Saturday, March 31, 2012

Double Crochet with Picot Stitch

by M. J. Joachim
Updated 4/20/16

I’ve spent much of the morning working on that Chunky PinkYarn Blanket I wrote about earlier this week. Phase II isn’t ready for you yet, but hopefully I’ll post about it later this coming week.

In the meantime, I’ve been thinking about something else all week. What if…? Why couldn’t we…? Sounds possible…hmmm, let’s experiment with that idea some more…yarn over, insert hook, pull up loop…chain…no, no, no…tear out stitches, make new foundation chain…try again, and again…okay, a few times more and then…

Well, it definitely works, and personally, I think it looks pretty cool too! Of course the real test is finding out what you think of it, so don’t be shy. Let me know how you like this new – well at least I’ve never heard of it before – double crochet with picot stitch.

Use this stitch in place of traditional double crochets in your pattern, or as an all-over stitch pattern. If you use it as an all-over pattern, add 3 chain to your foundation chain (which will count as your first double crochet), and make 3 chain to begin each row. You might also want to use a traditional double crochet stitch at the end of each row, for a more even look on your sides. When making your foundation chain, begin your first double crochet with picot stitch in the 3rd or 4th chain from the hook, depending on your personal preference.

Step 1: Yarn over, insert hook in desired chain or stitch, yarn over, draw up a loop, yarn over and draw through 2 loops on your hook; [2 loops remain on hook]

Step 2: Make picot; Chain 3 (using only the last loop on your hook) – expressed another way: yarn over, draw through 1 loop on hook, chain 2; slip stitch in 1st chain [picot complete]

Step 3: Yarn over, draw through 2 loops on hook







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Friday, March 30, 2012

Chevron Stitch

by M. J. Joachim
Updated 4/20/16




Foundation Chain: Make a multiple of 16 chain stitches (+2 more chains)

Step 1: Make 2 single crochet in 2nd chain from hook

Step 2: Single crochet once in each of the next 7 chains; skip the next chain and single crochet once in the next 7 chains

Step 3: Make 3 single crochets in the next chain

{Repeat Steps 2 and 3 across row, ending with only 2 sc in the last chain}

Step 4: Turn, chain 1, make 2 sc in first stitch

Step 5: Single crochet in next 7 stitches, skip 2 stitches, sc in next 7 stitches

Step 6: Make 3 sc in next stitch

{Repeat Steps 4 – 6 for pattern}

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Kitchen Scrubby Washcloth Pattern

by M. J. Joachim
Updated 4/20/16



The kitchen scrubby washcloth is an idea I came up with some time ago when I started making dish scrubbers. It's a nice way to use sample squares you make, using all the stitches you are familiar with and enjoy. It also makes like a little easier, having your dish scrubber attached to your washcloth.

This washcloth pattern uses the double crochet cross stitch, but you can use any stitch you'd like.

You Will Need

Cotton yarn
Tulle cut into strips
Size I crochet hook
Scissors

Step 1: Make a foundation chain of 30

Step 2: Using the double crochet cross stitch, crochet until you make a square

Step 3: Join tulle (fine netting) to corner - cut yarn, leaving a long enough tail for tulle to wrap around and tie in loose end. Wrap tulle stitches around yarn tail from foundation stitches in the same manner

Step 4: Chain 1, sc evenly around washcloth with tulle

*Rule of Thumb: make 2 sc in side chain 3's and dc's; make 1 sc in each side sc; make 1 sc in each stitch across top and bottom of washcloth; make 4 so's in each corner - 2 for each side; make 3 so's in final corner where tulle was originally joined. Slip stitch into first stitch of round.

Joining New Tulle Strips
When you have approximately 5 - 6 inches of tulle left in your strip, wrap the tulle strip you're working with around a new strip of tulle. Continue single crocheting, twisting as necessary to secure.

Step 5: Chain 3 (counts as first dc); make 1 dc in each sc around; join to top chain of 1st dc.

Finish off. Weave in loose ends.

Note: Cotton yarn will shrink when washed, tulle will not. Lay washcloth flat to dry if concerned about this. Washcloth will regain shape when it gets wet, because yarn stretches out when moistened.





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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Double Crochet Crossed Stitch

by M. J. Joachim
Updated 4/20/16





The Double Crochet Crossed Stitch consists of a row of crossed double crochet stitches that alternates with a row of single crochet stitches. The beginning of each double crochet row is chain 3 (which counts as the first dc in that row; the end of each double crochet row is a solitary dc in the last stitch of the previous row. Single crochet rows always start with chain 1, and end with a single crochet in the last stitch of the row.

Foundation Chain: Make a multiple of 2 chain stitches (+2 more chains)

Step 1: Double crochet in 5th chain from hook, then dc in 4th chain from hook, crossing over the double crochet you just made.

Step 2: Skip next chain (or stitch), double crochet in next chain (or stitch); cross over dc just made, and dc in missed chain (or stitch).

{Repeat Step 2 across row, ending with 1 dc in last chain or stitch.}

Step 3: Chain 1, turn; single crochet across row

Step 4: Chain 3 (counts as 1st dc in row), turn

{Repeat steps 2 – 4 for pattern.}





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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Double Crochet Daisy Stitch

by M. J. Joachim
Updated 4/20/16



I couldn’t resist good people! I simply had to figure out how to make a double crochet daisy stitch, so we could all enjoy making small, medium and large (today's post) daisy crochet stitch patterns.

This pattern starts out like the medium daisy stitch, except the daisies are larger because they are made using double crochet clusters.

Foundation Chain: an uneven number of chain stitches

Step 1: Yarn over, insert hook in 2nd chain from hook, yarn over and draw up a loop, yarn over and draw through 2 loops on hook. 


[Repeat 3 more times over the next 3 stitches, so you have 5 loops on your hook]

Step 2: Yarn over, draw through all 5 loops on hook

Step 3: Chain 1 (to close daisy stitch); insert hook in center of chain you just made and draw up a loop

Step 4: Yarn over, insert hook under the last 2 vertical bars of the last double crochet stitch in the previous daisy; yarn over, draw through 2 loops [3 loops on hook]

Step 5: (Yarn over, insert hook in next stitch, yo and draw up a loop, yo and draw through 2 loops on hook) twice [5 loops on hook]

{Repeat Steps 2 – 5 for across row}

Beginning a New Row

Step 1: Chain 3, (yarn over, insert hook in next chain, yarn over and draw up a loop, yarn over and draw through 2 loops on hook) twice; turn

Step 2: (Yarn over, insert hook in next stitch, yo and draw up a loop, yarn over and draw through 2 loops on hook) twice [5 loops on hook]

{Repeat Steps 2 – 5 for pattern}







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Chunky Pink Yarn Crocheted Blanket, Phase 1

by M. J. Joachim
Updated 4/20/16



So I’m at the craft store the other day…coupon + member discount + half price yarn wall are things I simply can’t pass up!

I found some of the prettiest pinkish, brown and peach fuzzy yarn. This was one of those times when buying on impulse was the only thing I could do. As I sorted through the container, all I found were three skeins of matching dye lots. It was a start, and who knew what I would end up making with my new yarn? All I knew was that I was going to start making something in the very near future.

A few days later, I took out my first skein of pretty pink, chunky yarn and my large size K crochet hook. I think I’ve mentioned before that I like making simple stitches with fancy yarns, so I proceeded to make a long chain (90 + 1 foundation chain, approximately 38 inches wide) and follow my Single Crochet with Slanted Rows pattern. Still unsure of what I was making, I chose to use up the entire skein, and see what I wanted to do after that.

*Special Note to Self: Fuzzy yarn needs to be wound into a ball before crocheting with it. As I neared the end of my skein, I spent more time untangling the yarn, than I did crocheting, something that can easily be avoided in the future!

Upon seeing that one skein measures 6 – 7 inches height with my pattern, I decided I needed to pick up a 2nd color of yarn and make a series of horizontal stripes; my mind and fingers were saying, “Blanket, crocheted blanket, you’ll see. This is a blanket in the making.” Creativity is a funny thing, as it gets us thinking outside the boxes of what we should and shouldn’t do. Since I really didn’t have any parameters or boundaries for my project, I could pretty much do whatever I wanted.

I ended up picking up some thick, brown yarn – not chunky and fancy, just extra thick, and decided this would make additional, alternate horizontal stripes for my blanket. Again, SALE, Member Discount, half price wall…you get the idea. There were 4 skeins of brown yarn with the same dye lot.

Continuing with the idea of using 1 skein per “horizontal panel,” I joined the brown yarn to my project at the end of a row. However, instead of following my same pattern, I decided to alternate rows of Reverse Double Crochet with rows of Traditional Double Crochet, to add some extra design and interest to my piece. Once my brown skein was finished, I joined a second skein of my fuzzy pink yarn, and proceeded to follow my previous single crochet with slanted rows pattern as before.

As I was working on this project last night, it occurred to me that I truly don’t have enough yarn to make a full sized blanket. However, that’s what I want to make, so I know that I’ll be visiting the yarn store in the future to pick up some more yarn and determine how to continue this pattern. I have a few ideas, but I can’t be sure until it’s time to get more yarn. This is only Phase 1.

I’ll be sharing this work in progress with you as it develops. Please feel free to join me, and make your own blanket simultaneously, or just have fun following along to see what happens next and watch my creative streak at work. Either way, I think you’ll find this is a great way to save money by purchasing yarn at bargain prices, practice a variety of crochet stitches, indulge yourself in the art of crochet design and explore the limitless ends of your own creativity.





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Monday, March 26, 2012

Tulip Stitch

by M. J. Joachim
Updated 4/20/16



The tulip stitch is an easy stitch to make, as it consists of only chains, single crochets and double crochet stitches, ultimately giving the effect of “petals” lying down, and creating a delicate pattern in your crochet work. One of the things I like to do when using the tulip stitch is to weave ribbon through the openings to add interest to my project. I used the tulip stitch one time to make a pillow for a gift, and the contrasting light colored, satin ribbon with the soft, dark yarn was quite extraordinary. I’m including two variations in this post. Both are nice, and you can decide which works best for each of your individual crochet projects.

Tulip Stitch Variation 1

Foundation Chain: Multiple of 4 (+4 more chains)

Step 1: Make 3 double crochet stitches in the 4th chain from hook

Step 2: Skip 3 chain, single crochet in next chain, chain 3, make 3 dc’s in same chain space

{Repeat Step 2 across row, ending with 1 sc in the last chain}

Step 3: Chain 3, turn

Step 4: Make 3 dc’s in the 1st single crochet

Step 5: Single crochet in next chain 3 space, chain 3, make 3 dc’s in same chain 3 space

{Repeat Step 5 across row, ending with 1 sc in last chain 3 loop}

Repeat Steps 3 – 5 for pattern.

Tulip Stitch Variation 2


Foundation Chain: Multiple of 4 (+5 more chains)

Step 1: Make 3 double crochet in 5th chain from hook

Step 2: Skip 3 chains, single crochet in next chain, chain 3, make 3 dc in same chain

{Repeat Step 2 across row, ending with 1 sc in last chain}

Step 3: Chain 4, turn

Step 4: Make 3 dc in 1st chain of chain 4

Step 5: Single crochet in next chain 3 space, chain 3, make 3 dc in same chain 3 space

{Repeat Step 5 across, ending with 1 sc in last chain 3 space}

Repeat Steps 3 – 5 for pattern

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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Loop Stitch Fringe


by M. J. Joachim
Updated 4/20/16




Question of the day...

Can you use the loop stitch to make fringe?

Answer: Yes, provided you tie each loop securely in place after you cut it.

And...

If you make your loops long enough, you can also tie beads on the fringe you make from your loop stitches.




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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Exploring the Art of Filet Crochet

by M. J. Joachim
Updated 4/20/16



For some reason, filet crochet has always been a little intimidating to me. It’s the beautiful art of creating pictures and patterns using chain stitches and (usually) double crochet stitches. Chains form open boxes, while double crochet stitches create designs, scenes, words and whatever else the crochet artist desires. These pictures of filet crochet were found on Wiki Commons. They are available for free distribution by others, presenting a wonderful opportunity to share a few of the many types of crochet projects people make using the filet crochet technique.

Rather than give you an exact pattern in today’s post, I’d like to present an opportunity for us to explore filet crochet together. So pull out your yarn and doily thread, as well as the appropriate hook size for this exercise in filet crochet.

Example #1

Make a foundation chain. In this first example, I made my chain divisible by 4 (+3) for the first double crochet. I double crocheted in the 3rd chain from my hook (counting the first chain 3 as my first double crochet stitch. My goal was to have 4 double crochet in each block and 4 chain stitches in each open space.

After making my first block, I chained 4 and skipped 4 chains, before making my second block of 4 double crochet in the following 4 chains. I proceeded to do this all the way to the end, knowing I’d need at least 1 double crochet stitch to make the sides of my pattern. To plan for this, I worked to the end of my row, up to the last 3 chains, chained 3 and worked 1 dc in the last chain of my foundation chain.

To start a new row, I chained 3 (counts as first dc), turned and made 3 dc in the last chain 3 loop I just made. Then I worked 4 chain over the block of dc’s in the previous row, alternating chain stitches and dc’s to make a checkerboard pattern. My beginning and ending rows also needed to alternate, so when I needed 3 chains as the first double crochet in a row, I made 6 chains (3 for my first dc and 3 for my open block). In turn, when I finished the next row, I made my side dc in the 4th chain from the hook (the top of my first dc in the previous row.

Example #2

For this example, I made a foundation chain of 20 (+3, which counts as first dc). Again I made 3 dc in the 3rd, 4th and 5th chain from my hook and chained 4, skipping the next 4 chains. Then I chose to make 5 dc in the next 5 chain stitches, before chaining 4 and making my final 4 dc’s.

My second row started with 6 chains (3 for my first dc, and 3 for my open block). Then I made 4 dc in the open block in the previous row; then I (chained 2, made 1 dc in the 3rd dc, chained 2) over the block of 5 dc’s in the previous row, before making 4 dc’s in the open block and chaining 3, finishing with my final dc to make the edge of my work.

For my 3rd row, I chained 3 (counts as 1st dc) and made 3 dc in the open block. Then I chained 4 over the next block of 4 dc, made 2 dc in the chain 2 space, chained 1 over the single dc, made 2 dc in the next chain 2 space, chained 4 and finished by making 3 dc’s in the open block and 1 in the fourth chain (top of 1st dc) in the turning chain from the previous row.

Row 4 became the center row of my random, abstract pattern, before performing the mirror image for the last 3 rows of my work. Row 4 was made of closed and open filet square blocks, with a chain of 5 over the center where my design using 5 stitches was created.

Example #3

I decided to expand the boundaries of my filet crochet experiments in Example #3. My foundation chain began as a multiple of 5 (+3 which counts as the 1st dc). To change things up a bit, I made a solid foundation row of double crochet stitches. My second row was all open blocks. I started my beginning row with (chain 3 – first dc), chained 5 for an open block, made a double crochet in the 6th stitch, chained 5, made a double crochet in the 6th stitch etc. to the end of the row.

I chose to have 2 open blocks on each end, and 1 solid block in the middle of my pattern for my 3rd row; then I had one open block, 3 solid blocks and one open block for my 4th row, repeating my 3rd row pattern for my 5th row. Then I made a row of open blocks, before making a row of all double crochet stitches. I can now repeat my pattern, making it as long as I want. I can also extend the width of my pattern. I started with a foundation chain of 30 (+3), so I can make my foundation chain 60 or 90 (+3) to double or triple the width of my pattern and design.

Experimenting with the fundamentals of filet crochet is intriguing to say the least. Now it’s your turn. Make a foundation chain. Then make open and solid boxes with chain stitches and double crochets respectively. Allow your creative genius to determine what boxes need to be open and what boxes need to be solid. Make big boxes, little boxes and everything in between. It’s fun to see what you come up with and when you do, you might just realize (like I did) that you’ve known how to filet crochet all along. You just never attached a fancy French word to what you were already doing.





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Friday, March 23, 2012

Little Daisy Crochet Stitch

by M. J. Joachim
Updated 4/20/16 

The Little Daisy Crochet Stitch is made almost exactly like the Daisy Crochet Stitch, except you start with an even number in your foundation chain, and instead of drawing through 5 loops on the hook, you only draw through 4loops on your hook to make each daisy. Consequently, your daisies are smaller and your pattern instructions slightly different.

Foundation Chain: Make an even number of stitches +3

Step 1: Insert hook in 2nd chain from hook and draw up a loop, insert hook in 3rd chain from hook and draw up a loop, skip 4th chain from hook, insert hook in 5th chain from hook and draw up a loop (4 loops on hook)

Step 2: Yarn over, draw through all 4 loops on hook

Step 3: Chain 1 (to close daisy stitch)

Step 4: Insert hook in center of chain just made, yarn over and draw up a loop

Step 5: Insert hook in last vertical bar of daisy stitch, yarn over and draw up a loop

Step 6: Skip next chain or stitch, insert hook in next chain or stitch, yarn over and draw up a loop (4 loops on hook); repeat step 2 – yarn over draw through all 4 loops on hook

{Repeat Steps 3 – 6 across row for pattern}

Beginning Each New Row

Step 1: Chain 3

Step 2: Insert hook in 2nd and 3rd chains from hook, yarn over and drawing up a loop for each chain

Step 3: Turn, skip 1st stitch, draw up a loop from 2nd stitch in row (4 loops on hook) 

Repeat steps 2 – 6 for pattern






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Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Crocheted Plant

by M. J. Joachim 
Updated 4/20/16

Inspired by My Artichoke Plants



Step 1: Chain 4, make a ring

Step 2: Chain 3, triple crochet in 1st chain, picot (chain 2, slip stitch in 2nd chain from hook)

Step 3: Slip stitch down triple crochet and into center of ring (1st leaf complete)

*Note: This is not an exact science. As each leaf is different in nature, slip stitching down your leaves also will be unique and varied as you work.

Step 4: (Chain 3, triple crochet in 1st chain) twice; picot, repeat Step 3 (2nd leaf complete)

Step 5: (Chain 3, triple crochet in 1st chain) 3 times; picot, repeat Step 3 (3rd leaf complete)

Step 6: (Chain 3, triple crochet in 1st chain) 4 times; picot, repeat Step 3 (4th leaf complete)

Step 7: (Chain 3, triple crochet in 1st chain) 5 times; picot, repeat Step 3 (5th leaf complete)

{Repeat Steps 2 – 7 at least 2 more times, more if you’d like.}

Note: Leaves can follow same pattern from smallest to largest, or be made in random order, mixing sizes according to personal preference. 





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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Gardener’s Delight – A Place that Gives Me Creative Inspiration

by M. J. Joachim
Updated 4/20/16


Hello good people!

You may remember me talking about the recent thunderstorms we had here last weekend in my last post. It’s a rare and wonderful event for us southwestern desert folk, a time to get out and garden once they past, while the ground is soft from all the pleasing moisture. I’m an avid gardener, and the opportunity was not to be missed, especially since my garden is also one of the places that give me inspiration for many of my crochet projects, as well as a bounty of fresh produce for my family.

I follow the weather report around here and keep close tabs on expected rain. If I know it’s coming, I hold off pulling weeds, moving dirt and transplanting plants, because it’s so much easier to do after the ground is soaked. Today was the day – the weeds are nearly all gone. A new bed was created and filled with a layer of weeds, a layer of old desert dirt, a layer of compost and finally a layer of top soil. Off I went to purchase produce plants after that, and as you can see, I have a wonderful new bed full of herbs, peppers, tomatoes, squash and cucumbers. I also transplanted my artichokes – they were in plastic pots that had become brittle and the poor things needed more space to spread their roots so they could grow fruits for me anyway. Then I filled in a few bare spots with seeds that will grow more snow peas, peas and green beans. 

The current plants have been more than generous all winter, but they’re slowly starting to cut back on production, something I’m not looking forward to at all. Sweetest snow peas I’ve ever eaten, I tell ya!

Anyway, I hope you enjoy these pictures of my garden and invite you to share comments about where you get inspiration for your crochet projects.






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Monday, March 19, 2012

Increasing and Decreasing Single Crochet Stitches

by M. J. Joachim
Updated 4/20/16


Spent some time away from my blog yesterday to enjoy the beautiful thunderstorms happening out here – such a rare treat for people living in the desert southwest. I did manage to fit in some crocheting, but it was mostly on a project that uses single crochet stitches, something I’m sure you’re all very familiar with. A lot of my projects include rows of single crochet and variations of it, like the slanted single crochet stitch or front and back loop single crochet stitches. It’s a wonderful stitch for waist bands and hems on skirts, blankets – as opposed to afghans, potholders and kitchen towels and borders for just about anything you can think of.

Take a look at this skirt I made for my daughter, for example. I used several rows of front and back loop single crochet for the waist band. I also added single crochet as a finishing touch for the top of the skirt and used single crochet for the hem. When making the actual skirt, I started with single crochet, making sure it matched my stitch-count necessary for the skirt body and top portions respectively. This is easy enough to do, by increasing or decreasing a couple of single crochet stitches on the last row, as necessary.

A very simple way to increase single crochet is to make 2 sc’s in the same space. If you need to increase by several stitches, it might be better to do it over a couple of rows. Keeping yarn tension and fabric gathering tendencies in mind, you can also follow this sequence for increasing (2 sc in same space, 1 sc in next space, 2 sc in next space), which will prevent too many stitches from bunching up in one section of your work.

Decreasing single crochet is a matter of working 1 single crochet over 2 stitches, bringing up a loop from each stitch and drawing yarn through all 3 loops on your hook, during the final step. Again, it is important to keep yarn tension and fabric gathering tendencies in mind, when making single crochet decrease stitches to your work.

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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Reverse Double Crochet Stitch

by M. J. Joachim
Updated 4/20/16




I was playing with my yarn and hook again today. Check out this interesting stitch I came up with today, all by playing with the position of the hook and yarn.

Foundation Chain: any number +3 (which counts as first reverse double crochet stitch)

Step 1: Lay yarn on top of hook and hold it with your index finger from the hand that’s holding your hook.

Step 2: Insert hook in stitch

Step 3: Lay hook over yarn and draw up a loop (3 loops on hook)

Step 4: Lay yarn on top of hook and (draw through two loops on hook) twice

Compare reverse double crochet (red) with regular double crochet stitches (green).








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