Tag Archives: foundation chain

+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!

Foundation Chain Chevron Bracelet

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com/ Crochet Chevron BraceletMy kids love to crochet. Coming from a family where their mom is a chronic crochetaholic, they sort of naturally fell into it. (My four year old calls crochet her ‘destiny’. I’m a proud mamma!)

But, they all began their crochet journey by going through the rhythm of the endless foundation chain to learn hook technique and tension. To them it’s fun to knot yarn but they always get impatient when it comes to getting that chain down. How do you explain to a 4 year old that it’s game on once they master it and then they can run off to the races with their first real project?

Since impatience is where a lot of young (and old) crocheters decide to give up–because it’s boring to crochet chains over and over and over–what’s better to encourage practice then to turn your foundation chains into a super fun project!

This is something that relatively young children can tackle (with supervision and guidance) and be successful with! Once they make a few, they will be begging to practice chaining just to make more bracelets!

What you’ll need:

  • A crochet hook (any size will do for this project)
  • Yarn (any weight or brand will work but I find plain old kitchen cotton (the kind you use to make washcloths from) the best for younger fingers because it’s sturdy and easier to see your stitch-work when crocheting.)
  • Scissors
  • A button
  • A clipboard or a binder clip and some sturdy cardboard.

The basic process of making a chevron friendship bracelet is super simple for children to master. It does take some patience and younger children will need some help making sure their colors cross the proper way, but I promise it’s a lot of fun!

The DIY Chevron Friendship Bracelet tutorial from HGTV Handmade on YouTube does an amazing job at describing the basic technique for getting the chevron pattern down. Take a few minutes to watch the process and before you know it, you’ll be making bracelets faster than you can wear them!

Now that you know the mechanics, it’s time to work the same bracelet with lengths of foundation chain!

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com/ Crochet Chevron Bracelet

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com/ Crochet Chevron Bracelet

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com/ Crochet Chevron Bracelet

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com/ Crochet Chevron Bracelet

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com/ Crochet Chevron Bracelet

Depending on the thickness of your yarn, your bracelet will take on dramatically different looks! Have fun experimenting with color and texture!

And if your little one is still too young to chain (or really doesn’t want to) make your chevron bracelet without chaining! Textured yarns look lovely in the chevron pattern!

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com/ Crochet Chevron Bracelet

Don’t forget to have fun and remember that having a good time will always get a huge thumbs up from your littles!! After all, that’s why we all love to play with yarn too, right?!?!

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com/ Crochet Chevron Bracelet

https://hodgepodgecrochet.wordpress.com/ Crochet Chevron Bracelet

Pulling Back Your Foundation Chain

Pulling Back Your Foundation Chain :: www.hodgepodgecrochet.net


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Knotted Headband

You Seriously Made That?! is an AWESOME blog written by a super crafty mama named Cami. Seriously, if you haven’t checked it out–GO NOW, I’ll wait.

One of her projects swept like wildfire through Pinterest toward the tail end of last year. It was a post for the Knotted Headband. It’s adorable and relatively simple for the new crocheter. The directions call for a skill of basic chains and a hot glue gun–really, that’s it!

Knotted Headband

I fell in  love instantly with the design and right away set to work making up a small army of my own headbands. When it came to the hot gluing though, I ran into a slight snag… See, I’m not a giant fan of gluing yarn. I’ve been burned before by the hot glue (not literally but you get the idea.)

It never ends well–especially on things like headbands where you are tugging on the ribbon to secure it around your head. So I’ve come up with a crochet alternative that will not only make things more secure, but they’ll probably last a lot longer. And if you go to all that trouble to make one, you want your work to be around for a while!