Thursday 22 February 2018

Daffodil Shawl update

Hello! I have been doing a real mix of creative things lately including bullet journalling, drawing, learning to make barista style coffee, chalk board lettering, baking and of course crochet!! Today I wanted to update you on my Daffodil Shawl design progress because I have just finished crocheting the shawl this afternoon!

I started this design in mid January and very quickly worked up 2 of the 3 skeins of Koigu Mori I had set aside for it (see previous blog post with a review of this gorgeous yarn here). For some reason I then became caught up in other projects and this shawl took a bit of a back seat (this often happens with projects - my attention can be quite fleeting!). When I went back to it last week I realised that I wasn't happy with the proportion of the shawl - worked width-wise, it was far too skinny and scarf like! My initial yardage calculations must have been a bit off and it turned out I did have enough yarn to increase the width by 33%, a significant difference, so ... I unravelled the scarf right back to the beginning ...

the moment of realisation, a lot of stitches to unravel ...

I began working up the new dimensions straight away and was very quickly back on track. As you can see in the above photo, I have worked on a chart to accompany the written pattern for this scarf too. In fact, the pattern writing part of the design process is almost complete, I only have a few details to add and then it will be ready for testing.

back on track and first edge complete

next step: blocking!

In other news I found out yesterday that my blog has made it into the Top 50 UK Crochet Blog list! You can see all the blogs listed here and there is so much inspiration, it's well worth a look. This has given me just the encouragement I need to carry on doing what I am doing here, so thank you everyone for stopping by to see what I get up to with my hook and yarn!

Happy hooking,

Marta xx

Thursday 8 February 2018

Guest Blog Post by Kathryn Vercillo

Hello! Today I am excited to bring you a post by my very first guest blogger, Kathryn Vercillo! If you are a crochet fan and an instagrammer you will probably know Kathryn through the amazing crochet community she has brought together on Instagram via her hashtag #crochetconcupiscence (currently sitting at 55,167 posts!). Kathryn frequently updates her blog too - if you are new to crochet, Kathryn has written an in-depth article covering everything you need to know here.

image @Kathryn Vercillo

I have asked Kathryn to write a post addressing the differences between UK and US crochet terms, something which can often get people in a bit of a muddle. I frequently receive emails from people following one of my patterns stating that they are following the instructions and it looks nothing like my photos. Usually when I ask them to send me a picture of their work I can instantly see that they are using the incorrect crochet terms (even though my patterns clearly state which to use). So, if this sounds familiar to you, read on ...

"One of the first things that you need to look at as you begin a crochet pattern is whether that pattern is written using UK crochet terms or US crochet terms. Although the words are the same, the crochet stitches are different in each of these languages, so if you crochet a project based on a wrong assumption about which terms are being used then chances are your gauge for the project will be way off. Luckily, once you know the differences between UK and US crochet terms, you’ll discover that it’s easy to adapt one pattern to the other if you need to.

Basic Differences Between UK and US Crochet Terms

The basic crochet stitches are named for their height, but those names differ between UK and US patterns. The shortest stitch (other than a chain or slip stitch) is called a “double crochet” in UK language but a “single crochet” in US language. From there, the stitches keep getting taller, so the next one up in the UK is a treble but in the US, it’s a double.

Notice, that means that there is a “double crochet” in both languages. However, the UK “double crochet” is a shorter stitch than the “US” double crochet. Let’s look at how to crochet each of these stitches to gain a better understanding:

UK Double Crochet

  • Yarn over twice
  • Insert hook into stitch
  • Yarn over and pull through
  • Yarn over and pull through two loops
  • Yarn over and pull through two loops
  • Yarn over and pull through two loops

US Double Crochet

  • Yarn over
  • Insert hook into stitch
  • Yarn over and pull through
  • Yarn over and pull through two loops
  • Yarn over and pull through two loops

There is an extra “yarn over and pull through” in the UK version because there is an extra “yarn over” at the beginning. This makes the UK double crochet a taller stitch than the US double crochet (and the same height as a US treble crochet).

This can all seem very confusing at first, but you do get used to it. It really isn’t all that different from traveling between the US and Europe. In Europe, you enter a building on the ground floor and take the elevator one floor up to the “first floor”. In the United States, the floor you enter on is called the first floor and when you take the elevator up one flight you’re on the second floor. In other words, the European first floor is the US second floor. It seems confusing at first but travel enough and it becomes second nature. It’s the same way with crochet.

image @Kathryn Vercillo - UK double crochet/ US single crochet

image @Kathryn Vercillo - UK treble crochet/ US double crochet

Guide to UK vs US Crochet Stitches

Now that you have a basic understanding of the difference between UK and US crochet stitches, here is a helpful guide to the basic stitches in both languages.

UK Term vs US Term

Double crochet vs. single crochet
Half treble crochet vs. half double crochet
Treble crochet vs. double crochet
Double treble crochet vs. treble crochet

So, let’s say that you are reading a UK crochet pattern that calls for a “half treble crochet”. If you are used to working in American terms, you will mentally convert that to a half double crochet stitch and proceed with the pattern accordingly.

A Few Other Things to Know

  • Slip stitch and chains are the same in both UK and US terminology.
  • Techniques are also usually the same across languages; the “magic loop” for example is the same in UK and US patterns.
  • The abbreviations are the same in both languages. Double crochet is always dc, it just refers to a different height of stitch in UK vs US patterns. 
  • In contrast, the symbols used in symbol charts match the height of the stitch, not its name. So, an X on a UK chart means a UK double crochet but the same X means a UK single crochet. The symbol for a US double crochet is a T with a line across the middle.
  • There are a few other words that might be different between UK and US patterns. For example, what is typically called “tension” in UK patterns is called “gauge” in US patterns; what is called “skip” in the US is “miss” in the UK.
  • Australian crochet patterns typically use UK terminology.
  • Many crochet pattern designers offer their patterns in both US and UK language so check to see if your desired pattern is available in the language you prefer.

This is a guest post by Kathryn Vercillo, blogger at Crochet Concupiscence and author of several books including Crochet Saved My Life and Mandalas for Marinke."

image @Kathryn Vercillo 

So, a big thank you to Kathryn for being my first guest being my first guest blogger! I hope this post has been useful for you - if you have any questions about UK vs US terms, please leave them in the comments below. If you are interested in being a future guest blogger, please get in touch!

Happy hooking,

Marta xx

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