Sunday, February 26, 2012

Counting In The Round Crochet Cheat

So, if you are like me, counting in the round can become tedious and almost impossible at times with kids running around the house. I came up with a cheat that I am sure has been done before, but I figured I would share it in case there are newbies who stumble across this post. It has taken the "thinking" out of counting in the round and made it much easier to put my work down at any point in the process without worrying about missing a stitch. It works especially well the bigger the piece becomes.

First, you will need the same number of stitch markers as the number of increases you plan to do each round. Make sure at least one of the markers is completely different from the rest. If your series is 6-12-18-24-30-etc, you will need six stitch markers. If your series is 8-16-24-32-40-etc, you will need eight stitch markers. Once you have figured that part out, the rest is easy.

Place the unique stitch marker at the beginning of the round so you will know where to count rows, then count the number of stitches to the next increase. Place a stitch marker in the stitch you want to increase and then repeat around until you reach the beginning. If you counted correctly, you will have the same number of stitches left between the last stitch marker and the one marking the beginning. Magically, this will be the last time you have to count (except keeping track of rows) unless you are working with a pattern that requires different increments to give an added effect.

Now, just crochet one stitch (whatever type you are using) in each unmarked stitch and increase in the marked stitches. Remember to move the marker to the second stitch of each increase and it will continue marking the increase for the next round until you are done.

Voila! No more keeping track of when and where to increase, and no more losing count because little Johnny or Sarah is running around like a wild banchee. Hope this is helpful to some!

Happy hooking!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

On the hook

I haven't finished much lately, but I've got several works in progress (WIPs in Ravelry-speak) on the hook at the moment. As I mentioned in my last post, I started a pair of crocheted socks. I am almost done with the first sock, and although I think it will look really nice, I'm not sure how functional it will be. Single crochet doesn't have a lot of give to begin with and combined with my typical tight stitch, I'm afraid my wife may never be able to get them on her feet! So, they may become a piece of artwork.

I'm also working on a shell pattern scarf using some yarn my mother-in-law gave us a while back. Actually, it is the same yarn I used for my first native american flute case. Anyway, I ran out after the scarf was about 40", but fortunately the yarn is readily available at JoAnn, and it comes in a one-pound skein! I expect to finish the scarf some time this week and will post a couple of pictures then. Not sure what I am going to do with it yet - either give as a gift or sell on Etsy.

I bought some more variegated cotton yarn to make another bucket hat and hope to start it later today. This one will be my geocaching hat, complete with a patch from Groundspeak's store. I haven't decided if I am going to play with the pattern a bit or do it just like the Tarheel bucket hat, but I'll post photos once it is done. Oh, and if you aren't familiar with geocaching, check out this link. You'll probably end up addicted, so I apologize in advance.

By the way, I created a Twitter account today. Not sure how much I will use it, but if you are interested, you can find me by searching on TMBeavers.

That's it for now! Happy hooking!!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Who says you can't crochet socks?

Most of my yarny friends love to knit socks and do a really great job of it, but I just can't get into knitting the way I do crochet. Well, while visiting my mother-in-law yesterday, she gave us a book she had bought called Learn to Crochet Socks by the American School of Needlework. The designs are by Kathy Wesley, and I immediately grabbed it from my wife and sat down to start hooking. I've finished the cuff and ankle of one sock, and so far it looks great. I crochet a bit on the tight side, so that may work to my advantage when it comes to socks. I realize crocheted socks don't have quite the elasticity of knitted ones, but I think I am really going to like them. The first pair is being made for my wife, since the patterns are only for women's small and medium size feet, but once I get the basics down, I figure I can adapt it to my own boat-size feet. I'll definitely let you know how they turn out!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Just In Time for March Madness

This is a project I started in early January, but it took me a while to get the sizing right and to figure out what stitch I really wanted to use. I finally settled on single crochet for the crown, band and brim, but used half-double crochet on the side. That many single crochet stitches was tedious work and I had to put it aside several times and work on something else. I got the UNC patch in this week, so I figured I needed to focus and finish it.

Unfortunately, my Tarheels lost to arch-rival Duke earlier in the week, but I have confidence that they will be ready for a deep run in the tournament in March and April. Regardless, I plan on making this my regular golf hat even though it will clash with my Crimson Tide golf bag and head covers! Oh well, the follies of following two different college teams depending on the sport, right?