Wednesday, April 11, 2012
The yarn I used was light worsted, even though it was labeled 4. I seem to run into yarn weight problems a lot, because I shop at fancy yarn stores that only discuss weights in terms of knitting stitches per inch. I'm a crocheter! I say, and the store clerks look at me with confusion.
Also, the hat was too small! If you'd like to see what the actual well-fitting hat looks like, check out my earlier blog post. It contains the pattern for free.
PS it's really hard to photograph yourself as a hat model.
Saturday, April 7, 2012
Beaded twist involves twisting a triple crochet in front of two other triple crochets. I added beads to give it some sparkle.
Once you get the hang of it, the bracelet works up quickly. It only requires a small bit of yarn, so is great for plundering your stash. You could theoretically substitute sock yarn for the chunkier version, but I haven't tried it yet so I make no promises as to how that would turn out.
Please let me know if you find any errors and I'll make a note of it. I did my best to thoroughly explain the beading-twisting technique, but please let me know if anything is unclear.
Intermediate -- You'll need to be comfortable with chain (Ch), single crochet (Sc) and triple crochet (Tr). In fact you should be proficient with triple crochet, because the beaded-twist involves both twisting and beading in one triple crochet.
Small amount of size 10 crochet thread. (Use size 3 crochet thread for an anklet/chunkier version.)
Size 1.8 mm needle, or size needed to obtain gauge. I believe I used a 3.5 size hook for the anklet/ size 3 crochet thread/ slightly larger version of the bracelet.
Gauge is basically - is the length of the bracelet enough to go around your wrist? Thread will stretch a little bit to go over your hand, but you don't want to cut off your circulation.
The pattern works up in multiples of 5 plus 1. I have a small wrist and ch 46 to start. You may want to to begin with a ch 51 (or 56) for a medium to large size wrist. Using a 46 base chain will give you nine beaded-twist clusters.
Check that your thread will actually slide through the beads. You may want to thread a needle and use it to pick up the beads, though I usually do it without a needle. You'll need 18 beads for a Ch46 bracelet. Add 2 beads every time you add 5-ch, (subtract 2 beads every time you subtract 5-ch)
Alternately, you can work it up without beads. It'll be a little less sparkly/decorative, but still pretty. I haven't tried this with a color-changing yarn yet, but I think it would look rather nice and work well without beads. The color-changing yarn would have to change color pretty rapidly, though, to be noticeable over such a small amount of thread.
Beaded Twist Technique
Here are some tips for adding the beads so that your bracelet will look like the pictures I posted.
When incorporating the beads, slide two right up to your hook before making the next triple crochet (Tr). Next, wrap two strands around your hook, insert into the indicated stitch, then draw up a loop. Push the first bead all the way down and in front of your hook. Capture the bead in this position as you draw up a loop through the next two loops on your hook. Repeat the same technique with the second bead. To finish the triple crochet, draw up a loop through the last two loops on your hook as normal.
Beading can be tricky to get the hang of at first. If you don't push the beads all of the way down, and in front of the needle, they may not line up along the bottom edge of the bracelet, as in the pictures.
Beaded Twist Pattern Instructions
Slide 18 beads onto your yarn. Ch 46. (or different multiple of 5+1 depending on the desired length). Leave enough of a "tail" that you can use it to sew the bracelet together at the end.
Row 1: turn, Sc in 2nd Ch from hook, Sc in each Sc to the end of the round.
Row 2: turn, Sl St in first 4 stitches, Ch 3, Tr in next Sc, slide 2 beads down, Tr in Sc behind initial Ch 3 while incorporating beads (see Beaded Twist Technique) (first beaded-twist cluster made) *Ch 2, skip 3 stitches after beaded-twist cluster just made, Tr into next 2 Sc, Tr in Sc behind second to last Tr while incorporating beads (see Beaded Twist Technique)* Repeat from * to * through the end of the round.
Row 3: turn, Ch 1, Sc in same stitch, Sc in next 2 Tr, *Sc in next Ch-2 space, Sc in next 3 Tr*, Repeat from * to * until you run out of stitches. Do not fasten off.
Sl St into side of last Sc, Ch 3, Sc into 2nd Ch from hook, Sc into 3rd Ch from hook. Sl St into the last Sc from Row 3. Fasten off leaving a long enough tail for sewing. Use the tails to sew the Sc ends of the bracelet together only, leaving the mid portion of the beaded twist unsewn.
Thursday, March 29, 2012
I went out of town twice this March, once back to Maryland, another time out to Seattle, WA. In between I caught the plague and am finally getting my lungs, sleep schedule and classwork back in order from all of the chaos. Things are settling down just in time for March to be over, so now my life feels more lambish as well.
There hasn't been much time for crocheting, but I've had a couple of things floating around. Here I am crocheting away at a friend's place. I decided that the nice weather demanded a colorful yarn bomb, so dug out my scrap stash to see what could be done. I finished the project, but still can't decide where to "bomb," so I'll leave the rest of the project for another post!
BTW, if any of you bombers have tips for success, please let me know. I keep looking at the undersides of bridges, fences and bus stops, wondering how, erm, legal it would be to put something up, as well as how likely yarn would be to stay put any amount of time afterward.
Sunday, February 19, 2012
Here's a shot of the snowy lake and the beautiful blue sky.
I noticed people wandering across the lake, and being originally from a place where lakes don't freeze enough to walk on, I had to question how safe it was. We've had a warmer winter, and it was 42 today, which is unseasonably warm.
I ran into a skater who commented that after growing up near a lake you just "kind of know" when it's not safe. So I followed her out onto the ice at which point she commented that the ice was "softer" today and I was probably right to wonder about safety. So I quickly shuffled across just to say I'd done it, while she skated on.
After wandering around the lake for awhile my headache dissipated and I felt better enough to take some photos. Here is the pic of my finished "A Little Zig, A Little Zag."
I've already worn these a few times, and they are pretty comfy. For clearer pictures of the zig zag motif on the ankles please check out my earlier post.
I took some shots of the "snowdrop" cowl I finished a ways back. Someone linked to my description of how to finish a tricky part of the pattern, yes! I also photographed a couple of hats that have recently been in the works. I'll have to include these in separate posts at a later date when I can elaborate more on how they were made.
Friday, February 17, 2012
Friday, February 10, 2012
I am using Stitch Nation "Full O Sheep" Thyme in these pictures. As I crocheted I remembered that heavy worsted weight yarns are better for the pattern. Using a light worsted weight yarn will give you a tiny hat. The hat will stretch a little with wear, but a heavy worsted weight yarn will give you a normal size.
These edits refer to Row 7, where the shell pattern begins. This seems to be the trouble spot, understandably so, as I found some errors while I was working.
Errata is in purple.
row 7: ch 3, *skip 3 sc, shell into next sc, ch 1, skip 3 sc, dc into next sc, 2 dc into next sc, dc into next sc, dc into next sc, ch 1* Repeat from * to * 3 times, skip 3 sc, shell into next sc, skip 3 sc, 1 dc into next 4 dc, join with a slip stitch into the second ch of the ch 3 made at beginning of round. Add a place marker to the ch 3 at the end of the round to keep track of the beginning of each round.
The following pictures give you a visual of how it looks as you work up row 7 properly.
First picture shows what it looks like before you start row 7 -- ie the circle is finished. You should count 55 stitches before proceeding.
The next picture shows the chain-3 at the start of the round. "carekelly" on Ravelry pointed out that "turning-chain" doesn't apply, as we are working in the round (not going back in the opposite direction.)
The following picture shows skipping three single crochet, then making the shell into the fourth stitch. (Shell= 3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) If you look at the previous single crochet row you can count the three little loops before the shell.
The image below shows the next ch 1, skip 3 sc, 1 dc into next sc, 2 dc into next sc, 1 dc in next 2 sc. The blue numbers show the 5 dc, and how dc 2 and 3 go into 1 stitch/sc (increase). The little blue loop at the end is to show the ch 1 you make after the 5 dc.Now you've finished the first the first * to *, Repeat 3 times! not 4, as you won't have enough room.
The next two pictures show making the last shell, ch 1, skip 3 sc, 1 dc in next four dc, then making a slip stitch into the beginning 3 chain.
Row 7 done! I hope this clears things up.
Please comment here or on Ravelry with any more questions. I will do my best to change the pattern and/or make another tutorial. I am currently a student, a volunteer teaching assistant and yoga instructor. It may take a little while to find a chunk of time with good lighting for taking pictures or going over things carefully.
Thanks for looking.
Friday, January 27, 2012
** Update: I made post on errata with photos of how to crochet row 7 -- please see the most recent post on my blog. Errata as of 2/10/2012 -- old row 12 deleted (extra row), row 7 altered, turning chain replaced with "beginning ch" (do not turn project -- work in the round).
Nested Shells Hat
Monday, January 9, 2012
So far I absolutely love this book. Picked it up from KnitPicks during one of their 40% percent off sales, and it as been a wonderful investment!
The first socks I crocheted from the book were "Victorian Day Dream" in a sparkly light colored wool blend. They turned out really well and I wear them all the time. I've also crocheted "Cotton Candy Confection" which I admit is even more ridiculously girly than the previous pair. So I decided my next project ought to be something a little less frilly, pink and feminine.
One of the awesome things about living in Uptown is the wide variety of well-stocked thrift stores. I was visiting one of my favorites when I discovered this yarn, which demanded to become "A Little Zig, a Little Zag"
I have no clue how old this yarn is, but the paper is yellowed and the label looks a bit dated. Probably has been sitting in someone's stash for years. Thank you kind knit- or crocheter out there for donating this yarn, which I bought for a whopping 50 cents.
"A Little Zig, a Little Zag" has an intermediate skill level, but if you can comfortably crochet around the front and back post, as well as crochet in the back loops, you'll be set for this pattern. The pattern is really well written, and I haven't had many head scratching moments, or frustration at having to frog half the sock because of awkwardly worded instructions.
I'm almost done the first sock. I know you should crochet both socks at the same time so that they end up with approximately the same tension, but I am kind of lazy in this respect.
The zig zags aren't as pronounced as they are in the book's photos, because I've used a different yarn. It's a bit darker, with fewer color changes, so it doesn't show off the stripes as well. However, I love the texture of the socks. They feel awesome, and you can see the zig zags better in a close-up.
The pattern is pretty clear, so I can't think of any pointers off the top of my head. The yarn I bought (2 skeins) is just about enough for each sock. I'm excited to finish the project -- I just have the toe left before starting the second sock. Will update the post when I'm done! (01.09.2012)