A Better Way! Begin and End Like a Pro!

Here are two quick tips worth learning and adding to your crochet tool box! The place where you begin and end new colors in the round can leave an unsightly area and mar your beautiful crochet project. These two simple techniques can make all the difference!

When rounds are begun with ch 3 and finished with sl st in top of ch 3, the beginning and ending are visible. Can you see the difference between these two circles? One has visible joinings, and the other does not.

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Here’s how it works: begin a round with a dc instead of ch 3, make loop on hook, yo holding loop with your thumb if needed, insert hook in st and pull up a lp.

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(Yo, pull through 2 lps on hook) 2 times to finish dc normally.

To create an invisible join, after working last stitch, do not join. Cut yarn leaving about 8 inches; pull yarn end completely through removing loop from hook.

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Insert crochet hook from front to back under top two loops of second stitch of round; pull yarn through

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Insert crochet hook from back to front between the top two loops of last stitch worked in rnd; pull yarn through.

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Adjust tension on the yarn to create a join that is the same size as the top two lps of remaining stitches. Voila! Your invisibly joined round is now complete. Take yarn to back of work and weave in end securely.

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Variegated, Ombre and Hand-Painted Yarns, Oh My!

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between variegated, ombre and hand-painted yarns?

Variegated yarns change from one distinct color to another. You’ll find a great variety of variegated yarns available, each with it’s own unique color variation. Variegated yarns can have short repeats with clear color separation, or longer repeats allowing the colors to gradually shift from one shade to another.

Depending on how the yarn is dyed, some variegated yarns can ‘pool’ or ‘puddle’ creating areas where the same color ends up in the same spot in each row. This can create an interesting design or be an annoyance depending on your project. Alternating between two different balls or skeins of the same color will help eliminate the puddling affect.

There are a wide variety of variegated yarns on the market today making it difficult to choose just one! Here are two yarns that show just a bit of the variety available to crocheters.

Gina from Plymouth Yarns has a long, blended color repeat making it ideal choice for a beautiful cozy shawl or warm cardigan.

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This Quick & Easy Cozy Crocheted Wrap crocheted in Gina would make the perfect gift for a book-lover.

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Premier Yarns Ever Soft Multis is a fun variegated yarn which alternates short and long color repeats to create a lot of interest.

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This throw from Ever Soft Crochet Afghans pairs variegated yarns with solid colors to add interest and would be so much fun to crochet!

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Ombre is a French term meaning shaded, and usually refers to a gradual color change from light to dark or from one color to another. Caron Simply Baby is an easy-care worsted-weight acrylic that is the perfect choice for cute baby blankets and sweaters.

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The ombre yarn used as a border on this simple project from Quick Stitch Baby Blankets adds just the right touch!

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Hand-painted refers to yarns that have been dyed by hand or yarns which are commercially spun or dyed with random color changes. Popular on the market today, you’ll find a variety of ‘indie yarns’ dyed by fiber artists. Koigu Wool Designs is one such company dyeing small batches of ultra-soft merino wool yarns.

Dye lots are usually small and oftentimes there is a slight difference from one skein to another. To even out the colors, work with 2 balls or skeins alternating every two rows. Don’t cut your yarn, just carry it up the side edges.

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Although hand-dyed yarns from indie dyers tend to be more expensive, a little can go a long way. The crocheted triangular scarf shown here from Lightweight Scarves takes just one ball of Koigu Wool Designs Painter’s Palette or Plymouth Yarn Happy Feet . Light and lacy, this beautiful scarf can be worn into the summer months when air-conditioned restaurants and work places get too chilly.

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 Caron Simply Soft Paints is a commercially produced yarn that will give the look of a hand-painted yarn for less. The hand-painted characteristics shine through with short random color repeats creating the painterly look.

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Wouldn’t our popular Chalet Cardigan look stunning in Caron Simply Soft Paints!

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Whether you use a hand-dyed or commercially dyed hand-paint yarn, you’ll feel like an artist as you crochet! Choose simple textures and lace patterns to show off hand-paint yarns to their best advantage.

We hope you love multi-colored yarns as much as we do! Try them all; variegated, ombres or hand-paints and let the colors of the rainbow inspire your spring crochet projects!

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Celebrating the Power of Women

It’s been said “never underestimate the power of a woman” and that certainly applies to crafty women as well. Since March is both National Craft Month and Women’s History Month, the following bit of trivia about women from a bygone era who “saved the day” with their needlework skills seemed appropriate to share.

In 1840, to assist in raising funds to erect a monument to the Battle of Bunker Hill, New England women held a fair to sell their handmade items. Young and old alike, those who rarely worked and those who toiled daily, joined together to crochet, knit, sew and embroider a variety of useful, attractive items that could be sold for the purpose of building the monument. The women raised an astonishing $33,066 in several days — more than enough to pay for the monument.

Needless to say, women today are still using their many skills – craft-related and otherwise – to help great causes and make the world a better place!

You can read more about the Bunker Hill Monument here.

 

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Annie’s Craft America Coming This Fall!

Mark your calendars and plan to attend Annie’s Craft America October 30 – November 1 in Fort Wayne, Indiana!

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Annie’s Craft America: Learn, Meet and Create will offer classes taught by top instructors in crochet, knitting, quilting, sewing, card-making, paper crafts, cross-stitch, floral crafts, painting and more.

There will also be an exclusive shopping area offering a wide variety of craft merchandise, free demonstrations, lectures, panels and free “learn-to” areas.

Social events will include a special evening with best-selling author Debbie Macomber featured as keynote speaker, and a costume party!

Sign-up now to get the latest news and updates and be the first to choose from over 60 classes taught by national and international teachers!

I hope you’ll join me for this fun event!

 

 

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Want to crochet a bit o’ the green to wear in honor of St. Paddy’s Day next week? Here’s a cute shamrock pin you can crochet in only a few minutes, so you’ll have plenty of time to make as many of these as you like to celebrate the holiday. Wear it plain or jazz it up with embellishments you already have on hand — beads, ribbon, glitter, lace — whatever you like!

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Shamrock Pin Design by Sandra Miller Maxfield

Skill Level Beginner

Finished Size 1 1/2 inches across

Materials

  • Fine (sport) weight yarn: Small amount emerald green
  • Size E/4/3.5mm crochet hook or size needed to obtain gauge
  • Tapestry needle
  • 1-inch pin back
  • Craft glue or hot glue gun

Gauge Shamrock measures 1 1/2 inches across.

Shamrock [Ch 3, 3 dc in 3rd ch from hook, ch 2, sl st in same ch] 3 times, join with sl st in first ch; for stem, ch 4, fasten off.

Glue pin back to WS of shamrock.

Copyright© 2005 Talking Crochet. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

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