Saturday, March 7, 2009

losing shape - losing stitches... part 2

I'm not an expert when it comes to crochet...
in fact, I still consider myself a beginner in many ways!

But I have experienced a great deal of frustration when first learning...
it almost seemed as though there were these unwritten rules with crochet - things that you were just supposed to KNOW... even though you had never been told!

Well... that's how it felt to me, anyways.

Last time I talked about how to keep your edges straight when working a flat piece of sc or hdc. I mentioned that the place where you are most likely to run into trouble is where you work the FIRST and the LAST stitches of each row... and that the part which can trip you up is that the 'rule' changes depending on which stitch you are working in.

So this time we will look at what to do differently when working in dc (US)
(this is also the method to use if you are working in tr, except that you would work 4 turning chain at the end of each row)

Grab your hook and some practice yarn again, and I'll talk you through the process:

chain 8:

dc into 4th chain from hook

dc into next 4ch:

ch3 and turn work:

skip the first stitch and work your 1st dc into the top of the 2nd stitch as shown in the diagram:

it will feel like you have left a gaping hole - don't worry - you're doing the right thing

dc into next 3 stitches...

then dc into the top of your turning chain from the previous row:

5dc in total

count in your head as you go:
ch 3, turn... 1... 2... 3... 4... 5...
ch 3, turn... 1... 2... 3... 4... 5...
ch 3, turn... 1... 2... 3... 4... 5...
over and over again until you have the hang of it... it won't take long





see the way the sides are even and I am not losing stitches? yay!

if the sides look a tiny bit wavy like mine, don't stress... if you want to straighten them more perfectly, you can block your work when you are finished

Now... I'm sure I heard someone comment that they had trouble with losing stitches when working in the round... leave it with me, and I'll talk you through that one in a few days time.


Big mamma frog said...

Yep, I used to be an expert at crocheting triangles {g}, but I think I've finally got the hang of the simple stuff...don't get me to do anything complicated though...

Sam said...

I do love your pictures, they're so clear.

I need to go and double check I'm doing it right now :-)

Erika said...

To avoid the space between the 3 chains and the first dc of the row, crochet only 2 chains instead of 3 ;)

When i started to crochet my edges were orrible i felt that, like you said, there is something hidden that no one was telling me...then i bought a book and now i know how to make straight edges! :)

Jan Pope said...

You might want to check on Ravelry. There's been an ongoing discussion of how to stop the "holes" at the end of the rows.

I use this technique: Instead of chaining 3 at the end of the row, chain 2, then double (or treble) in the very next stitch. Now decrease over the next two stitches. No more hole at the end of the row and generally your piece will be straigher.

LittleMary said...

and if you would ever want to do a post on blocking, how to do it, different kinds of yarn, etc, etc, i would welcome it!

Anonymous said...

It is AWESOME that you are doing these tuts. It took me years (literally) to understand this, which I finally figured out by trial and error, and by obsessive counting while following patterns.


Penny said...

Wow - thank you SO much for posting this. I had a terrible time losing stitches... by the time I'd mis-place the first stitch on one row - I'd have an unclean edge in the next row & wouldn't know which was the last stitch and which was the chain stitch... what a pain! All my crochet baby blankets (the only thing I was brave enough to try) would have really rough edges -- so then I'd put a border around them (hoping no one would notice - lol!).

Funny enough, I've always chained 2 for DC, and 3 for Triple-crochet - so I never did have the extra 'space'. I don't know why - but I guess part of it was "failing" to read the pattern properly probably. But, hey... it all works out.

I've started another baby blanket thanks to the inspiration from you here - and am pleased to report - it's a rectangle! :-)

Tess said...

I'd love to see some really clear photos defining exactly which spot is the xth chain from the start. I never know for sure if I'm going in to the right spot. And a tute on blocking would be wonderful so I second that motion.

laughing purple goldfish said...

big mamma frog - hey... you never know when those triangles might come in handy!

sam - thank you

erika - good tip, thanks

jan pope - another good tip... much appreciated

littlemary - sure... I have been blocking today, and took lots of photos... tute coming soon!

aimeewrites - it is TOO simple... yet SO frustrating if you don't know the rules

spider - yay!!!! so glad it's working out for you this time around :) wonderful to hear...

tess - how could I possibly say no to the girl who brought me TWO GIANT BAGS of clothing to recycle earlier this evening!

daht said...

I seem to be years behind everyone...but am a beginner and want to thank you for the help. My DC is a disaster on the ends. Am going to try this. I am new, and already hate that gaping hole at the chaining & turn ends...after centuries of crochet, one would think someone would have solved it.
Anyway, am off th try.