Friday, December 17, 2010

Crochet How To Basics: Single Crochet

Today I am writing about how to make a Single Crochet stitch. I have written how to's on Chain Stitch and Slip Knot in earlier posts.
To get started, make a chain of 6 chain stitches. Then insert the hook into the middle of the second chain stitch from the hook. (The first single crochet will almost always be made in the second chain. The first chain is there to bridge the gap between the row of chain stitches and the top of the single crochet stitch.)

Now, yarn over and draw the yarn through the chain stitch. You now have two loops on your hook.
Yarn over again, and draw the yarn through both loops on the hook.
Congratulations, you have made a single crochet (abbreviated sc)! You now have one loop on your hook. Sc in the the remaining 4 chains.
The pattern instructions for what you just did will typically look like this: Ch 6, sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in remaining 4 ch: 5 sc. ("5 sc" indicates how many stitches your row should have.)In the next entry, I will show how to add more rows to a crochet project.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Facebook page

Gizmo Fiber Arts now has a Facebook page. I'm getting more and more connected to the world. -Jennifer

Monday, December 6, 2010

Crochet Basics: Chain Stitch

The chain stitch is the foundation of almost every crocheted piece. This post will show you how to make one.
I have already covered the slip knot in an earlier post. You will need to make a slip knot in order to get started. With your slip knot on your crochet hook, hold the little tail coming off the hook to keep your work steady. Hook the yarn coming off the skein or ball with the crochet hook. (This is called "yarn over," or "yo".)
Now, pull the hooked yarn through the slip knot. You have made one chain stitch. This is abbreviated ch.

To make another chain stitch, simply yarn over and pull the yarn through the loop on the hook again. In patterns the instructions will say "ch 3" or "ch 20" or some other number. This is telling you to make a string of 3 or 20 or however many chain stitches. In the picture below, you see 6 chain stitches, or "ch 6." The slip knot and the loop on the hook do not count as stitches.
Now you know how to start most pieces, but you can't make an entire piece just from chain stitches. Next time, I will show you how to make a "single crochet" stitch, or "sc."

New hats

My nephews told me they wanted hats so I designed a couple boys' hats. The "sailing" hat turned out to look a little girly though. I think with different colors it will look more boyish. I have listed both of these on Etsy, and I'm working on the patterns for them. -Jennifer
Woods Hat
Sailing hat

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Crochet Basics: Slip Knot

This is the first in a series of basic crochet stitches. In order to start almost any crochet project you have to make a slip knot, so that's where my series is starting. A slip knot isn't really a stitch so most patterns don't even tell you to make one. You just need a slip knot in order to make your first real stitch.

To make a slip knot, make a loop in your yarn and put the crochet hook through the loop.
Hook the yarn coming out of the skein or ball, and pull the yarn through the loop on the crochet hook.
Now pull the knot in the yarn snug, and tighten the yarn around the crochet hook a bit. Leave the yarn on the crochet hook loose enough to slide easily on the hook.
You have made a slip knot and you're ready to crochet!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Patterns available on Etsy!

Well my hat and purse patterns are now available on Etsy. I'm pretty excited to have my work out there.
In other news, I'm planning a series of stitch instruction entries on my blog, so stay tuned for that.
Click here to check out my Etsy store. -Jennifer
 Flower Garden
 Lil' Love
 Neon Ruffles

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Hats and Purses

Well, I sent in my hat and purse patterns to a publisher yesterday. Feels good to get some work out for review. Now I have to buckle down on Christmas presents! -Jennifer

Monday, November 1, 2010

Design Submitted

Well I finally submitted my design to Crochet Today magazine today. They say it can take 6 months to hear back from them, so don't go asking me if they like yet. I feel pretty good about getting that submission in and all the hard work I did on it that is now done. Hopefully I can send off my hat and purse designs by tomorrow. That is my goal! Then I have a TON of things to make for Christmas. Don't think I'll get it all done, but what I can make beats buying stuff, so I'm trying.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Podcast Players

I had intended to do a lot of work on my coffee cup sleeve patterns today, and when I craft, I usually listen to podcasts. Well, I'm pretty sick of iTunes, which is what I've been using to download and listen to podcasts. It isn't very customizable, and to download new podcasts you have to go to the Apple Store which is so bandwidth heavy that it often disconnects my internet connection, plus I sincerely hate the Apple company. So, today I decided to find a better program and start getting my podcasts through that. And I did. I had to do a little research and try several. I finally ended up getting Winamp, much to my surprise, as I associate that program with the mid 90s. It has a horrible directory too: the search function does not in fact function, and there are less podcasts listed in it than iTunes. That doesn't matter with Winamp though because you can enter the URL of any podcast you want and get it instantly. Plus the directory doesn't crash my internet, a big plus in my book.
How does this relate to crafting? Well, it took me until about 2pm to get it all sorted out and set up, so that was most of my day. Then I had to download new podcast episodes, so I ended up crocheting in silence as I waited for one to download. Ah well, I am no longer beholden to Apple for my podcast needs and will be able to crochet in smug satisfaction in the future.
Favorite Podcast: The Moth

Friday, October 22, 2010

My stuff for sale on Etsy

I finally posted a couple of things on sale at I designed and knit these coffee cup sleeves myself, so I'm pretty proud of them. Here's the links:
And some pics:


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Submission Guidelines

I've been working on Christmas presents a lot lately so I can't really blog about what I've been making exactly. I have been doing some other productive stuff though. I can only really craft for about 3-4 hours and then my hands are too tired to do more. I don't stop the productivity there though. I have been researching submission guidelines now that my coffee cup sleeve patterns are just about ready. Got two good places to submit them, but I'm a little disheartened at how long it takes to get a response (6 months). That's kind of a bummer but it would be fun to be in a magazine. I still haven't decided whether to self-publish my hat patterns or try to get them published as a booklet. I'm thinking the booklet would be less work for me in the long run, but it's also more constricting as far as what kinds of things I can add to each pattern (tips and back story and such).

Monday, October 18, 2010

Ran out of yarn Part 2

Well, the store was out of that color of yarn when I went there today. Lame!

Ran out of yarn

Spent the weekend at my brother's house and did a lot of crocheting while I was there. I'm working on some cup sleeve/holder patterns that go around paper coffee cups and some hat and purse patterns for girls. I got the cup sleeves done that I had brought, and I was working on testing the pattern I had written for the hat and purse. They are white with bright pink ruffles on them. I always test the pattern once I think it is done to make sure I haven't made any mistakes. Or, well, to fix the mistakes I made, because I always find some. Anyway, 1/2 way through the purse I ran out of yarn. The worst thing that can happen to a crafter! And I still had a 6 hour car ride ahead of me. So I had to just sit in the car and imagine the stuff I wished I was making. I mean, I could have talked to people, but brooding is more my style. Today, I'm off to the store to stock up on that most precious substance, yarn. -Jennifer