Blogg'n With The Crisses

Bead Crochet Tip

February 16, 2013, at 08:02 AM

I've seen some interesting suggestions for how to get beads on to thread or yarn for beaded crochet. Fray check, nail polish, beading needles, etc.

I'd like to share my easy tip -- this works for helping you thread needles too! I keep a tiny blob of beeswax in my sewing & beading kits -- not much more than a blob of chewed gum you might stick under a desk or the size of a gum eraser.

Holding the wax in one hand, the thread in the other, I draw the tail of the yarn or thread through the wax a few times while pushing it into the wax with my thumb. Then pull it through my fingers a few times to make sure I'm happy with it. It stiffens the thread, works great on cotton yarn, and you can twist the end if it's fraying and it will stay put. Twist to a point if needed for stringing beads on yarn.

String away! It won't work with the spinning bead bowl method, but definitely works great for your 6/0 or 8/0 and larger beads.

This also works great on sewing thread to help thread needles and to stiffen knots so they stay stuck without using glue or fray check. You might try it on the ends of nylon if you don't want to burn them so they stay raveled.

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Tunisian Theories

January 14, 2013, at 07:01 PM

I'm not one to go by the rules. I love tunisian crochet, and I am willing to experiment with it. So I've experimented with how to cast on, and I'm experimenting with stitch combinations for a project.

I'm quite annoyed by pulling up threads from a foundation chain. I can never seem to get it quite right, it doesn't have a pleasant effect, even when I use a larger hook to create the chain. Even though I'm not a knitter, I use knit cast-ons to start my tunisian projects, and it works quite well.

Here's cast-on options that actually work on both tunisian and double-ended hooks, each with different properties:

Crochet chain cast-on
This is the usual method. I don't like this one, most of the time.
Knit cast-on
Use a second smaller crochet hook to make stitches and move them to the tunisian hook.
Cable cast-on
Similar to a knit cast-on, use a second smaller hook to help.
Single cast-on
Using half-hitches to add loops to the hook loosely, then work them off with a regular return-row. May have to hunt for the vertical threads a little. Too easy to screw it up, can be difficult for the next row because the loops can vary in give and it's easy to make them uneven.
Double cast-on (long-tail cast-on
I love this one, but requires leaving a "Tail" long enough to cast the number of stitches required, so can be tricky.
German twisted cast-on
This works rather well, too. It's a modification of the double cast-on.

These knit cast-on methods I have not tried yet:

Chain cast-on
?
Provisional cast-on
Haven't tried this one yet.
Tubular cast-on
Haven't tried yet, but doesn't sound promising.
Double needle cast-on
Haven't tried.
Braided cast-on
?

Another thing I'm working out is how to make a "real" rib stitch. A few suggested methods of rib stitches are:

  • Recommended: Create horizontal ribbing using a double-ended hook and 2 separate balls of yarn, work return pass + tks forward, turn work & work with second ball a return pass + tks forward. [Can make do with 1 ball of yarn & afghan hook: do 1 row tks, 1 row reverse tks, but easier with 2 balls & reversing the work rather than the stitch.] This makes a very condensed and stretchy thick ribbing.
  • Alternating rows of tss and twtss (tunisian simple stitch and tunisian twisted simple stitches) - this may replicate the look, but not the texture or stretch of knit ribbing.
  • Alternating rows of tks and tps (tunisian knit stitch and tunisian purl stitch) - this is closer to the texture and stretch of ribbing but not as good as the 2-way tks.

Other Posts in January 2013

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Crochet Yarn Tamer

January 08, 2013, at 08:01 AM

For center-pull balls of yarn that refuse to stay put. This pattern uses any gague, any yarn, but I recommend your most hated acrylic yarns, although it may not use it up quickly enough.

Directions are in US crochet notation.

Materials

~ 50 yards of worsted weight yarn
~ 5-10 yards in a worsted weight contrasting color
Size I, J or K hook. (you can modify the hook size to match the yarn and the desired size of the tamer slightly)

Gauge:

Gauge does not matter for this project, as long as the finished product can fit over a ball of yarn. I specifically needed to tame small mill-end balls of yarn, perhaps 1-2 ounces of slippery DK yarn, probably rayon. You can increase the size of the project with hook size, or by adding Vs in round 1 so that you can tame larger balls of yarn.

Abbreviations

ch
chain stitch
slst
slip stitch
dc
double crochet (US)
tr
triple crochet (US)
C
contrasting color
B
base color
V
V-stitch: tr in indicated stitch, ch 3, tr in same stitch
picot V
tr in indicated stitch, ch 4, sl st in the top of the tr, ch 3, tr in indicated stitch

Note: If you're going to do multiple V or picot V stitches, I recommend that you leave the last 2 loops on the hook. On the first tr of the next V go through all 3 loops on the hook when you have 3 loops left on the hook. In other words, the first tr ends like a half-double crochet (US) using 2 loops from the previous tr. I found this keeps the Vs very tidy at the top.

Pattern

Setup: with B: 18 dc in magic ring, join with sl st, pull magic ring so that you have an eyelet in the center.

Row 1: ch 4, * skip 1 stitch and V in next stitch * do * to end, tr in base of ch4, ch 3 and sl st in top of ch4. 9 Vs made (including the ch 4 V). [for a larger yarn tamer, you can skip fewer stitches and make additional Vs]

Rows 2 & 3: ch 4, * skip ch 3 and V in the next tr * to end then tr in base of ch4, ch 3 and sl st in top of ch 4. 9 Vs made (or same # Vs as row 1). [To make a longer yarn tamer, continue making rows.]

Ending Row: ch 4, * skip ch 3 and picot-V in next tr * to end then tr in base of ch4, ch 4 and slst in top of tr, ch 3 and slst to top of starting ch4.

Cut yarn, pull through slst and weave in loose ends.

Drawstring: ch 50, weave end of chain through all picots, slst on the first 4 ch to make a circle. Cut yarn, pull through, weave in end.

To use

Pull center-pull string through magic ring eyelet, pull tamer over ball of yarn with center-pull feed down, pull drawstring closed. I made this to fit firmly over a small 1-skein ball of yarn. Optionally, you could pull the center-pull yarn through the drawstring area instead.

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Tough Gloves

December 18, 2012, at 12:12 PM


Teen boy gloves with 5 row palm

A fingerless glove crochet project. These work up fast in worsted weight cotton yarn. This is a good pattern for carrying the yarn, since each color only needs to be carried one or two rows once the second color is added in. Adjustments are included for longer hands or partially covering the fingers, but these are most comfortable up to the knuckles.

Directions are in US crochet notation.

Materials

~ 150 yards worsted weight in a main color (i.e. black).
~ 50 yards in a worsted weight contrasting color (I used a camo multicolor yarn).
Size I9/5.5mm hook. (you can use an H hook and the small size for preteen gloves)


Teen boy gloves with 5 row palm

Gauge:

What's gauge? I'll measure the gauge...

Abbreviations

ch
chain stitch
sc
single crochet
slst
slip stitch
dc
double crochet (US)
hdc
half double crochet (US)
C
contrasting color
B
base color

Sizes


Women's Gloves

Small (Medium, Large): Small is for average width teen boys & women's hands, medium is for average men's hands, large is for wide men's hands.

Palm Note
The number of palm rounds will depend on the length of the person's palm, and whether they want the covering up to the knuckles, or to partially cover their fingers. 3 rounds covers an average woman's palm to the knuckles, 4 rounds an average man's palm or partially covering teen/women's fingers, and 5 rounds will partially cover an average man's fingers.

Pattern

Setup: with B: ch 24 (30, 36), join into round with slst. (be careful not to twist your chain, but you can fudge it if you do)

Start & Palms

Each palm round (3-5 rounds, see Palm Note above): ch 3, dc in each stitch to end, join to beginning ch3 with slst.

Thumb round 1 (right): ch2, hdc 1, ch 4 (5, 6) very loosely, skip 4 (5, 6) stitches, hdc to end, join with slst.
Optional Thumb round 1 (left): Mark the stitch 5 (6, 7) stitches backward from the slst, then hdc to marker, ch 4 (5, 6) very loosely, skip 4 (5, 6) stiches and hdc in last stitch, join with slst. (This will put the turning chain "seam" on the inside of the palm, just like the other glove.)

Thumb round 2 & 3: with C: ch1, sc in each stitch to end, join with slst.

Wrist round 1: with B: ch2, * hdc 10 (12, 14), decrease 1, repeat from *, join with slst.

Wrist round 2: ch 2, * hdc 9 (11, 13), decrease 1, repeat from *, join with slst.

Wrist round 3 & 4: with C: ch1, sc in each stitch to end, join with slst.

Wrist round 5: with B: ch3, dc in each stitch to end, join with slst.

Wrist round 6: with C: chain 3, dc in each stitch to end, join with slst.

Wrist round 7: with B: chain 2, hdc in each stitch to end, join round with slip stitch.

[Optional: you can add in a lacy wrist ending in either color B or C if you want a fancy look, but I like these more "rough-and-tumble" myself.]

Cut yarn, pull through slst and weave in loose ends.

If finger area is too loose, sl st either color at finger end with a smaller hook, sc to end, and cut yarn, pull through slst, weave in loose end.


Top: Women's, Preteen, Women's.
Bottom: Male teen w/5 palm rows.

Credit

Based loosely on The Boyfriend Gloves which it ended up was a UK pattern (double crochet UK = half double crochet US).

Other Posts in December 2012

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Multiple Moments

December 09, 2007, at 02:12 PM

It's really hard to tell that you're multiple. The theoretical "big-bang" of the so-called disorder is to have an alternative method of mental functioning while protecting parts of one's self (core, id, ego, whatever...). In each individual, there is a different way of expressing it, and it may evolve quite differently over the years, but the basic fact of the matter is that one of the people your multiplicity is hiding from is yourself(s).

This leads to a conundrum for people who are multiple and don't know it (yet), where they can "hold it all together" quite fine, and don't usually exhibit behaviors that are overt until or unless their secretive innards stop working like a well-oiled machine. They can go to their grave never knowing they were multiples, and that's all well and good because after all, ignorance can be bliss.

Those of us who have, through inability to function or through happenstance or deep inner delving, found out that we're multiple can have moments we are more aware of our multiplicity than others. I can go days or weeks at a time where it matters little to not-at-all that I am multiple.

Then there are other days, usually days where I get fed up with running on autopilot, days where I want to feel 100% of everything going on in my head, body, heart & soul, that I'm aware of everything going on in my head.

Multiple moments are something else again. One can be in any of these states of being: blissfully ignorant, auto-pilot, fully diversified in all your manic glory, and experience a multiple moment. For me it's usually going back through things I've written, photos I've taken, or artwork I've drawn. The dual knowledge that I created something -- it was my hand, my pen, my pencils, and the absolute conviction that it was not ME, that it was not my will what drove the hand, my inner voice that created the poem or narrative. Moments like these, it's like suddenly looking into a mirror and other people in my head are staring back at "me" (whatever THAT is). This is a multiple moment.

Another multiple moment happens at times when someone asks me a question and 3 voices answer. "What would you like for dinner?" "Pasta. No, peanut butter and jelly. But make it with meatballs." Or "Do you like that song?" "Yeah, it's ok. I don't like the singer. I love it." Well, these are poor examples, but you get the idea. You get these types of answers when I'm distracted usually.

Multiple moments are one of the times that multiplicity is overt, if still subjective. I'll be sure to post one if I "have a multiple moment".

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Warning: No Lie Zone

December 06, 2007, at 01:12 PM

I'm not here to bullshit people -- that's the last thing on my mind(s). Speaking of minds (thanks for the great segue into the topic-at-hand) (you're welcome), I wanted to come clean to anyone who stumbles on this blog. I'm a multiple. You know, multiple personality, disorder optional. Like Sybil, but not worth making books and movies about. I don't put on a freak show of any particular popcorn-worthy content. You won't see me playing "See Jane switch" on an afternoon talk show. I lead a relatively mundane life -- when compared with Sybil. But not when compared with most people.

I've always had a talent for *cough* "Pulling myselves together" in public. It's a protection mechanism. I spent several years quite contentedly "out" to everyone I interacted with. Everyone knew I am multiple, and that was a terrific feeling, one I miss every day. In public, not playing the switch-personality-on-parade, I eventually ended up being much less of a curiosity. Just (The) Crisses. I fit in with many other gatherings of misfits, all of whom could say, simply enough, that I am multiple, without my having to go on exhibition. I thank those loving and accepting people with every ounce of [some of our/my] heart.

I've come out in recent times to only a very small handful of people, and I feel like I've rediscovered the dreaded closet. I suppose I have. More so than any other closet-able item in my life, multiplicity is important, a cornerstone fact that entirely changes the paradigm of anyone who interacts with (me/us). All of my other closet-able items are directly attributable to the fact that there are so many people of different types in my head.

It's my goal to continue to update this website and add more and more of my information to it from other sources, to pull it together as a cohesive whole, to slowly expose more & more about myself to the world as I grow older and less concerned about being judged by others. I will pull in information from Kinhost.org that is of a personal nature, so that Kinhost.org can stand as a resource for multiples everywhere and less as a place that people look at me, although being the primary author of the text there I'm sure that information about myselves will always permeate that website.

In any case, this website is not about hiding. I've never found that my life was one where camping in a closet was a great full-time occupation. It's also not a place for lying. It's a place of revelation, speculation perhaps, but not deceit.

Namaste!

Other Posts in December 2007

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Documenting Blog Use

December 06, 2007, at 01:12 PM

So in the interest of documenting how to use the blogging software I'm creating, here's an attempt to document the use of the blog software:

Blog Entries

  1. Log in (as admin) - as if you were going to edit your website
  2. Use sidebar "blog" title form to create a new blog entry - a new edit form will open ready to create the blog entry
  3. Make sure you explicitly title your post using the (:title:) tag
  4. Type out the contents of your post, adding any attachment links you'd like to the body of your post
  5. "Save Draft"
  6. Upload your attachments, proof your post, re-edit, and "Save Draft" as needed to be happy
  7. Tag your entry
  8. Fuss if you want to, you can edit the page, add more tags, add & upload photos or documents (Attach:), etc.
  9. When you're done click "Publish"

Comment & Pingback Approvals

  1. Log in (as admin) - as if you were going to edit your website
  2. See the number of unapproved comments/pingbacks (once working) in the sidebar
  3. It's a link: if you have any unapproved comments, click the link
  4. Edit or approve each comment you like (or those you don't like, but still aren't spam)
  5. To delete a comment click "edit comment" and replace the data field with "delete" just like a webpage on your site, and Publish.

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More Blogg'n

December 05, 2007, at 11:12 PM

Made some progress on the bugs in my blog application -- now it should show the correct number for unapproved comments in the sidebar, which is a relief.

Good luck!!

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Both design and the blog needs work...

December 04, 2007, at 09:12 PM

Ok, this is my new design, but I haven't fully fleshed out the CSS yet.... and there are some bugs in the blog portion of the website. The number of unapproved comments is incorrect. Annoying....

But at least basic functionality is working. I think :)

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