So You are New to Crochet: Tools of the Trade

There is another youtube video out today, So You are  New to Crochet: Tools of Trade will go over my tool kit and what I use in my crocheting. There are a few points that I need to tell you about that I don’t think I cover in my video.

So You are New to Crochet: Tools of the Trade, Chocolate Dog Studio, parts of a crochet hook

The length and diameter of the crochet hook are important to me.

  • The length matters as a slightly longer handle helps me grip the hook better.
  • The diameter or how big the handle is around also matters as I have arthritis and it is easier on my hands to hold a fatter crochet hook.

Experiment and try different brand hooks and see what works better for you.  The hooks in the photo above are both the same size “J”. You can see that one is longer than the other and the shank is longer as well. This can make a difference. The style of head is also different.

I hope you enjoy the new video. I am still so new to creating videos. The only thing I do not carry in my tool kit that you might want are stitch markers. They are pretty vital when you start crocheting in the round.

I’m sitting in the coffee shop this morning, waiting for enough time to pass that I can go to an appointment with my daughter. She just took advantage of a 40% off  coupon for new colored pencils. I am rather jealous of all of the beautiful colors! Amazing that the first words out of her mouth were

“Wouldn’t it make a beautiful crochet blanket”!

(I have trained my children well, they know what their Mother likes!) I agree but I have too many items waiting for the crochet hook…well, maybe.

So You are New to Crochet: Tools of the Trade, Chocolate Dog Studio, parts of a crochet hook

Life has been busy the past several weeks. Who, am I kidding? Life is always busy, if it weren’t I wouldn’t be alive. There is much to be done, much left to do and much more left undone at home. I have been working on an afghan in neutral tones of grey, brown, beige, and creams. It is beautiful but I think it will be difficult to write a pattern from as it has taken a certain amount of stretching, fudging and frogging to keep the sides evenish. I have been enjoying it, even though it seems so beige and boring. It is great for showing texture. So You are New to Crochet: Tools of the Trade, Chocolate Dog Studio, parts of a crochet hook

If you watch my shop then you know that I have removed a greater portion of my sewn items from my shop. There is a great reason for that. They will be available for consignment at a shop near the house and completely on my flight path. I have also been sewing again to add a bit to the consignment items. The shop is new and will be great for quick gifts for family and friends. There will be no shipping and finally my Etsy shop will be more crochet and yarny items. I am very excited. I will take you on a quick preview later this week as they get ready for opening.

Talk to you later,
Karen

P.S. Please give “So You Are New to Crochet: Tools of the Trade” a thumbs up after you watch it. It will encourage me to keep filming.

As always if you shop online at either Joann Fabrics or Craftsy for anything, please use my affiliate links and I will get a very small percentage back. It will help me pay for my yarn addiction!

How to Join Yarn in Crochet

This past couple of weeks I have been posting new youtube videos once a week. This week I am adding  a new video to the series So, You are New to Crochet: Joining yarn. This is such a short video and takes a little bit of the mystery out of joining yarn. It is one of my favorite joining methods and a little different as it takes care of weaving in one end of the yarn as you go.

 

The week has been full and busy with family and business pulls on my time. I have spent quite a bit of time at the library this week as one of my daughters has had a commitment 4 days this week from 8-12.How to Join Yarn in Crochet, Chocolate Dog Studio, chocodogstudio, chocolatedogstudio

This was the view from the second floor of our library one day this week.

A direct consequence of her time commitment has been extended time getting work done, just not housework. I need to head out to the library more often. It is quiet and there are no dogs barking or household chores pulling at my time.

I have a neat opportunity heading my way at the beginning of August. I can’t wait to tell you about it.

Crocheting has been simple and direct. Right now, I have 4 afghans started and I have finished 4 quick and easy projects. I am working with some neutrals in shades of grey, beige, cream and brown in a wide variety of textures and incorporating some stash yarn. I love how the colors blend.

How to Join Yarn in Crochet, Chocolate Dog Studio, chocodogstudio, chocolatedogstudio

I am not sure of the pattern as it is bugging me right now.How to Join Yarn in Crochet, Chocolate Dog Studio, chocodogstudio, chocolatedogstudio

The orange is reclaimed yarn from a sweater. It has been hanging around in my stash mocking me. The yarn is very low twist and exceedingly hard to crochet into anything that looks great. It is turning into something strictly utilitarian. I think I will get rid of what is left. I am very disappointed in the yarn.

The lovely purpley blue is turning out quite nice. I’ll show you later what it is turning into.How to Join Yarn in Crochet, Chocolate Dog Studio, chocodogstudio, chocolatedogstudio

Remember the hexies, they had a couple of rounds added and some joining in a bright red yarn. It is about 1/3 the size that I need it to be so I am going to lay it aside for awhile. I will let it grow organically as I am left with little balls of stash yarn. It is making quite a nice afghan and I love that each hexi is different.

zHow to Join Yarn in Crochet, Chocolate Dog Studio, chocodogstudio, chocolatedogstudio

I have also been working on the home front and there are odds and ends to finish up before school starts next month. I was painting my daughter’s bedroom a couple of weeks ago. It was this horrible cafe au lait color with a muddy green wallpaper accent wall. It was dark, depressing, and made the room feel incredibly small. How to Join Yarn in Crochet, Chocolate Dog Studio, chocodogstudio, chocolatedogstudio

I have it finished and it looks wonderful. Pardon the lumpy quilt. I originally took this photo to show my Mom and it ended up here as well.

How to Join Yarn in Crochet, Chocolate Dog Studio, chocodogstudio, chocolatedogstudio

There is more work to do in her room. There is a little bit of wallboard repair that needs to be finished and then I will need to touch up the paint. Needing to repair the wallboard didn’t show up until we were in the middle of the painting. Her room looks so much better, even needing the repair. I need to get back to work on it and finish it up!

What have you been working on lately, home chores, crochet or other things?

Talk to you later

Karen

 

 

 

Where I Talk about Gauge and Why it Matters

What is gauge and why does it matter? There is another youtube video out today and I am introducing gauge and why it matters. It does matter, most of the time. I am not too concerned about gauge most of the time but you should be. Since I design most of my own crochet and walk my own path.

Where I Talk about Gauge and Why it Matters, www.chocolatedogstudio.com

Gauge matters most when you are crocheting from a pattern. The one thing about gauge is that you MUST use the same size crochet hook throughout a project, unless the instructions say otherwise.   You can find out more in my youtube video on gauge.

There is much going on this summer as we ready our house for a fun gathering of friends. I have been reading about scruffy entertaining. I am afraid that the house will be  scruffy looking but I hope that it isn’t too scruffy. Scruffy entertaining is having friends over with  minimal cleaning. I really do need to find the tops of my coffee tables as they are full of yarn, patterns and scissors. Since some of the friends coming have toddlers, I have to put away all the pins, scissors and yarn. Life has been busy this summer with full time crochet work, three kids at home and all that life brings in the course of the week and will be sorting these things out. It is wonderful to feel well enough to work and clean in the same day.

What are you working on and how is the summer going at your house?

Talk to you later,

Karen

 

 

 

Where I Burn Yarn and Expose my Okie Accent

This is where I burn yarn and expose my Okie accent at the debut of my Youtube channel.  It is funny to me how I actually sound and I hope it doesn’t grate on too many nerves. It is amazing to me to see these videos come together so quickly. I am showing tips, tricks and just generally sharing my knowledge. I have found it hard to crochet slowly enough to show what is going on. The first video I am releasing is called Burn Test.  I was terribly afraid that I would set the house on fire and you can see the results of the test in the video. It was very interesting to see how the yarns actually burned. We did this test in one of my classes at college. I was amazed to see how much knowledge I actually retained. Here you go!

It was fun to create and see how things turn out. I have been filming little videos all week.

The July 4th weekend has been fun and busy. We have been finishing a bunch of yard work and cleaning in the house.

I am working on a couple of different crochet projects. This one is fun and it looks nothing like this now but I played with the colors bit.

Where I Burn Yarn and Expose my Okie Accent, www.chocolatedogstudio.com

These are the basis of my blanket.

Where I Burn Yarn and Expose my Okie Accent, www.chocolatedogstudio.com

The next photos remind me of the Grandmother’s Flower Garden Quilt.

Where I Burn Yarn and Expose my Okie Accent, www.chocolatedogstudio.com

Where I Burn Yarn and Expose my Okie Accent, www.chocolatedogstudio.com

Where I Burn Yarn and Expose my Okie Accent, www.chocolatedogstudio.com

Where I Burn Yarn and Expose my Okie Accent, www.chocolatedogstudio.com

I have already moved on from these square arrangements. I am crocheting a scrap afghan and just ran out of yarn for these little flowers. The yarn that I have left over I roll into little balls of yarn. These end up in a jar or when it overflows into  a large plastic box. When the box overflows, I try to start using them up. I am and it is turning out really bright and colorful.

Talk to you later,

Karen

I would love to see your projects. Post your photos in the comments and I will stop by and see them. What are you working on now?