Thursday, September 27, 2012

Yarn Talk – Feedback Encouraged


by M. J. Joachim
Greetings Good People! I hope this day finds you well and happy as can beJ
A couple of “crochet” things have come up this week, and I’m hoping to get some feedback from you about them.
One
While using some doily thread remnants, I underestimated the amount I had left. I expected to make 5 or 6 motifs with it, and I’m already on 7 or 8 with thread to spare. It seems I have a generous spool at my disposal, and that my usual eyeballing technique is not always to be trusted. No matter. This project (which will be displayed and shared in the coming weeks) will be all the better for it.
Naturally, this leads me to the question of how you plan projects with your yarn remnants and scraps. Do you stick to mosaics, small items (that never quite use up the yarn you’re using), or … well, that’s why I’m asking. How do you use your remnants and scraps?
Two
This is more of a pet peeve of mine. You’re working away, in the middle of a detailed and intense project, when suddenly you come across a knot in the middle of your yarn. To be clear, I’m not referring to tangled thread here; I’m talking about yarn that’s been spun incorrectly by the manufacturer.
There’s no way you could have predicted it would be there. To create your piece properly, you almost have to tear out to the beginning of the row or round, cut out the knot and rejoin a new thread. Luckily when this happened to me the first time this week, I was able to bury the knot in the center of a puff stitch. However, the second time it happened to me was not so accommodating. Doily thread rarely is in situations like this.
It’s a frustration to be sure, and I’m curious, do you leave knots in your work and hope they don’t show too much? Do you tear out your work and eliminate the knot, to prevent unnecessary blemishes in your pattern? Does anyone contact the manufacturer, talk about this on social networking sites, blog about it or do we all just deal with knots in our yarn, and carry on?
Christmas is rapidly approaching, and I’ve several projects in mind for it…some of them I’ll be giving as gifts. Consequently, I won’t always be showing step-by-step work in progress – at least not until the holidays are over. Rest assured, I’m writing down patterns and saving them for future blog posts, so you can make them too.
Speaking of which…
How many of you spend months crocheting gifts for holidays and special events? Does anyone make their own ribbon, package ties or festive decorations? I’d love to “deck the halls” of this blog with photos of your hand-made delights. Please send pics to mjjoachimswriting@gmail.com, with a short write-up about them. We’ll do a little link-back, so people can visit your site directly tooJ Don’t forget to put Lots of Crochet Stitches Blog in the subject of the email, so I open it right away.
That’s all for now, good peopleJ Thanks for stopping by!
M. J.


©2012 All Rights Reserved
Photo Credit: Wikicommons, National Archives

Monday, September 24, 2012

Aquarius Motif


by M. J. Joachim
Perhaps it’s because Aquarius is my star sign, or maybe it’s because working it up in 4-ply yarn and then in size 10 crochet thread, this motif gives me lots of creative ideas for patterns. 
I found this pattern in a few different crochet books - twice labeled as an Aquarius motif and once called something else. 
Regardless of what anyone calls it, I can assure you that working up this little ditty will be pleasing and quick to produce. Plus, it doesn’t require very much yardage – I’m thinking yarn scraps and remnants have exciting new possibilities hereJ


Foundation
Chain 8; join with slip stitch to form a ring
Round 1
Chain 1, make 16 single crochet stitches in center of ring; join with slip stitch to 1st single crochet
Round 2
Step 1:  Make 6 triple crochet over next 2 stitches>>>
>>> Chain 4 (counts as first triple), make 2 more triple in same space
>>> Make 3 triple in next single crochet

Step 2:  Chain 5 (corner); make 3 triple in 3rd sc from hook, make 3 triple in next sc
[Repeat Step 2 twice; chain 5, join with slip stitch to top of chain 4 at beginning of round]

Round 3
Side
Step 1:  Chain 1, single crochet in same space
Step 2:  Make 1 half double crochet and 1 double crochet in next triple
Step 3:  Make 2 triple in each of the next two triples (4 triple total in next 2 triples)
Step 4:  Make 1 double crochet and 1 half double crochet in next triple
Step 5:  Make 1 sc in next triple

Corner
Step 1:  Make 1 sc in each of the next 2 chain stitches
Step 2:  Make 3 sc in next chain
Step 3:  Make 1 sc in each of the next 2 chain stitches

[Repeat 3 more sides and corners around respectively, finishing motif by joining with a slip stitch to 1st sc]
That’s all for now, good peopleJ
M. J.

©2012 All Rights Reserved

Single Double Cross Stitch Rows


by M. J. Joachim
Side one of Single Double Cross Stitch Rows
The Single Double Cross Stitch Row pattern consist of alternating rows of single crochet cross stitches and double crochet cross stitches. It’s a very simple pattern that would be lovely for a very soft, pull over sweater. This was my first thought when I started mixing up my stitches, and I’m adding it to my future list of projects to be completed. At least I did until I looked at my table – tablecloths and placemats always come to mind when I do that, and this easy pattern would be perfect for them! Oh, but then there’s the idea of making another afghan…you can never have too many of those. Mile-a-minute strips, bordered with single crochet and joined together with slip stitches, perhaps…

Yes, I believe this pattern sequence will be useful for lots of different projects, depending on the yarn one chooses to use.
Side two of Single Double Crochet Cross Stitch Rows


Single Double Cross Stitch Rows Tutorial
Foundation: Make an even number of chain stitches (+1 more chain); single crochet in 2nd chain from hook and in each chain across.
Step 1:  Chain 1, turn; single crochet in 3rd stitch from hook; cross over and single crochet in 2nd stitch from hook
Step 2:  Make single crochet cross stitches across row >>>
>>>skip next stitch, single crochet in following stitch
>>>cross over and single crochet in missed stitch




[Repeat Step 2 across row, ending with 1 single crochet in last stitch of row]
Step 3:  Chain 3, turn; double crochet in 3rd stitch from hook; cross over and double crochet in 2nd stitch from hook
Step 4:  Make double crochet cross stitches across row >>>
>>>skip next stitch, double crochet in following stitch
>>>cross over and double crochet in missed stitch
 

[Repeat Step 4 across row, ending with 1 double crochet in last stitch of row]
Repeat Steps 1 – 4 for pattern
That’s all for now, good peopleJ
M. J.

©2012 All Rights Reserved

Friday, September 21, 2012

Water Wheel Motif Beret 092112





The thought of having one more unfinished project simply wasn’t doing it for me, so I decided to take my single skein of cotton 4-ply yarn and make a Water Wheel Motif Beret. 

The pattern is very simple and can be modified as necessary, to create the appropriate size for whoever might be your recipient. This is an original pattern I personally designed to share with you. As expected, all copyright and intellectual rights apply. Thank you.

Begin by making a Water Wheel Crochet Motif that is a few rounds larger than the diameter you need to fit your recipient. Once your motif is large enough, add the trim according to the following steps.

Water Wheel Motif Beret Trim 092112 Instructions
Step 1:  Chain 1, single crochet in same space; single crochet in each stitch around
Step 2:  Chain 1, single crochet decrease (working over the next 2 stitches the same way you worked double crochet decrease stitches) in the 1st two and last two stitches of each double crochet block of stitches; back loop only single crochet in all the stitches in between the single crochet decrease stitches.

Single Crochet Decrease
Step 1:  Insert hook in desired stitch or space.
Step 2:  Yarn over, draw up a loop
Step 3:  Insert hook in next stitch or space
Step 4:  Yarn over, draw up a loop
Step 5:  Yarn over, draw through all 3 loops on hook
I’m currently working on a few other original patterns to share with you. As soon as the tutorials are completely fine-tuned, you’ll be seeing them here on this blog.

 

Best of Friday to you, good people! Happy crocheting and have a wonderful weekendJ

M. J.

©2012 All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Water Wheel Crochet Motif


There are many different pattern suggestions for the water wheel crochet motif. The pattern consists of solid double crochet stitches, which widen out and alternate between chain stitch loops that successively lengthen as the circle gets bigger. My personal preference for the water wheel motif has the double crochet stitches gently curving, symbolic of moving water (imo). I also enjoy this pattern, because once you get the hang of it, you can grow your circle as big as the ocean, if you want.  In fact, I think it would be a great way to use up all sorts of yarn scraps and left-over yarn, consistently adding to it until you have one great big circular blanket or shawlJ Hey, come to think of it, this is also a fantastic pattern for a circular tablecloth!

Water Wheel Crochet Motif Tutorial
*Special Note:  Chain 3 at beginning of each round counts as 1st double crochet. Each round ends with a chain loop and by slip stitching into the top chain of the 1st double crochet.
Foundation:  Chain 4, slip stitch to 1st chain to make a ring
Round 1
Step 1:  Chain 3 (counts as 1st dc in this and future rounds), dc in center of ring
Step 2:  Chain 2, make 2 dc in center of ring (5 times)
Step 3:  Chain 2, join with slip stitch to top chain of 1st dc

Round 2
Step 1:  Chain 3, make 2 dc in same space as slip stitch that joined round
Step 2:  Double crochet in next dc
Step 3:  Chain 3, make 3 dc in next dc and 1 dc in following dc
[Repeat Step 3 around, ending with chain 3 and joining with slip stitch to top chain of 1st dc]

Round 3
Step 1:  Chain 3, make 2 dc in same space as slip stitch that joined round
Step 2:  Double crochet in next dc
Step 3:  Double crochet decrease over next 2 double crochet stitches >>>
a.  Yarn over, insert hook in 1st dc
b.  Yarn over, draw up a loop
c.  Yarn over, draw through 2 loops on hook
d.  Yarn over, insert hook in 2nd dc
e.  Yarn over, draw up a loop
f.  Yarn over, draw through 2 loops on hook
g.  Yarn over, draw through all 3 loops on hook



 Step 4:  Chain 4, make 3 dc in next dc

[Repeat Steps 2 – 4 around, ending with chain 4 and joining with a slip stitch to top chain of 1st dc]

Round 4
Step 1:  Chain 3, make 2 dc in same space as slip stitch that joined round
Step 2:  Make 1 dc in each of the next 2 dc
Step 3:  Double crochet decrease over next 2 dc stitches
Step 4:  Chain 5, make 3 dc in next dc
Step 5:  Repeat Steps 2 and 3 over next 3 double crochet stitches
[Repeat Steps 4 and 5 around, ending with chain 5 and joining with a slip stitch to top chain of 1st dc]

Round 5
Step 1:  Chain 3, make 2 dc in same space as slip stitch that joined round
Step 2:  Make 1 dc in each of the next 3 dc
Step 3:  Double crochet decrease over next 2 dc stitches
Step 4:  Chain 6, make 3 dc in next dc
Step 5:  Repeat Steps 2 and 3 over next 3 double crochet stitches
[Repeat Steps 4 and 5 around, ending with chain 6 and joining with a slip stitch to top chain of 1st dc]
Continue to make motif larger by adding 1 more double crochet stitch in each section of singular dc stitches, and 1 more chain in each chain loop for each new round.
That’s all there is to it, good people. Until next time, happy crochetingJ
M. J.

©2012 All Rights Reserved

Moss Crochet Stitch


The moss stitch consists of two basic crochet stitches we’re all very familiar with, namely the slip stitch and the half double crochet. It makes a close weave, all over fabric that is a perfect choice for many projects. The pattern detail created by alternating slip stitches with half double crochets is decorative, yet simple, making this a uniquely versatile choice for all types of crafts, clothing items and things for the home.

Foundation:  Make a chain that is a multiple of 2 stitches.
Step 1:  Alternate (slip stitch, half double crochet), beginning in the 2nd chain from your hook, all the way across the row.
Step 2:  Chain 1, turn; repeat Step 1 across row

Repeat Steps 1 and 2 for pattern.
That’s all there is to it, good people. Until next time, happy crochetingJ
M. J.

©2012 All Rights Reserved

So Many Projects, So Little Time...

by M. J. Joachim

WIP Wednesday

No, I do not want more hours in a day!!!



©2012 All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Crochet Gifts that are Quick and Easy to Make


by M. J. Joachim
It’s crunch time, and if you’re like me, you’ll need plenty of time to make all sorts of quick and easy projects you can share with family, friends and co-workers. In an effort to help you, I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorites from this blog. I mean, who really wants to do all that shopping anyway, right?
Dish Scrubber: Personally, I can’t live without these, and now that I’ve shared them with a few people, neither can they!
TableTop Decoration:  Now you know, if you add just a few more rows, this will make a perfect placemat. The pattern works up quickly, so you can make an entire set of placemats in no time at all!
Popcorn Stitch Spiral:  A little red, a little green…maybe some jingle bells on the end…this could be the perfect addition to any Christmas tree!
Kaleidoscope Doily:  Need I say more?
Loop Stitch Flower: I still have my magnet hanging on the fridgeJ
Simple Spiral:  Honestly, this one makes some of the best coasters I’ve ever owned!
Cro-hook Scarf:  You simply won’t believe how happy you’ll make someone with this simple project!
Snowflakes: Hang them. Join them together into ornaments, and enjoy them through the season!



Hair Accessories or Knob Protectors:  This is such a simple project for something so handy. They perfect for embellishing packages and putting in stockings!
Rectangle Hats: You can use just about any stitch for these, and it’s so easy to make a matching scarf too. Hats are always a welcome gift when autumn and winter air gets chilly.
So there you have it, ten quick and easy projects to make for all your favorite people. You’ll probably want to bookmark this page, so you can refer to it as needed.
Until next time, dear followers, I wish you every good thingJ
M. J.

©2012 All Rights Reserved

Monday, September 17, 2012

Lacy Square Motif 091712


by M. J. Joachim
Good Monday to you, kind followers! And now I must confess…
I thought I was going to make a doily today…
As my newly created pattern evolved, I realized I like it much better as a lacy motif, to be joined together (perhaps to make a tablecloth or something), or as an accent piece in a sweater, shawl, scarf or even a pretty little dress or purse.
Well, I’ll leave that up to you…but please leave me a comment and let me know your inclinations and inspirations for this new lacy motif.

Also, please remember that intellectual and copyright rules apply. This is my own original and unique pattern. While republishing it is not allowed without written consent, linking to it is more than appreciatedJ Thank you for understanding, good people.

Lacy Square Motif 091712 Tutorial
Foundation Round
Chain 6; form a ring by slip stitching into 1st chain
Round 1
Make 6 (triple crochet + chain 1 and dc + chain 1) in center of ring using the following steps.
Step A:  Chain 5 (counts as 1st triple + chain 1)
Step B:  (Double crochet, chain 1, triple crochet, chain 1) 5 times in center of ring
Step C:  Double crochet, chain 1, join with slip stitch to 4th chain of 1st chain 5 at beginning of round

Round 2
Step A:  Slip stitch into 1st chain 1 space
Step B:  Chain 6 (counts as 1 triple + 2 chain), triple crochet in same space
Step C:  Double crochet, chain 2, dc in next chain 1 space
Step D:  Triple crochet, chain 2, triple crochet in next chain 1 space
[Continue alternating Steps C and D in each chain 1 space respectively. Finish round by joining with a slip stitch to 4th chain of 1st chain 6 in round.]

Round 3
Change round motif into a square motif, by making 1 double crochet V-stitches (dc, chain 2, dc) in each side chain 2 space, and making 2 triple crochet V-stitches (tr, chain 2, tr) in each corner.
Step A:  Slip stitch into 1st chain 2 space
Step B:  Chain 5 (counts as dc + 2 chain), dc in same space
Step C:  Make (1 dc, 2 chain, 1 dc) in next chain 2 space
Step D:  Make 2 triple crochet V-stitches in next space (tr, chain 2, tr, tr, chain 2, tr)
Step E:  Make 1 double crochet V-stitch in each of the next two chain 2 spaces
[Repeat Steps D and E around, slip stitching into 3rd chain of initial chain 5 at beginning of round]

Round 4
Step A:  Turn and slip stitch into 1st chain 2 space in last triple crochet V-stitch
Step B:  Chain 6 (counts as tr + 2 chain) and triple crochet in same space
Step C:  Double crochet in next triple, chain 2, double crochet in next triple
Step D:  Make triple crochet V-stitch in next chain 2 space

Step E:  Chain 3, sc in next chain 2 space (twice), chain 3
Step F:  Make triple crochet V-stitch in next chain 2 space
[Repeat Steps C – F around, ending on Step E, and slip stitching into 4th chain of initial chain at beginning of round.]

Round 5
Step A:  Turn, slip stitch into 1st chain 3 space, chain 1, sc in same space
Step B:  Chain 3, make 5 triple crochet in next chain 3 space
Step C:  Chain 3, sc in next chain 3 space
Corner
Step A:  Make 5 triple in next chain 2 space
Step B:  Chain 3, sc in next chain 2 space, chain 3
Step C:  Make 5 triple in next chain 2 space
Side
Step A:  Single crochet in next chain 3 space
Step B:  Chain 3, make 5 triple in next chain 3 space
Step C:  Chain 3, sc in next chain 3 space
[Repeat Corner and Side 2 more times respectively; make 1 more corner. Finish round by joining with a slip stitch to 1st sc of round]

Round 6
Step A:  Slip stitch into next chain 3 space, chain 1, single crochet in same space
Step B:  Chain 7, sc in next chain 3 space
Make Corner
Step C:  Chain 7, make (1 sc, 1 dc and 1 tr) in next chain 3 space; make (1 tr, 1 dc and 1 sc) in next chain 3 space
Make Side
Step D:  Chain 7, sc in next chain 3 space (twice)
[Continue making Corner and sides around, ending with chain 7 and joining with a slip stitch to 1st single crochet in round]

Optional
Round 7
Chain 1, single crochet in same space and single crochet around by making 7 single crochet in each chain 7 loop and 1 sc in each sc, dc and tr stitch, adding 1 chain between the two triple crochet stitches in the corners.
Until next time, dear followers, I wish you every good thingJ
M. J.

©2012 All Rights Reserved