April 23, 2007

A Tip to Better Help Consistency in Gauge

Anyone who has ever crocheted knows how important gauge is. It affects the size of your finished project. But what if your problem is consistency in your gauge?
There is really no easy way to teach someone this other than to tell them to crochet and you'll soon learn how to hold the yarn so that your stitches come out uniform.
That's all well and good so long as you aren't like my thirteen year old daughter who tried to make a square pillow and ended up with a very oddly shaped triangle with the same number of stitches at the end as when she began.
I never could explain tension and holding the yarn so that she understood. So I came up with this solution:
I threaded a bead onto her yarn. It was big enough that the yarn could easily pass through it, but still small enough she could easily keep it between her pinkie and the palm side of her hand. By doing this it forced her to keep a constant grip on the bead thus enabling her stitches to become regular row after row.
It worked for her and I hope it can work for other struggling beginners!

Why Use DMC Pearl Cotton Instead of Crochet Thread?

Why use size 5 DMC Pearl Cotton thread inside of size 10 crochet thread?
Both are close in gauge when crocheting.
Some of the newer versions of crochet thread are as soft as the DMC, though not all.
The answer is simple: color variety.
With crochet thread you can find one maybe two colors of blue, pink, green and yellow, but rarely at the same store. They usually have white, black, red, green, pink, purple and maybe yellow or recently I found orange.
DMC almost always have five or so skeins in verying hues of the same color. Si if you want to make a necklace to match a favorite dress or shirt you're more likely to find it using the DMC Pearl Cotton than in the crochet thread.
DMC is found in the needlework-cross stitch-embroidery isles in most craft stores. The handging ones are ususally the size 5 thread with size 8 and 12 in balls underneath. They are the twisted skeins usually hanging on a peg board. You will need to untwist the thread and roll it into a ball so it doesn't tangle when you try to use it, but each 27 yard skein makes a ball about the size of a quarter and is fairly quick to untwist and roll.
That brings me to the other reason I like the DMC thread: the 27 yard skeins.
Crochet thread is usually found in a 250-350 yard range, which is great if you are making something large but over kill if you're just making a necklace.
Sure crochet thread will work, but there are more color variety with DMC Pearl Cotton.

P.S. If any one is wondering why I no long put the color numbers I use for my designs samples it is because I want to incourage you to go out and look at all the colors out there and then pick the one that you like best.