Newbie Newsday ~ How To Get Rid Of Those Annoying Gaps In Your Work

Scroll to the bottom of the post to watch a video on this technique.

If you’ve ever worked any project in any stitch other than single crochet, you’ll 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 project is in 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, your first 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, or any stitch for that matter. Instead, it sits just to the right of your first stitch. Then as normal crochet goes, you make your first double crochet in the stitch after (the 2nd stitch of the row) and you end up with this gap that results from the distance of the chain 3 to your first stitch.

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

They will CH 3 and double crochet in the first stitch of the row. 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 edge project with no gaps.

This technique can be substituted whenever you want and for any stitch you want (above a single crochet). The result will be a nice flat edge 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.

But, it is better to make it a little shorter than taller than the stitch you are making. This will keep it more hidden and less likely to stick out.

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!

Check out the video to see the technique in action.

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Newbie Newsday: Why Doesn’t My Crochet Hook Letter Match Yours?

I get this question from time to time.

The simple answer is hook manufacturers have different US letter (as in the United States, Europe and other parts of the world go by the metric measurement) designations for some of their hooks.

It’s hard to find out how and when this started, but my theory is that because we’ve never adopted the metric system here in the US, the manufacturers came up with the US letters to help us out back in the day.

Why Can’t I Just Get The Same Letter Hook As The Pattern Calls For?

Because it could affect your gauge.

For example, the 4mm could be labelled as either a US-F or a US-G, and a 10mm is either a US-N or US-P. And the reverse is true, a US-N could be a 9mm or a 10mm hook depending on the manufacturer.

If the pattern only gives the US letter hook size, you could potentially be off by one whole mm, which will greatly change your gauge (check out my video below to see more on gauge and hook size).

What Should I Do If The Pattern Only Lists The US Letter Size For The Hook?

Start with that hook, only a couple of hooks have the different mm size, most are the same. My favorite hooks:

The Clover Soft Touch have both letters printed on their hooks. Try to make gauge and go from there (again, see my video down below if you need help with gauge).

So Which Letter Should I Choose if A Pattern Only Has The mm Size Listed?

And the simple answer for that is: don’t worry about letter size. If you have a pattern calling for a hook that comes in multiple letters, stick with the mm size. That is the actual measurement of the hook head and not just the letter the company that made it decided to name it.

You will be much closer to what the designer used when making gauge when you first try to make gauge yourself.

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Newbie Newsday: What Is Frogging?

What is Frogging?

You might hear this from a veteran crocheter, “I didn’t get gauge, so I had to frog my project.”

Frogging:

The process of ripping out your crochet project when you find an error. It is called “frogging” because of the sound of saying “rip it, rip it, rip it” over and over.

Now you can throw that into your crochet vocabulary and sound like a pro!

Be sure to subscribe to learn more fun tips and tricks on Newbie Newsdays!

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Free Pocket Super Scarf Pattern and Video Tutorial

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New year, new free pattern.

Leggings and workout pants are all the rage right now. Only problem, they have tiny or no pockets.

Insert the pocket super scarf. Its generous pockets will hold keys, phone, cards and keep your hands warm with room to spare.

Best of all, it’s a free pattern!

Download the pattern and watch the free video tutorial here.

Lefties click here.

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Messy Bun Beanie Free Pattern Workshop

messy bun beanie tutorial free pattern

It’s crazy how many people have asked me for a messy bun beanie tutorial in the last month.

I’ve whipped one up and it’s all ready to go. Using bulky weight yarn, this beanie took me under 2 hours from start to finish.

Any level of crocheter can work this beanie up in an evening.

Download the pattern and watch the free video tutorial here.

Lefties click here.

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Time To Get Some Viewer Requests Out There

I’ve been quietly trying to get my viewer request queue down, and I’m happy to announce, I’ve shortened it a bit. So without further ado, here are the latest tutorials for your viewing pleasure.

We Have Half Double Intarsia Crochet Tutorial

Lefties click here.

Also, How To Change Color When Working Foundation Single Crochet

Lefties click here.

And lastly, How To Crochet An Open Tube or Ring

Lefties click here.

I’m working on the rest of the queue so keep an eye out for those.

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Crochet With A Broomstick?

A viewer requested a broomstick lace tutorial.

I forgot how much I love this stitch and I need to use it more often.

The broomstick lace stitch is a very unique crochet stitch. It’s called broomstick because it’s thought in the old days, actual broomsticks were used to make the loops of this stitch.

The video tutorial below will show you how to work the loops onto your “stick” (which in my case, is a knitting needle) and how to work them back off. I also go into how to change up the loop count when following a pattern.

I will be adding a free pattern workshop very soon for a whole project out of broomstick so if you’ve never tried it, now is the time to get familiar with it.

Be sure to subscribe to the blog if you want notice as soon as the project is added.

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Also here is a link if you like the knitting needle I’m using for the stitch and want to pick one up since this is what I will be using for the free project coming up.

Remember These? Make Your Own Pinwheel With A New Free Motif

Since you can’t actually wear pinwheels on yourself or use them as a blanket, try this new motif instead.

Pinwheel Motif
Pinwheel Motif

The newest Motif of the Month is fun and fast. Using three favorite colors you can make this cute pinwheel like round. You can connect them in many different ways to make many different items.

Download the new pattern here and watch the video tutorial if you need help.

Lefties click here.

Want To Try Amigurumi?

A viewer requested an amigurumi tutorial. So I thought, “What better way to learn amigurumi, than by making an actual project?”

Hence, my newest tutorial.

Tessa The Turtle

Here's Tessa!!
Here’s Tessa!!

Tessa has been around for awhile as a paid pattern on a couple of the sites I sell on, but now I’m offering her up for everyone to try out for free.

She is a really fun and fast way to try out amigurumi.

What is amigurumi exactly?

It’s basically a  Japanese word that means crochet (or knit) stuffed animals.

Making Tessa you’ll learn about all these amigurumi related topics:

  • Shaping pieces with increases and decreases.
  • Different methods of stuffing amigurumis.
  • How to put in safety eyes.
  • How to sew your pieces together.

So head over here to download the pattern and watch the video tutorial now!

Lefties click here.

 

Another Fun Pom Pom and Don’t Forget To Enter

Here’s another pom pom tutorial with the incredibly fun-to-use Clover Pom Pom Maker.

I call it a four quadrant pom pom for lack of a better description.

You can either make it with two colors as shown or make each quadrant a different color. See the video below and don’t forget to enter the giveaway for the Large Size Clover Pom Pom makers on this post here.