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Learning to Crochet

Learning to Crochet

I’ve had tradies in for weeks, so haven’t had a chance to felt. Having a rare bit of quiet time the other day, I thought ‘why not give crocheting another go?’ After about 8 videos, I remembered why! I did manage to make some things you could loosely describe as chains, though:

I thought felt and knitting were hard to photograph, until I tried to photograph crochet! All these photos have been redone at least 3 times. I thought I might have better ‘luck’ if I used some commercial yarn instead of my handspun superwash which spun about as well as it felted. I also looked for a better video, and finally found someone who spoke slowly enough for me to understand and had a really clear explanation:

So with some commercial Aran wool and a new video, I made a neater single chain:

The thing I’d had most trouble with on other videos was their explanation of how to do the next row, which stitch was the ‘second stitch’ etc. Luckily, Lesson 2 was SO clear, I did it first time:

My samples weren’t perfect, but much better than my first chains!

I thought I’d try it with the pencil roving I was using for knitting:

But, what now? I don’t know what the next part is called so couldn’t find a video for it. How do you do a 3rd row? Turn it over and do the same thing? It didn’t look the same, but I gave it a go:

Is that right, how it’s meant to look? If you have any tips for what I need to know next, I’d be grateful! So, wanting to keep practising my new ‘skill’, but not having a clue, I thought I’d freestyle it:

Yeah, that is some kind of small crochet bowl! I wondered if I might be better at bigger crocheting, like I am with chunky knitting. So yesterday, I made myself a chunky hook, here it is next to the size 4 one I was using:

It needs a bit more sanding and maybe a bit of beeswax or something, but I had a go and made a chunky sample:

I am now going to enjoy the first peace and quiet for weeks, by clearing a space to do some felting! Any crochet tips greatly appreciated!!

The Tale of the Stubborn Crocheted Bowl

The Tale of the Stubborn Crocheted Bowl

Remember the floppy crocheted bowl I made?  I posted about it here:

https://feltingandfiberstudio.com/2017/05/28/more-crochet-adventures/

Lyn suggested I full it to make it sturdier.  So I tried and no change other than being fuzzier. I checked the label on the yarn ball, but I was pretty sure I didn’t buy superwash.  No, 100% wool.

 

So, I thought I would try boiling it. No change.

Lyn also suggested I decorate it.  I tried  using a thin wool, but didn’t like it.  So, I used beads in little clusters around the bowl.  But it was even more floppy.

The next step was to bring out the GAC 400 stiffener.  I had bought it, but never used it. Why not give it a try?  I used an empty mayonnaise jar for the shape, then painted on the GAC and let it dry.

When it dried it was perfectly solid and clear.

Now I had to decide what to use it for.  There are a million things I could put in there, but it  wasn’t too hard to decide.

My favorite treat close at hand.

What projects have you saved lately?

 

 

 

Working Small

Working Small

I’ve been trying some new things to work on that I could do easily and fairly quick. Right, haha.

I had seen some crochet and bead earrings online I wanted to try.  I used the same Aunt Lydia’s variegated cotton thread that I used on one of the scrubbies  I posted about recently.

 

It turned out out to be a little fiddly, but I got the hang of it and was pleased with the results. I especially like the variegated thread since it makes it easy to wear with several colors. My favorite ocean like colorway.  Here they are lying flat.

 

But then I thought they would nice hanging. So I scoured my house for something to hang them on.

Can you see the beading?

I keep pulling out my felt scraps and wonder what I can do with them.  I had some prefelt leftover from making business cards covered with throwsters waste to add a little bling and just enough to make two earrings.  I cut out two squares and played around with how to use them.  I like dangling earrings but not too big.  Since it was prefelt I didn’t want to add beads on it and weigh it down.

So, I used a head pin put a few beads on it then attached the prefelt around it just sewing it closed in the back. And finally attached the hooks.  They aren’t perfect but they are handmade.

I started another round pair with beads, but got frustrated and put it aside for another time.

I still have piles of scraps.  I’ll have to play with them some more and figure out what else I can use them for. Unfortunately, many pieces are too small to match and are odd shaped.  What have you done with your scraps lately?

 

Beach Bowl and Scrubbies

Beach Bowl and Scrubbies

Since I started crocheting, I’m constantly seeing projects I’d like to try.  Although, I’ve had to take a break to give my hands a vacation especially after this project.

Crocheting over wire looked interesting in the form of a bowl. I bought a Caron Sweet Roll because I liked the ocean colors, but I had a little bit of trouble finding plastic covered wire cording.  I ended up with plastic clothesline in white.

It was a bit fiddly to begin with.  I think if I had gotten the wire I would have had a bit more control.  But I managed to get the bowl shape with a little heavy hand and forming it over a bowl.

The pattern I had seen had a flat brim on the bowl, but when I followed their instructions it was a mass of curls.  So, I tore it out and made my own brim which is a little wavy but not curly.  I didn’t take a picture of the curly brim since I decided on impulse to rip it out.

From the top:

 

Side:Bottom: Now that I was done, I wasn’t sure what to do with it.  It reminded me of the beach, so I decided to give it some shells.  I’ll have to find more shells to fill it some more.

Perhaps I should have left the curls to look like waves. Too late.

I also found some fun new yarn called Scrubbie cotton yarn by Red Heart Lion.  So, I made some cloths and and brillo like pads with several colors.  The pad is made using a combination of cotton thread and the scrubbie yarn.

Here are closeups of the pad then the washcloth:

I made a couple in turquoise.

Then another set in more neutral colors.

They were quick and easy to make and work well for the face or dishes.

What new projects have you done lately?

 

Lace and Stars

Lace and Stars

After trying a few lace crochet samples, I finally graduated from making crochet samples to actually making things.  But first the lace.  This lilac one is Marielle lace which would be ideal for an airy scarf.

The Duchess lace is a little denser and looks slightly different on each side.

 

 

 

 

 

The Picot Trellis lace is a more traditional pattern made with cotton thread instead of yarn.  This was challenging from the standpoint of using a much smaller hook which my joints weren’t really happy about.

The Star stitch was the basis of making a crochet hook case. You can clearly see on one side the holes in the stars.

The second side is where the hooks are inserted.

Unfortunately, my new ergonomic hooks didn’t fit.  But it does make a nice roll or it can be folded over to lay flat.

Finished with a chain tie.

I was a little bummed that my hooks didn’t fit, but I found another use for it.  I’m thinking of mounting it and hanging it.  I just haven’t figured out how to do it yet.

My next project was really challenging.  I saw this online and wanted to try it but had difficulty understanding the written instructions.  Of course, I turned to You Tube and found a couple of videos that got me through it.  It’s called a Starburst Hot Pad created by Loretta Schepp.

It started out making four  squares like these.

Then adding more of a design.

Now came the tricky part crocheting them all together.

Then folding part of the design inward to create the starburst.

 

A closeup.Here it is after being flattened out a bit. 

I used a variegated Caron Sweet Roll for this and was pleased how well the yarn worked with the design.

Needless to say I’m not using for a hot pad.  I will find a spot to hang it.

 

More Crochet Adventures

More Crochet Adventures

I took up Lyn’s challenge to crochet a wool bowl then felt it.  I got as far as making a small bowl.  I haven’t had time to felt it yet, but will show you the results when I do.  It’s a little floppy now, but should be firmer after felting.

Then I’ve continued to try new stitches.  Here is the Box stitch which is alike on both sides.

The Crocodile Scale stitch was a bit of a challenge but  definitely has interesting dimension.  It looks like little tongues or leaves, too.

Of course, I had to try a hexagon, this one has a flower center.

Spring is finally here in the Midwest, so I couldn’t resist the Tulip stitch.  Here it is in one color.

 

Then I tried another Tulip stitch and learned how to change colors. It looks entirely different. I decided to finish it with the same stitching as the bottom.

 

Here is the back.

The front really looks like like mini tulips.

My sister Carol’s ewe Dusty recently had a new lamb.  13 lbs. 12 oz!

Happy Spring! (For those of you that are experiencing it now.)

So What Have I Made Lately?

So What Have I Made Lately?

I know I’ve been a little crochet sample crazy lately.  But I have actually made some crochet beanies.

On April 11, our newest Grandson Ken arrived about 8 weeks early.  So, I was inspired to make some little hats.

Not knowing what size his head was, I made several different ones. And of course, I had to make a couple for my Granddaughter Lisa. I didn’t know her size either, but as it turned out a couple fit her.

Unfortunately,  because he was in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) they would not allow him to wear anything from outside.

The first one I made was blue.  It entailed crocheting in the round and using a couple of different stitches.

Then I made a  green one with basically one stitch.

I figured if it was too big the bottom could be folded up.

Then I made a bigger lightweight yellow which is Lisa’s favorite color at the moment.

 

I thought these last two might fit Lisa so I put a flower on each.

Without upturned brim.

So, I shipped them all off. And here is the real model.

Ken came home this week. I don’t know if they have tried the hats yet, but here is our new bundle of joy.  Fortunately, now all the tubes are gone, but he really looks happy.

Here you can see the size differences.  It will be interesting to see which one, if any fit him.

More Crochet Textures

More Crochet Textures

I continue to be fascinated with the variety of textures that be created with crochet.

While some look similar there are subtle variations that make them unique.

This is the Crunch stitch.  It is a tight pattern that looks similar on both sides. I especially like it with the shiny yarn.

The next two are the Spider stitch. Both were made with the same hook, but because of the difference in yarn, look slightly different.

The Raised Treble Diagonal stitch.  I completed this sample with the same first row just to give it a finished look.  The back of this one is plain.

 

Another favorite is the Primrose stitch or maybe its the color.

 

The Aligned Cobble stitch has two different sides. Its been overcast here, so the photos aren’t the greatest.  The second one on the dark background is the back.

 

The Textured Combo stitch has an interesting texture and is the same both front and back.

 

So, my crochet adventure continues.

 

Finishing a Vase Cover

Finishing a Vase Cover

Last year I made a couple of vase covers using hand dyed Domestic 56 wool from Cathy (Luvswool).  Normally, I like the bright colors, but I really liked these subtle natural colors. Here is front and back.

But it seemed like it needed something. So, it has been sitting in the UFO pile waiting for some inspiration on how to finish it.

A few weeks ago when I wrote about crochet, Lyn provided a link to make a rose. https://feltingandfiberstudio.com/2017/03/19/discovering-textures-in-crochet/

So, I tried it. It was very easy, thanks Lyn!

Then of course, I had to learn to make leaves and a stem.

When I laid it on the vase cover, I really liked it.

Then I sewed it on.  Here it is finished.

What UFOs have you finished recently?

Shaping up the Crochet

Shaping up the Crochet

Now that I’ve learned the crochet basics, I’ve challenged myself to follow instructions to learn to make shapes.

I guess I’m really thinking spring because I first tried flowers using two different methods.  I like the yellow one better since the hole is less noticeable.

A little fancier flower which wasn’t as hard as I thought.

Then a circle.

Feeling more confident I did a triangle motif. Since I’m using medium weight yarn it ended up larger than I expected and kind of floppy.  I may try again with a smaller hook and tighter yarn.

Of course, I needed to try  a heart.

And my favorite shape an octagon.

By accident in making an octagon,  I made a nonagon (a nine sided polygon) which I didn’t know existed.   There is a cool animation of how a nonogon is calculated here. It’s not perfectly balanced, but I like it.

All of these were made with combinations of the basic stitches.  It was interesting re-learning how to follow instructions to create these shapes.  I thought the videos would be better, but found I kept referring to written instruction. Probably because I could reread instead of rewinding. That is if the written instructions are accurate which in a couple cases they weren’t.  I did a lot of tearing out and redoing, but that’s how we learn.

Have you tried something new recently?

 

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