Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sunbonnet Potholder - 2

After finishing the second row of the potholder, I thought to myself “This is way too large.” This is what happens when switching from one weight yarn to another without thinking. The pattern as written will work for size 5 pearl cotton. It does not work well for worsted weight cotton.

So, I frogged back (which is easy to do with crochet). With crochet, there is no need to worry about picking up stitches after frogging and, in fact, no need to undo the "cast on edge" (or, rather, the base chain) completely – as there would be in similar circumstances with knitting. I frogged all of the hdc sts plus 14 ch sts – to end up with the equivalent of
ch 22, skip 2, hdc 20, ch 2, turn
for the first row, instead of
ch 36, skip 2, hdc 34, ch 2, turn
as written for size 5 pearl cotton.

To complete the neck flap for the sunbonnet, the pattern states:
"2nd row. Decrease 1 st at beginning of row, ch 2, turn.
3rd Row. Decrease 1 st at end of row, ch 2, turn.
Repeat these 2 rows twice. Break thread. Always ch 2 to turn."

However, since I'm using a heavier yarn than called for, I'm only going to repeat the 2 rows once.

The first picture shows a decrease at the beginning of a row. From left to right, the first loop is from the last ch st, the second is the yo (in preparation for making a hdc), the third is a loop drawn through the last st from the previous row, the fourth is a loop drawn through the second to last st from the previous row. To finish the hdc2tog, yo and draw the yo through all the sts on the hook.

The next picture is a hdc2tog at the end of a row. Since the sunbonnet potholder is going to be edged, it doesn't matter that the directions say to ch 2 at the end of the last row in white.

However, if the sunbonnet were not going to be edged, one should attach the new thread as the last step of the last st. In this case, instead of completing the st with white, complete it by drawing the new color yarn through the loops and then ch 2 with the new color.

The second picture shows this. (The directions call for peach for the color for the bonnet. I'm using a variegated blue – since I had it left over and besides I like blue.)

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sunbonnet Potholder - 1

Our next project is a Sunbonnet Potholder. It's pictured at the right along with an Irish crochet doily. The picture is from the American Thread Company booklet as is the pattern.

The pattern calls for 3 60-yd balls of Peach size 5 pearl cotton and 1 60-yd ball of White for trim. It also calls for a steel crochet hook no. 8 and a bone ring.

I'll be using Peaches & Creme worsted weight cotton yarn and a size 7 (4.5mm) crochet hook. If you'd like a ring to hang the potholder with, I'd suggest using a plastic ring instead of a bone ring.

The pattern starts:

"With White, ch 36, and work 34 sdc on ch" (sdc is the same as hdc or half double crochet)

First, note that the pattern does not say to skip 2 ch sts before starting the half double crochet sts. It's understood. The next picture shows the first hdc being worked in the 3rd ch from the hook.

Note: Since we're using worsted weight yarn instead of size 5 thread, we will be making quite a few adjustments to the pattern.
The first is to replace the first line of the pattern with:
"With white, ch 22, skip 2, hdc 20, ch 2, turn"

Note also how the chain sts are laid out to be crocheted into. The hook goes under the topmost part of the chain.


It's easy enough to count to 36, but to illustrate a technique, I've chained more than 36 sts. If one is making a base chain of a few hundred chain sts, it's much better to err on having too many ch sts instead of possibly too few.

The next picture shows the potholder after the first row is complete. There are several ch sts left over.

The hardest part is undoing the slip knot. The next picture shows what the chain looks like after the knot is undone.

Then all one has to do is to keep undoing the chain until there are no extra chain sts to undo.

Next time, we'll finish the bottom of the bonnet.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Washing and blocking crochet

Here are the instructions from the American Thread Company booklet on washing and blocking crochet (or knits).

"Using hot water and a mild soap, make thick suds, add cold water until suds are fairly warm.

"Let the article stand in the suds a very few minutes, then squeeze in and out until thoroughly clean. Rinse in clear water several times or until sure the soap is removed. Roll in a bath towel. This will absorb some of the moisture.

"The work is now ready for blocking. Lay the work on a padded ironing board or a flat surface and pin in position with rust-proof pins, stretching it gently to correct size and shape. Press through a damp cloth and leave in position until dry."

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