January 10, 2017

Clean Edge Single Crochet

I am absolutely in love with Mamachee’s clean edge double crochet! (Read about it here: http://mamachee.com/2014/05/22/double-crochet-hack/) I use it for afghans all the time when I don’t want to have to crochet a border afterwards.

It makes a wonderfully straight edge that doesn’t need to be covered up later. For my latest afghan project, however, double crochets were just too bulky and were not giving me the amount of detail that I wanted.

What I really needed was a way to make a nice clean, straight edge in single crochet. Mamachee’s method involves making a tiny cluster at the end of every row; basically it’s a dc2tog worked in a single stitch. Unfortunately, trying to work a sc2tog into a single stitch results in an ever-tightening loop on your hook that is nearly impossible to work through.

What I needed was an extra step in the middle to “anchor” that middle loop. I  tried a ch1:

This seemed to work pretty well, but I wasn’t completely satisfied with the edge that it produced. It was fairly straight, but I thought I could do better.
Next, I used a method that I borrowed from knitting. Knitters can make 2 stitches out of 1 by knitting into both the front and back of a stitch. Initially this feels a little weird with a crochet hook and more than once I was convinced that my first loop was going to fall off the hook. But everything turned out great!

To work a scfbc:
Sc to the last stitch of the row. Insert hook from front to back in last stitch; draw up a loop. Rotate hook around and insert in last stitch from back to front; draw up a loop. (Rotate your hook the opposite direction you normally do to make it easier to pull this loop through) Yarn over and draw through all three loops on the hook. scfbc completed!

The bottom swatch in this picture shows plain single crochet worked in the normal method. The top left swatch shows the results of the extra ch1; its better, but not great. The top right swatch uses the single crochet front-back-cluster. Wow, that’s a mouthful! Lets abbreviate that to scfbc.
So, to make a sc project with straight edges you would work to the last stitch of the row, scfbc, ch1 and turn. Work back across the row as normal to the last stitch. There is no special treatment for the first stitch of the row. Just remember that in single crochet the initial ch1 does NOT count as a stitch.

I have attempted to make a video showing how to work the scfbc. Please excuse the poor quality of this, it was recorded on my phone, in the phone clip, clipped to my collar. Hopefully it shows enough detail to allow you to work the stitch.
Just for comparison, here is a swatch worked in sc using the scfbc at the end of each row next to a dc swatch using Mamachee's method. I think the edges look great on both!

March 31, 2015

Lined Slippers

I absolutely love the Lizzie slippers (here); but for me they weren’t warm enough. So, I set out to figure out a way to line them. I think they turned out really well…

0218151441-00Basically, I worked the Lizzie pattern with a hook one size larger and then made a liner for it. I am currently working on writing up a pattern for a wool slipper with a fuzzy liner. I should have the pattern finished by the end of next week.

November 3, 2014


Just found a new pattern that I am absolutely in love with. It’s called “Poppy”. You can find it here: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/poppy-11 This was truly a case of love-at-first-sight for me. It’s just a really elegant, simple look. I knew I had to make one right away. And since a friend of mine is having a baby girl in February, I seized the opportunity to knit something really cute for her.

My friend and her husband are huge Chicago Bear fans. So when I looked at the pattern I instantly envisioned it in navy and orange. I think it looks fantastic. (Please, noone tell my husband that I put one of our Packer babies in Bear’s colors.)


My next step, I think, will be to convert this pattern to be knit on my Passap. It should be easy enough, it’s essentially one giant sock heel. Even the garter stitch rows won’t be too bad on the machine because they are just single ridges.

Here’s a link to my project page on Ravelry, if you’re interested: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/lzbthmcmullen/poppy

October 2, 2014

Up is down… Down is up…

Have you ever had one of those days when you had too much to do and everything that could possibly go wrong did? Yeah, I’m having a month like that. This week has been especially bad. First, I lost my phone. It turns out one of my kids had hidden it AND put it on “airplane” mode so it wouldn’t ring. Then, I went to McDonald’s to get breakfast only to discover that somehow my wallet had mysteriously disappeared from my purse. (I did find it later, at home.) I have tons of paperwork that needs to be done, but I also have a ton of homework. AHHH! Where to start?

On the knitting front however, I just ordered a complete set of DPNs off eBay; and I’m getting ready to make gauge swatches for a Christmas tree skirt for my pastor.

I’m hoping to have some nice knitting/crochet pictures to show here in the next few days.

Oh, wait! I just remembered the baby shower gifts I made:







There’s a cute pair of Cowboy “boots” to match the hat, but somehow I missed getting a picture of them before I mailed them to Texas. These are for my Sister-in-Law’s sister who is having a baby in December (I think it’s December).

July 14, 2014

Done, done, done!

WooHoo! I finished my scarf/shawl and got the pictures submitted for class. Here’s a look at the finished product.

I absolutely love how it turned out. I have dubbed my version of this pattern the “Spring of Life” shawl because of how the butterflies remind me of the whimsy of youth. I hope my grade reflects the amount of time I put into this project.

July 8, 2014

They’re done!

Finished my socks today. They just need washed with the next load of laundry and they’ll be ready for wear. Check them out:0708142059-000708142059-01

Sorry for the bad pictures (and the swollen ankles). I should be able to get better pictures after they are washed!

July 7, 2014

Alternate Progress

Well, I’m still working on the socks; I’m up to the heel on the second one. But I had to take time off from them to work on a project for a Humanities class I’m taking. I had to come up with an original art project based on the word “Spring”. I am not really a “art person” so I’m knitting for my project. This is what I have so far:
It’s a heavily modified version of Foldi’s Butterfly Lace Shawl. Heavily modified because it’s a hand-knitting pattern and I’m knitting it on my Passap. I love how it’s looking so far. I’m about half done with the knitting. I need to knit the other half of the shawl and graft the two pieces together at the center. I am also thinking about dyeing it starting with a dark pink at the ends and fading to the natural color at the center.