4 Strands? Whaaaaaat? How To Work With Multiple Strands

Lots of yarn!!
Lots of yarn!!

The Owl Basket pattern above uses four strands of bulky yarn at once to make huge stiff stitches. I’ve had a couple of requests on the best way to crochet like this, so I made a video.

The tutorial below will show you not only how to work with multiple strands of yarn, but will help those wanting their Owl Basket to be as stiff as possible.  It also gives some other reasons why you might want to work with multiple yarns in your own projects. So watch on!

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It’s Here! The New Free Pattern I Promised!

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Here it is! The pattern I promised to make from my Knitcrate yarn.

I’m calling this project a scarf cowl because it’s long enough to wear as a scarf, or you can double it up to keep your neck nice and toasty. It’s really easy and only a one row pattern repeat, so even beginners should be able to make it.

I’m loving the color combination Knitcrate sent me and in the step-by-step video tutorial that accompanies this pattern, you can learn how to make the color changes on this project without ever having to cut your ends. That means the only weaving in you do is your starting and ending tails! Yes way!

So go download the pattern and get started now! (Lefties click here)

Basics for Intarsia Crochet

After a seemingly never ending string of road trips during the holidays, I’m finally back and able to get to work on viewer request videos. Here is the first of many to come.

Learn the basics for Intarsia crochet with the video below. You’ll not only learn how to change colors and read an intarsia chart, but I’ll also give helpful tips on tools to use and the difference between Intarsia, Fair Isle, and Tapestry crochet. I’ll also be putting up a few more Intarsia videos that delve deeper into the technique.

Remember, if you have a request for a video, leave it in the comments and I’ll add it to the list; and be sure to follow the blog so you get the newest tutorials delivered right to your inbox.

Here’s a Way to Get Rid of Those Gaps at the Ends of Your Project When Making Turning Chains

If you’ve ever worked any project in any stitch other than single crochet, you will know what gaps I’m talking about.

When you start each new row of a crochet project, you will perform a “turning chain”, for example, if your row is all double crochet, the normal turning chain will be a chain 3. You make this turning chain so your row will have the proper starting height it needs to keep the entire row even. If you leave it out and just start double crocheting in your first stitch, that stitch will be squashed down and not look the same as the rest.

However, that chain 3 isn’t actually worked into the first stitch, so when you go to work just first actual double crochet in the next stitch you end up with this gap that results from the distance of the chain 3 to your first stitch.

I have a video tutorial of this technique here.

My finger on the left is in one of these gaps, you can also see other gaps on the right of the work and two rows above my finger..
My finger on the left is in one of these gaps, you can also see other gaps on the right of the work and two rows above my finger..

One way some people eliminate this gap is to not count the chain 3 as your first stitch and then go ahead and make the chain 3 and make a double crochet in that first stitch space. But again, the result is not great. Now you get a bump every other row from the chain 3 being forced to stick out from the stitch that was made in the first stitch space.

You can see how the ends are very wavy looking. That is the chain 3 being forced out and creating a bump.
You can see how the ends are very wavy looking. That is the chain 3 being forced out and creating a bump.

There is a fix for both of these problems. This technique can be substituted whenever you want and for any stitch you want. The result will be a nice flat edged project with no gaps.

Look at my sides, no gaps and no waves!
Look at my sides, no gaps and no waves!

This technique is super simple and is the same for any stitch you use it for. All you will simply do instead of making your normal turning chain, is make a super extended single chain. Let me show you.

Your first step in this technique is to take the loop on your hook and pull it out to the height of the stitch you are making. Don’t worry if it’s not the exact same height, somewhere in the ballpark will be good enough.

Pull the chain out for the normal height of whatever stitch you are working. This project is using double crochets.
Pull the chain out for the normal height of whatever stitch you are working. This project is using double crochets.

Next, secure this long loop by making a chain stitch at the top.

Just yarn over and pull through the loop to make your chain as usual.
Just yarn over and pull through the loop to make your chain as usual.

Now you have a skinny “turning chain” that will sit right next to the double crochet you will make in the first stitch.

You will make your first double crochet (or whatever stitch you are working) in the first stitch. No skipping.
You will make your first double crochet (or whatever stitch you are working) in the first stitch. No skipping.

Whether the project says that the turning chain counts as a stitch or not, when using this technique, you will make the skinny turning chain and a stitch in the first stitch you come to. That means you don’t count the skinny turning chain as a stitch. In other words, it will be ignored when counting stitches.

Here is the finished skinny turning chain and first double crochet shown together.
Here is the finished skinny turning chain and first double crochet shown together.

Now your project will have nice edges and no gaps!

Have any other great turning chain tips. Let us know below!

Single Crochet Join Tutorial

Today’s tutorial will show you how to join two pieces of crochet together using the simple single crochet stitch. This join is about the most sturdy you can make, so it’s great for projects that will get lots of wear and tear. To see a video tutorial on this method, click here.

To begin this join you will put the two pieces you want to join together with the right sides facing each other.

Line up the stitches for easy joining.
Line up the stitches for easy joining.

 

With a slip knot already on your hook, insert it through the first stitch of both pieces to begin your join.

 

You can enter you hook under both loops or just the inside or outside.  I like to put my hook under both loops.
You can enter you hook under both loops or just the inside or outside.
I like to put my hook under both loops.

 

Next, just like a single crochet, yarn over and pull up the loop through both pieces.

 

If it's difficult to pull the hook through, separate the pieces slightly so you can pull through just two loops at a time.
If it’s difficult to pull the hook through, separate the pieces slightly so you can pull through just two loops at a time.

 

Now, yarn over and finish off your first single crochet.

 

You can begin your first joining stitch wherever you need, it doesn't just have to be at the end of your pieces.
You can begin your first joining stitch wherever you need, it doesn’t just have to be at the end of your pieces.

 

Important Step: Before beginning your next stitch, tighten down the previous stitch. This gives a nice tight join.

 

Tighten down every stitch you make the same way.
Tighten down every stitch you make the same way.

 

 

 

Continue down your entire seam single crocheting into every stitch you come to.

 

If there are not any stitches to work into (like side rows of pieces) just work them as evenly across as you can.
If there are not any stitches to work into (like side rows of pieces) just work them as evenly across as you can.

 

Once you reach the end, fasten off and weave in the ends. I’ve used a contrasting color for this tutorial so you can see exactly what shows through to the right side of your work.

 

If this was worked in the green, this seam would be pretty much invisible.
If this was worked in the green, this seam would be pretty much invisible.

 

Be warned that this join will create a raised seam. If you need a flat seam you can try the mattress seam or whipstitch seam which will give you a nice flat seam.

 

This seam super sturdy construction makes a three dimensional seam.
This seam’s super sturdy construction makes a three dimensional seam.