Tag Archive | Crochet Squares

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 90Âș!

 

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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. â˜č 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

Granny Square Mania Turned Purse

A child’s imagination is truly great and I get to experience it on a daily basis.

At home, I have been furiously and single-mindedly making granny squares (springtime flower granny square) for my future sweater/cardigan. I’ve tried as many color combinations as could with just grey and black and I’m almost half done with the 74 squares I need for the finished piece. I wanted to try the same square at work but with the brighter colors we have.

I used two strands of yarn and started playing with colors. The kids became instantly curious and peppered me with the usual questions. What is it? What are you making? Is it going in the prize box? Can I have it? This is always followed by suggestions. Use this color. Make it this or that. You should really give it to me. That kind of thing. 🙂

The squares work up quickly so I was able to make a few in a short time. Once done, the kids needed to know what my intentions were because they were pretty sure they wanted whatever it was I was making. I told them the squares hadn’t spoken to me yet on what they wanted to become (they didn’t even look at me strangely after I said that! lol). I had three different squares completed and they were voting on which ones they liked best.

Squares Continue reading

Freebie Friday Granny Square And Sweater Derailment

This is what happened.

I finished the dragon cloak (photos to follow in a future post) and I didn’t have any other WIPs (believe it or not). I was antsy with crochet freedom. I realized I now had time to start that sweater from Lion Brand that I posted before on a Freebie Friday.

I thought I’d start with the granny squares called for in the pattern. I don’t make garments very often, what with gauges and special notes and what nots. When I do make a garment, I just use my body as a guide with constant holding up against me and trying on. I don’t need no stinking gauge!

Firstly, I did look over the pattern and read the special notes and perused the stitches used. I scrutinized the diagrams and made an attempt to understand where the pattern was going. Then I jumped right in, grabbed the hook called for (size I) and started hooking. Two things happened right away. 1) I didn’t like the granny square. It looked good in the photo but it was meh in practice and though it wasn’t hard, it was more complicated than I expected for something that looked so plain (to me).  2) It also seemed very large. Too large. I held it up to my body, pictured six of them and realized they would make a huge sweater.

Some of you might be thinking right about now how silly I was for not looking at the gauge in the first place and you’d be absolutely right. Luckily I knew at this point that I needed to find that gauge. It stated that the granny square should be 3 3/4 in by 3 3/4 in. That just didn’t seem right. I pulled out my ruler. My square was over six inches! Wait a minute here. How could I be so off? The pattern recommended using a smaller hook if the gauge was off so I ripped back the square and tried again with a smaller hook (H). It was still too big, by a lot!

At this point, I was contemplating using an even smaller hook size. But the yarn was already getting fiddly with the smaller hook. I couldn’t imagine using an even smaller one. Besides, I didn’t even like the square so I took a step back and looked at other granny squares around the web to find something better.  I found one I liked.

 

Spring flower granny square

The pattern is in UK terms. You can find the original pattern here. My translation is  at the bottom of the post.

Continue reading