Pandia's Jewels in Yarnland
When it comes to the world of fiber crafts blocking is used more often in knitting than it is in crochet. And if you are solely a crocheter then when you see under the finishing instructions wet block- you tend to ask yourself- blocking? What is that?
Many of the crochet patterns that I design call for wet blocking. So I thought I would write this little mini tutorial on how I wet block the things I make both knitted and crochet.
When you knit something (or make one of my Tunisian crochet shawls) the final piece tends to looks like a wadded up ball of yarn.
There is no stitch definition and the edges can curl. But don't be alarmed- this is totally normal and why many patterns call for blocking. The whole process of blocking your piece will not only help with your stitch definition but ensure that your shawl, hat, scarf, etc. has a nice overall shape.
So here is how I block all of my finished objects. Fist of all I love Soakwash! It comes in many different fragrances and its made to be used with your handmade garments.
All I do is fill a large bucket with some luke warm water, a bit of Soak, and let the final piece take a little bath or soak in the water. Make sure your water is not boiling hot- you don't want your piece to felt. If you are not sure how hot or cold the water should be make sure your read the wash instructions for your yarn.
Now the amount of time that you let the piece is up to you. I personally like to leave it in there for at least a half hour. This is to ensure that the yarn fibers get saturated and the whole piece has had a nice relaxing bath. But there has been times when I have totally forgotten I was soaking something and it sat in the bath for a long time- don't panic- your piece is still fine. When you feel your piece has soaked enough just take it out of the bath and rinse it off gently.
When you are done rinsing just take the piece over to your blocking matts and pull out your blocking wires and t-pins. Now, I purchased all of blocking materials from Knit Picks. But I have seen people put a towel down on their carpet and pin the piece to that or even pin the final piece to their mattress. Maybe if you are lucky you can find old play matts at a garage sale and those would work too. The point- you just need a surface that you can pin your piece down to.
Then all you do it pin your piece into the final desired shape.Then all you have to do it wait for the piece to dry before removing the pins. With this particular shawl I used blocking wires along the bottom to make sure the edges would be straight and pins along the top. By wet blocking this shawl I was able to open up the stitches and ensure that the shawl would have a nice triangle shape when worn.
All I can say about this process is to be patient. It will take some time to pull, stretch, pin, re-pin, to ensure that you have the piece pinned down into that final shape you are looking for. And while this process can be time consuming depending on how large the final piece is- all I can say is that the final result will be totally worth it :)
The time has come to thank everyone for joining my FB page and being a fan of Pandia's Jewels. So in honor of reaching 600 fans on my FB page I decided to host this lovely giveaway just in time for the holidays.
YEAH FOR GIVEAWAYS!!!!!!!!!
Prize 1 is for all the yarnies out there.
In this Prize bag (which is also a lovely project bag) you will find 3 skeins of my Yummy Base yarn.
This yarn was a limited edition base that is a 80/20 blend on wool/ angora and comes in skeins of 219 yds /50 grams. And even better! I dyed this yummy yarn in a limited edtion colorway called There Be Fairies Here. Perfect colors that will help to remind you of Spring as the weather becomes cold and the leaves fall off the trees.
And that is not all! In this bag you will get a small bag filled with 10 holiday gift tags and my Miss Bennet's Walking Shawl Crochet Pattern. If that wasn't enough- yes these 3 skeins of yarn are enough to make the shawl featured in the pattern! But wait- there is more......
Prize Bag 2 is for all those spinners out there.
In this prize bag the winner will recieve some very yummy fiber to spin.
The fiber is a SW BFL Top 4 oz. braid that has been dyed in my Earth and Sky Colorway. Along with the fiber is a small bag of teal firestar. The colors will blend nicely together if you decide to spin both fibers together.
But that is not all! Besides having some yummy stuff to spin those cold nights away there is also a small bag of 10 holiday gift tags and my You Need Cable Mitts Crochet Pattern. And you could use your handspun to make these great fingerless mitts.
Now - how can you enter this wonderful fan giveway?
Simple. Here is what you have to do (please, please read these steps carefully before entering):
1. You must be a fan of my FB page (and yes I will be checking to make sure that you are).
2. You must leave a comment on this Blog post to be entered into the drawing and the number of your blog post will become your "ticket". In your comment you must state if you are a Yarnie for Prize 1 or a Spinner if you would like to win Prize 2 and your e-mail address. If you don't leave your e-mail address then I won't be able to contact you if you win one of the prizes.
3. You are only eligable to win ONE prize. So if you write yarnie and spinner in the same comment, you have the chance to win only one of those prizes.
4. You can only leave one post in the comments thread. If you leave more than one post you will not be eligable to win a prize.
And there you have it. That is all you need to do to enter for the chance to win one of these wonderful prizes.
The last day to enter this giveaway will be
Nov. 24, 2012.
On Nov. 25 the two winners will be choosen at random with the help of a random number generator at random.org. The winners will be announced on my FB page and will also be contacted by e-mail.
GOOD LUCK :)
I am all about a good pair of snugly fingerless mitts in the fall. I found the inspiration for this pattern on Ravelry and this is my interpertaion of the Easy Fingerless Mitts knitting pattern by Calypso Knits. And since the weather is only getting cooler I decided to share this pattern with everyone. So here it is.........
Snugly Mitts Tunisian Crochet Pattern
By Julia Wardell
Size I & H crochet hook
Size H Afghan Hook
I used about a 1/4 of a skein of Pandia's Jewels fingering weight yarn in Purple Heart.
Note: Pattern Makes 1 pair of mitts. The pattern works from the wrist to the fingers.
Ch 42 with I crochet hook. Switch to H arghan hook and work foundation forward pass - 42 lps and return pass.
Rows 1-4: Forward Pass- Tks 1, *Tps 2, Tks 2, repeat from * across and work return pass.
Row 5: Tks forward and return pass.
Repeat Row 5 until piece measures 6 inches beg.
Next 4 Rows: Foreward pass Tks 1, *Tps 2, Tks 2, Repeat from * across.
With H crochet hook work bind off row. What I did was insert the hook into the stitch as if I were making a Tks and pulled up a loop, then pulled that loop through the loop on the hook, only one lp should remain on the hook.
Fasten off and leave a long tail. This tail will be used to sew the mitts closed.
Construction: You will stitch the sides together leaving an opening for the thumb. To start- fold the mitts in half so that the right sides are together and with your tapestry needle wip stitch the edge together for 2 1/4 inches. Skip the next 10 rows (this is the thumb opening) and the wip stitch the rest of the edges together. Fasten off and weave in all ends. Turn the mitt right side out.
Thumb: this section uses the ssc stitch often known as the short single crochet stitch or the Split Single Crochet stitch. You can learn how to make this stitch just by surfing the interent. Here is a good video by Stitch Scene the Split Single Crochet that shows you how to make the stitch.
You will use your H crochet hook to make the thumb. You will also need a stitch marker to mark the beginning of each round since this section is worked in the round. Make sure to move your stitch marker as you work. Attach yarn to thumb opening near the seam.
Rnd 1: Ch 1, sc in the same st as join, sc in the next 11 sts, sc in the next 12 stitches on the other side of the opening- DO NOT JOIN - 24 sts.
Rnd 2: ssc in each st around.
Rnd 3: Scc in next 4 sts, ssc2tog, ssc in next 5 sts, ssc2tog, ssc in next 5 sts, ssc2tog, ssc in next 4 sts - 21 sts.
The ssc2tog is the same as making a single crochet 2 together stitch (sc2tog).
Rnd 4: Scc in next 2 sts, ssc2tog, ssc in next 3 sts, ssc2tog, ssc in next 4 sts, ssc2tog, ssc in next 3 sts, ssc2tog, ssc in next stitch - 17 sts.
Rnd 5: ssc in next 4 sts, ssc2tog, ssc in next 3 sts, ssc2tog, ssc in next 2 sts, ssc2tog, ssc in next 2 sts - 14 sts.
Rnd 6: ssc in each sts around.
Rnds 7-10: Repeat Rnd 6. Fasten Off and weave in ends.
If you are still not sure about using the ssc then just do a sc instead.
There you have it. If you have any questions please leave a comment. I hope you enjoy these mitts as much as I do :)