Friday, July 30, 2010

Barbara Walker top down Barbie dress - progress photo

Hi all. Here is "the dress," now approaching waist shaping. Thus far, worked on 2 dpns through the raglan double increase, then 3 dpns as each sleeve was worked, returning now to 2 dpns as I reach the waist.

Sleeves are worked separately by knitting to a point, attaching fresh yarn, knitting two rows and casting off in knit. Thereafter, a few stitches with a sewing needle seam the sleeves and 3 stitches are picked up at the underarm (with the original yarn, not from the bit of fresh yarn) and left unworked ...knitting across the front to the next sleeve and repeating. The picked up stitches are not worked until the purl row. Next up, subtle dart shaping for the bustline, and there it is, ready for waist shaping.

The waist shaping is achieved with a tighter stitch. I'll be posting about that after the fact. I have to admit, even tho I'm on the 3rd attempt at this little pink dress, I'm really having a lot of fun making it. I've missed knitting~!

The view is of the front. While I professed that I intended to stick to the pattern as much as possible, I had to eliminate the short row shaping above the bust darts. Once the sleeves are sewn, there is no ripping back past them. In my first attempt, I misread the pattern. I did save the piece, and I learned from it. In the second attempt, I seriously disliked the short row shaping. If I can muster up a visual for you, it looked like Madonna's pointy cones, and also it was as if the bust area had "a face" .... clearly, I could see 2 eyes at the boobies and a nose under and between them. Considering the darts for bust shaping below, the short rows are redundant and unnecessary.

Dress number 3...so far, I love ya.

Later folks. Donna


Friday, July 23, 2010

"Gone Fishin' or "Don't bother me; I'm knitting" or "Currently on the needles...a top down dress for Barbie"

So much crocheting lately, I've been feeling the NEED to knit. Of course, I want something that will work up quick for that "instant gratification," which usually means doll knitting; specifically, Barbie knitting.

I searched my pattern stash for a vintage magazine bought on Ebay a few years back, because it was listed as having Barbara Walker Barbie patterns inside. (Like I could even resist that--the idea of owning this was heavenly.) The magazine includes a disappointingly short interview of Ms Walker, pictures 5 variations of (what is supposed to be) the same dress, and the accompanying pattern, singular, for said dress(es), which is more of an outline. Ms. Walker basically states that her instructions are intentionally suggestions, and your results will differ by your choice of needle size, yarn, stitch tension, the mood you're in, and the cycle of the moon. Okay, okay...ya know I exaggerated about that last bit, however, I don't really know how to feel (yet) about a pattern that affords its user so much leeway. Do I like it-do I not--not sure yet. Ms. Walker encourages you to change it "as you go," suggesting the use of circular needles and having the doll nearby to try it on and make changes as needed on the spot.

This pattern could be a beginner's nightmare...which is probably why I put it away and merely relished the fact that I owned the magazine. Now, I am ready for this challenge. I don't know exactly how it is going to turn out until it is finished. It is ambitious, including double increases, raglan shaping, and short rows, and is "miniature." With the small scale, however, there is only a little to rip back if necessary (as opposed to something "people sized"), and you start again :).

Decision 1. Make no individual decisions\changes. By eliminating changing it at whim, I hope to end up with a basic prototype BarbWalker Dress 1.01. From that vantage point, I can see what might "ask for tweaking" if there is ever a BWD1.02.

Decision 2. Stick with one color, Bernat Sox, probably pink. A good idea, methinks.

Decision 3. Straight dpns, size 2, no "fittings as I go." Decision 4. Knee length hemline.

I hope to post some pictures as it progresses, and I'm getting ready to post Part 2 on Knitting for Fashion Dolls soon.

Yarny hugs to all, D

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Book Review (Yes, now I fancy myself a critic) LOL



When I was new to crochet, I bought myself a LOT of patterns. I bought patterns before I even knew how to work many of the stitches and techniques, knowing full well that they were beyond my skillset. Years after, I discovered Ebay and had an absolute field day purchasing vintage patterns for potholders, doilies and kitschy stuff that quite frankly I'll never have enough time to make--but I absolutely LOVE my (large) pattern collection. I think it might even be fair to say that I love my pattern collection more than I love the actual crocheting...did ya ever feel that way too? I can get lost in those patterns and they really hold a fascination for me.

Anyhow, when I was a new, young crocheter, I didn't know a lot...and 33 years later, I'm happy that I know a bit more...and I'm still eager to learn. What really thrills me tho, is teaching people to crochet (or knit)...and reaching that moment when they find themselves "getting it" that really inspires me to get out the information that, at least to me, seems important to the processes. To that end, I recently acquired the above-pictured book and added it to my small "how to" crochet collection.

Super Finishing Techniques for Crocheters, by Betty Barnden, first edition August, 2009 can be purchased roughly for $15.00 if you get a deal - while the list price is $22.99 USA and $29.50 Can. The book begins with a quick top ten suggestions to getting yourself "ready, set, go" on the way to finishing an item. Thereafter, it offers a solid bit of information on hooks, accessories, notions, etc. needed for the craft, and follows that with yarn stats. Thus far, great information for beginners. I didn't expect to find this information therein.

With those bits behind her, the author gets deeper into the real meat of the matter, covering construction, shaping, assembling, sizing, seaming, collars, buttonholes, edging, zippers, blocking and pressing, etc. -- pretty much everything you'd expect in a book of this title. Where Betty Barnden goes even further is in covering crochet techniques. She touches on filet crochet, crocheting in zigzags, combining yarns, color charts, weaving, adding beads and decorative fringes and flowers and the like. The illustrations are really good too, and the instructions are complete. This book also offers up a few fun patterns and illustrates basic crochet technique in the last few sections.

The information contained in this book goes way beyond what the title implies. In my opinion, this book is both fun to read and informative. I highly recommend it to any beginner since it contains both basic and advanced information. I cannot say that it is a "must have" for a seasoned crocheter, however, if you don't possess any "how to" books, this one is a good start, and if your "how to" collection is meager, this is a good addition. I'm glad I added it to my resources.

Out of a possible rating of 5 hooks, I give this book: 4 and one half hooks. Impressive!





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Sunday, July 18, 2010

coming up.......

I know, I know, my blog is missing colorful bits and pieces. I need to spruce it up a bit. Some pictures will be coming soon, along with some patterns. Stay tuned. Yarny hugs, D

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Seaming Crochet - Five Methods

Either sewn or crocheted, each seaming technique posesses its own special qualities. Corresponding yarn and a blunt darning needle are used for the sewing methods; a crochet hook is used for the others.

1) Single Crochet. This is a decorative seam on items with two pieces (front and back), like a pillow or tote bag, etc. It is sometimes used to stitch together afghans motifs where the ridge-like stitching is intended show.

To work a single crochet seam on a pillow or tote, place the wrong sides (what becomes the inside) together and use single crochet all around the edges. Simple as that.

When working single crochet to put stich afghan squares or strips together, butt the pieces together with right sides (fronts) facing. Stitch away.

2) Slip stitch. Less decorative than single crochet edging, this is also intended to show on the finished project. Again, it is useful for items with a distinct front/back and afghan motifs and works exceptionally well when attaching a pocket or pouch. To join items, work much the same as single crochet (above). Use the same yarn and you get texture; use contrasting yarn and you get texture and a pop of color. For adding a pocket, after placing it in the spot desired, slip stitch around it and through the 2 pieces to be joined.

3) Mattress stitch. Leaving only a small ridge on the wrong side of the work, this method is almost invisible and best used in garment seaming. Since it is worked with the front (right) sides of the work facing you, seams butted together, you can actually see how the seaming progresses. To work mattress stitch, place the project pieces, edges together, front sides facing you. Thus, there is a right piece and a left piece, fronts facing, edge to edge. With a darning needle and corresponding yarn, secure the yarn at the edge where you begin. With the needle pointing up, pick up the first stitch, leaving yarn loose; go to the opposite piece and pick up the corresponding row. Continue in this fashion and after three to four stitches, tighten the yarn so it "disappears, but not so tight that it causes your seam to pucker. Basically, you're creating a stitched zig-zag and cinching it tight after a few stitches.

4) Backstitch. Sturdy and popular for seaming together garments, this stitch leaves a bulkier seam than mattress stitch, but is very strong for sleeves, shoulders and underarms. With right sides together, with darning needle and correspondening yarn, secure yarn at the edge of one piece before piercing both pieces. Push the needle through both pieces at once, working across from right to left. Come up through both pieces at point A, make a stitch backwards and come up at point beyond where you made the first stitch. Imagine each stitch as a half inch segment in which the needle first pierces both pieces from back to front at point A, then pierces the pieces from front to back a quarter inch distance to the right, then pierces the pieces again from back to front half inch, repeatedly. Pull the stitches tightly to hide them, but not so tight that the seam puckers.

5) Whip stitch. With darning needle and corresponding yarn, hold two pieces together and insert the needle from back to front, continuing around and around (think of the stripes on a candy cane). This method is simple, and very good for seaming together afghan motifs. Worked on motifs through the back loops only with "wrong" sides facing, the stitching is almost invisible when the same color yarn is used, making the front of the project look as if the front loops of the stitches have become one. This is a basic, sturdy stitch. It can also be used for garment seaming where a "rustic" look is desired, but is rarely recommended for garments. I personally like this method for seaming garments..call me crazy.

If you would like to practice seaming, make a few squares of the same size. Seam them together using the various methods. It is a practice piece; it doesn't have to "be" anything.

As always, look to the internet for photo or video tutorials.

Adding Color to Crochet, hints, tips, tricks

Since we crochet back and forth naturally, the easiest way to add color to a project is with horizontal stripes. Adding a new color via striping (introducing new yarn) is done by dropping the yarn in use at the end of a row, and adding the new color at the start of the following row. This can be accomplished by:

a) fastening off the first color and pulling up a loop of the next color in the first stitch, or

b) working the last stitch almost to completion, then pulling up the last loop with the new color to be used (regardless if working sc, dc, trc, etc.).

The above is the simplest way to "pop up" your color palate and should not be too intimidating for a beginner.

Of course, the question of "to knot or not" comes up. So here is my answer. DO WHAT SUITS YOU, and I won't judge you. If you are comfortable weaving cut yarn tails into their own colors, do so. If you prefer to knot 2 tails together before weaving into their own colors, do so. Now I know some will cringe at the idea of tying knots...but here is the thing: sometimes yarn is knotted inside a skein, right from the manufacturer...so it happens. Secondly, a well hidden knot is nobody's business - :) Lastly, if a knot brings a bit of comfort to a crafter that their gift won't come undone in the wash...I say do it. Tie a knot. Matter of fact, some people make a piece that is all knots...scraps tied together and crafted into...whatever, and the knots are a featured part of the piece. Whatever gets made from that mystery ball of knotted yarn is certainly UNIQUE~!

WHEN TO NOT TIE A KNOT: Ah, you knew this was coming, didn't you........here is when:

There are other ways to add color, such as blocks of color, vertical stripes, or as in a charted design, by carrying, weaving or crossing the yarn. For these color techniques, the use of separate skeins or bobbins simultaneously may be necessary, depending on how many colors are in use. For some colorwork, checkerboard for instance, the yarn may be woven into the piece by carrying it across the stitches of one color block and crocheting over it....then dropping the color in use and picking up the color that has just been woven over, etc. Crocheting over a “not in use” color is similar to hiding yarn tails at the beginning of a row. Literally, you crochet right over the yarn to be carried to the next space, and it disappears into the stitches. This could cause a problem, however, if the yarns in use are terribly opposite to each other...in those instance, you may be able to see the yarn carried over...it is doesn't bother you; then it isn't a problem...it becomes the nature of the piece. :)

An alternate method, carrying the yarn from section to section along the "wrong" side of a project, may be used for items where only the front of the piece (for instance, a chair cover or wall hanging) will be seen. In carrying yarn across the backside, if it spans more than 4 stitches, the yarn should be caught into the stitches being worked every 5 stitches or so. To to this, at intervals of 5 stitches, catch the stranded yarn with your hook and work over it, that is, crochet over it with that one stitch, then strand it again for 5 more stitches, etc. and so on. The reason for this is that since it is one-sided, you don't want the bulkiness that working over each stand will bring, and also perhaps it is a very dark color in contrast to the main yarn, and you would not want that to show through to the front. (For knitters, this is quite similar to fair isle/stranding technique.)

Lastly, if the design is suitable to the need for various bobbins, with lots of color blocking through the design, each color should be worked to its necessary point, then dropped and said yarn crossed with the next color needed, and so on. How this is done is simple. Drop the bobbin containing the current yarn and bring the next color yarn bobbin up and under to the right of the bobbin dropped, which twists the 2 yarns, then proceed with the next stitch, pulling it a little bit tighter than usual. Proceed throughout the piece this way at each color change.

We make many decisions based on the project itself. This is no different crocheting with color. The design will indicate which method is best.

Hints/tips:

Basically, color changes without cutting yarn are made by working the LAST loop of the last stitch of one color with the next color.

If you are tying knots at the end, make them as inconspicuous as possible and weave each tail into its own color.

When using bobbins, it is important to keep them untangled. Seriously.

When carrying yarn, don't carry it across too many stitches; remember to catch it every 4 to 5 stitches.

VERY IMPORTANT: Carry the yarn loosely across the back so that it doesn't cause your item to pucker...but not so loose that your beginning and ending stitches are obviously loose.

Yarn tails throughout a spectularly colored piece should always be woven into a yarn row of the same color.

When using the crossed yarn method, use the necessary amount of bobbins for each separate section of color. It is worth the time, trust me.

Sometimes, even when using the carrying method, it may be best to utilize separate bobbins for different sections of the same color to avoid carrying yarn across wide expanses.

The above is my experience and opinion. If anyone has something to add, your comments, tips or tricks are most welcome and invited. Again, look to the internet for videos and\or tutorials.

Friday, July 16, 2010

plug for someone I don't even know :)

Well, here ya go. How about taking a visit to http://www.etsy.com/shop/crazysocks830 and while it reads "socks" in the name, there are a lot of adorable hats there to be found. The pumpkin one is particularly noteworthy, works up quick, and looks peachy on a little boy or girl. I worked one of those up, as did several of my students, and gave it as a gift to a one year old I know, and it was stretchy enough to fit him. From what his mom and grandma tell me, he has a lot of fun taking it off and putting it back on. Here is the url to the pumpkin hat in particular: http://www.etsy.com/listing/51221351/pattern-little-pumpkin-beanie-with-stem


Sunday, July 4, 2010

Knitting for Fashion Dolls - A Beginner's Primer

When I was a little girl, I used to cut off the ankle part of my old socks and slip them onto my Barbie doll. I think that was a universal thing that ladies of my generation did, and oh, what a happy time it was - especially if the sock contained some lace at the top. Sometimes, I'd cut out little armholes too and have more than a "tube" dress. What fun it was "making" simple doll clothes that way.

Fast forward: when my daughter played with her dolls, I took up crocheting outfits for her Barbies. The patterns you can find are exquisite~! Turning my attention to re-learning how to knit, and recalling those happy doll memories of my childhood, I knew that "sock type" tube garments could provide an entire doll wardrobe. I took measurements, made notes and started simple. After a few basic garments, I taught myself different shaping techniques, cabling, raglan sleeve shaping, etc., thereby increasing and expanding my knitting knowledge overall, even tho the results were in "doll size" scale. All of these new skills carried over into my "regular size" knitting--a win-win situation.

This post provides a jumping-off point into doll knitting and is meant to assist beginners (expert knitters may find some value here as well). This post covers basic tube garments, and incorporates suggestions to "transform" the basics. (Part 2, coming soon, will cover advanced techniques.) In addition to providing a simple mix & match fashion doll wardrobe, it introduces one to knitting in small scale. So, if you still appreciate your childhood dolls... are a doll collector... have a daughter or granddaughter who loves her dollies--and you haven't yet tried crafting yarn garments for those dollies--I promise you it is very gratifying since the items work up quickly. Also, there is no need to be intimidated about it - you've already got the knitting skills--we are merely shrinking the tools; and while "going smaller" may feel awkward at first, it certainly becomes more comfortable with practice.
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Yarn weights used are baby, fingering, sock, thread and occasionally, mohair, sport, or when bulkiness is desired a light worsted. Needles range from U.S. size 0000 to 3. Notions can include beads; beads as buttons; small snaps, hook & eye (waist/back); in-scale buttons; ribbons (belting, shoulder straps, lacing); fine elastic (waistbands); small buttons as brooches, sequins, gems, lace, appliqu├ęs, embroidery and novelty yarn such as eyelash for a funky collar or hemline.

The 11 ½ inch fashion doll (like Mattel's BarbieTM)* has these measurements: Bust 6" Waist 3.75" Hip 5" Shoulder to Shoulder 2.5" *However, these techniques/patterns can translate to any doll once you have its measurements.

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Knitting for Fashion Dolls, the Basics Primer
Skills required: casting on/off, knit, purl
Suggested supplies for the patterns below: U.S. needles size 2, straight or 2 dpns for flat knitting (can use size 3 also) and at least 2 skeins (different colors) sock yarn (universal weight no. 2)

PROJECTS (the BASICS): "Starter" doll garments, tube-like items, stretch for good fit, are easily constructed, work up quickly and provide a foundation to build on. They can be embellished and adorned, modified with increases, decreases and specialty stitches to create varied looks (see Transform the Basics below). Doll garments are either worked flat on straight needles and seamed up the back, or seamlessly in rounds on 4 dpns**. They should be slipped onto the doll feet up, cast on stitches first, as this is more elastic than the cast off, allowing them to slip over the widest parts, yet fit appropriately elsewhere. The cast off, even if preceded by ribbing, is generally done in knitting or purling for a tighter fit at waist, thighs or around legs.
**A set of dpns is a useful addition to your knitting supplies in any event. Also note, knitting in the round may change the gauge causing the item to be a smidge tighter.

BASIC ITEMS TO BE WORKED UP WITH SOCK YARN AND NO. 2 NEEDLES. Basic patterns are written to be worked flat, back and forth - to work in the round on dpns, deduct 2 stitches from the cast on.

TOP: Cast on 32 stitches. Rows 1 - 2 k/1 p/1 ribbing. Rows 3 - 18 stockinette. Rows 19 - 20, k1, p1. Cast off in knitting; leave a 5 inch tail. Use tail to sew back seam with backstitching or whip stitching.

DRESS: Snug at bust/hips, relaxed at waist--follow directions for Top and work in stockinette for 6 ½ inches (or more depending on length you desire). Rib (or not) the last 2 rows. Cast off in knitting; leave a 7 inch tail; use tail to sew back seam.

SKIRT: Cast on 24 stitches. "Elasticize" waist with 4 rows of k1/p1 ribbing. Work in stockinette thereafter for at least 3 ½ inches (longer if you prefer). Cast off in knit; leave 5 inch tail to use for seaming up back. Note: skirt will be form fitting.

OH SO SHORTY-SHORTS: Cast on 30 stitches; k1/p1 ribbing for 4 rows. Work in stockinette for 1 3/4 inches. Cast off in knitting; use 6 inch tail to sew rear seam; carry tail through to take up a few stitches at the crotch. Thread fine elastic or a ribbon through waist for a cinch-tie.

PANTS: 38 stitches; k/1 p/1 ribbing for 4 rows. Stockinette to crotch (1.75 inches), then, work to center (19th stitch), drop yarn, join separate yarn bobbin and work to end. Continue to work yarn from skein and bobbin simultaneously on same needles with 19 stitches each - these are the legs of the pants and by working each at the same time on the same needles with separate yarn bobbins, there is no question that they are exactly equal. This is a great tip! Cast off at desired length leaving long tail for seaming. FINISHING: With stockinette side facing you, fold piece over both left-hand and right-hand sides so inside leg seams are in the middle and pants are inside out. Starting at the bottom of one leg, sew inside seam to the crotch and down the other leg in a continuous "U". Next, sew rear seam. Thread elastic or ribbon as a draw-string through waist. NOTE: While this is the easiest pattern, the fit isn't divine. More complex patterns are available for purchase or free on the internet that will produce a fabulous looking/fitting pair of pants.

SIMPLE WINTER HAT I: Barbie's hair volume varies from doll to doll. Generally, cast on 25 stitches unless it is very full, then cast on 30 instead. k1/p1 ribbing for 5 rows, then stockinette for at least 1 1/2 inches. Do not cast off. Cut a 6 inch tail, thread tail through darning needle and thread darning needle through stitches on the knitting needle, transferring them to the tail. Cinch tightly, close top of hat, secure with a sewn stitch. Continue seaming with remainder of tail. Add puff or braid to the top. Hats are as versatile as your imagination. Thumb-less "Mittens" can be made the same way using less stitches, of course. Pair hats with long narrow "rectangle" scarves!

SIMPLE WINTER HAT II: Cast on 14 stitches, leaving a 6 inch tail. Work flat back and forth in ribbing, stockinette or garter stitch until a 3 1/2 inch rectangle is created. Cast off leaving a 6 inch tail on the opposite side of the cast on tail. Use each tail threaded through a darning needle, and sew up the seam on each side. Add a pompon or tassle to the points on each side of the top of the hat

SHRUG: This easy-to-create piece is an effective and impressive looking "sleeved" garment. Make a rectangle at least 5 inches long X 2 1/2 inches wide in stockinette or garter stitch. Fold together lengthwise, whipstitch each side from end towards center about 1.5 inches, leaving the center unstitched, to create "arms".

"MINK" STOLE: With a fuzzy acrylic/mohair blend (worsted weight is good here) make a rectangle. It should be at least 2 inches wide and long enough for the ends to meet each other when wrapped around the doll's shoulders. Finish on a row where the cast off tail is not on the same side as the cast on tail, ensuring you have a tail on both right and left sides of the rectangle. Using the tails on each side, run a darning needle through the tails, weave in and out through each of the ends, and cinch tightly, weave in the tail (cut excess). Fasten with snap or hook & eye (you may also simply sew it shut and slip it over her head). Can be adorned with a specialty button that looks like jewelry.

SHAWL/EVENING WRAP: Knit a rectangle at least 6 inches long (or longer) by 1 to 1 ½ inches wide in garter, garter/stockinette combo, or a lace stitch. Perfect when paired with a tube dress.

PURSES: work a rectangle or square in garter stitch, fold, sew up sides and fold top flap over; fasten with a button; add ribbon or a stitch marker, etc. as a handle. Use straw or nylon cord to make a larger beach bag. Make 2 squares, sew together, add straps as a backpack. Embellish with notions.

TRANSFORMING THE BASICS:

A. SIMPLE WAIST SHAPING FOR THE BASIC TUBE DRESS:

At waistline, you can do any of the following: 1) Switch needles to two sizes smaller at the waist for 5 rows, return to size begun with, work to hemline. 2) Decrease 4 stitches evenly spaced, work 4 rows even, increase 4 stitches evenly spaced, work even to hemline. 3) Switch to two size smaller needles, work in k1/p1 ribbing 4 rows, return to original needles and work in stockinette to hemline. 4) Make a series of yarnovers for one row at the waist to thread a ribbon, sash or belt through. 5) For a full-skirted dress, work basic tube to waist, increase every stitch around for 1 row, then continue in stockinette to hemline.

B. NOT-SO-BASIC: 1) Introduce two or more colors for all-over striping. 2) Variegated or self-striping sock yarn produces overall spectacular color. 3) For texture, work entirely in k1, p1 ribbing. 4) Similarly, work entirely in garter stitch. 5) For a fancier dress, work basic tube to the waist, then work in a lace pattern to the hemline, or work a series of yarnovers. 6) Use an allover pattern from top to bottom (like mini mock cable ribbing). 7) Plan a center cable down the front as a striking focal point. 8) Work garter stitch from side to side in a wide rectangle shape, rotate it and seam it up the back for vertical lines. 9) Use garter stitches at the bottom, top, or both for fun texture. 10) Fashion shoulder straps from ribbon. 11) Crochet straps at the shoulders. 12) Sash it at the waist with ribbon or a crochet belt. 13) Sew lace to the hem or bustline. 14) Use novelty yarn at hem or bustline. 15) Do not sew up the waist of skirts or pants and instead close with a snap. 16) Make a "wrap" skirt with a rectangle. 17) Sew 2 squares together for a shirt, skirt or dress. 18) Do decorate your doll garments and have fun!

NOTE: TO COMPLIMENT THE ABOVE AND BUILD SKILLS, PART 2 will include some, if not all, of the following techniques: raglan sleeve shaping (sweater), defined waist shaping (skirts and pants), picking up stitches (adding sleeves), yarn over buttonholes (sweater), and working with a set of DPNs (cocktail dress).

MANY PATTERNS CAN BE FOUND FOR FREE ON THE INTERNET, AND THERE ARE LOVELY VINTAGE PATTERNS FOR SALE ON SITES SUCH AS EBAY.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

crocheting - a thought or 2 on adapting flat back and forth crochet to in the round

I found what I thought to be a lovely wrap pattern in bulky yarn. I made it per the instructions, and the patterning of it was very pretty, but the drape of it (how the border of the "neckline" fell at the bottom-side of it) was disappointing. So, I showed it to a co-worker\friend of mine who is a fabulous crocheter and has designs published - and she agreed it was worked up properly, but noted that the pattern picture was shown basically from the back view, and where the "hang" in front was visible, it looked a little askew. . . and probably that was why the picture was taken from the back since from front it hung "a little wonky" as I would say. The wrap as written repeats a pattern of what could be called "motifs" or "medallions" for lack of a better description (I'll be sure to post a link to the original pattern shortly...here is a link to it: http://www.coatsandclark.com/Crafts/Crochet/Projects/Accessories/LM0309+Crochet+Lacy+Wrap.htm) and I did like like the visual effect of those repeats. As such, I decided to deconstruct the wrap and turn it into a poncho. This seems, for me, easier done in knitting when adapting flat to round and merely eliminating the seaming stitches - but I tried to do this, and I accomplished it. I used 5 repeats and created a poncho with 2 repeats in back, 1 in front and one at each arm. I'm sure I did it correctly, but the translation from straight back and forth crocheting to in the round crocheting lost a little something. I consulted with my friend again and she agreed that working it entirely in the round (with a distinct front and back - or "right" side and "wrong" side) would be responsible for a different drape as opposed to having turned the piece and gone from side to side after each round. Also in looking at it as I completed it in the round, I think it could benefit from at least 1 less chain in certain rows, so that is another "fix" I may implement. On the other hand, I may frog it and make something else (or take it to the yard and set it on fire if it continues to urk me). Either way, it is pretty, and some of my students were looking forward to making it when I put the tweaked pattern together in its final form.........perhaps I'll wait for inspiration. At the moment, other than making this little bloggette, I've been painting the walls and trim in our lovely little home...and my brain and body are oh so very tired.

So, if anyone is reading this post at all, if you've experienced turning side to side crochet into in the round crochet, I'd love to hear from you and how that worked out and if you've got any special "tweaking" tips you would like to share.

Thanks, Donna