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Tips 'n Tricks

Do you have a helpful hint or handy trick that will make any aspect of crocheting easier? Share it! Post ideas on scrap yarn usages, stitch markers, starching, hook organization, color changing, maintaining your sanity while following a difficult pattern, etc. There is most probably someone out there that will benefit from your help. Need ideas yourself? Read others' comments--we all live and learn!

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Monday, December 27, 2004Name: Cheryl

Subject: Lefties

Comment: Bev, that's exactly how my mom taught my sister and I to crochet as girls! She was a leftie and we're both righties...I'm still crocheting 28 years later!

Monday, December 27, 2004Name: Cheryl

Subject: crochet

Comment: 1) Give crochet as a gift? Give the person some extra yarn in a little zippered baggie in case the need arises for mending...
2) Save those zippered bags the flannel sheets or other bedding come in , or go to the 99 cent store and buy the sweater bags...put a dryer sheet inside when you fold the item and put it in the zippered bag...a great way to store out of season items and keep them smelling nice, too! 3) ALWAYS...insert a card with the item letting the receiver know how to launder it and dry it!!! And let them know the fiber content, just in case they're allergic to synthetics or wool!!!
"Happy hooking!"

Sunday, December 26, 2004Name: Heather

Subject: Tip on Tension when teaching a friend

Comment: One thing I found when teaching a friend of mine to crochet is that no matter what, her tension was always considerably looser than mine. We were both doing the "Wizard Scarf" pattern from Red Heart, and she couldn't get her stitches nice and neat. I attribute it to her being a fairly laid-back person and my being a very tense person! :-) What she did was go down one hook size. Her tension then matched the gauge in the pattern, and she was no longer frustrated that it didn't work out right!

Saturday, December 25, 2004Name: Corky C.

Subject: hook storage

Comment: I use old miniture m&m tubes they are small candys that you can buy. I have serveral of them for all my small metal hooks they seal shut and you can open then and look though your hooks and it protects them because they are plastic

Friday, December 24, 2004Name: Opal Chapin

Subject: tips

Comment: I have crocheted for a long time and am grateful that I still have this hobby. You have many good tips here, I also am taking pictures of items I make because I give most of them away. I find it is helpful to put a safety pin in the last loop crocheted it saves many unravelled items. I also make a copy of the pattern and line out the row I just did( I do lots of filet crocheted things and follow the picture only). I am so happy I found this web page.

Thursday, December 23, 2004Name: Sherry R.

Subject: Stitch Holders and Markers

Comment: I like to use a clothes pin (the spring type) as a stitch holder when I'm working on a project and have to set it down. I just pull up the last loop enough to clip on the clothes pin. I can also use the clothes pin to clip on a post-it note with the size of the hook, any notes, etc., so when I come back to my WIP I know right where to pick it up. For a marker, I like to use twist ties. Twist ties also work well to hold two halves of a project (like a poncho) together so you can try it on and make adjustments before you sew the halves together.

Friday, December 10, 2004Name: Lynette

Subject: hooks

Comment: I always have several projects going on at the same time and sometimes steal one hook to use with a different project. I have forgotten what size hook I use occasionally and you know what happens when you change hook sizes in the middle of the project. I finally bought 1/2" ribbon on sale. At the start of the project I cut a parallel line about 1/4 to 1/2" in a 2 inch long piece of ribbon. With a permanent fine point marker I write the date, hook size and who I think this project will be given to later and slip one end of the ribbon thru the first row, then thru the cut in the ribbon. It is secured on the project, yet easy to take off later. As I was typing this I thought that it might be good to crochet it on as a lable, adding your name and date finished for generations to come who might want to know who the artist and creator of that afgan or project might be.

Thursday, December 09, 2004Name: Clarissa

Subject: beaded crochet

Comment: I have been working on a Paradise doll that has tons of beads. To make sure I get the correct amount of beads on the thread, I use a knitting stich counter. I thread the beads on in groups of 10 and then turn the counter to 1 do another group of 10 and turn the counter to 2 and so on. That way if I get distracted or need to put my work down I won't lose track. Happy Crocheting!

Wednesday, December 08, 2004Name: Angie

Subject: Door Hangers and gift bags

Comment: I just read the tip about the metal ring from the craft store to make a simple wreath and I thought of other rings around the house. Try cutting the middle out of a plastic lid like those on butter tubs or cool whip tubs. It works as a base to crochet around for pretty wreaths for many seasons to hang on doorknobs or doors.#2 I have saved the zip up plastic bags that pillows, blankets and sheets sometimes come in to place my afghans in for my own storage or as a gift. You'll have to explain that you made the blanket or project because it looks like a bought one in the bag. The new owner can store their afghan in it when not in use.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004Name: Alicia

Subject: Counting Stitches

Comment: Hey, I'm 17 years old and I crochet; I especially like to make up my own patterns. I use a kinda weird method to count my stitches, but it really works for me. I almost always double or skip stitches in multiples. For Example: 2 sc every 3rd in a rnd with 12. I would count "1,2, three-ee,4,5, si-ix,7,8, ni-ine,10,11, twe-elve." I say(or just think) the syllable twice on each st that I have to double, and I know at the end that there are 16 st in the rnd. It's weird, but if you understand it and try it, maybe it'll help you too. (And it helps to be a bit good w/ math.)

Thursday, November 18, 2004Name: amanda

Subject: crochet

Comment: I have rediscovered crochet,i was taught by my teachers mum. When learning, don't rush, learn an easy step and take it one day at a time...oh and good luck!!!

Thursday, November 18, 2004Name: Dorothy

Subject: carpal tunnel

Comment: I love to crochet, but I have problems holding smaller hooks because of carpal tunnel. I wrap the smaller hooks with rubber bands then place pencil holders over the rubber bands. My eight year old daughter finds wraped hooks easier to hold as well.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004Name: Camzgirl

Subject: Making Yarn Balls

Comment: When I have half a skein left over, instead of using a piece of paper to wind the yarn to start, try this: Loosely wind the yarn around 3 or 4 fingers about 15 or 20 times, carefully slide fingers out of yarn, then graps it firmly and wind yarn around the middle loosely (like making a ribbon bow). Then, fold your "bow" in half, and continue winding, changing directions with the yarn every so often, until done. This makes for a very neat, perfectly round ball with no paper lumps sticking out. Then, to secure the end, take a F or G hook, and insert it into the suface 2 or 3 layers, and back out again, draw up the loose end about 4 to 6 inches from the end (depending how deep you put the hook through), and pull it through just enough that the end is still sticking out far enough to grab. My 2 and 5 yr-olds play catch with these without them coming unraveleld, and I can still use them for scrap projects!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2004Name: Neen

Subject: sweaty palms

Comment: Got to have something for my hands on those hot sticky days, but I have a reaction to the scent of the baby powder. So instead of powder, I use cornstarch (that I've put in a shaker). It works awsome. No sweaty hands at all. (BUT you may have to wash the darker projects to make sure none of the starch remains). There are many great ideas here, and I am going to use to make crocheting easier. Thanks all.

Monday, November 15, 2004Name: Barb

Subject: crochet thread holder

Comment: I bought a plastic banana holder at a dollar store, turned it upside down and filled the bottom with plaster-of-paris (for weight), then used a large fishing swivel with a piece of wire clothes hanger crossed over in a o shape (about 2" wide / and drop it inside the hole, hang swivel on banana holder and it revolves wonderfully - much less expensive than the wooden ones for about $30.

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