Thursday, October 03, 2013

7 Useful Crochet Tips

Crochet is a wonderful hobby to learn because you can make so many useful and decorative items when crocheting. However, when you are first starting out, it can be frustrating trying to get your work to come out perfectly. Keep at it since practice really does make perfect. Whether you are new to crochet or you've been at it for a while, here are some tips to help you along the way.

Tip #1:
If you are winding yarn into a ball, make sure not to stretch the yarn or wind it too tightly. Keep a gentle pressure on the yarn as you wind it; this way it won't be too tight or too loose. If you wind the yarn too loose, the ball will come apart easily. If you wind the yarn too tight, you will stretch it and make the yarn thinner. Then when you go to use the yarn later, the stitches will be thinner than they should be.

Tip #2:
To clean finished crochet projects, old or new, wash them in cool water and Dawn dish liquid soap. Gently rinse in cool water and lay flat to dry. If you need to, you can gently press down on the project with a clean towel. Never ring out a project to remove excess water. However, if an old project is falling apart or is rotting, then just leave it; washing the piece could permanently ruin it.

Tip #3:
Have you ever admired a crochet project, such as Christmas decorations or a crocheted wedding bell, and wondered how the person managed to make it stiff? It's easy. Simply pour 2 cups of sugar into a pot with 1 cup of water. Gently heat and stir the mixture until the sugar has completely dissolved. Allow it to cool before dipping your project in the mixture. Remove and squeeze out any excess liquid. Then mold the crochet project into the desired shape. Once it is dry, it will permanently hold that shape.

Tip #4:
Do you have any crochet projects that are in storage and have been stiffened with sugar or starch? Since moths and other insects love to eat sugar and starch, be sure to pack some moth balls in the same container as your crochet projects. Otherwise you may open the storage container only to find that moths have eaten away at your precious projects.

Tip #5:
If you are worried about small children being near scissors, there are a few alternatives that you can try. One alternative is to use folding scissors, so that the sharp ends don't stick out. When you're not using the scissors, you can place them in your pocket or on a string and hang the string around your neck like a necklace. A second alternative is to use a yarn cutter, which has recessed blades that make it harder for children and adults to accidentally cut themselves on.

Tip #6:
Use safety pins to mark your place and your rows as you crochet. If you are counting the number of rows, rounds or chains you have completed, place a safety pin every time you count ten of them. Leave the safety pin in place as you continue to crochet, so that you don't have to worry about losing count of your rows or rounds.

Tip #7:
There are two ways to make sewing crocheted motifs together a lot easier. For the first step, hold the motifs together by using small hair clips, rather than safety pins. Then in the second step, where you are actually sewing the motifs together, make sure not to pull your yarn too tightly, as this will cause the motifs to pucker up.

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