Friday, December 19, 2014

How to: Rolled Double Crochet Variations






  From bags to baskets, from hats to mats, the Rolled double crochet stitch can be used to add texture, strength, and thickness in your crochet projects. Don't confuse this stitch with the "Roll" stitch, which is also known as the "Bullion" stitch. I recently made a Guidecentral Guide for how to make the original version of the Rolled double crochet stitch, which you can view here.



  Although I always tell everybody to never get discouraged, this will be difficult for beginners. If you are new to the regular double crochet stitch, or if you're still confused over turning chains and the beginning of the row, these stitches will be very challenging. Checking out the original Guide will show you more of the step by step process for creating a double crochet stitch and what the work should look like as you turn, as well as some extra pointers for what stitch to work into.



  I'll be covering a condensed version of how to make the original stitch at the beginning of this tutorial. Some of you may want to check out the Guide for extra steps (*cough*...and maybe sign up with Guidecentral so you can "like" my Guides *cough*). The Guide will show you how to work double-thick and double-sided versions of this stitch into a pattern, which won't be covered here.




  Anyways, this tutorial is going to show you some Rolled double crochet variations. It was difficult to work them into the Guide, but I still wanted to share them with everybody. So, let's get to it!







The original:

A regular Rolled double crochet is made by working backwards through the top of a double crochet, then into the same loops as the bottom of the stitch.

For the beginning of the row, insert the hook in the current stitch from back to front.





Insert the hook from front to back into the same loops as the bottom of the stitch.





Slip stitch, then chain 3 to count as the first double crochet.





For all other Rolled double crochet in the row, yarn over, insert hook in the next stitch from back to front.





Insert hook in the same loops as the bottom of the stitch from front to back.





When you swing your hook around to the back, it will pinch the stitch and look like this:





Complete a double crochet. For each additional stitch, the top loops of the next stitch will be pulled slightly to the front, as a ridge begins to pop up below the current row.





The texture will be entirely on the side facing you.






As a return row of regular double crochet is worked, you can see that the opposite side of the fabric is basically flat.





Variations:

For all variations, you will begin the row in the same manner as the original version, working into the designated loops for that version, instead of into the whole stitch.

Remember to yarn over for a double crochet for all other stitches in the row.


Front loops only:

Insert hook in the front loop of the next stitch from back to front.





Insert hook in the same loops as the bottom of the stitch, from front to back.





When you swing your hook around to the back, it will pinch the stitch and look like this:





Complete a double crochet.






You can see that a row of front loop rolled doubles will leave a thinner ridge with less thickness, but with more character.






As a return row of regular double crochet is worked, you can see that the back side of this stitch is still basically flat.





Back loops only:

Insert hook in back loop of next stitch from back to front.





Insert hook in the same loops as the bottom of the stitch, from front to back.





Complete a double crochet.





This stitch has the same texture as the front loop version, with the unworked loops slanting in the opposite direction.





As a return row of double crochet is worked, you can see that this stitch is also flat on the back side, but with a little bit of extra texture from the unworked loops.





Compact version:

With this version, the very first stitch can be worked without a turning chain. Insert the hook directly into the bottom of the current stitch.





As you pull up a loop, don't pull up extra length. Snugly tighten the loop so that it compresses the stitch underneath it.





Complete the double crochet.





This stitch creates less of a ridge on the front side, with just some extra thickness added to the row.





As a row of return double crochet is worked, you can see this stitch adds more texture to the opposite side.





The back of this stitch still has no ridge, but more of the thickness shows on this side.





Create your own version:

Experiment with different combinations to make your own textures. Here is an example with alternating regular double crochet and rolled double crochet.





This combination I made looked a bit messy from certain angles, but I think it would look better if all the rows were worked this way. Compared with the other rows' straight-lined ridges, this texture looks out of place.





As a return row of regular double crochet is worked, you can see that the alternating combo actually has some pretty interesting character.






Backwards compact version:

I saved the most difficult for last. This version requires you to work the stitches with the yarn in front of the work.


Insert the hook from back to front in the same loops as the bottom of the current stitch. Move the yarn to the front to grab with the hook.





After you pull up a loop, keep the yarn to the front of the work.





Complete the double crochet.





This stitch looks exactly like the regular compact version, but the texture pops to the front.





Other design ideas:

There are just too many techniques you could use to make these stitches even more interesting! Imagine changing colors on the return rows so that the ridges pop out in a contrasting color...Or using beads in any of the rows...And what about weaving ribbon through the regular double crochet of the return row?



That would look beautiful on a small clutch or bag.




Or how about using surface crochet to fill in the gap of the return row with another color?



Although one-sided, this makes a super-thick fabric that would be great for hats or gloves.

With so many variations, what will you make?


Happy Crocheting!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Free Pattern: Holiday Trio


  If you need a quick accessory or want something extra for decorating, this pattern combo has you covered for the holiday season. Christmas trees, candy, and snowflakes are all made easier with the help of a step by step tutorial for each pattern. Each piece can be made in under a day, and can be customized to suit your own taste.




 







Skill level:






*Two of these patterns begin with a magic circle. Click here for help.


Plarn Candy Drop Ornaments

  Any kind of plarn could be used for this project, but milk jug labels have a different texture and gauge. The combination of bold, bright colors and candy-colored pastels found on these labels are difficult to find in plain bags.

  Plastic means you can decorate outside, too! However, consider your surroundings. These are quite small, and PLASTIC - Which usually means a choking hazard for children, pets, and wildlife. Please don't use these any place where they could be a danger.

Skill level: Easy

Materials:
Crochet hook size I/9-5.50MM
Plarn (plastic yarn) cut from milk jug labels, 1/2" (1.2 cm) wide
Smaller hook to weave in ends
Ornament hooks (optional)

Gauge:
Not important. With hook size I/9-5.50MM, entire motif measures 1" (2.5 cm)

Notes:
Click here for pattern tutorial. This Guide will show you how to cut the plarn for the project and give you step by step instructions for this pattern.

Stitches:
Slip stitch (sl st)
Chain (ch)
Single crochet (sc)






Directions:

Begin with a magic circle.

Round 1:
Chain 1 (counts as 1 sc), mark stitch as beginning if needed. Make 5 more single crochet in the magic circle. Pull circle tight. (6 sc)

Round 2:
Do not join. Starting in the beginning ch-1, make 2 sc in each stitch (mark first sc if needed). (12 sc) Join with a sl st to beg sc. Bind off.

Finishing:
Secure last stitch. Pull up a loop about the circumference of your finger. Holding loop secure, finish weaving in ends. Add an ornament hook to this loop.


-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -


Christmas Tree Earrings:

  This pattern can seem very complicated if you haven't used this technique before. There are no true "rounds", only an excess of stitches worked into the stitches of the starting chain. The entire pattern is actually worked in only one row.

  It's obvious that you could use this motif as anything you want, you don't have to make earrings. But do you want to customize these? Consider using colored beads, or any bead shape and size you wish. These little trees also look cute in white or icy blue thread. What color would you use?

Finished size of motif is less than 1" (2.5 cm) diameter, with an adjustable height.

Skill level: Intermediate

Materials:
Steel crochet hook size 7/1.65MM
Size 10 crochet thread
Tip-drilled, drop-shaped beads (click here for the ones I used)
Craft glue (optional)
Needle or smaller hook to weave in ends
Jewelry assembly materials (jump rings, fish hook findings, pliers)

Gauge:
Not important. First "round" of stitches in first chain (triple crochets) is less than 1" (2.5 cm).

Notes:
For a step by step tutorial, click here. This Guide will show you tips on beading, give step by step instructions for stitches, explain how to shape the piece while weaving in ends, and follows how to assemble the earrings.

Stitches:
Slip stitch (sl st)
Chain (ch)
Single crochet (sc)
Half-double crochet (hdc)
Double crochet (dc)
Triple crochet (tr)






Directions:

To begin, chain 14. In the 5th ch from hook, make 4 triple crochet (skipped chs count as 1st tr), slide up a bead, ch 1. (Make 5 more tr in the same st, slide up a bead, ch 1) twice.

Skip 1 stitch in the starting ch (or count to the 8th st from the tail), make 5 double crochet. Slide up a bead, ch 1. (Make 5 more dc in the same st, slide up a bead, ch 1) twice.

Skip 2 chs in the starting ch (or count to the 5th st from tail), make 5 half-double crochet. Slide up a bead, ch 1. (Make 5 more hdc in same st, slide up a bead, ch 1) twice.

In the second-to-last starting chain, make 5 single crochet. Slide up a bead, chain 1. (Make 5 more sc in the same st, slide up a bead, ch 1) twice. These stitches will tighten up the last chain the in starting chain, making it disappear.

Chain 6* for top of tree and hanging loop. Slip st in the 4th chain from hook and each of next 3 chains.

*Making something other than earrings? You may want this loop larger, or not want a loop at all. Add and skip more chains for a larger loop, or chain 4 and begin in the second ch from hook for no loop.

Bind off, secure stitch, run tail through center of each available starting chain to bottom. Weave in ends.

Finishing:
For earrings, add a jump ring to loop made by skipped chains. Attach a fish hook to the jump ring, close ring.


-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -


Snowflake Earrings:

  These are so beautiful, you could use them for almost anything. One single motif makes a lovely pendant, or you could connect two or three together for a dramatic choker. Use your choice of beads and thread color to customize.

Finished size of motif is 2" (5 cm) measuring from tip to tip.

Skill level: Easy

Materials:
Steel crochet hook size 8/1.50MM
Size 10 crochet thread
Tip-drilled, drop-shaped beads (click here for beads used)
Craft glue (optional)
Smaller hook or needle to weave in ends
Jewelry assembly materials (Jump rings, fish hook findings, pliers)

Gauge:
Not important. First round measures less than 1/2" (1.2 cm) in diameter.

Notes:
Click here for a step by step tutorial. This Guide will help you keep track of your stitches. Pull stitch as tight as possible when adding a bead. Keep loose tension for the rest of the project, or slip stitching in the chains will be extremely difficult.

Stitches:
Slip stitch (sl st)
Chain (ch)
Single crochet (sc)







Directions:

Begin with a magic circle.

Round 1:
Chain 1 (counts as 1 single crochet). Make 1 more sc in circle. Insert hook, pull up a loop, slide up a bead and pull thread tight. Yarn over, pull through both loops on hook (one bead sc made). Make 3 more sc in circle, ch 4. (Make 2 sc, 1 bead sc, and 3 sc in circle. Ch 4) 3 times. Pull circle tight. Join with a slip stitch to beginning ch-1.

Round 2:
Turn. *Sl st in next available ch-4 space. Chain 5, sl st in 2nd ch from hook and in next ch. Ch 3, sl st in 2nd ch from hook and in next st. Sl st in the chain at the base of the "Y", and sl st in each of the remaining 2 chs. Sl st in same ch-4 space. Ch 7, sl st in the 2nd ch from hook and in next ch. Ch 3, sl st in 2nd ch from hook and in next st. Sl st in the ch at the base of the "Y", ans sl st in each of the remaining 4 chs. Sl st in the same ch-4 space again. Ch 5, sl st in 2nd ch from hook and in next ch. Ch 3, sl st in 2nd ch from hook and in next st. Sl st in the chain at the base of the "Y", and sl st in each of the remaining 2 chs. Sl st in the same ch-4 space again, ch 4.* Repeat from * to * 3 more times. Join with a sl st to beginning sl st. Bind off, weave in ends at the back of the motif.

Finishing:
Add a jump ring to the tip of any ch-7 spike. Attach a fish hook to the jump ring, close ring.

In case you would like to make a matching necklace: I find that the motif flops around too much when attached by a single spike. Add a jump ring to each ch-5 spike on either side of the ch-7 spike. Attach another jump ring to each, then add one more to each for hanging from a chain. You can see an example in the background of the main display at the top of the page.

Happy Crocheting!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Yarn Tales Tuesday


Bi-polar Craft-itis

  I've discovered that I may have a condition. I've seen signs of it for most of my life, and there doesn't seem to be a cure. This is my opportunity to connect with others who may also have this condition. Together we can find support and gain the confidence to deal with the life-disrupting side effects of having such an affliction.




  Wait, affliction? Let's go back to calling it a "condition", I like that better. I'm not afflicted, I'm not sick, and the only way I want to hear the word "disorder" is if you're talking about my office, because we're not talking about a sickness here. "Bi-polar Craft-itis is a condition that affects many crafters and D.I.Y. enthusiasts all over the world. This mental state is characterized by piles of mixed craft supplies in the home and an uncontrollable urge to travel to the craft store for more materials.  





  Other symptoms of this condition include, but are not limited to: Hoarding of crafting materials, sticky glue fingers, pondering what you can make out of trash, paint in your hair and eyebrows, mood swings while crafting, a trance-like state when watching D.I.Y. shows, and frequent utterance of the phrase "Ooo, I can make that!". 




  Signs to look for if you think you or a loved one has Bi-polar Craft-itis:
  • Lack of ability to purchase a gift for someone, preferring to make one instead


  • Inability to walk past a craft store, and consequentially being unable to decide on only one thing once you're in there


  • A constant need to create


  • Addiction to craft supplies such as yarn, paper, or fabric, etc


  • A feeling of loneliness when not surrounded by at least three ongoing projects





  If you suspect you or a loved one has this condition, talk to a physician about how his/her office would look much better with an accent wall and how you can crochet a seat cover for those little rolling stools that doctors always have. Although there is no cure for Bi-polar Craft-itis, those affected may continue to live a full, craft-filled life, finding support and D.I.Y. ideas on the internet and at craft fairs.




-Do you think you might have Bi-polar Craft-itis? Isn't it distracting sometimes? What is your favorite craft? Obviously, mine is crochet! 

I've been working on building an assortment of various craft tutorials for +Guidecentral. If you're interested, you can check them out here:

  

  Happy Crafting!

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