Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Front Loop Only Double Crochet Stitch Pattern

by M. J. Joachim
Updated 4/19/16



Using tip #1 from May 16th’s post, double crochet stitch and what we learned about crocheting in the front loop only on May 10th, I’d like to share a simple design that you can use to make scarves, blankets, and warm shawls. Naturally, you are only limited by your imagination and can make whatever your heart desires with this simple pattern.

In this pattern, all of your double crochet stitches will show the front side only on one side, and the back side only on the other. The front side of your fabric will be smooth, while the back side will have a small ridge from the front loop only stitches you made.

Step 1: Crochet a foundation chain + 3.

Step 2 (row 1): Double crochet in 3rd chain from hook and in each stitch across.

Step 3 (row 2): chain 1, single crochet across the row

Step 4 (row 3): chain 3, dc in front loop only of each single crochet in the previous row

Repeat steps 3 and 4 to make an all over pattern.

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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Crochet Tips that Work Well for Me

by M. J. Joachim
Updated 4/19/16




I’ve been crocheting for more than 30 years now, and through trial and error, I’ve learned a few crochet tips that I use just about every time I crochet. These tips give your final project a more finished look, and they are easy to do once you get the hang of them.

Tip # 1

Sometimes when we make rows of stitches, we don’t want to have one row with the front side of the stitches, and the next showing the back side of the stitches. To prevent this you can make your first row of stitches; on your next row make a row of slip stitch or single crochet. These two stitches are short enough that your stitches will blend together, creating an all over look of the front side of your stitches.

Tip #2

It’s always best to change skeins or add a new color at the end/beginning of a new row, rather than in the middle of your work. Crochet to the end of your row until you have one loop on your hook. Add your new yarn with a slip stitch. Yarn over with the new yarn and pull through both loops on your hook. Leave a long tail from your previous yarn and be sure to finish it off securely to prevent unraveling.

Tip #3

Crochet around loose ends as you add them. If you are crocheting in the round, wrap the loose tail around the center of your circle and crochet right over the top of it. If you are crocheting rows, determine the best way to crochet your new stitches over any tails as you work. When you’re making lace, this can be tricky so when in doubt, wait to weave in loose ends until you are finished with your project. Then weave them in on the back side of your work.

Tip #4

Get a good book on finishing techniques so you can learn how to make your work look spectacular. I own a copy of the book shown in this post, and it is truly wonderful. If you’ve ever wondered about how many different things you can do with crochet, this book will show you. It will teach you crochet tips and tricks that are simply amazing.


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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Tunisian Queen Lace Stitch

by M. J. Joachim
Updated 4/19/16



In my last post, I shared a simple Tunisian crochet technique with you. Today’s stitch expands on regular Tunisian crochet. It is similar to purling when you knit in that you keep the yarn in front of your stitches before making the actual stitch. I’m including two different pictures to show you exactly what I mean. Begin by creating an initial Tunisian stitch foundation row, casting loops on and off your hook.*

*Variation: If you want to make a Tunisian stitch border, make a few regular Tunisian stitch rows before starting your queen lace stitch.

Foundation Row:
Part 1 – Casting loops onto your hook

Step 1: Make a foundation chain.

Step 2: Insert hook in 2nd chain from hook and draw up a loop. (2 loops on hook)

Step 3: Keeping both loops on hook, insert hook in next chain and repeat, casting loops on your hook to the end of your chain.

Part 2 – Casting loops off of your hook

Step 4: Yarn over and draw through one loop on the hook.

Step 5: Yarn over and draw through 2 loops on the hook. Continue (yo, draw through 2 loops on the hook) until you have only 1 loop left on your hook.

Queen Lace Stitch
Step 1/second row: Keep your yarn in front of your stitches. There are 2 ways to do this. Choose the most comfortable for you.

a. Yarn over, insert hook in stitch desired, yarn over, pull up a loop.

b. Hold yarn straight down on your fabric, insert hook in desired stitch, bring yarn back up around hook, yarn over and pull up a loop.

Once you cast on all the stitches in your row, remove them the same way you do for Tunisian stitch. Yarn over, pull through 1 loop on hook at the end of the row, yarn over, pull through 2 loops at a time until you have only 1 loop left on your hook.

Mix Tunisian and Queen Lace stitches to make different patterns. Use doily thread to make belts, string or rope to make door mats, fine knitting yarn to make lacy shawls. If you combine a large hook with a finer thread, you’ll create a more open work pattern, whereas if you use a heavy yarn with an average or smaller size hook, you’ll create a warm sturdy fabric.

It is important to keep your stitch count accurate. Do this by making sure you cast on the same amount of loops as you cast off. I often count intermittently, while I am casting on all my loops – then counting as I cast them off to make sure I don’t miss any stitches.

This is particularly important when I am working with fine thread and a larger hook. There are other variations to Tunisian crochet which I will show you as this blog progresses. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy learning and experimenting with the two I’ve already displayed.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Tunisian Crochet

by M. J. Joachim
Updated 4/19/16




You may have realized by now that I enjoy making new patterns using basic stitch instructions. I don’t mind following patterns at all, but I also like doing my own thing. This is why I have so many crochet stitch books on hand. I can use the information and tailor it to meet my needs. I’ve taught myself a lot of different crochet stitches and techniques this way.

Tunisian crochet is one of my all time favorites. Using one long afghan hook, you can make an amazing fabric with very little effort. I know because every year I make at least one handmade present for my family. Two years ago, time was running out. Thanksgiving had already passed, and I was in a hurry to make at least four gifts. I turned to my favorite crochet stitch book, The Pattern Library Crochet, and looked up stitches for Tunisian crochet.

There were a few of them, enough to make scarves with matching hats in a few weeks time. My favorite ended up being the Tunisian Queen Lace Stitch pattern. It was very easy and made a suitable scarf for my daughter in college. I had so much fun that a few months later I ended up making a checkerboard set using other stitches shown in my book. The board and bag use the Tunisian crochet technique. The chips use single crochet in the round.



Anyway, that Christmas, I was able to make a dozen crocheted gifts, and they probably took me less time than if I had gone shopping at the mall, not to mention, I'm sure it was a lot less stressful.

Basic Tunisian Crochet Stitch
*Use a long afghan hook to make Tunisian crochet.


Part 1 – Casting loops onto your hook

Step 1: Make a foundation chain.

Step 2: Insert hook in 2nd chain from hook and draw up a loop. (2 loops on hook)

Step 3: Keeping both loops on hook, insert hook in next chain and repeat, casting loops on your hook to the end of your chain.



Part 2 – Casting loops off of your hook

Step 4: Yarn over and draw through one loop on the hook.

Step 5: Yarn over and draw through 2 loops on the hook. Continue (yo, draw through 2 loops on the hook) until you have only 1 loop left on your hook.

Step 6: Insert hook in horizontal bar of 2nd stitch from hook, and repeat pattern part 1 (casting on) and part 2 (casting off) in sequence.

Step 7: Finish off and weave in loose ends.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Back Loop Only Single Crochet, Front/Back Loop Variations

by M. J. Joachim
Updated 4/19/16






Make the back loop only single crochet stitch almost the same as you make the front loop single crochet stitch. Instead of going into the front loop only, you insert your hook into the back loop only of each stitch.

Alternately, you can make one row inserting your hook in the front loop only of your stitches, and then on the next row, make the next row inserting in the back loop only of your front loop only stitches from the previous row.

Another thing you can do is alternate (similar to knit/purl for those of you familiar with knitting), and insert your hook in the front loop only, then the back loop only, of each stitch across your row. You can vary your pattern by making a set amount of front loop only single crochet, and then a set amount of back loop only single crochet to create your own design using the front or back loop only stitches.

Back Loop Only Single Crochet Stitch
Step 1: Make a foundation chain plus 1.

Step 2: Insert hook in second chain from hook.

Step 3: Draw up a loop and pull it back out of the chain.

Step 4: Yarn over and draw through both loops on hook.

Step 5: Single crochet in each of the remaining chain stitches.

Step 6: Chain 1, insert hook in back loop only of the first single crochet stitch. Instead of going under both loops of the stitch in the previous row, you want to insert your hook over the first loop, but under the second one, using the back loop only of the previous stitch.

Step 7: Draw up a loop and proceed to make a regular single crochet stitch, only inserting your hook through the back loop of the indicated stitch.

*Chain 1 to begin a new row of back loop only single crochet.

*Count your stitches to keep edges straight.

Pictures from top to bottom: Back loop only single crochet, 1 row front loop only sc/1 row back loop only sc, 1 stitch front loop only/1 stitch back loop only sc

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Monday, May 10, 2010

Front Loop Only Single Crochet Stitch

by M. J. Joachim
Updated 4/19/16




Step 1: Begin with a basic foundation chain + 1

Step 2: Insert hook in second chain from hook and single crochet in each chain across

Step 3: Chain 1, insert hook in front loop only of the first single crochet stitch. Do not insert through both loops of the single crochet stitch, but only the very front loop that is facing you.

Notice in the picture both loops from the previous row of sc at the top of the swatch. Instead of going under both of those loops, you want to insert your hook between them, under the first loop, but over the second one.

Step 4: Draw up a loop and proceed to make a regular single crochet stitch, only inserting your hook through the front loop of the indicated stitch.

*Chain 1 to begin a new row of front loop only single crochet.
*Count your stitches to keep edges straight.

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Friday, May 7, 2010

Double Triple Crochet Stitch – Granny Square Style

by M. J. Joachim
Updated 4/19/16




Double triple crochet stitch is very tall. Similar to double and triple crochet, you wrap your yarn over your hook before inserting it into the desired stitch or loop. The difference is that for double triple crochet stitch (abbreviated DTR), you will wrap your yarn 3 times around your hook, insert it in your stitch, yarn over and pull up a loop. Now you will yarn over and draw through 2 loops at a time until you have only 1 loop left on your hook, for a total of 4 times.

You will need a chain count of 5 (which will be considered the first DTR) to begin a new row or round. For the DTR Granny Square Style pattern, you will begin with a small foundation chain that you make into a ring with a slip stitch. This is often called crocheting in the round. It is how you being many crochet motifs and projects like squares, triangles, doilies, Easter eggs, doll heads etc. etc. Each new round of the DTR Granny Square Style motif will require you to slip stitch to your starting position before making your initial 1st chain DTR stitch.

Slip Stitch


Step 1: Insert hook into desired stitch.

Step 2: Yarn over, pull back out through all loops on hook. Only 1 loop should remain on your hook.

DTR Granny Square Motif – with Double Triple Crochet Stitch Step by Step Instructions

Step 1: Chain 6

Step 2: Make a ring by inserting hook into first chain stitch and making a slip stitch.

Step 3: Chain 5 (counts as 1st dtr). DTR 3 more times in ring.

DTR Stitch

a. Yarn over 3 times
b. Insert hook in ring
c. Pull up a loop
d. Yarn over and pull through 2 loops on hook (4 times)

Step 4: Chain 4, make 4 DTR in ring

Step 5: Repeat step 4 two more times

Step 6: chain 4

Step 7: Slip stitch in 5th chain of first dtr stitch

Step 8: Slip stitch in each of the next 3 stitches and in chain 4 space

Step 9: Chain 5 (counts as 1st dtr of round)

Step 10: Make 3 dtr in same chain space, chain 4, make 4 dtr in same space (corner made)

Step 11: Chain 2, make corner (4 dtr, chain 4, 4 dtr) in next chain 4 space

Step 12: Repeat step 11 two more times

Step 13: Chain 2

Step 14: Repeat steps 7 – 10

Step 15: Chain 2, make 4 dtr in chain 2 space, chain 2, make corner in corner space, and repeat around square.

Step 16: Repeat steps 14 and 15 following sequence of corners (4 dtr, chain 4, 4 dtr) and chain 2 over 4 dtr spaces, and 4 dtr in chain 2 spaces, slip stitching to end and begin rounds as explained in steps 7 and 8 to make square as big as you want.

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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Cotton Crochet Headband

by M. J. Joachim
Updated 4/19/16




This is one of those patterns that makes me smile. It’s so easy to make and can be worn in a few different ways. It uses the last two stitches we have learned, the double stitch and the triple crochet. I hope you enjoy making your cotton crocheted headbands as much as I do mine.

Finished size: Varies for each person. Make a foundation chain + 1 long enough to tie around your head.


Difficulty Level: Easy

Gauge: 3 stitches = 1 inch

You Will Need

Approximately 1/2 skein of 4-ply cotton yarn

Size F, 5/3.75 mm crochet hook

Steps

Step 1: Begin your foundation chain with a 12 inch tail hanging from your starting slip knot. Make a foundation chain + 1 that fits around the circumference of your head.

Step 2 (Row 1): Insert hook into 2nd chain from hook and double stitch across the length of your chain

Step 3 (Row 2): Chain 4, turn. Triple crochet (tc) in each double stitch you just made.

Step 4 (Row 3): Chain 1, turn. Double stitch in each triple crochet stitch made in the previous row. Finish off leaving a 12 inch tail.

Assembly

Step 5: Cut 15 (24 inch long) strands of yarn.

Step 6: Fold yarn in half. Insert crochet hook in each ending triple crochet stitch, pull through the folded yarn and pull ends through loop creating a slip knot. Trim ends to make them even if necessary.

Step 7: Tie a knot at the end of each strand. You may tie beads to the ends of each strand, but I have long hair and find that beads tend to pull on it. Knots work much better for me.

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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Double Stitch - Not to be confused with Double Crochet Stitch

by M. J. Joachim
Updated 4/19/16

Double stitch is similar to single crochet, but woven a little more closely. In fact, you begin as if you were making a decrease single crochet stitch, but as you move along, you realize that your rows remain the same length, providing you don’t forget to make that last and final stitch into your turning chain. It helps to keep an accurate count of your stitches as you work when making the double stitch. At the end of each row, chain 1 and turn.

Foundation Row

Step 1: Make a foundation chain + 1

Step 2: Insert hook in 2nd chain from hook and draw up a loop

Step 3: Insert hook in next stitch and draw up a loop. (3 loops on hook)

Step 4: Yarn over and draw through all 3 loops on hook. (That’s the part that seems just like a decrease single crochet – it gets a little bit tricky now)

Step 5: Insert hook in the same stitch and draw up a loop

Step 6: Insert hook in next stitch (stitch right next to your last stitch) and draw up a loop

Step 7: Yarn over and draw through all 3 loops on your hook. *

*Repeat step 5 through 7 across the row.

Second Row

Step 1: Insert hook in 1st stitch and draw up a loop.

Step 2: Insert hook in next stitch and draw up a loop. (3 loops on hook)

Step 3: Yarn over and draw through all 3 loops on hook.

Step 4: Repeat steps 5 through 7 of Foundation Row.

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Monday, May 3, 2010

Triple (Treble) Crochet Stitch

by M. J. Joachim
Updated 4/19/16



Triple crochet is an easy way to make a quick lacy fabric. It’s taller than the double crochet stitch and requires 4 chains instead of 3 to begin a new row. Some patterns call for 5 chains to begin a new row; I find that 4 helps keep my edges straighter. Begin with a foundation chain + 4.

Step 1: Wrap yarn around your hook twice.

Step 2: Insert hook into 4th chain from your hook and pull up a loop.

Step 3: Yarn over and pull through 2 loops on hook.

Step 4: Yarn over and pull through 2 loops on hook.

Step 5: Yarn over and pull through 2 loops on hook.

As you can see, even the stitches have a sequence to them. Double crochet wraps yarn once and pulls through 2 loops twice; triple crochet wraps yarn twice and pulls through 2 loops 3 times. When you combine the lacy triple crochet stitch by alternating it with tightly woven stitches, you can make amazing patterns and designs.

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Sunday, May 2, 2010

Table Top Decoration

by M. J. Joachim
Updated 4/19/16



Good morning! It’s a cool, crisp, “hard to believe it’s May here” type of day in Arizona. A light breeze is blowing the trees and shaded clouds dot the horizon. I’ve had a wonderful time creating this next crochet pattern for all of you, and I’m really excited to share it.

When you look at a pattern for the first time, you want to notice the repeated sequence in it. This makes it much easier to follow your crochet patterns, and it gives you stopping points along the way. The sequence you will repeat in Table Top Decoration Crochet Pattern is: 2 rows half double crochet (hdc), 1 row extended single crochet (exsc), 1 row double crochet (dc), 1 row exsc, and 2 rows hdc, which equals a total of seven rows to make the pattern sequence.

*Important Tip: When you end each row, keep them even by making your last stitch in the top stitch of the your turning chains from the previous row. When starting a new row, the first stitch is not the turning chain, but the stitch right next to it.

You will notice that I’m not telling you what colors of yarn to buy. Each project you make should be yours, and color is a personal preference. For this project, you will need one main background color for your sequence rows (#3 thread), and 1 contrasting color for your weaving (4-ply yarn).

Table Top Decoration Crochet Pattern

Finished size: approximately 12 X 7 inches
Difficulty Level: Easy
Gauge: Approximately 6 half double crochet stitches per inch

You Will Need

1 skein (150 yards) #3, 100% cotton crochet thread

Hook size – .75 mm crochet hook (Mine is steel, but I’m pretty sure you can find them in plastic and wood these days too.)

4 yards 100% cotton, 4-ply worsted weight cotton yarn *Each yard will be folded in half so it has 2 strands and is approximately 18 inches long. (These strands can be made longer so they are easier to work with. You will be trimming the ends in the final steps of the project.)

8 beads with a large hole (I used wooden beads, but you can use whatever type you like as long as your 4-ply yarn will go through them.)

Steps

Step 1: Begin with a foundation chain of 70. When you start your first hdc row, be sure to keep your foundation chain straight as you work. This will enable your piece to lay as flat as possible upon completion.

Step 2: Hdc in 2nd chain from hook and in each stitch across. This is row 1.

Step 3 (Row 2): Ch 2, turn, hdc in first stitch and in each stitch across.

Step 4 (Row 3): Ch 2, turn, exsc in first stitch and each stitch across.

Step 5 (Row 4): Ch 3 (counts as first double crochet in row), turn, dc in first stitch and each stitch across. *Mark your dc rows with a crochet marker or contrasting thread as you complete them. This will make it much easier to finish the project.

Step 6 (Row 5): Ch 2, turn, exsc in first stitch and each stitch across.

Step 7 (Row 6): Ch 2, turn, hdc in first stitch and in each stitch across.

Step 8 (Row 7): Repeat Row 6.

Step 9 (Rows 8 – 28): Repeat Rows 1 – 7 in order, 3 more times. Finish off. Weave in loose ends.

Step 10: Weave your contrasting 4-ply yarn (over/under), in each double crochet row. Be careful that you don’t buckle the fabric as you do this. Adjust it as necessary, and keep your yarn even so it creates 2 horizontal lines across your piece.




Step 11: When the strands are woven through, make all of them even. Cut the loop so you can follow Step 12.

Step 12: At each end of your piece, straddle your 4-ply yarn around the end double crochet stitch. Insert the top strand through your bead, tying both the top and bottom strands together to secure it. Double knot both strands together to finish securing and putting the bead in place. To make this easier, I insert my crochet hook through the bead and pull the yarn back out of the bead.

Step 13: Trim 4-ply yarn so that ? inch remains as a tassel on each bead.

Step 14: Use your crochet hook to separate 4-ply strands at the ends of each bead.

Lightly steam your Table Top Decoration Crochet Pattern, shape and lay flat to dry.

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Saturday, May 1, 2010

Double Crochet Stitch

by M. J. Joachim
Updated 4/19/16



I like using double crochet (dc) and 100% cotton yarn to make dishcloths. They never seem to wear out, are thick and absorbent, and with so many colors of yarn to choose from, I can make them coordinate with anyone’s kitchen, even my own. Begin with a foundation chain plus 2.

Step 1: Yarn over, insert hook in 3rd chain from hook.

Step 2: Yarn over, pull up a loop. (3 loops on hook)

Step 3: Yarn over, pull through 2 loops on hook. (2 loops remain on hook)

Step 4: Yarn over, pull through last 2 loops on hook.

Step 5: Continue double crocheting to the end of your foundation chain.

Step 6: Chain 3, turn, to begin a new row. DC to end of row; be sure to make your final stitch of the row in the top chain of the turning chain. This will keep your edges straight.

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