Where my stitches at?!

I want to start a series that will probably last for the next few weeks to highlight some basic and not so basic crochet stitches. I also want to talk about some of the different types of fabrics that can be made by combining these stitches. One thing I hear a lot is that some crocheters can’t seem to get the hang of working from pattern. I can seem how a pattern, when looked at as a whole, can seem intimidating and difficult. What I find to be the best way to look at even the most advanced of patterns is to just take it a row at a time (or round) and just follow the stitch. Trying to work from this perspective helps break down to pattern process.
The first stitch I want to show how to accomplish is the half double crochet (or HDC). This is my favorite stitch, especially for hats, because for me I can work it faster. I don’t know why that is, it’s just always had the best flow when working HDC in the round especially.

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The first step to complete a HDC is to begin with the loop on your hook from the previous stitch or the chain from the previous row and yarn over once.

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Next you will insert your hook through the stitch you are working in.

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The third step is to pull a loop back through the stitch you are working in which leaves you with three loops on your hook.

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The final step is to yarn over one last time and pull through all three loops on your hook.

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You have now completed your half double crochet stitch.

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The one thing to remember is that all of those fancy patterns and techniques are really just a combination of the basic stitches of crochet. Don’t let any pattern intimidate you. Happy crocheting!

Procrastination

I am guilty of procrastination. It’s true. I find a pattern, go buy the yarn (because I never have the RIGHT yarn in my stash), start working on it, put it down, and then think about working on it, but I tend to leave it sitting there. I’m a horrible crocheter! One thing I try to make myself do every once in a while (maybe one a year if I’m lucky) is go through and finish up projects of whims past. Pick up that scarf I started last winter and knock it out. Finally finish that arm warmer’s partner. Frog the hat that I don’t like the color of anymore. It’s that time of year, Spring cleaning time. It’s time for me to visit the island of unfinished projects. Do you have any floating around that you can’t seem to get finished?

 

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Yes, this is knitted, and double pointed at that, but I started it in August but haven’t finished it, so it definitely counts.

Headgear

Covering the ears is one if my main goals when making any kind if head wear. I think it stems from being a kid; I always had to have my ears covered, even in the bath tub because of my frequent ear infections. I do it to my son too, “Cover those ears!”
I recently made a batch of requested head wear for a few folks and one of them is a headband. I know I’ve talked about headbands already, but this one is my own pattern so I thought I would share with you how to make your own. It is a great ear warmer!!

The materials that you will need are:

H hook

Worsted weight yarn, two colors if you want strips like mine

Scissors

Yarn or tapestry needle

 

Here’s the pattern:
Ch 10
Row 1: HDC In third ch from hook and HDC in each ch across, ch1 and turn (8HDC)
Row 2: HDC across, ch1 turn.

Continue until you reach the desired size to snuggly fit around your head. When the desired length is reached do not tie off! Simply ch1 and turn the work as if you are going to start another row, but instead hold the two ends together and slip stitch across. Then tie off the end and weave in ends. If you want stripes like mine, I switched color every third row. To ensure a smooth color change make sure you finish the last stitch of the row before you intend to switch by pulling up the new color when you have two loops on your hook.

Happy crocheting!

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Pattern Round Up: Scarves

With the Spring season quickly descending up on us and Winter trying to make a break for it for the year, it is almost time to put away those cold weather clothes. Get those heavy coats, mittens, sweaters, hats, and so on that will go without use for the next several months and stuff them in a box to go in the top of the closet. Here in my part of the country, however, winter has a hard time making up its mind about whether it is gone or merely playing possum. So, since we are still having some nippy weather for the time being, let us take a look at a few scarf patterns that will do well in the chilly, yet not icy, weather.

One Skein Quick Crochet Scarves: from YARNGEAR. This is not a very thick scarf so it is good for the transition between seasons. Also, It would be quick to work up so it can be used for the last few chilly weeks.

This Long Crocheted Scarf: from Drops Design. This scarf is absolutely beautiful and I would love to make one, it’s just one of those projects I never seem to find time for. It would be perfect for a cool spring night around a camp fire. mmmmmm camping….

Shore Thing Scarf: from Red Heart Yarn. Again, this is a nice, thin scarf. Very light weight. Not so thick it will be too bulky, yet enough to wrap around a time or two to block the wind from your neck.

Taffy Pull Scarf: by Red Heart Yarn. This was one of my first scarfs to make. It has an interesting appearance and looks more complicated that it is. It works up quick and can be made very colorful for spring. I’ve included a picture of my version of the Taffy Pull Scarf below.

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I’ve been every where, man

This week I went on a small family trip that took about four driving hours to each our intended destination. The little town we went to was tiny and had next to nothing in the way of entertainment, food options, or lodging. We visited this little hole in the country because my husband had just completed a thirteen week training program and he is finally finished so we went to see the finishing ceremony.
So, while I was in the middle of Nowheresville trying to kill time I, as any crocheters or knitter worth their salt would, found a way to kill some time by working on my crochet. As I was sitting in our little hotel room crocheting away I started thinking about this new movement if tagging public areas with crochet or knitting called yarn bombing. I, being the law abiding citizen I am, have never been brave enough to do something so bold. But I have seen some work put up by others, and it always seems to brighten its surroundings. So since I am too chicken to doing my own yarn bombing (kudos for thinking about it though!) I want to tip my proverbial hat to those crocheters and knitters out there that have participated in such a beautiful and thrilling task. May your works of art forever brighten our world!

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Granny Squares

There are lots of books out there with wide arrays of crochet patterns and tips and tricks that, to be honest, can be found free of charge most the time. I find myself to be hard pressed to find a good crochet book that is really useful to me. One such book that I have managed to find is The Granny Square Book by Margaret Hubert. This book is full of nothing but beautifully delicious granny squares.
The granny square has been around for as long as our grannies have been, pun intended. In the 70’s they were plentiful in the form of shorts, vests, and all other forms of clothing. The beauty of the granny square is that, while you can make them as large as you like, you can also make them smaller, more traditional in size. Because of this traditionally small size, it makes the perfect scrap stash buster! All of those little balls of yarn floating around all lonely and feeling unneeded in the bottom of your stash or project bag can see the light of day again, or at least the light of the reading lamp by your bed.
Granny squares can be sewn together to make just about anything from pillows to blankets to bathing suits to wash cloths to purses and so on. The Granny Square Book provides its readers with so many granny squares to choose from in bright attractive colors that the possibilities are endless.

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My stash

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Every yarn artist (that’s what I like to call myself) has a dirty little, not so secret,  problem. Yarn addiction. It’s a real thing people. The picture up top is of my yarn stash. I can’t seem to control myself. Granted I so not put myself in debt over it, and I haven’t taken a second mortgage on the house, but every time I think of a new project I want to start I just don’t seem to have the right yarn for it. Even with the huge stash of random yarn bits, I never have the right one. I need the right color, oh and I never seem to have any bully yarn when I need it, and I can’t very we’ll make a baby hat with wool now can I? See what I mean? Any excuse to go out and buy yarn is good enough for me. My loving husband even picks up a skein every once in a while just to be sweet, kinda like flowers.

The stash you see is stored in a wooden quilt box my Daddy made sometime around the time I was born, and it is in my living room, and full of that sweet, sweet yarn.
So, my fellow crocheters and knitters out there, you are not alone. There are kindred spirits out there and you have found one in me. LONG LIVE THE YARN STASH! And may it never run low!