Posts Tagged ‘National Crochet Month’

National Crochet Month Special Techniques – Invisible Single Crochet

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014
Share Button

This week our focus is invisible single crochet decreases. This is a great way to decrease when you’re working in the round making stuffed animals or amigurumi.

Most single crochet decreases leave you with a gap in the fabric on either side of the decreased stitch which can be really unsightly when that fabric is stuffed. This decrease keeps the same density of stitches to your fabric and is nearly invisible.

This is a great stitch to use on our Valley Yarns Spring animals, the bunnylamb and Robin! Try it out and let us know what you think.

Tuesday’s Tip – Keeping Track of Alternate Increase Rounds

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014
Share Button

It’s National Crochet Month! To celebrate, we have some wonderful crochet tips to share with you. This week’s tip is from Sara, WEBS Marketing Coordinator and crochet designer.

I like to use 2 linked stitch markers in different colors when my pattern asks me to increase every other round. When I start a round with increases, I’ll use the green marker. This tells me that when I come back to that marker I can Go-Go-Go! No reason to stop and think about the work; just one stitch in each stitch.

When I do start that round with NO increases I’ll mark it with the orange one (better if it was red!), this way when I get back around to that marker I know I need to STOP and make sure that I’m working my increases in this round. This is a great tip for both knitting and crochet!

National Crochet Month Special Techniques – Extended Stitches

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014
Share Button

This week our focus is extended stitches. You can extend almost any crochet stitch with one simple step, when you have finished the set up for your stitch yarn over and pull through just one loop on your hook first, then finish the stitch as you normally would.

To make an extended single crochet stitch: insert your hook into the next stitch, yarn over and bring up a loop, yarn over and pull through one loop, yarn over and pull through two loops. The right side of a few stitches have been highlighted above so you can see the difference in length.

Extended single crochet still gives you the nice dense fabric that you usually get with single crochet but with a bit more movement and drape. And since the stitches are a bit taller the work goes quicker! This is a great stitch for crochet socks, like our Cosmos pattern!

To make an extended half-double crochet stitch: yarn over, insert your hook into the next stitch, yarn over and bring up a loop, yarn over and pull through one loop, yarn over and pull through all three loops.

Extended half-double crochet gives you the height of double crochet stitches without being as open as double crochet. Again you can see the difference in length in the highlighted stitches.

To make an extended double crochet stitch: yarn over, insert your hook into the next stitch, yarn over and bring up a loop, yarn over and pull through one loop, yarn over and pull through two loops, yarn over again and pull through two loops.

Extended double crochet stitches give you the height of triples/trebles without being terribly leggy. You can see the difference in the highlighted stitches above.

Have you ever used extended stitches?

 

Tuesday’s Crochet Tip – Finger Crochet

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014
Share Button


It’s National Crochet Month! To celebrate, we have some wonderful crochet tips to share with you. This week’s tip is from Sara, WEBS Marketing Coordinator and crochet designer.

Arm Knitting has taken off like wildfire this year and there’s no reason why crocheters can’t get in on the action! Grab a few skeins of yarn and NO Hook and make yourself a scarf in less time than it takes to watch your favorite sitcom.

National Crochet Month Special Techniques – Tunisian Simple Stitch

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014
Share Button

This week our focus is Tunisian Crochet. This is an older technique that’s getting plenty of love lately. While there are lots of great pattern books out there now it can be hard to decide if it’s a new technique you’d enjoy. For a short piece like we’re practicing with today you can use a regular crochet hook but for anything larger than 10 stitches you’ll need a Tunisian or afghan hook. These typically look like straight knitting needles with a hook on the end instead of a point, or a version that looks like a regular crochet hook with a long cord on the back. This second type of Tunisian hook is also available in an interchangeable version with different length cords that you can attach to different hook sizes.

 

Tunisian crochet begins like almost every other crochet project, with a foundation chain. In the samples here I’m working with a very short chain, just 9 chains long! Each completed row of stitches is made up of two rows of actions; the Forward Row puts loops on your hook and the Return Row works them off again.

For the first Forward Row, insert your hook into the second chain from your hook and pull up a loop, leave this loop on your hook! Insert your hook into the next stitch and pull up a loop leaving it on your hook. Repeat this process for each chain stitch.

Now that Your first Forward Row is done you should have 9 loops on your hook and you’re ready to begin the Return Row. To start, yarn over and pull through just one loop on your hook. Yarn over again and pull through two loops. Repeat this step, yarning over and pulling through two loops, until you have worked all the way back to the beginning and only one loop remains on your hook.

Your first full row of stitches in now complete! The Forward Row changes a bit now but your Return Rows will stay the same as what you’ve just done.  If you look at the row you’ve finished you’ll notice stitches that are straight up and down, these are called “vertical bars” and this is the part of the stitch that you’ll be using. Insert your hook under the first vertical bar, yarn over and pull a loop back through that bar. Repeat that step, inserting your hook under the next bar, yarning over and pulling up a loop, until you have used all the vertical bars (the last one lives right on the edge of your work at the left hand side).

Now you’ll repeat your Return Row, yarn over and pull through one loop first, then yarn over and pull through 2 loops at a time until you’re back to just one loop. Repeat those last two rows and you get a substantial fabric with great texture. Tunisian wants to curl in on itself so don’t be surprised by that! The larger your finished object the less curl there will be. And since Tunisian fabric is a bit more dense than regular crochet you’ll want to use a hook that is a size or two larger that what you might normally use.

Swatching is a great way to try out new techniques and stitches but no one wants a basket or drawer full of little squares of crochet or knit fabric so what do you do with them? I like to make fingerless gloves, I use them all the time. For this pair I started with a chain of 25, and worked 25 rows of Tunisian Simple Stitch to for a square, and then seamed the edges, leaving a gap for the thumb. For the work pictured here I used Katia Azteca in color 7840 and a size J/10/6.00mm hook.

If this technique appeals to you and you’re looking for more check out Tunisian Crochet by  Sharon Hernes-Silverman, Get Hooked on Tunisian Crochet by Sheryl Thies or The New Tunisian Crochet – Dora Ohrenstein.

Tuesday’s Crochet Tip – Turn a Doily Pattern into a Rug

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014
Share Button

It’s National Crochet Month! To celebrate, we have some wonderful crochet tips to share with you. This week’s tip is from Sara, WEBS Marketing Coordinator and crochet designer.

This is a great instant-gratification project! Take your favorite doily pattern and work it up using a chunky yarn and a big hook.

We did something similar with our Hellebore Rug which was crocheted using 2 strands of Northampton Bulky, but if you’re looking for something washable try Katia Big Ribbon or Schachenmayr’s Bravo Big or Filaria.

National Crochet Month Special Techniques – Surface Crochet

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014
Share Button

This week we’re focusing on Surface Crochet. This is a great technique to use with both knit and crochet fabrics.  In its simplest form it’s a chain of slip stitches that appears on the surface of your fabric. It can be used for simple stripes or for more complex and free-form shapes.

This tutorial video shows you how to add vertical stripes to your knitting, and when combined with horizontal stripes it forms a simple plaid, the technique is used in two projects from our Soft Landing e-Book, the Hen Plaid Wrap and the Viola Plaid Pillow

This video shows you how the technique can also be used to create unique shapes, allowing you to draw on the surface of your project and it’s easy to accomplish. The Sprig Mittens are adorned with whimsical flowers but with surface crochet you could add almost any image.

 

The Nordic Tiles scarf features floating squares that are joined by simple lines of surface crochet along 2 edges and through the center.

Have you ever tried surface crochet?

Tuesday’s Crochet Tip – Quick and Decorative Potholders

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014
Share Button

Tuesday's Crochet Tip - Quick and Decorative PotholdersIt’s National Crochet Month! To celebrate, we have some wonderful crochet tips to share with you. This week’s tip is from Sara, WEBS Marketing Coordinator and crochet designer.

I often find myself making one crochet motif, to try out a pattern or yarn, that never actually becomes anything. This is a great way to use up those lonely motifs. Pair them with a solid back piece in the same shape and join them along the edges. These make great last minute gifts! Edie Eckman’s Beyond the Square is a great resource for different shaped motifs. Note: Potholders should be made with 100% Cotton, 100% Wool or a blend of those 2 fibers only, other fibers may scorch, burn or even melt. The two shown are the same pattern with the top potholder made with Tahki Cotton Classic and the Bottom with a combination of Valley Yarns Northampton and Cascade 220.

March is National Crochet Month

Monday, March 3rd, 2014
Share Button

Valley Yarns Pickwick Cowl Crocheted in Valley Yarns CharlemontI love checking out obscure days and months (today, March 3rd is ‘If Pets Had Thumbs Day,’ among several others). It’s always fun to see what have days, or months. It’s also fun to check out the far less obscure days and months, like this month! March is National Crochet Month, and we’ll be celebrating it here on the blog all month long.

This month on the blog you’ll find weekly special crochet technique features (surface crochet and Tunisian crochet are just a couple that well be looking at), patterns suggestions, and a few surprises. So, keep checking back!

Do you love to crochet?

Celebrate Crochet! Shawls

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013
Share Button

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?