Hooked on Needles


Friday, February 27, 2009

Another February Finish and a Crochet Mystery Project?

One Pay It Forward gift is finished and has been added to my list of finishes for the One Project a Month challenge on my sidebar. I'd love to show you a picture of the completed item in its proper context, but I think the person who will receive this reads my website. So you'll have to wait until I send it off and know it has been received before I spill the beans! Sorry.

But here's a consolation prize for you...

Recently you read here about how to work the Tunisian Rib, and I mentioned at the end of that article that I had come up with an interesting way to use that technique. Well, I thought I would make it even more interesting and offer it to you as a mystery project. What do you think of that idea? If there is interest in a Tunisian Crochet Mystery, I would love to present this little project in that format. I will tell you up front that it won't cost you very much money and it could even cost you nothing if you have the supplies on hand. I will also say that it is not a very big project, so it won't take long to finish. If I were to sit down and start it now, I could have it finished in a couple of hours, so maybe plan on a couple of evenings if you are a slow crocheter.

So what do you say? Are you up for a little mystery project using your new skills with Tunisian crochet? Leave a comment and let me know.

Happy Stitching!


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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Learn to Crochet - Solomon's Knot Video Tutorial

A lacy crocheted scarf or wrap is sometimes just the perfect accessory for your spring or fall wardrobe, or a beautiful and thoughtful gift for someone special. Here is a stitch that works up fairly quickly and could be worked in a fine fancy yarn, or something big and chunky, and come out quite nice. It's called Solomon's Knot, and it's fun to do!


Solomon's Knot - CrochetHere you can see the small sample I worked up and used to demonstrate the stitch in the video below. It looks complicated, but in fact is quite simple, as long as you pay attention to where you put your hook when making the knot.

Watch the video, and then grab some yarn and a hook and stitch along with the video until you get the hang of it. It's fun to do and turns out so pretty.


video

Solomon's Knot

Beginning chain is a multiple of 4, plus 2 extra.

Row 1: Single crochet (sc) in second chain (ch) from hook. Work a double knot (see video). Skip 3 ch, 1 sc in next ch, *1 double knot, skip 3 ch, 1 sc in next stitch.* Work from * to * to the end of the chain. Work 3 single knots for the 3-knot turning 'chain'. Turn.

Row 2: 1 sc in center of last double knot of previous row. *1 double knot, 1 sc in center of next double knot of previous row.* Work from * to * across the row. Work 3-knot turning 'chain'.

Turn and repeat Row 2 until desired length. End last row with a double knot instead of a 3-knot turning 'chain'. To finish, work (3 sc, sc in center of double knot) across and finish off.


I'll be using this stitch for a new project very soon. Have you ever used this stitch? What kind of project do you think it would be good for? I'd love to know what you think.

Happy Stitching!


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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Learn to Crochet - Tunisian Rib Video Tutorial

Time to add another stitch, or maybe technique is a better word, to the Tunisian Crochet library. This time you will see how to work Tunisian Rib. It is worked just the way you might imagine if you already know how to knit ribbing, that is, you work some number of Basic Tunisian Knit stitches and then some number of Tunisian Purl stitches and continue alternating across the row.



In this picture of my sample piece, you can see that I have worked three basic stitches, then 3 purls, 3 basic, 3 purls and I ended with 3 basic stitches. You can work this rib stitch using any number of stitches you like, and they don't have to be the same for basic and purl. For instance, you could work 5 basic, then 2 purl, and alternate like that across the row. Or you could work 4 basic, then 10 purl, and alternate like that across the row. Try different combinations to come up with one that suits your project.

This rib stitch is like a knitted rib in that it alternates knit and purl stitches, however it does not provide any stretch to the fabric like a knitted rib does. So you would want to take that into consideration when planning your project. This stitch offers a nice texture, but no stretch.

Here's a little video showing how to work Tunisian Rib:


video

I have come up with a little project that uses this technique in an interesting way and I'll be sharing that with you soon. Can you think of ways to use Tunisian Rib creatively? I'd love to hear them!

Happy Stitching!


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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Reader Show and Tell - Crocheted Close Scallops Capelet

One of my readers, Knit Purl Gurl, who is also a participant in the Knittinghelp forum that I have mentioned many times, wrote to me recently asking how I continued the scallop design onto the other three sides of my Wedding Gift Afghan because she wanted to do the same on a lap blanket she was making with the same stitch. Then I heard from her again with a link to her finished project. It was not a lap blanket, but a darling little capelet for her even more darling little daughter!

You can read about her journey from "I think I'll make a lap blanket" to "Look at the capelet I just finished!" on her Knit Purl Gurl website. She came up with a very practical and stylish solution to not having enough yarn.

While you are there, make sure you check out the Wonderful WEBS Giveaway she mentions for a chance at some great yarn and other knitter's delights. Even though I promised no more entering giveaways after my big Sewing Room Clean-up of 2009, I simply could not resist this one as it has things in it that I would actually love to use! How in the world could I resist the chance at 8 skeins of beautiful sock yarn, and that gorgeous bag, not to mention everything else in this generous giveaway? I couldn't!

Have you checked out any of my Tunisian Crochet or Granny Square videos to help you get started on a new project? I'll be adding more of each soon, so stay tuned!

Happy Stitching!


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Monday, February 23, 2009

Learn to Crochet - One-color Traditional Granny Square Video Tutorial

A Traditional Granny Square is usually made with two or more colors of yarn and a contrasting border around the blocks and around the whole afghan. Sometimes, though, a solid color or single yarn granny square is desired. The method for crocheting such a square is a little bit different than for crocheting one where the yarn is changed after each round.

In yesterday's post, you saw some pictures of just such a granny square afghan, crocheted with pink and green for the blocks and black for the border.


One-Color Traditional Granny Square Here is my sample block using blue for the middle and white for the border. This was crocheted with one length of blue yarn, continuing each round without cutting the yarn, until the last blue round was finished.


Two-Color and One-Color Traditional Granny SquareHere is the two-color block along side the all-blue block. The blocks are the same size because the pattern is almost exactly the same, the only difference being in how the rounds are joined and then the next one either started with a new color or continued with the same yarn.

And here is a little video showing just how to do a one-color or one-yarn Traditional Granny Square. You can find the written pattern below.


video


One-Color Traditional Granny Square


NOTE:
Remember to stitch over beginning and ending yarn tails to save time later.

Chain 6. Join with slip stitch in first chain. (If you find the center hole too big using 6 chains, try using only 5.)

Round 1:
(Chain 3. Work 2 dc in ring) This forms a beginning cluster.
Chain 2. (Work 3 dc) This forms a cluster.
(Chain 2. Work cluster) 2 more times.
Chain 1. Join with single crochet into top of first chain-3.

Round 2:
Work beginning cluster.
(Chain 1. In next corner work cluster, chain 2, work cluster) 3 more times.
Chain 1. Work cluster in same corner as beginning cluster of this round.
Chain 1. Join with single crochet into top of first chain-3.

Next round:
Begin and end each subsequent round as for Round 2, working 1 cluster in all chain-1 spaces, 2 chains between clusters at corners and 1 chain between all other clusters until square is as big as you like.

For single crochet border, join with slip stitch in any chain-1 space. Chain 1. Single crochet into same stitch and each stitch and chain 1 space around. In chain 2 corners, work 4 single crochets. Join with slip stitch to beginning single crochet. Cut yarn and pull through.


There are many different stitches that can be used for granny squares and I will be showing some to you in the near future, along with several different ways to join granny squares and a few more Tunisian crochet stitches. I'll also be showing you a beautiful crochet stitch that I am looking forward to using in a project very soon.

Happy Stitching!


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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Traditional Granny Square Pattern and Pictures

After looking at my recent post on how to make the Traditional Granny Square, I realized a couple of things. First is that I had neglected to provide the written pattern for the square. What was I thinking? If you continue reading, you will find the pattern written out for you to save and use as you like.

The other thing I realized is that you may not always want to make a granny square with a change of yarn after each row. So tomorrow I will give you a short video showing a different method of crocheting a Traditional Granny Square using the same yarn throughout. In the meantime, here is a piece of handwork you might enjoy seeing...



Traditional Granny Square AfghanThis is a very old granny square afghan crocheted with pink and green squares and a black border. This was made either by my grandmother or my Auntie, and I am very sorry to say I don't know which. Perhaps my dear mother could shed some light on that for me. I will have to remember to ask her in case she doesn't read this post! This is the afghan that made me realize that you might not want to change colors on each round and it might be helpful to see how to continue in the same color.


Traditional Granny Square Afghan close-upThese blocks were bordered in black, continuing the pattern of clusters instead of a single-crochet border like I showed on my video. Once all the blocks were whip-stitched together (which I will be showing you later), the entire afghan was trimmed with two rows of the same clusters, then the decorative scallop border. Every stitch on this afghan is perfect and, despite having all the holes characteristic of the Traditional Granny Square afghan, it is quite warm and cozy.

Here is the crochet pattern for the
Traditional Multi-color Granny Square:

The video tutorial can be found HERE.

NOTE:
Remember to stitch over beginning and ending yarn tails to save time later.

Chain 6. Join with slip stitch in first chain. (If you find the center hole too big using 6 chains, try using only 5.)

Round 1:
(Chain 3. Work 2 dc in ring) This forms a beginning cluster.
Chain 2. (Work 3 dc) This forms a cluster.
(Chain 2. Work cluster) 2 more times.
Chain 2. Join with slip stitch into top of first chain-3. Cut yarn and pull through.

Round 2:
Join next color with slip stitch in any corner.
Work beginning cluster, chain 2, work cluster in same corner.
(Chain 1. In next corner work cluster, chain 2, work cluster) 3 more times.
Chain 2. Join with slip stitch into top of first chain-3. Cut yarn and pull through.

Next round:
Join next color same as before.
Work each subsequent round as before, working 1 cluster in all chain-1 spaces, 2 chains between clusters at corners and 1 chain between all other clusters until square is as big as you like.

For single crochet border, join with slip stitch in any chain-1 space. Chain 1. Single crochet into same stitch and each stitch and chain 1 space around. In chain 2 corners, work 4 single crochets. Join with slip stitch to beginning single crochet. Cut yarn and pull through.

Tomorrow I'll be bringing you the video and written pattern for a one-color Traditional Granny Square, and then be on the look-out for a video on a Solid Granny Square. I'm not talking about solid color, but a granny square with No Holes! It's one of my favorites!

Happy Stitching!


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Friday, February 20, 2009

Learn to Crochet - Traditional Granny Square Video Tutorial

The Traditional Granny Square is probably one of the most crocheted designs known to man, woman or child. It is used to make full size afghans, baby blankets, handbags, scarves, sweaters, shawls, hats, stitched in all sizes of yarns and threads, in every color combination imaginable, and pretty much universally loved by all. Most people will tell you that a Granny Square afghan reminds them of their grandmother or their great aunt or some other special person of some previous generation. I don't think the Granny Square has ever really gone out of style though.

There are many different designs for a granny square but today I'm going to show you a Traditional Granny Square and then you can watch the not-so-little video and follow along with hook and yarn to make one yourself.


Traditional Granny Square FrontThis is the front of my sample square, made with the Red Heart worsted weight yarn that I had left over from the Special Olympics scarves I made a few months ago. I used a size J hook. You can use any size yarn or thread that you like, along with a hook sized appropriately for your yarn. You can also use as many or as few colors as you like and combine them in any way that you like. My grandmother used to make granny squares with alternating variegated and solid rounds, in many different colorways. She would then edge each block in black and join them in quilt-like patterns. The contrast between the colors and the black was quite striking.


Traditional Granny Square BackHere is the back. Notice that all the stitches show their front side on the front of the square and their back side on the back of the square. This is because, when crocheting a granny square, you do not turn your work. You simply continue crocheting in the same direction around and around until the square is as big as you want it to be. I've seen granny square afghans that are just one gigantic square, begun just like this one and continued until the desired size. Not much finishing work on an afghan like that!


Traditional Granny Square Close-upHere's a close-up of the center of the sample square. I love how the clusters seem to be disconnected from the other clusters of the same color.

Now go grab some yarn and a hook and have your scissors handy. Turn up the volume just a bit so you don't miss a thing. Click the play button, and in about 20 minutes or so, you will have yourself a pretty little granny square.

video

I must beg your pardon for the very end of the video where I seem to not finish my train of thought. My memory card was full and I was just going to say that you can stitch over that last tail when you join your squares together but I couldn't get my words out quite fast enough!

You can find the written pattern for this granny square by clicking HERE.

There are many different kinds of granny squares. At least one other you have seen here on Hooked On Needles already, but in the coming days and weeks, I will be making videos for many of them so you can see how they are done and hopefully add them to your list of favorites.

Happy Stitching!


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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Learn to Knit - Elongated Knit Stitch

Don't you just love trying out new stitches in knitting or crocheting? Whenever I come across a design that I like, I check to see if the description includes what stitches were used, then I look them up and give them a try. If I like them, I add them to my list. Recently I came across a pattern for an accessory item that I thought looked so pretty and light and airy while still being warm and cozy. I tried it. I liked it. I'm using it in my current project. And here it is...


Elongated Knit StitchI can't say exactly what it is that I am making since it is one of my Pay It Forward gifts, but here you can see it still on the needle which may give you a little hint of what it might be. I'm using Patons Divine yarn which is mostly acrylic but has a little bit of mohair, wool and polyester in it. This color is called Demin Storm.


Elongated Knit StitchThe stitch I am using is called the Elongated Knit Stitch. In between each row of Elongated Knit Stitch, I am working 3 rows of plain old knit stitch. This is what makes the piece look light and airy while still keeping it warm and cozy. It works up fast too because each row of Elongated Knit Stitch adds over an inch to the project!

In the following video, you will see how to do the stitch which is quite easy and actually pretty fun. The Yarn Overs that make the knit stitch elongated can be done as many times as you like, depending on how Elongated you want the stitches to be. You would just have to be consistent across the row. So you could work one row of elongated knit stitches with just 1 Yarn Over, then work several rows of knit stitches, then work the next row of elongated knit stitches with 2 Yarn Overs, then several more rows of knit stitches, then elongated stitches with 3 Yarn Overs and so on and then go back to 1 Yarn Over. Or you can be consistent throughout your piece and make the stitches with the same number of Yarn Overs to achieve the look you want.

In the video you will notice that I am using regular worsted weight yarn with no fuzz or texture in it at all. I think this stitch begs for lots of texture and fuzz in the yarn being used, so the yarn I am using to demonstrate the stitch is not what I would use to make something with this stitch. I just thought it would show how to make the stitch better than a fuzzy yarn, so it is being used only for demonstration purposes.

video

Let me know if you have used this stitch in a project yourself and how you liked it. I'll be sure to show off this finished project once it has been received by ... the recipient!

Happy Stitching!


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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Fascinating and Amazing!

A friend sent me a link to this amazing website that I just have to share with all of you who are in any way interested in knitting. It's called Bugknits, and browsing through it has given me a whole new appreciation for my size 10 1/2 knitting needles! The woman's name is Althea Crome and she lives in Indiana. You can read about her on the site. While you are there, take some time and look at each of the galleries listed on her sidebar. She knits in miniature, but not just normal everyday miniature like a little sweater to use on a stuffed teddy bear or to hang on the Christmas tree. She describes it as "dollhouse for a dollhouse scale" and you have to see it to believe it. Make sure you watch the short video that is on her main page. Truly amazing!

Another fascinating article I want to share with you is this one from a newspaper in Kentucky from last September. It has absolutely nothing to do with needles or hooks or yarn or fabric, but I just thought it was so clever and artistic that you might enjoy seeing it too. I love a new Sharpie as much as the next guy, and this guy apparently had quite a thing going with a few of them!

And now on a more relevant topic for Hooked On Needles, did you all know that Myra over at Blue Meadow Designs is offering another mystery quilt? It's true! Remember the Criss Cross Applesauce quilt that I did a few months ago? That was from Myra's site. This new mystery quilt uses a charm pack plus a few yards of other fabric. I was lucky enough to win the charm pack prize drawing that Myra did from all those who sent pictures of their completed Criss Cross Applesauce top and I've been looking for a project where I could use it. I think I've found it!

My 2009 Project List is getting a little more Red every week or so lately as I finish projects that have sat idle and begin others. I've started working on one of my Pay It Forward gifts which uses a knit stitch that I will be sharing with you shortly. But I just discovered that Mary Maxim is having a Knit and Crochet Contest with the grand prize winner receiving a total of $2000, so I just might have to finish up what I'm working on and get busy creating a winning afghan design. I'll let you know if I decide to enter the contest, and of course you'll know if I win!

Happy Stitching!


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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Learn to Crochet - Tunisian Double Stitch Video Tutorial

Here is yet another stitch to add to your Tunisian Crochet repertoire. It's called Tunisian Double Stitch, and I really like it. It's not quite as thick and stiff as Basic Tunisian Crochet, and it has this extra little row of diagonal stitches in between the rows of vertical bars. Here's a sample piece and I have included a quick little video on how to do the stitch so you can try it for yourself.


Tunisian Double Stitch SampleYou can see in between the rows of vertical bars, the little diagonal stitches made by drawing that extra yarn over through each stitch. I like the texture of this stitch and I think the diagonal row adds a little variety to the boxy look of Basic Tunisian.

Here's how to do the Tunisian Double Stitch:


video

I hope you find this helpful and enjoy using this new stitch!

Happy Stitching!


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Monday, February 16, 2009

Learn to Crochet - 3 Dimensional Crochet Video Tutorial

Irish Lace is characterized by 3 dimensional flowers that are usually included in amongst the intricate doily-like design. It is used to make so many different things such as doilies, dresser scarves, collars, and other such decorative items. One example of Irish Lace is the crocheted collar I made for my daughter's Irish Step Dancing dress many years ago. That is from a pattern I found on the Internet, but then had to rewrite it using US crochet terms so that I could work it properly. You can see some nice close-up pictures of the collar on the original pattern page.

Another example of 3 dimensional crochet can be found here at Annie's Attic and this pattern is what prompted the video tutorial you will find below. Editor's note: This pattern at Annie's Attic is apparently no longer available.


Not too long ago, Lisa from Knittinghelp.com contacted me on an entirely different matter and made mention of a crochet rose she was fighting with at the time. I asked her if she would share the problem portion of the pattern with me to see if I might be able to help her out. So she did, and that's what this is all about!

Crocheted 3 Dimensional Ruffled RoseThis is the completed Ruffled Rose. The technique I am demonstrating in the video is common among many 3 dimensional crochet patterns and will hopefully help Lisa and others to understand how to work Behind The Petals.

video

Leave a comment below and let me know if this was helpful to you too.

Happy Stitching!


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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Crocheted Wedding Gift Afghan Finished - Finally!

The Close Scallops Crocheted Wedding Gift Afghan is finally complete! Hooray! Once I started working on it again, it didn't take too long to finish it up. This stitch that I used along with the bulky weight yarn and the large crochet hook certainly helped make it a quick project, as long as you don't count the months that it sat idle while I did other things! Here is what the happy couple will receive hopefully sometime next week in their mailbox...


Crocheted Wedding Gift Afghan FinishedThe finished afghan measures about 36 inches wide by 64 inches long and took 13 skeins of Red Heart Easy Tweed yarn to complete.


Crocheted Wedding Gift Afghan Close upOnce I finished crocheting the main body of the afghan, I began the border by crocheting the same Close Scallops stitch down the long edge, across the bottom and then up the other long edge. I continued going around the afghan for two complete rounds, which added a little more to the length and the width of the afghan. It also gave all 4 sides of the afghan the same scalloped edge as the top.

I will be happy to wrap this afghan up in pretty wedding paper and send it along with a nice card to my niece and her new husband, but at the same time, I always feel a little sad to finish a long term project like this. It's almost like losing a friend, but of course, it's just a bunch of yarn! It has been an almost constant companion in the evenings and has kept me warm and cozy this winter. Moving on is good too though, so I am looking forward to whatever is next!

This project will be my big finish for the month of February for the One Project a Month Challenge and I'm excited that we are only half way through the month! My next projects will be the Crocheted Ruffled Rose pattern that a reader needs help with. I'll be sharing a video on a technique used in 3 dimensional crochet for this pattern. Then I'll start working on my Pay It Forward gifts. So lots of fun things coming up.

Happy Stitching!


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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Simple Knit - Garter Stitch Pattern and Reverse Single Crochet Border

One more Oddball Baby Blanket finished! This one is called Citrus Sunshine and the part I worked on is reminiscent of Pink Lemonade! Then I added a very Lemony Sunshine Yellow border. Along with all the other colors and patterns in this blanket, these make up a very cheerful and sunny baby blanket.


Reverse Single Crochet BorderThis is a close-up of the border I crocheted for Citrus Sunshine. It's so simple, but finishes off the blanket nicely. First I worked one round of Single Crochet around the knitted blanket. Then I worked another round of Single Crochet, this time working into both loops. Then I worked one round in Reverse Single Crochet, which is what gives that rope-like effect on the outer edge. Reverse Single Crochet is one of my very favorite simple border patterns and I use it frequently on baby blankets and afghans.


Knit - Garter Stitch pattern for baby blanketThe Pink Lemonade section that I knitted onto this blanket was worked in a very simple pattern of about an inch of Stockinette Stitch, then 3 rows of knit stitches, then another inch of Stockinette, always keeping the first and last 3 stitches of each row in knit stitch. The last 3 rows were knit to continue the garter stitch border. Working a few rows of garter stitch into a stockinette background is an easy way to add texture to any knitted piece, and looks great in a sweater, blanket, scarf or whatever you are knitting.


Completed Citrus Sunshine Oddball Baby BlanketSo this is Citrus Sunshine, all finished and ready to be mailed off to the person who will deliver it, along with all the other Preemie Blankets to a local hospital. Hopefully this bright and cheerful blanket will bring lots of love and warmth to a new little baby while he is waiting to get big enough to join the family at home.

If you would like to join in the fun of knitting these oddball baby blankets in your region, just go to the Knittinghelp.com forum and click on Charity Knitting. There is a thread for each region of the US and also some for other countries where you can see what projects are in progress and what projects still need knitters. These little projects are quick and fun, and can also be great stash busters if you sign up for projects where you can use up yarn you already have. It's also a great way to learn new stitches or practice old ones. And, of course, the best benefit is knowing you are doing something nice for someone else. Think about it!

Happy Stitching!


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Learn to Crochet -- Tunisian Crossed Stitch Video Tutorial

Here is another variation of Tunisian Crochet which I think is very pretty. It's called Tunisian Crossed Stitch and when you see the sample below, you will know why. The vertical bars usually made by the stitches of Tunisian Crochet are crossed over each other in pairs across the row. I would have thought this would make a much tighter fabric, but in fact the fabric seems to be softer and looser than Basic Tunisian Crochet. I have also included below a very short video on how to do this stitch.




You can see in the picture that the pairs of stitches form Xs all the way across the row. Another thing I noticed about this stitch is that it seems to pull the edges of the fabric inward, so you would have to account for this when planning a project. I would suggest first making a sample big enough to get a good idea of how many stitches you would get in 4 inches, and compare that to the gauge given for your project. Of course if you are using this stitch for an afghan or baby blanket, the gauge wouldn't be as important.


video

I hope you find these videos helpful in learning some new stitches. Please let me know if you use them on a project and how you like them!

Happy Stitching!


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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Sew a Quick and Easy Gift - or Two!

Are you a tea drinker? My daughter and I usually will have a cup of tea together in the afternoon when she comes home from school, before she rushes off to work and I rush off to pick up my little kindergarten guy. It's a nice time of day and it is nice to have something that we can enjoy with each other.

I was recently poking through some of the fun websites that I follow and found these darling little tea wallets that Stephanie made over at Loft Creations. She used a tutorial that Kimberly shared on her website for what she called Snap Wallets, but Stephanie made them for tea. I liked that idea and decided to make a few of my own.


I used some of the fabric I had received from Peggy when I won her Whirl Into Winter giveaway in January. Isn't it fun? I made two wallets exactly the same up until the point where I folded them to form the wallet, then I folded one so the paisley was showing and the other so the dots were showing.


Instead of using the snaps that Kimberly suggests, I used clear plastic sew-on snaps since that is what I had on hand. Then I sewed a decorative button on the outside of each flap. Aren't they just the cutest way to carry your own tea bags and sweetener with you? And so easy! It took me about 45 minutes to make these two.


Here is another quick project that can be made with scraps of fabric and batting in practically no time at all. This little fabric basket pattern comes from a great little tutorial over at Pink Penguin. This one is the second I have made from the leftover fabric of my Criss Cross Applesauce Mystery Quilt project. I've seen them on dozens of websites made in so many different fabric combinations and pattern variations. I changed mine up just a little by making the handles shorter than what the pattern calls for.

So there are just a couple of the little sewing projects I have made recently. With all the crocheting I've been doing, my poor sewing machine hasn't seen the light of day too much lately, but that's ok because I'm sure having fun with my yarn and hooks! I have a few more Tunisian stitches to share with you soon, and then I will be working up a sample and a video for a Ruffled Rose crochet pattern that a reader has requested help with.

Happy Stitching!


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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Tunisian Short Row Dishcloth Video Tutorial

Not too long ago, Merry of the darling Noah's Ark Crocheted Blanket fame, contacted me and asked if I could help her with a new project she had found on Ravelry for a Tunisian Short Row Dishcloth. Since I had not yet covered Tunisian crochet here at Hooked On Needles, I used that request as motivation to begin some tutorials on a few of the basic Tunisian stitches before jumping into the dishcloth pattern. I have had such fun with Tunisian Crochet since then and with this dishcloth pattern in particular. I hope you give it a try and see if you like it as much as I do.


Tunisian Short Row DishclothHere are a few pictures of my first dishcloth which I made just to make sure I could do the pattern myself before offering to help anyone else with it. It was pretty easy to pick up the technique and I thought the result was very pretty and different.

Tunisian Short Row DishclothThe six wedges of this pattern are all crocheted in one piece using a method of Tunisian Crochet called Short Row, which means just what is says...short or incomplete rows of Tunisian Crochet. The pattern is an original of Khebhin Gibbons who posted it on Ravelry as a free pattern. I contacted him and asked his permission to include the pattern here to go along with the video, since not everyone has or wants a Ravelry account. He graciously granted permission for me to reproduce his pattern here on my site, so now you can try it too. You can find the pattern after the video at the end of this post. Please make sure you give Khebhin credit for this dishcloth pattern if you share it with anyone else.

Tunisian Short Row DishclothThis is the completed dishcloth that you will see from beginning to end in the following video tutorial. I used a solid color in the video just so the picture wouldn't be quite so busy. It is about 9 inches across the middle so it is a generously sized cloth. It took about 2/3 of a ball of Peaches 'N Cream cotton yarn and I stitched it with a size K or 10 1/2 afghan hook. The single crochet border was worked with the same yarn and a size K regular crochet hook.

Here's the video, which I will warn you is quite lengthy for a tutorial, running just shy of 18 minutes. I tried to cover all the major points of making this pattern so that hopefully even a beginner would be able to crochet it. If you have never done Tunisian Crochet before, you might want to start out with the Tunisian Knit Stitch tutorial so you have a basic understanding of the technique. Also when you watch the video, you might want to click the pause button just after starting the video and allow most of the video to buffer before playing it. This should allow you to watch it without any odd little glitches caused from the buffering.


video



Tunisian Short Row Dishcloth

You will need:
1 skein of dishcloth cotton-variegated preferred
size “J” afghan hook
yarn needle

*Note: all return rows are done as follows: Yo, pull through 1 loop on hook. **Yo, pull through two loops on hook. Rep from ** to end.

Chain 15.

First Wedge

Row 1: Pull up a loop in 2nd chain from hook. (2 loops on hook). Work return as shown in notes.

Row 2: Pull up a loop in next vertical bar. Pull up a loop in next chain st. (3 loops on hook.) Work return row.

Row 3: Pull up a loop in each of next 2 vertical bars. Pull up a loop in next chain st. (4 loops on hook.) Work return row.

Row 4: Pull up a loop in each of next 3 vertical bars. Pull up a loop in next chain st. (5 loops on hook.) Work return row.

Continue as established, pulling up a loop in next empty chain st after all vertical bars have been worked until you have worked all the chain sts and you have 15 loops on the hook. Work a return row. (1 loop remaining on hook.)

Wedges 2-6

Work as for Wedge 1, but using vertical bars on previous wedge instead of chain stitches.

After the sixth wedge has been worked off, slip stitch in each vertical bar across. Break yarn and thread yarn needle. With right sides facing, sew or whip stitch edges together. Using tail from original chain, sew center hole closed. Attach yarn to any stitch on outer edge and work 1 round of single crochet around entire edge. (That part is optional). Weave in ends and call it a day!

This Rainbow Tunisian Jacket designed by Dora Ohrenstein is a colorful example of using Tunisian Short Row for shaping a garment. It's a little more ambitious project than the dishcloth, but certainly something to look at and admire. I'm considering adding it to my wish list of projects to do someday!

Happy Stitching!


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Monday, February 9, 2009

Cotton Candy Points Crocheted Border

I love a pretty crocheted border, as you probably have figured out by now! Here's the border I crocheted for the Cotton Candy Oddball blanket...


Cotton Candy Points Crocheted BorderScallops can be done in so many different ways. This time I made them a little more pointed than the scallops on the Tutti Frutti blanket. This effect was achieved by using a variety of stitches for each scallop instead of just using many of the same stitch.


Cotton Candy Oddball Blanket CompleteThis is the completed blanket. Doesn't it just look good enough to eat? The purple section at the top was my knitted contribution, done in Farrow Rib stitch in soft lilac.

Here's how I worked the border...

Cotton Candy Points Crocheted Border

Work 3 rounds of single crochet stitches all around the blanket, then begin working the decorative border as follows:

* Sc in next stitch,(hdc, dc, tc, dc, hdc) in next stitch, sc in next st, sl st in next stitch *

Continue from * to * around the blanket and join with a slip stitch at the base of the first scallop. Cut yarn, draw through last loop on hook to secure, and weave in ends.

This border pattern uses many stitches of different heights which is what gives the scallop a more pointed shape. You can make use of the heights of different stitches to create all kinds of fun effects in your crocheting. Mixing them together as in this border pattern, or using all the same stitch in each row can produce some interesting patterns and textures. This illustration of stitch height comparison might come in handy if you are trying to decide what stitches to use for a project.

Happy Stitching!


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Sunday, February 8, 2009

Learn to Knit -- Farrow Rib Stitch

Here's another fun and easy knit stitch to add to your collection. It's called Farrow Rib and I used it recently on another Oddball Baby Blanket named Cotton Candy. When I show you the completed blanket, you'll see how it got that name. But that will have to wait until I give you the crocheted border pattern!


Knit Farrow Rib Stitch on Cotton Candy Oddball BlanketHere's what Farrow Rib looks like. Pretty, isn't it? It forms a very soft fabric that is the same on both sides, which is one reason I like it for a blanket.

I knitted the last section of Cotton Candy in the same Bernat Softee Baby Soft Lilac yarn with which I had crocheted the scallop border of Tutti Frutti. You've all seen purple cotton candy, haven't you?

Here is the pattern for the Farrow Rib Stitch so you can try it yourself in your next knitting project.

Farrow Rib Stitch

Works on multiples of three plus one stitches.

Row 1: (K2, P1) across the row to the last stitch, K1.
Row 2: P1, (K2, P1) across.
Repeat Rows 1 and 2 for pattern.

I'll show you the completed Cotton Candy blanket soon along with close-ups of the border pattern I made up for it. Of course I'll share the pattern too so you can use it if you want to. I have begun knitting the last section of another blanket called Citrus Sunshine and I'll share that with you when it is complete. Then I will be taking a break from the oddball blankets for a little while so I can focus on finishing up some of my own projects like the wedding gift afghan and my Pay It Forward gifts. And of course I will be bringing you more Tunisian Crochet stitches shortly and a fun pattern for a dishcloth that you will be whipping up for yourself and for gifts all year long!

Happy Stitching!


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Saturday, February 7, 2009

Wedding Gift Afghan Reappears!

Way back in October was the last time I showed my progress on the Wedding Gift Afghan which I am crocheting using a stitch called Close Scallops. I took quite a break from working on this project in favor of Christmas gifts, giveaways and lately the many oddball baby blankets I have been finishing. But now it is time to take the unfinished afghan out of mothballs and Get It Done!


Close Scallops Crocheted AfghanThis is what it looked like last time I showed you a picture. I am sorry for the tease, but I do not have an updated picture to show you this time! Shame on me! I will tell you, however, that the current State of the Afghan could fairly be considered L-O-N-G! When I work on it now, it covers me from well below my feet, bunched up in my lap, and I could easily work on it over my head if I had a mind to! So, I would have to say, it is almost finished! Horray!

The wedding for which this afghan is a gift took place as planned back in November and the happy couple is...well, happy! I have seen a few recent pictures of my niece and her new husband and they are quite a cute pair. Marriage looks good on both of them.

So for my One Project a Month for February, I will be finishing this wedding gift and wrapping it up fancy and shipping it off to the bride and groom. I am sincerely hoping that the cold weather we've been experiencing here in New England won't be here too much longer or I will wish I had saved this afghan for my March project!

Happy Stitching!


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