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October Crochet Challenge: Part 3

If you have made it past Part 1 and Part 2 I have good news for you, we are almost there. We will soon be reaping the benefits of the countless hours we have spent crocheting our hearts out. Part 3 is going to focus on getting us ready to complete our crochet challenge.

Style 1 and 2, the following is for you;

You may be at a point where you are almost at the end of your crochet blanket and are looking to tie up some of those loose ends. Once you get to the end of any project you will want to have a secure knot in place so that your work does not become unravelled, this is called fastening off. I posted a tutorial in Part 2 which I feel is most helpful (again you will need to fast forward to about 36 seconds into the video). Once you have fastened off the end you will want to weave in the long end pieces of yarn. These are usually at the end and beginning of your project. Weaving in your ends allows you to hide these pieces in your work securely, I have added a tutorial here for you to follow as well. To weave in the ends you will need a yarn needle, take a look at Part 1 if you forget what this looks like.

Style 3, this next part is just for you;

At this point you should have the first and second sections of your blanket crocheted together like so;

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The yarn I used is a bit stretchy so at times it is hard to lay in a straight line. You can ensure you are still on the right path by going along the side of your work, as long as this is in a straight line you know you are on the right track. To attached the last section of the blanket you will use the same technique as in Part 2 when we attached our second colour. I will give a quick refresher of what this looks like. Take your third and last colour and attach the yarn to your hook, once you have this in place you will want to sc into the first stitch of the middle section of the blanket;

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From here proceed to sc all the way along the middle section of the blanket, once you get to the end ch and turn. You will now continue with the same technique we have been using all along, sc into the second stitch from your hook and work your way to the end, then ch and turn.

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Remember to measure your work as you go along to ensure that all three sections are the same length, for me each section will be 20″. For all three styles, no matter which one you chose, ensure you are crocheting in a straight line.

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Always take the time to lay out your work and see if it is aligned, this will prevent less heart ache along the way. There is nothing worse then feeling that sense of excitement as you are nearing the end of a project only to find out that you have to unravel because your edges aren’t even. It doesn’t need to be perfect but you don’t want to end up with a smaller width near the end of your blanket.

You can always email me if you have any questions or leave a comment below. Next week we will add the final touches and will be able to enjoy the rewards of our month long challenge. I am proud of you all! If you have yet to take the challenge don’t worry there is always time to start hooking but don’t wait too long those cold nights are on the way!

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October Crochet Challenge: Part 2

Welcome to part 2 of the October Crochet Challenge. I hope you haven’t given up and are still hanging in there! Part 2 will gives us an opportunity to check in to make sure we are still on track and so that I can show you how to connect a new colour to your blanket (style #3). I initially thought I would switch colours around 26.6″ but I decided to go with 20″ instead. While I was crocheting I realized that my blanket is turning out a bit larger than I had expected so I decided that making each section 26.6″ would only make things much larger than they needed to be. A long story short here is what I have so far;

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As you can see I have stopped crocheting once I got to the desired length with my first colour.

For those who chose style #1 and #2, this is a good time to check to see how straight your edges are. You will want to continue with what you have been doing so far (sc, ch, turn and sc) all the way until the end. Take the time to stop and lay out your work to ensure your edges are in a straight line.

For those that chose style #3 these next few steps will be for you. Once you get to the end and are ready to switch colours you will want to faster off the yarn. Here is a tutorial that will explain the technique in more detail (you may want to fast forward to about 36 seconds into the video). Don’t worry about weaving in the loose ends, we will get to that later on, just ensure you have a long end piece of yarn as it will make weaving them in mush easier. Once you have the end piece fastened off, grab your second colour of yarn and proceed to tie the yarn around the hook as demonstrated in part 1 of the challenge. Once you have it attached to your hook you are going to want to sc into the first loop at the beginning of your work like so;

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Find the first loop and proceed to sc your new colour into the stitches;

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Once you have the first sc it should look like this;

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From here you will want to continue to work a sc stitch all the way to the end, ch and turn. From here you will want to continue with the previous pattern of going in the second loop from your hook;

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From this point on, keep the same technique as before and continue with this until you reach the desired length. Again, for me it will be 20″ at which point I will switch back to black. Next week I will show you how to do this, it is basically the same as the above but I will demonstrate it again anyways. It will give us a chance to catch up and to see how things are going, remember to ask any questions you may have along the way. I am happy to answer them 🙂

*To see my progress as I go along make sure you are following me on Instagram and Twitter (see right hand side)*

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October Crochet Challenge: Part 1

Last week I dared you all to start hooking and I hope I have inspired some of you to give it a try. I love sharing what brings happiness to my life and this is defiantly one of those wonderful things. Will you be frustrated? Yup! Will you want to give up? Yup! But aren’t those that are most rewarding usually found the hard way as opposed to the easy way? I would argue that the best things in life are those that take time, and those that we have had to work the hardest for. This is one of those things and with most hobbies practice makes perfect. Don’t focus on expensive yarns or mastering the technique all in one sitting. Take your time, breath and allow yourself to make mistakes. Lets face it how else can we learn if we don’t make a few along the way?!

At this point you should have the measurements, a style picked and the following supplies;

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The first step in any crochet project is crocheting a slip stitch followed by a chain stitch. The chain stitch will be the the foundation of almost anything you create. Unravel the yarn to get a bit of length to work with. If you are using more than one colour for a textured look, as shown below, you will want to unravel all two or three spools of yarn so that you can attach the colours to your hook at the same time;

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Okay you are ready to begin, first you will need to attach the yarn to your hook which is called a slip knot. I feel it’s best to leave the demonstrations to the professionals so take a look at the tutorials as we go along. Once your crochet hook is attached to the yarn, aka your slip knot is securely in place, you will want to start your chain stitches. Remember the chain is the foundation, it will set the guide for the width of the blanket. In most patterns they will advise on how many chain stitches (ch) to make but in this case we are going by measurements, simply chain stitch the length you want your blanket. I went with a width of 50″ so I chain stitched until I got to 50″ like so;

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Once you get to the desired measurement you will want to add an additional chain stitch. Once you have the additional chain stitch you are ready for your first single crochet stitch (sc). To keep the blanket symmetrical I recommend going in the loop second from your hook;

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This is where you should make your first single crochet stitch. You will want to go under the loops like so;

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From here and for the remaining chain stitches, continue your single crochet stitch all the way to the end. If you are stuck and aren’t sure where your should go next, look at your hook and look at the loop it is attached to;

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Above you can see that the hook is attached to the loop as indicated. This will guide you in moving to the next loop in order to make your next single crochet and prevent you from inserting your hook into the same loop as your hook;

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Continue with the single crochet stitch until you have come to the end of your chain, chain one extra and then turn your rows so that they look like this;

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Above, I have come to the end and have turned my work so that the bottom end is flat and the top end has the loops sticking up. Every time you come to the end of your row, ch and then turn your work. Again, start your sc stitch in the second loop from the hook;

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Continue with the sc until you get the to the end of the row, ch and then turn. Remember when you are going along to go under both loops with your sc;

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At the end of each row and the beginning of a new one ensure that the edge of the blanket is straight;

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Here you can see that the second row of my blanket is in line with the row below it. If you notice that the edge of your blanket is not straight it could mean that you did not go into the second loop from your hook or you forgot to ch before you turned your work. In this case the only way to fix it is taking out your hook and unravelling your work until you start back to where you last left off in a straight line. Yes, my heart broke the many times I had to do this.

These are the basic steps you need to crochet your blanket, for styles #1 and #2, keep working your way back and forth row by row. With style #3 you will want to keep measuring the length of your work so that you will know when to switch colours. I will be switching to a cream coloured yarn at about 26.6″ which I will demonstrate how to do next week. If you have questions along the way please send me an email or leave a comment below and I will be more than happy to answer you!

Ready….set…..hoooookkkkkk

*I will be posting pictures on my Instagram and Twitter account as I go along so make sure you are following*

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October Crochet Challenge: I dare you to start hooking

I am going to take this opportunity to challenge you all to start hooking! Yes, it’s happening. I am tired of hearing “I wish I could do that” and “I wouldn’t be able to make that” because the truth is you can! Shocking I know, but it’s true. Crocheting is a wonderful art and an even better way to treat yo self and the ones around you. I am taking this opportunity now so you can prepare yourselves for those cold nights. Plus with the days getting shorter and daily motivation fading with the sun it’s the perfect time to learn a new hobby. Come on I know you all can’t wait to finish work, go home, make some hot tea or coco, and snuggle up on the coach with your favourite blanket. Wouldn’t it be even better to snuggle up to your favourite blanket knowing that you, the one who thought you couldn’t, made it with your very one hands?! I thought so, I mean nothing feels better than taking a spool of yarn and turning it into something creative. All month long I am going to be working along side you, we are going to crochet a blanket together. This time next month you will be drinking that hot cup of tea surrounded by the warmth you created with your very own hands.

Now of course you will need supplies and I assure you the process will be easy once you get the hang of it. It will require some patience and some time so please be kind to yourself as you learn. Oh, and we won’t be following a pattern…..okay don’t be scared it really is a pretty basic method to make a simple crochet blanket. We will be crocheting a blanket about the size of a “lap” blanket, I am sure most of you have something like this lying around your home. I took the measurements of one I have in the living room but I added some length. The measurements I will be using as a guide for my blanket are 51″ wide by 80″ long. This is a about 20″ longer than the lap blanket I currently have but I want to make one a little bit longer so I can pull it up over my arms. You can make yours as long or as wide as you want, so the first step will be figuring out the measurements that you want to go with. Once you have that sorted out the next part is figuring out what style you want make. I am going to present three different options;

1. You can intertwine three or two different colours to give a textured look;

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2. You can use one solid colour to keep things simple yet classy;

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3. Lastly, this is the style I will be going with, using two different colours and interchanging them to create a chunky stripped look;

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I am going to divide the length of the blanket I will be crocheting,  80″, by three so that I have a guide as to when I need to switch colours which will be around 26.6″. I will start with black, the middle will be a cream colour and the end will be black again. Depending on the length you are going to make yours might be a bit different in terms of when you have to switch out the yarn, just ensure it’s symmetrical.  Are you still with me? Good! Once you have your measurements, a style of blanket, then you will want to pick a hook, hence the name “hooking”.

I am going to recommend using size Q:

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It’s a large crochet hook which will give the blanket a chunky look as well it is great for beginners as the loops will be large and easy to find.

Here are the supplies I am going to use and suggest you get as well:

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The yarn I chose was medium (4) which is indicated along the side of the yarn package. Basically you can use any yarn that is recommended for crocheting a blanket. I like using a medium sized yarn (4). It feels thin but once you start crocheting it will thicken up but will still remain loose which will create a nice feel.

We will keep the method very simple and easy to follow. The stitches we will be using are;

  • single crochet
  • chain stitch

There will be other simple techniques along the way but no worries as I will be right there with you. You can email me if you are stuck or unsure at any point and I will assist you along the way. To sum everything up before we start next week, you will need:

  • measurements for the blanket you want to crochet
  • a style of blanket
  • purchase supplies: yarn (I would recommend starting with 2 skeins of each colour, you may need more or less depending), size Q hook, scissors and a yarn needle to thread in the ends once the blanket is completed

I am so excited for how proud you are going to feel once you complete this crochet project!! Next week we will start our blanket, I will see you then! If I still don’t have you convinced to join me in this challenge think of what a lovely Christmas gift this will be for a lucky friend or loved one 😉