Thursday, October 15, 2015

Getting Back to the Basics






  Do we have to stretch our talents to the limits at all times? No! Make a scarf for a person in need, using nothing but single crochet stitches. I bet they'd appreciate it. You know that young couple that's just starting out down the street? I bet they'd love a plain ol' granny square blanket as a housewarming gift. And if you're looking to sell your work, then it doesn't always have to be the fanciest thing out there. A beautiful lacy washcloth that takes you two days to make might sell as a gift item, but it's likely to go unused in a drawer because nobody wants to mess it up. I'd rather sell a four-pack of simple dishcloths that only take me ten minutes to make - and people will use them. Give them character with a multicolored yarn and a neat border, instead of taking forever to make a masterpiece.




crochet, beginners, double crochet





  Lately I've been using modified stitches like crazy! I just got bored with everything "in the book", and started playing with variations of stitches. I modified the butterfly stitch for the Dancing Dragonflies Scarf, the bobble stitch in the Drops on the Window Scarf, the long single crochet in the Mayflower Lace Scarf, and the front/back diagonal stitches in the Tracks 'n' Treads Scarf (as well as the Textured Face Scrubby). They all made amazing texture, and I've had fun, but it's time to get back to the basics again.




crochet, advanced stitches, scarf, free pattern





  It's too much work! A few special stitches once in a while are fine, but all these "modified" patterns are taking up way too much time - and sometimes yarn! First, I spend time making the stitch work, then I record the directions. I make a pattern. I create a tutorial. Maybe I make a video. In the case of the Mayflower Lace Scarf, I made both step by step and graph tutorials... And I'm not complaining. I encourage "thinking outside the box", and I love to share my new designs with others. I just don't have the time for extra-special stuff right now.




  So, it's been fun, Modified Stitches, but I have to let you go for now. We'll meet again, when my life is less hectic. Who knows? Maybe we'll see each other in a book. You have your own tutorials, and you're required in my free patterns, so you'll be kept in use while I'm away. Some attention needs to be given to your ancestors as you flourish and find your way in the world. 




  I've been so busy showing off teaching my skills and the new stitches I've developed that I'm neglecting the things I've yet to learn. I'm practicing Tunisian crochet, but for some reason I'm still having trouble getting the tension right. My rows come out crooked. I picked up Clones Irish Lace, but I've yet to finish a single project. And let's not forget my original roots in needlework: What happened to knitting? It's a craft that I never perfected, and abandoned after I learned to crochet. I decided to commit to knitting something again because there's this really awesome Knit Along I wanted to join in on, only to discover that I didn't even remember how to cast on correctly. Embarrassing.




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crochet, double crochet, beginners





  For those who have passed the beginner level and are looking to expand their skills, you might be unimpressed with the blog for a while. I'm sure I'll get bored with getting back to the basics, but I'm also neglecting the main reason I started making tutorials: Beginners! I still remember, and will never forget that feeling of being a self-taught beginner, with only a few old books that were difficult to understand. Oh, how my skills soared once I gained access to the internet! Yet, there were things missing that still left me confused. Like: Sure, you can show me a tutorial for how to make the Love Knot stitch using your already-started pattern. But how in the world do you work the starting chain? I strive to teach the information that others leave out.




  Still to this day, there's a pattern in one of my (ancient) books that I can't work out. It covers all four rows of the pattern stitch, but not the beginning chain. The multiple doesn't work out for me when I make my starting chain. I assume that I'm missing something in the first row, but I've wondered if the multiple was incorrect and I just don't have it's ancient correction. Included are four grainy black-and-white photos - only showing the triple crochet three together (tr3tog). It's written in UK terms and uses abbreviations like "wrh" that I had to translate first. (That's "wool round hook", by the way - "yarn over" for American me.) The pattern uses single, double, and triple crochet in the same rows, so it got a bit confusing until I wrote it all out in US terms. Even then, I still can't figure it all out.




crochet, advanced stitches, flowers





  My goal is to stick to simplicity until I can work out that pattern. It has bugged me to no end for years now. I feel like I have no business teaching any more advanced stitches until I can figure out the stitch that has me stumped. And when I do figure it out, I'll share it here. I'll include a tutorial. Maybe a video. And you can bet I'll teach you how to start the beginning chain.




Happy Crocheting!   





10 comments:

  1. Parabéns,lindo seu blog.
    Sucesso para você!

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    1. Obrigado! Estou feliz por ter você visitar!

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  2. My yarn affair started with knitting too, and your not the only one to move to crochet and forget how to cast on ;o) I'm intrigued by this stitch of yours and hope you figure it out soon and we can all enjoy it with you. Good luck with Tunisian, It works best if it's fairly loose. I want to try Tunisian lace stitch next.

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    1. Ah, the power of crochet... But, oh, the fit of knit! Lol, at least I'm not the only one :)

      Thanks for the advice - I'm sure my tight tension is the problem with Tunisian. I've corrected it over the years, but for some reason, I go back to a white-knuckled beginner when I'm practicing something new. The lace stitch is also on my list when I get better at it - and I can't wait to get to cables!

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  3. Can you post a pic of that (grainy pic) pattern you're working on? Maybe someone can help?
    Have fun with Tunisian! It's my favorite! Get bit looser with the tension and you will do great. Also, watch Kim Guzman's videos on that topic on YouTube.

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    1. To tell the truth, I'm not sure about copyright laws, so I stay away from taking pictures of the whole page of a published pattern. I finally worked out the first row last night (the multiple was my mistake), have the second row deciphered, and am stuck on the third, lol. Now that I've set my mind to it, I think I'll work it out, but I need to check out the laws because I would still love to share it!

      Kim Guzman is awesome, I didn't know she was on YouTube! Thanks for the advice. I tried using my tension tool to work Tunisian, but had the same results. I'm trying to work short rows on a regular hook. Maybe I need to break down and get a Tunisian hook already - I don't know what's going on. Arg, I'm the teacher; I don't like feeling like a beginner again, lol!

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  4. I like it. Every now and then I stop and make a simple beanie to donate. it kinda cleanses the soul.

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    1. I'm glad to hear you like to crochet for charity! There's something about it - and quick and simple projects - that helps us feel better. Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. Simplicity is undervalued I think. Simple can be so elegant and many of those vintage patterns were exactly that. Keep us posted!

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    1. Those translations make it twice as hard for me; I keep finding places that I wrote a dc down as a dc - so have to go back and fix it. My brain just doesn't want to work right lately.

      A promotional job has taken me entirely away from crochet for a few days (yay, baking!). I'm almost through the third row (confused about the end) and I'm itching to get back to it!

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