Gauge Your Gauge

Always, ALWAYS gauge your gauge! It’s extremely critical as we all know, or should know. I’m guilty for not checking my gauge with my crochet projects. I know; give me a failing grade. “F!” But, I do know that I should always use two crochet hook sizes smaller than the one mentioned in the pattern. Well… I didn’t do that this time around…

Remember the Fall Poncho I posted about a few days ago? Embarrassingly, it came out slightly off in size (with respect to the front of it). The front of the poncho is about three inches longer than the back. *Sigh.* If you ask why, I can give you one major reason:  lack of focus. Should have followed rule number four on my Zen List!

Anyhoo, don’t be a Debra Lee! Check your gauge before starting your crochet project, and even pay attention to how it’s coming to together. If your baby booty looks abnormally huge, unravel, go down a hook size, and try again.

Best wishes on your new crochet project!

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A Guide to Commonly Used Crochet Abbreviations

Photo Source:  BigStock.com
Photo Source: BigStock.com

Here’s a list of commonly used crochet abbreviations (there are many more, just giving a few):

ch – chain

ch sp – chain space

sp – space

dec – decrease

inc – increase

sl st – slip stitch

ss – slip stitch

sc-  single crochet

hdc – half double crochet

dc – double crochet

tc – treble crochet

sc2together – single crochet two together

dc2together – double crochet two together

fp – front post

bp – back post

yo – yarn over

fo – fasten off/finish off

Crochet for the Holidays TODAY!

In case you’re wondering when you should start crocheting for the holidays, follow my advice – start TODAY. I’ve all too often told myself, “Oh, I’ll start that Halloween costume as soon as October comes around.” Well, let me tell ya, it doesn’t happen. Birthdays come and go, plans are made, ideas for the ‘who, what, when, where’ for Christmas are tossed back and forth… life becomes soo exhausting that your coveted crochet time becomes obsolete!

Give yourself at least three months (any less and you’d be committing suicide!) prior to the holidays to create your crochet projects. Start by searching for your favorite (and make sure they’re practical so you don’t throw yourself under the bus) pattern. From there, give yourself a timeline. Guesstimate how long each project will take, and build from there. The key here, especially if you’re creating for gifts or selling, is to not overload yourself. Boy, oh boy do I know that feeling! Not good for you or your projects.

So, start crocheting for the holidays TODAY! Trust me, you’ll be saving yourself much time and frustration. Now, I better start on my Halloween projects! Definitely don’t want to put those off this year. 🙂

Happy crocheting, ya’ll!

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To Not Knot?

I’m sitting here on my favorite, comfy recliner crocheting a poncho for myself, when the infamous question of whether I should not knot pops into my head.

“Should I not knot?”

Honestly, how many of you knot, and how many of you do not? I for one, do both, depending on the circumstances. Though, I am trying to veer away from knots and put more effort into weaving in my tails.

So, let me think this through, and I will share my final thoughts with you.
I will NOT knot!
Not for this poncho, no ma’am I won’t.
Instead, I will weave my tails in just right – to make them stay nice and tight.

By: Debra Lee

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Keep Your Photos Protected

Many of us (myself included) spend countless hours setting up a spot to take photos of our finished crochet projects. The lighting must be just right, the background must tell a story, and our finished project has to do magic tricks, like stand on its toes! With all of that taken into account, we upload our photos onto our website and think to ourselves, “Hey! That looks really good!” Everything is fine and dandy until some lazy, good-for-nothing Picture Thief comes to steal them! The Picture Thief uploads YOUR amazing photos onto their website and claims them as their own. All of your hard work down the drain.

STOP RIGHT THERE!

Photo Source:  BigStock.com
Photo Source: BigStock.com

Always, always, ALWAYS remember to watermark your photos, or even better, get them copy written. Your work is YOUR work and no one else’s. No one works as hard as you do to get your website up and running. Why take the risk of someone stealing what you’ve taken days to complete?

This is an extremely important issue to me, and I hope it falls high on your priority list, too. I’m using a 100% FREE, Norton trusted software called:  “UMark5.” Simply download it to your pc, run it, upload your images, set the watermark, and your done! It does batches of photos at a time, so you don’t waste YOUR time. You can always pay to upgrade to the “Pro” software they offer, but otherwise, “UMark5” is always free to use. Picture watermarks can be used, too.

 I’m completely happy with the software – no issues with it at all. 🙂 Let me know what you think of this software, and if you use a different software to protect your photos. Thanks, ya’ll!

When Working With Ribbon

When working with ribbon, you want to ensure that it won’t fray over the period of its life span. This is especially important with baby crochet projects.

image
Photo taken by: Debra Lee

With that said, I like to use “Fray Check” by Dritz. You can find it at any big box and craft stores. Simply dab a tiny bit of it on the ends of the ribbon. Allow to dry. Your crochet project is now fray-free! Hooray!

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Zen List

When starting a crochet project, be sure that you are 110% ZEN! What do I mean by this? I’m talking about your comfort level – both mentally and physically. Here’s my very brief, and to the point, Zen List:

 

Japan zen garden with orchid flower and candle lights
Photo Source:  BigStock.com

1.) All the materials I need for my project are at my side and ready to assist me when called upon.

2.) My room is filled with superior, natural light. If that’s not a possibility, a nice, soft lamp light will do just as well. I say ‘soft light’ because other types of lighting tend to give me headaches. OUCH! Don’t want that to happen halfway through your crochet project. Adjust the lighting as you see fit.

3.) My favorite drink (AKA:  goold ol’ H2O – I know, I know, but it really is!) is handy, and within reach.

4.) Now, this is the MOST IMPORTANT of all  – PEACE AND QUIET! Yes, it’s difficult (if not impossible) to achieve with kids around, I know. But, give it a try. Peace and quiet really and truly make a huge difference in how quickly and effectively your project will work up.

Say it with me, “ZEN.”

Happy crocheting!