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Using Crocheted Edgings on your Handmade Projects

Nothing adds a personal touch to your crocheted or knitted item than including a handmade edging. No matter the pattern or design, adding a beautiful edging will only enhance the beauty and uniqueness of any afghan, baby blanket, sweater, shawl, scarf or hat you make.

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The border can be as simple as picot stitches around the edge or as fancy as a special trim crocheted by following a more complex design. Below are several books by celebrated crochet authors, designers and teachers. Follow any design as written or add your personal touches by incorporating beads into the trim, including a border of fringe, using numerous colored yarns, layering several edgings together or just simply create your own.

Crocheting on the Edge by Nicky Epstein, provides a wide variety of over 200 crocheted edgings.

Around the Corner Crochet Borders by Edie Eckman, a beautifully illustrated collection of borders with detailed instructions and charts to help you around those sometimes difficult corners. 50 Crocheted Afghan Borders and 50 More Crocheted Afghan Borders by Rita Weiss Creative Partners, Jean Leihauser, both ladies pioneers in crochet design.

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Beyond the Basic Granny Square – Part 1

101 Granny Squares – New Motifs for Contemporary Designs edited by Carol Alexander

This book contains patterns by 26 designers, many very well known. Basic granny squares are incorporated into cardigans, jewelry, purses, clothing, hats, curtains, tablecloths, and rugs. A few I really like are the Reversible Button & Beads Headband and the free-form Bag Lady purse. There are several granny square motifs provided for use in a poncho. You could choose one design or several to create a beautiful bedspread. One of my all-time favorites is the Pretty Patchwork afghan by Margret Willson shown on the cover.

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200 Crochet Block for Blankets, Throws and Afghans by Jan Eaton

When you are ready to move beyond a basic granny, this book offers some interesting alternatives. You can follow the suggested combination of blocks or create your own. The nice thing is the coordinating blocks are sized to fit together if you use the same weight yarn. I especially like the Floral Fantasy combination on page 29. She also offers some edging choices to add that personal touch to your finished project.

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Thank You Crochet Today!

As I was going through my new Crochet Today! Magazine, what did I find? A nice review of my book, Interlocking Crochet™! This was a really nice surprise so thank you to Crochet Today!

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If you don’t have your own copy, go to their webpage www.crochettoday.com.

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Crochet a Scarf for Charity – Handmade Especially for You

At Stitches West I met this month’s charity – Handmade Especially for You. Leslye Borden began Handmade in 2009 by making 300 scarves and donating them to a local shelter. As year four begins, Handmade has contributed 31,500 scarves in California alone.

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Handmade’s mission is “to give every abused woman who comes into a shelter a comfort scarf simply because she was brave enough to leave her abusive situation. Most of these women have never received a personal gift, much less a handmade personal gift.” Handmade hopes the scarf is a symbol of her transformation.

The scarves are not for sale; they are gifts. Forty major yarn companies and private stores donate the yarn used. It takes about 288 yards of yarn to make an average scarf. Multiply that by 31,500 and that length would stretch from Santa Clara, California to London, England. They use about 300,000 yards of yarn each month.

Women of all ages donate their time to knit or crochet these scarves. Their almost 1,000 scarf makers come from all over the United States, as well as a few from Canada, England, Scotland, Australia, Germany and South Africa.

You can donate in several ways:

  • Send your unused yarn so they can create kits for their volunteers.
  • Become a volunteer and receive a kit to crochet or knit a scarf.
  • Make a monetary donation.
  • Use your own yarn to crochet a scarf.

If you are crocheting your own scarf, follow the suggestions below:

  • Use soft yarn for comfort.
  • Pick happy colors.
  • Make them 4 to 5 inches wide.
  • Make them at least 60 inches long.
  • Use open-weave stitch if possible so they can be used in warm-weather climates.
  • Add some novelty yarn or ribbon to make them special.

There is a scarf pattern at the Handmade website or use one of your own. This month’s basic granny square would be a perfect match – an open-weave stitch that uses up your yarn stash.

You can read more about Leslye Borden and Handmade at http://www.HandMadeEspecially.org.

There are donation instructions, including a gift tag to download so you can personalize your scarf. Or your crochet group can start its own local chapter.

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Stitch Craft Create Magazine Interviews Tanis Galik

I’m happy to announce that I did a brief interview with Stitch Craft Create Magazine for March Crafters Month. Here’s the link Ten Questions with Tanis Galik of Interlocking Crochet™.

Hope you enjoy all this month’s interviews with all the crafters!

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Beyond the Basic Granny Square – Part 2

Once you’ve mastered the basic granny square (Simple & Sensational™ – Video How to Crochet a Basic Granny Square and Basic Granny Square Scarf Pattern), there are numerous possibilities to expand your granny square repertoire, moving into the more unusual and intricate motifs.

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There are several books that take you to that next step and offer inspiring examples. Two of my favorites are: (But as with all books, check the author’s or publisher’s website for any corrections before beginning.)

The Granny Square Book by Margaret Hubert. This spiral-bound book contains beautiful illustrations, charts for each decorative square, as well as written instructions. There are 75 great choices, including many with flower centers. Some of my favorites are: Venetian Star (pg. 66), which I think would make a fabulous bedspread worked in off-white cotton thread; Swirling Spiral (pg. 63), a real modern twist on the traditional granny square and Tri-Color Cluster (pg. 50), an unusually dense square. There also is a section showing how to design with granny squares, plus 19 projects to start you on your way.

Beyond the Square – Crochet Motifs by Edie Eckman. This spiral-bound book contains 144 motifs, including circles, hexagons, triangles, square and unusual shapes. There is a nice introductory section which has directions for the sliding loop (Ms. Eckman’s preferred way of making a beginning ring), avoiding the color blip and tidy joins. Besides some great motifs, there are ideas and charts on how to arrange and attach similar motifs or how to combine different motifs to create your own one-of-a-kind project.

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4 Ways to Crochet a Circle/Ring

Many projects begin with a circle or ring that is crocheted into to create granny squares, various motifs, hats, round purses, rugs, etc. Here are 4 ways to crochet that beginning ring.

1. DSC00572Chain Ring – One of the most popular ways and one you will see in most patterns is the chain circle. The pattern states a given number of chains and then you join with a slip stitch into the first chain, creating a ring. Subsequent stitches are worked into that ring. (Notice the space in the center of the circle.)

2. DSC00573Working in the First Chain Stitch – The pattern will give you the number of chains (ch 2 for a sc circle; ch 3 for an hdc circle; ch 4 for a dc circle). Work the number of circle stitches (sc, hdc or dc) in the first chain stitch (2nd chain from hook for sc, 3rd chain from hook for hdc, 4th chain form hook for dc). Join with a slip stitch in the top of the beginning chain. You can pull the yarn end to tighten the ring center. (Notice the smaller center in the circle.) Picture is double crochets worked in 4th chain from hook.

3. DSC00574Magic Ring or Adjustable Ring – Begin a slip stitch. Crochet number of chains needed for circle stitches (1 for sc; 2 for hdc, 3 for dc). Work rest of stitches (sc, hdc or dc) directly into that slip stitch space. Join with a slip stitch to the top of the beginning chain. Pull the yarn end to tighten the center. Notice the center is adjustable to make it tighter or looser as needed.

4. DSC00575Sliding Loop presented in Edie Eckman’s Beyond the Square Crochet Motifs. Page 10 includes a series of pictures to clearly demonstrate this adjustable ring. It is a double slip stitch that works like the adjustable ring, except it is worked around two strands of yarn so it could be stronger. Work as in #3, only work around two loops. Pull the one end to tighten the ring. Pull the tightened end to cinch the other yarn strand that has not tightened. Pull the original end to close the ring.

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Video – Simple & Sensational™ – 3 Ways to Crochet a Circle