Holy crochet, Batman!

Before I start, if you haven’t chimed in on the border dilemma yet, I’d really, really appreciate your input.

——–

I crocheted.

Shhh! Not so loud! Come here, yes, here, away from the others. Now, I will speak softly. We will whisper. Calm down!

Okay, all settled?

I’ll say it one more time – I crocheted.

Contain yourself, woman!

I will tell you how it happened, just keep it down! I will tell you, and we will not speak of this again.

Are you ready?

It all started with a picture.

Remember my former co-worker S. and her husband E.? I knit the Grumpecue for their soon to be born baby, and I have never, ever in my life met more thankful recipients of a handknit. Their reaction to the Grumpecue was so overwhelming (tears, hugs, yelps, more hugs), that I vowed to knit more for this happy couple, and for their little baby.

A few months went by, and in a rather predictable fashion, the baby has been born. E. sent us all a picture a few days ago and this little angel is delicious. Delicious, I tell you! I am not at liberty to share the picture (or the baby’s name, for that matter), but trust me when I say, she had me at 933 kilobytes. Little pink-lipped Deliciousness, with strawberry blond hair, just like her mom.

As soon as the picture hit my Inbox, BAM! The wheels went rolling. Must knit, must have needles, yarn, pass me some yarn, pattern… what’s the closest thing to me? Oh, grandma’s shawl, no, no, what’s below… Shining Star!

I picked up a ball of Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino at Windsor Button in a most luscious colorway, 104/orange. It is the color of the outside of an apricot, or the inside of a cantaloupe, or something like that. Yum.

I knit the baby size of the Shining Star pattern with nothing major to report until the bind-off.

You see, the hat is knit from the top down, so there’s always the question of the bind-off. It was fine to use the regular ‘pass knit stitch over’ bind-off when knitting Ori’s hat because I could try it on my head and make sure it wasn’t too tight. But when I used this bind-off on Deliciousness’ hat, I just wasn’t happy – was it too tight? Just right? I don’t know! The idea of any tightness around a delicate baby’s head was very unsettling.

I could have tried another, more elastic bind-off, like the sewn bind-off, or that funky bind-off I used on mom’s shawl, but my first instinct was to leave the stitches live and sew them into place, much like attaching picots at a bind-off. Because I chose to make a folded hat brim, this also secured the brim into place and prevented it from unfolding. At the end, while this method proved to be very stretchy, it wasn’t very neat since the loops were attached on the right side of the fabric.

And then… then some crazy Crochet Devil got into my head. There was no rationale! Without any research or idea what I was doing, I just picked up the hook and started looping.

On the first trial, I looped the yarn through the knitted fabric twice… so there were two loops. And then I put the first live stitch on the hook (3 loops), and pulled the live stitch through the two loops (1 loop). Made another loop through the fabric (2 loops), next live stitch on hook (3 loops), and so on. That didn’t work so well. Next I tried the same thing, but in two steps – first, pull the new loop through the old loop (1 loop), and then pull the live stitch through the new loop (1 loop). Make another new loop (2 loops) and repeat.

Did that make any sense? I doubt it. That’s why I had to rip it out and try again two more times! And then once I got the technique down, two more times because the stitches didn’t line up perfectly. Don’t look at me like that! You know me better than that – I can’t leave a perfectly fixable imperfection ;).

But this will make sense!

And I’m telling you right now, SO stretchy! And SO neat. This is the technique of the day for me; it works great if you need to attach live stitches to the right side in this fashion.

Oh, and the reason we will never speak of this again is because I don’t know what I’m talking about. Clearly.

Loops. Heh.

This isn’t an FO yet, by the way, as I still have 20 grams of DB Baby Cash to play with :).

32 thoughts on “Holy crochet, Batman!

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  1. baast

    I have been a crocheter since I was about 5 or so and only a knitter for about the past year. I am quick to whip out the hooks when something stumps me or I don’t like the way it looks. For me, crochet is the intuitive way to do/fix things. Perhaps one day I’ll be more intuitive with the knitting. :)

    Very nice finishing :)

  2. victoria

    Where did you find the pattern for the border? Was it part of the pattern for the shawl? That is an amazingly beautiful shawl, by the way. The reason I ask about the border is, I’m knitting a baby blanket and bought that book, Kintting Over The Edge, hoping that I’d be able to find a good border for my blanket in there, but nothing looks quite right. Can you recommend any books or websites that have collections of border patterns?

  3. Becky

    Very cool idea. I almost always use a crochet hook for binding off, but I’ve never thought of attaching the edge that way. I’ve been crocheting for over 20 years but knitting for only about 2. It took me about 10 years to finally figure the whole knitting thing out. I’m a bit slow. lol

  4. Nancy J

    the slip stitch, single crochet, double crochet works great! (1 loop, 2 loops, 3 loops) you’re working in true EZ style. The color is Luscious. and perfect for a strawberry blonde.

  5. CatBookMom

    Uh-mm(Throat clearing). It’s perfectly OK to be bi-crafty, knowing knitting AND crochet. In fact, crochet is quite a useful skill, as you’ve begun to find out. ‘Nuff said.

    The color is lovely and I’m sure the parents will be so happy to have it. If you want good how-to’s for crochet, check out crochetcabana.com I’m the who who contributed her Lil’s Knot.

  6. Kathy

    I *knew* there had to be a use for crochet! And it doesn’t even look like crochet, so your secret is safe from the world at large.

    Heaven forbid the Knitting Goddess Grumperina also be known as a crocheter!

  7. nikki

    Eeee! I have two skeins of that exact color 104 DBCash sitting right here in front of me! I LOVE the color. Oooo! and, and, AND I have a redheaded friend thats having a little girl any day. I so totally gotta knit with it now.

  8. Jess

    There are no bad crafts, only bad projects. I think most of crochet’s bad reputation is based on the overwhelming amount of truly hideous crochet patterns out there. There is absolutely nothing wrong with using crochet where it produces a good effect. I’ve made some really nice cotton lace edgings for bed linens using thread crochet. That said, if I see one more acrylic granny squares poncho, I may hurl. It’s all about taste and choosing the right technique for the job. And if that means that Grumperina has crocheted, then say it proudly!

  9. Norah

    Oooooh, that hat is just adorable. Love that color. It’ll be so perfect for a little girl baby. The edging looks wonderful–I think you may have done a crochet slip stitch, I’m not sure.

    Congratulations on your crocheting! Some really nice things can be done with crochet. (Yes, some crap can be done with crochet as well, but there are patterns for crappy-looking knits out there too.) Also there are beautiful crochet edgings that can be combined with knits to make something really special. And there are nice crochet clothing patterns out there now too, if you can separate them out from the crap.

  10. Ruth

    Ingenious.

    As for the crochet, I took a class from Melissa Leapman last month called “Crochet for Cowards” … I’m not as crochet-adverse as I was, but doubt I’m anywhere near thinking of crochet as a solution to a problem.

  11. Kim

    Wait.. yall mean to tell me that real crochet isn’t.. loops?

    I guess I’m no crochetter either.. lol. I already knew that though.

    Super cute hat.. can’t wait to see what you make up to go with it : )

  12. TracyKM

    I was going to ask you your opinions on sizing this hat down, and using different ‘stars’. I have quite a few baby bonnet type patterns that use a star or pentagon at the back of the head, and quite a few patterns for doilies that start with a star or some shape….could I just use my common sense….my daughter is wearing a pink/purple hat with her hand-me-down red/black/white winter coat and she needs a girly hat in red (her brother is still wearing the hat that ‘goes’ with the coat, even though his coat is now black and yellow….).

    And I’d like one for myself….

  13. Kate

    I love the hat. I really love the other one you did for your niece too. So much so that I went to three LYSs to find Rowan Cashsoft DK. Ordered beads online and bought (Good God!) #4 needles!! Which are much too small for my usual knitting. I’m craving your pattern like a drug. Counting the days. It’s sick and wrong and I’m a knitting junkie. Hope to see it posted soon. In the meantime I’m going back to my felted purse project on #11 needles.

  14. JennyRaye

    I came to knitting via crocheting almost 10 years ago now, but took a long hiatus from any fiber arts for almost 5 years in there somewhere. Coincidentally, I was working on a baby item for a shower on Feb. 3rd–mine was a cardigan from Vogue Baby Gifts. Knit all in one piece–using DB’s cashmerino aran–yummy stuff, that. When I cast off last night I didn’t like the unfinished look of the neck opening–no ribbing. So, I too, pulled out a crochet hook–I haven’t had one of those in my hand for actual crocheting since my ds (16) was like 4. I quickly ran a single crochet border around the neck–funny how the motion comes back. Still didn’t look complete, so I turned and ran another single crochet on top–perfect. I keep picking it up to admire it.

    I bet if you bought a softball or similar sized ball, you could use that as a model for a baby head when a real baby isn’t around for sizing.

  15. Risa

    Little shoes! The baby needs little shoes!!

    That hat is gorgeous, and just the perfect color for a baby.

  16. Beth S.

    It sounds like a three-needle bind-off, kind of, except with a crochet hook. That’s pretty interesting. Any chance of an action shot, or are you really and truly never crocheting again? ;-)

  17. sara

    The hat is wonderful- I adore the color and shape. And to bind off by crocheting? Genius… I crochet too and the thought has never crossed my mind before (and by golly I have a hat brim that *does* need to be fixed!).

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