All posts by Emma@DKOdesigns

Putting elastic in the back of a waist band

Mee-ow, it is I, Mimi.

Mimi in garden

Today I’m taking time out of my busy schedule to show you how to put elastic in the back of a skirt. This is a skill you’ll need if you crochet a skirt slightly too large in the waist… an easy thing to do because crochet is a stretchy fabric.

This probably isn’t the most professional way to do it, but it’s the simple way my mother taught me and it works well enough to get the job done!

So, let’s get started.

First you need your otherwise complete skirt. Here’s one I prepared earlier.

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And you’ll also need pins, scissors, cotton sewing thread the same color as the skirt waist band, a sewing needle and of course a solid piece of elastic. Make sure you go for a thicker elastic (2.5 cm/ 1 inch) rather than a thin one because crochet is a heavy material.

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Now you need to measure the back of the waist of the person who will be wearing the skirt.

In this case it is 45cm.

Next turn the skirt inside out and measure how wide the back is. In this case 47cm.

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Now pin the beginning of the elastic to one side of the skirt solidly with 2 pins like this.

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Measure the elastic to the full length required, in this case 45 cm (same as back measurement), then pull it a little tighter and pin it at the other end of the waist band. It should curl up at the end a little. You can also pin it in the middle.

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Then get the skirt wearer to try it on and see how well it fits.

If they are happy add some more pins, either in a line along the elastic or intermittently like I have and then trim the extra elastic at the end.

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And then it’s time to sew. Start with putting the needle into the elastic and through to the crocheted side. Then make a small stitch back through to the crocheted side so that very little cotton shows on the right side like this:

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And for your third stitch double back to the previous hole in the elastic, go under the elastic but not through the crochet and bring the needle out in the same place that the stitch started like this:

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Complete this procedure along the top of the elastic, and then do it again across the bottom.

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As you can see I’m not the neatest sewer, but it gets the job done, and then we can all go back to hunting lizards… I mean crocheting.

 

Happy to be here

Mimi's summer bed
A priceless shot of Mimi waking up New Year’s Day and wondering what she’d been up to the night before…

Hi, I’m Typsy.

Thank you everyone for making me feel so welcome. As you can see I’m settling into my new office quite comfortably and look forward to bringing you more fabulous crochet and more inside info on the faces behind DKO Designs… like the photo of Mimi above.

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Happy Meow Year

Happy Meow Year, it is I, Mimi

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And my new year’s resolution is to relax more!

I would also like to welcome Typsy our new PR manager.

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Typsy has 18 years of prrrrrrrrrrring experience which is like forever in cat years, and we hope it will make up for the fact that she is totally unfamiliar with social media so far…

Welcome, Typsy, to the DKO Designs team!

Working in a really big round

Mee-ow to you all. It is I, Mimi. Mimi the model

Today I’m going to show you some tricks for working in a really big round. The sort of round I mean is when there are 50 or more chain stitches in the initial ring.

The first thing you need is two balls of the same color yarn.

Start by doing the foundation chain as specified in the pattern, however when it says to join the ring I want you to pause and put a safety pin in the end to stop it unraveling.

L5 Round 1

 

Next get the second ball of yarn and attach a ch stitch to the first of the foundation ch at the opposite end to the safety pin.

L5 Round 2L5 Round 3

 

 

 

 

Now do your turning chain for the start of the row and stitch all the stitches in the row up to the end where the safety pin is waiting.

L5 Round 4L5 Round 5

 

 

 

Count your stitches carefully to see that they are all there. If you have made a mistake you can undo the safety pin and add or subtract any missing stitches.

L5 Round 6

When you are satisfied, do a slip stitch from the end loop of the foundation ch into the first ch like this, making sure there are no twists in the circle you are making.

L5 Round 7L5 Round 8

 

 

 

 

 

Finish off the end so that the first ball of yarn is no longer attached.

Then turn the work upside down and do a slip stitch into the top turning ch on the first row worked.

L5 Round 10

You have completed Round 1, do your turning ch for Round 2 and continue on your way!

Any questions?

Crocheting Edges Together

Mee-ow, it is I, Mimi once again. Tea anyone

Today I’m going to show you how we crochet two pieces of crochet together by joining them along their edges.

 

 

Position the two pieces so that the sides you want to crochet together are one on top of the other and are ready to be joined from right to left.

If you want the finished join to show on the front like this,

L4 Joining 6

put the backs of each piece together.

If you want to put the join on the back so it doesn’t show on the front like in this granny square rug,

L4 Joining 8put the fronts together and crochet from the back of the top piece.

Once your two pieces are placed one on top of the other, you are ready to join. Whether you are attaching a new yarn to join with or continuing on with one you were already using, you should have one loop on the hook as usual.

L4 Joining 1

Insert the hook through a stitch on both the top and bottom piece (the pale orange two) and draw yarn through them like this.

L4 Joining 2

L4 Joining 3L4 Joining 4L4 Joining 5Sometimes you will have a nice row edge to insert the hook into and you can pick up the top loop of each stitch you want to crochet together and crochet them together perfectly evenly.

L4 Joining 7

But sometimes you will have side seems where the loops may not match up so precisely. Just do your best to keep it even – put one stitch in the side of each sc and 2 or 3 stitches in the side of each dc, depending on the look you want. The key is to be consistent and keep the sides matched so they  end together.

Usually when joins are being made a slip stitch is used, but you can use a single crochet or even half double crochet to make a clearly marked edge out of the join.

The edge in the granny square is a slip stitch, the edge in the striped example is a single crochet edge.

L4 Joining 8L4 Joining 6Any questions?

Decreasing at the beginning of the row

Mee-ow,

L3 Decrease 1

it is I, Mimi, once again.

We are working on a great new project that involves one way of decreasing at the beginning of the row, so I thought I’d show you that too.

 

 

As you can see here the rows are decreasing steadily in a straight line.

L3 Decrease 2

The pattern says 3dctog, but because it is the beginning of the row we start it with turning ch instead of a dc, but we only use 2 turning ch not the usual 3.

L3 Decrease 3

Then we continue as if doing 2dctog , like this:

L3 Decrease 5

L3 Decrease 4

 

 

 

Any questions?

 

Decreasing Stitches Within the Row

Mee-ow to you all. It is I, Mimi.

008Naturally since I showed you how to increase stitches yesterday, today you’ll want to know how to decrease stitches. When working within the row there are 2 ways.

The first and most often used is to crochet two (or more) stitches together and it is written in patterns as tog, eg 2dctog.

To do this we start the first stitch but we do not finish it and instead keep the last two loops on the hook like this:

L2 Decrease 1

Then we start a new stitch in the next loop along on the previous row like this:

L2 Decrease 2 When we have 3 loops on the hook we pull the yarn through to complete the job.

L2 Decrease 3

Now if you look at the stitch we have just made closely, you will see that even though there are two stitches below there is only one loop, therefor only one stitch will be crocheted in the next row.

L2 Decrease 4

So that is crocheting stitches together.

The other way to decrease is to leave out or skip (sk) a stitch entirely like this:

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This may seem easier, but this technique is not usually used because it leaves holes.

However, in certain pattern styles, such as lace or the zig zag of Chevron where the missed stitch(es) creates a V pattern, this second decreasing stitch approach is used.

L2 Decrease 6

Any questions?

Increasing Stitches within the Row

Mimi crocheting
Mee-ow to you all. It is I, Mimi.

Today I’m going to show you how to increase stitches.

This is usually specified one of two ways in a pattern. Either inc, which is short for increase and is usually followed by a number and type of
stitch, eg inc 1 dc.

Alternatively, a pattern may specify  a number and type of stitch in the next stitch of the previous row, eg 2 dc in next st.

Both of these mean the same thing. Here is what we do.

Imagine you have a row of dcs like this.

Increase 1

And you are half way through a second line of them when the pattern tells you  “inc 1 dc” or  “2 dc in next st”.

In either case, you then make 2 stitches into the top of one stitch like this.

Increase 2

Increase 3This means that where you had one stitch in the previous row there will now be two – the original plus 1 more – in the current row.

If you are asked to increase more than 1 you just keep adding the required stitches to the same stitch in the previous row.

This same technique is also applicable if you are working in a round.

Any questions?

First Easy Techniques Underway

Mee-ow to you all. It is I, Mimi. Another perspective

Learning new tricks just takes practice – remember we were all beginners once!

I just wanted to let you know that the first of the Easy Technique posts are on their way, as is a new pattern. They will be listed under the new menu “Easy – Intermediate Crochet”!

We shall start by learning how to increase and decrease within the row, and who knows where it may lead…