How to Block Lace Crochet

Blocking lace crochet is a wonderful way to finish your work and enhance your project's stitch design. Here's the simple 3-step process that I use.

When you block a lace crochet item, your project has a more finished look and the stitch design is enhanced. Blocking knit and crochet items opens up the stitches to give the pattern more definition. You can use blocking to define points for a more distinct shape. It also helps the finished item conform to the expected dimensions. It can help that sweater fit better or that shawl drape nicely. I have a pretty simple process when it comes to blocking lace crochet projects, or any project for that matter. There are many ways that knitters and crocheters “block” their finished items. … read more

Crocheting with Different Dye Lots

Combining yarn dye lots can lead to some unexpected color shifts in your project, but there are a few ways you can work with what you've got.

Combining yarn dye lots can lead to some unexpected color shifts in your project. It’s always best to purchase enough yarn of the same dye lot (found on the yarn’s label) so that you make sure you have plenty of yarn to finish your project. When that’s not an option, there are a few ways you can work with what you’ve got. I got about a third of the way through a recent project before I realized that my two skeins of yarn came from different dye lots. I bought them … read more

Intarsia Crochet

I've been playing with a different colorwork crochet technique: intarsia crochet. Using this fun technique, I made a plush diamondback snake.

I’ve been playing with a different colorwork crochet technique: intarsia crochet. Intarsia differs from tapestry crochet in that the unworked colors are not carried along the back and crocheted over as you work. Instead, they are left hanging for you to pick back up when you get to the color again. This technique is great for adding colorwork in small bits. Instead of using multiple colors throughout the entire row or round, you can isolate the color changes to just one part of the whole project. This piece was worked back and forth in rows. … read more

Core Spinning

Core spinning involves wrapping fibers around a strand of spun yarn. The fibers cover the strand of yarn, which becomes the "core" of the new yarn.

Core spinning involves wrapping fibers around a strand of spun yarn. The fibers cover the strand of yarn, which becomes the “core” of the new yarn. You can use virtually anything for a core: another strand of handspun, thread, commercial yarn… Here I used a commercial fingering weight acrylic yarn that’s been sitting in my stash for quite a while. (Why did I ever buy acrylic sock yarn? Oh yeah, it was really cheap.) I finally found a way to use some of it up. How to Core Spin Feed your core into the wheel slowly, … read more

My First Spinning Wheel, and a Bit About Drive Ratios

My first spinning wheel is an old Ashford traditional. Let's discuss drive ratios and different types of wheels, and you can see my first wheel-spun yarn.

I’m so happy with my new Ashford traditional spinning wheel! New to me, that is. The beautiful wheel is older than I am. After referring to Ashford’s timeline for the traditional wheel (which is an interesting read in and of itself), I think it was made in 1975 or shortly after. Well-loved in its early life, it has been well taken care of. Its previous owner decided it had been simply an ornament for too many years and finally parted with it via craigslist. I was surprised to be the first, and one of … read more

Experiments in Tapestry Crochet

Tapestry crochet is a technique where you use two or more yarns to create color patterns. I created a couple of hats while experimenting with the technique.

Tapestry crochet is a color working technique where you use two or more yarns at the same time to create color patterns and pictures in crochet. Very simple patterns as well as more complicated multicolored tapestries can be created with this technique. One yarn is worked while the other color is carried underneath the stitches. To change colors, you switch the working yarn with the carried yarn while completing the stitch before the color switch. Sounds confusing? It’s not at all! You can find plenty of tips at tapestrycrochet.com, which also has several free … read more

Basic Macramé Knots: Step by Step Guide

Interested in learning the basics of macramé? It's simpler than it looks! Here's an illustrated guide of the most common knots used in macramé.

Interested in learning the basics of macramé? It’s simpler than it looks! Here’s an illustrated guide of the most common knots used in macramé. Generally, when crafting the most common styles of knotted bracelets or necklaces, four cords are used (or two long cords folded in half, creating a loop at one end). The two middle cords, called carriers or carrying cords, stay stationary while the two outer cords, called knotting cords, are worked around the carriers. In the loose square knot pictured here, the blue cords are the knotters and the green … read more