Saturday, September 29, 2007

Mitered Tunisian Started

After finally figuring out how to do a mitered tunisian square without having to do a cast on without a chain on the pickup row, I have started a piece. So far it is going well.

I am using the chain with one cake of yarn, and do the first pickups with another cake of the same color. I chained more then I needed for the first square, about ten more and pulled up a very long loop. At this point of trying I didn't bother with a stitch holder and I am not having any trouble pulling out the loop from the extra chains. Still I am keeping a close watch on it.

I worked the first section in two colors. I found that if I do not cut the yarn for the different color sections and since I am changing colors for each row, that all I need to do is pick up the new color from under the old color and pull through the final work off of the row. This has worked great. I have a tiny line of the picked up color on the backside of the work but it isn't bad looking. This is not a reversible piece I am working so no big deal.

I do find that it is necessary to remove the extra chains back to the body of the last mitered section before I start my pickup. After doing the entire mitered section that section of extra chains become too loose.

I played a bit with this chain thing. First I did the chain with the same size hook as I am using for the body. Then I tried one section with doing the chain with a smaller hook and went back for the next section to the larger hook. I think that chaining with the smaller hook looks much better, but wow is it hard to do the pickup in that smaller chain with the larger hook. So I have left that one little section done in the small hook and continuing making the extra chains with the larger hook.

I only have four mitered sections done and am starting the fifth. I haven't had lots of time to work on it but I can say that this would be much further if I stopped doing other things in the meantime (I made three hats, loom knitted with built in crocheted shell stitches for the brims in a couple of different shell styles, these will be so cute for little girls). So stopping to play with other things slows me down. I have other things I need to put a bit of work into and those I might work on later today, like my cro-hooked baby ghan and baby booties. I just haven't been in a hurry with those as the babies won't be here for another six months. (reminder to self: Need pictures of those hats to post)

So back to the chain part of the pickup row for the new section. After the mitered section that is being worked is completed, then I have one loop on the hook. I pull up a long strand and drop it for the moment. I then pull the extra chains back to the base of the just finished section. Now I use the same hook I am working the stitches with to chain out the ten chains I need and add an additional ten to make sure I have plenty of space just in case those stitches get pulled.

Now pickup that last loop of the last finished square and do the pickup stitches along the side of the finished section and the pickup in the next ten chains. I am now ready to start the decreases again and I don't have funky ugly loops at the bottom of each beginning row. I like it.

I could have done one long chain, turned the chain and started my pickups but I wanted to try this. Next time I will try this other. Working the way I am working now gives you three strands of yarn coming from three cakes, skeins, or balls that can tangle. Having just two strands it can still get tangled as you drop and pickup the different colors but two is better then three.

One thing is for sure, even if you used just one long chain and that chain turned out to not be long enough for the piece you want, you could then add a third strand at the bottom of your last mitered section to make the piece larger. So that is a thought for the future. For now I will continue to work as it is. I am going to do a border around this piece when it is completed so no big deal about edge problems, like that one section with a different gauge to the chain. I can work around that.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Tunisian Squares and Tunisian Hat

Well, I puzzled out the way I like the mitered squares center done. I don't like the piece I saw so I have done a different decrease/increase for these.

Now I have been working on the increase for the second square in line. I found a little bit of information that says you pick up stitches along the side of the square you have just finished. This equals to half the amount of stitches you need for the next square.

So at this point you need to add additional stitches. I know only one increase that I just learn better of how to increase on the left side. So I played with this but I do not, really do not like how the base of that increase looks for these additional stitches.

In the last few days I decided to start to search for other ways to increase. I looked through my books, found nothing. I searched the web, found nothing. I did find a little bit that was a class taught by CrochetKim in increases and decreases in tunisian, but not the type I needed.

That tutorial of Kims lead me to explore short rows to make a hat in tunisian. I played with that all evening and almost have one completed. I was using a large moez cro-hook so I had to figure out the starting stitch count and where I would want my short rows to begin and end. That wasn't too difficult. I basically used the same stitch count that I use for hats for the grands when crocheting them on a P or Q hook. This one seems to be working out to be about the right size for me without a cuffed brim. I should have it finished later tonight. Here I need to thank Kim for having that lesson posted. It was a neat thing to run through. Even though I already knew the increase and decreases in the lesson, that short row part was great.

One thing I discovered as I played with this short rows in tunisian is that when you come back to pick up a full row of stitches, and you do not pick up a double strand in the end of the short row, guess what, you get holes. So part of the hat has some small holes in it but the other side is just fine. I am not worried about it with this first one as it is a sample I am making for myself.

Today, I searched more for another type of increasing for the left side, but again found nothing. So I started thinking (yep dangerous thing to do but I stepped right up to that brain and said lets do this). Ok there are a couple of ways that I could add an addition to the end of the row to add extra stitches. I thought well maybe if I attached another skein and chained out with this second skein then I could pick up the stitches with my working hook and I would have that increase from a chain. Then that yarn end could be held by a stitch holder till I came back again.

That does leave the end sitting there and that is not a bad idea as I see it. If I am working a piece and have that working chain going I can continue till I think the piece is as long or wide (depending on direction), as I want it.

Another option I got from learning to do entrelac tunisian from Eva. (thanks Eva for that lesson). You make your chain as long as you need it. Pick up only the amount of stitches as needed for the first square. When this square is done you pick up along the side and this brings you right back to the long chain you made. So pick up the rest of the stitches along the chain and work your next square. This is also a way to do the increase section without flipping yarn to make a stitch. That one is just yucky.

So now I have the center increase and decrease looking the way I want it. I have learned to increase in a better way, and I am good to go. Plus I learned short rows in tunisian and how to make a tunisian hat. Cool.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

A couple of Daisy Squares

This daisy square starting with the yellow center is the one that I duplicated in a different size of hook. The pattern calls for an H hook but my square came out way too small. I jumped to a J hook and the square size is the size that Krystal wants made for the charity afghans.

I have lots of scrap yarns and these squares are perfect for using that material that is left over from other projects.

I have worked different color combinations and where I have enough scraps I have been changing the sequence of colors to make additional squares with the same colors.

I didn't take pictures so the tips of the flower show well, but this is about the best of the ones here. As you can see the tip of the flower is not attached to the rest of the work. So these tips can curl up. That is so cute. Look closely and you can see some of that curl in those flower tips.

My daughter, Trina, watched me doing squares and asked me to get her a copy of the pattern. Between the two of us we now have 21 squares made to send to Krystal. We will do a few more then send them off. I haven't yet hidden the ends but I like to do that all at one time.

I had only planned to make a handful of squares but this pattern is very addicting. When I am tired and don't want to mess up on other projects this has been a perfect project to work on. I have an advantage in that after having done one or two the pattern becomes second nature, meaning I don't have to look at the directions any more. So I can almost be full asleep and still work this square with no problem. Then when Trina joined in helping to make the squares I decided to continue my own efforts, but we will soon have to get back to our baby projects in earnest.

Additional comment:

If you are interested in the square pattern look to the bottom of the side bar for a link to Krystal's site with the pattern. Look through her archive of messages to see other squares that have been sent to her. There are some beautiful squares in there. Also she has a list of places where all the squares have come from. It is interesting to see where people have sent squares from.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Mitered Tunisian Update

I have played with the mitered tunisian and so far I like the second method I have taught myself in doing the decrease/increase section.

Update: {I should have put here that this is done starting with 10 stitches and in the () is working with 20 stitches. I would guess that you could use as many stitches as you want as long as they are even amounts.}

Cast on 10 (20) stitches
Yarn over Pull through 2 stitches 3 (8) times
Yarn over pull through the chain stitch and the next 4 stitches on the hook
Yarn over pull through 2 stitches 3 (8) times

*Pickup row:
Skip first vertical bar, Pick up a stitch in the next 3 (8) vertical bars
Pick up a stitch going through all four bars of the decrease
Insert hook under chain, yo and pull up a loop leaving on hook for the second stitch of the decrease
Pick up a stitch in the next 3 (8) vertical bars going under two loops for the side stitch.
8 (16) stitches on hook

Return row:
Yarn over Pull through 2 stitches 2 (7) times
Yarn over pull through the chain stitch and the next 4 stitches on the hook
Yarn over pull through 2 stitches 2 (7) times*
6 (14) stitches on hook

Repeat these two rows decreasing by two for every row till there are only four stitches on the pickup row

Next row:
Yo pull through the chain and the next 2 stitches
Yo pull through the chain and the next 2 stitches

Pick up row
Pick up a stitch in the left end going through both loops of the end stitch, 2 stitches on hook
Yo pull through all loops.

You now have one stitch left on the hook.

To do another section pick up 5 (10) stitches along the left side of the piece you just finished.

Once you have all the stitches on the hook you have to increase from the pickup row end adding another 5 (10) stitches.

To increase twist the working yarn to the right and place on hook 5 (10) times.

Work second section same as the first.

When working off the increased side section I find it very helpful to place the increases on loosely. When I put them on tightly I kept loosing stitches. The looser stitches tightened themselves as they were being worked.

Also the stitches were easier to work off when I slightly lifted the one on the hook to be worked off.

I'll get pictures of the first method, the decrease by working two, then two again off the hook, and this one where I worked all four stitches together then did a single increase to make up the difference when I have more time. I did these swatches on a large yellow moez hook in one color so they don't show too well, but you will be able to get an idea of what the difference is.

Now I have figured out how to do the panel upwards but I have yet to figure out how to increase along the sides of this panel.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Another try at Mitered Tunisian

I mentioned that I was wondering if I should do the decrease in the center of the mitered tunisian cheveron as one decrease so I gave this a try to see what it looks like.

When I do the decrease as a two part there is a funny little double line going with a depression between them.

When I do the decrease as one yarn over pulled through the next four stitches plus the current chain, I get one line going up the center that looks much better then the double decrease.

The thing you have to remember is this is a decrease of two. So when picking up for the next row you need to pick up two stitches in the center one decrease. I did this by going through two vertical bars, then the last two vertical bars for that decrease. This brings me back to having only two less stitches for the decreased section.

This last decrease looks so much better then the first one, but I will try one more I have in mind to see if it is even better.

Mitered Tunisian

I saw a picture of a mitered Tunisian afghan and it was quite neat, but I couldn't find any real instructions on how to do it. There are probably instructions somewhere, but I got tired of doing searches. So I played with this technique. I am not sure I have it right but here is what I did.

Then today I found a short tutorial on a mitered shawl but it doesn't look like the picture I saw of the afghan. It is worked with increases where the one I saw looked like it was worked with decreases. Oh so confusing. Other searches today have lead me to other pictures and books but not to a tutorial. I know that once upon a time I saw one, or think I did. It is just not nice getting older. You tend to forget where you saw things. I have seen lots of knitted ones but knitted isn't what I am looking for, although that is a thought to try.

So I worked up a sample as best as I could figure it out. From the picture I was looking at (and darn I didn't save it and cannot find it again, I think it was in a group folder but I have so many groups), what I could count out seemed to be an even number of starting stitches, with decreases in the center for the chevron. Now as I saw it there were two center decreases. So that is what I tried.

After the first piece was done I was looking at the picture and it looks like the color change was made at this point, and stitches picked up along the side of the finished first piece. So I picked up those stitches, but they only number half of the stitches of the first section. Bummer that is not going to work at all. In coming back to the computer to look at the picture again, I noticed the direction of this second section. Oh yes, that means that in order to finish I would have to increase that other half of the stitches needed.

Increasing in tunisian on the pickup row is something I had tried at one time but never could quite get it, but recently I remembered seeing a tutorial on it at:

I went and took another look at this and the written had me quite confused (not hard to do in my case), till I clicked the picture open and compare the written with the picture. Then I sat and played with it. I got it but did discover that you have to be very careful when doing these increases. If you get it too tight it is so hard to do that section for the return row. So frog it off and put it back on was the name of the game till I got my hands working to learn not too tight. Putting on the increased stitches looser worked quite well.

I finished two sections but I don't think they look so good in the solid colors I was using. Maybe if I had done them in one color per row, but I was practicing so I didn't even think to do that. For now this will do till I have time to play some more with this technique. Maybe it isn't exactly right but it looks like it is.

Here is what I did. I used a large hook so I could see better what I was doing. It is the short moez yellow hook. I tried ten cast on stitches, then for the return row I did three return by twos, then two decreases over the next four (looked like this was the way it was done), then finished off with the last three stitches.

I then picked up two, the one stitch already on the hook being the third of the set, picked up a stitch in decrease section that left two stitches worked, then the last three stitches. This gives a total of eight stitches by that decreasing of two in the middle.

I then continued decreasing by two till there was only one stitch left. I then picked up five stitches along the side and increase by five more. Having looked at this swatch I wasn't quite happy with it. It is large due to the hook but not quite the same look at the picture I saw. So it was frogged.

I started over by increasing my cast on row to 20 stitches and repeated what I did in the first one. Now I am wondering if I should do the decrease not in two sections but as one. So to do the decrease as one would use the yarn over though the stitch on the hook plus the next for stitches. I will try this later to see if it looks better. So far the decrease section doesn't look so sharp and I am thinking that maybe it needs to be a little sharper. Can't tell till I try it.

Well, that is all for now. This is kind of interesting. It has been a while since I have seen a picture and tried to duplicate from what I see.

I can say this is simply ripples. I love ripples. This one is a small ripple built on a small ripple. There really isn't more to it then that. I once saw a sample of a potholder that a friend did before she died. I liked it so much that I duplicated it by just looking it over for a bit. It is the same principle that the mitered squares are done in only with increases instead of decreases.