Posted in Afghans, Blankets, Blocks, Cables, Crochet, Kal, Knitting, Squares, Stitch Patterns, Tutorials, Winter, WIPS

Tutorial Tuesday – Joining Blocks – 2 Methods

 

If you’ve been knitting along with the “Beat the Winter Blues” KAL, your afghan blocks are probably starting to pile up. You might be the kind of person who knits up all their blocks, then at the end, lays them all out and arranges them into the perfect combination, THEN joins them all up. I’m not that person, I want to start joining them all up as I go. I like to feel like I am making progress. That way, when I abandon a project, I feel like I COULD just pick up and finish that project at any time. I probably won’t…..but I TOTALLY could!  😉

Here are two methods for joining your blocks (and I apologize in advance for the color differences in the photos. It’s what happens when I take photos at varying times of the day….someday this will be one of those picture perfect blogs we all LOVE on Pinterest. Yeah! Right!  😉  )….

Single Crochet Join:

This is my “go to” method for joining all my crochet blocks. Since I’ve never really joined knit blocks, I wasn’t really sure this method would work. In my mind, I kept thinking why WOULDN’T it work? Here’s the GREAT thing about a KAL….Before I even had a chance to “experiment” with this method one of our crafty ladies had already tested out the method in the exact way I thought it should be done! Thanks so much Penny! You may already have read Penny’s tips, but I thought I’d add a few photos for anyone who’s a “visual learner”.

 

If you want your join on the WRONG side of your blanket, place 2 blocks with RIGHT sides together. OR. If you want your join on the RIGHT side of your blanket, place 2 blocks with WRONG side together. Insert crochet hook into the edge stitch of each block (held together).

Bring a loop of working yarn through both blocks making a slip stitch  to secure. Continue on single crocheting loosely over the edges of both blocks.

The great thing about this method is it looks good on either the Right OR Wrong side of your work.

See…

A very nice join. Unless, of course, you don’t crochet (although, this would be a good way to learn….).

Invisible Join:

Even though I knit AND sew, I’ve never felt like I ever had a “really good” method for sewing knitting together (this might be the reason I like knitting in the round….). I’ll never forget the first hat I “seamed” up using a type of “whip stitch”….let’s just say, it wasn’t good!  😉  After playing around with this join though, I find I’m liking it more and more (I “might” even be considering using this join for my blanket….).

 

Start by placing two blocks RIGHT sides up on good working surface (the floor, a table or even your lap….).

Using the tails of your blocks (or a new section of yarn, if you prefer…), thread into a darning needle.

 

You’ll be seaming in the knit edge of each block, starting from the back of the block to the front, tightening as you seam.

This make a nice, invisible seam too!

Here’s the question….which joining method will you choose?

Happy Knitting!

Lori

Advertisements
Posted in Crochet, Knitting, Scrappy, Stashbuster, YARN!!!

Scrappy Sunday – Scrappy Self-Striping Yarn

Anyone else have a bunch of odds and ends you don’t know quite what to do with? Or is that just me? 😉 I mentioned in this post about wanting to make some scrappy Around the Square washcloths. I’ve used several different ways to make scrappy projects, but, I decided to make my own Scrappy Self-Striping yarn (also known as a Magic Ball ) using the Russian Join Method.

I started by rounding up a bunch of my cotton worsted weight odds and ends. I’m using cotton worsted weight, but you can use any weight you want….just make sure the fiber content is pretty similar (you know, don’t go mixing 100% acrylic with 100% wool, you’re going to get something a little funky when you wash the item….).

Decide how often you want the stripes to change. I took a commercial self-striping and measured to see how long until the color changes. The skein I had was 300 inches to the color change. I measured out lengths of yarn (in blues/greens) 300 inches and started joining them together. You can also do something a little more random if you prefer. It’s your yarn….do what you want! 😉

Since I was joining cotton yarn, I was a little afraid the joins might come apart. I added a tiny dot of a clear fabric glue on the ends of the join and let them dry a couple of hours before winding into a ball (here’s a good post about winding center pull balls). I’m not sure the glue was necessary, but I wanted to be sure. I’ve never had any trouble with wool or wool blends coming apart. EVER.

There you have it….no more excuses for yarn scraps! 😉

Happy Crafting!

Lori

Posted in Crochet, Knitting, Tutorials, YARN!!!

Tutorial Tuesday – Russian Join

If you knit or crochet and you’ve never heard of the Russian Join, you are going to be blown away! This technique was life-changing for my knitting and crocheting! Just notice that you’re close to the end of the yarn you’re currently using and need to add a new skein? Get ready, here’s a great way to add that yarn!

Thread one end of your yarn (either the yarn that’s running out OR the new yarn) onto your darning needle. Run the needle up into the center of the yarn for several inches. Pull the needle through forming a loop in the yarn…..

Remove the needle. Thread the needle onto your other piece of yarn. Run the needle into the loop you just made in your first yarn, then into the center of your new yarn forming a second loop into your original loop (I used 2 different colors to illustrate this. The turquoise yarn is your first loop, the gray is your second loop).

Now you have 2 loops connected together…..

To tighten up the loops, pull the short ends of each yarn to snug the join. Trim the short ends close to the main yarn and there you have it your Russian Join!

Now you’re ready to knit or crochet on!

Happy Crafting!

Lori

Posted in Blankets, Crochet, WIPS

Just One More Project! ;)

I started ANOTHER project. This adorable Star Blanket for my Grand-Nephew Miles. I’m a bad Grand-Aunt…..I never completed a baby blanket for Miles before he was born. And. It’s not because I didn’t start a blanket. I actually started 3 different blankets. This Baby Granny Stripes  started out really cute, but I just lost my mo-jo on it and it got pushed aside…..

Then, there was a different version of the Star Blanket. Who knows why I didn’t finish it….

Apparently, I never even bothered setting up a project page for the third blanket I started…..and I can’t remember what the blanket was……I just know I started something I never finished! 😉

Now that miles is almost 2 years old (in June), I’m hoping to get a blanket done for him! First, I gave myself a deadline of June 1st to get this done before his birthday. Being that I’m a realist (and I know how INCREDIBLY busy I get at my work in May), I’ve got a back-up birthday gift for Miles in case I don’t meet the June 1st deadline. It’ll still make a good Christmas present! 😉

Happy Crocheting!

Lori

Posted in Blankets, Crochet, FOs

FO Friday – Simple Ripple Baby Blanket

It’s DONE! YAY!!! AND. Before the baby has arrived! I didn’t make the April 1st deadline I assigned the project (this post ), but that’s okay. I should try to be more realistic when I assign deadlines. I always assume I can crochet whatever amount I figure I need to crochet per day to meet the deadline. What I forget to factor in is all the other things in my day (work, cleaning, cooking, feeding animals, sleep, to name a few…..) that limit that crochet time. Some days I feel lucky to get one row in! So, I’m not going to beat myself up for missing a date on the calendar!

How are your projects coming along? Are you a deadline setter?

Happy Crocheting!

Lori

Posted in Blankets, Crochet, WIPS

I actually MIGHT Make the Deadline!

I’m way beyond the boring part on this blanket….you know, that point when the newness of the project has DEFINITELY worn off and it’s all you can do to not start an new project (oh wait! I did start that Brioche Cowl). 

When setting up the project page, I set April 1st as the deadline (since the baby is supposed to be born sometime in April). Well, that’s this coming Sunday! Yikes! Can I make it? I’m at 29 inches right now (I’m shooting for 36 inches). With 5 days to go, I would need to average 1.4 inches to get that last 7 inches. Theoretically, I think I can accomplish that! We shall see…..

How are you doing on your projects? Meeting any deadlines?

Posted in Blankets, Crochet, WIPS

Crocheting in Ends as You Go!

Making good progress on the Simple Ripple Baby Blanket. I was really hoping to find a self-striping yarn in the colors I’m using. Yeah….that didn’t happen! If you’re like me, weaving in ALL THOSE ENDS at the end of your project…..well, it just doesn’t make me happy!

I figured out a way to crochet in the ends as I go (wish I could figure out a way to do this with colorwork in knitting!). I’m going to show you the method I use as it works pretty good for me.

After you’ve added your new color of yarn, you’re going to place your crochet hook into the back loop of your previous (color) row and pull the tail of your new color through.

Continue along with this process until the tail is used up.

It will look something like this (sorry for the fuzzy photo!).

Now, just go back and crochet as you would with your new color. Since you’re crocheting through both loops, your stitches will cover that “woven in” tail. You can also do this if your crocheting in the front or back loops only, just crochet your tail into the loops that will be covered with your stitches. 😉

When you get to the end of the tail, pull it up a little and snip it off. When you release the pressure, the end will hide itself right into your (new color) stitches.

That’s it! Your end is now woven in and you can continue on with your crocheting! When you’re done with your project, you have ONE end to weave in! What could be better than that?!?!