Found this in a newsletter from Vogue Knitting! I did not post the entire article, only the pointers I felt I could benefit from, and ones that I often use myself. Some of the advice experts I had not heard of, but they do offer some great tips . . .
“Whether you can loop with the best of them or are new to the hook, every crocheter can benefit from some expert advice. We asked a host of the starriest crochet designers and teachers we know for their all-time favorite crochet tips. Here’s what they had to say.
I often work crochet in rounds to facilitate seamless construction and an uninterrupted flow of stitch pattern. Traditionally, a round of crochet is fastened off (joined, yarn ended and cut) by following the last stitch of the round with a slip stitch in the top loops of the beginning chain or stitch, tightening the slip stitch, then pulling the remaining loop on the hook all the way through, cutting the feed yarn and leaving a few inches of tail—enough length for weaving in the end. This method leaves a tight, ugly knot at the join that you can see and feel in the otherwise perfect, seamless fabric.
Although it takes an extra minute or so each time, I always fasten off rounds using a nearly invisible join. Instead of ending the last round with a slip stitch, stop crocheting after completing the last stitch of the round. Pull that remaining loop on the hook all the way through, cutting the feed yarn and leaving a tail for weaving. Thread that tail on the smallest tapestry needle you can manage. That can be an annoyance if your yarn is splitty, but the finer the needle, the better. I often use such a sharp, fine needle that there is danger of splitting the work in the next steps, so I sometimes turn the needle around and insert the eye end in the work.
In any case, insert the needle from back to front under the top loops of the beginning chain or stitch of the round, the same you would have used to make a closing slip stitch; bring the tail through those loops to the front of the work. Insert the hook from top to bottom in the last stitch of the round, between the top loops, as if to back-trace the path of the strand coming out of the last stitch. Bring the needle out at the back of the work. You have just made an ending loop that joins the round.
Now, using the pointed, business end of the needle, sew into the back of the beginning chain or stitch, weaving the end with a few little stitches up and down or back and forth through the back of the work. Give the join a good tug in all directions to set the weaving, then snip the tail close to the surface of the fabric. This technique may seem obsessive, but when done neatly, it leaves an end that will never come loose and a join that’s difficult to find, even when you know it’s there.
Crochet specialist Doris Chan is the prolific designer behind the independent DJC pattern line and the author ofCrochet Lace Innovations, Everyday Crochet and Amazing Crochet Lace. Check out her site atwww.DorisChanCrochet.com.
For a quickie, I like to “grease” my hooks for speed and smoothness. That is, I take lotion or hand cream and dab a small amount onto the hook. I then tissue it off, thus leaving a slick residue that makes the yarn glide better. It improves speed tremendously. I also like to hold onto the loop on the hook on any work-in-progress with a coilless safety pin such as the ones from Clover or HiyaHiya. You’ll never have work ripped out accidentally, and finding that loop is quicker and easier.
Lily Chin has wielded a hook on the Late Show With David Letterman and Martha Stewart Live. She’s the author of several knitting and crochet books, including, aptly, Lily Chin’s Crochet Tips and Tricks, Couture Crochet Workshop and Knit and Crochet With Beads. Her latest release is a DVD: Mosaic Crochet with Lily Chin.
Always—and I mean always—use yarn that you love. You will enjoy the crocheting experience from beginning to end, and you’ll love the finished product. If you are giving the item as a gift, the recipient will feel the love that you had while you were stitching it. There is no happy ending to an unhappy journey.
“Crochet Dude” Drew Emborsky is a popular crochet designer and author who has just launched The Crochet Dude Collection 2.0. A collaboration with Boye, the collection builds on the first by introducing 24 new crochet products, including ergonomic hooks, bloom looms and purse handles. He’s a crochet expert on the PBS DIY show Knit & Crochet Now and can be found online at www.DrewEmborsky.com.
One of the most important parts of crochet, yet the most overlooked part, is finishing off ends. When my Nonna taught me to crochet way back in 1974, there were two things she told me that continue to reverberate in my head:
1) The back of the piece must look as good as the front, even if no one else is going to see it.
2) Finishing is what makes your piece shine. (cont’d)
Tip 1: When working with coned threads, put your cone on top of a long-neck bottle filled with gravel, glass beads or something heavy. (A wine bottle actually works the best.) This will enable your cone to spin freely as you work and keep it in one spot.
Tip 2: Adding a crochet border to a purchased garment can add originality to your wardrobe. It may, however, be difficult to draw the yarn through the fabric. Instead, embroider a row of chain stitches with matching 6-strand embroidery floss. These chain stitches substitute for the starting chain, so be sure to keep the embroidered stitches to the exact gauge specified in your pattern.
Tip 3: Use bright colored yarn when learning a new technique (or when teaching someone to crochet). Dark colors, especially black, are too hard to see, even for experts.
Tip 4: If you are planning a reverse single crochet edge, first work one row or round of single crochet, then work a chain one before beginning the first reverse single crochet. This makes it easier to work the first stitch.
Tip 5: Most patterns usually specify using a “chain 3, turn” for double crochet or a “chain 4, turn” for triple crochet. Experiment with one less chain for each and see if you don’t prefer the edge.
Tip 6: When working with thread, don’t scrunch your work in your hands; try to keep it as flat as possible. The less torture you put your piece through, the easier it will be to block.
Tip 7: If you want to use bleach on a thread piece, make sure to wash all of the starch out of the piece first. Otherwise, the bleach can react with the starch and turn your crochet piece purple or blue.
Rita Weiss is an author, designer and teacher whose name has become a household world in the fields of knitting, crochet, quilting and cross stitch. As founder and head of the Dover needlework division for many years, Weiss became known as an expert in thread crochet and quilting. As executive vice president of the American School of Needlework, she produced publications featuring knitting, crocheting, quilting and other needlearts. She served as president of the Crochet Guild of America and the International Quilting Association. She now serves on the executive board of the Craft Yarn Council. The author of more than fifty books on the needlearts, Weiss has taught and lectured both in the United States and in Europe and is often called upon to judge needleart competitions. She is currently working on a book called Everything the Internet Didn’t Tell You About Crochet.”
To read the entire article: Crochet Tips From the Stars.
As a foot note, I thought I should let you know, I bagged out on the craft show that is taking place today. I feel I have let a few people down (myself included). And, I am missing out on a great opportunity as well. But . . . I am trying not to regret my decision. Work week was hell and so I did not properly prepare as I had planned on doing. Today is my only day off, (besides the upcoming Thanksgiving Holiday) and this next week should prove to be especially grueling. I am the scan coordinator at a local grocer, and this is one of the top busiest weeks of the year. It will be non-stop on through the Christmas and New Year Holidays as well. I am glad for the opportunity to get a little rested up today.
I hope everyone of you has a wonderful Holiday Week. Happy Thanksgiving!