Updated patterns!

I'm in the process of updating my old patterns, particularly the bibs, to include charts. I'm rewriting some of the directions to make the patterns even easier and including alternative methods for beginning the bibs and for making the ties. Look for these patterns in the sidebar to see which ones have been added. It's a slow process, but eventually, they'll all be there!

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Ties That Bind

Wow, I can't believe it's been so long since my last post! Where did the time go? Oh wait, I know. I've been burying my head in new patterns for the 2011 Dishcloth Calendar and another "special" project, neither of which I can really discuss..... yet! However, in the process of working on my special project, I've come up with an alternative way to make those tedious and boring bib ties. I know they can be a pain to make, but I just don't like to use buttons with bibs. I also think it's difficult to gauge the length of the band. Cotton shrinks and if the band isn't long enough, then you have a problem with a too tight neck. With the ties, you don't have to worry about any of that. My new way of making the ties is so much faster, however it does require a slight knowledge of crochet.

I'm the first to admit that I'm lousy with a crochet hook. I know the basic stitches, but I just never really took to it. That said, these new ties are really basic crochet. If you can make a chain, then you should be able to make them without a problem! The ties are only slightly thinner than the knit ones. Here then, is my little tutorial on how to make the crocheted ties.
First you want to take the three stitches that you would normally use for the knitted I-cords and insert your hook through the loops:

Draw your yarn through the three stitches and pull it tightly.
Now crochet an ordinary chain for about 12 inches.
When you've reached the desired length, you're going to put your hook in the second chain from the hook and draw the yarn through this stitch and the one on your hook. A slip stitch. Keep slipping the stitches all the way down the chain until you reach the bib where you began the tie.
Now you just need to cut the yarn, leaving enough to secure the end to the bib. Make sure it's nice and tight.
I actually make a knot on the back to make sure it's really secure and weave the tail in back and forth. Here's a picture of the backside (can you see my knot?):
When you're done, this is what the tie looks like:
And here it is compared to a knit tie:
As you can see, they are pretty close in size. The crocheted ties are so much faster and it makes the whole project just zip right along. From now on, any pattern that I post will include the directions for both the knitted ties as well as the crocheted ones. I hope you'll try it and let me know what you think!
Now, I have to get back to work on the calendar. I only needed to come up with two designs, but once I got started I had trouble stopping. My theory is anything worth doing, is worth over doing. Last count, I had eleven designs! It would be great if I could just post pictures and have all of you vote on which ones to include, but then there wouldn't be any element of surprise. All of the ones that don't make it into the calendar, will eventually end up here. Maybe I should do my own mystery knit-a-long?