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Monthly Archives: September 2008

  • Crochet-Along: Stepping through Block 1 and Block 3

    I hear some of you are finished already! I myself am woefully behind the pack, looking forward to a week of non-stop crocheting! Here's a little step through of Blocks 1 and 3 to help address some of your comments.

    Block 1 : Sc-tbl Stitch
    Ch 27.
    Row 1 Sc in 2nd ch from hook and each ch across - 26 sc.
    Row 2 Ch 1, turn. Sc in back loop only of each st across.
    Rep (Row 2) 31 times more. Fasten off.

    That Sc-tbl, means work single crochet stitches through the back loop. After you’ve worked your first row of single crochet into your foundation chain, take a look at what you’ve just crocheted. The top of each stitch has 2 loops. We usually work through both. “Through the back loop” means work only through the back loop (the loop furthest from you). Mama Mac, my great grandmother, called this the back porch and the front loop the front porch. This one simple difference of working through one loop opens up a whole different drape and texture for your fabric. It’s one of my absolute favorite ways to add a subtle dash of spice to some simple crochet.

    If you work through only the back loop every row, there will be alternating ridges on each side of your work. These ridges are created by the un-worked front loop. Also, working through only one loop loosens up the drape a bit, you’ll notice that back loop gets stretched out a bit and there will be more space between your rows.

    If you were to work through only the front loop every row, you’ll find the same result you get with the back loop. If you work through front loop only the one row and back loop only the next, you’ll see that the ridges will all be on one side.

    Here’s a very simple change if you want to try another something different: Alternate across a row, working through the front loop of one stitch and the back loop of the next stitch. This creates a subtle waffled sort of texture.

    Ch 27.
    Row 1 Hdc in 2nd ch from hook and each ch across - 26 hdc.
    Row 2 Ch 1, turn. hdc in back loop only of next st, hdc in front loop only of next stitch, repeat across the row.
    Repeat Row 2 to the desired size.

    Block 3: Cluster Stitch

    Ch 26.
    Row 1 (RS) Sc in 2nd ch from hook and each ch across - 25 sc.
    Row 2 Ch 2, turn (counts as first dc), CL in next sc; *ch 1, skip 1 sc, CL in next sc; rep from * to last dc, dc in last sc.
    Row 3 Ch 1, turn. Sc in first dc and in each CL and ch1-space across to t-ch; sc in top of t-ch. Rep (Rows 2 and 3) 8 times more. Fasten off.

    Let’s step through Rows 2 and 3:
    Row 2 starts with a ch 2 turning chain that will stand in as a double crochet, next you will work your first cluster stitch in the second single crochet from the previous row. This is very important, don’t work the cluster in the first stitch of the row, but the next one (the second stitch of the row.) Chain 1, skip the next stitch (third stitch of the row) and work the next cluster into the fourth stitch of the row. Continue in this combination across the row: chain 1, skip a stitch, cluster in next stitch. If you have an odd number of stitches in your first row of sc this will work out such that you have clusters along the row with a double crochet in the first (remember that turning chain is pretending to be a double crochet) and last stitch of the row. If you adjust your number of stitches in a row to get your blocks the same size make sure to use an odd number of stitches with this one!

    For Row 3, work a single crochet in that double crochet from the previous row, then single crochet in the top of the cluster stitch and single crochet into the chain stitch and keep going across the row. Work a single crochet into that turning chain from the beginning of the last row and your sc row is finished! You should have the same number of stitches in Row 3 as you did in Row 1. See the photo for a close up of the single crochet worked into the cluster row.

    Little mistakes to look out for:
    -Don’t work the first cluster of the row in the first stitch!
    -Don’t work a chain between the last cluster of the row and the last double crochet. This will throw off your stitch count. I have to keep an eye on myself because I keep doing this!

    Happy Crocheting!

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  • News on the Lion Brand Yarn Studio!

    “What’s going on with the Studio?” ...is the question we’ve been reading in e-mails, blogs, and message boards. The short answer is a LOT! First I wanted to introduce myself to you and say how much I’m looking forward to knitting and crocheting with you all. My name is Patty and I’m the new Studio Manager. I’m thrilled and honored to be part of this amazing new project.

    The Lion Brand Yarn Studio will be a place to showcase the Lion Brand spirit of inspiration, education, innovation and contemporary design for yarn crafters.  The Studio will offer classes, workshops, special events, fashion shows, knitting circles, movie nights, book signings and more--if it’s fun and yarn-related, we want to do it!

    Our grand opening will be November 18, 2008.  Look for details in our newsletter.

    So, here’s where you come in. Tell us what you’d like to do and see in the studio. What are some of your ideas for fun knitting events? Post a comment. We want to hear from you.

    On a personal note, as a knitter, being part of Lion Brand family is like coming full circle for me. My mother taught me how to knit when I was a kid, but I never got past a scarf. I really became passionate about it 7 years ago, and I haven’t gone one day without knitting since. My first sweater was a Lion Brand free pattern, the Hooded Knitted Sweater. I knit it out of Homespun. It was the perfect beginner pattern, but I was NOT the perfect beginner knitter. I didn’t understand gauge, and I was a crazy tight knitter, so it turned out to be a perfect sweater for my (then) 12 year-old niece.

    Ah well, we all keep learning and improving, and that’s what the Lion Brand Yarn Studio is all about!

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  • Kid-Friendly Projects from YarnCraft Episode #23

    In episode #23 of YarnCraft -- our half-hour audio show -- we featured great patterns to make with and for your kids. We featured great craft projects from lanyards to bookmarks, knit and crochet items including great sweaters for fall weather and geometric monster dolls, and a fun fingerless gloves pattern from the book, Crochet Kid Stuff, which we featured in the E-Newsletter.

    Crochet Fingerless Gloves Monster Dolls

    Listen now to get ideas for projects to do with your kids, or fun ideas to bring out your inner child! For over 15 project recommendations, click here to listen to episode 23 [MP3].

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