R is for

R is for round, row, ring, reverse single crochet,  right side, repeat and ripple.

You can work crochet in Rows or Rounds. If you are working in rows, you generally will make a foundation chain or use the chainless foundation technique and then go along the row, chain up, turn and work your way back. When you work in a round, you start with a circle or Ring then either join your last stitch of the round to the first stitch and chain up, or you continue without joining to create a spiral effect. That’s just a very basic description of the processes, of course.

I have more information on working in the round here. Here is a video demonstration showing how to work in the round.

Here is a video demo of how to work in the round using the spiral technique rather than joining and chaining up.

Reverse Single Crochet has been called many names through the years. Just a few of those are called crab st, pie stitch, shrimp stitch, Italian edge, and knurl. The reverse single crochet is exactly what it sounds like – you work the single crochet but you work it in the opposite direction going from left to right instead of right to left as you normally work.

Reverse single crochet and backwards single crochet are NOT the same stitch. They are worked very differently.

Sometimes it is important to know the Right Side (or front side) of your work. Sometimes it is not important at all. It just depends on the project.

Sometimes stitches that pop out pop out on the back side. In some pieces there is not really a right or wrong side as the work is turned every row. Granny squares would have a right side if they are worked without turning.

Although we are saying right side, what we really mean is front of the work. I don’t know where we got the idea the front is the right side. LOL

I personally like to put my edging on the right side of my work. I consider the right side, in a project where it is not specified, to be the side where I worked my first row.

I have a lot of information as well as pictures demonstrating the front and back of stitches here if you want to delve into the topic further.

Many patterns have specific instructions which need to be worked over in a particular sequence. In this instance, the instructions may say to Repeat the instructions that are in parentheses or brackets or asterisks. It is important to note how this is used. Sometimes it will say to repeat from a particular point. Other times, it will say to repeat xx number of times. Note if the first instruction is included or if it is additional.

What I mean is if it says “repeat (2 dc, ch 1) in next stitch four times” it is different from (2 dc, ch 1), repeat 4 times. In the first example you will have 8 dc. In the second you will have 10 as you’ve already worked the pattern repeat once. Similarly an instruction to repeat between * to * 4 times may be different than saying repeat from * four times, depending on the pattern and if there are additional instructions within the line that are not included in each repeat. I know that’s a little confusing but it’s really important to note the use of this little word most especially if it is a complicated pattern with a lot of repeats.

Repeat is also noted when a row or round is to be repeated a number of times. For example, it might say “repeat Row 2 until you reach 48 inches”.

You might see this written:
Row 3 – end: Repeat Row 2 until you reach 48 inches

The Ripple is a very popular pattern. You can find ripples worked in just about any stitch. Some have holes where the “valley” of the ripple is, some do not. Some incorporate a bit of openwork in the pattern. There are many different designs and books / leaflets with patterns. The basic idea of a ripple is that it has a point or hill and a dip or valley. It goes up and then it comes down.

If you’re not following a specific pattern the hardest part of the ripple might be figuring your foundation chain. Since the ripple goes up and down, your foundation chain will decrease in width as you work so you need a longer chain than you would at first think. One way to take care of this problem is to make extra chains and then just undo the ones you don’t need.

I have a video demonstration below and there is a text tutorial on the Ripple here. 

That’s all for R!

Happy Crocheting!

Sandie

 

 

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Q is for

Q is for Quick, Quality, Quirky and Quiet. Yes, I had a hard time coming up with Q  words. LOL

Did you know you can make Quilts using crochet? Quilting has been around a long time and there are many beautiful designs that can, and have been, converted to crocheting. You’ve heard of quilting bees. Why not a crochet quilting bee? I recall one charity effort that used to organize something similar. A group of folks would gather together, some making squares and some assembling them. A good time was had by all and many “quilts” were made.

Here’s a book with crochet quilt patterns.

You can find Crochet Quilts on Pinterest.

There are also crochet quilt patterns at All Free Crochet

Quick. So many projects! So little time! We all want our projects to be done quickly. How do we accomplish that? Well, one way is crocheting day and night. Another way is to use chunky or bulky yarn. That works well for some projects, especially those targeted for very cold areas. Another way is to use a large hook – like a Q hook – with multiple strands.

Of course, the pattern used also makes a difference in how fast you can complete it. If it’s something small, like a square or doily, scarf or hat, it can be completed in a relatively short span of time. If it’s a pattern that is very lacey with a lot of spaces, it could also be done in a fairly short amount of time.

Craftsy has some Q hook patterns gathered together.

I don’t have these books so I can’t comment on how good they are, but you may want to check them out and read the reviews to determine if they’re right for you.

For bulky yarn … Supersize Crochet

One Day Crochet – 25 + Easy and Cute Baby Crocheted Projects, Patterns for Wearing, Snuggling and Playing. This is a Kindle book for $2.99 at the time I type this. I personally like having patterns on my iPad. It saves me having paper copies everywhere which I invariably cannot find when I want them.

One-Day Crochet: Projects: Easy Crochet Projects You Can Complete in One Day.

When I want to do a project I don’t have to think about, I usually do straight dc in an acrylic yarn. It goes quickly and I don’t have to think about making the stitches. You still get a nice, warm item that looks good and is easy to care for. Depending on your purpose, a pretty variegated yarn can add some interest. If I want to get fancy, I’ll add a front post stitch which keeps the warmth and adds a bit of pretty. If warmth isn’t a big  issue, I might do V stitches, which are still quick and are warm but not as warm as without the space. I’m making a V stitch shawl right now with bulky yarn. My thinking is that the bulky yarn will be a pro to the con of the space. 🙂

Quality. You want all your work to be quality work that will give the recipient – even if it’s you – many years of comfort and warmth and be pleasing to look at. Does that mean it has to be perfect? No. By no means. As long as you do your best work and you are happy with the outcome, it’s all good. Sew your tails in well so your piece doesn’t come apart. Choose colors that blend well and are pleasing to the eye. Keep the recipient in mind as your make your decisions so they will be happy with it too.

Quirky. Nothing wrong with a bit of quirkiness in your crochet.  Quirkiness is to a great degree a personal thing. My idea of quirky might be different than yours. Check out Pinterest and Etsy and Ravelry for quirky crochet. You may agree or disagree with the things that appear.

Have you heard of Freeform Crochet? A lot of freeform designs, in my opinion, are quirky. Quirky is creative and fun! Let your imagination go wild.

Quiet. Do you like to crochet in complete quiet or do you like to have something else going on, like the TV, while you work?

If I’m working on a complicated project where I have to read each line, I have to have quiet, but for most projects I like the TV on. I may even crochet while exercising on my recumbent bicycle if the project is small enough.

If you crochet while watching TV, do you crochet faster while watching a fast paced show and slower while watching something like a romance? Are your stitches tighter if you’re watching a thriller or horror show? I have noticed a difference in my stitches if I put my work down and come back to it later. Perhaps what I was watching at the time impacted my work. Curiouser and curiouser.

That’s all for Q. This was a different kind of post but you have to admit that I did use Q words. 🙂

Happy Crocheting!

 

 

 

 

P is for

P is for parentheses, plarn, picot, post stitch, puff stitch,popcorn, pompoms, and pooling.

What are Parentheses? They are these little half circle, moon-like things that are used to separate instructions in a crochet pattern. (  )  An example might be (sc, ch 2, sc) in same stitch. That means that all of those instructions contained within the ( and ) are to be worked into the same stitch. In a complication pattern there may be more than one set of parentheses along with brackets or asterisks.

Plarn is plastic yarn and is used for crocheting with strips made from plastic bags. There are many tutorials and video instructions on how to make and use plarn. Here is a text tutorial from Craftsy. Here is a video demonstration from Fox8. Plarn has lately been targeted for use as mats for the homeless. The video indicates it keeps away bugs, which is a big plus. It does take a lot of bags to make enough plarn for a mat so if that’s your goal, start saving those bags.

There are several “p” stitches. You can find written instructions on the Special Stitches 2 page.

The Picot is a little tricky to make. You chain three, then slip stitch in the first chain made. Alternately you can put a single crochet in that stitch. An alternate version of the picot, which I call a faux picot , is (sc, ch 2, sc) in the same stitch. This is generally used along the border as part of the edging. There’s even another method which you can see in the video below.

Post stitches are made by going around the post of a stitch. You can use any stitch though I generally use front or back post double crochets. They can be worked from the front or the back.

You can see the front and back post stitches in this video. Front post starts at about 4:25 and back post at about 6:25.

Puff Stitches, to me, are fun. They give just a bit of a bump. Of course, this depends on how many yarn overs you do as to how big the bump is.

Popcorn Stitch is not one of my personal favorites. I don’t know why as it’s not that difficult to make. The playlist has both the back and front popcorn stitches.

Pom poms are fun to play with, aren’t they? They’re not too hard to make either. They do use quite a bit of yarn depending on how big you want your pom pom to be, so if you’re matching something, make sure you get enough yarn.

There are lots of tutorials at YouTube on how to make the perfect pom pom. You can use a pom pom making tool you buy or pieces of cardboard or even just your hands. Here is one video I found. There are many more. It can be as complicated or simple as you want.

What to do with your pom poms? You can add them to other projects, like purses or tote bags or even afghans. You can also make a pompom rug. There are several tutorials for making pompom rugs which look so comfy and soft. I’m not sure about washing these though so if you have little ones, you might consider how you’re going to clean them if something gets spilled on it.

Pooling is when certain colors in your variegated yarn pools in one spot in your design. I did a brief article on pooling here a while back.  Note in the picture how the white follows a line and the black and green are in line next to it.

That’s all for letter P.

Happy Crocheting!

Sandie

Lapghan

I read about a person who has not bought any yarn in a long while as she’s been trying to use up her stash. I wouldn’t go quite that far but I would like to use the yarn I have on hand. This caused me to think about all those balls of leftovers I have in my stash. I decided to pull those out and make lapghans out of them, so far as I’m able to. Here is the first result of that effort.

scrapghan 1 red 5-26-2018

As you can see, it’s a jumble of colors. I just pulled all the worsted balls and double crocheted them in rows across. I chained 100 but for future ones I will go a little longer, probably 120. I’d like to get to 40″. This one I think is about 34 or 35″ wide with a bit longer, maybe 38″ or so. I placed it on a pillow on the sofa for the picture.

What do you think? Is it too much of a mishmash of colors or do you like the mixup of colorways?

Happy Crocheting!

Sandie

Yarn Bowls

I love yarn bowls. There are so many different kinds and they are just pretty. That said, I had a porcelain one which was so beautiful. I dropped it and that was that for the pretty bowl. Then I got a wooden one so it wouldn’t break. But my yarn kept jumping out of it. Then I got another one and the yarn I was using didn’t fit as it wasn’t wide enough. So I got yet another one.  This one worked pretty well. It was fairly high and the width was good. My hook sometimes slipped into the hole where the yarn was supposed to be threaded but otherwise it worked well. All of these bowls are still useful of course. I keep pins and stitch markers, and tiny scissors and little balls of yarn in them, as well as markers and extra hooks.

Then I was invited to a Thirty-One party on Facebook. I had no idea what that was about but hey, I like parties – especially ones I can wear my jammies to. 🙂

One of the things I purchased was a couple of small bins. As it happened they are perfect for yarn! The yarn cakes fit perfectly inside one and it doesn’t go anywhere.

Before I go further, let me tell you how to get one if you’re interested. My consultant is Christina Anderson. The bins are called oh-snap bins (because they can be snapped together) and they are just $10 (plus S&H). There are many patterns to choose from and you can even personalize it with a cute picture if you choose to (at extra cost). Christina’s 31 page is here. I have two of the grey strokes pattern.

Here are my two bins. You might recognize the Bernat Pop Violet Vision there. 🙂

oh snap bins

The bins can be hung by the strap if you want to do that. They can also be snapped together if you have a project that requires more than one skein at a time. Size is 5.5″H x 6″L x 6″D. You can see how they snap together in this short video.

You won’t find these in crochet supply lists but I really like them and wanted to share it with you. I don’t sell them nor do I get anything from telling you about them. I just like them myself and find them useful, especially for such an inexpensive price.

If you’re looking for storage for your stash, they have utility bins which might suit the purpose. Here is one of mine, partially filled. The cover is extra. These are more expensive but in May there are specials on this item. (Right now, Christina has a special – 2 large utility bins for $45. One is regular $35.)

31 tote

Yarn storage is always a problem so I was happy to find these. The side straps are convenient for moving them around as I store my yarn in a small walk-in closet and moving those large plastic bins is a pain, literally!

I hope you enjoyed this sidestep from the alphabet posts. 🙂

Happy Crocheting!

Sandie