Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Raised diagonal, maya mesh II, mitered squares

I finished the Raised Diagonal square. It really wasn't very difficult to do once you saw where you place your FPdc. The square is a combination of FPdc and sc. The front post stitches are what makes the "diagonal". Very nice. I used mystery yarn that was in my stash, but I think it is Simply Soft or a similar yarn. I know many people love this yarn, but it is not my personal favorite.

However, the skein was sitting there, and I couldn't move my police box to work on it at the time, so I continued making squares.

Here is the Maya Mesh II. It is on p. 111 in the Complete Photo Guide (link in column at right). This is probably not the best picture in the world. The multiple was 11 + 8 so it was 19 or 30. I chose 19. I should have chosen 30. LOL In order to finish at a dc row my "square" is actually a rectangle. The square was easy to work but I think would have done better in a different yarn. I did add a sc edging around to help it keep its shape since it is such an open pattern. If I were using this in a project, I'd probably add more rounds or at the least add to the sides to square it up.

I also finished a miter square. My square didn't come out square. I think I need to do this one again. Although I came out with the proper number of stitches at the end - the very last row is sc3tog - it is pretty obvious it is quite off. I'm going to have to work this again.

I have another book that has a mitered square in it - Teach Yourself Visually Crocheting (p.158). I compared the methodology of the two and it was the same but the Visually Crocheting book says work a foundation chain of an odd number plus 1 for the tch.  Well, an odd number plus 1 is an even number, is it not? Heh. Am I being picky? I will work 34, since I worked 33 for the photo guide one. .

There are also some miter-square looking squares 200 Crochet Blocks for Blankets, Throws, and Afghans: Crochet Squares to Mix and Match (p. 89). These are worked in the round so they are different in methodology but similar in finished look. I might have to try that method as well.

In any case, here I am working the mitered square again. So here is the method you need to use. Chain that even number. Your first row is single crochet so you are going to "lose" one stitch, giving you an odd number of stitches to work your rows. You are going to do a single crochet decrease over 3 stitches. This is what is termed sc3tog. In other words, you will insert your hook in the first stitch, yo and pull through, insert your hook into the next stitch, yo and pull through, insert your hook into the third stitch, yo and pull through. Now you have four loops on hook. YO and pull through all four stitches.

[This paragraph revised]How do you know where to start your decrease? That is easy peasy. In an odd number of stitches there will always be a center stitch. You need to use the stitch before and after the center stitch which means you need three stitches for your decrease. Take your odd number that remains after you do your first row (one less than your foundation chain) and subtract 3. In my case my foundation chain was 34. I made my first sc in the 2nd chain from hook, giving me a total working number of 33 stitches, so I subtract 3 to get 30. To give me the same number of stitches on each side, I divide 30 by 2. That means I need 15 stitches on either side. It would work the same no matter what number you choose to use for your foundation chain.

On succeeding rows, you will work one less stitch on each side because you have done that decrease. You will also continue to do the decrease in the center three stitches. Also, you will always chain 1 and turn on each row.

In my second mitered square I have made several changes. First I made the additional chain to give me 33 working stitches. Second, I worked my sc rows as traditionally done, rather than skipping the first sc and using the turning chain as a stitch as in the photo guide. Third I did not go into the back loop as I normally do for my first row, but worked into the chain in the traditional manner. I don't know if any of these things made a difference at all. I think what most likely happened is that I miscounted at the beginning due to the fact that I was watching LOST at the time LOL and messed myself up.

My second finished square is closer to square but still not perfectly square. I am guessing this is probably due to my tension / gauge. 

I was more successful with my third (and final) mitered square. This is the one from 200 Crochet Blocks  . First off, it uses double crochet, which is my stitch of choice. It is worked in a similar manner to granny squares with a 2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc in the one corner and stitches to either side. In the final "round" you work 5 dc there. I only went to 6" and jumped to the final round for my last one. It is 6" on three sides and 5 3/4" on one side, so I didn't quite make the goal, but closest I came. :-) Guess this just isn't my square, but I gave it a good chance.

That's all for today. If you work these squares, let me know how it works out for you. I'll probably wait a few days before tackling more squares. I need to finish that police box and I'm also working on hats for the Osmond challenge. I've made one Donnie and Marie hat and three more Maries. :-)

Happy crocheting!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Reference books for squares

I don't think I ever listed the books of squares and stitches that I had listed at Crafty Corral, so I am adding it now and on the navigation bar under CAL reference books for your convenience. They are from Amazon and I do get a small percentage - very small heh - credited to my account if you purchase. I've yet to receive any money from Amazon at all so I'm not making a killing here. The links are given because these are books that I enjoy and I think you will enjoy also.

First off, there's a square I've been wanting to make in
Teach Yourself Visually Crocheting (Teach Yourself Visually)
The square is the mitered square on p. 158-9. That's first up on my list though it's not technically a "square" book.

200 Crochet Blocks for Blankets, Throws, and Afghans: Crochet Squares to Mix and Match
Some of the squares are just variations in different colors, but there are still a LOT of squares to do.

The Crochet Stitch Bible
That one might be out of print as there wasn't a price listing on it. I don't know why it would be since it was published 2004 and it's such a nice book. Smaller size, spiral bound so easy to keep open where you want it. It gives multiples, which I love, so I can make it any size I want.

365 Crochet Stitches a Year: Perpetual Calendar
This one is also smaller size and spiral bound, but paper cover rather than hardcover like the other one.

I have already made many of the squares in this book
101 Crochet Squares (1216)
It's one of the first pattern books of squares that I got and I've used it a lot. I have a few favorites. #96 is my all time favorite. I've made dozens of them.

Another book I've had for a long time and used often is
63 Easy-to-Crochet Pattern Stitches (Leisure Arts #555)
This leaflet has been around a long time. There were some errors in the first printing. I'm guessing they've ironed those out over time.

A recent acquisition is
50 Fabulous Crochet Squares (Leisure Arts #4420)

You might remember I bought this book for the Janie Herrin squares. Lovely squares. Lovely book. Squares are many different sizes. (Note: The Janie Herrin memorial is still up if you missed it first go round.)

I also have the Chris Simon patterns from Lulu. If that link works, scroll down to see her other books. I'm also seeing the Crochet Dude's Flying Afghan. Love his patterns! 

If all goes as planned - when does it ever? - I hope to use all of these in the coming months but will always try to provide alternate ideas for those who don't have the pattern in question. Remember that your local library is a good source for patterns. There are also used book services online such as and Amazon's used books. Buyer beware, but I've used these successfully in the past especially for out of print items.

So how do I change the date on this post so it shows as the first post or at the top all the time or whatever...?

Happy crocheting!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Raised Diagonal

The next square I'm going to attempt is the Raised Diagonal on p. 136 in ... you guessed it The Complete Photo Guide to Crochet.

I'll give you a tip on the one I plan to do after that. Actually the next few. I intend to try to Catherine's Wheel and also a mitered square. I know there are YouTube videos on the wheel and possibly on the other as well. I'll keep you posted on that as I find info. Catherine's Wheel is on p. 137 and mitered square on p. 126 of the photo guide. After that, I am thinking I will work in the mesh stitch section. There are some pretty things in there.

I don't have anything to show you today as I haven't begun the squares yet. I had a hook incident last night which put me off a bit. Broke my fave hook. Hubby repaired it and we will see how it does. More details at Crafty Corral on that.

I might also mention that if you are new to crochet, you can get a headstart on some thing it took me a while to learn by reading Lily Chin's book - Lily Chin's Crochet Tips & Tricks: Shortcuts and Techniques Every Crocheter Should Know
I have so enjoyed this book. It's small so easy to carry around with you for a quick read of a point or two.

Another book I think would be useful to have in your crochet library, and which I just purchased myself, is All About Crochet: The Dictionary of Crochet Stitches and Techniques. When you have a question about a term or procedure, this will be a handy book to have around. I'll post a longer review when I receive my copy.

I apologize to those who read both blogs and get a repeat of info. I know I need to choose one or the other, but for now I am concentrating on squares and new patterns here at The Crochet Cabana Blog with the odd bit of info I want to be sure you have if you need it.

Hope to have some photos later in the week.

Happy crocheting!