57 AM
I was playing with the pom-pom yarn, determined to find a good way to crochet with it.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is mio's hat, made with Loops & Threads Pom-pom yarn as colour A, and Bernat Waverly as colour B, and using a 6.5mm double-ended hook.

I did make some alterations to the pattern, though.  I did four wedges, and I'm pretty sure (it was hard to see what I was doing) that I missed 8 stitches on each one.

When I made a swatch,  I discovered that this stitch pattern is only stretchy on the diagonal, and since stretchiness is a coveted feature in hats, I had to make one major change:  This hat is made sideways, so the bottom edge of the hat will be at one end of a row and the top of the hat will be at the other end of the row; which end is which changes depending on the row.  Basically, I added a stitch to the end of the row that was the bottom of the hat, and I made a decrease at the end of the row that was at the top of the hat. 

I increased on the "lift up loops" part of each row by simply inserting the hook through the fabric between two vertical bars and pulling up a loop that way.  I decreased on the "work the loops off" part of each row by doing a "yarn over, pull through two" if it was the first thing I needed to do on a row, or "yarn over, pull through three" if it was the last thing I needed to do on a row.

Now, mio's hat is supposed to be a reversible pattern, but I don't think this hat works well that way:

Actually, it IS reversible, but perhaps doesn't look very fashionable this way.  It is, however, super-duper soft on the pom-pom side, so maybe you'd want to wear it that way anyway!

Sadly, this hat is too small for me.  It's stretchy, but not that stretchy!  So here is Roopurt modelling the hat in a sexy glamour shot:

She's really, really beautiful, and not at all laying down because she's been washed so often that the beanbag that is supposed to be supporting her neck keeps falling down into her bum.  Honest.
13  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Off-White Jacob's Snakes and Ladders blanket on: February 25, 2013 01:51:19 PM
I made this multi-coloured blanket in eight days: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=404702.0

I wanted to see what it would look like made in just one colour, and also see how much time I could save by having fewer ends to weave in.  (And if the folks at Red Heart could keep a better eye on how many knots end up in their Soft yarn, I may have been able to shave another day off... 12 balls of yarn, 7 knots.  Three of those knots were in one ball.  One ball!  Three! Yeesh!)


The stats:
Yarn: 3072 yards of Red Heart Soft, Off White colour
Hook: 6mm
Time to make: 5 days

This blanket is destined for Blankets For Canada - I run the campaign at the Michaels I work at. 
14  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Another Doctor Who Scarf on: January 16, 2013 02:24:10 PM
But this one is for *me*!  Grin

I'm participating in the Harry Potter Knit/Crochet House Cup on Ravelry, and this term, my goal is to see how much yardage I can use up.  So, I made myself a Doctor Who scarf... in 16 days.  Woot!

Action shot:

I think it makes me look shorter... Tongue
15  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Loom Knit Slippers on: January 05, 2013 08:53:03 AM
My feet were cold, so I made myself some slippers!

They worked up pretty quickly - about an hour each, maybe.  I used Patons Melody in Peacock and Mango colours, adding up to about 102 yards all together.

I used the smallest Knifty Knitter loom in the round loom set (the blue one):

4" before folding the cuff
4 rounds before the heel (don't cut the yarn)
Follow the heel shown in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJ77ub0FRas
4" from heel to toe
4 rounds for toe
drawstring to close

(Note: my feet are huge - size 11 womens.  They measure about 10.5" along the bottom, and I made the slippers to be about 9" along the bottom so they'd be a bit tighter (as the loom makes them pretty wide.  Keen observers will notice that the video for the heel is actually for a Christmas stocking Tongue)

On a lark I decided to reverse the colour scheme... because I'm not weird enough, apparently. ^_^  I've been experimenting with colour lately, so I think I might make a bunch more of these... they were quite fun to make!

ETA: I made a second pair of slippers using the same pattern.  I'm calling these my Matchy-Matchy slippers. Tongue
16  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Rainbow Ruffle Shawl - or an actual reason to use ruffle yarns :P on: October 26, 2012 12:01:07 PM
Surely by now you've all seen that ruffle yarn that the knitters have been playing with.  It's apparently a little-known fact that one can crochet with it (despite my best efforts...).

I have made several of these scarves (for some reason... they're really not my style).  And while I'll agree that the process of making them is quick, I'm still not really a fan.

The other day, however, I came across a pattern that, if you're like me, I think will change your mind about this crazy yarn.

It's called the Kelp Forest Shawlette and it uses the ruffle yarn in a rather interesting way.  It takes advantage of the net-like nature of the yarn to create an easy lace.

This pattern is also kind of neat because it can be both knit and crocheted with identical results (and I have to say, if you do both crafts, use a crochet hook - it's easier).

And an action shot:

This shawl was made with two balls of Premier Yarns Starbella in the Fly A Kite colourway and a 5mm hook.
17  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Green Winter Set on: September 16, 2012 09:06:40 AM
I just finished making this winter accessories set for charity.  (It's my DADA homework in the Harry Potter game on Ravelry ^_-)

First, an action shot:

I used a J/10/6mm double-ended hook and Bernat Satin in Lemongrass and Silk colours... just over a ball of each.

These worked up so quickly - I'm pretty happy about that!  I made the hat on Thursday afternoon, then started the scarf on my way to work.  I put the scarf down to work on something else, then picked it back up again for something to work on on the train to my crochet guild meeting on Saturday and finished the scarf at the meeting itself.  I started the mittens when I got home from guild and just had the ends to weave in on one of them this morning. 

More pics:




(As an aside: this "quick insert photos" thing is fantastic!  I can't wait to use it for my next tutorial!)
18  CROCHET / Crochet: Discussion and Questions / Tunisian Crochet - getting started and Simple Stitch - tutorial on: August 13, 2012 11:48:40 AM
This tutorial focuses on the Tunisian Simple stitch, but it also serves as an introduction to Tunisian crochet.  If you've never done Tunisian crochet before, this is a good place to start.

For the best results when doing Tunisian crochet, you need a special hook called an "afghan hook".  You can also use a double ended hook (and ignore one of the ends), or a cabled hook.  The important thing is that the hook be the same size and shape after the head - so, no thumb rest, and no fancy handles.  It's also important, if you're making something large, to have some kind of stopper on the end to keep the loops from sliding off.  Afghan hooks and most cabled hooks come with a stopper.  When I use a double ended hook for this I usually wrap an elastic band around the unused head.

Also, you need to use a bigger hook than you normally would for the yarn you're using.  I suggest going up two sizes.  For this yarn, I normally use a 5mm hook.  When using it for Tunisian crochet, I use a 6mm hook.  You'll want to experiment - using an even larger hook can take care of curling problems, but can also result in a lacier fabric.

Let's get started!

As with a lot of crochet techniques, start with a base chain:

Insert the hook in the second chain from the hook (I like to go into the back bump - it makes the bottom of the piece look nicer)

Yarn over:

Pull through and add that loop to your hook:

Insert the hook into the next chain, yarn over, and add that loop to your hook.  Keep going until you have done this with every stitch:

Note: I started with 10 chains, and I now have 10 loops on my hook - the number of loops matches the number of chains.

Now it's time to work the loops off of the hook.  Start by yarning over:

And pull through one loop:

Yarn over

And pull through two loops:

Repeat: *yarn over, pull through two loops* until there is only one loop left on the hook

The first row is done!  This is always how the first row is done in Tunisian crochet.  What forms this row into the desired stitch is how you work into it on the next row.

The Tunisian Simple stitch is usually the first one you learn.  There's a reason why it's called that... it's certainly the easiest one to describe!

To do the second rows (and all subsequent rows), you start by inserting the hook, from right to left, behind the second vertical bar:

Yarn over:

and pull that loop onto the hook:

Repeat this process by inserting the hook behind the next vertical bar, and pulling that loop onto the hook until you have only one vertical bar left, the one at the very end.  You *can* insert the hook the same way you have been so far, but for a nicer left side edge, you can insert the hook in a special way for the last stitch:

It's a bit tricky to see in that picture, but where you insert the hook is immediately to the right of the end vertical bar, and to the left of a little vertical section nearest the hook in the picture.  You insert the hook from front to back through the fabric, leaving two vertical bars on one side of the hook:

and lift that loop onto the hook.

Any way you slice it, when you're done, you'll have the same number of loops on your hook as stitches you started with:

And then work them off as you did before: yarn over and pull through one loop, then *yarn over, pull through two loops* over and over until you only have one loop left on the hook.

Continue adding rows in this manner until you are satisfied with the length of the project.  It should look something like this:

You may notice that the last row you make seems a bit lacy, or hole-y.  This is normal.  When you finish a Tunisian piece, you need to slip stitch across the top to close this up. 

It is important to note that because, as mentioned earlier, the row above a row is what gives it its definition, that when you slip stitch to end a piece, you need to insert the hook in the manner of the stitch you are creating.  In this example we are doing the Tunisian Simple stitch, and so we will always insert the hook from right to left behind the vertical bars. 

In pictures:
Insert the hook behind the next vertical bar and yarn over:

Pull through (including through the loop on the hook) :

Repeat for each stitch: insert the hook, yarn over, pull through both loops (slip stitch) until you reach the end.

Cut the yarn and pull it through the last loop, and you're done!

As you can see, this swatch is curling a bit.  This is normal.  The Tunisian Simple stitch is slightly bigger on the back than it is on the front - it's not as big a difference as with the Tunisian Knit stitch, though.

19  CROCHET / Crochet: Discussion and Questions / Tunisian Purl Stitch - tutorial on: August 13, 2012 09:49:22 AM
I've been playing around with Tunisian crochet and have found that my favourite stitch, so far, is the Tunisian purl stitch.  It just looks really neat (and it doesn't seem to curl like the Tunisian Simple Stitch and Tunisian Knit Stitch do).

Here's how I do it:

Start by bringing the yarn in front of the hook:

Then insert the hook into the next vertical bar (just as you would for the simple stitch):

With the thumb of your left hand, hold the working yarn down:

Yarn over by bringing the hook in front of the yarn, then under and behind it:

Start the pull through. When you get to this point, let go with your left thumb:

This part takes good timing.  Let go too soon and it's really hard to pull the hook through.  Let go too late and you end up with a bigger loop on your hook than you intended, and it makes your gauge go all wacky.

Finish pulling through to add the loop to your hook:

This fabric was made by alternating two rows of Tunisian Simple Stitch and two rows of Tunisian Purl Stitch:

20  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Gryffindor Scarf on: August 08, 2012 11:29:25 AM
I originally learned to knit with the goal of fixing a crochet problem I was having (how to make crochet entrelac look more like knit entrelac).  I made a bunch of swatches where I did increases, decreases, cables, colour changes, you name it.

When it was time to try my first actual knit project I went with... a Doctor Who scarf, which many of you may recognize as being entirely knit stitches worked in rows. So, not the best use of my new skills (though, very, very cool).

Here is my second knit project:

Another scarf!  Once again, only knit stitches, though in the round this time.

I used Caron Simply Soft and four 5mm DPN's. It measures 4'8" long and 5" wide

I made this for my niece who is dressing up as Hermione Granger for Halloween this year.  Now I just have to figure out how to make a convincing Crookshanks...

And no... I haven't fixed the crochet problem yet. Alas.
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