January 01, 2009

Simple Line Embroidary on Crochet

Tutorial on Simple Line Embroidary on Crochet

I like to highlight or add accents to a lot of my crochet pieces. At first I tried to embroider with an acutal outline stitch, but crochet is made up of a series of stitch (bumps) with holes inbetween for my yarn to get lost in leaving me with gaps in my outlines.

So I came up with this: In this example I am using a 4 ply yarn. I have the finished piece I want to "embroider" a line on like the finished line on the left of the piece. You begin on the wrong side and secure or knot the end of the black yarn. Then with a needle big enough to take the yarn (through its eye) I insert the needle and pull it through to the point where I want to begin my line.

I them insert the needle again, this time front to back and make a very short line or stitch (st). To make the next st I then insert the needle back to front above where my first balck st ended.

Here the black yarn has been pulled through to the right side and the needle has been inserted through the top of the previous st.

I then pull thorough to the back to complete my second black st.

This time to begin the third st of my line, I insert the needle at the same (sa) point (pt) where the last st I made ended. I then repeat steps 1-3 until I have finished.

Here is a finished example of my outline st:

I have used this tecnique to add defination to my kitty bag.

Crochet Tutorial on Adding a New Color

Crochet Tutorial on the Basics of Adding a New Color

I begin with a base of two rows of half double crochet (hdc). In this photo I am beginning another row and have worked 2 stitches (sts) and have begun another hdc.

In this phot I have the 3 loops (lps) of the hdc on my hook in the White. Here is where I want to add or change the color I am using. So I drop the White to the back of my piece, but still have tension on it with my finger. I pick up the Black and place it between (bet) the same (sa) finger also for tension. I then yarn over (yo)

Pull through and compete the hdc, but with Black and not the White I was previously working with.

I have fasten off the White and will be working or carring the White behind the Black hdc as I make them to seamlessly weave the cut ends into the piece. I usually carry the fastened off thread or yarn about 4 to 5 sts into the row before triming the ends and going alsog just with (in this case) the Black.

Sometimes you are asked to drop the color (in this case White). This means you comptelty stop using the White and let it

What I Did Over The Holidays

What I did over the holidays


I believe insanity runs in my family

I decided that the month of December I would concentrate on making things for me instead of designing any crochet patterns, which is something I rarely do.

So I:
Made a night gown (sewing not crochet)
Painted the powder room (my husband had chose the color. I bright blue that he swore would look different after we put it up. It did, brighter. But that's not why I repainted the powder room. I got tired of hearing how I picked it out! You know, one of those things where if it got compliments WE did it and if it doesn't, I did it.)
Put up some pictures I had been meaning to hang...I discovered Velcro from 3M, it's a wonderful thing, no husband involved!

I also made 2 stockings, felt. I from a kit and the other from a craft book. They turned out well, which is probably why I decided to make a tree skirt without much serious thought.

Here is where the insanity kicks in.

I love to go to thrift stores. Mainly I look for Santa pins (I collect, again insanity. I mean who in their right mind needs 40 Santa pins and keeps looking.) and old craft books.

My latest score:

It is copyright--copy written?- 1974

I love to look\laugh at the things they deemed "stylish" and the "in" colors.

Okay, mostly laugh. The caption reads: "Wiggle Toe Stockings"

Really, toes? And for Christmas?

Maybe for Halloween.

...the severed legs were hung by the fire...

Hey, I think there might be an idea here...

Nah! Wait...maybe...no, off subject...

... back to the insanity.

I was looking through the book and saw this.

They bottom one, not the top one. Everyone I show this to always thinks I'll make the top one...

I mean I had just made two felt stockings successfully and I did have a bunch of felt left over. It turned out I only needed a couple of colors plus the background felt.

Without looking at the instructions...

Two boys, two girls, a couple of trees--how hard could it be?

...I ran to my local JoAnns, score! The felt was on sale! It was meant to be!

(Reality here. I use to work at JoAnns, practically everything in the store is on sale a week before Christmas. Oh yea, did I forget to mention it was the WEEK before Christmas and I still needed to touch-up paint, put the new floor in my daughter's bathroom--peal and stick, wonderful stuff--get my mom--she lives in TN, I live in OH, a matter of 4oo miles apart--wrap presents, totally panic clean my entire how--my mom is coming--plan Christmas dinner and get my head examined!)

I easily found the colors I needed, guest estimating how much I need--I mean I can always us it later, right?

Then I sat down to read the instructions.

These instructions. All one page of them!
Remember the picture? There were two tree skirts?
Yes, that was all there was for both tree skirts.
It didn't mention how much felt you need--so what I had already guest estimated that!
It didn't mention size...for the tree skirt I was making that is.
Of course the one that had the size of the skirt hat no patterns.
At least I had patterns...
Patterns with no grid lines, that is and No scale!
Just a photo and 1 column of WORDS!

So lets recap.

Week before Christmas...

... these are the only instructions I have..

...how hard could it be?

Turns out very hard.

I taped together some old, jumbo drawing paper I had leftover from when my daughter was five or six--okay, she's now 16--so I don't throw anything away...I'm...re...cycling?

Yeah, that's it, recycling, global warming...

Anyway, I taped some of the pages together, guest estimating the size I need and cut it into a circle. Tree skirts are round you know...logical...wrong! Then I looked at the picture again. there are scallops. How hard would it be to add scallops?

Turns out in order to cut scallops into a circle's edge you have to make it smaller...

Okay, how hard could it be to cut scallops starting over?

I taped together another set of pages for my desired size, folded, cut scallops, unfolded, I had 4 not 8 like in the photo.

I taped together another set of pages, folded, cut, unfolded, now I had 10 scallops!

So I taped together another set of pages and stopped.
There was an awful lot of waisted paper on the floor.
Then I tried to figure it out re-cutting the 10 into 8. Not a good idea. But re-cutting the 4 into 8 at least gave me a good starting point for my last giant square of paper.
I want everyone to know, I did get 8 scallops--uneven scallops, but * had 8 scallops!
Next making the pattern for the boy, girl and tree...
Which all won't fit on each scallop because the circumference was wrong!
Next day, I decided to concentrate on the boy, girl and tree patterns with the intentions of making them, laying them out on the background felt I had bought and then cutting the scallops.
How hard could it be..right?

A day or two tops!

The tree had 16 pieces and I needed 4 of them.
The boy had 21 piece, but I only needed 2 of those.
The girl had 18 pieces and again I only needed 2.
How hard could that be?

A day for the trees, a day for the boy and girl...no problem!
After cutting, layering and gluing (I no longer had time to sew them) my mom was here. (My dear sweet husband went and got her!)
Great! Help!

So we laid the finished pieces onto my background felt. I was feeling good, I was in the home stretch now, I had even added extras like eyelashes for the girl and a pom-pom for her hat.
They didn't fit evenly.
My mom moved some around, then I moved some around, again my mom and then me, when I was just about to give up my daughter appeared. Took one look and in less than 5 seconds had them laid out perfectly.
Thank You
I pinned them on.
Time to cut the scallops.
My mom left the room, she didn't want anymore to do with it.
It was just me, the pinned felt and a pair of scissors.

Here it is! 8 scallops, 4 trees, 2 boys and 2 girls. I was proud. It was Christmas Eve!
Down under the tree it went.
Oblong, not round (I hadn't noticed before) but beautiful!
As soon as the presents were unwrapped on Christmas day, I took up the tree skirt and began sewing all those pieces, all 142 of them!
My mom was driven back to TN, the house staid a mess, but I got that tree skirt sewn.
Finished December 31st.

The same view of the finished skirt as in the only picture I had to follow.

The tree. Everyone liked those, because they looked like stain glass.

The boy. BTW, he's a caroler. My mom kept calling him a Snowman!

The girl with her pom-pom tipped hat which prompted my husband to ask if she was Cindy Lou Hoo because he thought her hat was her hair!

All that work for one day--more like half a day--under the tree.

So what have we learned?

I'm out of my mind.

Craft books from the 70's are great to look at, but not to make anything from.

I need my head examined.

Christmas is meant to be enjoyed and not on my craft room floor cutting and glue 142 pieces of felt.

Insanity must truly run in my family.

I am so ready to get back to crochet and designing patterns!

December 31, 2008

Crochet Tutorial: Dropping and Picking Up Colors

Crochet Tutorial: Dropping and Picking Up of Colors.

In my patterns that require color changes I will write: Pick up Black, drop White, half double crochet (hdc) next 4 stitches (sts), pick up White, drop Black, hdc next 12 sts...
To help explain what I mean;
We will begin with the basics: Adding in another color.
Here is my base of two rows hdc in white. I have begun the next row and have three of the loops (lps) needed to complete my next hdc.

Instead of completing the hdc in White, I drop the White I was using and holding the end of my new color-Black-I yarn over (yo) and pull through completing the st.
I am now using the Black.

Here it shows me carrying the dropped White behind the sts I work with Black so that I can access the White when I need it later.
This would be: Carry White, pick up Black, hdc next # of sts.

Here I am doing the reverse and am going from Black to White or Dropping White, Pick up Black.

Here is the st completed so I am now working in White again.

This shows that instead of working the dropped Black behind the White sts as I make them, I have completely dropped the Black to the wrong side of my piece and will pick it back up in the next row.
This is: Drop Black, Pick up White, hdc next # sts.

Here shows the completed row, with the dropped Black showing on the wrong side of the piece. I am still working in White to begin the next row.

Here I am Picking up Black from the wrong side and completing the last hdc made in White with the Black.

Again this shows my progress with the piece in that I am carrying the White after Picking up the Black.

Making more sts carry the White behind.

Now I am Dropping the Black, Picking up the White I have carried to complete the st.

The st is complete and I would work the rest of the row with White.

Here is an unusual example in that the instructions tell me to Hdc next 3 sts, carry Black next 3 sts so that I can do the color change later in the row from where I had Dropped the Black previously.
You simply do 3 sts in White, pick up Black to carry it behind the next 3 sts you work.

At the end of the 3 sts you change to Black, (Pick up Black) and carry White (behind sts as you work)
Here is the piece after the row is completed. Note how the White has been carried across 3 more Black sts than the previous row and seamlessly change colors.
In the picture, the row is completed with the Black Dropped and row ending working White.

This picture shows 3 sts done in White, White carried, Black picked up, hdc next 3 sts and instead of crocheting the next sts in Black, White is picked up, Black will be carried behind sts part way and then dropped

Here the row is completed showing the Black Carried 5 sts behind the white and then dropped to wrong side of piece.

In this picture I have hdc the # of required White sts, pick up the Black from the Wrong side, and will complete that st so I will be working in Black again.

Required # of Black sts made, 3 loops of last hdc on hook...

Picking up the Carried White to complete the row.

Here is the front of the piece so far showing the White at the end of the row and Black trailing from behind.

Wrong side of piece, again with the White at the end of the row and the Black on the wrong side where is has been dropped.
I know these instructions are generalized, but I feel you can figure out my meaning when I say: Hdc next 4 sts, pick up Black, carry White, hdc next 2 sts, pick up White, drop Black, hdc last 12 sts, ch-1, turn.
If you need more of an explanation on one or more of the photos just comment the blog and I will answer you the best I can.
Also if you would like to see a tutorial on any crochet stitch or technique just let me know.

What Makes A Toy Interactive?

Question of the Week:

I recently took a pole about crochet toys. The question was which you you perfer, the cuties sit around toy or one that was interactive.

Interactive won hands down.

Now here is my qestion:

What makes a crochet toy be considered as interactive? The addition of magnets so that you can mover-exchange body parts?

Bendable Arms and Legs?A play set?

Something where each leg squeeks, music plays, etc?

Wheels that actuall roll?

Something with a purpose? Like this ring stacker?

Or ring toss game?

I can wait to read your responses!