Thursday, November 13, 2008

As promised, here's the picture of the hats I've done so far. I like doing these because I can be as creative as I want and get to try new color combos and edgings out. The orange striped one in front is one of the ones my daughter laid claim to! :0) As you can see, I've also added a few more since yesterday. I'm just using up scrap yarn, but I'm getting some neat color combos as well. I still have a ton of yarn to use up! A couple of them I did in a spiral instead of joining rounds, which made it go a bit quicker.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Have you ever found a trick or technique and it was so fantastic, so time saving or made such a nice finish that you wondered why it wasn't standard in all magazines and books?

Well, I have a few tricks, tips and techniques that have become standard with me. I decided to share some of my favorites with you.

1) Crocheting into a ring. Don't you hate when you have to "chain X and join in a ring then do X sc, dc, etc, into the ring? The hole always ends up being too big or too small and there is no way to adjust it (that I know of anyway), and you still have to sew that pesky end in:( And forget if you want a deliberate sized hole in the center and the hole is the wrong size! You get a very stretched out or puckered hole! YUCK!

Well, I found a fantastic technique (forget where, but have seen it many places since then) called an adjustable ring (by some) or magic ring (by others). You wrap the yarn around 2 fingers (I like to do it twice around for a more secure center), then insert hook into the ring, pull up a loop, ch 1, etc (depending on stitch you are making, but another note on that at a later date:0), then do your sts into the ring. When you are done, you pull on the loose end a bit, then which ever loop starts to tighten, you pull on it until snug (or the hole is the size you want), then pull on the loose end until tight, and, voila! a perfect center every time! I crochet the next rounds over the end until it's gone and I have never had an end come undone. Since I found this technique, I have never chained a ring again! You can use this in any pattern where you would crochet into a ring.

2. Here's a trick for new crocheters (which I still use on occasion depending on the yarn:). When you are crocheting in the round and aren't sure which st to join in, count the stitches backward from the hook. Say you have 12 sc on that round. You would count back 12, and the 12th st would be the joining st.

3.) For picots. When I chain the desired amount for the picot, I insert my hook into the front loop and top verticle loop on the stitch the ch's are on, pull up a loop and pull through all loops on the hook. It makes for a nicer looking picot.

I'm still working on the beanies I mentioned. I have 2 schools to donate to this year, so will need more than last year! I have managed to make 9 in my spare time. Unfortunately I only have 7 left as my youngest dd saw them and after "Mommy! They are so pretty! Can I keep these? Pleeeease Mommy? I LOVE them! They are so nice!" how could I say no? Lol! How could I disappoint my biggest fan? I'll try to take pictures later this week or on the weekend. (which reminds me, I still owe you pictures of the Halloween costumes:)