I love the way the stripes translated into moss stitch. The shawl is crocheted in Knit Picks Stroll Tonal which was soft and squishy to work with.
July (and August) came and went, didn’t they? And what ever happened to that Chain 20 challenge?
I found out that the one-a-day format was too much for my current circumstances (toddler, puppy) and the nature of the challenge (exploratory, open-ended). I found myself squeezing in the exercise at the end of the day and feeling like there wasn’t enough time to properly photograph and write about the experience. Although I had given myself permission to take a quick photo and write a single sentence, I felt driven to write so much more, and to take photos from different angles to show how stitches behaved.
I came up with Chain 20 based on music/dance improv exercises. The basic idea is that you just GO; no thinking or planning, just a simple framework and an open mind. You can start with something familiar just to get your fingers moving and then try something unplanned – a double crochet where you would normally do a single. What happens to the fabric? It gets taller, it pulls a bit…and what happens when you keep up with the dcs, or make progressively taller stitches? It might not be pretty or functional, but you will have learned something about your yarn and stitches, even if it’s what not to do next time 😉
Needless to say, I did not complete the challenge as planned. But I did discover a practice that excites me and I’ve already started using what I learned to create larger designs. I will continue to Chain 20 and, with the luxury of time and space, write about what I learn.
- Everyday for the next 20 days I will make 20 chains and use them as a foundation to crochet something.
- I will take a picture of what I come up with and write at least one sentence about what I did.
- I will allow myself to create more than one piece on a day if I know that, say, my wife’s birthday falls in the middle of the challenge, and I might want to focus on her instead of noodling around with a hook. I will still post one picture a day, though.
- I will allow extra chains if necessary for turning or pattern repeats. I just want to use 20 to give myself enough room to work but not so much that the swatch takes forever.
Stay tuned for my first…thingie!
I was eager to start crocheting, so I decided to start with one half of the back, starting from the bottom. Here is what I have so far:
I’ve “discovered” a new crochet stitch (in other words, I learned a stitch that has probably been around forever). Tamara Kelly of mooglyblog.com has a great tutorial for the Moss Stitch, which produces a flat fabric with good drape, perfect for a light sweater. I decided to use a t-shirt to determine measurements and try to create a pattern.
I have never done this before, so I am very much making it up as I go along. I am documenting the process on my blog so that I can do it more efficiently next time.
Step 1: Create a gauge swatch
- Moss stitch creates slightly shorter stitches than regular sc, resulting in essentially even row and stitch counts. In my case, using an I hook and fingering weight yarn, 20 stitches measured 4.5″, and 20 rows measured 4.25″
- I am impatient to start crocheting, so for now I am going to call it 4.5 st/inch and 4.5 rows/inch. It is possible that I will regret being imprecise.
- I pinned the shirt to blocking mats without stretching. I decided to leave the sleeves for the time being because they did not want to lie flat.
- Then I started measuring. Here’s what I came up with:
I don’t know if anyone is reading this, but if you are, I would love your opinion on how to write out repeated stitches. The one I’m struggling with could be written like this:
Dc in each of next 4 dc
Dc in next 4 dc
(Dc in dc)x4
The first one is probably the clearest, but seems very wordy, and is definitely cumbersome to write.
The second one is a little more efficient, but could potentially be confusing – it’s possible that the pattern could be directing you to do one dc in all four stitches at once.
The third one seems both accurate and concise, but it looks odd if it comes at the end of a larger repeat. For example:
[V-st in ch sp, sk dc, (dc in dc)x4]x2
I guess you could also say
*V-st in ch sp, sk dc, (dc in dc)x4*, rep * to * x2
But I find that asterisks can be confusing…
Anyway, I would love people’s thoughts on this. Also feel free to tell me that I am insane for thinking this much about it 🙂
It’s time to wake up the blog!
I’ve been crocheting more, designing more, and generally getting inspired about yarn. I’m super excited to finish the shawl I’m designing, as well as the diagram and written pattern. My goal is to have three patterns on Ravelry by November 1. That might be overly ambitious, but the designs are all done, I just need to write them up…you know, in a coherent way that other crocheters can understand 🙂
I’ll be back soon to talk about my process.
There are so many beautiful flower patterns out there – I spent a ridiculous amount of time browsing on Ravelry. (I know, so what else is new?) But I finally chose this pattern by Lucy at Attic24, for Japanese Quince Flowers.
I ended up making two versions of the flower itself, as I didn’t love the first one. I wanted to use some pretty scrap yarn I had lying around…
…but I found that it was too fuzzy, and the flower lost its delicate beauty.
So I started over with thinner cotton yarn…
and was happier with the outcome.
Here is my final notebook page for this project. I had to translate into US crochet terms.
And here are my two lovely quince flowers, complete with little green leaves:
Hey there hookers!
I’ve posted a new poll on the top left of this page, and I’d love it if you’d take a moment to vote. I have struggled with crocheting into the foundation chain, and now I use foundation single crochet whenever I can. But for some patterns you do have to use that (tight, twisted, uneven) chain, and I recently learned that there are different approaches. I think the most common way is to insert the hook under the top two strands, but you can also do back-loop only, back and bump, bump only, and probably a million other variations. I’m curious as to who does which, and when, and why.
Regarding the other poll, I can only apologize.
I used to research test construction, and yet I provided you with that horribly crafted question. How could I have asked about “most often,” and then encouraged you to choose as many answers as you wanted? There is also the matter of being a self-selected sample: are any of us really surprised that there are more crocheters and no knitters reading this blog?
Hopefully I’ve done a better job this time 😉