Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Follow up of the First Online Crochet Class - IHM

This post is all about thank yous !!!

Thank you IHM for doing what you do.. for letting us connect in this wonderful way. Thank you to all the girls for being there for the First Online Crochet Class for IHM.

The sessions went great ! I am amazed at the large turnout.. Thank you all for the encouragement. I was dead at the end of the day but very very excited for the fun times to begin!

For those who missed the class, here is what we did -

1. YARNS - We talked about yarns and threads, the varieties. Often on my visits to yarn stores I find people who are confused about what yarn to pick and what crochet hook size to choose... the options are just too many. So we began talking about the different kinds of yarns. Yarns can range form being lightweight to worsted weight to chunky or heavy yarns. The lightweight yarns are slender and very fine, they are used to make laces, socks etc.

Worsted weight yarns (WWY) are medium weight and are the most popular. 'Worsted' does not mean anything.. its the name of a place where they first began making this medium weight yarn which could be used for a variety of projects. The worsted weight is a sort of standard for yarns. These yarns are smooth, even, easy to work with and very versatile. I use these a lot in my projects.

The chunky or heavyweight yarns are used for decorative projects such as hats, jackets, decorative pillows and scarves. You'll see some of these in my projects too!

2. CROCHET HOOKS - Apart from the yarns, we talked about Crochet Hooks. They come in many sizes and though there is no specific rule about using a certain size of hook with a certain type of yarn, we vary the size of the hook according to the thickness of the yarn. In general, a thicker yarn is used with a thicker needle & a thin yarn is used with a thinner needle. So a smaller needle gives u small stitches & a thicker needle will give u bigger stitches. When a thick needle is used with a thin yarn, it makes loose stitches which a fashionable for a stole or muffler. While using a thick yarn with a thin needle will give you very tight stitches & will make your work stiff, which can be used to make place mats or other things like baskets.

3. GAUGE - Gauge sounds very technical but its simple meaning is - stitches per inch / cm. Usually every pattern you look at or every skein of yarn you find in the stores will talk about the gauge. What that means is this -
If you used a particular size hook with a yarn to make a square block, it will hold a certain number of stitches and a certain number of rows. That lets us compare the size of our work to that of the given pattern. This is very useful for making things that must fit a particular size (such as sweaters / dresses). Most yarns available in the stores have a gauge printed on the label. (I will have a separate post with pictures of what the printed gauge on the label mean)

When you begin a pattern & want to check your gauge, you should crochet a square block of say 5" by 5"(inches), measure inside the block - 4" x 4" & count how many rows you made & how many stitches.

Match these counts with the gauge given in the pattern. If your number of stitches & rows are more than that of the pattern, use a thicker needle than what you used to make this block BECAUSE - using a thicker needle will make your stitches bigger & thus less number of stitches will hold in the same 4"x4" block which will match your pattern. And vice versa, if your number of sticthes & rows are less than that given in the pattern - simply use a smaller needle to hold more stitches in the same 4"x4" block.

Here is a link from internet search on measuring Crochet gauge -

4. CROCHET BASICS - We talked about the 5 basic Crochet Stitches and looked at samples. Each stitch is represented by short forms as mentioned below. These are -
a. Chain - ch
b. Single Crochet - sc
c. Half Double Crochet - hdc
d. Double Crochet - dc
e. Treble/Triple Crochet - tr

5. STITCH SIZES - We also talked about the size of each stitch. The chain is the foundation of every project, although you use it in varied forms. The Chain length is used to size up the other stitches in most projects. Just for starters, this is what we concluded in class -
1 SC stitch length = 1 chain length
1 HDC stitch length = 2 chain length
1 DC stitch length = 3 chain length
1 TR stitch length = 4 chain length

We concluded the class with some samples of easy crochet projects and chose to learn to make crochet envelopes for the second class.







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