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Old 12-19-2013, 11:20 PM   #1
Caz
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Second doily and some questions.
Just wanted to show off my second finished work and also ask a couple of questions.


Using:
milford satin 2-ply perle no.5 and a 2.0mm hook

Original pattern: http://crochetartblog.blogspot.com.a...t-pattern.html

I'm glad I had already done a practice one because this one took a fair amount of time and it would have been a shame if it turned out badly. The way it came out there are some flaws, but I'm pretty happy with it in general.



So, my first question is about thread/yarn. I initially thought I would be doing this in fine cotton thread. I bought #20 thread (milford mercer), but it's very 'wirey'. It's like trying to crochet with fishing line and it makes it quite loopy and unattractive. I did a few rows, but as well as being loopy, it was also quite scratchy, like a synthetic loofah. I switched to another cotton that I had bought (milford satin 2-ply perle no.5), and it was much nicer, so that's what I ended up using. It's quite nice, and ended up finer than I expected, but I'm still thinking I could have benefited from using a slightly finer one. So, I'm wondering what kind of threads/yarns would be recommended for this sort of thing. I'm quite happy with these results, and would use this stuff again, but if there is anything else that might be appropriate, I'd love to hear suggestions.

My second question is about tension. With my first doily, I found that when I used a tension that is similar to how I knit, it turned out very loose and loopy. I had already tightened up my tension, but after about 10 rows on this one, I realised it was still quite loose, so I tightened up even further. At this point I was crocheting at a tension that was so tight that the loops were actually tight on the hook and it was hard to crochet into stitches. This made it time consuming, and was feeling very hard on the joints in my fingers. I found I could loosen it slightly without compromising the apprearance, which made it a lot easier to do, but it's still very tight compared to how I knit, which is very relaxed. So I'm just wondering if that is a normal thing, that people find their crochet tension needs to be a lot tighter than their knitting tension to produce nice results.

My third question is very specific. When I do large stitches (there were a lot of double-trebles in this work) the final loop is quite loose. This is the one that lies horizontally at the top of the stitch. I have tried making sure that the yarn-overs are all tight and that they all sit parallel, because if they are diagonal, they contain more yarn which ends up making the last loop bigger. But the problem is that every time I slide them off the hook, they shrink slightly, sending a little bit of slack to the next loop. With a double-treble, this happens three times and causes the last loop to contain a lot of slack, and it makes double trebles sit very far away from each other because the horizontal loop that connects them is very large. If you look at the border of the leaf-shaped motifs in my finished work, it is made up of four double-trebles next to each other, and on the website I got the pattern from, these double-trebles are almost touching, but in mine they are separated a little because of these large loops at the top. I'm just wondering if this is a common problem and if anyone has any suggestions of how to avoid this.

Thanks in advance

Last edited by Caz : 12-19-2013 at 11:31 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 12-20-2013, 02:31 AM   #2
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I've been at the monitor for almost 12 hours today (my *work* requires me to be at the computer), so my remarks will be short and, unfortunately, won't address most of your questions.

--With regard to the loops: have you blocked the doilies? Blocking can help regularize the final size of stitches in a piece.

--I'm absolutely staggered that this is your second piece of crochet. It looks beautiful. You clearly have a gift for crochet, talent as well, and persistence to see difficult patterns through to their end.

Take a look at the Crochet Guild of America. There are occasional exhibits of member work at local chapters; this red doily would be a knock-out exhibit!
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Old 12-20-2013, 04:59 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by DogCatMom View Post
--With regard to the loops: have you blocked the doilies? Blocking can help regularize the final size of stitches in a piece.
I hadn't thought of that. I normally think of blocking as a way to reduce asymmetries on a larger scale. I just ironed it and then starched it. As I ironed it, I actually stretched it out a little along the length of the borders to bring them closer together, but that probably would have been better to do using blocking techniques.


Originally Posted by DogCatMom View Post
--I'm absolutely staggered that this is your second piece of crochet. It looks beautiful. You clearly have a gift for crochet, talent as well, and persistence to see difficult patterns through to their end.
Thanks, I really appreciate it I'm pretty busy, so I didn't really feel I had time to practice with lots of granny squares or anything. I just wanted to get stuck into an ambitious project and it's turned out better than I expected. I think having knitted a fair bit has helped me pick up crochet quickly.


Originally Posted by DogCatMom View Post
Take a look at the Crochet Guild of America. There are occasional exhibits of member work at local chapters; this red doily would be a knock-out exhibit!
I'm in Australia, but it would be cool to get involved in something like that, so I might have a look around
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Old 12-20-2013, 06:34 AM   #4
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Wow! It's fabulous. Thousands of crocheters would be proud to have this doily as their "peak of perfection" piece. It's a lovely and ambitious project and you've completed it with flair and beautiful stitchwork. Well done. Thanks for sharing the photo.
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Old 12-20-2013, 11:31 AM   #5
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That's simply amazing. When I first saw it I didn't think beginner could have done it. LOL Wow. I can only wonder what your next project will look like.
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Old 12-20-2013, 12:04 PM   #6
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Wow! That is a gorgeous doily!

To jump in on your 3rd question (the only one I can address), I agree 100% with DCM, that blocking can even out stitches. That said if, after blocking, you're not satisfied, there are a couple of things you can consider.

Straight shank hook vs. not straight shank hooks. I used to call this (Susan) Bates vs. Boye. The Bates hooks are the same size from hook to finger hold (straight shanked or inline) and for me, that contributed to even loop size, unlike the Boye hooks, which are irregularly shaped. Hook and shank are the same size, but in between the two is tapered. If your hooks are not straight shanked, trying a straight shanked hook might help.

The other thing to consider is how tightly wrapped are your yo's. The last loop you pull through is the first one you make on the hook and tends to elongate a bit. If you wrap your yo so that they look like the coiled DPN holders, that can help tighten up that loopyness.

Your work is gorgeous! I'd never believe you're a beginner...
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Old 12-20-2013, 07:39 PM   #7
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Thanks for the praise everyone.

Originally Posted by justplaincharlotte View Post
Wow! That is a gorgeous doily!

To jump in on your 3rd question (the only one I can address), I agree 100% with DCM, that blocking can even out stitches. That said if, after blocking, you're not satisfied, there are a couple of things you can consider.

Straight shank hook vs. not straight shank hooks. I used to call this (Susan) Bates vs. Boye. The Bates hooks are the same size from hook to finger hold (straight shanked or inline) and for me, that contributed to even loop size, unlike the Boye hooks, which are irregularly shaped. Hook and shank are the same size, but in between the two is tapered. If your hooks are not straight shanked, trying a straight shanked hook might help.

The other thing to consider is how tightly wrapped are your yo's. The last loop you pull through is the first one you make on the hook and tends to elongate a bit. If you wrap your yo so that they look like the coiled DPN holders, that can help tighten up that loopyness.

Your work is gorgeous! I'd never believe you're a beginner...
Based on your very helpful comments, I'm thinking hook shape may be a large part of the problem. It's possible that tightness of the yarn overs was an issue within about the first 10 rounds, but I improved that greatly as I went. I also noticed that that my double trebles tend to curve, and I think maybe this was due to my tension being a little too tight in an attempt to fix the large-final-loop problem.

This curve wasn't so problematic in the fan/scallop motifs, where it was easy to stretch and iron them straight, but they remain curved in the borders of the leaf motifs. Anyway, perhaps better hooks would help both problems, allowing me to reduce my tension slightly without exacerbating the loop problem. The set I bought are cheap ebay ones, and they do taper as they approach the hook.
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Old 12-20-2013, 08:25 PM   #8
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In crochet as in knitting the size of the shaft you're working with should determine the stitch diameter (??) and you should rarely need to choke hold the yarn. I don't know how much if any this helps but thought I'd throw it out there.
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Old 12-21-2013, 12:55 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Caz View Post
Thanks for the praise everyone.

Based on your very helpful comments, I'm thinking hook shape may be a large part of the problem. It's possible that tightness of the yarn overs was an issue within about the first 10 rounds, but I improved that greatly as I went. I also noticed that that my double trebles tend to curve, and I think maybe this was due to my tension being a little too tight in an attempt to fix the large-final-loop problem.

This curve wasn't so problematic in the fan/scallop motifs, where it was easy to stretch and iron them straight, but they remain curved in the borders of the leaf motifs. Anyway, perhaps better hooks would help both problems, allowing me to reduce my tension slightly without exacerbating the loop problem. The set I bought are cheap ebay ones, and they do taper as they approach the hook.
All of the taller stitches such as double trebles look a bit curved because of their height especially before blocking. The closest thing I can compare blocking a crocheted doily to is aggressively wet blocking lace knitting. Doilies can take some aggressive blocking to make the taller stitches mind their manners.

Those tapered shafts drove me batso crazy on taller stitches, because the yo are smaller closer to the hook, but larger as the yos move up the shank. But that's me...

Originally Posted by GrumpyGramma View Post
In crochet as in knitting the size of the shaft you're working with should determine the stitch diameter (??) and you should rarely need to choke hold the yarn. I don't know how much if any this helps but thought I'd throw it out there.
Yeppers! Firm Goldilocks wraps that are just right not too tight or too loose, and particularly on the taller stitches keeping the wraps right next to each other really helps with stitch definition when working in thread.
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