Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Purpley Nested Shells, did I really frog this hat?

Do you ever crochet something, take a bunch of photos, then decide you don't like your project and frog it? Apparently I do. I was going through my digital camera, freeing up some space for a new post when I found these old pics.

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

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.

Difficulty Level
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.