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The Crochet Project

Do we cast on?

Published 7 months ago • 3 min read

Hi,

Knitters cast on a project but what do we use as crocheters? Chain on? Hooks up? Mostly I see cast on still used. Nothing standard it seems, but isn't that always the way with us crocheters? We have so many fewer standards than knitters with much more variation in how stitches are named and how patterns are written. The only true international standards are for charts and there are still a few idiosyncrasies in those. I'm not quite sure why this is, maybe we are just a quirkier bunch than the stuffy knitter?!

I suspect though, that our lack of standardisation is because explaining crochet patterns is a little trickier than knitting patterns. In knitting the stitches all sit on the needle waiting and you have to process them in the order they present. You do have some options, of course, to manipulate them or work into the front or back but each stitch must be handled in turn. In crochet there is much more freedom as the hook can be placed almost anywhere into the work to begin the next stitch so the instruction for the stitch must be in two parts: "what" and "where". (With knitting you only usually need the "what".) And so with a two part instruction you have more options as to how they gets written out.

Anyway, this is somewhat of a ramble, but an interesting one I hope, to tell you that it's time to cast on/chain on/ get started on some socks!

Cuffs

Yes, this week in our Crochet Socks class we cast on (or whatever we decide to call it!) and make the cuffs - that ribbed bit of the sock that starts at the ankle. I have filmed (in left and right handed videos) two of my favourite ribs - the half treble ribbing and my invention Joanne's elastic ribbing.

Cuffs need lots of stretch as they need to be pulled past the widest part of the foot - the diagonal of the heel and instep then to be able to ping back to hold the sock up and one of the key factors for getting it right can be the height of your stitch as the ribbing is worked in rows and then joined to form a circle so that the stitches of the rib run perpendicular to the rest of the sock. This is because crochet has more stretch vertically than horizontally (the opposite to knit fabric) If you are struggling with stitch height or your rib elasticity then you might find this tutorial useful - aim to be a rider! Of course this tutorial is included in the class so you'll find that in the class too if you are joining us.

Hat heaven

I mentioned last week that I was remaking the Sea Urchin hat as I recorded a getting started video so it could be our pattern of the month in the Hub - it is flying along and seems to grow so quickly despite me only having five minutes here and there to devote to it in a super busy week. I love hats so much, it's one of my favourite ways to wear handmade, especially in the winter months. I've loads of ideas for new designs - probably enough to fill a book and I haven't been inspired enough for a book in a couple of years! But traditionally hats have been our worst sellers. I'd love to change that but not sure how. I'll get my thinking cap on!

Sweater Weather?

We are still unseasonably warm here in Cambridgeshire UK, most fine days are pushing into the twenties (70s in Farenheit) which is unheard of for October, the leaves haven't fully turned yet but it has to come soon surely?!

If your mind has started to turn towards cosy sweaters then you may enjoy this tutorial on how to pick a pattern you'll want to wear. And if you want an added confidence boost and hand holding all the way through the process then you might want to join us in Sweater School - you can dip in and out of lessons at anytime and the whole class is ready to work through at your own pace.

Maybe next week we'll have some proper Autumn weather here, until then

Love as always

Joanne

The Crochet Project

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