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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Technical Tuesday: Crochet Terms (Part 1)

Whether you're a new hand or old at crocheting, sometimes you'll look at a term and just can't figure out what it means. So here is a comprehensive list of common(or not) crochet terms. This is done in US terminology ;)

* (The Asterisk): is found in patterns that repeat frequently, turning "SC in next, 2SC in next, SC, 2SC, SC, 2SC into *SC in next stitch, 2 DC in next* Repeat from * around.

SC (Single Crochet): Insert your hook into your stitch, pull up a loop, pull through both loops on hook.

DC (Double Crochet): Yarn over, insert hook into stitch, pull up a loop. You should have 3 loops on the hook. Pull up a loop through the first two loops, leaving two loops on hook. Pull up again.

TR (Treble Crochet): Yarn over twice, insert hook into stitch and pull up a loop. 4 loops on hook. Pull up a loop through 2, pull up a loop through 2, pull up a loop through the last two.

FL (Front Loop): Instead of using both loops on the stitch you're working into, do the next stitch into the front loop of the stitch only, the loop closest to you(This is hard to explain, pic. tutorial coming soon)

BL (Back Loop): Same as front loop except that you only use the loop on the back of your work

CH (Chain): This is your starting chain or a simple stitch designed to move your yarn and hook up where it needs to be to create a stitch. It is simply pulling up a loop without working through any stitches

INC (Increase): This means to put 2 identical stitches into the same stitch from the last row/round.

DEC (Decrease): This means to take 2 stitches from the previous row/round and put them together into 1 stitch in your new row.

SC2Tog (SC 2 together): This is the SC version of a decrease. Insert your hook into the stitch, pull up a loop. Insert your hook into the next stitch and pull up a 3rd loop. Pull a loop up through all 3 loops on the hook.

DC2Tog (DC 2 Together): This is the DC version of a decrease. Yarn over, and insert your hook into the stitch, pull up a loop. Pull up a loop through the first 2 loops on the hook, leaving 2 loops. Yarn over, and insert into the next stitch. Pull up a loop, then pull up a loop through 2 loops at a time until you have 1 loop left on the hook.

MC (Magic Circle): A common way of starting a project that will be done in rounds or spiral. (There's a tutorial elsewhere in this blog if you need more help) The MC is more adjustable than the traditional method of chaining, joining and stitching in the loop, or putting more than 2 stitches into 1 stitch of a chain.

CA/B/C (Color A, Color B, Color C): A way to differentiate between colors when switching during crocheting.

RS (Right Side): This is the side that will be visible when you wear or display something

RND (Round): This is when you are crocheting in a circle or spiral. The ends will meet or overlap with the first stitch of the round. Synonomous with row when working on a project.

ROW: A certain amount of stitches as you work on the project, the ends do not meet or overlap, producing a flat project.

SL ST(Slip Stitch): to insert your hook into the stitch and pull up a loop through the 1 loop already on your hook. This is a flat stitch frequently used to move the working yarn along stitches that don't need worked, or to edge a piece with contrasting fiber.

FROG: To "rip it, rip it"- removing stitches to fix an error.

TENSION: The amount of give your stitches have, controlled by how you hold your yarn as you work. Loose tension equals stitches that can easily snag, twist, or stretch too far, ruining your work, but some projects require this give.

GAUGE: How many stitches should equal a certain size, i.e. Gauge= 3DC and 2 rows = 1" So two rows of 3 DC should be an inch square

SWATCH: A sample done to see if your tension and hook size can give you the gauge needed to complete your project true to size

YO (Yarn over): To wrap your working yarn around your hook one or more times, giving you more loops to work on, creating bigger stitches.

JOIN: The process of SL ST into the first stitch in the round. Used when crocheting in the round.

SPIRAL: The process of crocheting in the round WITHOUT joining each round.

Now, I know this is just the bare basics. I will add a second post at some point in the future explaining more as I learn them ;)

Happy Hookin' Ya'll!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Technial Tuesday: Blocking without an iron!

Hope everyone had a productive Labor Day weekend!

And it's Tuesday again. Today I'm covering blocking, as it's fresh in my mind. You see, I didn't believe I'd ever have to block anything, so I was kind of at a loss when I finished my doily. And at the risk of turning in my Homemaker Club Card, I must admit that I don't own an iron... Hehe. I need one, I have visions of melty pegboard beads and being able to wash my curtains without borrowing my mother in laws again, but everytime I look at the store, they never seem to be in stock.

So I had a large doily to block, and no iron. But I'm quite happy with what I did.

 What you need:
Item to be blocked
Stainless Steel T pins
A blocking board- I used a piece of foam backing I grabbed out of the dollar store school section
Spray Starch
A scrap towel
A bowl to wash the item in
(Optional) I used liquid stitch on my ends, though I read later that it'll eventually turn yellow with age
A clean workspace

Step 1: Wash the item in cool water with a drop or two of dish(NOT DISHWASHER) soap. Gently swirl it in the water to remove any oils that accumulated while you were working it up(make sure your hands are clean too!). I highly recommend this to be brief and to test any contrasting colors for colorfastness before using anything resembling warm water. Rinse and move to your work area.
Step 2: Lay your item out on half of the towel and gently blot it to remove excess water. Following the directions on your starch, light mist the top of your item with the starch, flip it over carefully, gently blot, and starch the other side.
Step 3: Transfer to your blocking board, right side up. This could layers of cardboard or a professionally made item. If you need to pin at certain measurements, draw a graph of the appropriate size on your board before beginning. I did not feel the need to do this, so I skipped it this time.
Using the T pins, start in the center and work your way out, making sure the damp strands look exactly like they should when it's done drying and that the needles are holding the tension as they should. I went all the way through both sides of the foam board I used.

Step 4: Run around madly showing everyone you can find your newest creation (Just kidding, sort of. Just because I did doesn't mean you have to!) Step 4 is actually to put it away and not fidget with it. Let it dry overnight, preferably for 24 hours.

Step 5: Remove your pins and put your creation on display :)

In retrospect, I didn't have enough t pins to adequately block. I should of placed one in each point around the outside, but the store only had 1 box of 40, and there is something like 53 points just around the outside, not including the ones I had to place inside. But I made it work, and so can you. Just remember to pin it exactly as you want it to look :)

Keep on Hookin'!