Monday, February 22, 2010

I Love Frogs


No. Not those frogs (although I do think they're really cool).

These frogs.

I recommend making frogs out of crocheted Romanian cord (see this link for a tutorial). Make one piece of cord that's long enough for the knotted side and another that's long enough for the loop. Sew the two pieces into the shape desired, and then sew the newly made frog onto your garment. I recently did this with a sweater for my little boy. It was so easy. I made one piece that was long enough for me to tie a double knot in with about an inch left over on either side. Then I made a piece of cored that was as long as the loop needed to be plus an inch on either side. The excess inches I sewed together side by side and then sewed to the sweater. It's not fancy, and it didn't take me long, but it looks really cool, it works, it stays buttoned, and it's just as easy to wash as the rest of the garment. I used size 10 crochet cotton, and I think that gauge and material came out looking really clean and sharp.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

More on Socks

Socks are a great portable project, and they have long tracts of knitting (or crocheting) in which their maker doesn't have to pay too close attention to the project. Both features make the lowly sock a perennial favorite. However, their overall simplicity and the fact that you have to make two of them can lead to project boredom. Luckily, there are many, many different sock patterns available for different yarns, purposes, pattern stitches, and shapes.

Once one has made a few socks, it becomes fairly easy to free oneself from the pattern. The parts where one has to think (heel and toe) are proportional to the original cast on number and very predictable. Good thing, too, because what if you want to make a pair of women's socks from a man's sock pattern, or vice versa? What if you like the pattern stitch on a pair made from DK, but want to use it with fingering weight sock yarn?

I'm currently working on just such a project. I'm making a pair of socks for my husband, and I know from previous experience how many stitches around his socks need to be at the gauge I want to use. However, the pattern stitch I want is in this pattern (a lovely free pattern I found through Ravelry). It's for a different sized person and a different gauge. I also want to use a different kind of heel and include a short cuff at the top of the sock to give the top a more finished look. Since socks all follow a similar formula, it is very easy for me to take just the elements of the pattern that I like and apply them to my project.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Quick Sock Tip

Just a quick post (because I don't feel like getting out my camera).

If you are making socks (knitted or crocheted) and want to reinforce the heel and toe, try using matching polyester sewing thread. It comes in far more colors than reinforcing thread and won't change your gauge.

But when you do use that sewing thread, you will need to keep it contained in order to prevent nasty tangles with your yarn! Seal the spool in a zip lock bag and feed the thread out of a hole snipped in a bottom corner.