Showing posts with label Crochet Tips & Tricks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Crochet Tips & Tricks. Show all posts

Thoughts About Reading Crochet Patterns


Lately, Mom will say to me, "To bad that I don't read crochet patterns."  Which seems very strange to me, as my Mom is where I get my 'can do' attitude, and were I learned to crochet.

There is the fact that I taught myself to read patterns back in the early 2000's, so I guess. And, does this mean that she freeform crocheted all that she ever made? Yes, yes she did. 

Wow, Mom! She made so many crochet things! Even made her own Christmas Tree, and repeated her design. One Christmas she even me a barbie sweater that was my favorite gift that year, and a huge King size zigzag blanket another year. Thinking back, it is true, all the items that we had crocheted or knitted together, not one of them was from reading a pattern.  

Mom was always more into fabric. In 2001, I was starting to get hooked on yarn. I had found a fantastic book at a local thrift store that was a crochet, knitting, and tatting dictionary, and when I found the crochet section in the book, I was fascinated. I had never seen so many crochet stitches!  I began to learn crochet stitches, one by one, both by written instruction, as well as the diagrams in the book, that are exceptionally drawn. I attribute these diagrams to the ease that I later had figuring out how to read crochet graphs, which are actually much easier than even written patterns. I think that my Grandmother read the square crochet graphs.

At the yarn store, I would pick up a free pattern here or there, and would figure out what it was saying, even if I did not make the item, it was good practice reading the patterns.

Fearlessly crocheting with my trusty book, I added to my stitch knowledge, and began to write my own patterns. Knowing stitches was great, but I wanted things that I could not find patterns for, like a bikini, so I created my own, like my Mom πŸ’œ. 

Now we have the internet, so there is way less excuses, and way more resources. 

'I don't read patterns.'    I say, Mhhh, 'If you want to, you probably can, it really isn't that difficult.' Having a hook and yarn on hand would be the biggest hurdle for most.

With crochet, there are not as many hard and fast rules that you must follow to create something, so you have more freedom to freeform crochet, and it still turn out beautiful. This is one reason that I've preferred crochet to knitting from the beginning of my hooked on yarn journey. Silly me, I like to color outside the lines, sometimes. If you know basic crochet stitches, you can usually make something simple.

With all of the many resources available in this technology age, there really isn't much excuse, except maybe you just really don't want to, and that is okay, maybe later. You can still grab a hook and crochet away, like Mom, with her can do attitude.

For those that Do want to read crochet patterns, there are many great resources. Searching for specific stitches and tutorials, patterns free and paid, all a breeze with so many great crocheters having shared a treasure trove of information on Youtube, they're blogs, and more. A yarn lovers dream. Though that is another story, i didn't always like yarn. The 70's had to pass for that to happen ;) .

Check the list of links here on Doily Designs to find some of my favorite crocheters to draw inspiration from. One of these fantastic crocheters sharing on Youtube is Naztazia. Donna has great stitch tutorials for beginners and advanced crocheters.

My Mom is also my inspiration for making my patterns readable for all, and she inspired the addition of lots of photos, graphs, and videos coming soon.

Thank you for stopping by.

Best wishes, and happy crocheting!

Crochet Join with Single Crochet

There are a few new to me stitches that I have been using lately that have me blown away at their ease and effectiveness.

One of these new stitches is the Sc Join or BegSc. I will post how to do it, in case it is new to others as well. If you know this stitch, and/or what it is called in patterns, please share. Some of you may have already been doing this for years, others, like me may have never heard of joining without a slip stitch.

To do BegSc/ScJoin, you start like you are doing a Sl st, with a loop knotted on your hook, insert hook where you want to attach it, YO, pull thru 2 loops on the hook = Sc made, with no slip stitch.  Note that it helps to keep the yarn loops loose a little to pull thru, as well as holding the tail, and after you have made your stitch, you can pull it tighter, as needed.

From now on, when I am able, I just make the BegSc, no slip stitch. This BegSc works just doing your Sc, which can be your stitch, or the Sc can be expanded to make a Hdc, Dc, Tr, and works very nicely with the Naztazia's BegDc/Tr beginning stitch, previously mentioned here on Doily Designs.

Wow, so simple. How did I not think of or find this sooner?   I guess sometimes we can get stuck in our ways and believe that they are the only ways. πŸ˜‚  

I have attempted to make you guys a video with the BegSc as well as the BegDc. Hopefully with practice the videos will get better. πŸ˜…


Photo for aesthetics. Watch for the Dark Brown Lotus Mandala Doily Collection coming soon. 

Thank you for stopping by.

Best wishes, and happy crocheting!

Seamless Crochet Stitch Combination;

Great stitch from Naztazia Crochet by Donna Wolfe This stitch combination is so great that you will definitely be seeing it in a few of my patterns. 

Donna Wolfe does a stitch combination that gives you a nearly perfect beginning Dc stitch, giving you nearly seamless join, and straight edges on rows.

 Watermelon Doilies below, one made with the old Ch 3 method, and the other with the new 2 Sc method (BegDc). Can you tell the difference?  

The old method wasn't that bad in the first place, but this new stitch definitely has it beat. If you notice, it is even straighter than the Ch 3 method!


This new favorite, simple combination of stitches keeps your edge straight, seamless, and makes crocheting into sides easier. 

Once you use the new stitch combination, you may want to apply it to all your crochet projects that use Hdc, Dc, or Tr to begin a rnd or row.

There are a lot of different methods I've tried, and some work better than others. Donna Wolfe, in my opinion, has come up with the best solution. Its elegant simplicity, function, and ease, give it an A+ in my book.  This stitch combination works for Dc as well as Hdc.  Donna uses other methods for Hdc and Htr, but I find her method to work great as;

2 Sc = Dc or Hdc

3 Sc = Htr or Tr

I like to refer to this stitch as  2Sc/Hdc or 2Sc/Dc in my patterns to reduce repetition. 

But I would bet it is called BegDc, or is this what is refer to as standing Dc? πŸ€” 

(Not a standing Dc, though, that seems to work just as well. Find how to do a standing Dc on Moogly's Blog)

(May 11, 2024, Okay, so I take it back and will be using Beg Dc, Beg Hdc in my patterns. This just looks better, and sounds familiar πŸ€” . Sorry for any inconvenience.)

To do;

Do not ch 1,  Sc into the top of last stitch, ScFlo of sc just made, and you have just made the best ever beginning stitch for Dc. When working into this stitch on next rnd/row, crochet into the top sc.  So elegantly simple.

1) Sc in top of stitch


2) ScFlo in sc just made


Done! = Hdc or Dc


To use for Tr, just add another ScFlo to the above steps. 

3Sc/Tr = Sc in stitch, ScFlo, ScFlo = Tr

Visit here to see my demonstration of the Begsc and BegDc, or visit Youtube to see Donna explaining her cool stitch combo.

Thank you for stopping by.

Best wishes, and happy crocheting!

BTW.... Of the 2 Watermelon Doilies, the new join is the one on the right ;)


Dye Lot Discussion

Choosing yarn in the same dye lot can be crucial to a fabulous crochet project. Below is a great example of why to purchase your yarn in the same dye lot when crocheting, especial for larger, solid color items. 

Below I had crocheted exclusively indoors, with low light, and never checked the dye lot, and imagine my surprise when I went outside to take photos and this is what I shot. I was very disappointed, when I was expecting to see one solid color, and saw this. So you can see how the over all design of your finished item can be affected.

Since this experience, it has been imperative to some of my designs to check the dye lot # on each yarn skein, and make sure they are the same dye lot #'s. Otherwise, you could end up with all your time and work put into something, only to finish and realize this costly mistake. 


Even knowing this, it can be difficult, if not impossible at times, to get yarn all in the same dye lot. This is when I would suggest, do not 'try it anyway', as I did with yes, a second blanket, when I could not find any other option. As an alternative to trying it any way, you can usually purchase yarn online from larger distributor, and get batches of yarn from the same dye lot.

I recommend Hobby Lobby, "I love this yarn!", for their great colors and soft texture. As well as that they have consistently sent batches in bundles, all with matching dye lot #'s! Hooray!!

Hope this information saves you a stitch in time.  :)

Thank you for stopping by.
Best wishes and happy crocheting!



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