Saturday, October 26, 2013

Yarn Tip for Crochet

If you want to use a DK weight yarn for a project, but want a light or delicate look, don't consider yourself confined to DK weight yarns.  Lace weight mohair can be a lovely alternative.

Many pattern stitches in crochet look like lace when worked in mohair in a loose gauge.  And lace weight mohair and mohair blends are often far softer than heavier mohairs.  Best of all, if you like mohair or fuzzy yarns in general, lace weight versions give you the wonderful texture without all the bulk.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Watch cap to crochet

right side facing
Watch Cap to crochet
1 skein (100 grams, 120 yards) bulky weight yarn – sample shown in Pacific Chunky from Cascade Yarns
8mm hook

The size in this pattern is for an adult cap.

Markers, optional (you don’t need them if you can read your stitches, but variegated or textured yarns can be difficult to read.  It may be handy to use markers until you are comfortable with the stitch) – 4 markers in 1 color, a 5th marker in a different color to indicate beginning of round.

Note:  If there is no number given with a stitch, just do one of it – so ‘sc’ means ‘sc 1’.
Note:  The sample hat uses a bulky weight yarn and a big hook, so the fabric comes out more open than it would if you used a smaller yarn and smaller hook.

Pattern stitch (stitch in the round):  Set up a base of (2sc, ch1) around, ending with ch1.  *Sc in next sc.  Ch1.  Sc in next sc.  Skip next ch.  Repeat from *.

What happens from one row/round to the next is that you sc ONLY into the sc – NEVER into a ch – except in round 2, when the pattern stitch hasn’t started yet. The chain stitches are fillers that make the fabric more dense and also prevent the sc from stretching out of shape the way sc does if unattended.  So you sc into the sc before and after a ch, then ch.  It makes a dense fabric that is good for washcloths, too.  But here it is a hat.

To increase:  (sc, ch, sc) in the next sc.

To start:  ch3, slip stitch in last ch to form a ring.
Round 1:  (ch1, sc in ring) 5 times. Ch1.  Place round-beginning marker in first sc to mark beginning of round.  Remember to move the marker each round to the first stitch worked in the marked stitch.
Round 2:  Work into the chain stitches in just this round, as follows (the pattern stitch hasn’t started yet).  [(Sc (attach marker to this stitch), ch, sc) in next sc – increase made.  Sc in next ch] around 1 time.  5 increase points set up.

Now the pattern stitch starts:
Round 3:  *Inc in marked st, moving marker to first sc of increase. (Sk ch, sc in next sc, ch, sc in next sc) to next marker, ending with ch.  Repeat from * around.
wrong side facing
Round 4:  *Inc in marked st, moving marker to first sc of increase. (Sk ch, sc in next sc, ch, sc in next sc) to next marker, ending with sc.  Repeat from * around.

Repeat rounds 3 and 4 for a total of 7 rounds from the beginning, until there are 39 sc around (59 stitches, including the chain stitches), ending with ch1 before the next marked stitch.

Laid flat and stretched just a little, the piece should measure 7” across for an adult size (or 5” across for a baby size, 6” across for a child size, or 8” across for a tea cozy size).  If you decide to work more or fewer rounds, stop increasing after a repeat of round 3 for the stitches to work out right.

From here on, continue in pattern, with no more increases:  (sc in next sc, sk ch, sc in next sc, ch) around and around until hat is desired length or until only a few inches of yarn are left.  Slip stitch in the next 3 stitches to smooth the edge.  Fasten off and tuck in loose ends.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Pillow cover to crochet, on the diagonal

 Pillow cover to crochet – on the diagonal
Materials:  2 balls (100 grams) worsted weight yarn.  Size G/4mm hook
Yarn needle
Bobbin (optional)
a pillow to cover, about 15 inches wide

The fabric should be a tight-ish gauge because it is a pillow cover, and I don't want the fabric underneath to be part of the visual effect.  Also, the pattern stitch has lots of chain stitches in it, so in a looser gauge it is a bit lacy.

Pattern stitch:  
Increase row:  ch1, turn.  (Sc1, ch2, sc1, ch2, sc1) in next ch2 space.  *(sc1, ch2, sc1) all in next ch2 space.  Repeat from * to end of row.
Decrease row: first decrease row:  ch2, turn.  Sc1 in next ch2 space.  *(sc1, ch2, sc1) all in next ch2 space.  Repeat from * to end  of row.
For additional decrease rows:  work as first decrease row.  At the end of the decrease row, sc1 in sc1 at beginning of previous dec row.  The last row will just be:  ch2, turn, sc in sc.

To start:
Row 1:  Ch2.  (sc1, ch2, sc1) in 2nd ch from hook.
Work Increase Rows until end of first ball of yarn.  When there isn’t enough yarn to finish another row, stop at the end of the last row where there was enough yarn to finish the row.  Do not cut the yarn that is left over – wind it onto a bobbin to keep it out of the way, if desired.
Other side - does not look diagonal
Join the next ball of yarn at the beginning of that row and continue with Decrease Rows until 1sc remains.  Knot the yarn, but do not cut it.

Lay the square flat.  Fold in the 4 corners to meet in the middle. That is the shape you will end up with.  Starting in the middle with the leftover yarn (possibly on a bobbin), thread the yarn needle, and use the yarn to sew a seam from the middle point to one corner.  Fasten and cut the yarn at the corner, tucking the loose end to the inside of the cover.  *Returning to the middle, thread the yarn needle with enough yarn to sew a seam to the next corner, and sew that seam, fastening off as before. ** Insert pillow form and repeat from * to ** for the remaining seams to finish.