We Share Our Favorite Hints:


Angel Heads


Omak:      I am not sure what problem you are having with the angel heads, but you might try chaining 2 (for the beginning top of the head) and then do six single crochets in the second chain from the hook... this makes a good tight start and you can decide where to do the increasing as to whether you will have either a round head, or slightly elongated... one final hint... don't let the increases be on top of each other, don't make a definite start on each row. Do some adjusting by putting one row of consistent numbers of stitches (at least) before you continue onto the next row.... some patterns recommend placing a thread at the beginning of each row, but that always just frustrates me... I just keep counting...and working on the same head until I have gotten to the neck.... Hope this helps....
Marinka:      Great suggestions all and I am always fascinated by the fact that crocheters come up with identical solutions to problems, while never once having to call a meeting on it, or doing lunch, and often not even on the same continent! Now that would be a good idea, doing lunch that is!
The only thing I do differently is to start over a loop formed on the tip of my pinky, then when the first row is joined I pull on the tail and it gives me a nice tight start. This is particularly helpful when doing motifs or squares as they will all be uniform.


Granny Squares - how to square


Omak:     For the person who cant get their granny squares SQUARE: I think I can help you meet one of your 1999 resolutions... the first round on a granny square is NEVER square... but if you put two or three chains between each of the corner 3dc, ch, 3dc...and no chains anywhere else in the square, you will have a more square granny square.... at LEAST the corners will more squared... also, watch your tension...


Multiple Strand Crocheting


Marinka:     Yes I have worked with multiple strands, as a matter of fact as many as 17 at a time. It was the quickest sweater I had ever made! What I would suggest is that you somehow contain each skein or ball of fiber you are working with in a way that would ensure they "feed" into your hand evenly. I would not suggest winding them together, from my experience one fiber occasionally gets used up faster for whatever reason and then you have to deal with that. I put my skeins inside tube socks and lay them out inside the layers of an old office stackable tray. I then put this structure on a table or shelf facing me making sure that it is always above me and the fibers travel downwards. I would not recommend a project using many strands to be moved at all, so set it up where you are most likely to be undisturbed. I have also used successfully a wine cardboard box, large pop bottles (bottoms cut off), and for real slippery fibers, the netting tubes that onions are sometimes packaged in. Now the only adjustment you may need to make is to give a consistently gentle tug on the strands as you crochet, and being always aware that you are picking up all the strands at once. If you crochet tight may I suggest you try a larger crochet hook, and as to the crochet hook, make sure you use one that just glides on whatever fiber you are using. You will develop a rhythm and it will flow at an amazing speed. The effort initially will be well worth it in the finished project.


Reading Patterns
Omak -     I always pay attention to each comma.... for therein lies each step of the solution.... it took me almost twenty years of crocheting and knitting to UNDERSTAND that it was all a numbers game... for some reason that made it all a lot simpler...sometimes I will write each row out on a notecard... separating out all those abbreviations makes each row more manageable.... have a good amount of patience with yourself... remember Edison.... at one point, I forget how many times they had tried to do a particular product... his assistant got discouraged and said...."We have failed five hundred times" to which Edison replied,"No... we have found five hundred ways it cannot be done" I have worked in the clothing factory profession at one time, and some of the people said that the best sewers were the ones who knew how to take things apart (as in correcting mistakes) before they ever got the step down pat.... not a great deal of comfort when one is feeling like immaterial substances seem to have more brains than the human working with it has.... another thing I do as I read through the pattern is to "picture" each of the steps in the row...as well as seeing in my mind what they are trying to create... not all of us learn alike, nor do we translate what we read the sameway.... just be patient with yourself and keep trying....and once you figure out how it is you learn and assimilate information and instruction, it will get simpler.... 


Karen:   Here is the URL for the socks I mentioned.


I made a pair of them for each member of the family last year as slipper socks and made them skid proof by applying "ok to wash glue" on the bottoms!!



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