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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Ridge Stitch Block

Note: This is not part of the 12 Block Series, but one I hope you like anyways!

Chain 31, turn.

Row 1: Work sc in second chain from hook and in teach chain across.  Ch 1, turn. (30 sc) 

Rows 2:  Sc in back-loop only (BLO) of each stitch across.  Ch 1, turn.

Repeat Row 2 until desired length. At the end of the last row, do not ch 1, do not turn.

Border/Edging: Work three sl st into the corner (and in each of the other three corners).  Work sl st evenly around the block.

As always, feel free to post any question or comment here, and I'll do all I can to assist!

How NOT to crochet!

Okay, this title deserves a much better post to follow, but this is all you're getting! It's a continuation of the granny square post of a few weeks ago.
As I was perusing today, I ran across a couple of different patterns with a ridge design and was reminded of my first attempt of teaching myself how not to do another granny square. Unfortunately, I did not understand the importance of picking up both loops of the stitch, and everything would be a ridged.  Frustrating to say the least. Eventually I would get it right!

Seeing the patterns inspired me to repeat the mistakes of old, so to speak. I've been wanting to use some of the Lily's Sugar'n Cream Stripes in Violet Stripes, and thought the combination of the self-striping yarn,, and the striping effect of the ridge stitch would work well together.  I believe they do!

The pattern is super simple and I'll post above.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

12 Block Series: Block 6: Sidebar Single Crochet

Side Bar Single Crochet Block
Made using 100% Worsted Weight Cotton

When a simple stitch is created in a less than usual way, you get a more than usual fabric!  This variation of a single crochet creates the look of a knit stitch across the rows and is two-sided.  Simple in technique, it just takes a moment to figure out.  However, it does not work up as quick as the previous blocks.

Side Bar, Bottom Bar, Bottom Loop, all would be appropriate names for this stitch, and all these names may very well be used somewhere. What the stitch is exactly, is the stitch is anchored (made) by placing your hook into the bar (or loop if you so desire) beneath the front loop of the stitch of the prior row.  Don't worry, I put a pictorial instruction at the bottom of the page!

Keep your stitches loose, and as always, be patient.

Finished size: Approximately 9" x 9" (Using a medium worsted weight (#4) yarn and size H (mm) hook.)

Stitches used:
chain (ch)
slip stitch (sl st)
single crochet (sc)

Special Stitch Instructions: Side bar single crochet:  See Pictorial Instructions at the bottom of this page!! Insert the hook in the bottom side bar of the stitch of the previous row and complete a single crochet in the usual manner. For the last stitch of the row, insert hook in bottom side bar AND into the back bar of the turning chain of the prior row, YO, pull through two loops on hook (the back bar of the turning chain and the bottom side bar of the sc), YO and complete the sc. Picking up the back bar of the turning chain (which I recommend for all stitches and all patterns) will create a smoother side edge.  Without this step, the sides of your work will have a very noticeable zig-zag edge.  


Chain 31

Row 1: Sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each ch across.  Ch 1, turn.

Row 2: Sc in side bar (see Special Stitch above) of 1st sc of row below, sc in side bar of each sc across. Ch 1, Turn.

Repeat Row 2 until length desired, ending with a single crochet row.


Pictorial Instructions:
Yes, lots of pics, and for such an easy stitch!!

For the first stitch of every row . . .

For the first stitch of every row, your side bar is lower down than on all the other stitches of the row.
This is due to the nature of the turning chain that followed it.
You want to insert your hook into this bar (as pointed out by the light blue needle) . . .

In the picture above, you can see the second and third stitch of the row(above the needle).
.  Note how the side bar is closer up the stitch to the front loop.
. . . then just complete a single crochet.  First stitch of row complete!

For the second and all other stitches until the last stitch of the row . . .

For all stitches located between the first and last stitch, insert your hook where indicated in the picture.
 This is the bar UNDER the front loop.
Complete the single crochet as normal.

For the last stitch of every row . . .
For the last stitch, insert hook through side bar loop, then . . .

. . . insert hook through the loop of the turning chain (as pointed out by the light blue needle) . . .

. . .  you will now have 3 loops on your hook.
YO, draw though two loops on hook.  You will then have 2 loops left on your hook.
YO, and draw through these 2 loops . . .
. . .  completing your stitch!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Day Four . . .

Continuing the procrastination theme, this is on Day 6!

The question posed is: Whatever happened to your __________?
Write about the fate of a past knitting (GASP!  They forgot crocheting!!) project. Whether it be something that you crocheted or knitted for yourself or to give to another person. An item that lives with you or something which you sent off to charity. 

The most recent projects that I have made have all been gifts.  I'm talking completed items, not the 2 dozen on-going, sitting in the bag, waiting for me to say, "Oh, I should finish that", projects!  Most were for family at Christmas, and others for Molly, my favorite little neighbor.

Joanie, my son's paternal aunt, took over the duties of the holidays (voluntarily I should add) after her parents became unable to.  Christmas is her favorite, and at least one of her trees are up and decorated when we arrive for Thanksgiving dinner!  I love this as I'm not allowed my tree until the week before Christmas, and only because I put my foot down and demand it to be in place at least by my birthday. This year, I made a Christmas themed (colored) afghan that I gave to her around Thanksgiving so that she could have it for use, decoration, whatever she wanted, during the holidays.  She loved it, of course.  Being a crafter and former crocheter (I'm working on fixing that!) herself, she's always opened to homemade items.

Come about Valentine's Day she mentioned that the afghan was still out and being used every night as she curled up on the couch!  This made me very happy as I believe all afghans should be used.  It also made me realize that I need to make her another one to match her decor - red, green and white do not!! 

On my Ravelry page I have two smaller afghans listed that I made for Molly.  I know that these are getting used as they are the ones that she uses in her playpen, which is parked in the family's kitchen!  

For me, knowing that an item I made and enjoyed making,is being used is one of the best compliments! It also inspires me to make the next one even better!!  

Happy hooking everyone!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Day Two . . . and three . . . on Day Four!!

Okay, I tried!  Yesterday (actually Tuesday as it is now Thursday), I got my day all screwed up and then I went to the CCHY knit and crochet night.  Today (actually yesterday as it is still now Thursday), I was gone all day and haven't had time to do anything fun (read: crochet)!  So, now (still Thursday!) I'm going to give you Day Two of the Daily Blog.  Day Three is going to be a wash, so don't count on seeing it.  It's 1am and I'm heading to bed after this.

The subject is (drum roll for those of you that didn't check the link in yesterday's (I mean Monday's)  post): A comparison of where I was this time last year compared to where I am now (pertaining to crocheting).  Okay, this'll be short!

During the course of this past year I have made a major effort to up my crocheting.  And my stash! So far, my stash is winning.  Though I have done some major planning, it always seems that life just gets in the way.  I'm sure you understand.

I'll admit, starting this blog has been a source of inspiration as I have already started planning the next set of blocks.  At least the idea for the next set; I haven't started making them yet. Knowing that there are people who are enjoying them has made me want to continue on with bigger and better.

Okay, you have Day Three as it's even shorter.  Yarn Wrangling:  A very long story (too long to tell and I'm too tired to tell it) caused my craft room to be turned into a guest room this past summer. And though they have moved on, I haven't gotten the room put back together again, so the yarn sits on top of the bed that is in there.  Really!  It's all piled up on the bed!  Well, piled if I put it all together and squish it a little.  It's more like a middle aged spread on the bed (full size) with some still in bags.  Then there is the stash in the basement that was moved there when my room got transformed.  Oh, and the stash in the living room that is being used in my current and about to be current WIPs.  I don't think there is anything else hiding anywhere but I could be wrong.  Anyways, I don't have some great plan for stashing the stash.  As I have dogs, and they shed, I tend to keep the yarn covered, as in bags or boxes.  This does present a problem when I'm trying to find a particular skein. I should just take the room back and get it organized, but I'm going to be gone again tomorrow  . . . I mean today!

Monday, March 28, 2011

2nd Annual Knitting and Crochet Blog Week!!

Yup!  They have one of those, too!

As you can tell, I don't post on a daily basis, and this is a good thing (trust me)!  I'd rather save my postings for something that someone may actually want to read. But, after checking this out (you can read for yourself here: ), I have decided to participate.

They do have a set schedule; blog this on Monday, blog this on Tuesday, and I'm not sure about strictly sticking with that, but we'll see.  So, what's on for today?  Discuss two different yarns that you have used.  Okay, I can talk yarn!  But, I'm not going to limit myself to two because I don't want you to limit yourself.  It took me a long time to start experimenting with yarns and I regret that deeply.

I, like many, started crocheting with Coats and Clark Red Heart (now called Red Heart Super Saver) because it was cheap and readily available - perfect for a pre-teen on an allowance.  To this day, I have a stash of this yarn.  It works up easily, washes well, and stands up to abuse.  I like it for afghans and toys for children.  It would be years later when I would move on - to Caron's Gold (now called Caron's Simply Soft).  I referred to this yarn as Heaven on a Hook!  It was sooo soft! Much softer than the Red Heart.  I enjoyed this yarn for years, and, again, I still have a stash, albeit a much larger one.  Currently I am using this for an afghan, which I will eventually post here.

I'm not a yarn snob, far from it, which is a good thing because I couldn't afford to be one!  But, I have expanded my horizons greatly of late and moving away from acrylics.  A few months ago I bought some beautiful Berocco Vintage, a wool yarn.  I was enjoying using it, until my fingers started to crack and bleed.  Allergies to lanolin will do that.  I gave the unfinished hat and remaining yarn to a friend from my knit/crochet group, the Cape Cod HAPPY Yarncrafters (CCHY). She'll put it to good use!

From a woman in the same group I got some Berocco Comfort, a nylon and acrylic blend.  It has a totally different look and feel over other yarns I have used.  It works up nicely but you see right away if you don't keep your stitiches even.  It looks soft of spongy, and without the definitive multi-strands.  I think that a child's afghan would be a perfect use for it.

Recently my local Michael's has had Bernat Satin Sport on clearance for $1.29 (yeah!) and I've picked up a few skeins in Aqua and a few more in Meadow (a multi-color).  The Meadow will be made into a sweater for for niece's daughter, Ella.  I'm still thinking about the Aqua.  A sport weight yarn is thinner than worsted weight, and perfect for baby and toddler clothing.  Your stitches will be smaller and therefor  you can get a lot of detail in your pieces.

Of late, my favorite yarn material to use has been 100% cotton. I started with the cotton right after the disaster with the wool. (Not knocking wool.  I will get some superwash wool soon enough and give it a try.)  I've become hooked on it (no pun intended).  The 12 Block Series is being done in Lily's Sugar'N Cream 100% cotton.  I have plans for a tank top, and possibly a summer dress.  The tank will be published here once I get it done.  Hopefully in May. We'll see about the dress.

Tomorrow, I get to play with some alpaca!  Getting it delivered to me at the CCHY meeting and I really am looking forward to it as it's been a really long time since I've used alpaca, and it'll be the first time I've used commercially prepared alpaca yarn.

Everyone who reads this should go and get a yarn that they've ever used before.  Expand your horizons, and your stash.  Try something in a differeint wieght, or fiber content. Make yourself something sweet!


Sunday, March 27, 2011

12 Block Series: Block 5: Moss Stitch Block

Moss Stitch Block

Like the FLO-BLO, the cloth created by the Moss Stitch is dense, though not thick nor heavy, yet the two stitches are completely different in texture. Either would work very nicely for creating clothing that you don't want a peek-a-boo look with, such as a tank top, pullover, or skirt.

Note:  Hook Size: G

Stitches used:
Chain (ch)
Single Crochet (sc)

Double Crochet (dc)


Ch 31

Row 1: Sc in second chain from hook and in each ch across. Ch 1, turn.  (30 st)

Row 2: Sc in first st, *dc in next st, sc in next st*. Repeat from * to * until 1 st left, dc in last st. Ch1, Turn.

Repeat Row 2 until desired length.
Moss Stitch Block