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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Cute Hat.....

The thing about this cute hat is that it ISN'T a hat or cap at all.  I'm making an elephant....that's elephant! ;o) Won't she be cute!  This is the body and I will be sewing the bottom together near the middle to make way for the trunk on one end and the feet on the other!

This is a pattern by Reneegurumi, Irina Antonyuk, better known as Irene Strange.  The pattern was gifted to me last year on Ravelry and I am just now getting around to making it.  I think her patterns are sooooooooooooooooooo darling!

Check her out at Reneegurumi - - and check out the elephants! ;o)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Now We Purl ... TPS

This is another quick and dirty tutorial on a Tunisian stitch...this one is the Purl stitch, and is a little more work than the knit.  You will be putting your hook under the first (actually second, as we all know) vertical bar in front of the fabric - while the yarn is on the front, too.

I generally pull the yarn down in front using my hook to make it loop under the vertical bar.  Then put the hook through the bar, and then draw up the yarn to the back.  You are actually "hanging" the hook  -  cheesy but true!  You then YO and pull the loop through the vertical bar.  It leaves that tell tell bump that you normally see in knitting (but the back does NOT look like the knit stitch as you would see if you were actually knitting.

Let's see if the photos help.....

Yarn is on front of fabric, put hook through the vertical bar....

Pull yarn to back around hook....

Get it behind the hook so you can do a YO....

I generally hold the yarn at the bottom and pinch it (like in the color change) so pulling the yarn through the loop doesn't make it tighten up too much.....


After you pull it thorough you will start on the next stitch....

Pull yarn down to front  here I use my hook to do it...

Hold the yarn down and you will move it back behind the hook...

See how it looks......

Now do a YO and pull it through the vertical bar so you have three loops on the hook...

Ta da!

Just keep doing it ... pretty soon you will get a rhythm in throwing the yarn to the front...

See how the stitches look something like the Purl stitches in knit.....

Now you can see the bottom two rows of the TSS, the next two rows of the TKS, and know the last two rows I completed of the TPS.

Easy Peasy as my BFF says!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Tunisian Knit Stitch (TKS)

Now lets 'knit'! Put hook in the middle of the stitch behind the vertical bar of the row below & below return row. 

Make sure it goes behind the stitch to the back of the fabric.

YO and pull through a loop.

You can see I pulled the yarn through and it makes the previous stitch look similar to a knit stitch.

Continue by inserting hook through the next stitch and pulling through a loop which you leave on the hook as in TSS.

Five stitches isn't a great color to see the stitches, but look carefully! The two rows below the TKS row are TSS stitches and you can see the vertical bars.

You can't see the knit row very well above the TSS stitches as we approach the end, but they are there!

Now you will go through the side stitches just as you do in TSS so that the side will have a nice crochet look to it....

YO and pull up the last loop.....

Now you will start the return row after finishing all the TKS stitches.

Return row the same as before.

When you finish a bunch of rows, what do you get????   Very curly!

In Tunisian, the very first row is generally going to be the "simple stitch" (TSS) with the return, and then the next row is what determines if this is a "knit" (TKS) or "purl" (TPS) or another TSS. 

 In the TKS, after completing a row of TSS, you will have your first loop on the hook. You will be drawing up a loop through the stitch below, not the vertical bar as before. You neet to go behind the vertical bar through the fabric and actually under the return row, YO, and draw up a loop. Each time you do this, once you draw up a loop, the stitch in the row below looks quite like the knit stitch you would recognize in knitting. One thing about it, though, is this is a heavy fabric if you are using a worsted weight yarn, so it won't be the thin fabric that knitting is known for....not even if you have an H hook....however, with in #2 to lace weight it does give a more dramatic, lacy look.

Also, if I didn't mention it before, if you are making a square, to end it off you after you have finished the last return pass, you can go back across using a regular crochet hook of the same side, or one size smaller, and slip stitch across the top to finish.  However, in the TKS stitch, I like to go back across and make a TKS in each stitch, but pull it through the last loop instead of leaving it on the hook. That finishes the fabric into the knit stitch rather than the last row looking like a TSS.  

Remember, in Tunisian, even though you are on the row above you are generally finishing the look to the row below.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Photo Tutorial - sort of - on Tunisian Color Changes

Chain four in one color - chain on hook is 5th chain
Pull up loop in new color, being sure not to pull last loop too tight
Chain four more - loop on hook is first stitch of next row.
Go back into each chain and pull up four more stitches (5).
When you get to the new color, pull it under and then over the "old" color

Pulling it over to use to do the next loop.

Hold (pinch) the old color up against your fabric...
...and continue pulling up the new chain color.
You should end with having five loops of color A and five loops of color B
Now start working them off the chain in the return pass.

When you get to the next color, be sure you have one loop of EACH color on the hook.
You will now pull up the new color from under (the first row it actually isn't under, but will be on all subsequent rows) and then over top of the last color - this will make the color unwind.
Pull it (not too tight).....
....and then pinch it again to hold that yarn down....
....then draw through the new yarn through the two loops on the hook (one old color loop and one new color loop.
Continue doing the same stitches.....cut yarn to change colors, or use a different color altogether.  Stranding in the back is not recommended as it is more than 3 stitches and pulls the fabric too much. Weave in ends as you go.

I am doing a tutorial on Tunisian on Ravelry in the Vanna's Choice group and need a place to store my photos! ;o) 

Pop on over there and see what's going on!


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Caribbean Swap

I'm running out of ideas for squares - I finally decided to make up a square out of a stitch and wanted to find something that I had not tried before.  Then, like magic, I picked up the Winter 2009 Interweave Crochet magazine and there inside was a nice little stitch on display. It is called (according to them) the Wattle Stitch, and is as easy as pie.  Basically a sc, ch, dc in the ch space ending sc at each edge on top of the beginning ch only.

So, out came the yarn and in no time I whipped up a little 9" square for the swap.  I just LOVE this stitch...the square has some stretch, both ways, and load of texture.  It is also quick, easy, and makes for a nice weight in my Vanna's Choice.

Tell me what you think!

I'm working on another 10" square for a Comfortghan that Mugginsquilts on Ravelry is making for a secret recipient. I'll be done with it in an hour or so, and then will post it here, too.  Did I say it was quick?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Nativity Swap Begins

A note to all - I forgot that I was having problems with someone trying to spam me from Asia - so I put it on moderate.  I forgot. I forgot. I forgot. So when I went to post this and edit it I saw 55 comments to moderate! YIKES!!!!  I shall be better, and am so sorry I didn't get them done.  Duh!

I sent this a couple of days ago, but don't think Karen has received it, so should not be posting it. Don't want my Swapee to see it...but can't resist!
This is Mary, the first of the Nativity group I am making for the Itsy Bitsy Nativity swap. The pattern comes from Gourmet Crochet, designed by Carolyn Christmas. Really cute! I did not put a mouth on her as I like that wide eyed look you see on some of the dolls - rather innocent looking. If you make her as a doll, don't put the hands together. They are tooooo cute just like they are not tacked down. I used Vanna's Choice, of course (I have so much I need to use it up).
These little people are not as easy as the cute little animals as they have so many parts, and take longer, but fun to make and absolutely not HARD. After all, they are itsy for the Itsy Bitsy swap! I used an F hook as called for, but think I would have liked it better in a D or E hook I think. Will have to finish the group using the F hook though.