I’ve been crocheting for a long time and every now and then I stumble across something new that totally excites me, inspires me, or just makes me extremely happy. Here are the top five things that blew my mind when I discovered them. I know these things have been around forever but at one time they were new to me and I’m so happy I found them.
1. Tunisian crochet
I was looking for a phone case idea (a very long time ago) and found a pattern for a really cute one but it looked knitted. I had just learned how to read patterns but the pattern looked completely foreign to me. Even though the pattern said crochet, it wasn’t any crochet I knew. I liked the case and it said crochet so I was determined to learn its language. It said it was done in Tunisian knit stitch so I looked it up and the heavens opened up for me. I was frustrated with knitting and abandoned it but still liked how it looked and this type of crochet was beautiful and allowed me to pretend I could knit. I’ve been Tunisian crocheting ever since and I absolutely love it!
2. Crocodile (or Scale) Stitch
I’ve mentioned before how I was looking for a stitch that would look like a scale for my mermaid tail skirt I wanted to make and discovered the crocodile stitch. I was so excited because is was perfect for my mermaid skirt. BUT, it’s such a cool stitch I ended up using it for everything! I was addicted and couldn’t stop using it. I made hats, gloves, tops, and even a cloak (still a work in progress but I’m close!) :-). Definitely a happy find. There are a few variations on making the stitch. I used many different tutorials and tried as many as I could and eventually found a way I like doing it. It ended up being a combination of a few but in the end, any variation you use looks good. Search around and give it a try. 🙂
I was looking for some pictures online for this post and found this one on the Craftsy site.
Man! I wish I had seen this before I started my dragon cloak. This is what I imagined making. The colors are perfect. I would have extended it down to my feet but this is gorgeous. I might have to make another one. Of course I fist need to finish the first one!
3. Hair cap for my dolls
When I first started making dolls, I would get so exasperated with the hair. It never looked right to me. It always looked like the dolls had bald spots. I would add more yarn and then the doll would be top-heavy AND still had bald spots. I started searching and came across a site saved my sanity and that felt magical to me. There was a solution to the bald spots and it was a simple hair cap or wig using the same color yarn for the hair. I was so excited and started using hair caps on all my dolls. It was great! No more bald spots.
I eventually replaced the hair caps with with color changes in the areas where I knew I was going to attach hair. That eliminated the need to sew on the hair cap. I still make them though because it gives the doll a slightly different look so it all depends on the look I want. So it was a fabulous solution to a problem I was having as well as a source of inspiration that got me thinking of other solutions.
You might be thinking YouTube is a weird one to have on my list but there was a time when YouTube was unfamiliar to me. I used it on occasion to watch some videos or trailers but that was it. I had been crocheting for awhile but I didn’t know how to read patterns and I didn’t know the names of stitches. I just knew what my mom taught me. Namely, how to do some things but not names or anything like that. So when I wanted to learn, I got books and additionally discovered how educational YouTube could be. It was and still is indispensable when I need to learn a a new stitch or, if I’m lucky, even how to complete an entire project. I can’t imagine life with out it.
5. Joining Yarn the Right Way
When needing to add a new yarn to a project, either to change color or add one because I finished a skein, I was taught to join yarn by tying a knot in it. At first, I didn’t mind it but eventually, I didn’t like that I couldn’t always hide the knots. Then, when I was on my journey of self-education in all things crochet, I discovered there were other ways to join yarn! It blew my mind that there were other ways to do it other than tying knots. It sounds silly to me now that it didn’t occur to me that there were other ways but you can’t know what you don’t know. I learned it from one of those books for dummies. Crocheting For Dummies by Karen Manthey and Susan Brittain was an excellent resource for me when I was learning to read patterns and learning to join yarn was just a wonderful little surprise that I didn’t even know I needed. And speaking of YouTube, here is a link to a tutorial that shows you the method I learned to join yarn.
6. Chainless Double Crochet
I was watching a video tutorial on YouTube (see? can’t live without YouTube) on the Moroccan Afghan tile stitch by Moogly (I have a previous Freebie Friday using this stitch tutorial to make a scarf) and came across the chainless double crochet. This was a situation where I didn’t know what I didn’t know. I didn’t know what I was missing! Magic! A chainless double crochet eliminates the need to chain to get to height you need. It was another hidden gem that I discovered while learning something else. It took me a few tries to get it right but once I did I was off and running. I don’t use it every single time I have the opportunity but I do use it a lot and am happy I found it. The tutorial can be found here.
I am not affiliated with any websites nor do I make any money from these sites. They are simply patterns I like or would like to try myself.