So, it seems like everyone is interested in picking up a hook and having a go at crochet. I couldn't be happier about this. I LOVE to crochet and I actually have a deep need to always have a project big or small on the go. In the many years that I've been crocheting I've picked up lots of little tips and tricks. Mostly things I've learned myself from trial and error, I thought it might be helpful to share some of that knowledge here!
To start off I've picked the "adjustable ring" to share with you. Why? Well because once I discovered it I was surprised at the difference it made to the look of my crochet. You'll see. If you love granny squares you'll love this technique.Before we begin I must add that I'm left handed and I've flipped the photos to show the right handed way, fingers crossed they make sense to you right hand people out there. OK lets see what this adjustable ring thing is all about.
|adjustable ring on the left - chain centre on the right|
Ok from my lovely flashing gif above you can see two crochet buntings in action. On the left is the bunting triangle made with the adjustable ring method and on the right is one made with a chain centre. See how nice and tight the adjustable ring makes the centre? See how it makes the bunting a nice shape? And that sits flat? Amazing huh? It can do the same for granny squares too, making your blankets, cushions etc sit nice and flat without the need of much blocking (eek blocking I hear you cry? I'll cover that in another post!).
To make an adjustable ring, you need to wrap the yarn around your fingers a couple of times, do the beginning chains as per pattern instructions. In the example I've chained three to stand as a double crochet, then do the required number of stitches into the ring. Once you've done all the required stitches, put your thumb into the middle, the pull the yarn end until it's tight on your thumb. Make sure the ring is smooth and no yarn is popping up, then remove your thumb and pull tight.
You'll end up with something like this, a nice tight centre! How cool is that? Below is the right hand pics.
So when would you use this technique? Well for example this bunting pattern said "chain 6, then join to end to form a ring" - So in this instance you would forget about the chain part and just do an adjustable ring. It works well for hats and basically ANY pattern that suggests you "chain x amount" and then join into a ring. I find this works really well, especially if you are substituting yarn and find the number of chains the pattern suggest means that you can't fit all the stitches required into the ring.
I'd love to share more tips over the coming weeks, and I'd love to hear from you if you've got a crochet question or something that's had you scratching your head that I may be able to help you with.