Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Crochet Update and More Questions

So I've still been plugging along with the crochet practice. Before I left Florida, I popped into Jo-Ann's and bought a thing of cotton yarn. A skein, I guess. Although I feel weird saying "skein." It's a term for people who know what they're doing. Anyway, my intention was to practice only my chain stitch on the car ride up because Dani said that a good chain stitch is the "foundation" to any crochet project and without a good chain, my work "won't look nice." And she's right. But the chain stitch is sooooo boring. And the crochet stitch is sooooo relaxing and fun.

So I practiced my chain. For about ten minutes. Then I began making another dishcloth. (For what it's worth, I worked on this a lot when we were driving through Kansas, because Kansas is dull, dull, dull. I'm sorry if you live there.) This dishcloth came out..........better. And square-ish. A dishcloth that is all kinds of just adequate. As you can see here:The longer part there, so clearly pointed out by the arrows, was my beginning point. So I think it's safe to say I still need to work on my chain stitch. I know, I know. Also, I feel as if I kept track of my stitches the whole time so I'm thinking my problem might be with my tension. Still. I was really concerned about making my stitches too tight and I think I overcompensated by making some too loose. Especially on my chain. Does that sound feasible?

I think my single crochet stitch is pretty good. Not great, but good enough and continuing to improve. Sometimes downright pretty.

My next questions would be, How do I finish it? Is there a different stitch I do around the sides to neaten it all up and give it a more polished look? Do my sides even look right, because honestly, I'm not sure I'm doing it properly? I went to Youtube but couldn't really narrow down what I needed to do or even what term to search for. A little help here? I've been using this dish cloth as-is and it's not fallen apart yet, so I'm guessing that it's okay.

In the meantime, Jodi was kind enough to send me some yarn, being modeled here by my lovely assistant:Guess what I've begun working on? That's right, another dishcloth. I'm not giving up until I can make one totally square. Either that, or I can start a business crocheting dishcloths for geometry lovers, since apparently I can make things like trapezoids or hexagons without really even trying.

13 comments:

Patricia Stoltey said...

I found one of the easiest ways to learn more stitches and practice, practice, practice is to crochet granny squares -- I've make several gorgeous shawls and baby afghans from my practice squares -- fun, and the projects go faster.

Jessie said...

Maybe you have been making a turning chain and not skipping the first hole? (Assuming you are sc and not dc?)

<3J

Tammie said...

jessie: i think you're right. when i end one row and start another, i havent been skipping the first hole. interesting. i think i may need to go back to youtube and consult my ever valuable, grainy videos. :)

Tammie said...

patricia: i dont think im there yet.....but i love looking at granny squares. one day....one day.

kraftykash said...

Icould answer knitting ?'s but not crochet. Sorry :)Looks like you are off to a good start.

Tammie said...

kashoan: yeah, i feel like at least ive got something to show for my hours spent playing around with it, so thats something. :)

R.H. Ducky said...

i'm impressed with your dishcloth. i can offer no helpful advice here at all. but keep at it, you seem to be able to do anything you put your mind to.

~ The Jolly Bee ~ said...

Hi Tammie -- Definitely skip the first hole when turning. And being the very slow learner that I am, it took me nearly a year to graduate from dishcloths to an afghan. I have a huge pile of dishcloths (enough to last a lifetime or two). Go to a yarn store and see if someone there can show you how to do a granny square -- they're so much more fun than single crocheting.


And by the way -- tell your model that she makes that yarn look absolutely awesome. Enjoy.

hester said...

Dishcloth No. 2 looks great. I'm sure you're ready to move on to whatever takes your fancy. I remember that relaxing rhythmic feeling of crocheting as a teenager. You're almost inspiring me to go out and buy a crochet hook and a skein or two.

Dani said...

WOW! You've come a long way, baby!

Most wonkiness issues come from the whole turning chain thing. It's an easy and common mistake to make. I still make it...or am paranoid that I made it. Especially if my count is off.

To finish it you will want to do a row of stitches all around the edges. I'd suggest starting with a basic single crochet. When you get to your last row, you will go around the edges evenly, adding 3 stitches in the corners. Join with a slip stitch and weave in the ends. Crocheting evenly on the sides can be tricky...if you don't add enough stitches it will be too tight and won't lay flat, too many and it will "ruffle".

Practice. It's a bitch, but the only thing that works. Get used to ripping out. Eventually you do it less and less.

Do you learn well from reading? I have a really good book that I use to this day. I'd be glad to make you a copy and send it your way. If you are game send me your new address and I'll send it up to the great Pacific Northwest.

melissa s. said...

we were at the coast last week too and I swear I have those same shots of my kids controlling the forces of the sea. And, your dishcloths are lovely :-)

Daphne said...

I am unable to contribute to the crochet conversation... however, cute picture of your daughter, and yay for crochet progress!

KQuiltyBee said...

Dishcloths are such a good place to start--pretty sure you didn't skip the first stitch when turning--the chain at the end usually counts as the first stitch of the next row. I would recommend getting a little pattern booklet of dishcloths--I've had some with granny squares, sc, dc, shells, all together. You would learn a lot without much investment. Another good book with lots of good first projects is "Cozy Crochet" (Leapman). I use it as a reference and I've been crocheting a long time. Good luck!