Tag Archives: stitches

Don’t Bother Me, I’m Counting

Before I have to enter one of those posts that says, ‘Gosh, I haven’t posted for months, sorry’, I figured I’d better check in ūüôā

With the advent of warmer weather, I’ve been doing some more much needed yard work…pruning, mowing, planting, etc….so that’s distracted me somewhat from blogging. But I’ve been busy hooking, too.

wips-and-fos-008-small.jpg¬†FO – I finished my shawl and named it ‘Provence’, not because it has anything to do with France, but because I’m a Francophile and the colors remind me of the french countryside.

 

wips-and-fos-014-small.jpg¬†WIP – A baby project I’m working on. I’ve wanted to do something in these colors for awhile but never had the inspiration for what exactly I wanted to make. This one makes me smile; I love the stitches & I love the colors.

 

wips-and-fos-017-small.jpg¬†This is a test swatch for my latest obsession…spirals. The spiral shawls, aka Carnival shawls, popping up around the ‘net are absolutely gorgeous/fascinating/mesmerizing/addicting. Check these pictures on Flickr to see why.

 

So, see, I have been a busy little hooker. There’s one or two other WIPs sitting in the wings, but those I’ll save for another post. Hope everyone has a great week. Keep those hooks a’smoking.

 

 

 

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Foundation/Base Chain

Crocheters are all abuzz about this ‘new’ technique for creating the base chain and foundation row stitches at the same time (instead of making a chain, then going back across with foundation stitches). I emphasize the word ‘new’ because apparently the technique has been around for many years, although not widely used by most hookers.

Besides shaking up the designing world with her fabulous crochet work, Doris Chan has brought this method for creating a foundation chain to the spotlight. It’s worth taking notice when the hottest designers are converting and singing it’s praises.

There are several advantages for using this method, but the one that stands out in my mind is that it does away with having to count the traditional starting chain…over and over and over….which is something I always have trouble with when starting a new project. Using the foundation chain method, you just complete the required number of stitches….the starting chain and foundation row are all done in one fell swoop. Brilliant!

Oddly, there are¬†not many sites that have visual tutorials on the method. I found several sites that give written instructions, but I’m one of those that sometimes needs visuals to help me ‘get it’. It took some digging, but I managed to find a few. The best, in my humble opinion, is on Serendipity Crochet, where there are tutorials for not only¬†single crochet,¬† but half-double crochet and double crochet base chains as well. Check it out and let me know what you think.

The Basketweave Stitch

One of the fun parts of this here blog is checking the ‘stats’. Another¬†popular¬†search¬†referral term is the basketweave stitch, usually listed as ‘basketweave, stitch, pattern’. For those newbies just learning to crochet or someone who’s trying to add new stitches to their repertoire, there’s really no pattern, per se, for basketweave. It’s simply a technique…a different way of doing double crochet stitches that creates the effect of basketweave. And it’s not as difficult as it looks.

Crochetme has an excellent tutorial on raised double crochet stitches written by the talented designer Annette Petavy. The article includes pictures (yay), showing exactly how to create the basketweave effect as well as different variations of basketweave and more. Go check it out here.

Wanna See Some Awesome Crochet??

Go check out Moonstitches’ Rhubarb Scarf. Be forewarned…if you’re a drooler, cover your keyboard ūüėÄ

The Harmony of Stitch and Color

diagonal-boxstitch-005-small.jpg¬†diagbox-relief.jpg¬†diagbox-relief2.jpg¬†This morning, I’d laid my work down to walk to the kitchen for a cup of coffee and, as I was walking back into the living room, the light from the windows cast just the right angle of light to show the full dimensional effect of the stitches in conjunction to the color bands. Along with the bands of color created by the SWS yarn, the diagonal box stitch created bands of ridges, only visible from certain angles. And from different angles, the¬†appearance changes to¬†reveal a basketweave effect.

This is what makes crochet exciting…..when color and stitch combine to produce unexpected results that surprise and delight!

diagbox-scarf.jpg¬†Paton’s SWS, Natural Earth, 2 skeins. J hook. Diagonal Box Stitch. Finished size 3 1/2″ x 63″.

Diagonal Box Stitch

The post on this blog that gets the highest number of hits is this one¬†about the box stitch. There is also a lot of traffic referred here from Google¬†from searches¬†for ‘diagonal box stitch’, so I though I’d write about that today. Now, I know in the original post I wrote that the best yarn to use for box stitch is a smooth, shiny (as opposed to fuzzy or bulky) one. Well, that applies to solid-colored yarns. Today, I’m going to show how box stitch gets jazzed by being done on the diagonal with self-striping yarns.

The pictures below are two swatches of self-striping yarn; the first is¬†Paton’s SWS in Natural Earth, the second is Hobby Lobby’s I Love This Yarn in Autumn Stripe (not sure about that colorway, have thrown away the band). Both are worsted weight.

diagonal-boxstitch-003-small.jpg¬†¬†diagonal-boxstitch-004-small.jpg¬†Box stitch, diagonal or straight, reminds me alot of¬† the entrelac technique….box stitch being much easier to my mind. But from these pics, it’s easy to see how self-striping yarns lend themselves well to the diagonal box stitch. With the SWS, the gradation is a bit more subtle, with the ILTY it’s¬†more pronounced.

Let me pause here to say that, although the ILTY is a che…..er, inexpensive yarn, it’s quite impressive for the price. It’s very soft and, as you can see, it has the longer color runs usually found in the more expensive yarns but lacking in most common acrylic yarns. I’m thinking it would make an impressive (and inexpensive) afghan.

Okay, back to the box stitch. You can find a tutorial for the diagonal version @ Crochet Cabana, the link’s over there in the sidebar. Sandra does a fabulous job of¬†adding pics with each step, for those of us who might need visual aids, lol. ¬†

Now, just for fun, the pics below are showing the same yarns done in different stitches and how the fabric is effected by color and stitch. The first one is ILTY done in granite/seed stitch and the second one is SWS in a single crochet shell (sc, ch-1, sc). Totally different results from the same yarns.

i-love-this-yarn-granite-stitch.jpg  straight-sc-sws.jpg

Next time/if you decide to buy self-striping yarns, try experimenting with different stitches for different effects. The results can be remarkably different.

In other news, it’s a cold, blustery day here at the cottage. We had a nice, quiet Thanksgiving and have been hibernating since then. The flounder have been running and DH has had a bit of luck catching some, so the other day I made a pot of gumbo with some of the flounder and some shrimp I’d put in the freezer. Perfect cold-weather comfort food! For now, I’m off to finish that SWS scarf. TTFN.

Granite Stitch

Looking for new stitches that add interest to a piece is something I spend alot of time doing (that, and browsing the incredible selection of yarn that’s available these days). I imagine most crocheters have their favorite stitch, one they¬†find themselves using more than others. ¬†One of my all-time favorites is the granite stitch, aka seed stitch.

It’s one of the most incredibly easy stitches; sc, ch 1, sk 1 st, sc in the next stitch. On the return row, you sc in the ch-1 spaces and ch-1, sk next sc, sc in ch-1 space. It works well using solid colored yarn or¬†variagated yarn. But the magic really happens when you use different color yarns on alternating rows.

3-color-granite-small.jpgThe first pic shows what you get using 3 colors. I really like using the black and white with a 3rd color. Imagine using complementary or contrasting colors. The possiblities are endless. 

2-color-granite-small.jpgThis next pic (ignore the loose ends….it’s a swatch)¬†shows the magic that happens when using only 2 colors, alternating rows…..instant stripes!

I encourage you to learn new stitches to add to your repertoire. Use the stitches and yarn to their full potential and make the magic happen!

Box Stitch aka Crazy Shell Stitch

ph-003-small.jpgOne of my favorite stitches is the box stitch. It’s a variation of the shell stitch but with a dramatically different result. In my experience, it’s used best with a shiny, smooth yarn that shows it’s definition most effectively. For baby afghans, I like to use acrylic yarns for the ease of care (machine washable) and Caron Simply Soft has been my favorite.

Crochet Cabana¬†has the best tutorial (with pictures!) on both straight row and diagonal row box stitch. Visit them here: http://www.crochetcabana.com/stitches/box-st-in-rows.htm¬†Don’t be intimidated by the instructions. It’s really a quite simple stitch.

If you’re inspired by this post, I’d love to see pictures of your project using this versatile stitch.