Learning crochet

I recently shared a post on Facebook that asked how everyone learned to crochet. In a quick count, it looks like most people are either self-taught or taught by their mom or grandmother. The rest learned either from another relative (sister, mother-in-law, aunt …) or at school.

At the time I added them up, 30 were taught by mom or grandma, 22 were self-taught through YouTube or books, 16 by another relative or a friend, and 3 learned at school. Some indicated multiple teachers like mom, grandma, aunt, siblings. If more than one was listed it was generally relatives.

The Happily Hooked original post had 132 comments. I didn’t count those up but reading through them quickly it looks like they run the same, taught by mom or grandma, self-taught, and learned from a friend or other relative. It doesn’t seem to be common for schools to teach crochet although I have heard of some colleges offering courses in fiber crafts.

There are some websites that offer online courses. If you choose to go that route, be sure to use a reputable teacher. I have had my online tutorials stolen and used as a “course” at an online “school” where folks were charged money to go through them. I don’t know how you could check this but if you’re using someone well known in the crochet community, it’s probably legit.

I have been watching the Knit and Crochet Now show. The show is now in Season 8. Every show there is a knit pattern, a crochet pattern, and a tip of some sort. They obviously can’t make every item in a half hour show, but they show you the stitches used in the making. If you want the entire pattern you can check the Ravelry page or you can purchase a subscription. You can find the tutorials and patterns featured on the show on their website. There is a trial membership and a yearly subscription fee to view everything on site. I was able to watch a couple of the tutorials without signing up and I saw patterns on their page at Ravelry for free so not sure how all that works together.

Regardless of how people are learning, the important thing is that they ARE learning and the fiber crafts are alive and well. Pass it on if you can and teach someone else to crochet or knit. 🙂

Happy crocheting!

Sandie

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F is for

F f – frog,  filet, fair isle, foundation sc, foundation chain, flashing, and Fibonacci.

What does it mean to frog? This is a somewhat affectionate term that crocheters use to indicate they had to rip back work. Rippit, rippit. Get it? Usually accompanied by a groan and a frowny face.

Fair Isle crochet is a method of making a design using colorwork and is in that way similar to tapestry crochet. I have not done any Fair Isle but have only read about it and seen pictures, so I’m not an expert by any means. My understanding is the difference between the two methods is how you carry the strands of color. In Fair Isle the strand is carried along the back in short bursts. In Tapestry you work over the color not being used. You can find many tutorials on these methods if you want to learn more about them.

The foundation chain is a very important part of crochet. Every project has a beginning and the foundation chain (or chainless foundation) is the beginning of every crochet project. It can be 2 stitches or 200 stitches and more.

Here’s a video demonstration of how to make the foundation chain.

To my surprise, the actual video appeared when I pasted the link. I hope that is a trend as I would much prefer to have the actual video than a link. I never could figure out how to do it without going to a paid version. 🙂

If you are one who hates counting out a chain of 300 stitches, you might enjoy using the chainless foundation – also called foundation sc (or dc or whatever stitch you want to use). The basis of the foundation stitches is that you create the chain while creating the stitch. I talked a little bit about this in a previous post. This is also how you make the individual extended stitches.

One you have your foundation chain, you can go forward with your project. Some projects work on both sides of the chain. I have another video demonstrating that.

Moving on … flashing is what happens when you are working with a variegated yarn and you create an unintentional pattern in your work. Here are two examples.

What can you do about flashing? Well, if you see it quickly enough, you can change where your repeats occur. You can work from the opposite end of the skein, or cut a piece of yarn out so the repeat starts at a different spot – just don’t cut the whole color repeat out or you’ll be back where you started. If you have just begun, then you can change hooks or foundation chain.

Color flashing may occur in one pattern and not in another, even with the same yarn. It just all depends on where the repeats occur. That said, if the flashing bothers you and you are strong of heart, you can rip that skein and use it for another project where the flashing does not occur. Small projects are good for this, like granny squares, potholders, dishcloths, hair ribbons and such. Variegated yarn is great for butterflies and flowers too.

Fibonacci. I just love that word. I don’t know why. Maybe it sounds important. 🙂 In any case, you might wonder what the word has to do with crochet. Fibonacci was a mathematician and he came up with this number sequence which works pretty well in crocheted projects. You can read more about this method on my page on Fibonacci.

To put it briefly, in the Fibonacci sequence you add two numbers to get the third in the sequence.

Here are the first two dozen numbers so you can see what I mean. The sequence quickly escalates.
0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233, 377, 610, 987, 1597, 2584, 4181, 6765, 10946, 17711, 28657

I have worked many a scarf using the first few numbers of the sequence.

fibonacci scarf numbers

scarf_fibonacci

I also made a set of placemats using both the Fibonacci and Lucas sequences. You can find it on the miscellaneous pattern page. There are two Fibonacci and two Lucas mats.

placemat lucas 1 complete red

Filet crochet is a technique all its own with its own rules. It is one of my favorite techniques with just the right amount of challenge but which uses simple stitches. The main thing in filet is to know which row you’re on and in which direction you need to go. The right-handed person would work odd numbered rows right to left, the even numbered rows left to right. For a left handed person, you would do the opposite. This is critical in getting your picture to come out correctly. Of course if you have a symmetrical picture (the same on both sides) the direction would not matter as each row is the same either way.

I have a page on filet here and several videos at YouTube on the filet crochet playlist. Note that if you don’t want to go through 6 videos to work the ribbon, just go down to the one simply called Filet Crochet where you will get the basics but in a shorter video.

Here are a few of my filet crochet projects.

That’s all for F.

Happy Crocheting!

Sandie

Knit and Crochet Now

I was watching the recorded Knit and Crochet Now show Wednesday morning. The featured pattern was Sweet Sunset Baby Blanket which uses the corner to corner method. I am well versed in this method, which I call box stitch. However, she gave a couple of tips that I wanted to remember which are not included in the actual pattern. (You can download the pattern by signing in to your Annie’s Attic account.)

The first tip is to use the corner of a simple sheet of paper to make sure your rows are coming out correctly and also to determine if you’ve finished a row. Remember the rows are diagonal in this method.

The second thing I wanted to remember is the border she worked. She did a (sc, ch 2) in the space between each block, working (sc, ch 2, sc) in corners. Then she worked 3 dc in each ch-2 space. It tickled me some because this is actually what I did on the afghan I just finished, before I’d seen this episode.

If you’re not familiar with the corner to corner, there are a lot of videos and tutorials around. I have one as well. Diagonal Box Stitch video. Diagonal Box Stitch text. Of course there are many other methods of working pattern diagonally, not just those using the box stitch.

In other news, I’m still waiting for the yarn to finish my project. I thought I’d give a hint as to what it is. I’ve actually started a second one, with a few changes. Here’s the beginnings of the second one. Can you tell what it’s going to be? I’m using stitch markers every ten rows to keep me on track.

pink filet red

That’s all for now.

Happy Crocheting!

Sandie

Lapghan

Some time ago, you might recall I made a few things with the Bernat Pop. I had a few skeins leftover and decided to see where it took me. I made a strip with each skein. The intention was to put them together but I couldn’t match the particular colors in the Pop to anything I could find locally so I had to order more Pop (yes, I now have more leftovers! LOL).

The finished size is about 38″ x 39 1/2″.

bernat pop lapghan 4-2018 red

The pattern is simple seed stitch and I worked until the skein was used up on the first one and then did the same number of rows on the remaining strips.

The strips were bordered with single crochet then assembled using a whipstitch.

For the border I used two rounds. The first round is (sc, ch 2, sk 2). In the corners I worked (sc, ch 2, sc). The second round is 3 sc in each ch-2 space.

I always find it challenging to work borders on a single crochet pattern and keep it flat. That’s probably why I prefer to use double crochet patterns. If you have this same concern, you can join the strips with a single crochet which eliminates the need for edging around each strip. I considered doing that but it does take some width away and it wasn’t that wide to begin with.

I am “this close” to finishing another afghan but I ran out of yarn … again so am waiting for more to do the last few rows. Hopefully that will be in soon. It won’t take long to finish it.

That’s all for now.

Happy Crocheting!

Sandie

E is for

E is for extended stitches and edging. I had a hard time thinking of e words. LOL

We’ve already talked about extended stitches a little bit in double crochet. An extended stitch just takes a regular stitch and makes it a little longer. An extended stitch is actually what is used when making foundation stitches. At least I don’t see any difference in them.

To make an extended stitch, you start to make the stitch but on the first pull through, you pull through only one loop (no matter which stitch it is). In foundation stitch, that loop becomes the chain for your next stitch. In extended stitches, you just continue on, completing your stitch as normal and then do it again for the next stitch.

For example, the extended half-double crochet (ex hdc) is worked as follows:
Yarn over, insert hook into specified stitch or space, yo, pull through stitch (3 lps on hook), yo, pull through 1 loop (3 loops on hook), yo, pull through all 3 loops on hook.

You can see a video of extended stitches at my YouTube channel.

Another E word is edgings. I also called these borders and use the terms interchangeably. But we’re on E so today they are edgings. 🙂

I generally like to add a finished edging to my work whether it be an afghan, scarf or other item. Granny Squares don’t really need an edging but a granny square afghan of squares joined together can use a nice edging around the entire thing.

Because my double crochets are a little short, I usually ch-2 rather than ch-3 before turning and moving on to another row. Because of that, when I work my edging I don’t have as much space on the row sides. I usually go down a hook size and put two stitches in the side of each row. When I use the same size hook I find it buckles or waves a bit.

I have similar problems with projects that use different stitches for each row and on single crochet projects. You really have to play with them to make sure they behave and lie flat. If this is a problem you also have, you might consider going down a hook size for your edgings. If it’s not a problem, just continue with the same hook with which you made your project.

I have an even dozen edging patterns listed at Crochet Cabana. These are edgings I have used in the past. I’m sure others have used the same ones and they are not unique to me. I just gathered them together and wrote them down.

I think that is it for E.

Happy Crocheting!

Sandie