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Irene writes: "Where can I find a yarn conversion chart? I have a chart for embroidery thread that has DMC versus J&P Coats. I have a lot of yarn that is no longer for sale, and I also have lots of patterns for these yarns. I am looking for a chart that compares Red Heart with Lion Brand. Any help would be appreciated."

Editor's Comments

Dear Irene,
Here is a link to a chart provide by the Craft Yarn Council which appeared in Crochet! magazine. Click here.

Anonymous writes: "I have recently come across a pattern that says to start with a 'magic circle.' I was just wondering if this is the same as you use when starting a granny square?"

Editor's Comments

Dear Anonymous, Granny squares can be started in many ways, so without seeing the pattern it would be hard to say if the magic circle is the same. However, here is how you start with a magic circle: Wrap the yarn twice around your finger and then yarn over and bring a loop through the circle with your hook; yarn over and work a chain. You can now begin putting stitches in the circle as directed by the pattern. When all those stitches are done, pull on the tail to tighten the circle and secure it. This method leaves no open hole in your beginning circle.

Emily shares: "Thank you for pointing out the article about how 'yarn bombing' is benefiting victims of domestic violence. There is another organization doing something similar called Handmade Especially for You, which operates in Southern California This organization is made up of volunteers who crochet and knit 'comfort scarves' for victims of domestic violence, including scarves and hats for children. The yarn is donated by corporate sponsors, as well as private citizens. The organization started locally but has spread throughout the nation and has now gone international. I have been involved with this charity for three years, and I get a great deal of satisfaction from it. I am hoping your magazine will spread the word and that more people will become involved in this worthwhile endeavor."

A asks: "Thank you for the January 1 (Vol. 9, No. 27) issue of Talking Crochet. It is always a treat to see each issue in my mailbox! The free 'All Knit-Look Sweater' was intriguing as I am always looking for new stitches. I did, however, have a problem figuring out exactly what to do from the instructions shown. First, the 'slingshot cast on' left me with loops on the hook. I had to use a Tunisian hook because my regular K hook wouldn't take 58 loops! It seems from the instructions that these are worked off the hook, but I can't tell how, and there is nothing on YouTube to demonstrate. That is where, by the way, I saw how to do the knitting slingshot cast on. Second, the reverse slip stitch was problematic also, probably because the cast on was incorrect. I did create a swatch, but it seemed more like I was working Tunisian crochet than regular. Can you help?"

Editor's Comments

Dear A: I talked to my friend and the designer of the pattern you asked about, Bendy Carter, and here is what she had to say:

"Slingshot cast on: Holding tail in front of hook and yarn in back of hook, using slingshot method as in knitting, cast on one stitch, yarn over with yarn going from back over hook and back to back, draw through both loops on hook, one stitch completed.

"You have the starting loop, the loop that was cast on, then the yarn over and draw through takes both off the hook so again there is one loop. You cast on another loop, making two on the hook. Yarn over and draw through both loops on hook; again you have one loop. There should never be more than two loops on the hook.

"It is OK if she just wants to make a regular chain to start."

Kristine writes: "I really appreciated the reader who shared the idea of earmarking a donation for the last baby of the year. A few years ago I began tithing my crochet time and my first efforts were donated to various causes, such as Warm Up America, our church's prayer shawl ministry or sometimes lapghans for nursing facilities. This year I will make an extra item and specify it for the end of the year as well. Time and good intentions are always so tight during the holiday rush. How wonderful that the donations provide sanity and healing for the crocheter, as well as comfort for the recipients!

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