Sunday, December 26, 2010

Crochet 101


101 Stitches to Crochet
edited by Erika Knight
Published by Interweave Press.
one of their Harmony Guides



This box of cards featuring 101 crochet stitches was part of my Christmas present from Ed. There is an accordion folded booklet with some basic instructions and visual how-tos for the several basic stitches and their abbreviations which will help me learn to read patterns finally. There is a card with a key to iconic images of stitches and other instruction used in the graphic patterns.

The rest of the cards, measuring 5x6.5 inches, feature one stitch per card with a nice actual size photo of a sample swatch of the stitch on one side and the instructions on the back in both words (with abbreviations) and a graphical pattern to follow for however many rows are needed to complete one iteration of a pattern.

The card I've featured here is of the stitch I chose to use on the baby afghan I'm going to make for my niece in Montana who is due January 7th. I won't get it done in time obviously but I hope to finish by early spring. It isn't a winter afghan anyway. I'm using bamboo thread size 10. I made that bookmark seen there in the middle to practice the stitch and pattern and experiment with hook sizes and so forth.

The stitch is called Interweave and lends itself well to multi-color patterns. I'm going to have fun with it on the bookmarks too. I'm picturing dozens of color combinations that have me mentally drooling as I type.

The pattern you see there in the bookmark is what I'll be doing for the baby afghan. It alternates white with the five pastels: blue, lavender, pink, green, and yellow. In order to get the interesting effect of color on color you must change thread on every row. That bookmark has 23 rows. Which means it had 46 tails to tuck.

I have no idea how many rows the afghan will take but I intend to make it approximately 33X44 inches probably including the 2 inch fringe on all four sides. On the bookmark, when using the size 6 hook which I think I've settled on, I got about 10 stitches to the inch working a row. I got about 4 rows to the inch.

I haven't done the math yet to figure out how many stitches per row and how many rows I'll likely need to do. I'll have to do that in order to know how long to make the starting chain.....

33X10 = 330. 44x4 = 176.

Yikes. How to I keep track once I get past ten chains? I have trouble with that doing the bookmarks that use 11 to 40 odd chain.

Ai Yi Yi.

The bookmark with 13 stitches by 23 rows took me most of a night to work. Of course I was learning the stitch and there was the factor of having to stop and switch threads after every thirteen stitches so I could not build up a rhythm. I guess I'll see how it goes once I start working the 330 stitch rows.

I hope I have it done before the kid starts school!!!!

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