May 032016
 

Dear Artsy Craftsy Friends,

After nearly 2 years and a half break from crocheting, I began practicing the art once again on a beginners level. I started crocheting a blanket using the Granny on the Straight Stitch. It will be given as a gift to my bioenergy therapist, who is treating me free of charge.

This article won’t teach you how to crochet the Granny on the Straight Stitch, but it will show the adventure of crocheting a first blanket being a blind person. However, if you want to learn how to crochet the Granny on the Straight Stitch, you can watch my old tutorials that teach you to do just that. Follow the links bellow:
The Granny on the Straight Stitch video tutorial: Part 1; Part 2; Part 3; Part 4.

This is how a Granny on the Straight Blanket looks like. I made it a few years back and I do not remember the materials that I used. It is smaller in size. The one that I plan to make now should be at least twice in size.

Crochet contrasting Colors Granny on the Straight Blanket

Mom got me 10 skeins of yarn, but I am sure I’m going to need a double quantity. Each skein is 75g. The yarn is 100% Acrylic. Length = 210 m. The label recommends using a 3.5mm European size crochet hook, but I’m going to use a 6mm one. It is easier for me to hold it.

Crochet contrasting Colors Granny on the Straight Blanket

Black and White Skeins of Yarn

The Granny on the Straight Stitch is made of multiples of 4. I made a foundation chain of 300 chains (image 1), since I plan to make the blanket for a Queen size bed. By the way, I decided to crochet the blanket on the long. If you like to crochet your blanket on the wide, you will need to make a smaller foundation chain. You could,for example, chain approx. 200 chains. However, since I tend to pull and stretch the chains, I decided to work a first row of single crochet stitches to make my foundation stronger and more secure. (images2-4) My video tutorial on the Granny on the Straight Stitch does not show you this first row of single crochet stitches. I admit that mom gave me a hand. I tend to skip and miss a lot of the chains, or make more stitches in the same chain.

Then I began crocheting the first real, real row of the Granny on the Straight Stitch. If you remember, this stitch is done in sets of 3 double crochet stitches, also called shells. When a shell is done, you need to chain 1, than skip the next 3 chains of the foundation chain. In the 4th chain, you will work another shell. (Image 5)

Crochet contrasting Colors Granny on the Straight Blanket

Image 5

The first row of double crochet stitches using white is completed. There are 225 double crochet stitches (75 shells) and 75 chain one spaces. (image 6) Once again mom helped me , but starting with the next row, the work will be a lot easier for me because of all the chain one spaces. They will give me a lot of freedom when touching.

Crochet contrasting Colors Granny on the Straight Blanket

Image 6

The black and white colors will be changed every two rows. Image 7 shows you how I attached the black color to the end of second row and how I worked a few shells of double crochet stitches. The first row using the black color is completed.(Image 8) Six rows of double crochet are completed. This is how the colors look in contrast. (Image 9) This will be more noticeable as the project advances.

A few technicalities: a skein of yarn of 75g is enough to crochet 4 rows on the long. A small ball of yarn will be left (approx. 10g). I will use it to make the tassels. I’ve used 2 skeins so far. The blanket is 250cm long, and 15cm wide so far. (Image 10)

Crochet contrasting Colors Granny on the Straight Blanket

Image 10

I placed the blanket on the bed so you can have a guess about it’s length and width so far. Four skeins are over. 17 rows completed. 25cm wide now. (Image 11) By the way, it takes me approx. 30 to 40 minutes to complete a row. I make between 4 and 8 rows per day.

Crochet contrasting Granny on the Straight Blanket

image 11

I asked mom to buy me 20 skeins of yarn. She bought me the last 18 skeins that the shop-assistant had, 10 black and 8 white. Lucky me!!!By the way a skein costed us nearly 1,5$. The total cost for the materials for the blanket reached about 45$. (Image 12)

Crochet contrasting Colors Granny on the Straight Blanket

Image 12

I finished my first 10 skeins of yarn. They were enough for finishing a 1/3 of the blanket. This means a total of 40 rows (approx. 60cm width). (Images 13-14)

1/2 of the blanket is done. 14 out of 28 skeins of yarn were used to crochet 58 rows. The blanket is 93cm in width at the moment. Take a guess how short I am.!? The blanket is growing bigger and bigger It is becoming more and more difficult to turn it around when I end a row and begin a new one. (Images 15-17)

It’s been three weeks since I began working on the blanket. The blanket is nearly done. Got to 3/4. The blanket is 256 cm long and 140 cm wide. I used 22,5 skeins of yarn to complete 96 rows. (Image 18) Sadly, I caught a nasty cold after my dance class. It put my crochet work behind by a few days. I dropped to 2-4 rows a day. It took me 2 weeks to recover.

Crochet contrasting Colors Granny on the Straight Blanket

Image 18

5th week and working on the last row of double crochet stitches. I’m finishing the blanket in white to match the first row. I asked mom to help me finish the blanket. A last row of single crochet stitches was needed. I was afraid I was going to miss some stitches, so mom made it for me instead. She did one single crochet stitch( scs) on top of each double crochet stitch (dcs) and 1scs in each chain one space across the last row. (Images 19-20)

This is all the yarn that was left from the 28 skeins. Approx. 300g in total. The balls of yarn will be used to make the tassels. (Image 21) We decided that the tassels should be about 10cm long. Mom cut a 110cm long thread as a swatch. (Image 22) We wanted to make more tassels at the same time. Based on the swatch that mom made, we measured ten more threads, then ten more and so on. (Image 23) Each thread was then folded and inserted in each chain one space using a bigger crochet hook. My sister then cut all the ends to make the tassels even and finish them.(Images 24 – 25) Mom made 200 of them, switching between colors. Tassels were added on three sides of the blanket. (Image 26)

Image 27 shows how the blanket looks before the tassels were added. Image 28 shows the final blanket, including tassels, covering the Queen size bed in the bedroom.
Final sizes:
200cm wide, including tassels, 180cm without them;
260cm long with tassels, 250cm without them.
24 skeins of yarn were used to complete 110 rows and 4 skeins were used to make 200 tassels. Some of the yarn was left over.
I used a 6mm crochet hook.

More photos of the crocheted black & white Granny on the Straight blanket:

It took 5 weeks to make the blanket. It was given as a gift to my bioenergy therapist 2 weeks ago. It took him by surprise:

” How much does it cost me?”, he asked me.

“It is art for art”, I answered and received five hugs in a row.

It made me very happy to know that he liked it, and, also, it makes me very happy to know that you, my dear friends, like my very first blanket after the stroke as well. Until the next time.

The Coolorburbians.

Dec 182014
 

Dear Artsy Craftsy Friends,

Winter has come and my mom was looking to make a few beanies for me and my sister and she didn’t know where to start. She used to be an avid crocheter, but since taking a break for a few years, she doesn’t remember patterns and things like that. I remembered I had written a pattern on how to crochet an urban slouchy beanie last year, but never got around to write then down on the website, so I told my mom to start with this beanie first.

The beanie will fit most adult sizes. Our beanie is 29cm long (approx. 11,4″) and 23cm wide (approx. 9″). We don’t know the measurements of the beanie for a child.

Abbreviations:

ch – chain;
ch- – refers to chain previously made;
sc – single crochet;
dc – double crochet;
sl st – slip stitch;
st(s) – stitch(es)

Level: beginner – intermediate .

Needed time: 3-6 hours.

There are a few tips I’d like to share with you before you begin your beanie.

The beanie should look like the ones in the images below.


1. You will need a small amount of yarn to crochet the beanie. You can use up to 5 colors, just like my mom did. We will name these colors A, B, C, D and E. The yarn can be leftovers from your previous crochet projects. Mom used approximately 30 g (approx. 1 oz) for each ball of yarn. So approx. 150 g (~ 5 oz) in total.

2. The texture of the yarn is very important. I mean, getting the right type of yarn is imperative. For this beanie you will need light yarn which you can also find under the name DK and worsted yarn. Mom tried using fine yarn and the beanie was far too slouchy. If you use thicker yarn, the beanie will be too tight and not slouchy enough.

3. You will need a 4mm and a 5mm crochet hook and a pair of scissors. Rounds 1-20 will be completed using the 5mm crochet hook. Rounds 21-30 will be completed using the 4mm crochet hook.

All this materials are shown in image 1:

How to crochet  an urban slouchy beanie, written instructions

Image 1

4. You need to know how to crochet the single crochet stitch, the double crochet stitch and how to slip stitch. Try crocheting these stitches a little tighter and even. Otherwise, the beanie will look too airy.

5. A lot of colors will be changed. A new color will be attached to the crochet hook through a slipknot (image 2) and then attached to the beanie with a slip stitch (image 3). There will be a lot of loose ends. Do not leave them out. Sewing loose ends is more difficult, I believe. Conceal these loose ends while crocheting (image 4).

Let’s begin.

Round 1: use the 5mm crochet hook; start with color A; ch2; work 12dc in 2nd ch from the hook; join last dc with first dc with a sl st (12 sts). (Images 5 to 8).

Round 2: ch3 (counts as a dc here and throughout); 1dc in the same st as ch-3 (image 9); 2dc in each st around; join last dc with top of beginning ch-3 with a sl st; cut the yarn and fasten off (24 sts).(image 10)

Round 3: attach color B with a sl st in any st from previous round (tip: does not need to be on top of the beginning ch-3 from previous round); ch3; 1dc in same st as ch-3; 1dc in each of next 2 sts from previous round; * 2dc in next dc; 1dc in each of next 2dc * ; (image 11) repeat from * to * ; join last dc with top of beginning ch-3 with a sl st (32 sts). (image 12).

Round 4: ch3; 1dc in same st as ch-3; 1dc in each of next 3 sts from previous round; * 2dc in next dc; 1dc in each of next 3dc * ; (image 13) repeat from * to * around; join last dc with top of beginning ch-3 with a sl st; cut the yarn and fasten off (40 sts). (image 14)

Round 5: attach color C in any st from previous round with a sl st; ch3; 1dc in same st as ch-3; 1dc in each of next 4 sts from previous round; * 2dc in next dc; 1dc in each of next 4dc * ; (image 15) repeat from * to * around; join last dc with top of beginning ch-3 with a sl st (48 sts). (image 16)

Round 6: ch3; 1dc in same st as ch-3; 1dc in each of next 5 sts from previous round; * 2dc in next dc; 1dc in each of next 5dc * ; (image 17) repeat from * to * around; join last dc with top of beginning ch-3 with a sl st; cut the yarn and fasten off (56 sts). (image 18)

Round 7: attach color D in any st from previous round with a sl st; ch3; 1dc in same st as ch-3; 1dc in each of next 6 sts from previous round; * 2dc in next dc; 1dc in each of next 6dc * ; (image 19) repeat from * to * around; join last dc with top of beginning ch-3 with a sl st (64 sts). (image 20)

Round 8: ch3; 1dc in same st as ch-3; 1dc in each of next 7 sts from previous round; * 2dc in next dc; 1dc in each of next 7dc * ; (image 21) repeat from * to * around; join last dc with top of beginning ch-3 with a sl st; cut the yarn and fasten off (72 sts). (image 22)

Round 9: attach color E in any st from previous round with a sl st; ch3; 1dc in next st; 1dc in each dc around; join last dc with top of beginning ch-3 with a sl st (72 sts). (image 23)

How to crochet  an urban slouchy beanie, written instructions

Image 23

Round 10: ch3; 1dc in next st; 1dc in each st around; join last dc with top of beginning ch-3 with a sl st; cut the yarn and fasten off (72 sts). (image 24)

How to crochet  an urban slouchy beanie, written instructions

Image 24

Rounds 11-20: repeat rounds 9, 10 alternating between colors A, B, C, D and E (72 sts on each round). Image 25 will show you 20 completed rounds.

How to crochet  an urban slouchy beanie, written instructions

Image 25

Round 21: switch to the 4mm crochet hook; attach color A in any st from previous round with a sl st; ch1; 1sc in same st as ch-1; (image 26) 1sc in next st; 1sc in each st from previous round; join last sc with first sc with a sl st (72 sts). (image 27)

Round 22: ch1; 1sc in same st as ch-1; 1sc in next st; 1sc in each of next sts around ; join last sc with first sc with a sl st; cut the yarn and fasten off (72 sts).

Round 23-30: repeat rounds 21, 22 alternating between colors B, C, D, E (72 sts on each round). (image 28)

How to crochet  an urban slouchy beanie, written instructions

Image 28

Cut last color and fasten off. Conceal the loose end around the last round with sl st (image 29).

How to crochet  an urban slouchy beanie, written instructions

Image 29

That’s all, folks!

I hope your urban slouchy beanie looks wonderful on you. If you wish to share photos of your finished beanie, you can do so on our Facebook wall that you can find in the right sidebar.

Happy slouching,
The Coolorburbians.

Dec 092014
 

Dear Artsy Craftsy Friends,

In today’s photo tutorial, we will show you how to crochet the slip stitch. It is a very easy technique in crocheting and it is very useful when finishing a crochet project, or joining parts of a crochet project, like granny squares for a blanket, for example. We could say, it is the equivalent of sewing in the art of crocheting. The slip stitch is abbreviated SL ST in crochet patterns. Image 1 will show you that the slip stitch is used to join the beginning and the end of a small foundation chain in a small ring, in case of a crochet circle or a traditional granny square. Image 2 will show you that the slip stitch is used to join the end with the beginning of a round in case of a circle; image 3 will show you that this stitch is also used to finish a traditional granny square. The examples can continue.

Let’s get on with the instructions for the slip stitch.

For practice purposes, make a small foundation chain of 10 chains (image 4) – we might have added a few extra chains.

How to crochet the slip stitch

Image 4

Insert your crochet hook in the first chain from the hook (image 5). YO (yarn over) hook once (image 6). Pull the yarn through the chain (image 7). You will have two loops on the hook. Continue pulling the yarn through the first loop on the hook to form a first slip stitch (image 8).


Let’s make a second slip stitch, using the same steps mentioned above. * Insert your hook in the next chain of the foundation chain (image 9). YO hook once (image 10) and pull the yarn through the chain (image 11). Continue pulling the yarn to form a second slip stitch (image 12) *.


Now, all you have to do to crochet more slip stitches is to repeat the instructions between * and * . Images 13 to 16 will show you how to crochet a third slip stitch. Image 17 shows a complete row of slip stitches.

How to crochet the slip stitch

Image 17

Congrats!

You have just learned how to make the crochet slip stitch.

As usual, if you prefer video tutorials, you can watch the one bellow.

The second one added will show you how to slip stitch to finish the last row of the Tunisian stitch.

Happy slip stitching,

The Coolorburbians.

Nov 292014
 

Dear Artsy & Craftsy Friends,

Welcome to a new photo tutorial that will show you how to crochet the basic chain, also known as the foundation chain. There are a few variations for the foundation of a crochet project, such as the single crochet foundation, the half double crochet foundation, the double crochet foundation and so on. Each variation has different purposes and makes crocheting a lot more exciting. However, most projects will start with the basic foundation chain. Even when crocheting a circle, or a traditional granny square you will have to make a chain of 4 or more (in case, you are not using the magic circle) so chaining is very important. Ultimately, this basic chain should look like the one shown in the image below.

The Basic Crochet Chain, a.k.a The Foundation Chain

The Basic Crochet Chain, a.k.a The Foundation Chain

Grab your yarn and hooks on and let’s get started.

Firstly, you need to make a slipknot and attach it to the crochet hook. If you don’t know how to make the slipknot, you can find the instructions in this photo tutorial. The slipknot on the hook equals to a loop. Wrap the yarn around the hook once, as I did in image 1. Tip: the technical term for wrapping the yarn around the hook is yarn over and in patterns it is abbreviated YO.

How to crochet basic chain, a.k.a the foundation chain

Image 1

Pull the yarn trough the loop on the hook to form the very first chain of the foundation chain as shown in image 2.

How to crochet basic chain, a.k.a the foundation chain

Image 2

Exciting, isn’t it!? Let’s make another chain.

So, yarn over (YO) the hook once, just like we did the previous time (image 3) and pull the yarn through the loop on the hook to form a second chain (image 4).

Let’s make a third chain together and then we’ll late you practice the foundation chain on your own. By now, do you know the two steps that you have to follow in order to make a chain? If not, I will remind you one more time. Yarn over hook (YO) once (image 5) and pull the yarn through the loop on the hook (image 6).

That’s all, folks! Now, practice…practice…practice until your foundation chain looks tidy and even as mine does in image 7.

How to crochet basic chain, a.k.a the foundation chain

Image 7

If you prefer video tutorials better, you can watch the one bellow on how to crochet the foundation chain.

Happy chaining,
The Coolorburbians!

Nov 132014
 

Dear Artsy Craftsy Friends,

You are probably one of those people who want to learn how to crochet and have no idea what to start with. Well, let me tell you that the first thing you need to know in crocheting is how to make the slipknot. “What?!” you’ll say. “But making a slipknot is a piece of cake”. It is easy to make a slipknot, but, just like in any other fields of work, crocheting has its own methods on how to make different things. The slipknot is not an exception.

There are many ways to make this little thing and this article will show you two methods for right-handed people.

One piece of advice: If you find other ways that fit you better, then, by all means, use them. Thankfully, crocheting is a place where one will rarely say: “My way is right, your way is wrong.”

So, let’s get started with method 1:

This method is a little trickier, so, make sure you understand each and every step.

When playing with yarn, you will have a loose end and a main strand to work with.

Take the main strand and place it between your index and middle finger from your left hand. The loose end of the yarn is behind your hand. Make sure you have enough loose end to work with. (Tip: Do not worry if the end is too long; later on, during a crochet project, the loose end will be cut off, fasten off and hidden.)

Wrap the loose end around the index finger. The yarn is now between the index finger and thumb. Wrap the loose end around the thumb from button to top, making sure the loose end is above the main strand. This will create a loop around the thumb. Secure the loose end between the ring finger and the pinky. Take your crochet hook and place it in the loop with the hook facing your thumb, just like I’m doing in image 1.

Method 1 on how to make the crochet Slipknot by Catalina Stan and coolorful.com

Image 1

Move your hook towards the main strand which, don’t forget, is wrapped around the index finger. Grab the main strand with your crochet hook, as shown in image 2.

Method 1 on how to make the crochet Slipknot by Catalina Stan and coolorful.com

Image 2

Now, pull the yarn through the loop made on your thumb (image 3).

Method 1 on how to make the crochet Slipknot by Catalina Stan and coolorful.com

Image 3

Remove the yarn wrapped around your fingers when you pull it through the loop (image 4).

Method 1 on how to make the crochet Slipknot by Catalina Stan and coolorful.com

Image 4

Keep pulling the yarn until the slipknot is created and attached to the crochet hook (image 5).

Method 1 on how to make the crochet Slipknot by Catalina Stan and coolorful.com

Image 5

Tah-dah! You just learned how to make the basic crochet slipknot.

Was it hard? Easy? Are you out of breath yet? Do not worry. Once you learn and practice regularly, these things will become easier and easier.

Let’s move on to method 2:

Do you remember when I said that we will work with the loose end and the main strand of yarn? Method 2 uses the same technicalities.

Take the loose end and place it above the main strand onto your hand. This will create a loop just like in image 6.

Method 2 on how to make the crochet Slipknot by Catalina Stan and coolorful.com

Image 6

Now take this newly created loop and place it over the main strand (image 7).

Method 2 on how to make the crochet Slipknot by Catalina Stan and coolorful.com

Image 7

Notice in image 7 that the main strand is set in the middle of the loop.

Now, take your crochet hook and insert it in the loop behind the main strand (image 8).

Method 2 on how to make the crochet Slipknot by Catalina Stan and coolorful.com

Image 8

Pull the yarn through the loop (image 9).

Method 2 on how to make the crochet Slipknot by Catalina Stan and coolorful.com

Image 9

You have just created a nice, tight and easy slipknot (image 10).

Method 2 on how to make the crochet Slipknot by Catalina Stan and coolorful.com

Image 10

So far so good. Now practice your slipknot and get ready for the next lesson on how to crochet a basic chain, also known as the foundation chain.

Just in case you prefer videos better, the one below shows the second method on how to make the slipknot.

Happy slipknotting!

The Coolorburbians.

P.S.: If you know other ways to make the slipknot do not hesitate to tell us in the comment section below. They will be lovingly learned and shared forward.