As I continue to try and challenge my crochet skills, one designer
I find myself turning to for innovative technique and construction is Knitting
Daily’s own crochet expert, Kristin Omdahl.
I’ve said before that I need small projects that will help teach me the
lessons I need and work up quickly so that I can move on to the next.
To that end, Crochet So Fine has recently
become my companion. This book contains
quite a few patterns where you chain, and chain, and I mean CHAIN… Never has
the value of making beautiful, even chains become clearer to me than while
making the Chains Bucket Hat (at left).
My first go
involved chains that were mutated, distinctly un-chain like messes. Some
inappropriate language was bandied about. But I learned from it, and
began anew with a different hook and a healthy respect for the skills
required. So I wanted
to share with you what I learned to do and not do during this process. A
chain is usually the first thing you learn to crochet, and
it is a skill you’ll implement in almost every project that you make. When you can master the trick of making even
chains everything seems to click. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
the thumb and forefinger holding the work close to the hook
the new chain to the center of the shaft of the hook to maintain consistent
size in the chains.
accept a pattern exactly as written. Change your hook size! Using a hook one size
larger than the size you intend to use for the project can loosen up a taut foundation
* * Consider
the type of hook you use. Making even
chains can be exceptionally difficult when the material the hook is made of
doesn’t jive with the yarn. Some yarns
lend themselves well to bamboo hooks, and some are happier with an aluminum
one. Let the two play together, and if they feel like they’re fighting then it’s time for them to separate.
* * Relax
and breathe. The wonder of crochet is
how easy it is to rip out. No stitch you have made cannot be reworked with a
new understanding of what the pattern which you are working requires. And remember, the miracle that is blocking
can cure a lot of ills.
Best of luck and keep me updated in all your future chaining endeavors.