Monday, April 23, 2012

Abrupt Increase

Let's talk about Abrupt Increases - AbInc. I'm not sure if this is the correct term for this technique or if anyone on earth uses it, other than myself, but it really makes my life easier and I think it's worth sharing.

Most of the time in crochet increases and decreases are done gradually. You add a stitch periodically to increase and connect 2 stitches, essentially losing one stitch periodically in order to decrease, but there are those times when you need to increase or decrease dramatically and instantly. There are cases where gradual just doesn't cut it. This technique is for those moments.

 I'm using HDC's on this piece. Notice in the picture above. YO, go into the last stitch of the previous row, pull up a loop. 3 loops on hook. Now notice in the picture below....

YO and pull through 1. (This creates the appearance that you had a chain there to begin with...DON'T FREAK OUT IF YOU DON'T SEE IT takes a few stitches for it to be obvious) Then pull through all three to complete your HDC. YO, go into the chain that you just created, pull up a lp, pull through 1, pull through 3 to complete your HDC. (this can be done with SC, or DC or any stitch variation that doesn't require skipping stitches...and some that do.) See the completed stitch in the photo below.

Continue adding stitches until you've increased as much as is needed for your pattern. Then continue as if it were just a normal row. Ch and turn and continue.
Sample of several AbInc in a row. 

Decreasing is easy, you just slip stitch back down your row until you are at the place where you want to begin stitching again. Then chain the height of the stitch of your choice (HDC in this case) and carry on.
Example of AbInc row and AbDec row.

This technique is great for making button holes without having to chain or leave extra large gaps. It's great for making sleeve openings for cardigans, sweaters and vests. The possibilities are endless! If you try it out let me know! As always, if you have problem, message me, I'm here to help! 

Here's a link to a fun project using the AbInc! Let me know what you think!

Happy Hooking!
Mama Nettie

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Crossed TC's

There are a variety of crossed stitches that you can master and enjoy and they each create a unique texture and pattern that is very beautiful.  I have been using the Crossed Treble Crochet in a lot of projects lately and thought it would be fun to teach it to you all.  From here forward I will abbreviate it XTC just to simplify.

XTC's tend to increase the width of the fabric a bit so I prefer to use them in trims or on pieces that I am intentionally increasing. You can alter the pattern to make them not increase the width, but in my opinion, they also don't stand out or have as dramatic of an effect as they do otherwise.

XTC = TC in 3rd st from hk, ch 2, TC in 1st skipped st.

To begin, chain the length that you want the project to be (# should be divisible by 3). at this point I like to do a base row. In the pictures you'll see that I did a base row of HDC's.  The first photo picks up after that row. Chain 2,

TC in the 3rd HDC from hook, ch 2, 

Chain 2, then holding the first TC out of your way, TC in the second st BACK from the hook. 
(See the picture above, the hook is pointing to the correct place to put the stitch)

It's a little difficult to see, but this is how I hold the first stitch out of the way while doing the second stitch. 

Here's the effect that you get! Isn't it gorgeous!? 
Notice that you don't put 2 stitches into the same hole at any time in this pattern.

Here are some fun instructions for how to do this stitch when working on something like a skirt or sleeve. Again, remember that it will increase in size on the outer edge, so use it with that in mind.
Chain the length that you'd like, and join. Chain 2, HDC around and sl st to join. 

When working on something round, you chain 5 to begin your round. This chain serves as the first TC and chain 2.

In this photo the hook is pointing at the stitch that you'll go into to make your second TC.
Can you see the chain (first TC and ch2) held behind the hook out of the way while I'm doing the second TC?

Continue XTC's around and watch the texture in this pattern! 

When you come to the end, sl st to join into the 3rd ch of the beginning chain. 

And there you have it!

As always, if you need any help getting it down, send me a note!
Happy Hooking! 
Mama Nettie