Quintessential Images and Realities Visited: Cats & Yarn and Needles & Yarn

no on kittens and needles and yarn

no on kittens and needles and yarn
CATS AND YARN

A crocheting friend of mine, (only just yesterday – the truth!), took her sick cat to the vet. The diagnosis: YARN the cat had swallowed which caused the cat multiple health problems. This begs the comment …

What do we often see in yarn ‘advertisements’ but the quintessential photo of the oh-so-cute kitten and ball of yarn; this does not address reality. Cats and yarn do not belong together.
Obviously if one is unable refrain from letting their precious felines play with it, it should be closely monitored. It also gets caught in their teeth. I have cats and I do not let them touch the yarn. I love them and don’t want to take them to the vet for something that could have been easily prevented.

NEEDLES/HOOKS AND YARN

Then that also reminds me of another quintessential photo that we see more often than not when knitting needles or crochet hooks are shown with yarn/wool. They are usually shown impaling a ball of yarn; it makes for an artistic graphic but, again, does not address reality. This is one of the worst thing in the world you could do to yarn/wool; it will tear and/or split the yarn. Yes, sometimes this is relatively fixable, but the bottom line is that needles do not belong stuck in a ball of yarn. If you are afraid you will lose a needle when you need to leave your work, it is easy enough to find another method of storing work-in-process.

I would like to call these my ‘opinions’, but I think, perhaps, these are realities.

Dilemma: “I don’t know what to charge or how to figure out fair pricing when someone asks if I will do a project for them…

dilemma I dont know what to charge

dilemma I dont know what to charge

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Whether it is a quick item, a big project, a repair, or completing an unfinished item for someone who has asked for your help …

Generally,  you want to be paid what you believe you are worth and you charge ‘whatever the market will bear’; that is, whatever the person asking for your services is willing to pay based on what you think your time is worth …

Make this decision:   do you just want to do it because you want to do it … do you want to do it because you only want to help the person who is asking for your help … or do you ‘need’ the money?

If you do not need the money and just wish to help and not charge a fee, sometimes you may have to face the fact that either you bit off more than you could chew, or you did not estimate how much time it would take you for this ‘volunteer’ work for which you have committed yourself and it may go downhill from there if you find for one reason or the other than you do not have the time to devote to the project.  So, be careful in making the decision to volunteer from the goodness of your heart.

If you are interested in payment for your work, consider:  Only YOU can decide just how valuable your time is.  Will it be taking you away from something else you are working on or other project scheduling priorities?

It would not be good to charge less than you ‘really’ wanted, strike the deal, and then feel ‘used/abused’  for doing it so “cheap”, then resent that you ever obligated yourself to it.  It would not be good to end up being resentful.  Research other needle workers who do this kind of work and find out what and how they charge and you may decide to follow suit.

It often helps to explain to the person some aspects of the work and time involved to complete the project.

Importantly, be sure to make a fair estimate to yourself in determining how long it will take you to do the project (be sure not to underestimate and then, to repeat – have regrets).

Sometimes people are not willing to pay a fair price to the needle worker and want ‘something for nothing’ (I have seen this a lot).

Then on the other hand there are those who “don’t care what it costs” because it is so important to them (e.g. an heirloom unfinished by a loved one who has passed on …)

You must say and do what makes you comfortable.  There really is no ‘right’ answer.  You must do what you feel is right and fair.

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How to Keep Track of Multiple Knitting Patterns with Different Row Totals for Pattern Repeats

free stuff post.How to keep track of multiple knitting patterns

Skerin Aran5.country Rose

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How do I keep track of ALL my rows when the piece I am working on contains several different patterns and each pattern is comprised of a different number of rows for the pattern repeat, and may also begin and end on different rows than the other pattern(s)?

Here is a very easy way to ‘gestalt’ this phenomenon (that is ‘see the big picture’). The afghan photo shown contains the patterns used for this how-to. The sample worksheet below left shows working two patterns at same time along with a far left column for grand total number of rows worked in the entire piece. Add this column option when needed. For additional Patterns, follow written directions and add as established. I have used this kind of worksheet ‘forever’ and it has always worked great.

thumnbnail A.Free Stuff How Tos.Worksheet for multiple patternsthumbnail B.multiple patt worksheet


My Personal Worksheet (above right) Notes:

1) two established pattern sets worked same time (Patt Rows 2-9 and Patt Rows 5-12)

2) ‘c7’ reminder for Patt 2- 9

3) Green numbered circles reflect Rows 2-9 set completions for directions which indicate ‘wk until 50”, ending w/completion Row 9’.

4) In order to not add another sheet of graph paper (see blue writing), a diagonal line is added to reuse tick marks and maintain count. On this worksheet, if I walked away from my work for a while and came back I could easily find where I am … see ‘I am here’ in red.

5) I can easily calculate the total number of pattern sets completed … see #22 green circle; #23 completion is at the red underscored ‘9’ near the #2 green circle, etc., so I have completed 30 patt repeats up to ‘I am here’.

6) Rows 5-9 patt set will end ‘wherever it ends’ at 9th row of Rows 2-9 patt set, as stated in directions (#3 above).

 

7) I did not find it necessary so did not include the ‘total rows’ column as in the worksheet example on the previous page.

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How Tos: Double Crochet Post Stitches – Creating Vertical Lines on Right Side

home page image for how tos.dc post sts creating vertical lines

home page image for how tos.dc post sts creating vertical lines

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HOW TOS:  DOUBLE CROCHET POST STITCHES
Creating Vertical Lines of DC Posts on RS
Worked in rows:
First st is a ch3 ea row.
Last st of row is a dc worked in the top of the ch3 in previous row.
On rs rows, wk fp dc sts around ea st of previous round.
On ws rows, wk bp dc sts around ea st of previous round.

Worked in rounds:
Rnd begins w/ch3 over first st.
All dc post sts are fp dc sts.
Rnd ends w/sl st in top of beg ch3.

How Tos.DC Post Sts Creating Vertical Lines
See Photo Numbers:
1. rs, beg of row is ch3; wk fp dc in ea st across; how to:  yo, insert hk front to back around st, pull up a lp, complete the dc st working on the rs (yo, pull  thru 2)2x; dc in top last st; ch3, turn.

2. photo shows multiple fp dc sts completed.

3, 4, 5. ws, wk bp dc in ea st across; how to:  w/yarn in bk, insert hk around st toward and then away from you (red pin) , yo, pull up a lp, complete the dc st (yo, pull thru 2)2x; dc in top last st; ch3, turn.

6.  photo shows  ws, second row.

7.  rs, third row in process, working fp dc sts.


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Bundled Crochet I-Cord Patterns Set – Four in One: Double-Sided Ribbon, Stretch Picot & Lp, Perfectly Round I-Cord,Crochet Coaster or Hotpad Save $4

Main Photo 4 I-Cord patterns in one doc

Main Photo 4 I-Cord patterns in one doc

Take Great Advantage!  If you purchased all of these patterns individually, the total would be $9 (see individual listings in ‘Patterns for Sale’).  These patterns are Skerin Knitting and Crochet exclusives.  For I-cord working how-tos (prerequisite for these patterns), be  sure to download tutorials under ‘Free Stuff’.

Bundle Crochet I-Cord Pattern Set – 4 in One:  Double-Sided Ribbon, Stretch Picot & Lp, Perfectly Round I-Cord, Crochet Coaster or Hotpad  $5

$5.00 View Product


hot pads9I.Cord.Perfectly Round Crochet I.Cordpicot i.cord21.crochet ribbon1.FOR WEBPOST

I-Cord: Perfectly Round Crochet I-Cord … Exclusive Here

I.Cord.Perfectly Round Crochet I.Cord

I.Cord.Perfectly Round Crochet I.Cord

Another pattern spin-off from the go-to crochet i-cord pattern that you’ll find you just can’t live without for multiple tassles, ties, and embellishment applications.   Examples are worked w/4-ply worsted and sizes J-10, H-8, and G-6 hooks.  Experiment w/hook sizes and different yarn plies for texture and degrees of stiffness and pliability desired.

I-Cord:  Perfectly Round Crochet I-Cord  $2.00

$2.00 View Product

Double-Sided Crochet Ribbon Pattern – Includes Photo How-Tos (Starts As Crochet I-Cord !) by Susan Kerin

1.crochet ribbon1.FOR WEBPOST

1.crochet ribbon1.FOR WEBPOST

Skerin Exclusive …

comprehensive how-tos with photo how-tos included.

2.crochet ribbon2.FOR WEBPOST

crochet ribbon placemat

Double-Sided Crochet Ribbon How -Tos $2.00

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The Knitting and Crochet Resurgence – Time For Learning and Advancing by Susan D. Kerin

No Knitstinction facing left to right

No Knitstinction facing left to right

Yin-Yang-Final-Draft-with black knit fabric.CopyrightedSusan in OPIndependenta slip knot starting chain_0001

Google the words “knitting” or “crochet”, combined with words like “how-to”, “patterns”, “lessons”, “tutorials” or “help”  and get “between 1.96 and 9.28 MILLION results”; that is a big WOW.   Through the decades, interest in the crafts of knitting and crochet ebbs and flows.  Resurgence in their popularity the last few years is tremendous.

As a teacher of these fine arts, I am excited to be a part of this phenomenon.  I cannot state this strongly enough.  It is a labor of love to teach neophyte to advanced skill levels.  I have been doing it more than fifteen years.   The availability and variety of yarns and needles is huge and affordable to develop a satisfying, lifelong hobby.  I promote the benefits of these activities.  They yield enjoyment, relaxation, challenge and self-satisfaction.  Project work is as simple or as complex as desired.  Copious projects of all kinds work up quickly with super simple stitch patterns including hats and scarves and other clothing accessories, sweaters, afghans, toys, doilies and more.  Do it while watching  television or having a chat.  Even better, do it for meditation and stress relief.

In learning, you get out what you put in.  Learning to knit and crochet is no different.  Practice takes time and results are always worth the effort.  Those with the benefit of lessons become confident and are able to work patterns ranked for more advanced skill levels.  “Students” become my students because simply knowing how to do the knit stitch or how to crochet a stitch is one thing, but knowing what to do with them is another.  Written patterns must be understood and executed correctly if a project is to “turn out like the picture”.  Instructions are just that, instructions. They do not tell “how” or the “best technique” to use.  There is always more than one way to skin that cat in knitting and crochet.  Lessons provide students with an arsenal of knowledge, a bag of tricks newly practiced, which are learned from an expert.  This gained confidence kicks in easily when an instruction needs dissecting.

There is always something to learn.  Genres and tangential subjects related to knitting and crochet are many.  My library on these subjects numbers 4,000 books. In teaching avid students who just “can’t get enough”, it is equally stimulating for me.  Related teaching for all skill levels includes properties of yarn, project planning, pattern applications, the design process, modifying patterns, mathematical and geometric formulas, positive and negative space, texture, special tools – a truly endless list.

For myself, I am well-practiced and have achieved “proclaimed” status as an award winning, national (thanks to having a www.website) professional designer in knitting and crochet.   My work has appeared on covers of national catalogs and books.

Knitters and crocheters can be compared to golfers.  Some are self-taught and sometimes that works well; but many need a teacher.  Many are labeled “hackers”.  Hackers could enjoy the game so much more with lessons, enabling them to move from a 30 handicap to a 20 or better.  Applying this philosophy to knitting and crochet would provide an increase in skill level, pleasure and satisfaction.

Teaching is a major focus for me and I do a lot of it.  It’s a win-win situation; students inspire me as much as I inspire them. Personally, it catapults me into my special world of research and study, design and sharing knowledge in my public lectures.

All of this goes toward creating new and further interest in learning in the fine arts of knitting and crochet.

In Ocean Pines, I will be giving multiple public lectures this fall (at the Recreation Department) all about knitting and crochet, see the other post under this tab, Classes and Lectures.  These lectures are always extremely well received and I always look forward to them.  Once again, a mutual stimulation, I believe, is found  here.

Happy Knitting and Crocheting !

 

Stretch Picot & Long Stitch Reversible Crochet I-Cord Bands – Two Patterns by Susan D. Kerin

Stretch Picot and Long St Double-Sided Crochet I-Cord

Stretch Picot and Long St Double-Sided Crochet I-Cord
What more could you ask for in an embellishment !?!  These patterns are based upon the double-edged, reversible properties of crochet i-cord and its many uses.  These variations add picots and extra elasticity.  Since these are elasticized, they provide excellent give and work well as embellishments on garments and accessories.

Stretch Picot and Long St Reversible Crochet Bands – Two Patterns $2.00

$2.00 View Product

picot i.cord2  picot i.cord

Horizontal Stockinette Stitch Invisible Seam – Photo How-Tos … EASY PEASY !

Invisible Horizontal Joins Enlarged for post.Main Photo for Web Post enlarged

Invisible Horizontal Joins Enlarged for post.Main Photo for Web Post enlarged

The only thing to say about making it NOT easy to forget HOW TO DO THIS is:
EASY PEASY

Invisible Horizontal Joins afghan shot for web post  Invisible Horizontal Joins how to per afghan pieces for web post

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Note:  white sts are elongated for viewing in above how-tos.  In working seam, tension sts to gauge of existing sts.

Step 1)  Top red arrow:   beg w/top piece, working right to left, insert needle around both sides of first st at end.  (In TOP piece the whole st is always worked).

Step 2)  Bottom red arrow:  insert needle into center of first end st directly across from st worked in Step 1 and blue arrow on right:  bring needle up thru the center of second full st to the left.

Step 3Green arrows:  in top piece  insert needle around the next WHOLE st.

Step 4Blue arrows:  in bottom piece insert needle into center of the second st, then
up thru the center of the third full st to the left.   (In BOTTOM piece 1 side of st in ea of 2 whole sts is always worked.)

Rep Steps 3 & 4 – complete across.

Step 5Black arrows:  insert beginning end of seaming yarn into center of first st on bottom piece (at point of red arrow).

 

Easy How to Remember
Beginning with first stitch in both pieces, it’s always:
one
whole from top – two halves from bottom

 

In the second photo showing part of an afghan, hexagonal motifs are joined with invisible seam to bring together the established pattern – Horizontal Garter St Invisible Join.

Swatches being joined in last photo are same pattern as in the afghan motif photo. Each motif ends with a garter ridge (two knit rows), then bind-off row is completed on right side.  The same five steps of the invisible join method also used here … in each piece the row of flat sts worked is hidden between the bound off st and the garter ridge. Simply spread it out with finger tips and complete per instructions.

Later, the motif cross sts are completed individually by hand to match the cross sts of the established pattern.

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