Dear ELK Studio – A Crochet Column #12

Dear ELK Studio - A Crochet Column #12

It’s time for another edition of Dear ELK Studio – A Crochet Column! I hope you find some information that will help you become better in your crocheting endeavors! If you have questions, just scroll to the bottom of the page to see the comment section. I hope you enjoy!

Dear ELK Studio,
All those abbreviations in patterns are confusing me. I typed a list of those found but still ‘fall’ over new ones and cannot clarify. plus: one pattern comes in US-English, the next in UK-english – I guess, I need some more special language courses (my mother-tongue is German) Any suggestions?

Dear Language Barrier,
Here is an image of the basic crochet stitches. I hope this helps.
Crochet+Stitches+Oombawka+Design
Also, Oombawaka Design is so fabulous because she’s taken the time to create charts that take U.S. terms and translate them into several different languages. You can check all of them out HERE.

 

Dear ELK Studio,
What is a turning chain and how do I use it?

Dear Turning Chain,
Using the turning chain can sometimes be confusing but are necessary because they help you reach the height of your next row. Here’s a tutorial from Oombawaka Designs that will help you!

 

Dear ELK Studio,
How does one figure out where my first stitch goes after turning?

Dear First Stitch,
I had problems with this when I first started too. Don’t worry because once you figure it out it will be so easy. One thing you need to remember though is that although these are the “standard” instructions, the designer can always override this to make the pattern come out right. Oombawaka Design has a tutorial showing you which chain to work in once you get started with your projects.

 

Dear ELK Studio,
Can you gives me some suggestions on joining my granny squares.

Dear Granny,
There are several great designers out there that have made tutorials. I’ll just give you their links below.

 

Dear ELK Studio,
How long should my tail be at the end of a project?

Dear Long Enough,
The length of the tail should be long enough to allow you to thread it on a yarn needle to weave in the ends. I tend to leave my yarn ends about 5-6″ in length because once I have weaved in the ends, I can always cut the excess.

If you do have a very short yarn end you need to weave in, one trick I use is to insert my yarn needle into the project where I intend to ‘weave’ my stitch before threading the yarn through the ‘eye’ of the needle. I do this in multiple directions and insert the needle and re-thread for each step of the weave.

 

I would like to thank Rhondda from Oombawaka for contributing to Dear ELK Studio – A Crochet Column!  She has great designs, tutorials, advice, tips and tricks for the avid crocheter.  Take a couple of minutes to go check out her site to see all the goodies!  Thank you Rhondda!

If you have questions, please leave your comment in the space provided below!

Dear ELK Studio – A Crochet Column #11

Dear ELK Studio - A Crochet Column # 11 Are you ready for another week of Dear ELK Studio?  We’ve got some great questions this week…..Oh, do you have one?  No worries.  I’ve got you a contact form at the bottom.  Just leave your question there, and our contributors will get to it!!  Let’s get started.

Dear ELK Studio,
How do I weave in the ends as I go?

Dear Weaver,
We ALL dread the ever looming “weaving in the ends”! Seriously, there is nothing as daunting for a crocheter as a beautiful work of art worked in several colors or motifs…. With literally HUNDREDS of ends!There are several ways to weave ends as you go. This video shows a really easy way that works great!!! The ends tend to hold up very well, and I don’t have to go back to all those MANY dangling pieces of yarn!

Of course you still need a yarn/tapestry needle to weave in the end/tail and here is a video tutorial from Moogly that shows a great way to do that!

Dear ELK Studio,
How do I change colors?

Dear Future Color Change Expert,
Changing colors can seem confusing but it’s really quite simple. Here are two videos for you that may help.

 

Dear ELK Studio,Can you tell me what gauge is all about?

Dear Curious Gauge,
Gauge is:
*the size of your stitches; crocheted using a specific yarn and hook combination
*usually measured in stitches per inch and rows (or rounds) per inch
*usually tighter at the beginning and ending of rows – so check your gauge in the middle of the sample (sample is usually 4″x 4″ block)

NOTE: if your pattern is worked in spirals or rounds, crochet your sample in spirals or rounds to check your gauge! Here is a fantastic resource available for free from Martingale: How To Crochet – Gauge – Karen Costello Soltys To correct your gauge you can – increase or decrease the size of your hook; or adjust the height of your stitches slightly. Another option is to change the yarn you are using.

Dear ELK Studio,
How does yarn content change a project, ie cotton, acrylic, wool?

Dear Yarnie,
Wow….The type of yarn you use can certainly change the outcome of your project sometimes for the better and sometimes…..not so much.  The YarnBox recently released an article about the different types of yarn written by Elena from Beatrice Ryan Designs.

Here’s another article that is helpful to on how to choose yarn for your projects.

Dear ELK Studio, Do you have any tutorials for front and back post stitches?

Dear Textured Stitcher,
Front and back post stitches can seem intimidating, but once you’ve learned them you will fall in love.  Those two stitches can make some of the most beautiful projects because of the texture they add.  Here’s a great tutorial from Moogly to help you!

Do you have a Dear ELK Studio question?  Just leave it in the section provided below!

Have a great day. Be blessed. Kathy

Dear ELK Studio – A Crochet Column #10

Dear ELK Studio - A Crochet Column #10

It’s time for another edition of Dear ELK Studio!  I love this column and look forward to writing the blog post every time.  Do you have crochet questions that you’d love to have answered? I asked the fans on my ELK Studio Facebook page did they have any Dear ELK Studio questions and hope you enjoy the edition this week as the questions were geared more along “my style” of crochet.

 

Dear ELK Studio,
How did you decide to make those gorgeous southern hats?

Dear Southern lover,
I was making a hat one day and wondered if I could actually make a brim.  I turned to Google and searched for “hat wire”.  It took me to Judith M. Inc. Supply and saw the term millinery wire.  I researched a little and found that you could use the millinery wire to hold the brim in place.  BINGO!  I ordered the wire and well…..they ya go.  After a few months of playing around with the hats, I saw a beautiful hat designed by the famous Philip Tracey.  I immediately ordered the Sinfonia yarn from Creative Yarn Source.

 

Dear ELK Studio,
How do you choose your color combinations? Color wheel? Yarn stash?

Dear Combo,
I can’t say that I’ve ever used a color wheel to decide on my projects.  I see them all over from other Facebook pages sharing but it’s not my first choice.  I have to say that I usually have specific colors in my mind for each project before they even get started. Sometimes I can use my stash but often times find myself either in JoAnn’s, Hobby Lobby or buying on-line from Creative Yarn Source.

 

Dear ELK Studio,
How many times do you test your own pattern before sending it out to other testers?

Dear Own Pattern,
It’s probably safe to say that I make the hat at least 3 times if not 4 before I have others test.  Some of my free patterns aren’t sent to testers unless I feel there are questions that may come up or if I need help in how to word a part of the pattern that I feel could give others trouble.  However, my paid patterns are tested just for my own reassurance and having different sets of eyes on a pattern before it’s release for purchase is always wise.

 

Dear ELK Studio,
From where do you get your inspiration?

Dear Inspired,
As you read in the first question, some of my inspiration comes from looking at hats designed by people like Philip Treacy.  I have several crochet dictionary books and will look through them and just sit down with some yarn and start playing around with different stitches and see what happens.  Sometimes it works while other times I sit and frog something that took me 3 hours to create.

 

Dear ELK Studio,
 Do you have a favorite type of yarn? Weight? Brand?

Dear Yarnie,
My summer time yarn is definitely Sinfonia Cotton Yarn.  It’s a mercerized cotton which is great for my hats because I use the millinery wire.  I didn’t want something that would stretch and the Sinfonia worked perfectly.  This past winter my “go-to” yarn was Red Heart Soft.  I love the shimmer of the yarn and it seemed to work great with all of the projects I had going on at the time.  I’m sure it will be used again on the upcoming winter projects.

I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s edition. Please feel free to ask a question!!

Have a great day. Be blessed.

Kathy