Friday, August 27, 2010

Learn your stitches

Hello dear friends...

It's time to take your efforts to a new level! 
The chickie above is holding knitting needles..pretend they are crochet hooks instead

   Before we go into the stitches I want to encourage you to have fun.  Don't get frustrated.  Using a larger hook and strips of material has a big advantage.  You can actually see the stitches on a magnified level.  Just relax and keep your stitches loose.  Enjoy the process.  It takes a bit of practice to get your fingers to behave. You don't need to hug your needle a certain way.  I'm free style.. so try differant ways of holding your needle.   What ever works to produce the effect and what feels comfortable is the best approach.  A waiver here.. I don't claim the instructions via video below...I merely did the research for you.  Everything to get going is just a click away.  Enjoy ... and practice practice practice.

The slip knot ... this is a joining stitch and an outlining stitch.  If used to outline your work it is a type of "crawling on your knees" tecnique to get from point a to point b without adding depth or height to your work.
It is also used to close a circle or to join the open ends of your circle.  Think of this as "joining hands".
The Chain stitch ... practice this until you feel comfortable.  Make a long
snake from your joined strips.  Keep loose with your work ... guage is not essensial
at this point.  Your goal is to become familiar with the work and visualizing
the finished stitches.

Single Crochet -  Here you are building on the chain stitch working down the full
length of your chain.  You will get to the end and turn and work your way back up again.
Repeat as many times as you need to feel relaxed and confident.

How to make a circle -  there are several ways with crochet one can make a circle.
I wanted to post this video first due to the fact that it uses the single crochet stitch.  The second
demonstration shows how to do a double crochet stitch circle.  I don't want to confuse you by adding
too many stitches to the program.  I want to simplify things and stick with a few basic stitches.
Once those are mastered you can move on with confidence and experiment.

One thing you must keep in mind when making a "round" is to increase ... this keeps your little circle nice and flat ... otherwise you'll end up with a little tiny bowl.  Increasing is done several ways but follow the video above by placing 2# single/ or 2# double crochet stitches in the same hole.  This will allow for the widening of your circle.  On the video posted in my earlier tutorial (the yellow rug video) she had a unqiue way of increasing.  Watch the video again and pay close attention.  She sort of did a slip knot type stitch when she wanted to increase before going into the next hole with her regular stitch.
Are you confused yet?  Don't be.  Just do 2 of the same stitches in one hole (twins) to make sure your rug is laying flat.  If not you can always undo and increase as you need too.  As your coaster grows into a chair pad and then from that into a sweet round rug you will understand completely the dynamics of increasing.  Lay your rug down on the floor once in a while and tug at it and feel it and see how she acts.
If she is laying flat your making adequate increases on your rug.  If she is curling don't dispair.  Make a new round with some increases and see if that helps.  If not just redo the area over that seems to want to curl.
The second video above that demonstrates the second circle is easily done with a single crochet stitch as well.  Have you ever seen those lollipops that go around and around in a spiral?  This is one way
of creating a circle for your rug.  You just spiral around and around with  a never ending flow.
There is another way however that allows you to join the end of your first circle
with a slip stitch and then make one or 2 chains.  Mark that chain with a saftey pin.  This is the start of a brand new circle that will build on the previouse circle.  So in effect you are wrapping a new circle around the previouse circle and starting and ending each round.  With the spiral there is no stopping point or ending ... you just keep going untill you are happy with the size of your rug.  Does this make sense.  Think of a maze that spirals around and around and never ends.   Think of a dead end street when you think of the circles starting and stopping. 
lollipop Pictures, Images and Photos
pulling my hair out! Pictures, Images and PhotosNow that I've driven you crazy with this long wordy blog I will leave you in peace.  Practice your stitches and gain some skills.  The next post  will be the last one in this series.  I will post the how's of  A Round Rug ... A Heart Shaped Rug ... and an Oval Rug as well as a square.
I'll also share some other cool stuff. 

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I love shabby,used,chipped,white,old,vintage, antique,junky gently loved stuff. I would love to dumpster dive but I could get a citation from the county. I adore my dogs, my grand kids and bathing in my tub outside. I am sensitive, eager to make friends although self conscious about it. I am faithful and very very generous at heart. I cry over stuff sentimental and sweet. I adore April Cornell clothing (although I can't afford her stuff)and anything sheer and vintage and loose. I'd live in my pj's and never ever wear a bra again. I love the beach and dancing in public places with my grand darlings and day time babies. I adore my kids and love my hubby although I could kill him a time or two. Yard sales and thrift stores are my died and gone to heaven activities. I love to spend money on these but usually am broke.