Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Behind the Line
Your First Crochet Project

Hello!  So far in my Behind the Line series we have gathered our crochet materials and done a bit of practicing.  Now it is time for our First Crochet Project!  How exciting! 

Shell Stitch Scarf

What should be your first crochet project?

 I think most people probably start out with crocheting a basic scarf.  It is straight, you don't have to sew anything together, and you don't have to worry about gauge so much.  Scarves are smaller than blankets, so they don't use as much yarn, and don't take as much time.  A skein of yarn should be plenty - no worrying about dye lots.  Pressed for time to make a gift?  This project will only take a couple of evenings to make.  You can get into a rhythm and before you know it you are finished.  Or you may find yourself enjoying it so much that it has become long enough to use as a mummy costume wrap!

The scarf in the picture is just one color light blue and one stitch.  Simple, functional and it looks nice. Simple doesn't have to be boring.

How to make a unique scarf?

You could change color.  Use your favorite sports team colors, a holiday colors, or monochromatic of your favorite color.  

Try using different kinds of yarn.  Alternate a bulky yarn and a big hook with a lighter weight yarn and a small hook.  This will put a scallop to the scarf edges and give a bumpy feeling to the scarf.  You could use sparkly yarn for a certain design element to make it stand out and plain yarn for the rest of the scarf.  

Change up the stitch.  You could make the first and last rows be a different stitch than the middle.  You could make each row be a different stitch. 

Switch design patterns.  Maybe you start out making a diamond design and in the middle go to a basic stitch making no design and then back to a diamond design.

Edging and Fringe.  You could make the whole scarf a basic stitch.  When you are finished, go back and add some lacy or furry edging, add fringe or pom-poms.  

What was your first crochet project?

Friday, November 24, 2017

Handmade Christmas Order Deadline is December 15th!

Crochet Striped Elf Hat
Striped Elf  Hats

How do you spend the day after Thanksgiving? Do you go on the hunt for special black Friday deals?  Do you hunker down around the table for a family card game?  Do you turn on the Christmas carols and take advantage of the extra company to get a little Christmas decorating done?  

Our family is more of the hunkering down at home to enjoy Thanksgiving leftovers, a card or board game, and maybe at least getting out the Christmas decorations type. 

 Leave a comment below and share your day after Thanksgiving activities.  You might inspire someone to try something new!

Handmade Christmas Gift Shopping at LiLphanie's Line

  • Get a free gift with your Dec. purchase while supplies last.
  • Dec. 15th Christmas Order Deadline:  If you are purchasing a gift for Christmas, be sure to order it by Dec. 15th so it gets to you on time.
Where else can you find me to see what is happening?

Thank you for choosing LiLphanie's Line!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Behind the Line: Crocheting Practice Tips

We have discussed and gathered what we need to crochet.  Here are my previous posts in my Behind the Line series to get caught up: crochet hooks, yarn, crochet patterns, and crochet notions.

Now it is time to sit down and practice.  Just like with any new endeavor, there is patience and practice involved with learning crochet.

Crochet Tension

Tension is how tight or loose you crochet, or how you feed the yarn from the yarn holding hand to the hand holding the hook. The goal is to keep the tension even throughout the whole project.  If you are making a blanket or scarf you may either start loose and end tight, or start tight and end loose.  The part that you crocheted loose will be wider than the part you crocheted tight.  If your project is misshaped it could be because you changed your tension in the middle of the project.

I find I have to adjust my tension from yarn to yarn.  Cotton yarn doesn't slide through my fingers like 4 ply acrylic yarn, so I find I have to loosen my tension when working with cotton yarn.  Last year I tried working with furry yarn.  It took me awhile to get used to crocheting with a huge hook and having to keep my tension loose.  So even when you know how to crochet there still is a learning curve from crochet project to project.

Crochet Stitches

I have talked a little bit about the basic crochet stitches such as chain and single crochet.  If you are looking to add a texture or a pattern to your crochet project, there are countless other stitches built upon the basic crochet stitches.  There are too many to mention and ones that I am still discovering.  I have recently come across some interesting 3D crochet stitches when browsing ideas online.  Before you begin any project with a stitch you are not familiar with I would recommend practicing the stitch first.  This way you know how hard, or time consuming it is.  Then you are not stuck in the middle of a blanket with a stitch that you don't like, or is just taking more time than you realized to make.

Crochet Pattern

Sometimes it is the pattern itself that takes practice and patience.  It may take a few reads or even different eyes to understand what it is asking you to do.  One person's way of writing a pattern can be different from another person's.  Then there is the pattern typo that can mess with your head if something doesn't look right in the product.

Crocheting Practice Tips

One good thing about crocheting is you can pull on the yarn to unravel it and redo if a mistake is made.  If you happen to get frustrated with a project though, before you unravel, try stepping away from it.  You may even want to start another project.  Sometimes something I learn from one project clicks and then when I go back to a work-in-progress with this new information, I can then continue the project.