Posts Tagged ‘crochet patterns’

Reading Crochet Charts

Thursday, June 27th, 2013
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Reading crochet charts can seem daunting to a crocheter that’s never used one before, but they’re not as scary as you might think. Crochet charts are a map of your stitches, they are a visual guide to the stitches you need to create.

The first thing to do is familiarize yourself with the standard crochet symbols, these are the symbols you’ll see in every charted design, no matter what language the written pattern is published in! The Craft Yarn Council has a great list of the most commonly used symbols on their site. You’ll notice that most of the symbols have a physical resemblance to their stitch counterparts.

Know Your Symbols: Check the Legend

As with anything new start simple and familiarize yourself with the process before tackling more complicated projects. Let’s walk through a small swatch in one of the most basic stitches, single crochet.

Here we have a simple, single crochet swatch.

Single Crochet Swatch

The written pattern:
To begin: Ch16
Row 1: Turn, 1sc in 2nd ch from hook, 1sc in ea ch across
Row 2: Ch1, turn, 1sc in ea sc across.
Repeat Row 2 three times more. Fasten off.

The charted pattern:

You’ll see that the charted pattern builds upwards from the foundation chain just like your swatch.

Each row begins with a number that tells you which row you are on and alternate rows change color to help you see which stitches are part of that row and to avoid confusion between rows.

When you compare the chart with the swatch you can see the tail from where you began the chain in the bottom left corner which corresponds to the “Start” symbol and the tail from where you fastened off in the upper left corner which corresponds to the “End” symbol.

Reading Crochet Charts: Charts are a map of your stitches

Take your time and build your experience. The Complete Book of Crochet Stitch Designs by Linda P. Schapper is a great resource for transitioning to using charts. Each stitch pattern includes an image of the pattern, the written version of the pattern as well as the chart.

What’s your favorite tip for reading crochet charts?

 

Crochet Trends in June

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013
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Summer is in full swing and having a lightweight, portable project is ideal in the heat and humidity of the coming weeks. It’s also nice to have a few finished projects that you can use and wear in the warmer months.  Crocheted mesh is a great fabric choice to fill both these needs!

The Michel Vest would look great paired with a bright tee and capris. Made from half double crochet and chain stitches and worked in a single piece to the armholes this one will fly off your hook. The Longmeadow is a fantastic blend of cotton and microfiber that is soft and cool against the skin.

The Tokyo Vest  in Tahki Cotton Classic Lite, a free pattern, is a wonderful layering piece to toss on over a flirty summer dress in the evening. This top is made from 2 simple rectangles and is creatively seemed to create the illusion of a wrap top.

Finally, you’ll need something to carry all your summer finds, be they sea shells, fresh fruits and veggies from the Farmer’s Market, or treasures from a yard sale. Classic Elite has the perfect Market Bag pattern (also Free!) worked up on their Provence yarn.

What’s your favorite lightweight pattern for summer?

 

 

Tuesday’s Tip – Use Magnetic Closures Instead of Snaps

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013
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Katie was working on these bibs when she realized she had a better solution for the closure. Putting a bib on a wiggly baby isn’t the easiest thing to do; you usually have to use two hands to snap the bib in place. For these, Katie decided to use Magnetic Tote Bag Closures instead! This is a fantastic idea. You can put the bib around the baby’s neck with one hand, and the magnets match up to each other with only a little help. This technique doesn’t have to be limited to bibs either. Almost any project needing a closure can use these magnetic closures instead of buttons or snaps.

For these bibs, Katie used Plymouth Jeannee Worsted. The pattern is Crochet Baby Bib by NeedleNoodles.

Of course, like any project using small parts, be sure to keep an eye on your little one when they’re wearing their bib!

 

Crochet Trends in May

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013
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Local and regional Fiber Fairs can be wonderful places to discover new yarns and Indie Dyers that you won’t find at Big Box stores, or your local yarn stores.

While the knitting world has embraced hand-dyed yarns crocheters seems to be a bit hesitant. I say go for it! Hand dyed yarns are perfect for crochet. Where knitters can sometimes run into issues of color pooling, with the short colors sections of these yarns, the very nature of crochet stitches takes advantage of these color changes.

There are plenty of wonderful patterns out there that would be perfect for a gorgeous, one-of-a-kind skein of  yarn picked up at a fair. Mary Beth Temple’s  Arches Cowl would be perfect as it can be worked till you run out of yarn. Sometimes you get lucky and find a hand-dyed bulky weight yarn; the Berme pattern from Berroco could help you turn that into a quick and perfect sweater.

And don’t forget socks, there are so many hand-dyed choices in sock yarn it can make your head spin, but it’s not just for socks. Linda Permann’s Stellar Beret and our own Iris Shawl can be made with sock weight yarns.

This weekend is the annual Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fair, I’ll be there looking for yarns that inspire me to crochet. For a list of Fairs in your area check the Knitter’s Review calendar of upcoming events.

So choose a few patterns, check the yardage you’ll need, and hit the fairs!

 

Ready, Set, Knit! 310: Kathy talks with Heather Ordover

Saturday, May 4th, 2013
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Guest:
 Kathy talks with Heather Ordover about her new book: What (Else) would Madame Defarge Knit?, the sequel to What Would Madame Defarge Knit?

Heather runs the Craftlit podcast and site, and while reading A Tale of Two Cities, she was inspired to wonder what Madame Defarge WOULD knit? As the book idea began to take shape she wanted to make sure the designers not only got paid, but were able to actually recoup the costs of their time spent creating those designs, and to have the book printed in the US, so she worked with Cooperative Press to make it happen.

Iseult’s Dress from What (Else) Would Madame Defarge Knit?, knit in Harrisville Deigns Highland.

The books are divided into thematic sections related to classic literature and each pattern is accompanied by a wonderful essay. WWMDfK- the Shakespeare edition and a Mme Defarge goes Medieval edition are in the works.

Steve’s Yarn Picks

Cascade 220, Cascade 220 Superwash, and Plymouth Encore remain on sale through May 31st!

39th Anniversary Sale:  May sale highlights
New Yarns
New Closeouts

Upcoming Events: 

Maryland Sheep and Wool this weeked! May 4th and 5th and next weekend, May 11th and 12th, is the New Hampshire Sheep & Wool Fair.

The annual Tent Sale is happening on May 18th and 19th, and don’t forget about the Fleece Market on the 18th!

WEBS Fiber Camp for Kids is back this summer, check out both sessions.

The full line-up of Summer classes is now open for registration. Check out some of our guest teachers: Ann Budd, Stephen West, Gail Zucker and Jason Collingwood!

Amy Herzog will be here June 6th to celebrate the release of her new book, Knit to Flatter.

The Third Annual I-91 Shop Hop is happening June 27-30th.

The New England Weavers Seminar (NEWS) is happening July 11-14, on the Smith College campus.

Right click or CTRL+click and Save As to download the MP3 of this Podcast Subscribe to Ready, Set, Knit! in iTunes Subscribe to the Ready, Set, Knit! Podcast RSS Feed

 

Ready, Set, Knit! 308: Kathy talks with Carol Alexander

Saturday, April 20th, 2013
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Guest:
 Kathy talks with Carol Alexander, editor of Crochet World and Crochet! magazine.

Carol talks about her path from designer to editor of 2 major Crochet magazines and the insights she gained during that journey into the inner workings of bringing a magazine full of great patterns and useful knowledge to market, as well as how many people and just how much time it takes to do so.

They also discuss the resurgence of Tunisian crochet, the best yarns to crochet with and why knitters should try crochet.

Steve’s Yarn Picks

New Yarns

39th Anniversary Sale Highlights

Check out all the great Weaving Yarns in our 39th Anniversary Sale.

Thanks to everyone who joined us at Stitches South! you always make us feel so welcome!

Upcoming Events: 

The full line-up of Summer classes is now online and printed booklets should have already begun to arrive in mailboxes. Check out some of this year’s amazing guest teachers: Ann Budd, Stephen West, Gail Zucker and Jason Collingwood!

Don’t forget about the Tent Sale on May 18th and 19th. There will be some great grab bags as well as some Noro on sale, we’re cleaning out the warehouse, folks!

The Third Annual I-91 Shop Hop is happening June 27-30th.

The New England Weavers Seminar (NEWS) is happening July 11-14, on the Smith College campus.

Right click or CTRL+click and Save As to download the MP3 of this Podcast Subscribe to Ready, Set, Knit! in iTunes Subscribe to the Ready, Set, Knit! Podcast RSS Feed

 

Hooked on Malabrigo! Blog Tour

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013
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Rohn Strong has put together a great collection of crochet designs featuring some of our favorite Malabrigo yarns in his new book, Hooked on Malabrigo!.

Inspired by the classic color blocking of Mondrian, Rohn has designed 7 different pieces, from accessories to garments, with strong stitch details and striking colors.

The deceptively simple color work of the Linda crescent scarf really shows off the shine and drape of the Silky Merino.

Malabrigo Arroyo looks light and airy in the Kristin tank, a perfect summer layering piece.

The Robyn cowl features giant crochet cables that really showcase the colors of Rasta.

Not only is this collection full of great additions to your wardrobe but it’s available in 2 size ranges; the Petite Collection: Small to XL, or the Plus Size Collection: 2X to 5X!

Which piece do you think you’d make first?

CAL Week 1: Sugar Sparkles Shawlette by Linda Permann

Thursday, March 28th, 2013
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It’s the first week for our CAL (crochet-a-long)! We’re extending some of the love from National Crochet Month in March into April!

Everyone was very excited when we saw Linda’s Sugar Sparkle Shawlette so it was an easy decision.

For the CAL you’ll need:

* 775 yards of a light Fingering weight yarn: the pattern calls for Malabrigo Sock, but you could also use Valley Yarns Charlemont or Valley Yarns BFL Fingering. I’m using a coned wool that I’ve had in my stash for a few years but the color makes me happy and I’m getting gauge!

* US size D/3.25mm and US size C/2.75mm hooks, I’m using the Addi Color coded hooks. You won’t need the smaller hook till you get to the border.

* 675 size 6/0 seed beads.  If you’re lucky enough to be local to our store the Northampton Beadery has a great selection of colors in this size!

* you’ll need a beading needle and a yarn needle, for weaving in ends.

I’m also going to suggest locking ring stitch markers, it’s always a good idea to have a few of these around.

The main body of the shawl is worked sideways from point to point with all the increases, and subsequent decreases, happening along the same side. You may want to place a marker, every couple rows, on the side with all of your increases. It can be easy to loose track of which side that is when your work is just a few, short rows and it will remind you what side the decreases will happen on when you get to them! You can also keep a small notebook handy and tick off each increase/decrease row as it’s made.

Here you can see my shawl, Mary’s(Sweet Georgia Tough Love Sock in Raspberry), and Tina’s(Valley Yarns Charlemont Kettle Dye in Purple Passion), all just beginning the decreases.

This center section is fairly easy and moves along quickly. Next week we’ll look at bead choices, stringing your beads and working the first 2 rows of your border.

What yarn will you be using?

Celebrate Crochet! Shawls

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013
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It’s the last week National Crochet Month and we’ve been so happy to share some of our favorite crochet techniques and trends. This week’s focus is on shawls.

You can play it simple or really complicated with shawls, stick with a beloved stitch pattern and an easy rectangle shape or change it up with crescent shaping and bunch of different, but related, stitches to create something really beautiful and fun.

The Pin Cushion Moss Shawl, made with Southwick, is a simple triangle that grows outward from the center back so you could just keep working the pattern until it is the size you desire.

The Daisy Wrap from Blue Sky Alpacas is a simple rectangle shape with undulating rows of soft waves and floral clusters. Crocheted in Blue Sky’s Metalico, you’ve got a great palette of neutrals to work with.

The Sumac Berry Shawl, worked in Hand-dyed 2/14 Alpaca Silk, has a super simple center section and all the Wow is in the border.

The Piquant Shawl by Lily Go is also worked with a fairly easy center section but a very detailed and delicate border.

Finally, I’m very excited to say that we’ll be running a CAL over the next few weeks with Linda Permann‘s Sugar Sparkles Shawlette!

Our first post goes up tomorrow and we’ll guide you through everything you’ll need to get started, then check the blog each Thursday to follow along with our progress.

Have you crocheted any shawls? What are some of your favorites?

Celebrate Crochet! Luxury

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013
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It’s National Crochet Month and we’re excited to share some of our favorite crochet techniques and trends happening in 2013. This week we’re focusing on crocheting with luxury fibers.

Being able to work with luxury fibers is something every crocheter looks forward to. Thankfully you don’t have to win the lottery to indulge in a little high-end crochet. One skein and a simple project can keep the cost down but allow you to add a little something to your wardrobe to makes you feel extra special. And when everyone ask you about it you get to say it’s silk or cashmere or even mink!

Start with a nice small project like this simple Crochet Necklace by Creativeyarn but go luxury by using Artyarns Beaded Pearl and Sequins yarn.

  

Try something a little larger like the Julie Cuff from Robyn Chachula‘s wonderful book Blueprint Crochet but work it in a skein of Mimi by Lotus Yarns which is 100% Mink!

 

If you’re ready for a slightly bigger project why not go for Julia Vaconsin‘s gorgeous Phoenix Mitts and work them up in the luminous Ensemble Light from Artyarns, an amazing blend of silk and cashmere!

  

When you’re ready for a bigger project with lots of impact visually, but not on your wallet, try a scarf or wrap like our Crocus Lace Stole. A single skein of the Silk Cashmere from Jade Sapphire would feel amazing around your shoulders and neck, and since this is an easy 1 row pattern you can just keep working till you run out of yarn.

Have you worked with any luxury fibers? What’s been your favorite?