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Rainbow Fingerless Gloves and Curve Balls

Rainbow Fingerless Gloves and Curve Balls

Life has been crazy, so Rainbow Fingerless Gloves and curve balls have ruled our house the past several weeks. Here is one of the lovely new patterns that is hot off the hook this week.

The Rainbow Fingerless Gloves

These Rainbow Fingerless Gloves are a great Christmas gift. The simple-to-follow pattern uses easily-found worsted weight yarns to complete the project. You can complete a pair for you or a friend (or both!) before Christmas. The bright colors will warm up any winter day. The best part of this pattern is that it uses such small amounts of yarn that you can use your stash yarns for this gift!

Rainbow fingerless gloves Continue reading Rainbow Fingerless Gloves and Curve Balls

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Texture: Surface Crochet and Summer Days

Add surface crochet to create texture.

Texture brings to mind all sorts of hard crochet stitches. Surface crochet can be easy or hard depending on your goals.

Surface Crochet

One of the easier ways to add surface crochet is to add single crochet or chains to an already crocheted or finished blanket, as I’ve done in the photo below. Notice how the blue lines pop out to add a dimension of texture to the background.

surface crochet Continue reading Texture: Surface Crochet and Summer Days

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Textural Stitches and the Absolute Beginner Afghan

textural stitches

Last week we discussed that texture can be a part of the yarn. Texture can also be a part of the stitches, part of the fabric of our project. So, this week we’re talking about textural stitches.

Merriam Webster’s online dictionary includes this definition of texture: Something composed of closely interwoven elements; specifically, a woven cloth.

When we crochet we are taking string and applying different knots to it with a stick. Crocheters and knitters take sticks and string and make fabric. You may have seen a meme to this effect floating around the Internet, but I think crocheters crank it up a notch as we only use one stick! I know that this is a very simplified description of what we do but think about it for a moment:

Sticks + string = fabric.

Wow, we are talented and gifted people. We have an ability shared with fisherman (who repair their nets) and weavers (who make cloth).

Let’s Get Back to the Texture Lesson

  1. Your crocheting creates a fabric.
  2. Your stitches create the texture of the fabric.

When you add in different stitches in different yarns you get an unlimited amount of texture variations.

textural stitches in blue

textural stitches

(The above photo is a beautiful C2C, or corner-to-corner, afghan I made add for my father-in-law. The stitches give it the feeling of a waffle. Below is the same stitch crocheted in a plain gray yarn.)

C2C in gray

More Textural Stitches

A basket weave crochet stitch pattern can also add interest, as seen below.

basket weave stitch

Changing yarn size and hook size can make a huge difference in the texture of various stitches. The top left photo is a  look at the scale of the stitches. You can see that the bulky yarn is much chunkier. The green lace-weight yarn is soft and the texture, while it shows up beautifully, is not as pronounced as the aqua cotton DK weight yarn.

Turning your work can sometimes have the effect of making a project reversible; you won’t have a wrong side and a right side. But, some blankets only have a right side (and the pattern will let you know which side is the right side). Many sweaters and most socks are worked in the round and there is only one right side. If you are adding surface crochet (like flower petals), then you will have a right side and a wrong side.

The Absolute Beginner Afghan

Here is what I consider the Absolute Beginner Afghan. I like this afghan for beginners as there are

  • no edges to worry about getting straight
  • less worries about gauge
  • no sewing blocks together
  • only two stitches
  • no need for an extra border unless you want one
  • no turning of your work as it is worked in rounds = less confusion

The yarn specified can be tricky and it is better to pick a different yarn for this afghan if you have never crocheted an afghan..

Absolute Beginner Afghan

Talk to you later!

Karen

 

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Texture and the Ridged Ripple Baby Blanket

Texture and the Ridged Ripple Baby Blanket

Today and the next week or two we are going to talk about texture. Over the past several months, we have talked about color, and color patterning. Color theory is great, and color patterning is important, but texture is equally important.

Without texture, our blankets would be like so many striped or patterned plain knit t-shirts–boring after a while.  Texture adds pizzazz and emphasizes the beautiful yarns that we love to crochet with.

What is Texture?

Merriam Webster’s online dictionary defines it as…

The visual or tactile surface characteristics and appearance of something.

An identifying quality.

Something composed of closely interwoven elements; specifically: a woven cloth.

The structure formed by the threads of a fabric.

Texture Can Be Part of the Yarn

The yarn may be crinkly, have sequins, slubs, or be a smooth rayon or rough twine. These differing textures will add interest to your crochet project. There is such a wide variety of yarns available all with such a huge assortment of textures that it can be a challenge narrowing your choices down to just one.

Textured Yarn

More Textured Yarn

How Do You Know Which Yarn to Choose?

There are several questions to ask yourself before you fall in love with a yarn.

  1. What is the end purpose of your work?
texture in yarn
Soft green lace-weight yarn will make a wonderful soft shawl or summer-weight sweater.

Are you going to wear it? Is it for a baby? Will it need to be washed? Are you going to dry clean it, hand-wash it or throw it in the washer? Do you have allergies to any of the fibers

  1. How does it need to look?

Soft, filmy, ethereal, bulky, substantial, delicate, durable–all these words apply to different styles of yarn and yarn with different fiber content.

Textural yarns and strings
Clockwise from bottom right: nylon cord, sock yarn, t-shirt yarn, cotton piping cord, and string.
  1. What are you crocheting?

Are you crocheting lace? Boot socks? A sweater for your outdoor-loving son? Does it need to be almost indestructible? A formal shawl? A blanket for your dog?

Another crochet lover

Answering these questions will give you an idea of the look of the yarn for which you are shopping.

Break Out of the Box!

I know most of us walk into our local big box craft shop and choose the same old yarn that we always buy. Maybe it’s time to break away from the “usual” and find something new to crochet with, something that will add a special texture to your next project. Take a look at the varieties available and see if you can find something new with texture. You’ll love seeing how fun it can be to try something new!

feathery texture

Textured shawl
The eyelash yarn that I used with the durable acrylic gives a lovely soft fuzzy look to the poncho without sacrificing warmth or durability.

The Texture of the Ridged Ripple Baby Blanket

Speaking of texture, this is the beautiful Ridged Ripple Baby Blanket. As you can see, you can crochet this in a wide variety of yarns. I simply love the texture to this baby blanket!

Ridged Ripple Baby Blanket

The variegated yarn is so soft and created just for babies. The red yarn is a cotton-wool blend that will soften over time just like your favorite pair of jeans. This is a newly edited pattern that has just been re-released for you. Both of the suggested yarns are machine washable and easy care.

Chocolate Dog Studio crochet patterns are available in several different Internet shops. You can find all of my patterns here on the blog. The other sites where you can shop for Chocolate Dog Studio patterns: Etsy, Craftsy, Love Crochet, and now Makerist.

Talk to you later,

Karen