Waffle Stitch- Crochet For a Difference

I started sharing Crochet For a Difference to help myself stay in touch with how my craft can benefit my community. For several years of my life I worked public service, I knew every day that I made a difference in someone’s life. Some days it may have been a small difference, other days I knew it was a life changing experience, however when I began my new adventure in crochet designing this is one of the things that has been missing, knowing I made a difference.

Today I share a go-to stitch that I use. Often I use it for garment construction, as it is a nice solid fabric, which does not offer defined straight visual lines or many holes. I have heard it referred to as a Waffle Stitch, so that is how I will refer to it here.

It is a 2 stitch repeat that alternates a between a single crochet and double crochet stitches, with subsequent rows working single crochet stitches in the double crochet stitches, and double crochet stitches working into single crochet stitches. This may sound a little daunting, but it really becomes a simple rhythm.

Waffle Stitch....www.lindadeancrochet.com

Waffle Stitch

Begin by chaining an even number of stitches, then single crochet in the 4th chain from the hook (the chain 3 counts as a double crochet), double crochet in the next stitch, and single crochet in the following stitch; repeat this stitch pattern across. Turn your work and chain 3, working a single crochet in the next stitch (which will be a double crochet), double crochet in the next stitch (which will be a single crochet); repeat the same stitch pattern across.

Essentially in a pattern it would look like this:

Row 1: chain an even number of stitches, sc in 4th ch from hook, [dc in next st, sc in next st] across, turn.

Row 2: Ch 3, sc in next st, [dc in next st, sc in next st] across, turn.

Repeat Row 2 until desired length.

I think this is a great stitch pattern for a donation to your local animal shelter, (find yours here). They often accept donations for small blankets for dogs and cats to use as bedding. This is a great way to practice a new stitch, that the recipients are not going to be overly judgmental about.

Yes, I did get Something Done!

It is a little crazy how time goes by, and you never really take stock of it. There are many days when I feel that I have not accomplished much, if anything at all. Then there are days when I do a little reflecting and stumble upon, or at least look at the documents I use every day, that provide a listing of the works I have completed.
These listings might be staring me in the face, and I am not really looking at them. I keep a spread sheet of all the contracts I am working on and completed. I began this spread sheet when I sold my first design at the end of 2011, and I have currently filled 129 lines. I then have a listing of my self-published designs (that are not included on my contracted list) that I began in mid-2013, and find I have 29 completed with another 6 in progress.
When I actually think about the fact that I really have been on this adventure as a designer for less than 5 years, and I have completed 158 designs, I will be honest…in my mind it doesn’t sound like enough. For some reason I think that I have to have completed so much more. I still average 2.6 designs a month or .6 designs a week, but my mind wants me to finish more. (If you would like to see a majority of these, check out my Ravelry.com designer page….the number of designs listed is lower, but that gives you an idea of how things are constantly in the process).

 

Clean my desk...www.lindadeancrochet.com

I should give myself credit when I clean my desk. It catches all my ideas in various stages.

The only way I get my mind to find a little balance is to also place in this weekly schedule that I teach 2 days a week, nearly 20 students every week. That takes prep time, which takes knowledge of my skill, which takes time.
I then have to remember that I am mom to two very active kids. Active enough that one has me volunteered to lead a 4H sewing project every week. Both have me playing chauffer in running to various sports and activities (fortunately my husband does more than his fair share of this running around as well). So, I really only get work done when they are in school.
Then I usually overlook the many hours a week I donate to various organizations, mostly supporting crochet. These hours add up faster then I may think in the beginning of saying “yes” when asked to help.
Only when I finally spell it all out, do I feel like I have accomplished something. It may not be as readily tangible as would work for my mind, but this focus helps “rebalance” me in a sense, so thank you for following along my self-talk of taking stock.
Hopefully this taking “taking stock” will inspire the newest rounds of designs…hopefully it will keep me from beating myself up for a bit…I really do get more done then I think.

Repurposed Bath Towel Blanket

When I was in high school, with my first car, okay a small truck, I had an “always prepared” bag behind the seat. The bag contained a coat, snow gloves, a blanket, a bathing suit, sun block, and a towel. Not exactly the same “always prepared” that I would think of today, but at the time you never knew what plans might arise for after school (especially if I had a day off work). It might be a trip to the mountains to play in the snow, or it could be a day at the river…really depends on the season and the weather, but I was prepared.

Well, several years have gone by since then, but I still attempt to keep “prepared” kit in my vehicle…no longer my cute little truck that I would take 4 wheeling, but my much more practical Subaru Outback…I still refuse to admit it might be a station wagon. My kit now has some granola bars, napkins and wet wipes, a flashlight, and I still have a blanket. I find that this blanket has many good uses, and can even still fit in some spontaneity, like a quick picnic in the park, or what is more likely a fast food dinner during archery practice. The blanket also helps when the kids are tired, or someone is cold. It covers the seats when the dog goes to the vet, or is rolled into a ball to give the driver some more support for resting their arm on the console.

Repurposed bath towel blanket. Www.lindadeancrochet.com

Repurposed Bath Towel blanket

This blanket has been replaced over the years, and one way I like to feel that I have a blanket that is really a second life is to make one. When bath towels wear out, become a bit thread barren, or simply have too many holes, I cut them into squares. As long as the squares are the same size, that is all that matters. I then crochet an edge around the squares. I then join all the squares together, I could sew or seem them, but I prefer to crochet them together. I find that the terry cloth a nice fabric for a blanket of the necessity, but just be mindful of ensuring that you slightly roll the edge of the fabric when crocheting the edge around it, this helps to reduce the initial fraying.

Give it a try next time you have a towel that has seen better days, and create your own blanket to be prepared with.

A Really Fun Technique- Planned Pooling Argyle Wristers

Sometimes you have a design where the yarn does all the work, this means that the stitches may be fairly easy, but since the yarn has character the item really looks more difficult than it is. This is true with color pooling projects, like my latest design Planned Pooling Argyle Wristers from Red Heart Yarns.

Planned Pooling Argyle Wristers www.lindadeancrochet.com

Planned Pooling Argyle Wristers Photo courtesy, Red Heart

Planned Pooling is when you plan your stitches to have the colors of variegated yarns stack up in a desired way. I might be exaggerating slightly about it being completely easy, you do have to pay attention to your tension so that you place the correct color in the correct stitch (Marly Bird has a great video about it here).

So these wristers look great and keep your arms warm, and only take two skeins (one for the argyle, one for the trim). The argyle is worked in what is referred to as a “Moss” or “Linen” stitch, which is simply a single crochet and a chain 1, worked into a chain-1 space. This stitch has a benefit to planned pooling as it is very forgiving with a change in tension. It is necessary to change your tension (either make a stitch tighter or looser) to ensure that the correct color is worked in the correct location.

Planned Pooling Argyle Wristers www.lindadeancrochet.com

Planned Pooling Argyle Wristers Photo courtesy Red Heart Yarn

It may take a little practice to get the hang of this technique, but then you might become addicted…I have talked to several people that once they finally discovered how to make the planned pooling work, had to try it with every color variegated yarn they could find, just to see if they could get that yarn to pool too.

The wristers are worked as a rectangle then seemed, then the trim is added. If you need the wristers to fit a wider arm you simply work the rectangle longer, if you want the wristers to fit your arm longer then you work the trim wider. Making it an easy to customize pattern. The added bonus to this pattern, besides it being free, is that it is available in a free e-book with 9 planned pooling patterns….and did you notice that my design is gracing the cover? Yes, I think that is kind of cool.

Simple Basket- Crochet for A Difference

There are various ways that crochet impacts organizations and individuals every day. I have always tried to use my crochet ability to make a local impact, so I want to share a crochet stitch and inspire you to Crochet For A Difference.

I have stated it in past posts, that crochet specialty stitch pattern names really are not known universally, but in order to make it clear about the stitch I am discussing I have to give it a name, so I want to share the Simple Basket Stitch Pattern with you.

Front post double crochet www.lindadeancrochet.com

Where to work a Front Post Double Crochet, insert the hook around the post.

This stitch pattern is worked in double crochet with the only variation being the Front Post Double Crochet. This Front Post stitch can seem intimidating, but essentially it is the same double crochet that you have always worked it is just in a different location. To work this stitch you begin with a yarn over and insert the hook around the body or post of the next stitch from the front to the back and then to the front again, and then work it as a regular double crochet by working a yarn over then pulling it through, then yarn over again and pull through two loops, twice.

To work the Simple Basket you need to create chain that is a multiple of 4, then add 2 more chains.

Row 1: Work a double crochet in each chain across, turn.

Row 2: Chain 3, [front post double crochet in the next 2 stitches, double crochet in the next 2 stitches] repeating across until 1 stitch remains, double crochet in the last stitch, turn.

Simple Basket Stitch www.lindadeancrochet.com

Simple Basket Stitch

Repeat Row 2 until you have reached the desired length.

To help visually understand where each stitch goes so that you do not have to worry about counting, essentially if the stitch you are working into appears to be pushed forward then work a front post double crochet, if the stitch you are working into appears to be pushed away from you work it as a double crochet stitch.

The texture created gives a great visual as well as esthetic feel. It has a nice loft to it that really helps the stitch feel like it is harder than it is. This can create a great blanket that you may consider to donate to a homeless shelter. It is estimated that any given night in the United States that over 600,000 people were experiencing homelessness only 17% of those are consider chronically homeless (source greendoors.org). Meaning that a great percentage of those experiencing homeless on any given night, are in a short term housing situation and a simple blanket can make a difficult time a little more bearable. Find one in your community here.