Monday, June 30, 2008

Chain vs. Magic Circle

One of the more common questions I get is "Can I use the magic circle instead of the chain" or "Can I use the chain instead of the magic circle". Most of the time it is just a matter of preference. It is not going to make a difference in the outcome of your project if you use the magic circle or chain. Your magic circle can be the same size as a chain of 50. Just remember to knot your magic circle well.



The magic circle is new to me as of March 2008. It is a simple loop with the starting stitches crocheted over the thread. It is a popular start with the amigurumi crochet. When the round is complete, it will close nice and tight. I love using the magic circle start variation. I have been using the magic circle where it calls for a chain since I learned the method. What I like about the magic circle is you get a nice and tight closure with the beginning round. It does get very full with more than 16 stitches in the beginning round. If you are wanting an opening at the beginning round, then by all means, use a chain instead. It is important to remember to make several secure knots with your magic circle once you have completed your project or it will come apart.



The chain on the other hand is a little heavier. You adjust your opening size with the number of chains in the beginning of your loop. You slip stitch the end of your chain to the beginning chain, forming the loop to hold your stitches. This works well if you are starting with a lot of double crochet or with a granny square that will be washed a lot. The decision is yours.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Hook and Stitch Placement

Hook and Stitch Placement

Stitch Placement Video Tutorial: Stitch & Hook Placement Close Up Details

The hook and stitch placement will be the same for thread as it is with the yarn. The loops you choose to place your hook through are all in how you want to do the stitch. Patterns are only a guide. There are two loops at the top of each stitch, no matter what stitch you are doing. Some people call them V's.


You can see in this image the V shape made at the top of each stitch. The image also shows the hook going through both loops at the top of the stitch.




You can go through the front, back or both loops.



You will find patterns that want you to go through the back loop only or the front loop only. I like going through both because I feel it will make my lace more secure. It is also effects the texture by going through both. If I go through the back only, there will be a ridge line on the front of my project. This is a choice that you will make when creating your project.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Crochet V-Stitch



Crochet V-Stitch

Video Tutorial: Crochet V-Stitch Pattern

Multiple: 3 + 1


Row 1: DC in 4th Chain from hook, Ch 3, DC in same chain. Skip 2 CH, DC, CH 3, DC in the same chain. Repeat to the end.


Row 2:
Ch 3 to start the next row, DC, Ch 3, DC in Center
of next Chain, Repeat across; DC in last stitch of the row below. Chain 3, turn.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

How I Got Started Making the Video Tutorials

I thought it would be fun to share how I got started making the crochet video tutorials.

The fall of 2001 I enrolled in college fulltime to take multimedia marketing. The coursework revolved around, computer graphics, web design, photoshop, and video editing. That started my passion for the computer graphics in photoshop and video editing. I graduated in May of 2003 with a 2 year degree.


I have a lot of fun making the video tutorials and creating new projects. Youtube popped up the beginning of 2006. I created a Youtube account to show my family our house and where we were moving to around the fall of 2006. I didn't even have a video camera, just a digital camera that took small video clips at the time. The first few crochet tutorials I did were with the digital camera. It made large files and they were .AVI. I really didn't think anyone would watch but I enjoy video editing and taking video so I kept putting up new tutorials. January of 2007 we got a video camera with a hard drive. That made taking the video and editing a lot easier since it was in an .mpg file extension already. As people started finding Youtube, I realized there was a huge interest in crochet. Never in a million years would I have thought the interest was there but it is.

I know when I was young, everyone was telling me that their grandma crocheted. It had a stigma attached, of being something that old ladies in rocking chairs sat around and did. I never let that stop me from crocheting. I felt alone at the time but I don't feel alone any longer. Now I am a grandma and everyone is crocheting!!! The picture on the left below shows my daughter Amanda, her girls Mylah and Iris and I am standing. The girls are hams for the camera.


I am very happy to share something that I love to do. I know how frustrated I was at times when I was first learning so hopefully there will be something that will take that frustration away in one of the video tutorial's.

* Note: For those of you that wonder how I make my symbol crochet charts, I make them in Adobe Photoshop. I have a custom paintbrush preset list that I created to match the shapes of the crochet symbols.

Many Ways to Write Pattern Instructions

There are many, many ways to write a crochet pattern. When I was first learning, instructions were written with very detailed descriptions. I understand that writing how to do the stitch and pattern was the only way of communicating back then, unless you were in the physical presence of another person. There was so much detail that it was confusing. 25+ years ago, some of the patterns were describing how to do the stitch in the middle of the actual instructions, on how to create a doily. I had to learn the difference between the detailed instructions of how to do the stitch being described and where I was supposed to be doing the stitch. Some days my head was spinning with confusion. Everyone has heard the phrase TMI or To Much Information. That can apply with crochet instructions. There were times I was ready to take the instructions and cut them in to tiny little pieces. We didn't have paper shredders back then like we do now or I probably would have shredded them. That is when I started revising the pattern to work for me. I started out with tunnel vision and thinking that I had to be exact. As I learned later, most yarn crochet patterns are just a guide and being exact is not always important. I didn't have anyone to talk to and discuss my crochet issues. Back then it might take two weeks to get a piece of mail through the USPS. I didn't have a crochet group either. I had to figure it out on my own. I was determined to conquer every pattern I started. As long as my project looked like the picture, if there was a picture, I was satisfied. That taught me to think outside of the box.

When I write a pattern, I write it as though the person knows how to do the basic stitches. Sometimes less is more. With the advances of technology, we have pictures and video on the Internet to show how to achieve the basic to advanced stitches. There are many crochet groups of very helpful people to answer questions if we get stuck or don't understand something. Notice I said people because a lot of men are taking up this FINE ART.

I fully understand when a crocheter get frustrated. Interpreting written instructions is the hardest part.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Crochet Butterfly



Crochet Butterfly

Video Tutorial: Crochet Butterfly

Magic Circle Start

Pattern by Teresa Richardson

Round 1: CH 3, 2 DC, *CH 2, 3 DC, from *5 times. CH 1, SC in Beg CH.

Round 2: CH 3, 2 DC, *CH 1,3 DC, CH 2, 3 DC in corner CH 2: from *5 times. CH 1, 3 DC in BEG corner, CH 1, SC in Beg CH.

Round 3: CH 1, *1 Reverse SC in CH 2 SP. CH 6, 1 Reverse SC in CH 2 SP, Reverse SC in the next 3 DC, CH 1 SP, next 3 DC. Repeat from * 6 times. SL ST in BEG CH 1.

6 Sided Granny Motif



6 Sided Granny Motif
Magic Circle Start

Video Tutorial: 6 Sided Granny Motif

Round 1: CH 3, 2 DC, *CH 2, 3 DC, from *5 times. CH 1, SC in Beg CH.

Round 2: CH 3, 2 DC, *CH 1,3 DC, CH 2, 3 DC in corner CH 2: from *5 times. CH 1, 3 DC in BEG corner, CH 1, SC in Beg CH.

Round 3: CH 3, 2 DC, *CH 1, 3 DC in next CH 1 SP, CH 1, 3 DC, CH 2, 3 DC in corner; from *5 times. CH 1, 3 DC in BEG corner, CH 1, SC in Beg CH.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Crochet Seed Stitch Flower



Crochet Seed Stitch Flower

Pattern by Teresa Richardson

CH 4, join

1. 9 SC in loop.

2. CH1, SC, TRC(Triple Crochet) in same SC, repeat in the next 8 SC.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

How to Read a Filet Crochet Chart


Click on the chart for a larger view.

Filet crochet is to be read from right to left, then left to right. What I have found that works well for me is to make a copy of the original pattern if it is coming from a book so you can mark and write on the paper without ruining your original pattern. Note* Copying for your own use is permissible. You can use a highlighting marker to mark off the rows you have completed. If you do not have the means to make your own copy, I have found that document protectors over your page work just as well. I use a grease pencil to mark the document protector. A cotton ball and baby oil will remove the grease pencil so you can use your document protector again. You can find grease pencils at your local office supply store. The purpose of marking your rows well are in case you need to rip out your work and see your chart again. This comes from my own experience of ripping out filet patterns several times. When I am done for the day or get distracted, I will put an asterisk next to the row that I will be starting next so I know exactly where I am on the chart. It is not necessary to put an asterisk on each row.

Another way to keep your sides straight is to see what side your tail is on. When you start the first row on your chart, your tail will be on the left side facing you and you will be working from the right side of your chart. As you progress in your work, you may find that you forgot which side you are coming from. If you tail is on the right side facing you, that means you are working from the left side of your chart. When you start your first row of mesh, count to make sure it is accurate. I have found that if your count is off, just by one square then it can throw the whole project out of wack. Sometimes it may not be caught until you are halfway through the project
.

Blocking Doily's and Filet Crochet

It is common for the Filet Crochet to appear uneven when you are crocheting a project. The width and length will look distorted to each other with the length being to short and the width appearing to wide. When you are finished, all you need to do is block your piece. That just consists of soaking it in a starch/water solution for a few minutes stretching, shaping and and pinning it out on a bed. I look for rust proof pins. From experience the cheap pins will rust and leave rust stains on your work. Below is the recomended starch to water solution for lace doily's. You can adjust it to more at any time. I have found that I like a little heavier starch at times depending on the size of thread I have used.

STARCH SOLUTION:
1 part Starch to 6 parts water

I always use towels on top of my mattress to soak up the starch. I have even used a pressing cloth and dry iron to expedite the process. I have had many filet pieces that I thought were ruined until I blocked and stretched them lengthwise. They always came out beautiful.

I block doily's and lace cloths the same way. From time to time I will use a measuring tape to get the diameter of the doily even, all the way around. I have used the measuring tape with the filet to make sure the measurements are the same so the sides are not crooked.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Round Shell 7 Double Crochet - Shell Variation 4 - Catherine's Wheel


Joined Crochet Circle




Crochet Circle

Chain 3.

Round 1: Chain 3, 11 DC in LP. Join in Bbeg ch 3. (12 Double Crochet)

Round 2: CH 3, DC in same DC, 2 DC in ea DC around. Join in beg ch 3. ( 24 Double Crochet)


This is what I used in the "How to Join Circles" Video Tutuorial and "Wacky Hat Part 1 " Video Tutorial.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Mini Christmas Stocking - 1



Mini Christmas Stocking in Single Crochet

Pattern by Teresa Richardson


Mini Stocking Video Tutorial: Crochet Miniature Christmas Stocking

Size I Crochet Hook

Red and White 4-Ply Worsted Weight Yarn

CH 12.

Round 1: 11 SC on each side for a total of 22, Do not join. (22 Single Crochet)

Round 2-7: SC in EA SC around.

Round 8: SC over 8, Skip 7 SC at the toe. SC over the remaining SC.

This is a good place to turn the stocking inside out and sew the toe shut. Turn to the right side when complete.

Round 9-16: SC around. When the last row is complete, skip 1 sc and SL ST in the next. Cut off yarn. This is the section that will complete the calf of the stocking.

CUFF
Round 17-22: Join yarn, CH 1, SC in same ST. SC in each stitch around, in a continual round. When the last row is complete, skip 1 sc and SL ST in the next. CH 1, turn.

EDGING
Continue with the white yarn with a backward single crochet. Join at beginning. Cut yarn and sew in all the tails.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Half- Granny Square


Half-Granny Square

Video Tutorial: Half-Granny Square Crochet

Teresa Richardson
Crochet Abbreviations
DC = Double Crochet
LP = Loop
Ch = Chain
SP = Space

Start with a Magic Circle or Chain 3. Either one will work well.

Row 1: Ch 3, turn, 2 DC in LP, CH 2, 3 DC in LP.

Row 2: CH 3, turn, 2 DC in the last DC of previous round, CH 1, 3 DC, CH 2, 3 DC in next CH 2 SP. CH 1, 3 DC in the Ch 3 of previous round.

Row 3: CH 3, turn, 2 DC in the last DC of previous round, CH 1, 3 DC in next CH 1 SP. CH 1, 3 DC, CH 2, 3 DC in CH 2 LP. CH 1, 3 DC in CH 1 SP. CH 1, 3 DC in CH 3.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Loopy Flower Crochet



Loopy Flower

Pattern by Teresa Richardson


Crochet Video Tutorial: Loopy Flower

Size G crochet Hook

Chain 6, join

Round 1: CH 1, 16 SC in loop, join

Round 2: CH 3, 3 DC in same SP, CH 3, SL ST in same SP. SL ST over next 2 spaces. Continue around for 8 petals.

Round 3: CH 1, SC in same SP, CH 5, SK 2 Petals, SC in next SC; Continue around.
SL ST in BEG SC. (4 - CH 5 Loops)

Round 4: CH 4, 5 TC in loop, CH 4, SL ST in loop, repeat twice in each loop. SL ST to next loop. (8 Petals)

Single Crochet Baby Beanie Cap



Single Crochet Baby Beanie Cap

Pattern by Teresa Richardson

Crochet Abbreviations
SC = Single Crochet
LP = Loop
EA = Each
ST = Stitch
INC = Increase
Sts = Stitches
SC INC - Single Crochet Increase

Materials
Size F Crochet Hook
3 Ply Yarn
Tapestry needle - This is for sewing in the tails

Video Tutorial: Single Crochet Baby Beanie Cap

CH 3, join
*NOTE: You can start this with the magic circle as an alternative start.

Rnd 1: 10 SC in LP, Do Not Join

Rnd 2: 2 SC in ea SC. (20 Single Crochet)

Add a marker to your beginning stitch.

Rnd 3: 1 SC in ea SC. (20 Single Crochet)

Rnd 4: 1 SC in next ST, 2 SC in next ST. (30 Single Crochet)

Rnd 5: 1 SC in ea SC around. (30 Single Crochet)

Rnd 6: SC INC every 3 Sts. (40 Single Crochet)

Rnd 7: SC in ea SC around. (40 Single Crochet)

Rnd 8: SC INC every 4 Sts. (50 Single Crochet)

Rnd 9: SC in ea ST around. (50 Single Crochet)

Rnd 10: SC INC every 5 Sts. (60 Single Crochet)

Rnd 11-31: SC in EA SC around until you get the length of your cap.

Use a larger size hook and/or yarn to make the cap for a larger size child.

The Baby Beanie can be done with individual rounds or in a continual round. You will want to use individual rounds if you want to make stripes on the cap. The video tutorial shows a continual round. The picture symbol instructions are for individual rounds.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Curly Cue Crochet





Chain a length of chain.

4 Double Crochet in each chain across.


Shape the curly cue in one direction. If you want it to
hold its shape you can run the yarn from top to bottom
and sew securly once you have the desired shape.


Curly Cue Video Tutorial:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBm1eT4IpeU

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Mini Vacation

My apologies to those of you receiving delayed answers to questions. My husband and I took off on Monday June 2, on a roadtrip to visit our kids and grandchildren. We left Savannah around 7:00AM on Monday. We spent the first night in Little Rock Arkansas. My husband has twin boys living in Oklahoma City. One of the boys and his wife had a baby boy last summer. He will be 1 year old next month and it just as cute as a button. Then we stopped past Dallas to see my husbands daughter who had a baby girl in January. She is a little doll. The last leg of the trip was through Fort Hood Texas to see my daughter and her two little girls. They are 4 and 5 years old. My daughter tells me they are bad but they are just being little girls. Two little girls that love to rough house. I have some great video of them. There we spent the night in Killeen Texas.

We headed from Fort Hood through Austin to Houston to catch Interstate-10 back east. It took us most of the day to get out of Texas. We spent the night in LaFayette Louisiana. We left there around 8:30 AM June 7 and drove for about 15 hours to get back to Savannah around 11:30PM on Saturday June 7. We are both very tired and glad to be home.

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