Monday, June 20, 2016

Join Crochet Motifs with One Seam

  This is such a great method to make beautiful joins, save yarn, and have less tails to weave in! When I shared the tutorial for the "Join-As-You-Go" stitch using the Love Knot, I was only creating strips with my squares. Here's a diagram to show you how to keep going for a full square or rectangular project:

crochet, tutorial, one-seam join, seamless join, join as you go, how to join squares

(And by the way, you can use this with just about any stitch!)

  I also said in the previous tutorial that this wasn't the full Join-As-You-Go method, but forgot to remind you that the true technique involves joining while working the last round of the square. This is really just a "seamless join", but you'll find some calling it Join-As-You-Go. It's a confusing situation to me, because I think of it as "joining as you go", because you don't stop crocheting the seam. Plus, a seamless join makes me think of an invisible join, not a one-seam join. Forgive me if I've confused you, and please enjoy the diagram. Have fun only weaving in only two tails after joining all your squares, no matter what you call the method. And that's it!

*Gasp* That's it? Not a full page tutorial? No lengthy instructions?

You got it! That's all you need.

  But... Here's some verbal instructions, for my non-English speaking friends using translating software: Begin where you see the green circle. The grey arrows indicate where to work a regular stitch. The black arrows indicate where to work a stitch, then join to the stitch on the opposite side. End where you see the red circle.
(I've had a few complaints about putting text on photos, because translators don't work on pictures. I hope that helps!)

Happy Crocheting!

(P.S. Find the free pattern for that square here - There's a tutorial included!) 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Join-As-You-Go with Love Knots

  The Love Knot is one of my favorite stitches, and I thoroughly enjoyed working out this joining method. I'm using my "Grannies in a Love Triangle" squares, but this stitch would be easy to use for a lacy join on any square. The large size of the Love Knot makes the joins amazingly fast. We all like that, now, don't we? But... you won't get to see a full Join-As-You-Go here (and I'll have more tails). *Get a diagram for the full seamless joining method here!

  I'm using this one-seam method to create strips for my Grannies in a Love Triangle Shawl. Although you can use this technique to join all the squares in your project with one continuous seam, I'll be adding a border to the strips to work out some cool color work, and then joining them using the same stitch.

  This technique of creating strips would work for any square or rectangular project. If you want to use another square for your own design, then you'll have to work out the right size of your stitches yourself. But all you have to look for is puckering or rippling, and you'll know you need to adjust the height of your Love Knots. My squares also have convenient chain-spaces for joining, so you'll need to figure out your own stitch placement for a different square, too.

  For other designs, pay attention to the notes along the way. I made a corner that's a little too short, to add more design and some simple shaping to my pattern. If you're using this method for anything else, then you probably want to use one of the alternatives I've provided. This goes really quickly no matter what design you're using, so grab your motifs and get ready for a finish!

Need help?
Find a tutorial for the Love Knot here
And the tutorial/pattern for the Grannies in a Love Triangle square here

A typical Join-As-You-Go will continue after the end of the strip, joining a new row of squares after step 5. I'll be continuing at the end for a border all the way around the strip, so we won't be following the same pattern. (As I said above: You can still use these stitches to follow the typical J-A-Y-G pattern!)

Begin in a corner with a long single crochet (to make the beginning stitch, start with a slip stitch and pull up a Love Knot to count as the long single crochet). In each space across, make (one long single crochet, two Love Knots, and one long single crochet).

Work the stitches around three sides of the square (including corners to follow my pattern, or see the notes for a different corner option).
For the shawl pattern: End in the last corner space with just one long single crochet.
Other designs: You can make a full stitch set in the last space before joining a new square, and another full set in the first space of the new square. This will be preferred if you're using the stitch for a full J-A-Y-G, because you won't be working the border that fills in this space. Also see the note (*) a few steps ahead for another corner space option.

Make two Love Knots, then join the next square with just one long single crochet in the corner space (for the shawl). I know that leaves an odd space, but we'll be fixing that when we work around the other side. Okay?
Working up the joining side, you'll still be making almost the same stitch pattern in each space. After you make the long single crochet and the first Love Knot, slip stitch in the opposite (center) Love Knot.

You'll continue by making the second Love Knot, then the long single crochet in the same space as the first. Moving on to the next space, you make (one long single crochet, one Love Knot, slip stitch, Love Knot, and long single crochet).

*Hey! This method does create a spot at the join that is shorter than the rest of the stitches. It will be filled in with the second round for my Grannies in a Love Triangle Shawl. For other designs: Scroll to the end of the post to find an example of a different corner stitch I'm using in the border which would also be a great option to use while joining.

Now, that's all you need to know to get to the end of the strip. Keep following those directions until you've added all the squares in your strip, then work around the corners to the other side. I'll wait, because I know it won't be long until you're done...

Okay, ready? It's time to fix that odd space!

Make one long single crochet in the corner space, then make a Love Knot. Slip stitch in the Love Knot in the center of the join. Make another Love Knot, then a long single crochet in the corner space of the next square. Work (one long single crochet, two Love Knots, one long single crochet) in each space across, and repeat at the next join.

  Continue until you get back to your beginning long single crochet, make (one long single crochet, two Love Knots) and join with a slip stitch. To follow my pattern, we're going to work a second round. If you're working on your own design, then you can choose to bind off here. There's no need for a second round other than for my color work; the stitch pattern will be the same for joining.

  The stitches for the second round will be worked in the center Love Knots, so we have to work our way over to the first one. If you wanted to change colors again, then it would be simple to bind off and start right in a center knot. If you're following my pattern, then let me show you the easy way to (cheat!) get there:

After the joining slip stitch, there is only one long loop to work over until we reach out beginning spot. Simply pull up a long loop, then slip stitch into the center knot where we will begin. Now, you'll make (one long single crochet, two Love Knots, one long single crochet), just like before, in the center knot of each stitch group.

But what about that joining space? To fill in that "short" spot, don't work into the center knot here. Work (one long single crochet, two Love Knots, one long single crochet) in each space to the side of the slip stitch.

**And what about the corners? You have a few options here. You can't continue using the same stitch group in the corner, because it will begin to pull. To make a sharper corner, I worked another two Love Knots and one more long single crochet, making two stitch groups share a middle stitch. You could work the corners of the first round this way, too.

Not shown: You can also make sharper corners by working four Love Knots for your corner stitch. However, the extra Love Knots alone will create a huge open space that's bigger than the "diamonds" in the middle joins.

Here's one final example of how I continued building out with the new corner stitch, making one "shared" stitch on either side of the corner stitch (or space). That "short" corner that I made in the beginning join was made so that the strips of my shawl will taper down just a tiny bit, but it can also make your work pucker. Although the curling can easily be blocked out with this lacy stitch, I recommend that you use one of the other corner stitches for flat patterns. Whichever one will work best may depend on the design of your square.

  So, are you following along with this project, or using this joining stitch to create your own design? I'd love to see photos of your creations - Remember that you can stop by the Crochet is the Way Facebook page to share them!

Happy Crocheting!

Friday, June 10, 2016

The Lost Crochet Files - 7

  This looks to be the last of my lost files... As of right now I can't find any more. Who knows? Maybe I'll find some in a hidden folder, but this seems to have been the bulk of it. This one project is perfect for the end of the series because it actually involves the infamous notebook-eating dog's owner. Long story short about this piece: Yes, I crocheted a fishing net; no, that's not the way they're usually made, but it's what I was asked to do. So I did it.

  The longer story is about the motivation behind the project. I consider this to be the most obnoxious thing I ever created - And it was made obnoxiously with a BIG purpose. It may not be so classy to go putting the whole explanation out in public, but whatever... The parties involved are no longer part of my life, and I feel the need to tell the whole story about my "happiest" creation from the past.

  I will warn you that some of this could be viewed as offensive, but I'm censoring the worst and hopefully you'll understand... Just, please know that I don't agree with the views of the character in this post and he disgusts me. Also, I would never make fun of anybody but him. I'm going to tell this story openly and honestly. Anything that's not "pc" here is just part of the purpose behind this project, and not meant to be offensive.

So, how did this "rainbow" fishing net come to be? Well, when somebody has been a bit of a jerk lately, you make him something he doesn't want!

crochet, fishing net, gag project, Lost Crochet Files

  Okay, there's much more behind that... Let's leave this person unnamed, other than being the notebook-eating dog's owner. And my ex-boss. Day after day, I used to put up with His Jerkiness. From comments about why women can't drive to why black people should go back to Africa (sorry I even wrote that, but does it help you get what a jerk he is?), I continued to put up with his bigotry for my paycheck. I don't know if it was some form of retaliation, stress relief, or an attempt to get him to see the wrong in his ways, but I developed a habit of making snarky comments towards his low intelligence... To no avail, because it all went over his head.

Great work environment, huh?

  And if we ever had any obviously gay customers come in, boy, he would carry on about it for the rest of the day. A gay guy patted him on the shoulder once, just saying "thanks", and he was worried that the guy was going to come back for him later. I was amused in one way, but mostly disappointed - I mean, to think that the guy is after you, only because he used a common social gesture, and happens to be gay... I realized that he wasn't just a bigot; he was extremely homophobic.

  They might not be my finest moments, but I made it a goal to try to put him in awkward situations. Like not telling him I was still on the phone with a customer as he called them the "N" word, and leaving for a long lunch just as they came to take their business elsewhere... And when he asked me if I could put my crochet skills to use repairing his fishing net, I saw a new opportunity. You see, he made a special request for the project: I couldn't make it in any of those "gay colors", because there was a lot of... Um, okay, I can't do it. I won't even put a censored version in here. I'll take over here, and translate that there's a high number of gay people in the area where he goes fishing. So, you know, the idiot is afraid that if his fishing net is colorful, it will attract the "wrong" sort of attention.

crochet, fishing net, gag project, Lost Crochet Files

  I would have made it in actual rainbow colors, but these were the only colors of nylon string the hardware store had. It served its purpose, because when I presented him with his "repaired" net - Ha ha ha, he had a fit, screaming about how everybody was going to think he was gay with a net like that. I told him "sorry, it was the only three rolls of string they had left in the store", and I didn't really care if he believed me or not, as long as it shut him up. He took it fishing, and OMG, what a big surprise (I say that sarcastically): He made it back without getting assaulted, attacked, or even spoken to by any gay people.  

  Unfortunately, it could have been a lesson, but he couldn't stop carrying on about how he got scared every time he saw a boatload of guys... That's funny, dude, because aren't you IN a boat with a bunch of guys? The net was conveniently destroyed on the next fishing trip. I'm not sure if it was done on purpose, or if they're just dumb, since the first net had suffered the same fate of a knife... Some people just never learn.

  On the bright side, at least I received a lesson from that. Just like learning, some people never change, either. I now knew that my antics would never get him to see the light, and began cutting all ties with him. It's too bad I didn't make that decision before he went on that fishing trip, because then I never would have watched his dog, and this whole series would have never existed... It would have been a bunch of great patterns. So since it happened this way, I hope you've enjoyed the reading. It's been great looking back on past projects. Now I have to get to work recreating some of them.

Happy Crocheting!

If you missed the beginning of this series, and you're wondering what in the world it's all about, then here you go! Check out these links to the entire "Lost Crochet Files" series:

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