Technical editor and yarncrafting expert returns to share tips on finishing your crochet projects. Join her next month for tips on finishing your knitting project.
A great crochet ending begins with fastening off and weaving in. It may also include a great edging. Over the next three days, we will cover these three topics as well as tips and tricks for each one.
Click on any of the images to enlarge them.
You may think there’s not much to say about fastening off, and if you think this you are a little bit right and a little bit wrong. After all, fastening off simply involves cutting the yarn, leaving a long tail, and ensuring that the tail is secured. But, there are subtle ways to vary the fastening off process, especially when working in rounds, to achieve different results.
Perhaps the most common way to fasten off is finish the last stitch of a row or round, cut the yarn, draw the tail all the way through the last loop on the hook, and pull to tighten the resulting knot. This method forms a small, knot near the top of the last stitch. This knot is usually pretty secure and after carefully weaving in the tail the piece is at little risk of unraveling.
Sometimes the little knot can leave a noticeable bump on the edge of a piece. Accordingly, some people fasten off without leaving a knot. Instead of completing the last stitch and then drawing the tail through the last loop on the hook, the tail is drawn all the way through when working the final yarn over of the last stitch. This omits the knot and tiny bump. To be sure that this type of fastening off is sufficiently secure, extra care must be taken weaving in the end.
Flowers have bloomed, the sun is out longer, the temperatures have risen, and – we’re at the beginning of wedding season!
Since many of you are probably looking for handmade elements to include in the ceremony or reception, I’ve gathered a roundup of some of our lovely wedding patterns to help you or the bride-to-be find the perfect wedding project. From bridal accessories, to reception decor and gifts, there’s surely a pattern to help inspire you!
*Pattern in image: Amigurumi Two Peas in a Pod
Crochet Bridal Shawl
Knit Eyelet Shawl
Crochet Bridal Shrug
It’s National Bike Month! Whether you like to cruise through beach towns during vacation or use your bicycle as a primary mode of transportation, there is something so lovely about the riding of a bike. You can cruise carefree, go on an intense workout ride, or travel around knowing you’ve reduced your carbon footprint. Whatever the reason for your ride, why not celebrate Bike Month with a little bicycle yarn-bombing? As we know, temperatures are (finally!) rising, and big, heavy projects can seem even more daunting in the warmer months, but these quick and easy knit and crochet projects are a perfect opportunity to try out new yarns or color combinations and work on great pocket-sized projects. The best part is, when you’re done, you’ll have a truly customized bike that shows off your creative side!
|Knit Bike Seat Cover in Tweed Stripes||Crochet Bike Seat Cover (from Ravelry)|
Though it’s often the 4th of July that we think of for cookouts, May is actually National Barbecue Month! It’s no surprise, really, as May is often the first chance we get to start enjoying warmer weather and pulling the cover off the once snow-covered grill out on the patio. With Memorial Day upon us in just a few short weeks, you may have a barbecue of your own to start preparing for, and why not work on something other than a menu? These patterns, from our site and Ravelry, are the perfect projects to celebrate National Barbecue Month–and enjoy straight through until Labor Day!
|Show off your patriotic side with this easy-to-crochet apron, made with Cotton-Ease. With a pocket in the front for your grilling tools or recipe, this apron is the perfect addition to your barbecue repertoire. Get the pattern here.|
|These simple grill mitts make grabbing hot skewers from the grill easy as can be. They can be knitted or crocheted in Lion Cotton or Kitchen Cotton in whatever color you fancy. Get the knit version here, or get the crochet version here.|
Our hugely popular yarn, Fettuccini, is finally back in stock after blowing off the shelves and selling out several weeks ago. And just in time! Earth Day may have been yesterday, but all of April is Earth Month, and every day is a great opportunity to be eco-friendly. As many Fettuccini enthusiasts already know, this unique yarn is made with remnants of jersey fabric used to create garments. The remnants would otherwise be discarded, so we’re thrilled to breathe a little new life into this special fiber. In honor of its (re-)arrival, I’ve rounded up a handful of the great items you can knit, crochet or craft with this yarn. Click here to learn more about Fettuccini, browse colors and place your order today!
Earth Day is less than a week away, and that means sustainability, eco-friendliness, and recycling is at the forefront of many people’s minds. While crafting is by definition the creation of something new, there’s no reason not to be sustainable while doing so! Lion Brand has an array of different fibers that are eco-friendly, whether that means all-natural, organic fibers or recycled materials. I’ll be featuring all of these great green products over the next week. Today, let’s take a look at Recycled Cotton! This worsted weight blend is made with 72% recycled cotton that is sorted by color to minimize the amount of dye needed to churn out the finished product. The cotton comes from leftover fabric from the production of tee shirts that would otherwise be discarded, much like our Zpagetti yarn. Ready to get started? Here’s a round up of my top ten favorite patterns using Recycled Cotton.
|Crochet Driftwood Pullover||Knit Spring Essential Top|
Spring has finally sprung, and it feels great to transition into a different wardrobe. Spring is a fun season because you can show off multiple pieces with layered outfits, play around with bright and bold colors, or add just a touch of color with soft and sophisticated pastels. Pastel colors aren’t just for babies, as they have become quite popular this season, and they’re an easy family of colors to incorporate into your knitwear.
Pastels add classic sophistication to an outfit, and they pair great with neutrals like gray, white and beige. Below, I’ve gathered a few patterns already knit or crocheted in pastel colors to help you determine what kind of pastel piece you’d like to add to your wardrobe. I personally love the Eyelet Swing Cardi in LB Collection Cotton Bamboo; it would pair very nicely with slim fitting khaki pants and a white top/tank. Take a look at some of the options below for more pastel inspiration (click on the photos to access the patterns on LionBrand.com):
Knit Ballet Wrap
Superwash Merino Cashmere: Seafoam
Crochet Spring Pastel Scarf
Nature’s Choice Organic Cotton:
Crochet Modern Lace Shawl
Martha Stewart CraftsTM/MC Extra Soft Wool Blend:
Crochet Pearl’s Cardigan
Crochet Beach Cover Up
Knit Eyelet Swing Cardi
LB Collection Cotton Bamboo: Gardenia
Thinking of incorporating a pastel piece into your knitwear? Share your thoughts on what type of pastel project you’d like to work on in the comments!
I think that every crocheter and knitter should be open to trying new skills–by challenging yourself as a crafter, you grow your abilities and open up the possibilities of making even more amazing projects.
On a recent episode of YarnCraft (that’d be our podcast or downloadable online radio show), we talked a little bit about 5 crochet techniques we think that everyone should try! Here they are:
This technique involves two passes of the crochet hook (one to pick up loops onto the hook–bearing a resemblance to knit stitches on a needle–and one to work those loops off the hook) and creates a fabric that can look woven or knitted. Click here to learn more about this interesting skill.
Create beautiful lace stitches with just your basic single crochet and a large knitting needle (or a handle…like that of a broomstick)! Find out how in this easy photo tutorial.
Both crocheters and knitters can create wonderful colorwork simply by following a chart. See some examples in this blog post.
This unique looking lace is created with a special tool and a crochet hook. See this helpful video to see how it’s done.
Wonderful braids and raised textures are yours for the making with crochet cables. Learn just how easy this technique actually is with this blog post.
[Basic shell stitch pattern shown in swatch above can be found here; please note the photo above uses 4 colors and is shown sitting upside-down from the stitch pattern photo.]
To learn more about this episode of YarnCraft, click here. Use the player below to listen to the episode directly from this page (this particular segment starts at 27:24):
The beginning of April means the start to a lot of things: spring blooms, warmer weather, and longer days. But as any sports fan knows, the first week of April means one thing: Major League Baseball’s Opening Day. Want to show your support for your favorite team? I’ve compiled a palette of colors for all 32 MLB teams in one of my favorite team-spirit yarns, Hometown USA. Not only is it soft and bulky so that projects will work up in a few evenings by the fire, it also comes in every bold color you can think of to support your favorite teams and schools.
I was lucky enough to attend the New York Mets Opening Day on Monday afternoon, and I brought the Mets-inspired blanket I’m knitting in Hometown USA along, using this color palette below!
|New York Mets|
|Neon Orange – Forth Worth Blue – New York White|
There are a few fashion trends happening in knitwear apparel and accessories as of late, and “animal-like” knitwear is one of them. It seems that everywhere I look, whether it be online, in stores, or at street vendor stations – there are accessories with animal faces or ears on them. The animal scoodies (scarf and hoody combined) and animal hats appear to be the most popular; it’s hard to resist getting these items because they’re so cute.
Lucky for you, since you know how to knit or crochet, you can make your own! Below, I’ve rounded up a few of our patterns for children that incorporate animal elements for “aww” worthy projects. If you’re ambitious, maybe you could knit the Bunny Hat and Booties set just in time for Easter!
|Crochet Fox Scoodie
Vanna’s Choice: Brick, Black
Vanna’s Choice Baby: Lamb
Knit Bunny Hat and Booties
Vanna’s Choice: White, Pink
Vanna’s Choice Baby: Pink Poodle
Knit Toddler Monkey Hat
Vanna’s Choice: Chocolate, Beige
Crochet Toddler Owl Hat
Vanna’s Choice: Barley, Chocolate, White, Terracotta
Knit Baby Animal ‘Froggy’ Hat
*Substitute “Lion Suede” yarn for Chenille in: Emerald, Terracotta, Porcelain
Knit Baby Bear Hooded Jacket
*Substitute “Sasha” yarn for Homespun Thick & Quick
in Pearls or Dove (1 skein for 3-6 mos size)
What do you think about this trend? Have you been incorporating more owl faces or ears into your projects? Share with us in the comments!