The Chain Reaction Afghan Project is underway. We have a Crochet-Along getting started over in the forums. And, now, if you missed any of the issues with square patterns, you can download the Chain Reaction Afghan eBook for free. Now you're all set to join in!
I'll be posting occasional photos to help you along with any tricky techniques. Please post any questions you have, and I--or one of your fellow crochet-alongers--will help you out. In addition, in August, we'll have available a DVD with video demonstrations of techniques, as well as suggestions for colorways and alternate square combinations. You can get a peek at these demonstrations in Knitting Daily TV, Series 700, which starts this Thursday. In this series, I team up with Kristen Omdahl to guide you through the Chain Reaction Afghan. Check the listing for times in your area.
The square on my hook right now is the Tunisian Cables square by Angela "ARNie" Grabowski. Tunisian crochet is sort of a fusion of knit and crochet, because you pick up loops all the way across like in knitting, then release them from the hook two loops at a time, much like crochet. ARNie exploits the knitterly angle of Tunisian with her truly innovative cables. In traditional crochet, cables are usually worked with post stitches. In this brilliant Tunisian fusion, ARNie works the cables just as you would in knitting. Here's how:
First pick up the stitches before the cable, as indicated in the pattern. Then, you use a second hook to pick up three stitches, like this:
For the front cable, you hold these stitches to the front.
You pick up the next few stitches with your original hook.
Then you slide the loops from the second hook onto the first hook. This crosses the stitches to form a cable crossing (you'll have to work the next couple of rows before you can appreciate the beauty of this.)
You now have a lumpy-looking bunch of stitches on your hook. Fret not. All will work out on the return pass. You'll just pull them through a little more slowly, making sure that you're releasing the loops in order.
ARNie includes both front and back cables. For the back cable, you slide your first stitches to a second hook, just like with the front cable, but you hold them to the back when you pick up the next few stitches. Then you slide the stitches from the back hook onto the original hook, just like with the front cable. This time, the stitches cross in the back.
Have you worked this square yet? If so, post a picture in the forum! We'd love to see it. If you haven't done it yet, put some easy jazz on the Pandora and put the kids to bed. You'll want to give it your full attention. And you'll feel like a wizard when you get going on it!
If you get stuck, you know where to find us!
See you there!