Thursday, February 2, 2012


I was an unhappy camper when I was crocheting along and *ouch* a sliver of aluminum from my hook went into my thumb. I got out my emery board and sanded it a little, hoping that would take care of the problem. It was where the size is on the thumb rest. I've never had that happen before, but this is the hook I use most. I guess they don't last "forever".

As you know, I love crochet hooks and have quite a nice collection of them, but I do have my favorites. :-)

I happened across this article in my e-mail which shows the parts of a hook.

The link was given in a different article about the Etimo hook. I have a few Etimo hooks. I haven't used them much, but I do like the feel of the handle. I generally like a longer shaft on my hooks. When the handle is thick I use the knife hold to work and it's not as fast as my pencil hold. But it's no fun to get a sliver of anything in your finger though, so I'll b watching my well-used hooks closely.

Do you have a favorite hook? Beware I might get hook-envy and decide I must have one just like it! LOL Crochet with Dee posts pictures of her hooks in her new blog Dee's Hooks and Stitches. I love looking at them and want one of everything she shows. I created a similar blog of my own, but have not put anything in it yet. I have so many hooks. That could keep me busy for some time to come. Guess I need to get that project going, huh?

Well, that is all for now, though certainly not all I can say about hooks. LOL

Happy crocheting!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

filet crochet

Yes, I'm still into filet crochet! LOL I'm planning to do a video tutorial on the method, but am waiting for a special cable to come in so I can move my camera further from the TV. I get feedback now in the form of a high pitched whine. *holds hands over ears*

In any case, I'm still making pieces. I would never have thought I'd get so into this method of crochet. I've known how to do it for years, but just never was inspired to delve further than making the tutorial at .

There are a few basic things you need to decide before starting a filet piece. These can be done in any order. This is just how I thought of them.

You need to decide if you will work with thread or yarn.

Then you need to decide if you are going to use a 3 dc mesh or a 4 dc mesh. I prefer 3 because I don't like a large hole. That is because I work with yarn, not thread. With thread, it wouldn't matter as much. 3 dc mesh (block or square)   means each mesh or block will use 3 stitches which will be either 3 dc or (dc, ch 1, dc).

Then you need to decide on a pattern. You can use just about any chart designed for filet or cross-stitch or make your own. To make the chart I am using now, I just made a table in Microsoft Word and put x where I wanted my design. You can use Excel or a photo program or even graph paper. Whatever works for you. There are programs out there that can take your photo and make a chart for you, too. I don't have that, however, so I used what I had. I like to add numbers to remind me what row/column I'm on as well. However, best to make sure you're DONE with your design before adding numbers as changing them afterwards is a pain.

Then you need to decide if you are going to use the open mesh or the closed block to make your design.

Some folks like to work with a triple crochet. This is fine. However, some pictures will not come out the same if you use a different type of stitch than the pattern suggests. That is because a triple crochet is taller than a double but the chain between the stitches remains the same size. So when you make (dc, ch 1, dc) it will end up a different height than (tr, ch 1, tr).

Below is a fleur-de-lis I made using a pattern designed for me by my daughter. I decided to use the open mesh to make my pattern. This is a 3 dc mesh. See where that tail is at the top? That is where I ran out of yarn, almost at the end. :-( I did not have a specific use in mind for the square but still ... For this pattern it doesn't matter in which direction you read the chart as it is symmetrical. In a non-symmetrical pattern, it is important to read the pattern chart right to left on odd rows and left to right on even rows.

To remember where I am in the pattern, I use two highlighters, a green and a pink. I mark each row as I finish it. Sometimes I mark as I go along if it is a lot of changes.

Here is the piece I finished last night. Remember when I did Austin for my niece's afghan a while back? I decided to use that same type of charting to make this one. Since it is worked in black, you can't see the individual stitches in the photo, but you can read the name. A disadvantage to filet is that you have to have a suitable background to be able to see the design.

For this afghan, the plan is to make a few filet pieces that relate to the recipient and supplement that with squares or ... something. It's just a general plan. LOL

Today is certainly a good day for crocheting as it is storming outside right now.

Oh, I guess I will also mention that figuring your foundation chain correctly is important too. That was confusing to me at first, but I think I have it down now.

What I do is count the number of blocks I need. I multiply that times 2, then add either 3 if my first block is solid, or 4 if my first block is open. That is my foundation chain for a 3 dc mesh.

While working the piece if there are a bunch of solid blocks in a row, you can figure how many stitches you need in the same way. Number of blocks x 2 plus 1.

The reason these are tricky is that if you have two blocks side by side they share one stitch. So 2 blocks would be 5 stitches, not 6. 2 x 2 = 4 + 1 = 5. Just remember that and easy peasy.

Good luck!

Happy crocheting!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Doctor Who character afghan

Tada!  All the filet pieces have been put together into an afghan.

As noted in my previous entry, I did redo the Dalek in the same yarn so he would match.

The finished size is approximately 48" square. The length might be an extra inch or so, but really the Ood sticks out on the side an inch or so. It balances out. :-) Since this is just for myself, I didn't worry about that. If I were to make another, I'd be more careful with my Ood, perhaps use a smaller hook for the solid mesh heavy section. I don't know.

At the top we have the Adipose and K-9. I made an extra piece to add to the side there. At the bottom are the Ood and the Dalek.

Because I know one day I will come back and be looking for this information, I'm posting it here. LOL

On the Dalek, I added an open mesh row at the top and bottom, which made my chart 50 x 61. Without the added rows, it would have been 50 x 59.

On the Ood, I added 2 columns on either side. I I think I also added 3 rows at the top and 4 rows at the bottom. I also worked an additional solid mesh row at  the bottom of the Ood body. The finished chart was 50 x 59. That is because the first Dalek I made was 50 x 59, but when I went to put the pieces together I was short due to the size of the other pieces.

I worked the Adipose just as shown 40 x 40.

For K-9, I added 3 columns on either side which made it 50 wide. I added one row to the top and bottom. I also added one row between the solid mesh row and the bottom of K-9 and one row between the top solid mesh row and K-9's head. That got it to 38. If I had been a smart cookie, I'd have added 2 more rows and made it 40 and kept the Dalek at 59. That would have given me two piece 40 high and 2 pieces 59 high. I still would be short on the width.

To excuse myself, I did measure them before I started the Dalek and it looked like I needed 2 more rows to make it come out. I think what got me off is the edging around each piece. That added a little to the stitches.

In any case, it worked out okay. It was a little tricky at the joining, but not overly difficult.

I made a separate piece 8 mesh x 40 mesh to fill in the width of the piece as the Adipose and K-9 did not fill it up.

I generally do my side edgings with a hook one size smaller than the one I use for the body so if you watch me work, I'm always changing hooks. LOL

After I had these put together, I did 2 rounds sc edging, then a round of (sc, ch 3, sk 1).

I'm thinking I might like to do one using a different color for each piece. Or maybe a negative image where the solid are open. Interesting idea, I think. I'd have to redo the graph though because I am doing that now with a different piece and I find I automatically think white square, open. :-)

So that is my Whoghan. I really enjoyed working these. It was a challenge, but fun.

Happy crocheting!