Tag Archive | Tunisian Crochet

Crochet Hook Cases and Holders

Today  I wanted to share my favorite hook cases that are stashed all around my house. I have them in craft bags, in nooks and crannies, and who knows where else. I say ‘my favorite’ because I have more hidden around somewhere, but those are empty and got set aside for some reason or another.

So this first one is THE favorite. It holds everything I need in one easy and convenient place. I initially made this one at my daughter’s request. She wanted something she could store her pen’s and a sketchbook all together. I made it to her specifications and then she decided the sketchbook was bigger than what she told me so I repurposed it for my own use as a hook case. It ended up being my favorite one. It holds my hooks easily and the pouch holds my gauge tool and measuring tape and anything else that’s an awkward size.

Start stitch hook case_2.jpg

I love the star stitch so I led with that.


Start stitch hook case.jpg

Everything fits!


Start stitch hook case_1.jpg

See that pouch? It’s holding my case of steel hooks, which I never use because I don’t often do thread crochet. Come to think of it, why am I lugging that around?

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Crochet Fail – Bavarian Sweater/Coat

I normally have no qualms about ripping back work when it isn’t right, but this time, this time, I have a lot of qualms about it. I had set aside my Bavarian square sweater in lieu of other projects. Why? Because it got hot! Who needs a thick and cozy sweater when it’s bloody hot outside! Plus, I couldn’t figure out what to do with the sleeves, so it was easily abandoned.

All my other projects are complete and there aren’t any crochet fires I need to put out, sooo… I picked up the sweater and continued work on the sleeves. One of the problems of working off-the-seat-of-your-pants, on-the-fly, make-up-as-you-go type of creation, is that you don’t always get what you envision in your mind (or is it only me?). I’ve been working the sleeves separately from the main coat in Tunisian Crochet. I ran out of black awhile back and was too busy (lazy) to go buy more. PLUS, I had so much of the grey yarn I’d already used on the sweater (and spent good money on already), I thought it would be good enough. The panels themselves I like. Once I finished them (after trying out different solutions), I sewed one of the sleeves onto the sweater last night and tried it on to see my handy work. Yuck! I didn’t like it.

Tunisian crochet sleeve

Doesn’t look so bad here, but trust me, it’s no good! 

First of all, the sleeve didn’t drape right. I  was still going to make a few rounds of half double crochet with deeper decreases for the cuffs, but after trying it on and not liking the drape, I didn’t proceed with that. No matter how much I tugged and pulled on it, it still looked bad. The problem was that I needed more decreases further up on the sleeves. The sleeves were too big. Second of all, the color just didn’t work. I kept squinting and looking at it from different angles, but I couldn’t make myself like it. Fail!

The only good thing was that I only attached one sleeve. Now I needed to take the sleeve off and rip back both sleeves. That’s when the qualms hit me. I didn’t want to rip back all that work! I don’t usually struggle so much with frogging my work. I’ve ripped back entire queen-size blankets. But I just couldn’t do it. In the grand scheme of things, they are tiny panels that no one would miss (except me apparently).

Tunisian Crochet panel

I suppose it could be a skirt or top instead.

And yet…

Instead, I played with the unattached sleeve (I hadn’t removed the other one yet). I held it up to my chest to see if I could turn it into a top of some sort. I held it like a skirt. Hmmm… nope. Maybe.

I’m trying real hard to turn those panels into something else so I don’t feel like I wasted my time. I’ll probably just set the panels aside and think about them later. That way I’ll have some distance from all the work and I won’t be so torn about undoing them. In the meantime, I’ll start some new sleeves. This time, I’ll might start them straight on the arm holes, in black. I have black now. I probably should just make more granny squares for the sleeves. I was resistant to do that because the coat is already so dense. I thought it would be granny square overload. Maybe I’m over-thinking this. I’m most definitely over-thinking this.

I have until next winter to decide…😀

 

Freebie Friday – Finger Crochet

I’ve been experimenting with finger crochet lately. Mainly, I like a new challenge. I wanted to see how many stitches I could make just by using my fingers. Turns out, it’s a lot! I started with the basics like single, half double, and double crochet. I then moved on the Tunisian crochet trying out the simple stitch and the knit stitch. Those are the Tunisian stitches I use anyway. Then I tired the star stitch and it came out pretty. I only made one round of it but since I’m using my fingers, that round was pretty big. I turned it into a phone case.

Star Stitch finger crochet

Which brings me to my next point. What the heck am I going to do with this technique? I’ve seen people make all sorts of things with finger crochet, but nothing that I would want to make with this method. I feel like I’m in a maze, wondering in which direction to go (I knew I could sneak the word for the daily prompt in there!). Which path will lead me to make the best use of this style of crochet? The phone case is cute and it was fun but what else?

I don’t have much chunky yarn, so I decided to use three strands of regular acrylic yarn (medium weight).  I have plenty of that to work with. Well, after doing a few rows of single crochet with it, my finger started to hurt. What’s going on here? It didn’t hurt when I was using the chunky yarn. It was hurting now, though. It felt like I was irritating my skin. Was all that finger crocheting finally starting to irritate my skin or was it the rougher yarn that was the real culprit. I’m still not sure, but I think it was the rougher yarn coupled with trying to manage three strands of yarn on the finger. I was pulling the strands on the top of my finger versus the side of my finger when I use the chunky yarn. Looks like the top of my finger is more sensitive and more prone to irritation. Either way, it slowed me down a bit. Today I tried it again with the chunky yarn and that’s when I noticed I was pulling the yarn over from the side and there is no pain. I’ll have to consider that before I use the acrylic yarn again.

finger crochet single crochet.jpg

Single crochet in the back loop done with three strands of yarn

I think I want to make a doll or toy next with finger crochet. That’s my thing so I’m going to brain storm. Until I come up with something, here are my quick videos on how I finger crochet.

Finger Crochet

I have very rarely thought about finger crochet. I know what it is. I’ve seen it around. I considered learning it to show my students who had a hard time with a hook. In fact, it was my more experienced students who reminded me about it’s existence a few years back. I was having trouble teaching my Kinders how to do the chain so I left them tangling the yarn on a hook (they seemed to enjoy that) when lo and behold, I came back and they were using their fingers to make the chain. One of the older kids taught them how to do it. I was very impressed. Since then, when a child has trouble using the hook, I show them how to use their fingers  instead. Once, one of them asked me if they could crochet with their fingers beyond the chain and I said I didn’t think so. I couldn’t imagine how it could be done. Boy, was I wrong!

On my last post, I was asked by a blogger I follow (STROKE(d)) if I knew about finger crochet and if it was easy. Aside from the chain, I didn’t have enough experience about it but I assumed that yes, it was probably fairly easy to do. I was intrigued enough by the question to look it up. I should know about this and how to do it, right? What kind of crocheter am I if I don’t know how to do this? A bad one! Furthermore, I should be teaching the kids how to finger crochet, right?! Especially for those who get frustrated but still want to crochet. I should know this!

So I researched in order answer the question with some knowledge. Here’s what I found:

  1. Craftsy has a pretty good tutorial on how to do it.
  2. How to arm crochet the right way: If you know me, you know I love Tunisian crochet (I should probably do more posts on it) and this shows how to do it without a hook! Who knew? Not me, but now I do.

My Own Observations

It is so much easier working with chunky yarn. I tried with regular yarn and you get really lacy results. That’s not a bad thing if that’s the look you want but it’s also harder to work with the yarn, at least for me.

I find myself using my fingers in different ways to work the yarn. Sometimes I poke my finger through the fabric, using my finger like a hook and sometimes I push the yarn through the back of the fabric, through the whole and then place the loop on my finger. I haven’t completely found my ‘groove’ yet but all that means is that there are different ways to accomplish the same thing.

I found it very easy to pick up finger crocheting. I think anyone who already crochets will find it easy as well. However, I’m not sure how easy it will be for someone completely new to the craft. As I was doing it, I realized it might seem confusing to someone who has never crocheted before. I shot a video showing what I’m doing and then I watched it and I probably need to shoot it again, keeping in mind that a true beginner needs me to be very clear on what and how I’m doing it. I kept alternating between using my finger as a hook and pushing the yarn form behind. I will shoot it again showing clearly how to do one way and then the other instead of just alternating on a whim.

Examples

Single crochet

finger crochet sc

Tunisian Crochet

I had to give Tunisian crochet a try. There are obvious limitations to pursuing this style with your fingers. Namely, your finger is only so long so you can’t fit that many loops on it but I was able to fit about seven or eight loops, enough to make small projects.

finger crochet sc_1

Yes! I really did this with my fingers!

I hope to have my videos done by the end of the week for my Freebie Friday post. I’m showing how to do all the basic stitches: single crochet, half double crochet and double crochet. I’m really enjoying this and am looking forward to trying more complicated stitches, like shells and bobbles. I wonder if I can do the crocodile stitch or the start stitch?!

Thanks Akuokuo for pointing me in this direction. Hopefully I will be able to help you pursue finger crocheting. 🙂

 

 

Ugly Crochet Slippers

Yes, my new slippers are ugly. Yes, they are square, like the ones I made before. Maybe that’s what makes them ugly. Or, maybe, it’s all the hodgepodge yarn I used. Doesn’t matter, I like them. They are comfy and warm and fit my feet really well.

Speaking of my old crochet slippers,I’ve been wearing the heck out of them. They are way too big for my feet and I go slip sliding around in them. Yeah, those. But I love them anyway. However, I wanted to make another pair. A pair that would actually fit, you know, my feet.

So I rummaged through my stash looking for something warm and comfy and found this thick, chunky yarn in a variegated brownish color. I grabbed a matching Tunisian crochet hook (size L) that looked good for the yarn size and I was set.

yarn-balls_4

This is what was left after the soles and tops were done.

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Freebie Friday – Crochet Emergency!

I asked my 16 year old son how his day had been.

He said, “Well, I have some bad news.”

He didn’t seem alarmed or agitated so I didn’t panic. In a split second, scenarios of what it could be ran through my head. Bad grade on an assignment, a minor problem with his car, something that happened to one of his friends…

“Is it BIG bad news?” says I.

Son said, “No.”

“Is it small bad news?” I asked.

Son said, “Well, it isn’t small. I lost my crochet iPhone case.”

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The Prodigal Doll Returns!

This story was inspired by the passing of my oldest sister due to complications of diabetes…

So I made this doll back in 2010. I had just learned about Tunisian crochet and I experimented making some dolls with it. I loved the knitted look that could be achieved and since I was lousy with knitting, I wanted to give it a go. This particular doll was my third attempt at making a doll with this style of crochet. When I was done with her, I thought she was ugly (but I never told her that. I wouldn’t break her confidence that way!). I was happy with the overall doll but I wasn’t too happy with her face. I didn’t do such a hot job with her hair either but she was a prototype so I wasn’t too concerned.

What surprised me about this doll was the reaction some family members had to her. My sis-in-law and close friend fell in love with her and kept cuddling her and asked me if she could have her. She begged me for her. I’m pretty sure she begged me for her :-). I still wanted to make the doll an outfit and take some pictures of her. This doll wasn’t intended for anyone. I wanted to keep her as future reference for other dolls but I had written a pattern already and my friend wanted her so badly that I agreed to let her keep her, but not until I was done finishing her up.

Then, my mom-in-law came to visit and had almost the same reaction as my friend. She also asked if she could keep her but let her know that I had already promised her to someone else but that I would make her a new one (I did eventually make her a new one but it took me over a year to deliver, oops!). I told my friend about it in the event she was feeling generous and would want me to give her to my mom-in-law but she said no way.

Well, on a day my extended family gathered for the holidays, I had intended to give the doll to my friend. I had made her a bassinet, pillow, blanket, an outfit and bought her some clothes. My niece saw the doll and asked me if she could have her too. I let her know that it was already given to someone else and besides, I had already given her some dolls I’d made.

I gave the doll to my sis-in-law (notice she is no longer my close friend at this point) who enjoyed her all of 15 minutes before she gave the doll to my niece! In her defense (this was her defense, not mine), my niece came up to her and let her know how much she loved the doll. My niece, 10 years old at the time, looked pretty cute and convincing. My sis-in-law then said, “Well, dolls should be loved and played with by kids. Will you promise to take care of her?” My niece was no sucker and said that of course she would take care of her. My now not so loved (I’m joking of course!) sis-in-law handed the doll over and that was that.

A couple of things went through my mind in that moment. What just happened???!!! Did she really just give away the doll she begged me for to my niece to whom I had already given dolls to? It could have gone to my mom-in-law (it’s never a bad thing to score brownie points with the mom-in-law), who I was pretty confident would not have given her away in less than 15 minutes.

I don’t blame my niece for wanting her and asking for her but I did NOT expect my sis-in-law to cave in so easily! I felt like snatching the doll back up and giving her to my mom-in-law (brownie points!). But then I came to acceptance. What was done was done. She belonged to my niece now. She conned sis-in-law out of it fair and square. My niece reads this blog and she knows it’s true!

doll

This is one of the dolls I had given my niece. Just in case there was any doubt I gave her good things!

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