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Thursday, November 3, 2011


Many years ago, my mother crocheted an afghan for me and my husband. At that time, I had no interest in learning the art of crocheting. By the time I decided I wanted to learn how, Mom was not able to teach me because of her poor health. However, I had a couple of very good friends and neighbors and through their talents and patience, I was able to master the art of basic crocheting.

I started crocheting with yarn, making round baby blankets for all six of our grandchildren. There are all kinds and weights of yarn. For most baby items, it is important to use the type and size of yarn specified in the pattern directions, as they have been chosen in order to produce certain effects. If you make a change you will not get the results you expect. It is also important to remember that you should buy the entire amount of yarn needed for your project all at the same time. This will enable you to secure the same dye lot and you will not be troubled by variations in color.

Crochet hooks are made of steel, aluminum, plastic, and wood. For fine work, such as doilies, tablecloths, bedspreads, and more, the steel hooks are always preferable. In the larger sizes they may also be used with yarn in making most infant wear, blankets, baby afghans, and other baby clothing and accessories. The pattern will tell you what size hook to use and it is important to use the size specified to insure correct results. If you crochet too tight you may need to use a hook one size larger and if you crochet too loose you may need to use a hook one size smaller. Before making an item and changing the hook size, it is wise to make a test swatch as directed in the pattern instructions on gauge.

When you are planning to make an article, it is very important that you should not ignore the word gauge if you wish your article to be the correct size. The word gauge may not appear in every set of crochet directions, but it does appear wherever necessary.

Gauge means the number of stitches equal to one inch, and the number of rows equal to one inch. Make a practice piece at least 3 inches square, using the hook and yarn specified in the instructions. If your stitches to the inch do not correspond with the stitches to the inch in the gauge, something is wrong. More stitches than those specified to the inch means that you should use a larger hook. With less stitches to the inch, use a smaller hook and try again. Keep changing your hook until your gauge is exactly the same as the gauge specified in the pattern instructions.

Happy Crocheting!

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