Weaving in ends, while not the most pleasurable of activities, needs to be done. And, it needs to be done well.
There are currently many different thoughts about it. “Knot or not?” I think that, many years’ ago, it was acceptable to tie your work tightly and knot it, cutting it close to the knot. I’m not sure when this information first came to me. But, quite possibly, it was after receiving a beautiful crocheted afghan which quickly came undone, even before washing.
It’s quite possible that this practice of knotting and cutting came from a time when most yarns were made of wool. Perhaps it was more likely that the wool would have bound onto itself making a knot stay where a knot should. So, the practice of cutting after the knot was the easiest way to end your work.
However, with non-wool yarns, it doesn’t work, as I quickly discovered when I had to repair this gifted afghan.
Working Over Loose Ends
Many years’ ago, I would crochet over the loose ends. This always worked for me. And, like most crocheters, most of my work was given away. I never knew what happened after I had gifted it. But, I happened to be visiting one of my gifted afghans about 6 months’ later, after several washings. I spent three hours, with a yarn needle, trying my best to get all those ends back in there.
What To Do?
Currently, I use a yarn needle to weave in all ends. When beginning and ending, I always leave about 8″ ends for weaving in later.When I’m ready to weave in the ends, I take the yarn needle and thread the 8″ tail. Carefully, I will hide the yarn about 2 or 2.5″ in one direction (stretch the fabric of the item out a little at this point because the first weaving of yarn will pull it out of shape a little), then back in the other direction, then back a third time. Cut it off close to the work. And, finally, stretch it just a little to make sure the yarn snaps inside.
When possible, I never change skeins in the middle of a row. I find that it’s easier to weave in ends into the trim of my project than into the actual fabric in the center.
What If The Yarn Is Really Slippery?
If you are very concerned about the yarn still coming loose after weaving, try using a small dab of fabric glue after the third weave and right before cutting and stretching a bit to make the glued end snap inside. Try to embed the glue inside the stitches so that there won’t be any noticeable dried glue on the fabric.
What If The Stitches Are Really Far Apart And Lacy?
Try weaving vertically into a stitch instead of horizontally. And, the fabric glue could be used in this instance as well.
Weaving In Ends Securely by Anonymous Crochet is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Some popular yarn companies have gone “green” with their yarn lines. Use of these products can help save the planet, one project at a time.
Caron International Yarns has introduced a yarn containing a fiber made of post-consumer recycled plastic bottles. Making a scarf keeps about one recycled plastic bottle out of landfills. A sweater keeps about 4-6 recycled bottles out of landfills and an afghan or throw keeps out about 10 bottles.
Simply Soft Eco is especially useful in making baby projects since it is machine washable and dryable. It is a size 4 worsted weight acrylic and can be substituted in other projects calling for a size 4 medium yarn, including interchanging it with those patterns calling for traditional Simply Soft.
Simply Soft Eco can be found locally at craft departments of Walmart and online at ShopCaron.com.
You can try a quick and easy free pattern using Simply Soft Eco with the Diagonal Steps Scarf.
Coats & Clark
Eco-Cotton™ Blend from Coats & Clark is also a size 4 medium yarn which is made from fabric remnants from t-shirt manufacture, recycled and blended with acrylic. Try this Eco Friendly Tote by Mary Jane Protus featuring this yarn.
These products can be purchased online at Herrschners.com.
Going “Green” with Crochet by Anonymous Crochet is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Stitch diagrams are especially useful in crochet. When crochet instructions are very long, it’s easier to find your place when viewing a “duplicate” of your work in figures instead of written words. Additionally, with the internet, there are many new crochet patterns available from around the world. Since most countries outside the US use stitch diagrams, you can break the barrier of the written language and books from all over the world can be used and enjoyed.
When using a stitch diagram, it is essential to understand the drawn figures. Each stitch diagram will include a Stitch Diagram Key.
Stitch Diagram Key
Each instance of the figures above represents a separate stitch.
Translating The Figures to Crochet
Each drawn figure will be replaced by the stitches in the Stitch Diagram Key.
This Diagram begins at the bottom, with Row 1.
Reading the Diagram from left-to-right, the first figures shown are a line of chains. In order to work from this Diagram, you will first need to count the chains and crochet that number. Begin by chaining 27.
Now, reading the Diagram from right-to-left, the Diagram shows that 3 chains are skipped. 4 double crochets are worked. [1 chain is worked and a beginning chain is skipped. A double crochet is worked in the next chain.] All instructions in brackets are repeated twice more. 4 more double crochet are worked. [1 chain is worked and a beginning chain is skipped. A double crochet is worked in the next chain.] All instructions in brackets are repeated twice more. 4 more double crochet are worked. The last double crochet will be in the last chain.
Turn and begin reading the Diagram from left-to-right. Chain 3. The Diagram shows that this chain-3 is the first stitch of the row. 3 double crochet are worked into double crochets. [1 chain and skip a double crochet. Double crochet into the chain-1 space.] All instructions in brackets are repeated twice more. Work 4 double crochets into double crochets. [1 chain and skip a double crochet. Double crochet into the chain-1 space.]
All instructions in brackets are repeated twice more. 5 more double crochet are worked to the end.
Continue Working The Diagram
Continue following the Diagram, working the stitches represented by the figures, reading the Diagram from left-to-right and right-to-left on alternating rows.
Color In Diagrams
The Diagram shows Rows 2-11 in blue. This means that Row 1 is the foundation row and Rows 2-11 are repeated throughout for the stitch pattern.
Making A Project
If working something such as a scarf from this Diagram, you will work Row 1. Then you will work Rows 2-11, repeating them consecutively until you reach the length you desire.
Learn to Crochet From a Stitch Diagram by Anonymous Crochet is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Although it may look difficult because of the beadwork, this project is made by crocheting directly onto a purchased pre-strung bead garland with larger cotton thread and a size F crochet hook, making it an elegant, yet easy project.
Abbreviations: ch=chain, sc=single crochet, sk=skip, sl=slip, sp=space, st=stitch (US stitch terminology)
Materials: 1 ball size 3 cotton crochet thread, US size F/5/3.75mm crochet hook, purchased pre-strung bead garland, yarn needle (model made in Royale Size 3 Fashion Crochet Thread, color #0226 natural)
Finished Size: dependent on length of purchased bead garland
Gauge: not critical for this project
Note: When purchasing a bead garland, look for garland that has a bit of space between the beads. This will not work with beads that are glued together throughout. There must be a bit of string showing between the beads.
If necessary, cut the bead garland to form a straight length if it is purchased in a continuous circle. With the crochet hook, make a slip stitch directly onto the garland in the space between the first bead and the second bead, at one end of the bead garland length.
Rnd 1: [ch 2, sl st into space between the next two beads] across entire length of bead garland, ch 2, turn the bead garland to begin working along opposite side, working into the same spaces between beads as previously made, sl st into next space between the next two beads, [ch 2, sl st into space between the next two beads] across length of bead garland, ch 2, sl st to first ch-2 sp made.
Rnd 2: Ch 1, [sc, ch 3, sc] in each ch-2 sp around entire bead garland, sl st to first sc. End off. Using yarn needle, weave in all ends securely.
Easy Bead Garland – Free Pattern by Anonymous Crochet is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
There are many charitable projects available to crocheters and knitters across the internet. One of the most fascinating is Rwanda Knits.
In 2002, Cari Clement (then president of Bond America, manufacturer of home knitting machines) contacted United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHC) and offered to donate 60 knitting machines and training to help set up a women’s knitting cooperative. The Country of Rwanda was first to reply. Machines were shipped in late 2002. In July 2003, Ms. Clement made her first visit to Rwanda to train 100 women to use the machines.
Using the idea of teaching one to teach another, after six years, there are currently 29 cooperatives across Rwanda. The women in these cooperatives are very poor. Many cannot read or write. But, they can knit. And, they are currently knitting their way to the first and only, owned-solely-by-women artisan cooperative union in Rwanda.
In addition to giving Rwandan women a chance to earn an income to help raise their families, learning to use the machines has empowered them to learn other skills, like mathematics which aids in their designing.
How Rwanda Knits Helps
Knitting sweaters as secondary school uniforms is the primary goal for Rwanda Knits, as most of the schools in Rwanda purchase sweaters from Uganda, Kenya or China. While most of the cooperatives are making school sweaters, others are making caps/hats to sell to tourists, items for babies, fashion sweaters for sale in the local markets and many new items for export
A Fun Way Others Can Help
Each year, Rwanda Knits sponsors a benefit auction on eBay. Most intriguing are the items offered in the auction. These include actual sample garments and home décor items made for photography in published patterns. You’ll find beautiful designs that, in a lot of cases, have been hand-stitched by your favorite designers. Items from well-known crochet designers, Doris Chan, Kim Guzman and Vashti Braha, among many others, have been offered in past auctions.
There are currently more plans underway to help and support this wonderful project. Look for the Rwanda Knits Project at the Knit & Crochet Show this summer!
Cari Clement has recently returned from another trip to Rwanda and you can read about it on the Rwanda Knits Blog. Please also listen to Ms. Clement’s live blog radio interview with designer and author, Mary Beth Temple, on Getting Loopy – Blog Talk Radio.
Rwanda Knits – Website Review by Anonymous Crochet is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Using only double crochets and chains, make this simple, lightweight scarf in a unique diagonal stitch pattern.
Abbreviations: ch=chain, dc=double crochet, sk=skip, sp=space (US stitch terminology)
Materials: about 3 or 4 oz. soft worsted weight yarn, US size I/9/5.5mm crochet hook, yarn needle (model made in Caron Simply Soft Eco, color #0022 soft mint)
Finished Size: approximately 4” x 63”
Gauge: not critical for this project
Pattern notes: Ch 3 at beginning of row counts as first double crochet of row. Ch 4 at beginning of row counts as first double crochet of row, plus 1 chain.
Starting chain: ch 17.
Row 1: sk 3 ch, dc in each of 4 ch, [ch 1, sk ch, dc in next ch] 2 times, ch 1, sk ch, dc in each of 5 ch, turn.
Row 2: ch 3, sk first dc, dc in each of 3 dc, [ch 1, sk dc, dc in ch-1 sp] 3 times, dc in each of 5 dc, turn.
Row 3: ch 4, sk 2 dc, dc in each of 4 dc and in ch-1 sp, [ch 1, sk dc, dc in ch-1 sp] 2 times, ch 1, sk dc, dc in each of 3 dc, turn.
Row 4: ch 3, sk first dc, dc in next dc, [ch 1, sk dc, dc in ch-1 sp] 3 times, dc in each of 4 dc, ch 1, sk dc, dc in ch-1 sp and in last dc, turn.
Row 5: ch 4, sk 2 dc, dc in ch-1 sp, ch 1, sk dc, dc in each of 4 dc and in ch-1 sp, [ch 1, sk dc, dc in ch-1 sp) 2 times, ch 1, sk dc, dc in last dc, turn.
Row 6: ch 3, sk first dc, dc in ch-1 sp, [ch 1, sk dc, dc in next ch-1 sp] 2 times, dc in each of 4 dc, [ch 1, sk dc, dc in ch-1 sp] 2 times, dc in last dc, turn.
Row 7: ch 4, sk 2 dc, dc in ch-1 sp, ch 1, sk dc, dc in ch-1 sp, ch 1, sk dc, dc in each of 4 dc and in ch-1 sp, ch 1, sk dc, dc in ch-1 sp, ch 1, sk dc, dc in last dc, turn.
Row 8: ch 3, sk first dc, dc in ch-1 sp, ch 1, sk dc, dc in ch-1 sp and in each of 4 dc, [ch 1, sk dc, dc in ch-1 sp] 3 times, dc in last dc, turn.
Row 9: ch 3, sk first dc, dc in next dc and in ch-1 sp, [ch 1, sk dc, dc in next ch-1 sp] 2 times, ch 1, sk dc, dc in each of 4 dc and in ch-1 sp, ch 1, sk dc, dc in last dc, turn.
Row 10: ch 3, sk first dc, dc in ch-1 sp and in each of 4 dc, [ch 1, sk dc, dc in next ch-1 sp] 3 times, dc in each of 3 dc, turn.
Row 11: ch 3, sk first dc, dc in each of 3 dc and in ch-1 sp, [ch 1, sk dc, dc in ch-1 sp] 2 times, ch 1, sk dc, dc in each of 5 dc, turn.
Rows 12-101: repeat rows 2-11 consecutively. End off after final row. Using yarn needle, weave in all ends securely.
Diagonal Steps Scarf – Free Pattern by Anonymous Crochet is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
As with learning any new skill, it is important to understand the tools. With crochet, there are two primary tools; yarn and hook. That’s it! As long as you have yarn and a hook, you can do some pretty amazing things! I am forever inspired by the incredible projects I can make with a wee hook and yarn!
As a beginner, there are some important things you’ll need to know when picking out your tools.
Trying to purchase yarn for the first time can be a little intimidating. There are so many sizes and colors and textures. There are many new and different fibers and fiber blends of yarn, meaning that, in addition to acrylic, you can now find wool, cotton, soy, nylon, bamboo, rayon. And, believe it or not, there are even yarns made from milk and corn!
For learning, it’s important to find a yarn that has been designated as a worsted weight. A lot of companies have started using a numbering system for their yarns. And, if you see a yarn designated as a Size 4, this is worsted weight. But, even if the label doesn’t state a number in its size, you can still look for the words “worsted weight”.
Go With Acrylic As A Beginner
It will be best if you choose a 100% acrylic yarn in the beginning of your crochet journey. The beginner projects I will be pairing with each stitch tutorial will be in 100% acrylic worsted weight yarn. The “mainstays” in the world of beginning crochet yarns are Red Heart Super Saver and Caron Simply Soft, which can be easily found at most craft shops.
When looking for a yarn to start, you’ll want to choose a yarn in a color you enjoy. Try to stay away from dark colors. Black or brown are difficult to see in the best of times, but even more difficult when learning. For now, you will want to stay away from the multi-colored yarns too. Yes, I know they are absolutely beautiful, but you’ll want to try them after you have mastered your stitches.
Try to choose a smooth yarn, without a bumpy texture. Although it may appear that you have chosen a rather plain-looking yarn, in comparison to the incredible selection, always remember that your stitches will be the wonderful background for this new yarn. And, once you’ve mastered those stitches, you can progress to some of the more textured yarns. Be sure to pay attention to the type of yarn fiber when you are choosing. If you feel that you are allergic to wool, for instance, you will want to make sure that there is no wool content.
Crochet Hook Sizes
Currently available larger crochet hooks are generally designated by letters, B through L, P and S. The smallest hook is a B hook which measures 2.25mm, while the S hook is quite large and measures 19mm. Also available are smaller hooks, designated by numbers, 000 through 14. The larger the number, the smaller the hook. Smaller hooks are typically used for dainty work with fine crochet threads.
Choosing A Crochet Hook
A crochet hook with a lettered size is the correct type of hook to use with worsted weight. Sometimes, you will see a hook size designation on the wrapper for your chosen yarn. It could be a size H, I or J crochet hook. When choosing your yarn, choose a hook that is the recommended size for that yarn. Or, if you have a pattern in mind, purchase the size recommended for the pattern. If your yarn doesn’t suggest a hook size and you have no particular pattern in mind, then a size I crochet hook is a good size for learning with worsted weight.
Crochet Hook Brands
Like yarn, hooks also are available in several different brands. The most popular two brands, Boye and Susan Bates, are made of metal. Most shops will have a selection of hooks in many different sizes. For learning, you will want to start off with metal hooks. But, as your skills grow, you can try experimenting with the other varieties of hooks from handmade wooden hooks to fun, clear acrylic hooks.
Now that you have your yarn and hook, let’s get ready to learn to crochet!
Before You Buy Hook and Yarn by Anonymous Crochet is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.