Tag Archive | Crochet Squares

Craft Yarn Council Teacher Certification Level 2 Passed!

It took a while but I finally received my pin and certificate for level 1. I had already sent in my level two swathes and was waiting to hear about my exit call for level 2 to go over my work. This time around, I didn’t pass right away. Overall, my master teacher had good things to say. She commented on how good my weaving in of the tails was. I was glad because I was a bit obsessive about it. She said it was obvious I loved tunisian crochet because that swatch was great and my lesson plans were based around a tunisian crochet phone case of my own design that she liked.

Tunisian phone case_1.jpg

Tunisian phone case_2.jpgShe asked if I published my designs and I replied that I don’t. She said I should publish my tunisian designs. Was that my heart skipping a beat? I think it was. I was floating.

Then came the crash to earth. She said most of my swatches were excellent but she did have a few comments about some of them. Continue reading

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Tunisian Swatch – CYC Level 2

I was diligently working on my swatch of Tunisian crochet for level two (Craft Yarn Council teacher certification). It wasn’t hard. I know how to do Tunisian crochet. I LOVE Tunisian crochet. Then why did it take me so many tries to get it right?! The square itself was easy enough. I had that down and had my perfect five inch square. The trouble was the second part of the the instructions. I needed to cross-stitch my initial on the square. Again, I know how to cross-stitch on Tunisian crochet.

The problem was trying to do it the way they had it in the manual. Personally, I like going from the back to the front of the fabric but the instructions had you doing it under the loops or something. I’d seen this before and always just did it my way. So I needed to practice. Luckily, I had a reject square that didn’t come out the right size the first time around.

First, I had to decide on the shape and size my initial would be and then I had to practice it their way. I’m not sure why, but I ended up with a huge ‘Y’. It didn’t say the letter had to be big but I went BIG. I practiced the cross-stitching and placement on that reject square. I undid the cross stitch a few times but I was finally satisfied and was ready to do the cross stitching on my good square. The size was good and the stitches looked good and I had the cross-stitch down and then I noticed it was off-center!  Continue reading

CYC Level 2 Certification

Initially I had planned to do separate posts about my progress on the second course of the Craft Yarn Council’s Teacher Certification program. Time got away from me, though, what with going back to work and being crazy busy with getting back in the swing of things. We’ve been back a full week now and I had a breakthrough moment with one of my 4th grade girls and single crochet, but I digress, that will be for another post.

Back to my swatching.

all swatches

Swatches everywhere!

I have completed most of the required swatches for the program and have left the required lesson plans and the sweater for last. The sweater will be considered the final exam. I won’t go into the gory details of each swatch, only the more interesting ones but I will say that I made each swatch at least 3 times trying to make them perfect. Some required a lot of undoing and redoing to get the right gauge, but in the end, I was happy with the results. Continue reading

Bavarian Crochet Sweater/Coat/Cardigan

It’s done! I can finally wear it when it’s cold again. I really like this one. It feels great and I’m happy with it’s length. My friend saw it and says she wants one. She’s been telling me she wants one since I made the first one (which I’m still plugging away at, literally, plugging up the holes), the second one, which I gave to my sister, and now this third one. Maybe I’ll give it to her and start a fourth one. Or maybe I’ll start a fourth one and pick my favorite and give her the other one. We’ll see. 🙂 Oh, and another one I promised my other sister! I better get busy!

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I’ll be warn come winter although I was roasting in it for the picture. It was 90º!

 

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There’s the back.

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You can see the shell edging I did at the end of the sleeves and around the the bottom and up the front of the coat.

I’m still thinking of adding a pocket. It was a mistake on my part not to have built the pocket in when I was sewing it up. It would have been so easy. Now I have to cover up one of the squares in order to add it on top. That’s the only thing stopping me from doing it but my hands instinctively want to go in a pocket so I just might have to do it.

Craft Yarn Council Lessons 3 and 4

Now that I’ve started blocking, I’m blocking everything! I kept a big, rectangular piece of foam board that was part of the packaging for my standing desk. I thought it might work well for blocking my lesson swatches. I like it so far. I have a spray bottle on my desk and am looking around my office looking for other things to squirt, I mean block. Blocking is fun! Waiting for the pieces to dry, not so fun. ☹️ Running around squirting my family, fun🙃

Not sure I’m blocking right. I know I’m wetting and pinning right, I’m just not sure I’m shaping them right, but it’s the first time I’ve blocked anything so I’m sure I’ll get better.

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The hardest part of my swatches is making a perfect 5″ square. I’ve had to adjust all kinds of things to make the squares come out the right size but it’s been fun figuring it out. I’m totally committed to making this work.

The hardest square for me was the popcorn stitch. The pattern calls for two rows of double crochets, seven rows with popcorn clusters and two more double crochet rows. I had to use medium weight yarn. I just couldn’t get 11 rows and I went down to an F hook and crocheted very tight!

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My toughest swatch!

I got up to nine rows so I went with that, one row of double crochets (instead of two) at the ends with the seven rows of popcorn stitches. My other alternatives were to use a bigger hook and skip some of the non popcorn rows (only seven rows total) or still have the two rows at each end intact but  eliminate some of the rows with popcorn stitches. I think my solution was the best one. I kept the integrity of the popcorn stitch design. The directions say you can alter the stitch count and hook size to attain gauge but hopefully what I did falls within the parameters of what I can change to make it the right size.

The last thing I need to do for lesson 4 is create or use someone else’s pattern for crocheting in the round without joining. It has to be something a beginner can make. I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to make but settled on making a handle cover for a pan. I have cast iron skillets and actually need handle covers so this is perfect. I finished it and realized I don’t want to send it in as an example of my work. It’s going straight to my pan.

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Instead, I made a small happy face emoji keychain instead.

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Now that’s something more up my alley.

Lessons 1 and 2 – Crochet Certification

Hmm. I started my first lessons of the Craft Yarn Council Teacher Certification Program. I thought it was going to be easy. After all, how hard can be to make a 5 inch square of each basic stitch? Not hard, right? I can make a stinking square. I make squares all the time. But it has to be a perfect 5 inch square with even tension throughout. And the double and treble crochet has a color change exactly halfway through. Again, I can DO color changes. I have to  block too (pouting and whining).

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Lesson 1 on top (sc, hdc, dc, tr) and lesson 2 on the bottom (sc, hdc, dc, inc and dec). 

Lesson 1: Basic Stitch Swatches

The assignment: 5″ squares in the basic stitches, not too loose and not too tight, in a light color yarn, medium weight. Block as needed.

So I’m limited to medium weight yarn which means there are only so many hook sizes I can choose from when I have to adjust for gauge. The single crochet square was pretty easy to figure out. I think I have that one covered.

Then I got busy with the half double crochet…and that’s when I ran into problems. Getting the right stitch count was fine, until I grew the rows, then it seemed to get wider. I undid and redid quite a few times to get the right number of stitches. I also needed to work on keeping my tension the same. I’m an experienced crocheter here! What was going on? I knew I hated gauge! The number of rows were fine and I finally got the square right.

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single crochet swatch and half double crochet swatch

Moving on to the double crochet square had me extremely frustrated but it was the treble crochet swatch I kept having to redo. I couldn’t get the right hook to get the perfect height on the stitches to have half the square in one color. I tried moving up in hook sizes to make the stitches taller, but I couldn’t make them tall enough to get the right number of rows to reach the mid point without going over or under. I tried going down in hook size so I could get more rows in but that wasn’t working either. In the end, I went with an F hook with a tighter tension. I was worrying about this because the instructions stated not to crochet too tightly. Oh well, I had too! It looked good and not too tight so I’m going with it.

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double crochet and treble crochet swatches

Lesson 2: Increases and Decreases

The increase and decrease swatches seemed easier. I only had to reach 5″ with the width. Not too bad.

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single crochet increase and decrease swatch

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half double crochet increase and decrease swatch

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double crochet increase and decrease swatch

Now I have to write up all the information on paper and put them in plastic sleeves (after they dry from their blocking of course).

Learning

Did I learn anything? Yes. I didn’t necessarily learn anything new but it’s more about showing that you can follow directions and showing that you know what you’re doing. I did learn more about my shortcomings. Namely that I need to work on my tension to get more even stitches throughout my work. And it’s forcing me to face gauge and blocking. I’m mean, really, I shouldn’t shy away from these things. I’m glad I’m being forced to do them even if I don’t usually need to use them with the things I make. You can never have too much knowledge and knowledge is power and all that. 🙂

Bavarian Crochet Coat

Dense Bavarian Crochet Coat

I went off and started another crochet coat (sweater, cardigan, I never know how to label it). I’m almost done with it and realized I hadn’t done a single post about it. Well, if you count the post I made about the Bavarian square, then I guess I did post about it (at least the idea of making a sweater from it). And here I am , almost done with it.

The process for this one has been interesting. Here’s what I knew I wanted in a new sweater (coat, cardigan): It needed to be long. It needed to be dense (i.e. no holes to plug up). It needed to be easy. Lastly, it needed to fit! Oh, and feel good too, let’s not forget that. Continue reading