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  • Learn to Crochet, Lesson 4: In the Round

    Welcome back, crocheting students! Today we're embarking on another new skill: crocheting in the round.

    learn-to-crochet-round

     

    In researching methods for this post, I discovered that there is no simple, single answer to the question "how do you crochet in the round?" There are many different ways to do it, depending on what you're making, the structure of the piece, the direction of the wind that day, and so on.

    OK, so I may be kidding on one of those.

    Crochet In The Round

    There really are several different ways to crochet in the round, and it will probably be specified in the pattern you are using. If you are making something that is tight at the top, like a hat or amigurumi, you'll probably start with what's called a magic circle. If you're making a cowl or something else that's more of a tube, you may work in a spiral pattern (similar to how you knit in the round), or join the end of each round to the beginning with a slip stitch.

    The pattern that we will be making next week, the Three Color Tonal Cowl, takes a slightly different tactic. For that one, you join in the round with a slip stitch, but you actually turn your work and crochet back in the opposite direction. It's a sort of combination of working back and forth and working in the round.

    For the purposes of this demonstration, we're going to stick to the slip stitch method. That's the most similar to what we need for the cowl next week.

    Directions

    For this example, I'm using Woolspun® yarn in Pumpkin and a size N-13 (9.0 mm) hook.

    To start, chain 10.

    Then, you will insert your hook through the first stitch, being careful not to twist your chain.

    Then, make a slip stitch.

    From here, you will crochet around the chain, stopping when you get to the last stitch. For this example, I did single crochet.

    To connect the rows, you will insert your hook into the first stitch and make a slip stitch. You have just completed your first crochet round.

    For the next round, we're going to try what the Three Color Tonal Cowl calls for and crochet back around the way we came. Make your turning chain (one chain if you're doing sc like I am). Then turn the work. Now, sc back around to the first stitch of the previous row, and sl st in the beginning of the row you just worked.

    You have now successfully crocheted in the round two different ways. Keep on practicing!

    For Next Time

    Next week, as I have mentioned, we will be making the Three Color Tonal Cowl. That requires three skeins of Wool-Ease® Tonal -- one each in three colors. I used Cabernet, Raspberry, and Fuchsia for mine, but you can choose any three you think work well together. You can also choose a different category 5 yarn, like Woolspun® or Scarfie®, instead if you so choose. But the cowl looks really nice in Tonal, since the stitches display the color variations well.

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  • Knit a Beautiful Boyfriend Cardigan in Fast-Track

    Fast-Track® is one of our most versatile yarns yet. You can make anything from home decor to bags to clothing. It creates a nice, sturdy shape when worked with a tight gauge, but it can also work into soft, comfortable garments. One of our favorite bloggers, Two of Wands, has designed a cute boyfriend cardigan to knit with this yarn.

    If you want to make this sweater now, the kit is 25% off from Feb. 17-24!

    boyfriend-two-of-wands

     

    The cotton-poly blend of Fast-Track® makes it soft and drapey, like your favorite t-shirt, while the flat, woven tape shape of the yarn creates a unique stitch pattern. The shape makes this a category 6, or super bulky, yarn while still being lightweight. It's a perfect all-season yarn, making garments you can wear any time.

    The Boyfriend Cardi

    The Oxford Boyfriend Cardigan is super versatile and useful. Plus it's such a comfy yarn that you'll never want to take it off. You can dress it up or down, and wear it almost anywhere at any time. In winter it's great for layering, and in warmer weather it's perfect to throw on in the evening or underneath an overzealous air conditioner.

     

    The pattern is available in two sizes -- S/M and L/XL -- and takes either six or seven skeins of yarn. You can purchase a kit here (remember, it's 25% off from Feb. 17-24!)to make it. As you can see from the pictures, it looks great over a basic casual outfit like jeans and a tee, but you could make it work for other occasions as well. With a belt and pencil skirt, it could go to work, or with the right dress it could be great for a night out with friends.

     

    We also have several other patterns for Fast-Track® -- from garments to housewares -- available in our pattern database. It works up great in both knit and crochet, and is also great for other crafts! Get creative, and you'll make something excellent.

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  • How to Crochet if You're Left-Handed

    It can be tough to be a crafter if you're left-handed. Most knitting and crochet instructions favor righties, and reversing them to work with your dominant side can seem daunting and confusing.

    left-handed crochet

    I'm as guilty of this as anyone. I said right off the bat in my Learn to Crochet series that I'm a righty, and that's what my instructions were based on. I'm also not alone. Many, if not most, crochet and knitting directions assume right-handedness.

    That ends now. If you're left-handed, your day has come. We've got a series of videos teaching beginner crochet for lefties. These videos cover all the basics -- holding the hook, chaining, single, half double, double, and triple crochet, seaming, and weaving in ends.

    No more feeling awkward holding the hook in your non-dominant hand. No more trying to do mental gymnastics to figure out how to do basic stitches from the left. We'll show you what you need to know, and you can take that knowledge and use it in any crochet pattern you want to make. Any time you see a standard crochet stitch, just remember these directions on how to work them left-handed!

    Left-Handed Crochet

    This series is eleven short videos taking you through all the basics you need to know, so it's great for absolute beginners. But if you're a lefty who learned right-handed crochet, you can still try it! You may find that it's more comfortable to work this way.

    Watch the series below and learn everything you need to know about southpaw crochet.

    (If you're having trouble viewing the series here, visit the playlist on our YouTube channel to watch each one.)

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