Tag Archive | yarn

How to Crochet With Beads

I was watching a craft show on PBS a couple of weeks ago, and saw this method for crocheting with beads.  Instead of threading all of your beads onto the yarn before you start crocheting, you can add each bead as you go.

crochet with beads

Materials

  • Yarn
  • Crochet Hook
  • Beads
  • Small piece of wire

Watch the video for details!

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How to Finger Knit

I used to make hair ties out of Loom Loops when I was younger, and I saw this post on Pinterest that uses yarn instead of loops.  I decided to try it out, but I did a couple things differently.

Materials

Yarn

Instructions

The original post says to hold the yarn tightly in your hand, but I decided to start with a loop like how I would start to crochet.  Then I put the loop over my index finger, and started weaving the yarn over my fingers.loopWhen you have two full rows of weaving, take the bottom row and pull it over the end of each finger.  This is another thing I did differently from the original post.  I thought it was much easier to work toward the palm of my hand rather than toward the back of my hand.weaveWeave a new row on top of the remaining loops on your fingers.  The old row is now the bottom row.  Continue weaving until you reach the desired length.weave in frontIf you want to make a circle, use the loops from the beginning of your project as a new row.  Be sure to keep everything from twisting as you do this.  Again, this is a different method from what others might prefer.  The tying off method in the original post might be more secure, but I think this looks nicer.make a circleAfter you pull the bottom loops over the top loops, there will be one loop left on each finger.  Carefully take the loops from your pinky and ring finger and tie them with a double knot.  Then tie the loops from your index and middle finger.tie offI made mine like a hair tie. I think you could make a cool scarf with these if you braided several long ones together and left them straight instead of tying them in circles.finishedHappy National Craft Month!

How to Make a Yarn Basket

For National Craft Month, I’m revisiting crafts that inspired me as a child.  When I was in elementary school I made this “basket” out of a butter tub and yarn scraps.  original basketMaterials

Butter Tub (empty and clean)

Scissors

Yarn Scraps

Instructions

Start with a plastic tub like butter or margarine comes in.  I used a small one that had held almond paste.  Make sure to wash it very well to remove any food residue.  Make evenly spaced cuts down the sides of the tub.  It is very important to cut an odd number of sections, or your weaving will not alternate properly.  cut sectionsDo not pull the yarn too tightly.  The original basket I made years ago is lopsided because I pulled it too hard as I wove in and out.

lopsided

Do not pull the yarn this tight.

Starting at the bottom, weave scraps of yarn over and behind the sections. It won’t look perfect in the beginning, but it will straighten itself out a bit as you continue.  When you reach the end of the yarn scrap, or you would like to switch to a new color, knot the new yarn to the old one so that the knot is on the inside of the basket.  weaving yarnI decided to use only green yarn because St. Patrick’s Day is coming up.  Depending on the yarn you use, this could be cute way to make Easter Baskets.  At the top of my basket, I used some green eyelash yarn that I’ve had for a long time.  Eyelash yarn is easier to work with when you use it with regular worsted yarn.  I used it with green yarn, but if you use it alone, it is fluffier.finished basketWhat’s Next?

March is National Craft Month, all month! More easy crafts for kids or adults!

Pinterest Picks–Vol. 1

I’ve been on the road a lot this past month, and haven’t had much time outside of the car for crafting.  Time in the car can be a great time for crafting…but it’s also a great time for napping!  I had planned to crochet, but instead I spent most of the time on Pinterest.  Here are some of my favorite crochet pins I found.

 

One of my trips this month was to wine country up in the Finger Lakes of New York.  So what better way to start this list than with a free crochet pattern for a wine tote?  This is a great way to give a bottle of wine as a gift.

I’ve been driving my mom’s old car recently, and the seat belt is itchy and scratches my neck.  I’ve adjusted it as much as I can, but I’m going to make this seat belt cover to make it more comfortable.

This scarf looks really easy.  There’s no pattern with the link, but all you need to do is crochet circles and stitch them together.  Then stitch an M on them all.  This looks like a good way to use up scraps.

Another way to use up scraps–a reusable Swiffer!  I have some leftover Pipsqueak yarn from a baby blanket that I think would catch dust well.

If you’re anything like me, you don’t start your Christmas crafts until it’s too late to finish them by December.  Now is the time to start thinking about Christmas crafts if you want to finish them before you have to start thinking about all the shopping, baking, and decorating.

Happy pinning!

Baby Afghan – Reverse Single Crochet Border

The first project I started working on for my nephew was gender-neutral. My brother and sister-in-law hadn’t found out yet that he would be a boy, and I didn’t want to wait to get started crocheting. I looked over some free patterns online, and saw this adorable star blanket. star blanket

Adjustments to fix some problems

Pattern was wrong

– It’s entirely possible that I read the pattern wrong, especially since I taught myself to read patterns. Whatever the case may be, I had to do some revising. My problem really started to show around Round 5, but it started earlier. I think there may be a problem with where the asterisks are. As I worked the blanket, my seam was located along the line of “skip two dc” but when I followed the asterisks, I was adding extra stitches with each round. After restarting a few times, I got a star shape and kept going. My fix to the pattern was, essentially, to slip stitch into the dc on the far side of skipping 2 stitches.

Awkward seam

– I wasn’t happy with how my seam looked after about half a skein of yarn. It looked like there were too many holes in the blanket. I stopped where I was, made another the same way, and that’s how I got my bonus pillow. Then I started a third time, with the fix to the pattern and an adjustment to the seam. Instead of counting my ch 3 as the first double crochet, I would chain only 2 then dc in the same stitch. When it came time to join the round with a sl st, I ignored my ch 2 and slip stitched into the first actual dc. It made it easier, and the seam less noticeable.

Cheap yarn

– I’ve almost always used Caron Simply Soft yarn. It’s soft, it comes in almost any color, and I used to be able to find it anywhere. However, Hobby Lobby seems to have stopped supplying it. I didn’t want to go to another store since I was already at Hobby Lobby, so I bought the closest they had–Yarn Bee Soft Secret. I was unimpressed. It’s nice and soft like Simply Soft, the yarn had many knots, weak spots, loose strands, and thick spots throughout each of my 3 or 4 skeins I used on the pillow and blanket. It was very frustrating to work with. I kept telling myself it was just a bad dye lot, but I had the same problems with two skeins of red yarn a few months later. Next time I will definitely make the trip to a different store to get my tried and true Simply Soft!

Curling edges

– The edges of my blanket were curling pretty badly. I don’t know if I had tension issues, or if I’m used to working a blanket back and forth instead of in the round, or what the problem was. I decided to do a reverse single crochet border. This gives a sort of corded effect, and since you’re reversing the direction you’re working, it pulls out curling edges a bit.

Bonus Pillowstar pillow

– Like I said, I ended up with a bonus pillow out of this pattern. I bought some yellow flannel the same color as my yarn, and traced one of my star pieces on it. I cut out the fabric about an inch bigger all the way around for a seam allowance. Then I sewed my fabric, turned it right side out, stuffed it, and started sewing the two crocheted pieces around it. I just used a yarn needle to whip stitch it.

Lessons Learned

Downloading a pattern online, even one that’s from a reputable company, doesn’t always give you the results you want. Either through pattern error or user error, you should pay attention to where your project is going as you crochet. Fixing problems early is the best way to save a project.

Don’t start a huge project with untested yarn. At the very least, try out a hat or something with it first to make sure it’s going to work for you.

And finally, try to turn your mistakes into something you still like. No one has to know you screwed up unless you tell them!

What’s next?

I’ve been working on learning cross stitch! I’ll share some of my attempts with you!

How to Crochet a Flower

I often return to my favorite tried and true patterns when I’m making gifts.  I know how the end result will look, I know how long it takes, and I don’t have to think too hard about what I’m doing.  But it gets boring to give the same gifts over and over again! Sure, you can change up the yarn or the hook size, but it’s still the same hat you’ve made 20 times before! Well, here’s a really easy solution–crochet a flower to spruce up that old hat! It takes me less than an hour to crochet a flower, and it’s a good way to use up yarn scraps that aren’t long enough for much else. It’s really difficult to explain with words or through a pattern, so I put a video on YouTube.  It’s much easier to show how to crochet a flower than it is to tell someone how! Use it to add some style to a tablet sleeve!

The perfect crochet accessory!