Tag Archives: blanket

+1 Anyone?

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com +1 AnyoneI get asked a lot of interesting questions about crochet and today a really great one came my way that I thought would be perfect to share right here on the blog!

HodgePodge Fan Writes:

I’m trying my first graphghan and I am a little confused as to how to begin. My foundation chain calls for 150 stitches. I am supposed to put +1 for the turning chain which makes 151. Right?

Well, Row 1 is the same exact stitches…shouldn’t it be 1 less…150 and not 151? Your help would be greatly appreciated!

That’s a great question because foundation chains and + amounts confuse a lot of crocheters. When creating something with so many chains, it is so important to get right because you don’t want to have to frog that much yarn.

Here is the skinny on + amounts in foundation chains.

Sometimes a pattern will tell you that the skipped chain(s) count as whatever stitch you are working for row 1. Most of the times, the skipped chains are there because they take the place of a stitch in the pattern and are important for the multiple to work correctly. For example:

Chain 20

Row 1: DC in 4th chain from hook (skipped chains count as dc)…

In this pattern, you would include the skipped 3 chains in the foundation as a dc stitch when you get back to this end in row 2 of your pattern. Generally, the pattern will tell you to work into the turning chain (this is the + amount of your foundation or the 3 skipped chains)

When you are working a graphghan, the skipped chain does not count. Most patterns won’t really tell you that but generally what this means is that you will not be crocheting into it on the way back in row 2. Adding a +1 means you will end with the exact number of stitches you need. In the case of the question above, that means 150 sc.

If you were to leave out that critical +1 when crocheting the foundation chain of 150 sts, when you get to the end you would have 149 sc. (Not including the skipped chain.) Your graphghan would be off by one stitch. That’s not a huge deal if your edges are all a solid color but if your pattern takes the design all the way out to the edge, something is going to go awry!

If you’d like to include the skipped chain (meaning you will crochet into it when you finish row 2) then you will have 150 sts but you might also end up with a pinched foundation that throws your corners off as your blanket grows. It might not be noticeable at first but you’ll see it as you get 10+ rows in.

If you’d like to see what I mean (but on a smaller scale) you can try two test swatches in a solid color. Here is how:

Test One: +1 Included:

With any hook and worsted yarn:

Ch 10 +1

Row 1: sc in 2nd ch from hook (skipped ch does not count as a st), sc in each ch to end, ch1, turn. (10 sc)

Row 2-4: sc in 1st sc, sc in each sc to end, ch 1, turn. (10 sc)

Row 5: sc in 1st sc, sc in each sc to end, Finish off. (10 sc)

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com +1 Anyone

Test Two: +1 Not Included:

With the same hook and yarn:

Ch 10

Row 1: Sc in sc in 2nd ch from hook (skipped ch does count as a st), sc in each ch to end, ch1, turn. (10 sc)

Row 2: sc in 1st sc, sc in each sc to end, sc in beginning turning chain, ch 1, turn. (10 sc)

Row 3-4: sc in 1st sc, sc in each sc to end, ch 1, turn. (10 sc)

Row 5: sc in 1st sc, sc in each sc to end, Finish off. (10 sc)

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com +1 Anyone

Notice how both photos show exactly 10 sc over 5 rows but that the second–without that tricky +1 chain–has a weird corner. That will come back to haunt you later when it’s time for a border and depending on how tightly you crochet, it could pull your entire blanket out of line and make you wish you hadn’t started at all!

So, to recap, add a +1 to all of your graphghan patterns and do not treat the skipped chain as a stitch! Practice the technique over a smaller swatch just to make sure you’ve got it down and if you have used this technique I’d love to see your finished projects over on the HodgePodge Crochet facebook page!

Better Blanket Corners

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com Better Blanket Corners

Lots of people ask me about blankets. Mostly, how to keep their sides square and neat.

Generally speaking, square blanket corners are made right from the foundation chain. If you get that right, odds are your finished blanket will be stunning.

But how is that possible?

The answer is TENSION!

If you’re interested in learning how to create better blanket corners, you’re in luck! In about 7 minutes from now you’ll be well on your way to cranking out corners like a pro!

I love reading your comments so if you have time, drop one below! Also don’t forget to click that like button (to give me the warm and fuzzies) and if you enjoyed this and don’t want to be left out whenever I make a new blog post, head on over to the side bar and click that Follow HodgePodge Crochet button!

Vintage Fan Ripple Blanket by A Creative Being

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com/: A Creative Being: Vintage Fan Ripple Crochet Afghan Blanket

Copyright 2014: A Creative Being: Vintage Fan Ripple Crochet Afghan Blanket: Photos used with permission

Recently, one of  my FAVORITE crocheters on the planet–Wink from A Creative Being–finally finished what I consider to be the most amazing blanket ever!! Seriously, just looking at it makes me want to spontaneously birth a baby to wrap it in!! Right??!?! I can’t be the only one….. 😉

But just when I thought that this achievement couldn’t possibly be topped, she went and did something even more amazing (I had no idea that was even possible!!) when she posted a how-to tutorial for the rest of us!!

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com/: A Creative Being: Vintage Fan Ripple Crochet Afghan Blanket

Copyright 2014: A Creative Being: Vintage Fan Ripple Crochet Afghan Blanket: Photos used with permission

If you would love to have one of these gorgeous blankets to snuggle under (or to make for a baby shower or for your own bundle of joy!!) then all you have to do is pop on over to Wink’s blog: A Creative Being :and snatch up her FREE PATTERN!! Don’t forget to drop her a thanks and why not let her know HodgePodge sent you!

Crocheter’s Spotlight: Open Skye Creations

Another BLOG takeover!!! This time, I’d like to introduce my very good friend April! She runs the amazing shop, Open Skye Creations and is a master at all things graphghan. I asked (okay… I BEGGED) for her to explain her process and break it down for the rest of us–and she said YES!!


From This

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com/ Crocheters Spotlight: Open Skye Creations

To This!

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com/ Crocheters Spotlight: Open Skye Creations

I get tons of questions on a regular basis about my graphs. About how to take a graph and turn it into a blanket or a pillow or a scarf. Let me tell you- it isn’t as hard as you think! Crochet by Numbers is complicated and can take a very long time. Don’t get me wrong, creating a graphghan can take months to complete. It all depends on your skill level, speed, and time capabilities to spend on working on it. But if you can single crochet and color change you can definitely do it! I’ve put this post together to give you some of my favorite hints and guidelines to completing your own! And if you’re a seasoned pro- you can see how I do mine.

Single Crochet, Half-double, Tunisian- it doesn’t really matter. The tips are still the same and hopefully the hints I provide will make sense to you!

To start it off- These are the MUST HAVES to completing a graphghan.

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com/ Crocheters Spotlight: Open Skye Creations

First you have the hook. I recommend an “I” hook and medium tension while working up a graph. Second you have the graph itself; I always print mine out on multiple pages and tape them together so I don’t go blind while trying to read it. Third I have BOBBINS! I can’t stress enough how much time and energy these puppies have saved me. They help prevent and reduce tangling (nothing you do can eliminate it 100%) and they just make it easier to hold on to.  Fourth I have a pen, piece of paper, and a highlighter- note I put them as one item because they’re writing utensils and writing utensils are very important in any crochet project.

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com/ Crocheters Spotlight: Open Skye Creations

And then you have the yarn itself. Every graph I sell I include a yarn usage estimator. Keep in mind that not all graphs will have this so make sure you always round up. Having the same lot and dye number is extremely important when working on any crochet project- but especially when you’re working up a graph. The last thing you want is a picture ruined by two conflicting shades of black or red. The picture above shows the lot and dye information in case you don’t know where to look for it. It is always on the yarn label itself!

Now here is where things change a little bit. I write out every line of a graph that I’m doing. BEFORE I WORK IT UP. This has multiple purposes. When you write it out, you get a feel for just how much work there is going to be. It also helps tell you how many bobbins you are going to need. Every time you do a color change, you should be changing your bobbins (By changing bobbins every time you prevent having a different color running through the color you’re currently working on and keeps the picture looking clean). It also lets you determine which direction you’re working on the graph.

When working on a graph I work from the bottom up. When I do my initial chain +1 (you always sc in the second chain from the hook when you’re working- like the chain 1 and turn scenario) I then work the next row from Right to left. That is my row 1. My row 2 is done from left to right, row 3 from right to left and so on. When you have the rows written out you can use an arrow or other measure to tell you which way to work it up. Now- if you are working it up in Tunisian stitch you are working it up reading from right to left on every row.

These are the most common things I encounter when working up a graph, and the questions that people ask when they get me one on one.

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com/ Crocheters Spotlight: Open Skye Creations https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com/ Crocheters Spotlight: Open Skye Creations





People always post nice clean photos of their WIPS (work in progresses) but this is hardly the case. They are actually messy- but no one wants to admit that they have a tangled mess of yarn. Don’t worry- its normal! The picture on the left is a graph I worked on that was easy to keep clean and untangled. Note- the bobbins that are nice and orderly at the top!! The piece on the right is NOT clean. And it was done by someone who has done graphs for a long time. Don’t worry about the mess!! You can always fix it later.

I get asked a lot how I recommend doing color changes. The best way I can describe it is this. In the LAST SC of the first color you push your hook under the top two strands of yarn and yarn over with the first color; pull back through. Yarn over WITH THE NEW COLOR and complete the stitch. The videos I have a link to below should help with it if you need to see the walkthrough. It creates a complete stitch with the first color while allowing you to start your new stitches with the second color. *HELPFUL HINT* I always gently tug on the first color that I dropped to help reduce gaps and keep it from being too (loose) for lack of a better word. Don’t worry if you tug it a little too tight, it won’t mess up as long as you remember that stitch when coming back on the next row.

When you’re working a row and bring up the yarn from the previous row, if there is a long strand, crochet over it like you would crochet over your ends when doing a color change in a hat or an amigurumi. I have videos on my youtube page that explain it simply (and in a setting you’ll all know- my lap sitting on my plaid oversized chair!) http://www.youtube.com/user/canavanapril <- that’s my channel. Feel free to watch the videos and subscribe!

I know this sounds really bad, and tedious- and really a question that people wouldn’t think to ask- but here it is anyways. At the end of EVERY ROW you chain 1 and turn. If you don’t do this then you’ll end up with different row counts.

Find April at: www.openskyecreations.com or on facebook at: www.facebook.com/openskyecreations

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com/ Crocheters Spotlight: Open Skye Creations