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learn to crochet: adjustable magic loop

Adjustable magic loop comes in handy whenever your work starts as a crocheted circle and you do not desire a visible hole in the middle. Examples of such work include coasters, placemats, hats, doilies, rugs, or basket bases. In fact, I use this technique to start all of of my baskets.

In essence, adjustable magic loop allows you to comfortably crochet any number of stitches into a sliding loop rather than into a chain stitch, which is the alternative of starting crochet circles. At the end of the round, you simply tighten the sliding loop to close the gap, creating a center with a barely there or completely invisible hole.

Magic loop, magic circle, adjustable loop, magic ring, adjustable ring, drawstring ring – this fundamental crochet technique goes by many names. Not surprisingly, there are also quite a few ways to execute it and each crocheter has their favorite.

Below you will find my favorite way of creating the adjustable magic loop. I will demonstrate the technique on a basic crochet circle consisting of 6 single crochets.

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crocheting with jute: tips and tricks

If you follow my blog, you know how much I love crocheting with jute. Jute and cotton are my two most favorite fibers to work with. And if Pinterest is any indication, I am not the only one who likes the look of a basket made in a combination of these materials.

Jute is a natural fiber, derived from the jute plant. To learn about the jute plant itself, and where and how it’s grown, have a look at this Encyclopaedia Britannica entry. For additional information about jute, its environmental impact  and its various practical applications, I recommend this short article from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN.

Among jute’s most commonly recognized forms, when processed, are burlap cloth and sacks, and packaging twine. And it is this twine that I love to use when crocheting my baskets. Why? Continue reading crocheting with jute: tips and tricks

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things to make and do in 2018

My mind is filled with countless crochet ideas, and my fingers are busy hooking the yarn as fast as they can; yet I seem to be barely making a dent in my ever-growing project to-do list.

Once again I find myself wishing a day had 48 hours. At least.

Though I have been designing crochet patterns for a while, realizing how much work goes into turning a simple crochet idea into a high-quality crochet pattern can still pretty much paralyze me at times. Coming up with the design – even if it takes 10 versions – is the easiest part. It’s the post-production that seems to demand way more of my time than I ever calculate for it. Taking photos, editing them, writing captions; reading and proofreading; pattern testing; social media and marketing – none of which has to do with crocheting.

Of course, I could take the easy way out and throw some brief instructions in crochet shorthand onto two pages of a Microsoft Word document and call it a pattern, but that’s not me. I don’t take shortcuts. And producing a 25, 54, or an 87-page pattern takes time. A lot of time.

So, while I take, edit, and caption a thousand pictures, what are some of the crochet ideas and projects you can be looking forward to?

Continue reading things to make and do in 2018