Thursday, October 16, 2014

Double Crochet (DC) Stitch and Easy Purse

Double Crochet (US terms)

Double Crochet (DC) is an easy stitch and once you start using it, you will realize how quickly you can work up crochet projects. This is why I LOVE the DC stitch the most, among all other crochet stitches. I have found that in UK terms, DC is referred to as a TRC or treble stitch.

It is important to note that if you are creating items for warmth (hats, sweaters, shawls, etc.) or closed effect (purses, wallets, etc.), the DC stitch can create a fabric that is "holey." It might be a good idea to remember this while looking for quick patterns, since you might want to consider lining the item (depending upon what you are going to use it for). I have created many purses, shawls, and hats using the DC stitch. I have lined a few of them, but for most of them, I like to use thicker yarn (size 5 or 6, bulky or super bulky) so that I can avoid the lining, what with my "brilliant" sewing skills and all!

Another reason why I love the DC stitch more than any of the others is that it is the usual stitch of choice for designers who use "shells" of any type or different raised textures for their crochet patterns. Some of the more popular crochet designs out there right now heavily depend upon creating shells, front-post double crochet (FPDC), back-post double crochet (BPDC), crocodile stitches, popcorn stitches, etc. ALL of these, and more require the knowledge of DC since it is various types of DC stitches that create the look of all these fantastic stitches.

So, how do you create a DC stitch. Here is a quick video that I refer to when I teach others how to crochet. Remember, like all new things, this stitch requires a little practice when you first start out, and making a simple dishcloth using the DC stitch will allow you to practice the stitch perfectly.

If you want to create a simple DC dishcloth, use a yarn you are comfortable with (cotton yarns are really good for this) and a Hook size H (or whatever you have on hand).

Start by chaining 24 and DC into the fourth stitch from the hook. Then DC into every chain and at the end of the row, you should have 21 stitches created. Chain 3 and turn the work over. DC into the next stitch and proceed until the end of the row. Chain 3 again, turn the work and DC until the end of the row. Create as many rows like this as you like (I suggest 12 for a square shape), but it will depend on how loosely you crochet.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Make sure to DC into the third chain loop of the previous row in each row. A common mistake for beginners is to forget to create the end stitch in the rows by doing a DC into the third chain of the previous row. This creates an ever-shrinking fabric because you effectively lose a stitch in every row. When I first started crocheting, I made it a point to count my stitches after completing every row. This really helped my work from becoming triangular!

Easy 45-minute Cell-phone Essential Purse

-By Sarita Kumar

This pattern is also available for free on Ravelry


I made this purse because I wanted to experiment with texture by chaining up the yarn and creating something using chained yarn. I basically created this on the fly, but I tried to recapture the steps to share because the outcome is very cute and handy. It can fit a regular cellphone and a wallet for adults.It can also be made as a purse for little girls... And the best part? It busts some stash yarn in less than 45 minutes from start to finish!!

Just remember, the purse will need to be finished in one piece since you cannot cut off chains :).
YARN: Dale of Norway/Dalegarn in gold (pure wool). If you want to use a thicker yarn, you can skip steps 1 and 2 of the pattern and directly proceed to creating the purse. It will work up fairly quickly!
HOOKS: J and K; NEEDLES: yarn needle to finish ends.
BUTTON: any decorative button or make your own.
            CH: chain
            DC: double crochet
            SC: single crochet
       SCJ: Join sides using SC in back loop of each stitch on one side and front loop of each corresponding stitch on the other side.

1.    Create CH with J hook using all the yarn, so that you have a long length of chains. Wind it up into a ball and continue.
2.     Using the chained yarn, and K hook, CH21.
3.    DC in third CH from hook and DC across. Turn. (19 stitches).
4.    Next 4 rows: CH3 and skip one stitch, DC across. Turn. (19 stitches in each row)
5.    Fold at the 8th stitch length and SCJ on that side.
6.    To reach over to other side, SC across the bottom of the fold and SCJ up the other side. 
7.    Continue SC on the side and top of flap and use remaining chains as the handle by attaching back over to the other edge.
8.    Attach button and use the DC space on side as a button loop. VOILA!!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Ghair Under the Chair

The GHAIR under the CHAIR! 

EASY crochet creation with amazing yarn!

For both my sons, one of their favorite books is Dr. Seuss' There's a Wocket in My Pocket. My younger son, a toddler, has taken fancy to the character of Ghair that hides under the chair. He has been obsessed with the character to the point where my husband joked and told me to "crochet him a Ghair one day, just to surprise him."
I wasn't sure if the type of yarn it would take to make a "furry" toy would be easy to crochet or knit with, but I decided to keep my eyes and ears open for a green yarn that would serve the purpose. A few days ago, Mikey from The Crochet Crowd mentioned that Bernat made a yarn called Tizzy. A short shopping trip to Michael's Store and I found it in green!!

I don't have an actual pattern written out for the Ghair because it is difficult to keep track of stitches when using the Tizzy yarn. It was easy to work it up, and I literally free-handed the head, body, limbs, and tail for the Ghair. I made two tiny pom-poms using the Fork technique with black yarn for the Ghair's eyes and crocheted a small black triangle for the nose.

Here are some pictures of the Ghair!

If you would like a rough and ready pattern for this, please comment or send me an email and I will be more than happy to write one up for you.

Multiplication Charts for Grade Schoolers


I typically use this blog only to share Crochet-related videos and patterns that I like and/or create. However, given that I do have a grade-schooler in my house and a toddler, I need a spot to post things I create for them as well. I figured, this is as good a place as any!

I decided to introduce my first grader early to multiplication. He is learning fast, and I figured it was time to introduce him to the visual aspect of multiplication where he "sees" the numbers rather than deriving or observing them.

I created these two sheets because I don't want to introduce him to the 11-20 tables until he masters the 1-10 tables first. I have shaded the numbers in the file that are perfect squares to a add a little additional dimension to the visual learning process. If you would like the Excel file that I created these in, please comment/email me and I will gladly send you a copy.

Feel free to print out these pictures (HINT: If you copy and paste the full size picture into a MS Word file, each one will fit on one page; and it allows you to resize and print them much more easily than printing as a photo.)