October 21, 2014

Crochet Challenge: Join a crochet group

Week 30 (09-24-14):  Fall is a great time to meet up with hookers.  Join a crochet group, local or online.  Check out the CGOA Chapter list or find a group on Ravelry.

Sadly there are no CGOA chapters anywhere close, but happily, there are lots of groups online!  Ravelry, of course, is the best there is.  Within Ravelry, there are groups for everyone, as long as it's related to knit, crochet, yarn, thread, etc.  It's amazing!

I belong to 15 groups within Ravelry (there are probably hundreds of them - like is said there are groups for EVERYONE) --- some CALs (crochet alongs), designer groups, even an organization group for all that yarn, works-in-progress, patterns, hooks/needles, etc.

And last but not least..... the 52 Week Crochet Challenge group that spurs this post (which I also found on Ravelry)!

You can see the groups I belong to HERE.  They're on the left hand side; just click their icon to find out more about them.

So, don't be alone!  Let's crochet together!

Until next time!
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It's never too late to join the 52 Week Crochet Challenge by Julie at Red Berry Crochet!


Free Crochet Pattern: Paula's Quick Cozy Scoodie


Quick Cozy Scoodie - free crochet pattern
Designed for dear friend, Paula, moving to chilly Pennsylvania, this pattern is for an easy, quick, warm, thick, cozy, scoodie (combined scarf and hood).

There is a nice neck piece to tuck in or out, and long scarves to wrap around and tie or cover the face and keep the nose from turning into a popsicle.

The pattern is for an adult size, but smaller sizes are easy to make by using a smaller hook, fewer strands of yarn, or leaving off rows.  Photos showing measurements and illustrating pattern instructions are provided.

It is made using a large hook and 3 strands of yarn for the hood, and 2 strands of yarn for the scarf. It has the pretty, cushy texture of the easy aligned cobble stitch, and lots of customization possibilities.

Quick Cozy Scoodie - free crochet patternIf another worsted / aran yarn is used instead of Caron Simply Soft, you will probably need to use smaller hooks, or else sub 2 strands of yarn for the hood and 1 strand for the scarf.

Hooks: Size N (10.00 mm) and Size P (11.50 mm)

Stitches used: ch, sl st, sc, hdc, dc, tr

DOWNLOAD PATTERN HERE, or copy and paste this link:  http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/paulas-quick-cozy-scoodie
(Scroll down to notes and click "free Ravelry download")

I'd love to see a pic of your scoodie!
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
Until next time!

October 2, 2014

Free crochet pattern - Yip Yip Martian Alien

Yip Yips - The Aliens from Mars on Sesame Street

Cute and adorable free crochet pattern for my favorite Sesame Street characters - the Martians - AKA Yip Yips!  Almost 60 and I still laugh when I see them.  If you haven't had the pleasure - take a look at this short video for yourself:


So I made one.  I played with him, pretending he was looking around at things, saying, "yip yip yip yip yip".  My daughter rolled her eyes and said I didn't have much of a life.  It was grand fun!

Free crochet pattern: Yip Yip Alien Martian - Sesame Street
This is Yip Yip #1.  He got in his flying saucer and flew to live with a friend that makes afghans for charities.  He sits on her chair while she crochets.

So I made another one.  But Yip Yip #2 flew away to stay with my 3 yr old grandson so fast I didn't get a picture of him!  3 yr old grandson wouldn't turn loose of him after he watched the video!

 Soooo.....I'm making another one.  But he's going to go with my daughter - you know, the one that rolled her eyes.  So she can roll her eyes some more.  Yip Yips are fascinated by rolling eyes.

Then I'll make another one for ME.  Hopefully he'll stay with me a while.  He will be my "yarn end monster" mascot, to cheer me on when I have a bazillion yarn ends to weave in.  He looks like he'd be good for that, doesn't he?

Here's the link to the free crochet pattern where you can make one too.
I'd love to see a pic of yours!  

(Click "free Ravelry download" toward the bottom).
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Until next time!

September 22, 2014

Challenge: Crochet to music & celebrate the first day of fall

Week 28 (09-10-14):  Do you listen to audio books or music when you crochet?  If yes, tell us what or who you've enjoyed the most.  If not, give it a try.
Week 29 (09-17-14):  Celebrate the First Day of Fall (Sept 22) crocheting some leaves, or by using Fall colors in a project..

Crocheted Pansy & Leaves
I combined two weeks and listened to music while I crocheted a fall project.  Instead of fall colored leaves, I chose the flower I love seeing in the fall - the pansy, along with the pansy leaves.

The pansy pattern is Pretty Pansies
by Terry Kimbrough
from Leisure Arts #100318, Afghans for All Seasons, Book 1.

The pansy leaf pattern is free and can be found here:  Pansy Leaf - Crocheted Leaf Pattern.  I modified it just a bit so the tips would come to a slight point.  (Click the pic for my notes on what I did).


As for the music part of the challenge:

I don't listen to audio books when I crochet.  I'd be too distracted with audio books, following the story, so I watch old movies on TV instead.  The only time I crochet to music is when riding in the car.

In trying to decide what music to listen to, I saw a post by Kathryn from Crochet Concupiscence discussing "crochet music" on her blog.  You could knock me over with a feather - oh my gosh, who knew there were songs that had crochet in them!

So instead of just listening to music as I crocheted, I listened to music about crochet while I crocheted!

Please go and listen and watch the music videos!  Absolutely fascinating.  Warning:  put your "music judgement" on the back burner and understand that while you may not like punk or some of the other genres, that this is a modern history lesson on crochet in songs!

Listen to the music and watch the music videos:  Songs About Crochet and Other Music for Crafting

Be sure to stop and watch the music videos.  I'll never look at a thrift shop the same again!


Until next time!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
It's never too late to join the 52 Week Crochet Challenge by Julie at Red Berry Crochet!
One simple task per week - your skills, style & knowledge will evolve while you're having fun! 


#crochet #pansy #leaves

September 21, 2014

Free crochet pattern: Perfect Hot Pads

Perfect Hot Pads / PotholdersIf you want to crochet a pot holder / hot pad that is going to be the most used one in the house, this may be it.

This is the work horse --- the potholder reached for when you're doing serious, no- nonsense cooking.  There is a reason generations have made potholders with this stitch.

The Stitch

The stitch used is called the single crochet thermal stitch; also called the “potholder stitch”, honeycomb stitch (from the early 1900’s), Helena’s potholder stitch, double thick stitch, Siberian stitch, and waffle weave technique.

The Tips

This is a very easy stitch to learn.  All it is, is single crochet - you just put the hook in different loops.

The first 3 rows are hardest, only as far as knowing the beginning and end stitches to work into - they can get kind of hidden.  Just put a stitch marker in those stitches right when you make them and it will save headaches and let you see right where they are. Otherwise, your potholder may take on a pyramid or slanted square shape!  After row 5 it’s no problem, but keep using the markers if you need to.

Perfect Potholder / Hot PadThis stitch is not very speedy, but remember that is because it is making a double thickness.  It is what you want for a potholder or hot pad and the end result is worth it.

The pattern calls for an H-8 (5 mm) hook.  I used a G-6 (4 mm) hook for a closer weave, but don't believe that it was necessary.

The Lowdown

 This is a very nice, thick, well-shaped, sturdy potholder that will last a LONG time and one I would be proud to give as a gift to anyone.


The Pattern

Pattern with photos:  The Best Crocheted Potholder, by Heather Tucker  (Has link to a video for more help, if needed).


September 19, 2014

Crochet Challenge: National Library Card Sign-Up Month

Week 27 (09-03-14):  September is National Library Card Sign-Up Month.  Sign up for a library card this week and/or check out a crochet book and tell us what you think.

Answer:  I live in a rural area and so do not have access to a free public library.  They charge a fee to use it.  Kind of aggravating, actually.  What about all the kids in the country that want to use a library?  grrr!

The Ultimate Sourcebook of Knitting and Crochet Stitches: Over 900 Great Stitches Detailed for Needlecrafters of Every Level [ULTIMATE SOURCEBK OF KNITTING]Encyclopedia of 300 Crochet Patterns, Stitches and DesignsGifts from the Heart (House of White Birches)

Anyway, here are a few from my mini-library of crochet books, and I do peruse them all the time for inspiration or instruction.  Nothing beats a good, old-fashioned book!


Until next time!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
It's never too late to join the 52 Week Crochet Challenge by Julie at Red Berry Crochet!
One simple task per week - your skills, style & knowledge will evolve while you're having fun! 


#crochet #library #books

Crochet Challenge: Organize Your Kit and Project Bag

One simple task per week and your skills, style and knowledge will evolve while you're having fun! Just click the "Are you Ready?!" button on the sidebar to get started.

Week 26 challenge (08-27-14):   Go through your crochet kit and project bag and organize them.

 Yarn Tote Organizer BagI bought this bag from Miles Kimball for $13.99 and free shipping.   (Click the pic to go there if you want to order one).

It is my main project bag.  I was surprised at the quality, for the price.  It is so functional.  When I got it, it had a bad plastic smell; I unzipped everything and let it air a couple of days and it was fine.

It's soft-sided so it squishes into spaces.  It stays by my chair and I grab it by the nylon strap and put it in the floorboard of the car when we go places.

 Yarn Tote Organizer Bag One side has a clear pocket that holds a spiral notebook and pattern and has a velcro tab closure.
 Yarn Tote Organizer Bag
The other side has a clear zippered pocket that holds my set of crochet hooks, and a ziploc bag that holds a spare pair of glasses, row counter, bandaids, clothespins, pens, marker, and kleenex.

 Yarn Tote Organizer BagThere are three zippered pockets on the front.  Each pocket holds two big skeins of yarn.  The project I'm working on now uses 6 different colors.  Perfect!

 Yarn Tote Organizer BagThe top has smooth metal grommets that the yarn feeds through. There are velcro tabs that hold the yarn ends to keep them separated and from sliding back through the holes.  There is also a small zippered pocket that holds miscellaneous items.  I have lens wipes to clean my glasses, a pen, some unfinished grannies, and a tape measure in it.
 Yarn Tote Organizer Bag
The back has a zipper that opens into a roomy space to store the unfinished work.  Mine shown here is holding completed granny squares for an afghan, and has plenty of room to hold the rest.  That black fabric notebook in the front is a magnetic pattern holder.

Chatelaine with scissors, pin cushion & needle threaderIt also holds my chatelaine, which has my scissors, and a pineapple pin cushion with yarn needles, needle threader, safety pin markers, and the crochet hook I'm using.

Project tote bagOther larger projects are in tote bags, like this one that is holding the work-in-progress, pattern, yarn, and tunisian hook for an afghan I'm making for my daughter.

Ziploc bags hold crochet projects

Each smaller project is in a clear ziploc bag, which is stored in a plastic bin.  I can just grab the one I want, along with the hook needed and chatelaine from my main project bag.


Until next time!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
It's never too late to join the 52 Week Crochet Challenge by Julie at Red Berry Crochet!
One simple task per week - your skills, style & knowledge will evolve while you're having fun! 


#crochet #organization

Crochet Challenge: Online Crochet Class or Helpful Videos

Have you ever taken an online crochet class?  If you have, tell us about your experience.  If not, check out some crochet classes at Craftsy.com or find a helpful video on YouTube to share.

This was the challenge for Week 25 (08-20-14).   One simple task per week and your skills, style and knowledge will evolve while you're having fun! Just click the "Are you Ready?!" button on the sidebar to get started.

My response:  My goodness, there are a bazillion resources to choose from nowadays.  We may curse technology for some things, but oh, how wonderful it is, putting so much information at our fingertips!

Craftsy (www.craftsy.com)

Craftsy Free Mini-Class, Crochet Ribbing, Textures, and BeadsI registered at this site some time ago.  While I've never paid for any of their online classes, they always have some free mini-classes.  For example, right now they have this one on crochet textures using ribbing, cables and beads.

They also have everything "craftsy" - not just crochet and knit.  There's also embroidery, quilting, sewing, jewelry, paper crafts, photography, painting, drawing, gardening, woodworking, spinning, weaving, cake decorating, food & cooking.  I do have some classes earmarked to take for drawing and cake decorating.


YouTube 

My goodness again!  I don't think there's anything that can't be found on youtube; and for free.  The mind just boggles!

Today I watched this video showing the Tunisian Simple Stitch, and the slip stitch bind-off.

This one is by the amazing Tamara Kelly from Moogly.  I like her videos because I can follow and understand them! In fact, she has a number of instructional videos, and her blog is a veritable smorgasborg of information, tips and tricks.



I don't know how she does everything she does, but do yourself a favor and visit her:
Moogly Blog  (http://www.mooglyblog.com/)
Tamara Kelly You Tube Channel  (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCD8D0ojFdqKWugU3qx7jbtw)

The Complete Book of Crochet Stitch DesignsLow-tech is still cool

And then there are still books!  There's nothing like flipping through the pages of books and having the printed instructions in front of you!

Until next time!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
It's never too late to join the 52 Week Crochet Challenge by Julie at Red Berry Crochet! One simple task per week - your skills, style & knowledge will evolve while you're having fun! 


#crochet #video #learn

Crochet Challenge: Crocheted Items Years From Now

One simple task per week and your skills, style and knowledge will evolve while you're having fun! Just click the "Are you Ready?!" button on the sidebar to get started.

Week 24 challenge (08-13-14):   Imagine one of your crocheted pieces years from now.  Where will it be?  Who will have it?  Describe what you think the answers will be, or make up a story instead.

Giraffe Afghan and Toy
Click for pattern info
Answer:  Wow.  It's always tricky imagining reality - because what I think is a treasure may just be tossed aside by the owner!  What I'd like to imagine - my story - is that the items I create will be used, loved and snuggled with, fondled, talked about.  Perhaps carefully folded with tissue paper and stored to be presented to the next generation.

My heart and soul and love go into crocheting unique and special touches that I hope will give happiness, such as this afghan.  I designed and added the sun, butterflies, elephant, rocks, snake, and caterpillars.  I used special fluffy yarn for the clouds, and textured yarn for the tree trunk.  I added more leaves on the tree, added manes and tails on the giraffes, and added a bird and flowers from patterns I found.


I love doing things like this, because nothing on this earth could give me more joy than to have something I have done give someone else happiness.

We have such a short time on earth, and then we're gone and forgotten.  Perhaps it's egotistical  but my existence seems less pointless if a part of me left behind would be loved.


Where will your crocheted pieces be in the future? 

Until next time!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
It's never too late to join the 52 Week Crochet Challenge by Julie at Red Berry Crochet!
One simple task per week - your skills, style & knowledge will evolve while you're having fun! 


#crochet #afghan #jungle

Crochet Challenge: Make some Crochet Word Art

One simple task per week and your skills, style and knowledge will evolve while you're having fun!  Just click the "Are you Ready?!" button on the sidebar to get started.



Week 23 challenge (08-06-14):   Make some crochet art!  Visit www.wordle.net and create, then share your creation.
Answer:  At first I thought, this is weird.  But it turned out to be wonderfully fun!  Here are my creations.

The "crochet art" is created using word cloud creators.  They are called that because they form visual "clouds" out of words.

I used two free word cloud creators:  Wordle and Tagxedo.  Both allow you to put in a web site address (URL), and then will create a world cloud using the words found at that address.  The more a word is used at the site, the larger the word will be in the cloud.  You have options to remove words, change fonts, and colors.  They will ignore words like "the", "and", "it", etc.  You can even choose to have your words line up all horizontal, all vertical, or a mix.

Wordle (www.wordle.net)

Wordle is different, in that you can also opt to manually input only the words you want to use.  Entering a word more than once will make it appear larger in the cloud. This is my example.


Tagxedo (www.tagxedo.com)

Tagxedo is different, in that you have lots of shapes to choose from.  The angel above is from Tagxedo.  You can't input your own words like at wordle, but if there are words you don't want in your cloud, you have an option to remove them.  Here are two more Tagxedo creations.






These were actually quite fun and addictive.  They would also make a fun project for or with kids --- what endless creative possibilities with font, color, shape, orientation, and spacial concepts!

Until next time!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
It's never too late to join the 52 Week Crochet Challenge by Julie at Red Berry Crochet!
One simple task per week - your skills, style & knowledge will evolve while you're having fun! 


#crochet #wordart

September 8, 2014

Free crochet granny square patterns: August 2014BAMCAL #2

Isn't this a striking square?!  Love the design elements that make the flames, and it was fun to do.

 There is a pattern for 6" and 12" blocks, and if you use Caron Simply Soft worsted yarn and a size G (4 mm) hook as I do, it makes a 9" square.

This block tied for 1st place with Thoughts of Spring as the "filler" block for August.  (The other August squares are here:  Free Crochet Granny Patterns - August).

Click pic for pattern and notes
The designer's pattern suggestion was for a green background (hence "the meadow" in the name), which looks fabulous, but I needed to stick with my CAL colors.


Until next time!
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#crochet #free #patterns #granny

September 4, 2014

A Walk on the Wild Side - Wildlife Pics

We have a trail cam on our property, which is so fun--who knows what will pop up next!  Feeders throw corn or other grains out for deer.  Of course, deer are not the only ones that like it!

Here is Mr. or Mrs. Raccoon, munching away........and Mr. Deer, looking very confused at his unusual dinner partner!
    

Meanwhile, I'm just crocheting away and watching old movies. Later will be trying out a new recipe for banana bread. Here's the recipe - it sounds wonderful:  Extreme Banana Nut Bread 'EBNB'.

I'll let you know how it turns out. What's going on in your world?

Until next time!

August 17, 2014

Free crochet patterns: Baby’s Gone’a Hunting Set

You’ll surely want to check out the free patterns for this crocheted baby hunter set, made up of the Jacket, Hat / Cap, Ugg Booties, and Mitts!
10-14-2014 edit:  Since I made this project in 2011, the designer started charging for the hat.  It's worth it!  But here is a free pattern that is almost identical - it just has a band of shell stitch on it, but it would be simple to just keep working the hdc instead of the shells:  Earflap hat - Friendly Skies 
This was posted before but not very well, with all the pics, so here it is again - it's too cute to miss out on!

Free crochet patterns - Baby's Hunting Set
Free crochet pattern - Baby Hunting set - Ugg Boot
Free crochet pattern - Baby Hunting Hat
This too-adorable-for-words set was made for my grandson.  But I was a brand-NEW grandma, and so confused on sizes!.  The jacket will fit 6 mos.  The mitts 3 mos.  The booties newborn, but needed to be bigger – he had big feet!  The hat needed to be bigger!  What a fiasco!  Well, live and learn.
And I did! Smile
Free crochet pattern - Baby Hunting Mitts

But if you know the right sizes, this is a FUN, easy set to make!  Just click the pics to find the free patterns, and be sure to look at my notes there.

If you make any of these, please show me;  I'd love to see!

Until next time!

#free #crochet #patterns #baby #hunting

Free crochet granny square patterns: August 2014BAMCAL #1

As usual, the free crochet patterns via the 2014 BAM CAL group on Ravelry for this month made me smile!  (Said it before, but, yes, they really do)!  I learn something new with every one of them, and the variety of designs is so interesting.

It's already the middle of August (where does time GO?)!  Here are three granny squares crocheted for my afghan.

Free Crochet Pattern - Eve's Coverlet Granny Square
Eve's Coverlet Granny Square
Main 12"

Each month in this CAL there are three free crochet patterns:  (2) 12" and (1) 6" granny squares. 

One 12" square is chosen by the moderator; it is called the Main 12" square.  For the other two squares, anyone that wants to, nominates their favorites, and then they are voted on by the group. The 12" square voted on by the group is called the Filler 12" square.  The 6" is just called the 6" square.

Of course, anyone can do more or less - or other blocks.  There are no crochet police here!

Free Crochet Pattern - Thoughts of Spring Granny Square
Thoughts of Spring Granny Square
Filler 12"
Above and to the left are the two 12" squares, but using Simply Soft yarn and a G hook, I make 9" blocks.  Even then sometimes I still need to add rows.  (SS yarn is such a thin worsted, and looks best - to me, anyway - with a G hook, which is often smaller than what the pattern calls for).
Free Crochet Pattern - Eve's Coverlet Granny Square
Eve's Coverlet Close-up



(Click on the pics for info, including the link to the patterns & notes)


This is the 6" square. It was fun to do, and the pattern instructions were very clear.  I added 3 more rows to make 6".  (You won't have to add rows if you don't use Simply Soft yarn, and use the hook the pattern called for).  But, info for the extra rounds is in my notes if you need them!  


Until next time!
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#crochet #free #patterns #granny

August 15, 2014

Free crochet granny square patterns: July 2014BAMCAL

The month of July came and went, and two more granny squares  have been crocheted for my afghan.  The free crochet patterns for these blocks via the 2014BAMCAL group on Ravelry every month always make me smile!  (Yes, they really do).  So fun to do, I learn something new with every one of them, and the variety of designs is so interesting.
(Click on the pics for info, including the link to the patterns) 
The free crochet patterns are for 12" squares. (Each month also has a 6" square but I skipped that one this month).

Free Crochet Pattern - Whimsical Block Granny Square
Free Crochet Pattern - Posie Field Granny Square
Whimsical Block by 
Black Sheep Creations
Posie Field by Melissa Green
I make 9" squares by using Caron Simply Soft yarn and a size G hook.  (SS yarn is such a thin worsted, and looks best - to me, anyway - with a G hook, which is often a smaller hook than what the pattern calls for).  It's rare that a 12" pattern is designed with SS yarn, so it works out well.  Even then, occasionally I still need to add rows, which I always put in my notes on my project page on Ravelry; it helps the next time the square is made!

Until next time!
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#free #crochet #patterns #granny

August 3, 2014

Crochet Challenge: Try a new technique

One simple task per week and your skills, style and knowledge will evolve while you're having fun!  Just click the "Are you Ready?!" button on the sidebar to get started.

Week 22 challenge (07-30-14):   Try a new crochet technique this week. It's your choice: felting, broomstick lace, hairpin lace, tunisian, thread crochet, etc.

Years (and years) ago, I worked on an afghan made with the tunisian afghan knit stitch using a long solid afghan hook.  Dear daughter #2 has put in a request for an afghan done in the same stitch, with a butterfly design x-stitched on it.

 Butterflies in Flight Tunisian Stitch Afghan(This is not my afghan).  It is a pic on the cover of the pattern.  It is what I hope mine will look like!  (Click the pic for more info).

Actually this will be two new techniques:  (1) X-stitching on crochet fabric, and, (2) because of the number of years ago and needing to use a flexible hook (with the cable on the end), I'm calling doing the tunisian a new technique.

The pattern in the book says I'll do the "afghan knit stitch".  However, the instructions given are for the "afghan" or "simple" stitch.   When looking online for information, the knit stitch was also being referred to as the "afghan" or "simple" stitch, or used to be, so it is confusing, because the two are actually different.  To find out which is what, the following examples are from About.com (the one I'm doing is the one on the right):

Tunisian:  The Test and the Tantrum

Here are four practice rows.  There are 187 stitches on the hook.  It was harder than I remember!  It's not hard mentally.  What's hard is getting used to the "new" physically.

Image - Beginning rows of Tunisian Simple Stitch on Flexible HookIt is different using a flexible hook instead of a solid one.  At least as far as my feeble memory recalls.  Yarn covers the entire hook, so it can't be twisted or maneuvered, because it slips underneath the yarn.  The cable has a mind of it's own and wants to flop in the direction it was packaged in.  And getting used to the different hold makes the fingers and hands cramp.  Waah.
Pic of Susan Bates Flexible Afghan Crochet Hook
I bought a Susan Bates 22" flexible hook, but the cable's stiff and wants to do it's own thing.  I was a bit disappointed that it did not have the in-line style of their regular hooks.


Knitter's Pride Flexible Tunisian Afghan Crochet hookKnitter's Pride cable for flexible Tunisian afghan hookThis Knitter's Pride hook is on order and may be a bit better.  A single hook can be ordered, along with the cable. According to reviews the cable isn't as stiff.   We'll see!

Caron Tulip Carry T Flexible Tunisian Afghan Hook SetComments from a few on A Ravelry Tunisian Crochet group (link below) say the Caron Tulip Carry T hooks that have a swivel on the cable end are ideal (on the right in the pink case).  But the whole set has to be ordered, which is too much of an investment right now.  (I'm still drooling, though)!

Taming Tunisian

Ravelry - Tunisian Crochet group is a good source to ask questions.  There, and a number of other sources, confirmed the obvious, and offered info on the not-so-obvious (as far as learning to work the tunisian stitch and hook).

Obvious:  Patience and practice will get the hands in shape.  (But mommy, I want it to be easy)!
Not-so-obvious:  A lot of it is actually mental.  Being new and awkward makes muscles tense and tighten up without even realizing it.  Stopping and saying "relax your hands" - and then doing it - actually helps a lot.  Another "newbie" verified he was doing the same thing.  And BREATHE!  That last one may sound silly, but it's amazing how much I was holding my breath!
Not-so-obvious:  I hold the hook like a "knife". Fortunately (I found out), holding the hook like a knife instead of a pencil is a good thing because only minor adjustments with moving the hook, and throwing the yarn on the hook are needed.  I read comments from people that hold regular hooks like a pencil have had to learn to hold tunisian hooks with the knife grip.

Have you done Tunisian Crochet?  
I'd love to hear your experience, tips and see some pics!

Until next time!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It's never too late to join the 52 Week Crochet Challenge by Julie at Red Berry Crochet!
One simple task per week - your skills, style & knowledge will evolve by just having fun! 


#crochet #tunisian

July 31, 2014

Crochet Challenge: What's Your Favorite Crochet Hook?

Take up the challenge

I highly recommend this for anyone that crochets.  I'm not the moderator; just someone that is doing it.   One simple task per week and your skills, style and knowledge will evolve while you're having fun.  Just click the "Are you Ready?" button on the sidebar to get started.

Week 21 challenge (07-23-14):   What is your favorite crochet hook, and why?
Answer:  Definitely Susan Bates.

I have used Boye hooks, but after trying a couple of Susan Bates Silvalumes, I was hooked. (Yes, I hear you groaning from the bad pun).
Susan Bates Quicksilver Crochet Hook Set
Years ago, I bought this set of Susan Bates Quicksilver hooks, and the rest is history. (I don't know what history, but it sounded good) :D

The set has sizes B - K. They are nice and smooth.

The reason I like them is first, because it is an in-line hook.  So much easier to maintain perfect stitch size (for me, anyway).  I also prefer the pointed tip of the hook, which helps work into tight stitches, and the hook is chiseled more than the Boye so I can catch up yarn strands easier.

If you don't know the difference between in-line hooks and "throated" hooks, and the impact they can have on your stitches, check out this article: Nerdigurumi - Guide to Crochet Hooks.

Boye Knitting Needle Point Protectors
Susan Bates Crochet Hook Comfort Grips
I put Susan Bates comfort grips on the shaft of the smaller hooks, and on the non-hook end, Boye knitting needle point protectors.  They are quite comfortable to use.

Tip:  To make your hooks glide smoothly (1) polish with some wax paper, (2) run alongside your nose, or (3) run through your hair.
These tips are from old-timers and they work!

Until next time!
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It's never too late to join the 52 Week Crochet Challenge by Julie at Red Berry Crochet!
One simple task per week - your skills, style & knowledge will evolve while you're having fun! 


#crochet #hooks #quicksilver #bates