Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Links to Knitting for Baby

Last week's was my last post on crocheting for the year -- and probably for a few weeks afterwards. Christmas is coming. Then in mid-January, we're moving.

But, I thought I'd share with you all a few knitting links that I recently found and that sort of fit with the Bits and Bobs format. (By the way, I don't know of anyone about to have a baby. But, I know several people who know someone about to have a baby.)

First come a couple of links from Fleegle. I've been reading her blog for quite a while -- not from the beginning but still quite a while. (The first post on the blog is an ingenuous way for making toe-up socks.) But, the links I want to direct you to are a couple of posts on baby booties -- a seamless bottom-up "regular" bootie and a seamless (Sartjees) one with buttons.

The other is a link to a Tetris baby blanket. It seems to me to be a great way to use up yarn. (One wouldn't have to do the Tetris blocks in the same color each time.)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Slip Stitch

The project we're working on has an edging on just one edge. But, what if one wants to put an edging all around.......

Here's an example of this -- a blanket with a single crochet edging.

To make it easier to add a crocheted edging, I used a chain stitch selvage when knitting-- I.e., I knitted the last stitch of every row and slipped the first stitch of every row purlwise with yarn in front -- on both right and wrong side rows.

To make the single crochet edging: Start with a single loop on the hook, just as you did when starting the edge for the terry towel dish towel. Single crochet around. This time there is no need to make any chain stitches. I used a size 10 needle for the knitting part and a size H crochet hook for the crochet part. Make 1 single crochet under each (double) loop of the chain stitch selvage and 1 single crochet under the bottom/top of each stitch from the cast on/bind off edge. To turn the corner, single crochet 3 times in the same place. The picture shows a corner with the extra stitches (to make it lay flat) and a sc in process of being created.

When you get back to the first stitch worked, you need a way to join the edge together. The answer is the slip stitch. It's almost invisible.

Most stitches are worked by slipping the hook under both loops at the top of a stitch (unless you want a ribbed effect). For a slip stitch (slip st), place the hook under the back loop only. Yarn over. Then draw the yarn through both loops. NexStitch has a video of the stitch plus other uses for the slip stitch.

edited March 2008: In England, this stitch is called a single crochet stitch.

Finish off the piece essentially as you would a piece of knitting. Elongate the last loop and snip off the yarn just as in knitting. Then weave it in just as you would for knitting. NexStitch has a video of weaving in the ends. I dislike needles and so use a crochet hook to pull the yarn through.

If this were crocheted back and forth, I would do exactly as the video shows (except for using a hook instead of a needle). Since this is crocheted in the round, I would weave the yarn around the first few stitches made in the round instead of the last few.

Here is the finished piece, not yet blocked. The slip stitch join is in the upper right hand corner. The bottom of the picture shows what the wrong side of a single crochet stitch looks like.

Here is a picture from the American Thread Company booklet describing the slip stitch.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Double Crochet Stitch

The double crochet stitch is about twice the height of a single crochet stitch. (It is called a triple or treble crochet stitch in England and several Commonwealth countries and is abbreviated tc or 3-c.) In American notation, it is abbreviated dc. The photo at the right is from the American Thread Company booklet and describes the stitch.

In the photo, you can see both the right sides of dc sts (the top row) and the wrong sides (the bottom row).

NexStitch has a video of the stitch. The video shows the dc being made in a chain st (with the hook being put under just one loop of thread). In the pattern we're working on, the dc is made on top of a sc and so (since we want a flat effect instead of a rib effect), put the hook under both loops at the top of the sc. -- For a further discussion, look at the last 2 paragraphs of the previous article on crocheting.

The single crochet stitch took 2 steps to complete. The double crochet stitch takes 4 steps. As with most, if not all, crochet sts, one starts with a single loop around the hook -- and ends with a single loop around the hook.

Step 1. Yarn over (yo). That is, wrap the thread around the hook (from the back over the hook to the front). There are 2 loops on the hook.

Step 2. With the yarn in back, put the hook through the top of the desired st -- or whatever (as you did for a single crochet st), yo, and draw the thread through. There are now 3 loops on the hook.

The picture at the right shows the yo in Step 1 and the hook through the top of the stitch that I wanted to dc into. (I skipped 2 sts between dc's because that's what the pattern I'm making calls for.)

Step 3. Yarn over and draw the thread through 2 loops on the hook. There are now 2 loops on the hook.

Step 4. Yarn over and draw the thread through 2 loops. There is now only 1 loop on the hook, and the double crochet is complete.

The picture at the right shows the yo in Step 4. You'll notice that bottom half of the stitch is already made.


Now to get back to the terry cloth dish towel that we were working on. The final picture shows the end of the row of sc's from the directions from last week. The next row of work is a row of dc's and ch's -- to give an open mesh effect.

Row 3. Turn, ch3, dc in next st in previous row, *ch 1, skip 2, dc 1* across, dc in last st.

To explain these steps:
Turn -- Turn the fabric so that now the RS is facing you. We were working on the WS.

Ch 3: Chain 3, as a substitution for a dc.

dc in next st in previous row: Don't dc in the last st of the last row but rather one stitch over. (Sometimes, one just writes dc instead of dc 1.)

*ch 1, skip 2, dc 1* The pattern that is repeated across the row is to first chain 1, the double crochet in the 3rd stitch over from the last stitch crocheted into (to skip 2 sts).

Finally, the pattern will, in most likelihood, not work out exactly. So, you can fudge by skipping only 1 st before making the last two dc's of the row or else by ending dc, skip 1, dc. -- As was the case in the last row, there are fewer sts across than in the previous row.