Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Learning to Crochet with Lace Weight Yarn: Part Four

This is the fourth part of my series on crocheting with lace weight yarn. The first part was about getting comfortable using smaller and smaller hooks, the second part was about managing your tension and gauge, and the third part was about the importance of developing a good rhythm and practicing tall stitches.

Start small. Don't start with a shawl, start with something smaller like an edging. Find a pattern with a simple repeat. When you've gained some comfort at that level, then you can start enlarging your projects.

Here's a simple edging you can start with. I used a lace weight alpaca and a B/1 2.25mm hook.

Row 1: Ch 4 (counts as dc), dc in 4th ch from hook, ch 4, sl st in same ch as dc, turn.
Row 2: Ch 6, sl st in 3rd ch from hook (picot made), dc 9 in ch-4 sp, dc 2, turn.
Row 3: Ch 3 (counts as dc), sk first st, dc 1, ch 4, sl st in base of dc just made, turn.
Row 4: Ch 6, sl st in 3rd ch from hook (picot made), dc 9 in ch-4 sp, dc 2, turn.
Continue by repeating Rows 3-4 until you have your desired length.

Now, try it with treble crochet:
Row 1: Ch 5 (counts as dc), tr in 4th ch from hook, ch 5, sl st in same ch as dc, turn.
Row 2: Ch 7, sl st in 3rd ch from hook (picot made), tr 12 in ch-5 sp, tr 2, turn.
Row 3: Ch 4 (counts as tr), sk first st, tr 1, ch 5, sl st in base of tr just made, turn.
Row 4: Ch 7, sl st in 3rd ch from hook (picot made), tr 12 in ch-5 sp, tr 2, turn.
Continue by repeating Rows 3-4 until you have your desired length.

Having finished your edging you may find that it is curling out of control and that can be alarming and even disappointing. But here's what you can do, and it's easy.

• Get some soap. My preference is Eucalan and you can get it at your local independent yarn shop or online. I like it because you only need a tiny bit and you don't need to rinse it out.

• Mix up a little in a bowl with tepid water. Put in your edging and get it thoroughly wet. They recommend soaking it for 15 minutes.

• When time is up, remove the edging and gently squeeze out excess water. A great way to do that without worry is to wrap it in a towel and squeeze. The water will be absorbed into the towel.
• Now lay out your edging on that towel, gently untwisting and straightening it, teasing out picots to a point. Then just let it lay there and dry. When it's fully dry you'll find that it lays flat and behaves nicely.

So, have some fun and try out crocheting with lace weight yarn. You might be surprised where it leads you.

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