Monday, September 7, 2015

How I join double crochet loops

I have no idea if this is useful or not, but I figured it out for myself and I like the results. Please leave a comment if you can think of a way to improve the instructions. There is no PDF and no left-handed instructions (yet).

1. Don't start with any stitch. Start with the yarn only, leaving about a six inch length at the beginning.
2. ch 3. The first ch is a bit loose, which is OK.
3. dc around, increasing according to whatever the pattern requires.
4. Cut the yarn, leaving about 6 inches. Pull the loop out, noticing where the yarn comes out of the last dc. Thread a darning needle onto this end.
5. Insert the needle behind the 3rd ch of the first 3 ch. Only insert it behind the two strands at the front of the stitch.
6. Thread the yarn back through where it came out - the top two loops of the last dc of the round. Follow the path of where the yarn comes out - it will be the same as where it should go back in. Pull the yarn just enough so that the loop matches all the other ones. Don't over-tighten.
7. Now insert the needle behind the 2nd ch of the first 3 ch. Again be careful to only thread behind the two strands at the front of the stitch. Draw it through, being careful not to pull too tightly.
8. Poke the needle through the space between the first 3 ch and the last dc. Be careful not to go through any strands of yarn.
9. Turn the work over and pull the tail gently. Do not over-tighten.
10. Tie start and end together with half a knot only. At this point turn the work over and see how the stitch looks on the front side. If it's too tight or too loose, adjust accordingly. Technically, you're done, but since the end already has a needle on it, you might as well weave in the ends. If you don't want to weave in the ends, then finish the knot. But I only tie with half a knot.
11. Now I don't think my way of weaving in the ends is anything special, and it might be inferior to other methods, but it's what I do, and I like it. Run the needle through one of the two strands of yarn at the back of about 5 dcs at the point where they emerge from the front.
12. Go the other way, running the needle through the other strand of yarn at the back of the dcs. This step is easier to do one at a time.
13. Trim the end. Now you have a loose starting end and a darning needle, so you might as well weave in the other end.
 14. Weave through the back of the dcs in the other direction.
15. Weave back the other way and trim.
16. Which one is it? I think I know, but it's hard to tell. On the other hand, look at the row below. There is one stitch to the right of the increase on the left (cream colored stitch 6 from the left) that is shorter than the others. That's an example of what it looks like if you pull the end too tightly.

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