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left-handed crochet

  • Learn to Crochet: Whipstitch Inside Loops (Left Handed Video Tutorial)

     Let's talk about seaming, okay?  It's important!  It's simple!  If I didn't do it, I would just have a pile of squares instead of a halfway-done project from Baby Afghans!  It can even be done by left-handed people, but you can probably still get the idea by watching this video even if you're right-dominant.
      

    I typically seam my work together by facing the right sides together.  I'm not really sure why, other than I might be thinking about sewing with fabric.  But! There's no raw edge with crochet, so why do something that makes your squares (or strips or hexagons or whatever else you want to join together) bend and warp?

    Stitching inside the loops even seems to make a tiny bit of difference in how large my squares appear.  Or so I think.  It's all very, very gray.  I had originally planned to alternate gray squares with yellow ones, but then I changed my mind.  So now I need to make 13 more gray squares with yellow centers.

     

    As for those yellow squares with gray centers I already crocheted?

    Well, I'm just going to crochet 12 more of those at a later date.  For now, I'm focused on the gray blanket because that's the one I plan to give as a gift at a baby shower I'm attending.  On Friday.

    I might have finished a little sooner if I hadn't been distracted by other cute square projects, but oh well.  This is my second time making the pattern, and it's a pretty quick project even if you're not familiar with it.  I'm still going to make an extra strip so that the blanket will be a square, and I'm going to continue to be pleased with stitching the inside loops.  I'm halfway there!

  • Learn to Crochet: Working in the Back Loops Only (Left Handed)

    I thought I would give you all a break this week from hearing about my ongoing adventures crocheting the Ripples of Joy afghan from Baby Afghans, but then I changed my mind and decided I have to talk about it some more.  Sorry.

    But I'm just so dang proud of this!


    The colors!  The ripples!  The size!

    Nearly 40" in diameter so far!

    I went ahead and purchased an extra skein of blue in case I decide to get incredibly crazy and work THREE repeats of the colors instead of two.  We'll see.  It will be about 50" across if I just work the rest of the yellow and then crochet the blue and green rows.  That's a decent-sized lap blanket, and it would look nice on the back of our couch.

    But the idea of making this into a full-size afghan really appeals to me because that would be a lot of joy.  I'm going to try to work on this a lot more this weekend to see how much more joy I can stand before I decide to finish this up, or to keep on going.

    In the meantime, here's a video tutorial about working in the back loops only for you left-handed hookers.  I posted the right-handed video last week, and I certainly don't want to leave anyone out.  There's plenty of crochet education for everyone, and the Leisure Arts YouTube channel is here to help!

         

      

    Did you watch it?  Now you know how to work in the back loops left-handed!  Even if you're not left-handed!  Nothing can stop you from ambidextrously crocheting lovely ripply projects!

    Man, you're about to have the best weekend ever.
     

  • Left-Handed Crochet Tutorial: Treble Crochet Stitch

    Remember when I talked about the treble crochet stitch?  Well, I'm going to talk about it some more--but for the lefties this time.

    No, not the Communists.  Just the left-handed people.  I want to make that clear.

    Ahem.

    Right, okay!  So.  Being left-handed is usually completely normal, and totally something that most left-handed people deal with in their everyday left-handed lives absolutely fine.  Left-handed people can also perform plenty of tasks--starting keys in ignitions, using a camera, zipping up pants, etc.--right-handed.  I know a left-handed knitter who knits right-handed because it's just the simplest way for her to learn new techniques.

    But crocheting?

    Well, apparently it's best to use your dominant hand for crocheting.  And so for that, you get your own video tutorial on the treble crochet.  Feel special.

    Now you, too, can make these crazy tall stitches like the ones in the Flower Tile pattern from Dishcloths!

    And maybe you can even do it without messing up your stitch count!  Like I apparently did!  You'll be fine.  You're left-handed.  You people are very creative and competent.

    Or so all the left-handed people like my husband keep telling me.  I'd like to see him try this with all his creative talents:

    No, really.  I'd love to see that.  I'm surprisingly unsarcastic when it comes to crochet.

    Even if my husband couldn't pull this off (probably because he doesn't know how to crochet, period), I'm sure you can and I'm sure you'll have fun doing it now that you know how to work the treble crochet stitch.

    Happy hooking!

  • Learn to Crochet: Crochet Cross Stitch (Left-Handed)

    I tried it!  Like I said earlier, I wanted to make a second try to learn the crochet cross stitch this weekend.  So I did!

    Yup. That is a crossed stitch right there!

    I didn't start off with the Crisscross pattern from Dishcloths this time.  I just crocheted a swatch and started the crochet cross stitch once I was a few rows in.  The crochet cross stitch calls for crocheting a stitch one space ahead of your last worked post, and then crocheting in the skipped space.

    See?

    Whenever I'm learning a new technique, I like to watch a video tutorial several times before trying it out.  It doesn't seem to matter what the technique is--winding a bobbin, crocheting a new stitch, swaddling a baby (impossible!), or switching yarn colors in knitting.  I like to try new things, but only after seeing someone else do them successfully. 

    And now I'm successful!  Or something.

    Hey, this victory feels pretty sweet.  The crochet cross stitch makes a nice V-looking stitch that's a bit twisted.  It's a nice look, and I like looking at it.

    Yay for crochet!

  • Crochet Cast-On: Tunisian Crochet (Left-Handed)

    Remember when I talked about Tunisian crochet?  That was cool.  Kim Guzman, Tunisian crochet extraordinaire (probably her official title) explained to me that it was like crocheting a row with all your loops building up on your needle.  Then you crochet back through them all all again!

    But how do you get started with all those loops on that needle?

    I'm so glad you were wondering!  Because I was too, and it turns out you do it like this:

    It's so strange to me that you can crochet knit stitches.  But you can!  I was just thinking about some of the weirder things you can do with yarncrafting and Tunisian crochet is just one of those things that pops up in my brain every now and then. 

    Weird?  Yes.

    Pretty?  Yes!

    Difficult?  Apparently no more than any other yarn craft.

    The description of the video explains that this technique is used in the book Short Row Tunisian Fashion, which means I'm going to probably give it another look again very soon.

    Like I said, Tunisian crochet is just one of those things that drifts around in my mind every now and then and then I think "Hey, maybe I should try that."  And hey, maybe I should.  Maybe I will, and very soon!

    How do  you get yourself ready to try new things?

  • Learn to Crochet: Joining with a Half Double Crochet

    Joining a new color to crochet has always been one of those techniques that freaks me out--you don't want to see my early granny squares.  But joining with a crochet stitch in pattern clears up a lot of weirdness and confusion.  Joining with a half double crochet (hdc) can add a whole new level of trickiness to things because of the yarnover required to make the stitch, but with a good grip and the flick of your crochet hook, you're all set.

    As I mentioned last time, knowing how to join new yarn to a project with the same stitch as what you're working in comes in handy when you're switching to a new skein of yarn or when you're switching colors. 

    Sure, you could crochet all your dishcloths in just one color but what if you feel like being fancy?  Yes, I know you can make perfectly nice dishcloths in just one color (I like to believe I can do it myself).  But colorwork always seems impressive to me, whether in knitted or crochet projects.  It just looks so interesting, and it's always so difficult for me do.  I know I'll eventually get there, but it's slow-going and I'm trying to allow for a certain number of screw-ups when I'm trying to learn new techniques like mixing in different colors.

    In the meantime, I feel pretty good about knowing how to at least get started when I add new new yarn.

    And I like to think a good start counts for something, don't you?

  • Learn to Crochet: Picot Stitch (Left-Handed)

    Picot stitches look so different when they're crocheted left-handed!  Let me rephrase that.  The process looks so different.  The stitches themselves look the same regardless of whether you crochet right-handed or left-handed.  But seeing how they're made from another angle is blowing my mind a little bit.

    I used to think that picot stitches could look a little fussy, but I like how they look when spaced out across a flat edge.  I typically can't stand when people use the word "pop", as in a pop of color or something similar.  And yet.....I have to admit that picot stitches just pop out and add a little something to an already nice border. 

    I just keep thinking about how nice a border in a contrasting color would look around projects.  Like a light blanket with a dark blue edging.  Or some pink at the cuff of a purple sock (I think my daughter would let me get away with this!).  Or some green around this behemoth 'baby' blanket.

    Yes, I know this is the same picture from yesterday's post. But it looks the same.  It's just a few inches longer today.

    Adding a little bit of fancy picot stitching?  I'm cringing as I type this, but it would make that border pop just a bit more.  I'm strongly considering it.  I really am.

  • Learn to Crochet: Front Post Half Double Crochet (Left-Handed)

    This doesn't look right to me.  Does this look right to you?

    This isn't how it looks in the book.

    I'm pretty sure I'm following the instructions in the book.  I know I was at some point. Then again, I'm usually pretty sure I'm following a pattern's instructions right up to the dreaded moment when I have to admit my defeat.

    I don't want to be defeated!  This is a nice pattern!  I feel like I picked out nice colors!  A nice dishcloth wouldn't do this to me!

    Is this how crochet ribbing is made?  Is that something I should already know?  It is?

    Cool.  That's super.

    Here is a tutorial video for a front post half double crochet.  Maybe if I watch it from another angle I'll get the hang of things.

    Okay, I watched it.  I'm still convinced that I'm doing everything okay.  But I should mention that I took allergy medication and ate a greasy ham and cheese sandwich a while ago, so a lot of things seem very difficult and confusing to me right now.

    Yes, I had Benadryl and ham before I picked up my crocheting.  Why do you ask?

    Oh.

    I think this dishcloth and I should just rest for a while.
     

  • Learn to Crochet: Join with a Double Crochet (Left-Handed)

    Did you guys knows about this?  Joining new yarn with a double crochet?  Is everyone but me out there making stripey crochet projects with ease and beautiful stitches? 

    What's that?  It's probably most of you?

    Okay.

    Well, here's a video for the rest of us who might want in on the fun.

    Oh that's right--that's the left-handed tutorial. 

    I know I normally post a right-handed crochet tutorial, and then a video for left-handed learners, but I felt like mixing it up this week and getting crazy. 

    Yes, I know your definition of 'mixing it up and getting crazy' may differ from mine.  But I felt like breaking with routine for a moment, and every bit of change can be exciting.  I was looking through some of the crochet tutorials on the Leisure Arts YouTube channel and I wanted to see crochet from the flip side. 

    I think this is a smart way to add new yarn, whether it's of a different color or not.  Starting a new beginning chain can show a loop sometimes, and tying your old yarn and new yarn can create some obvious knots that might be hard to weave in.  Joining with the stitch you're already using in your fabric is pretty, and looks seamless. 

    If you haven't tried, do it!  I think the trickiest part is holding the yarnover in place, and even that seems manageable.  And you only have to do that once before you're back to your regular crocheting. 

    Still, every bit of change can be exciting and this seems like a thrilling technique to know.  I mean it.  Thrilling.  It seems much less 'fiddly' than the ways I was already joining yarn, and goodness knows if anything can save me from a bit of frustrated fiddling, I'm going to try it.

    Try it!  Be thrilled.

    Happy hooking!

  • Learn to Crochet: 3 Single Crochet Popcorn Stitch (Left-Handed)

    Okay, lefties!  It's time to talk about the ever-adorable popcorn stitch. 

    For the slightly deranged love letter, click here.  For today's tutorial video, watch this:

    Isn't that adorable?  I still can't find a pattern that features a single crochet popcorn stitch.  In fact, I just flipped through 99 Granny Squares to Crochet and only saw stitch guides for popcorn stitches that used double crochets.  But I press onward, intrepid and obnoxiously hopeful for the day I find a pattern featuring a single crochet popcorn stitch.

    And when I do, I'll talk about it--and at great length and with many pictures--on here. 

    Try to contain your excitement.

    In the meantime, head on over to the Leisure Arts website to register in the Knook Giveaway.  5 winners will receive a bundle of Knook products.  And one very lucky person will win an iPad Mini!

    There's 23 days left to enter!  Do it!  Do it now!

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