Sorry I've taken so long to post this very last post of the crochet school series. Would you believe me if I said I don't want it to end? haha That's not the real reason, although it is a little weird to be writing the last crochet school post (for now). I've just been busy designing new patterns and crocheting my butt off for the craft show I'm in next month, Deluxe. I was also waiting for all of you to have time to put in questions you want answered in this post.
Let's cover those questions first:
Carly asked "I think you mentioned that you can weave in ends with a hook. I have completed a blanket with super bulky yarn that will not fit in my yarn needle - would you suggest I weave in the ends with a hook and if so how"?
Hi carly, Since you're making a blanket, I would probably just try to find a bigger needle. You don't want any of your ends coming out in the wash and I find that weaving in with the hook doesn't secure them as well as the needle. However, if you absolutely have to weave in with a hook, you just insert your hook under the areas that you want to weave your yarn into, then pull the yarn through. I would make a video of this, but my light box is filled with yarn for my upcoming craft show. I found this video on youtube that shows what I'm talking about. She's weaving in the ends into knitted fabric, but you'll at least be able to see the technique.
Nia asked "I understand how to make the corners when seaming horizontally but what about vertically.. do we skip the corners and just seam the sides? Do we cut the yarn when we meet a corner?"
Since you only do one corner from each side when seaming horizontally, you'll pick up those other two corners when you to the vertical stitches. Does that make sense? It's sometimes hard to see once you've stitched up the horizontal corners so I sometimes insert a stitch marker into the two corners I need to stitch when I come back the other way. The diagram below should help.
Leigh Anne asked "I was thinking of making some washcloths to give as Christmas gifts to show off some of my new skillz :) But what fiber yarn would you suggest?? I was thinking cotton would wash well, but would it shrink??"
I answered this question in the comments but I think it is an important one so I'll address it here too. Cotton yarn will shrink, but it is what you should make washcloths out of. Linen would work as well, but cotton is cheap and readily available. This isn't part of the question but you should only use plant or animal fibers for hot pads/oven mitts as well because acrylic will melt and make sure they are really thick so you won't burn yourself. About the shrinking - we didn't talk about this with gauge swatches, but this is another reason why gauge swatches are so important. After you've made a gauge swatch, measure it then wash and dry it according to the directions on the yarn. Measure it again and you can see the if the gauge changed. Once you know the difference in the size after you wash the yarn, you can make adjustments to the pattern so your project will be the right finished size after it is washed and dried. Really great question Leigh Anne!
If any of you have other questions, add them in the comments and I'll address them there for future crochet school students.
I think the most common mistake for new crocheters is what we talked about in the lessons on the single crochet and later stitch lessons -- Don't skip a space after the turning chain for the single crochet and do skip a space after the turning chain for all other stitches. This is a really common mistake because it is easy to forget. So always remember it! Other wise your piece will not be straight but will start to look like it is veering off to the left or right, or growing as you go. So if you see this happening go back and watch those lessons and practice some more.
Make sure you are crocheting into the right loops. I go over this a lot in the videos so make sure your finished fabric looks like mine and you'll know you're doing it right.
Another thing I want to reiterate is MAKE A GAUGE SWATCH! Save yourself time and frustration and get it out of the way.
Don't be afraid to ask for help! Ask me, and I'll try to help as best as I can, or ask in a forum or ask someone you know who crochets. It's better to ask and fix a problem than to pretend that it's not there or get frustrated because you can't fix it yourself. If you're asking me, I usually need a photo to look at so either e-mail me, or post a photo somewhere and put a link in the comments so I know where to look.
Respect pattern designer's requests. This is really important! As a new crocheter it might be really exciting if someone sees something you have made and says "you could sell that!" Heck, it IS really exciting! I love selling my handmade wares, but there are some tricky situations that come from selling things you make, especially if you didn't design the pattern yourself.
- If a pattern specifically states that you can not sell items made from the pattern, don't do it. Sure the pattern designer may never find out, but it's still not cool. I have been to many craft shows where someone was selling items made from a pattern I knew they didn't design and were trying to pull it off as their own design. While the general public doesn't know this, it looks really bad to people who are in the know so don't make yourself look bad.
- If a pattern doesn't specify whether or not you can sell items made from the pattern contact the designer and ask. In this digital age I find that people are better about adding this information to their patterns, but some don't and it's better to ask than to get in an awkward confrontation later.
- Some pattern designers sell licenses to sell products made from their work and some will specifically say that you can not redistribute the pattern, but you are free to sell whatever you make from the pattern without a license. There are plenty of designers out there that are fine with you selling items that you make from their patterns, but many of them ask that you say who designed the pattern. When I make something from one of these types of patterns at shows I put this information on the tag: "designed by awesome designer handmade with love by craftyminx." This gives kudos to the designer but also tells people that the item was made by me.
- Free online patterns follow these rules too. Just because a pattern is freely available on the internet does not mean you own the pattern. The designer spent a lot of time on the pattern and deserves respect for their time, effort, and willingness to share.
This all pretty much applies to anything you find on the internet -- photos, information, blogs, videos, documents. Remember that someone else created it and deserves to be acknowledged for it.
Remember crochet is fun! If you reach a point where you are frustrated because something isn't working out, put it down and remember that crochet is fun and usually fairly relaxing. Take some time to think about why you're getting frustrated then pick it back up and see if you feel better about it. If you're not having fun and enjoying yourself, find another craft that will allow you to have fun or pick a different pattern. I have had to frog* many a pattern because it was pure torture and not enjoyable.
*frogging is just the crochet and knitting term for unraveling a piece because you rip-it rip-it rip-it out. haha I don't make these things up I'm not sure who coined it but it is a common term now.
I am so very proud of all of you for completing crochet school! So you know how I said in the last post that it would be awesome if we could have a graduation? Well, I've decided to at least have a list of all of you who have graduated. So pretend someone is calling out your name and you are walking across the granny square covered stage, and add your name to the list of graduates below by clicking the Click here to enter link. It will take you to a form where you can put your name or blog name under "link title" or "blog title" then you can add an optional link. Please only do this if you are a graduate of crochet school. I want an accurate listing of people. You don't have to add your whole name if you aren't comfortable with it, just add in your initials. I also added a link below to download a diploma just for funsies. On the diploma, a pdf will open with editable fields. Simply copy over the text and insert your name and the date you finished the course then print it out or save it.
List of graduates:
Now that you have graduated crochet school you can change your blog buttons to one of these shiny new graduate buttons. These link to the Table of Contents for Crochet School so others can easily find all of the lessons in one place. I'll also be linking all of the lessons together with buttons to help with convenience as well.
Make your own graduation owl with this pattern from Lion Brand.