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Posted in crochet, Finished Objects

April in Paris Capelet pattern release

After much rewriting and testing, the April in Paris capelet pattern is finally available. I’ve listed it on Etsy since I’m not set up to sell on this blog. Many thanks to Melissa for her help in finalizing the pattern. This lovely yarn is hand dyed from The Little Weasel shop in Paris.

This yarn is Malabrigo “Sock”, and it has a lot more stretch to it than the Little Weasel yarn. I had to modify the neckline, but you don’t see that in this photo. I suggest when looking for yarn, choose one that is not very stretchy for best results. The Malabrigo was luscious to work with but didn’t give the same results. I did write in the modifications that I came up with for the neckline. I’m currently working on one in cotton, and I will post the results here. I suspect it will be very stretchy. Might have to go down a hook size.

Continue reading “April in Paris Capelet pattern release”
Posted in Craft tips, crochet, Crochet Technique

Follow up videos and instructions for Fiber Arts Fanatics

The following videos accompany the presentation to the GSNMT for the Fleece to Fashion program. Terms and instructions follow the videos

They are:

Making a slip knot

Holding your yarn like a pro

Chain stitch

Single crochet into the chain

Single crochet rows

Making a Slip Knot
Hold your yarn like a pro
Chain Stitch
Single Crochet into the chain
Single crochet rows

TermsInstructionsAbbreviation
The instructions assume that you are holding your yarn like a pro!
Yarn overPut your hook under the yarn from left to right (inside to ouside), rotate your wrist so that the yarn goes over  the hook.

Alternatively, use your hand to  “throw” the yarn over your hook, from right to left (outside to inside.)
YO
ChainInsert your hook under the yarn from left to right  (yarn over) and grab the yarn with the hook. Holding the loop that is on your hook with your left hand, pull the new yarn through the loop with your right hand.Ch
Single crochetInsert your hook into a stitch (chain or single crochet), yarn over and grab the yarn, then pull the yarn through the stitch. You now have 2 loops on your hook. Yarn over again and pull the yarn through both loops on your hook.Sc
Posted in Craft tips

Caring for Wool, Part 1

It’s that time of year. Gifts are being knit, crocheted or woven – often at breakneck speed to meet self-imposed deadlines. (Unless you are one of those who plan their gifts throughout the year …)

Regardless of your process, most of you are making gifts from wool which has special handling requirements. Everyone has their favorite horror story of the gifts they have bestowed, lovingly and painstakingly crafted, only to have the item tossed in the washer and accidentally felted. Can’t you just imagine the grief of seeing your cabled scarf ending up in the dog kennel because of improper care!

Wool garments have been in decline in the past century, so it is no wonder that modern families don’t know how to care for them. A recent video trip down Saville Row in London showed men who were proud recipients of their grandfather’s well-cared-for wool suits, something you don’t often see with polyester. Hence, a little education is in order when we give our gifts.

Fabric Care Symbols

When giving your gifts, it is nice to include care instructions. Your ball band will often have these printed on them. A glance at the symbols can be confusing if you don’t understand them. Here is a little cheat sheet.

While there are more components than these, the most basic are the Washer and Dryer.

The next step helps you determine if and how to use them. Look for a series of dots for temperature, though an X indicates these shouldn’t be used.

A close up of a logo

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For example, these show to machine wash in cold water, but do not tumble dry

The Cleaning Institute and the Textile Affairs websites have more information on cleaning than you thought possible. I learned a lot about general cleaning too.

For a complete listing of care symbols, download this PDF.

Wool Specific Care Tips

For wool specific care, you can’t beat American Wool. This Australian site, Woolmark,  is so well done and full of care tips.

Whether it’s your favorite suit, upholstered chair, or performance wear, the  American Wool Council has care tips for your wool,

Check the care label for stain and spot removal instructions and try to treat as soon as possible. First, dampen the area with cold water or seltzer, then blot dry with an absorbent clean cloth. If that doesn’t do the trick, here are some more specific tips on how to properly treat a variety of stains.

 COCKTAILS

  • Dab lightly with an absorbent, lint-free cloth to remove as much excess liquid as possible. Sponge the area sparingly with a mix of warm water and 1/2 rubbing alcohol.

RED WINE OR FRUIT JUICE

  • Immediately dab the stain with a 3:1 mixture of rubbing alcohol and water.

BLACK COFFEE

  • Mix equal parts alcohol and white vinegar and soak a lint-free cloth in the solution. Gently dab the stained area then apply pressure with an absorbent cloth to draw the coffee from the fabric.

CHOCOLATE, WHITE COFFEE OR TEA

  • Dab gently around the edge of the stain with a cloth soaked in rubbing alcohol. Then follow instructions for black coffee.

BUTTER, GREASE OR SAUCES

  • Lightly scrape the surface of the stain with a spoon or knife to remove any excess oil. Then soak a lint-free cloth in rubbing alcohol and gently dab the area.

BLOOD

  • Remove excess blood immediately with a damp sponge, then gently dab the area using undiluted white vinegar followed by cold water.

INK OR BALLPOINT PEN

  • Dab gently with a lint-free cloth soaked in white spirit. Repeat the action with a cloth soaked in diluted white vinegar or rubbing alcohol.

LIPSTICK OR MAKEUP

  • Rub gently with a lint-free cloth soaked in turpentine or spot cleaning spray or fluid. Rinse with mild soapy water. 

In part 2 we will look at why we like wool and some its characteristics and uses; part 3 will cover some questions we have about superwash wool.

Posted in Book Review, Craft tips, crochet, Crochet Technique

Want to Win the Crochet Jeopardy Game?

All you have to do is ask! So begins Edie Eckman’s best-selling book, The Crochet Answer Book. Subtitled, Solutions to Every Problem You’ll Ever Face, Answers to Every Question You’ll Ever Ask, this little book is one that every crocheter should have in their toolbox.

Every question, I ponder? Nobody says “every” and “all”. That’s hard to live up to. But Edie does a comprehensive and concise job of covering topics from choosing your yarn and hook to finishing. Her catchy chapter titles reel you in: Tense About Gauge; Going in Circles? . . . and Squares and Triangles; A Good Yarn. The Appendix is worth as much as the body of the book. One of my favorite pages there covers common crochet phrases, those sayings that people toss off and you’re left wondering, “What language are they speaking?” Finally, I found it interesting that in her section on reference books, she included this: “Any Japanese stitch dictionary or pattern book you can get your hands on.” My first foray into the world of charted patterns was from a Japanese pattern, so I can relate to her enthusiasm for them.

With cleanly drawn images of both right- and left-handed stitches and techniques, the book is easy to read. The use of wide margins makes it convenient for you to write in your own notes. And its small size – fits right in your hand – means you can keep it in your project bag without difficulty. Then, it is right there when you need it, when you have that question and need an answer. So grab your copy of The Crochet Answer Book today, and you’ll soon be winning the “Crochet Jeopardy” game. I’ll take “Why isn’t my circle round?” for $500, Edie.