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Author Archives: Cecily

  • Crochet-Along: Seaming and Bordering, Two Different Approaches

    I've used two different seaming methods for my two different blankets.

    For "Dolly" the doll sized blanket, I chose to simply sew the 9 little blocks together. I usually use a simple seam that goes like this:

    Lay the pieces on a flat stable surface either face up or face down, I often try out a few inches of sewing to see which side is hiding the seam better and then start over with the pieces arranged accordingly. The rows of the 3 different blocks can match up nicely with 2 single crochet rows matching to 1 row of double crochet from another block and of course, one row of single crochet matching up to a row of single crochet. (When planning how many rows I would use in the blocks I took this into consideration) Having these rows of single crochet in every other row of Blocks 2 and 3 really helped me keep track that my seaming matched up as I went along.

    There's really nothing to do, but "thread" your needle with your yarn and get started! I simply **start running the needle through the side of a stitch in one corner, work straight into the side of the stitch in the corner of the other block, insert the needle into the side of the stitch in the next row of the same block and then work straight across into the side of the stitch in the matching row of the other block.

    **I leave about 6" of tail. I don't secure the seaming yarn to start, this allows me to adjust the slack in the seam if I need to. After all the seams are tidy I secure each with whatever extra seaming or knotting seems best.

    There are many ways to sew a seam, this way just always gives me a result that I like. You can also try whip stitch, back stitch and using single crochet or slip stitch. I used slip stitch to seam my full sized version of this blanket.

    Because this blanket is doll sized I was able to lay out the entire thing on a fabric covered cork board. (I love portable work surfaces like this! It allows me to move the project from the table to the couch when I need a change of posture.) I worked the two longer seams first and then worked the 3 shorter widthwise seams. Before I secured the seaming tails I tugged and pulled and shaped the blanket, making sure each seam was "just right" not too loose or too tight. You can tie a little knot here if you feel you must or simply make some secure backstitches and weave in the rest of the tail, trim and your done!

    I had intended to do something frilly with the border, yet the blanket seems just right with this simple border.

    First I worked single crochet along the sides and around the corners, working 1 sc in each sc , 2 sc in the side of each dc row and rounding the corners with 1 sc, ch 1, 1 sc worked into each corner space. In the photo below the blue dots represent single crochet:

    For each following round I worked 1 sc, skipped the next sc, ch 1, sc in the next sc across the round and worked sc, ch 1, sc in the corner spaces. Changing colors with each round helped tie in all the colors used in the blocks and the stitch pattern of alternating single crochet and chain stitches softens the stripe pattern.

    For the Purple Monster (this is what I'm calling the full human sized version I'm soooooo close to having completed) I worked a border on each block before working slip stitch seams to join everything.

    I used the same 1st round border I used to border the dolly blanket and for the second row I worked a single crochet in each single crochet from the previous round and 1 sc, 1 dc, 1 sc in the corner chain spaces. I like the even tailored feel the two rows of well behaved single crochet gave these rather stretchy loopy blocks. Once I had them bordered, the different block patterns were much more similar in size.

    Once again, I made sure that the rows in the blocks could match up evenly, 25 sc in block 1 and 17 rows in 2 and 3: matching 2 rows of sc from 1 to 1 row of dc from 2 and 3. This made it much easier to make borders for the blocks with the same number of stitches on each side. The number I should have on each side of a block was repeated in my head like a little mantra and I was as meticulous as possible, counting and recounting while I crocheted. That said, I still found a few missed or added stitches when seaming.... oh well!

    I put a sheet down on the floor and arranged my blocks in this "cat fur free zone", sat down in the middle and got moving with the slip stitch seam. For this, I placed two blocks right side together and worked into the outside loops only. This leaves a nice little ridge on the "right side" and creates a seam that lays nicely in the fabric.

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  • Crochet-Along: Sample Some New Stitches!

    Hey All!

    I've done some serious crocheting this weekend to catch up with some of you, but in the meantime, for those of you who are newer to the crochet-along, I’ve decided to give y'all a rundown of stitches to try if you are so inclined:

    First an easy alteration to make to any of the 3 existing blocks in the pattern is to simply try a different stitch. Try half double crochet in Block 1 for example.

    And have you seen the Stitchfinder? There are quite a few fun patterns to try out!

    Here are a few to take a look at:

    Lacey Stripes

    Concentric Squares

    Little Gems

    Textured Stripes

    Crochet Cable


    Lace Ripples

    Petite Popcorns

    Scallop Stripes

    If you're using one of these alternate stitches, don't forget to do a little gauge swatch and see how big each repeat of the pattern is, so that you can chain the right width for your block.

    What alternative stitch patterns have you added to your sampler?  Please tell us all about it, right here in the comments to this post!

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  • 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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