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March 20, 2015
by mio
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Design DeLorean

It’s official, folks: I’m a Crochet Professional. It’s a great time to be alive!

Last year I was forced to leave my job at Michaels due to health reasons. It was a trying year, but I made it through relatively unscathed. During that year I spent a lot of time crocheting, which led to a lot of crochet designing, which has led to 2015 being the year I’m officially self-employed as a crocheter.

There have been a lot of ad-like posts on the blog lately, and I appologize for that. I had misunderstood the listing requirements on one of the sites I use to sell my patterns – these posts will be cleaned out soon, as advertising was never what this blog was supposed to be about.

I have been quite focused on the sales side of things, though, so I thought I’d write up a post about what life is like as a crochet pattern designer.

In short: I feel like I’m in a time machine.

For example:

I’m currently working on a sample for a blanket pattern that I’m hoping to release in June.
IMG_20150320_112240

I’ve got 7 patterns finished and out for testing, with 7 different due dates, and 7 planned release dates that I need to keep track of.

And I’ve got to stay on top of everything I’ve released already, on Ravelry, Craftsy, and now Etsy.

Speaking of Etsy, that’s a new source for me, as of February 13th. I started selling my patterns there so that I’d have somewhere that would handle all of this VAT nonsense for me and my EU customers (though, Ravelry will start handling it for us in April – yay!). Since Etsy is a venue that allows more than just patterns, I’ve decided to start selling actual finished items there. Currently the non-pattern listings are mostly pattern samples, with a few winter-wear items thrown in for kicks.

And finally, I’m working on a special ad campaign for May.

Basically, the work I’m doing today covers four months of activity. It’s a bit of an odd place to find myself in!

Of course, there’s also to blog! I have been working on a few new tutorials to post, as well as some other fun things that I don’t want to reveal quite yet. In the meantime, do you have any questions about crochet designing? Or do you have a suggestion for what kinds of tutorials you’d like to see? Leave me a comment below!

December 30, 2014
by mio
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Foundation Stitches – Making Holes

This is the last tutorial (for now!) in the Foundation Stitches series. Start with Foundation Stitches – General Instructions. You can then move on to Solid Increases and Solid Decreases. Here, we round it out with how to make open increases and decreases, which will add holes to your first row.

In regular crochet, to make an open increase, you typically make a chain stitch (or more) between the stitches you’re using for that row. To make an open decrease, you typically make a stitch, then skip a stitch (or more) before making the next stitch.

You can also create a hole in your row using both of these techniques at the same time – make a stitch, ch1 (or more), skip a stitch (or more) before making the next stitch.

In this tutorial, we’re going to make that last one so that we can cover both techniques.

Once again, I will be using dc stitches to demonstrate, but you can use any stitch.

Work your foundation row until the point where you want the hole to be. To make the “open increase” part of this, you simply ch1:
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(Or do as many chains as your heart desires pattern calls for.)

Open increases are just as easy as that!

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Now let’s add the “open decrease” which will emulate “skipped chains” in your pattern. For this tutorial, I’m going to emulate a “skip 1 ch” instruction.

So, yarn over as many times as you need to for your chosen stitch:
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(I’m doing dc, so I did one yo.)

Then, yarn over a number of times equal to how many “skipped chains” you need:
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(So in this case, 1)

Insert your hook and pull up a loop:
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*yo, pull through 2 loops* a number of times equal to how many “skipped chains” you need:
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(In this case, just once)

ch1 (because we’re doing foundation stitches)
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Then finish your stitch as usual:
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And remember, if you’re trying to only do the increase, or only do the decrease, just ignore the other half of the instructions. Either add your chains and then continue on as normal, or yo as required for your stitch, and yo as many times as chains you need, and follow the last half of the directions.

December 22, 2014
by mio
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Foundation Stitches – Solid Decreases

This tutorial builds on what we learned last time with Foundation Stitches – General Instructions. Use it together with Foundation Stitches – Solid Increases to create a ripple!

This tutorial covers how to do solid increases and decreases while making a foundation row. (“Solid” meaning it won’t leave a large hole).

You should get familiar with how to do solid decreases in general before attempting them in foundation stitches.

Outside of the foundation stitches technique, these stitches are normally written as dc3tog or sc2tog or some such. The basic description of this instruction is to work the number of stitches indicated, but only up to the last “yo, pull through”, leaving an extra loop on your hook. Once you have the required number of stitches, you yarn over and pull through all loops on your hook.

What this does, is to join the tops of the stitches into one stitch.

In foundation stitches, you start by making your first stitch, all the way up until just before the last “yo, pull through”. I’m doing double crochet, so this is what my first stitch looks like:

Get all of the loops on:
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ch1:
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Finish the stitch, stopping short of the last “yo, pull through”:
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Repeat that for as many stitches as you need, then do a final, “yo, pull through all loops”
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(This is dc2tog)

Done!

December 16, 2014
by mio
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Foundation Stitches – Solid Increase

This tutorial builds on what we learned last time with Foundation Stitches – General Instructions

What do I mean by “solid increase”? I mean an increase that maintains a solid fabric. In other words, no holes!

When making a solid increase in crochet, you work multiple stitches into one spot. This is usually written as “3dc in next st” or “3dc inc” or some such.

To do this in foundation stitches, you work the first stitch of the group as a foundation stitch, and then work the rest of the stitches in the group into the base of that first stitch (as regular stitches, not foundation stitches). Once your increase is done and you’re ready to work in a straight line again, you insert your hook in that same spot yet again, but start making foundation stitches again.

Here is is in dc stitches:

Start with a foundation stitch:
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Make a dc stitch (NOT a foundation dc) into the ch1 at the bottom of the previous stitch:
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Do that as many times as you need to, always inserting your hook into that same spot. Then, work a foundation double crochet to continue on in a straight line:
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Here’s what the 3dc increase looks like:
DSC05619