Thursday, September 11, 2014

Learning to Crochet with Lace Weight Yarn: Part Three

This is the third part of my series on crocheting with lace weight yarn. The first part was about getting comfortable using smaller and smaller hooks and the second part was about managing your tension and gauge.

This post is about rhythm and tall stitches.

Developing a good working rhythm helps make more even stitches.
• Uneven stitches will ruin the look of a piece of lacework. Working to a rhythm can help make the stitches more even.
I always tell my students that developing a good working rhythm will help them make a better crocheted fabric. In order to do that you need to be able to work with few interruptions until you can establish your own natural rhythm. Working to music that is at the right pace for you might help. Counting a rhythm out loud can help, too.

You've probably got your single, half double, and double crochet stitches down pat. Now you need to start practicing your treble and double treble crochet stitches.
• In making lace you will find that being comfortable with these stitches will be critical. Designers will often use taller stitches in order to get lacier results.

This lace sample is worked in chains, single crochet, double crochet, double treble crochet, and double double treble crochet.

The taller the stitches the harder it is to keep them nice and even. They tend to get loopy and loose toward the top. This is where managing the tension on your yarn (part two) is really important. I've found that keeping the yarn that is wrapped around the hook as snug as possible really helps. 

In the top photo you can see the uniformity and compactness of the stitch, especially in the very top of the stitch. The bottom photo shows a less uniform stitch, especially in the loopyness at the top of the stitch.

I've found that the Knitter's Pride aluminum crochet hooks work well. In the smaller sizes the shaft is a little smaller than the head and this helps in keeping the stitches from getting too loopy.

See the hook in the middle? The silver one? That's the Knitter's Pride one. See how the shaft is a little narrower than the head. These are all size B/1 2.25mm. All three work, but I've found the middle one is far superior for doing those double trebles and double double trebles.

Stay tuned for part four and an edging pattern to get started with.