Baa Baa Easter Fun

As a yearly tradition here at IraRott.com, I am very excited about our NEW 2017 Easter inspired design that we have just released in time for the holidays. Please welcome Baa-Baa Easter Lamb!

Crochet pattern PDF by IraRott for making an Easter lamb rug or sheep reading mat using Bernat Blanket yarn

If you like Bernat Blanket yarn as much as we do, you will enjoy this NEW rug pattern, it works up so quickly and easily with super bulky weight yarn!

Crochet pattern PDF by IraRott for making an Easter lamb rug or sheep reading mat using Bernat Blanket yarn Crochet pattern PDF by IraRott for making an Easter lamb rug or sheep reading mat using Bernat Blanket yarn

Area rugs add so much warmth and character to any room. I love how cute our lamb rug looks by the crib & I adore the softness of the Bernat Blanket yarn, it’s just perfect for a baby’s nursery.

Crochet pattern PDF by IraRott for making an Easter lamb rug or sheep reading mat using Bernat Blanket yarn

This rug can also be made from worsted weight yarn. Please check out our article on how to work with multiple strands of yarn at once. I hope you will enjoy this pattern & please do not forget to share your finished project with us ūüôā

Crochet pattern PDF by IraRott for making an Easter lamb rug or sheep reading mat using Bernat Blanket yarn

Spray Blocking for Knit and Crochet Projects

Blocking removes creases and adjusts the shape of knit & crochet projects. There are a few methods to block that are usually specified in the patterns. Blocking instructions vary depending on the projects & the materials used. Not every project needs to be blocked, but if your pattern calls for spray blocking, here are a few tips on how to do it.

TOOLS REQUIRED:  

  1. Blocking board or interlocking play mat
  2. Spray bottle
  3. Rust-resistant blocking pins (optional, depending on the project).

Spray the front & the back sides of your project with warm water until it is thoroughly wet.

Spray Blocking Tutorial for Knit and Crochet Projects by IraRottSpray Blocking Tutorial for Knit and Crochet Projects by IraRott
Lay your project flat on a blocking board or interlocking play mat, shaping it to the specified measurements. Use rust-resistant blocking pins to secure the project around the edges if necessary. I would recommend pinning for light projects only. Heavy rugs, for example, do not need to be pinned.

Spray Blocking Tutorial for Knit and Crochet Projects by IraRottSpray Blocking Tutorial for Knit and Crochet Projects by IraRott
Rotate & flip the project periodically to ensure even drying. Please keep in mind that the drying process might take from 2-3 hours outdoors under open sun in the summer or up to several days indoors, depending on the temperature & humidity level.

Spray Blocking Tutorial for Knit and Crochet Projects by IraRott

IraRott¬ģ crochet rug patterns can be found >> HERE <<

The Exception That Proves The Rule

Last month we were talking about a¬†Mystery of Slanted Seams and Crochet Stitches &¬†I showed some examples of our research based on double crochet stitches (DC).¬†As a rule, crochet stitches are formed by a combination of steps that involve “Yarn Over Hook” (YO) & pulling yarn through the specified loops/stitches, we call this method Classic.¬†The exception to this rule is a Self-Compensated method of crocheting when one of the¬†YO steps is replaced by “Hook Over Yarn” (HO). Please check out our >>¬†previous article¬†<< for more explanations about differences in these 2 methods of crocheting.

Today I would like to compare the Classic & Self-Compensated single crochet stitches (SC) worked in the round with joins. Joining method used in the examples below: ch-1 to beg; sc in same st as join; sc in each st around; join with sl st in top of beg st (not a ch).

CLASSIC (YO) SC

To make a Classic SC – Insert the hook in next stitch, YO & pull working yarn through the stitch; YO & pull through 2 loops on the hook.

Due to the reasons explained in our previous article, the seam will be slanted to the right for right-handed crocheters or slanted to the left for left-handed crocheters.

Classic Single Crochet with Slanted Seam

SELF-COMPENSATED (HO) SC

To make a Self-Compensated SC РInsert the hook in next stitch, HO & pull working yarn through the stitch; YO & pull through 2 loops on the hook.

Just like in the case with DC stitches, this minor exception to the rule (HO) made a big difference in our final result. The seam is straight!

Self-compensated Single Crochet with Straight Seam

LEFT & RIGHT HANDED VIDEOS

 

I wrote this article for educational purposes & I am not trying to change your way of crocheting. If your goal is to avoid a slanted seam & you do not have color changes in your project, you can simply work in continuous rounds without joining.

By the way, I found that it is very easy to switch between these 2 styles ūüôā

Single crochet in a continuous round – seamless result

 

Crochet Celebration for Canada 150

John the Canadian Bear was inspired by Canada’s 150 anniversary in 2017 and was named after our first prime minister Sir John A. Macdonald. I created him so we could celebrate Canada’s birthday together in our cozy crochet habitat at IraRott Designs.

John the Canadian Teddy Bear crochet pattern by IraRott inspired by Canada’s 150 anniversary

John the Canadian Teddy Bear crochet pattern by IraRott inspired by Canada’s 150 anniversary

John the Canadian Bear inspired by Canada’s 150 anniversary

like a true Canadian, John loves to play hockey & he also makes a very good friend!

John the Canadian Teddy Bear crochet pattern by IraRott inspired by Canada’s 150 anniversary

Canadian Hockey Bear

John the Canadian Bear¬†is crocheted from¬†Bernat Blanket yarn by Yarnspiration, which is the softest and most fabulous Super Bulky weight yarn (6) I have yet encountered, it’s so easy to work with. You can finish this 31″ teddy bear using hook 9 mm (M/N) in almost no time!

John the Canadian Teddy Bear crochet pattern by IraRott inspired by Canada’s 150 anniversary

Sharon Hume from PEI Canada made an adorable “Johanna” version of our John the Bear for her 4 yo daughter. Johanna wears clothing labeled size 4T/5T, how awesome is that!

Crochet teddy bear made from Bernat Blanket Yarn using an IraRott Pattern

Johanna Teddy Bear made by Sharon Hume

Crochet teddy bear made from Bernat Blanket Yarn using an IraRott Pattern

Johanna Teddy Bear made by Sharon Hume

Crochet teddy bear made from Bernat Blanket Yarn using an IraRott Pattern

Johanna Teddy Bear made by Sharon Hume

I hope you will enjoy this pattern & we cannot wait to see your finished teddy bears!

Mystery of Slanted Seams and Crochet Stitches

Have you ever wondered why your stitches, seams, or rounds look slanted? After long research and many hours of testing along with our testing team at IraRott.com, I would like to share our results and ideas.

Based on information from our polls that we collected during the past¬†4 years through different sources, the majority of crocheters work their stitches using YARN OVER (YO) in every step of making a stitch. We call this style “Classic” or “YO” crocheting as most educational sources use this method for teaching.

However, there is a large number¬†of crocheters¬†(including myself), who work crochet stitches¬†using the HOOK OVER (HO)¬†rule, which is basically¬†holding your yarn under the hook¬†in one of the steps¬†& all the other steps of the stitch remain with YO. We named this method “Self-Compensated” or “HO” & I will explain my reasons below.

Let’s take a look at some examples based on double crochet (DC) stitches as DC¬†is the most common stitch that requires corrections in certain¬†circumstances. The instructions and videos below are given for both – right & left handed crocheting.

  • CLASSIC (YO) DC: YO, insert hook in next stitch, YO & pull working yarn through the stitch; [YO & pull through 2 loops on the hook] 2 times
  • SELF-COMPENSATED¬†(HO) DC: YO, insert hook in next stitch, HO & pull working yarn through the stitch; [YO & pull through 2 loops on the hook] 2 times

How to work classic and self-compensated double crochet - for RIGHT and LEFT hand

Other than YO vs HO, what are¬†the main¬†differences between the Classic & Self-Compensated¬†DC stitches? When¬†crocheting in the round, we’ve noticed that¬†Classic¬†stitches are naturally straight but the seam is slanted; however¬†Self-Compensated stitches are naturally slanted but the seam is straight. The reason for the slanted seam in Classic crochet is that the stitches are not placed exactly on top of each other, but are slightly off-centered. However,¬†Self-Compensated¬†crochet does not have that issue since the stitches are naturally slanted to the opposite direction from the offset stitch placement, which compensates slanting &¬†makes the seam straight.

 

Straight and slanted double crochet stitches when working in the round

Crocheted in the Round Beanie (RIGHT Handed Version)

Symmetrically designed patterns that are worked in the round are often tricky for Classic crocheters as the offset stitch placement breaks the symmetry of entire piece. However, it is not an issue for Self-compensated style & finished pieces are always straight and symmetrical.

Classic double crochet stitch worked in the round SLANTED seam and rounds Self compensated double crochet stitches - STRAIGHT seams and rounds


On a good note, the offset of the Classic stitch placement would only be noticeable for working in the round. There are no issues for working in rows as slanting is compensated in every row by your work direction & the edges are always straight. Also, Classic DC stitches look straight & beautiful when working in rows. Meanwhile, Self-Compensated stitches are naturally slanted, but it will not slant the edges when working in rows.

Which method works best? I would say the one you are used to, but there is always room for trying something new. It took me just a few minutes to switch my style when I first tried crocheting with YO. I can now easily go from one style to the other depending on my projects without a difference in my speed & tension. Nevertheless, we noticed that it was more complicated to work HO for those who are used to YO originally.

If you are a Classic crocheter, I hope these options will help you with the symmetry & straight seams of your future projects that are worked in the round:


SWITCH STYLES

Even if you can’t get the hang of¬†HO¬†from the first try due to the habits developed through the years or you do not see¬†an instant result, just keep trying! You might need to try playing with your tension or hold your yarn & hook differently. Remember, practice makes perfect!


BACK & FORTH ALTERATION

Much like when you work in rows & the offsetting is compensated by the direction of your work in every row, you can alter patterns that are worked in the round so that one round is worked on right side (RS) & then turn to work the following round on wrong side (WS). You will need to convert every other round of the pattern for working backwards, in the direction from the end towards the beginning of the round. Converting is easy with a diagram reference, but you can convert any written instructions as well.

Classic double crochet stitch worked in the round back and forth

Here is an example of altering RS round to WS round:

  • RS (ORIGINAL):¬†ch 2; 2 dc in same st as join; dc in next 26 sts; [2 dc in next st, dc in next 6 sts] 2 times; 2 dc in next 2 sts; [dc in next 6 sts, 2 dc in next st] 2 times; dc in next 26 sts; [2 dc in next st, dc in next 6 st] 2 times; 2 dc in next st; [2 dc in next st, dc in next 6 sts] 2 times; join = 124 sts
  • WS (CONVERTED):¬†ch 2; [dc in next 6 sts, 2 dc in next st] 2 times; 2 dc in next st; [dc in next 6 st, 2 dc in next st] 2 times; dc in next 26 sts;¬†[2 dc in next st, dc in next 6 sts] 2 times;¬†2 dc in next 2 sts; [ dc in next 6 sts, 2 dc in next st] 2 times; dc in next 26 sts; 2 dc in same st as join; join = 124 sts & now TURN to RS.

How to reverse crochet instructions for working in the round back and forth


BLOCKING

If your crochet piece turned out asymmetrical, you can always try to rescue your work by wet blocking.

  1. Soak your finished crochet piece in warm water (soaking works better that spray blocking in this case).
  2. Gently squeeze excess moisture out, then roll it in a towel to absorb moisture.
  3. Lay the piece flat on a blocking board or interlocking play mat. Shape & stretch until it looks straight.
  4. Rotate & flip periodically to ensure even drying. Please keep in mind that the drying process might take from 2-3 hours outdoors under open sun in the summer or up to several days indoors, depending on the temperature & humidity level.

Classic double crochet stitch worked in the round SLANTED before blocking
Classic double crochet stitch worked in the round - blocking and shaping

Classic double crochet stitch worked in the round after blocking


FINAL NOTES:

I hope you found our research helpful and some of these tips will work for you. It would be great to hear about your experiences and to know what is your natural way of crocheting.

I would also like to say THANK YOU¬†to our FABULOUS testing team, we really appreciate your willingness to help and your kind assistance throughout this project. I’m very grateful &¬†I couldn’t have done it without you!

Our article about single crochet (SC) stitches is published >> HERE <<

Working With Multiple Strands Of Yarn At Once

When a¬†pattern calls for working with multiple¬†strands of yarn held together…what would be your best options? The easiest answer, obviously, is¬†to pull 1 strand of yarn from individual skeins to create a group of 2, 3 or more yarn strands!

3 Strands from 3 skeins of yarn

 

But what to do if the number of skeins you have is not a multiple of the required number of stands? Here are a few easy solutions!

UNIVERSAL METHOD

This method works like a charm! Simply wind the required number of balls out of 1 skein of yarn. Use electronic scale to check the weight of the balls for accuracy.

2 STRANDS FROM 1 SKEIN

Pull the tail from the center of the skein & use the end from the outside of the skein as your second strand. Hold these 2 ends together for knitting or crocheting with double strand at once from a single skein of yarn.

2 strands from 1 skein of yarn

3 STRANDS FROM 1 SKEIN – LONG CHAIN METHOD

Working with 3 strands of yarn at once is super easy! The “long chain” method is based on a foundation chain commonly used for crochet projects; it¬†is done by pulling the chains (loops) as long as possible to triple the working yarn. Check our video below for step-by-step¬†instructions.

3 strands from 1 skein of yarn

4 STRANDS FROM 2 SKEINS

Just like you would work with 2 strands from a single skein, use 2 skeins to use 2 strands from each skein (4 strands in total)!

4 strands from 2 skeins of yarn

We hope this article was helpful & you  might like to try these techniques with some of our Crochet Rug Patterns.

Crochet Rug Patterns by IraRott

Pattern Testing Call – Ivory Dream Christening Gown

Hello everyone, we hope you had a Happy New Year & an awesome beginning of 2017!

Our first BIG project of the year is an update for our Ivory Dream Christening Gown Pattern (originally designed & published in 2012). I have been working on this project  since last year & am very close to finishing the newest version of the pattern that will include many new diagrams and step-by-step photos.

Ivory Dream Christening Gown Crochet Pattern by IraRott

We are currently looking for some additional volunteers for TESTING this pattern! If you would like to participate in this pattern test, you can feel free to fill out the application below. Please understand that we are not able to answer personally to every submission, but you will receive an email within 12-48 hours if your application has been approved. Also, please do not get discouraged if you have not received an email from us, as we only can accept a limited number of requests. There will be more testing opportunities in the future!

REQUIREMENTS:

  1. Skills – understanding crochet charts / diagrams
  2. Timeline – this test needs to be completed within 2 weeks (approx from Jan 16 to Jan 30)
  3. Yarn –¬†Bernat Baby Sport¬†(1 big ball) or any other sport weight yarn with the matching gauge (11 dc X 6 rows = 2″ X 2″ using hook 3.5 mm)
  4. Test – make one of the required items from the pattern (see form below)
  5. Feedback – provide pictures of your finished item by creating a project page on ravelry

TESTING NEEDS:

  1. Make an item
  2. Compare the row-by-row instructions with the diagram(s) (just for the item you make)
  3. Check the pattern for mistakes, typos, & clarity
  4. Submit your feedback by email
  5. Submit your photos through ravelry

APPLICATION: CLOSED!


POST UPDATE: January 9 / 2017

Thank you everyone for sending your applications. This testing call is now closed.


POST UPDATE: February 1 / 2017

Our Ivory Dream Christening Gown Crochet Pattern has just been updated! We would like to say a huge thank you to all those who participated in this pattern test during the past 2 weeks, awesome job everyone! The updated pattern has been sent to all previous buyers. Please check your email if you previously purchased this pattern, we hope you enjoy it!