Unmatched Dye- Lots

Mee-ow, it is I, Mimi, you’ve  caught me slightly unprepared…

wp_20160508_003

Have you heard of dye-lots?

If you’ve been crocheting or knitting a while you will have, but if you’re a beginner… you need to know! Every yarn has a color of course, but it also has a dye – lot. The dye-lot is all the wool that was dyed at the same time. This means they will all be exactly the same color. You can find the dye-lot by reading the label next to the color.

2016-301

So when you go to start a new project, don’t just scoop up an armful of the same color – check the dye-lot to make sure they came from the same batch or you could wind up with a two-tone finished item that doesn’t look so good.

Any questions? Yes??

wp_20160621_001

What if you can’t get the same dye lot??

Firstly, don’t give up until you’ve talked to the store person, they may have another shop they can ring and  get it from.

And if not?

It’s time to get creative. Treat the different dye lots like different colors. Work out a pattern you can use them in. Try stripes or alternate motifs or what ever your project and imagination suggest.

Or take the yarn back and get a different one.

Here’s a project Emma used many different navy yarns on.

pattern-44-v2

On the close up you can see how I used the different yarns in patterns.

2016-303

Have a happy day and don’t work too hard,

Mimi

 

 

 

 

 

 

Changing Color Mid-Row with Slip Stitch

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

Today I’m going to show you another tricky use for slip stitch.

There are several techniques for changing colors mid-row, and this is one of them. The trick is, when you crochet this way, you don’t actually change the color mid-row, it only looks that way. What you are really doing is attaching a second row to the first with extra chain and slip stitches.

Here’s an example of how it can look when it is finished.

Pattern 43 v3

So how do you do it?

You start with a block of rows in the first color like this:

2016 201

Then you slip stitch into the last chain stitch of the block with the new color and add however many more chain stitches you require, like this:

Next you add a row of stitches (the same size stitches as your original block) working your way back to your original chain in the new color.

2016 204

The next thing to do is secure the top of that stitch with a slip stitch into the side of the same height stitch in the previous color to combine the 2 colors into one row securely.

2016 205

You then do your turning chain with one stitch less and replace the top stitch with another slip stitch into the other colored stitch beside it in the new row.

2016 206

From there you turn and continue the row.

You can repeat this for however many rows you need to create the desired effect of a 2 color row.

2016 208

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finishing a Row in One Place and Starting in Another with Slip Stitch

Mee-ow, it is I, Mimi.

WP_20160408_001

Today I’m going to teach you a wonderful thing you can do with a tiny little stitch called slip stitch, sl st for short.

Sometimes when we crochet we want to start the next line in a different place to where we finished it.

If we want to make it longer we can simply add more chain at the end of the previous row like this (no slip stitches required)

If you want to finish in a longer place and start again further in you can finish off and start again, but that is too messy when there is a much  more suitable solution that looks is easier and looks better like this.

2016 103

So how do you do it? You start a new row adding a sl st to the top of each stitch you don’t want to increase, like this.

2016 104

I did this example in a separate color so you can see what I’m doing, but usually it would look like this – a seamless edge.

2016105

Once you reach the start of the next row you do your turning ch and continue on happily with your project.

 

 

 

 

 

Creating a gauge or tension square

Hi Everyone,

It’s Typsy here! Prrrrr to you all.

DSC00138

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.

DSC00372

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…

L6 Gauge 6.JPG

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

 

 

 

 

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?