Puppy Crochet

Meet Tiger Lily!

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She is sporting a beautiful crocheted dog coat of course!

Pattern 41 v2

She has recently joined us as an apprentice.
WP_20160411_003Tiger Lily is a country girl who knew young that chasing wild pigs was not for her. She escaped to the outskirts of the city where the RSPCA gladly took her in.

Her gentle nature and eagerness to please make her a real asset and pleasure to have around. She has been exceptionally quick to learn everything we have taught her so far.

She is very interested in learning to crochet and design. She dreams of becoming an Art Therapist for other young female dogs at risk.

 

 

 

 

Creating a gauge or tension square

Hi Everyone,

It’s Typsy here! Prrrrr to you all.

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I thought I’d help Mimi out by doing the next post. Today I’m going to explain about tension squares and show you how to make them.

Many people are so excited about starting their new project that they skip or forget to do a tension square first. Oh O. The end result is that their new item is bigger or smaller than the pattern said it would be. You can get away with this when making cushions or rugs – but if you are making an item of clothing you want it to be the RIGHT size, right?

So this is what you do

1. Check the pattern for the gauge details

The gauge has 2 parts. First is the pattern of what stitches to do. And the second is the measurements for how big the stitches should be.

For our example we are going to do the following:

Pattern – alternating rows of hdcs (half double crochets – American system) with trs (triple crochets – American system).

This is how this pattern looks

L6 Gauge 1

And the pattern specifies

10cm/ 4 inches wide = 14 stitches, 10cm/ 4 inches high = 8.5 rows

Also important is the hook size and recommended yarn, which in this pattern is hook sized 3.5mm and 4ply cotton

2. Crochet a square

It is fairly standard that a gauge will tell you what length and width to make the square, but it is better to make the square bigger than this because edges and the first row can be misleading if your tension isn’t 100% stable… mine never is…

So for a 10cm/ 4 inch make a square that is 15- 20 cm/ 5-6 inches in size. The width is more important than the height because it can’t be easily fixed once the garment is underway. For this reason I  do a square that is 20 cm wide and 15 cm tall.

In this example I am also using a different type of yarn than the recommended cotton – still the same size (equivalent to 4ply) but a different texture.

And here is my first square.

L6 Gauge 2

3. Assess the square

Now we lay the square flat, take a tape measure and measure the width counting all the stitches within 10 cm.

L6 Gauge 3

As you can see there are 15 stitches in 10 cm, but the gauge specified only 14 stitches. This means that if I follow the pattern exactly my garment will be too small…so what do you do? The easiest thing is to change hook size. Because it is too small I will try again with a LARGER hook (4mm – the next size up)

If it had been less stitches than the gauge, that would have meant it was too big and we would try again with a SMALLER hook.

4. Crochet a second square if necessary

So this is the second square measured.

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We now have it right! If we didn’t, we would make another square changing the hook size again until it was.

5. What about the height?

Ideally if you get the width right the height should fall into place too. So let’s look at the height of the second square and see how we are going…

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Hmmmm… there are 7 rows instead of 8.5 rows. That means the pattern will be too long if you follow it exactly. But as making it smaller makes it too thin, what do you do?

If your stitches are the right width but your rows are either smaller or longer than they should be, go with the correct width. Why? Because you can always add more or less rows to make the item longer or shorter, but you can’t add extra foundation chain later to make it wider.

Most clothing patterns work in measurements rather than row numbers to get around this very problem.

I hope this has been helpful.

Meow for now,

Typsy

 

 

 

 

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?