Tag Archive | Skip-Stitch Blade

Doubling the Edge

dscn0498dscn0527On one of my journeys into the stash, I ran across two fleece blanket kits that I had purchased on clearance many years ago. “Why had I purchase these?” I wondered to myself. A John Deer Blanket? A Christmas Blanket? “What was I thinking?”

Well I will tell you what I was thinking, they were cheap and they were fleece and they were blankets and I needed them to live in the stash. But alas, their time had finally come. They would no longer just live in the stash. They were blankets and since it would soon be getting cold, they needed to be made into blankets and used as blankets. I would not be keeping these blankets once they were made. They needed to go to a good home and to live with someone who needed a blanket. And even though they would be leaving, I would still get the pleasure of transforming them from a kit in to a useable blanket, and that is the real reason of why I bought them.

dscn0506Prepping the fleece was the first step in this adventure. At first I thought about making 4 single layered blankets from the two kits, but then I decided to make the kits just as they came and to make two double layered blankets. Because I wanted to crochet around the blankets instead of just cutting and knotting the edges, I had to attach the two layers together before I could use the skip stitch blade to make my edges to crochet.

Sewing the wrong sides together and turning the blanket, like I would if I was using flannel, would have given me too bulky of a seam with the 4 layers of dscn0528fleece along the edge. And I did not want that bulky edge.

Because the fleece would not ravel like flannel would, I decided to skip the turning part. So, after squaring the fleece, I held the wrong sides together and sewed along the edge of the blanket, about 1/4 inch in. This made the edge of the blanket only two layers thick. Next, using the skip stitch blade, I cut 1/2 inch from the edge of the blanket to make the slits for crocheting. I did not cut off the dotted lines part of the top fleece. These dotted lines were the cutting guide to be used if you were knotting the edge of the blanket together. I did not think the lines looked bad around the design and it made the blanket just that much larger.

dscn0505With the skip stitch portion done, it was time to start crocheting. Since both blankets were in masculine colors, I decided to make a simple edge, with no scoops or scallops.

The first row was the foundation row into the skip stitch cuts. For the second row I changed to the complimentary color and did a chain 3, skipping every other stitch. Changing back to the foundation row color, the third row was a chain 3 and then slipstitched into each of the second dscn0530rows chain 3.

I have made this edge several times before on baby blankets and it is a quick crochet and I love the look of it when it is done.

One difference between these blankets and some other blankets I have made, was that I got quite warm under these larger fleece double blankets while I was crocheting the edges compared to a lighter flannel baby blanket. This was actually ok this time of year, but I will not be making any of these large double thick fleece blankets in July.

Now that they are completed, these blankets are ready to find a needed home.

Until next time, crochet forth and blanket on!

I Can’t Seem To Take My Own Advice

p1020347With all the new sleepers I have made recently, I decided to get a few blankets made to go with them for the day that I may need a baby gift for someone. Since I now want to use my pieces of polar fleece to make jackets, I turned to the flannel stash to find fabric to make the blankets with.

I picked out 4 pieces of flannel to make 2 blankets. I then laundered the flannel,  got it squared up, stitched and turned, all with no problems.  .

Then I had a brain fart!  .p1020349

Instead of going back to the my previous posts on skip-stitching flannel blankets, I just started using the skip-stitch blade to cut the holes for the edges. I did remember to pick the yarn I wanted to use first, so I knew which size blade to use, but I forgot to double check how far from the edge to skip-stitch. I had picked Red Heart 4 ply yarn so I used skip-stitch blade #1 for the proper stitch length I wanted, but I made the cuts at 1/2 inch from the edge.

After I cut all four edges of the polar bear blanket, it dawned on me that when using flannel instead of polar fleece, I like to only have a 1/4 inch edge because I don’t want to fold the flannel edge over like I do with the fleece blankets.

Well, this blanket was already cut so I had to make a decision on what to do to fix my mistake. My choices were to either to fold the edge over or to have a 1/2 inch drop with the yarn on the edge. .p10203511

After trying both, I decided to have the 1/2 inch drop of yarn. It looked better that way to me. But, as I crocheted the edge of this blanket, I  had nothing but problems. The flannel would not lay flat. It insisted on wrinkling under the yarn since it was much thinner than polar fleece. I tried and tried to straighten the fabric, but I finally decided I was just going to have to minimize the wrinkles and leave it at that. After completing the foundation row, I did a chain three, skip two stitches and chain in the third stitch in blue and then a row of white in chain three and then a chain in each of the previous rows with chain three. I have done this edge before and really like the results it produces.

With the blanket completed, I am very disappointed with the wrinkles in the fabric under the yarn. It will not deter the use of the blanket, but I am not happy with the finished results. I doubt anyone but me will notice the imperfections though.
p1010971On the next blanket which I made from the Snoopy flannel, I was smart enough to remember the problems I had on the previous blanket and learn from my mistakes. I skip-stitched the blankets edges at 1/4 inch this time. And the blanket stitched up very nicely once it was skip-stitched with the proper edge width. I used the same edge design on it with green and yellow yarn this time.

The only thing I would change about this blanket was the use of so much yellow yarn with the yellow back. The husband says it looks ok, but once again I am not totally happy with it. Yet, it is still a very cute blanket and the colors certainly will not keep it from being used as a blanket.p1010968

It’s just the perfectionist in me that has to nit pick about something, so that was what I chose. .

As I look back now at the flannel blankets I just finished, my mind wanders to what else I could do with the pieces in the flannel stash besides making blankets.

My brain is still working on some ideas, so I don’t know if you will see more blankets soon or perhaps something else entirely!

It Bears Repeating

It’s been a long time since I have crocheted around the edge of a blanket. Instead I have been spending my crocheting time on amigurumi’s.  When I found out that some friends have babies on the way, I thought I had better get some baby blankets finished. Looking back at the last blanket that I made, I remembered that I was trying to perfect crocheting an edge on a flannel blanket.

img_3884With that in mind, I headed for the stash and pulled out two pieces of flannel. Reading my past posts, I remembered the lessons that I learned on the last flannel blankets. So, after squaring the fabric, I sewed the two pieces of flannel together with just an 1/8 inch seam allowance. Normally I would not sew flannel with such a small seam allowance but because I will be crocheting around the edge, I am not worried about the seam not withstanding wear. After turning and ironing, I used the skip stitch blade to cut the blanket 1/4 inch from the edge…

img_3885Now, this the part that I want to repeat. Before I used the skip stitch blade, I decided on type of yarn I wanted to use. I chose a 3-ply sports yarn so I used the skip stitch blade #2 so that the cuts would be closer together. As I learned from before, which skip stitch blade you use depends on the yarn you’re going to use, not the type of fabric. If I had chosen a heavier 4-ply yarn, I would have used the skip stitch blade #1 instead.

I have now crocheted the edge on this blanket and I am love the results. Because of the thinner yarn, I am using a size F hook instead of the size G hook I normally use. With the cut at just 1/4 of an inch from the edge, I am getting a nice drop without folding the edge over. It is one of the cutest blankets I have finished..

img_3883img_37961Because I was not sure of the results I would be getting from the flannel blanket, and the fact that some of the babies will soon be here, I have made some fleece blankets as well. Since I knew I would be finishing these blankets with a 4-ply yarn, I used the skip stitch blade #1 to cut the slits.

I like the fold on the edge of fleece blankets so I cut at 1/2 inch from the edge and folded the edge as I crocheted. Also with using the heavier yarn, I used my size G hook.

These blankets worked up very quickly and turn out very cute.

I’ve Started…

I’ve started several projects, but I have yet to complete any of them. I dislike it when I do this. I am very much a start one project, finish it, then move on to the next project person. Of course, I have many UFO’s (unfinished objects) hiding in my closet, but that is because I have lost interest in completing them for one reason or another. The projects I am working on now are all ones I plan to complete, but I have gotten ahead of myself in getting them started.

I started some new sleepers for the new nephew that is on the way, but while embroidering the designs on the sleepers, I embroidered a couple of towels for bibs rather than finishing the sewing on the sleepers. So, the unfinished sleepers and bibs sat on my cutting table. Before finishing them, I decided I wanted to get another flannel blanket ready to crochet around, so that lead to a trip to the stash. While digging through the stash for flannel, I ran across some lighter color knits and decided to pull them out to make the husband some new summer shirts. So, now added to the unfinished sleepers and bibs are flannel pieces ready to stitched and skip-bladed and fabric, pattern and supplies for the husbands shirts.

I’ve also started another amigurumi creature after finishing the teddy bear I crocheted. I have most of its parts crocheted and I’m now working on the head for that. We went on vacation last week and I like to crochet while traveling. Since I’m down to the stitching of the face, stuffing and the sewing of the pieces together of this amigurumi, I started another amigurumi for the trip. I now have the second amigurumi’s parts crochet waiting to be stuffed and put together.  So, to add to my already full cutting table, I have two partly constructed amigurumi’s on top of everything else.

I have decided though not to continue to work on all these projects all at once. I am going back to the complete one thing, move to the next one process. So, stay tuned to see the completed items.

P.S. I did not purchase a single inch of fabric on this vacation. Amazing! It’s a first for me!

Inexpensive Panel

img_2230This blanket is not cheap in the fact that the fleece is thin, but in the fact that I did not pay a lot of money for it. Inexpensive describes it better.

Last year for Christmas my sister crocheted around one of these Snoopy panels and gave it to me, so I do not need another one when I have the beautiful one that she made.Her blankets are always so nicely done.

But, last summer while digging through Joann’s remnant bin I found two of these panels. Someone had opened the packages, so they were wrapped as remnants and marked for half price. At the time, the sales was half off the current price of remnants, so I bought both blankets for half the price of one blanket originally cost. I could not pass up that price even though I already had one of these blankets at home.

Somebody, somewhere needs a Snoopy blanket I thought to myself.

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My husband picked out the bright red yarn to stitch around this blanket.

Because it was regular sized yarn, I use the skip-stitch blade #1 to cut the holes in it. Although the fleece of this panel is thinner than the fleece I have purchased off the bolt, it did not suffer from the gapping hole problem of the cheap panels I had crocheted before. The fleece stretched back nicely after I pulled the yarn through.

I crocheted the peaks pattern around this blanket because I think the look is more unisex. When I do a scalloped edge, to me, the blanket becomes feminine, even though I have made several boy’s blankets with scalloped edges. (The color helps to make the scallops more masculine.)

Since I don’t know who will be sleeping under this particular blanket, I wanted it to work for anyone.

I had a lot of fun crocheting the edges of this blanket. It kept me entertained during many a car ride this holiday season.

Cheap Panels

img_2238I purchased a couple of cheap fleece blankets. I use the word cheap instead of inexpensive because the of how thin the fleece is and how poor the edges were finished, but the blankets had nice photos of animals printed on them and I thought these would make fun blankets for kids. Of course, the little thread that was used to finish the edge would never do, so I removed it and  crocheted new edges around the blankets. This became more of a challenge than I expected and a good lesson about crocheting on a thinner fleece.

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img_2350I started by removing the thread edge which just took a couple of minutes. I tried to crochet using the holes that were left from the thread, but they were too small. So, I got out the skip-stitch blade and got to work. On the first blanket, the yarn I chose was a thinner baby yarn so I used skip-stitch blade #2.

All was well until I started to crochet.

As I pulled the yarn through the holes, the thin fleece stretched and did not close  back up around the yarn as heavier fleece would do. This left large holes especially on the side of the blanket with the stretch of the fabric. I had to pull the yarn through the holes very carefully to minimize the size of the holes. Even with being as careful as possible, I still have holes that are far  larger than I wanted. After finishing the first row, I about gave up on the blanket, but decided to persevere and see what the end results would be. Now that the blanket is done, the end result looks better than I expected but if you look closely the holes are definitely still there.

img_2355img_2352One the second blanket, I picked a heavier yarn to use and this was a big mistake. It is a good thing I used the baby yarn first of I would not have completed either blanket.

Because of the heavier yarn, I used the skip stitch blade #1 to make my holes.

As I pulled the heavier yarn through the holes, there was no amount of care that could be taken to stop the gaping holes that resulted. I stitched about 1/3 of a side and decided that the resulting holes were just too large to keep going. I finally made a trip to the store and purchased some thinner yarn in the color I wanted. I removed the heavier yarn, but the fleece did not recover. I carefully stitched with the thinner yarn, but on that section of the blanket, there are still huge holes. With the thinner yarn, I decided to go ahead and finish the blanket. Luckily, I was smart enough to start at the bottom of the blanket so the gaping holes are on the bottom and not the top.

As before, the end results are better than I expected, but not as good as I had originally planned on.

One good thing about this whole endeavor, I purchased my first skein of Caron brand yarn, and I loved it. It was nice yarn and crocheted very well. I would not hesitate in purchasing or using that brand again.


Skip Stitch Blade #1 Vs. Flannel: FIGHT!

Skip Stitch Blade #1 Vs. Flannel: FIGHT!

(Updated: June 13th, 2105)

According to the information on the skip stitch blade’s web site, blade #2 is the one that is designed to be used on flannel.

As you read in a previous post, that is what I used on the first flannel blanket that I tried.This time, rather than matching the skip stitch blade to the fabric of the blanket, I matched it to the yarn and I am happier with the results.

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Before I skip stitched this blanket, I decided that I wanted to use regular weight orange yarn rather than a baby yarn or a crochet cotton. With that decision in mind, I used the skip stitch blade #1 instead of #2 even though the blanket is a flannel fabric.

The slits are farther apart with this blade and so it accommodated the heavier yarn better.

It did not seem to make a difference on the flannel fabric whether it was cut with blade #1 or #2 as to how well the blade worked. Both blade sizes seemed to do an equally good job when being used on flannel fabric.

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I also trimmed my seam allowances so that I could make the skip stitch slits closer to the edge of the blanket.

I cut them at 1/2 inch this time. Because I was closer to the edge, I did not have to fold over the edge and that made for less bulk when crocheting.

Although the 1/2 inch margin is far better than the 1 inch margin of the previous blanket, the next time I think I will try to cut even a little closer to the edge.

The more blankets I crochet the more I like the drop into the slit to be a smaller size and I like the look of the smaller drop and there is less yarn to get caught in the use of the blanket.

The first row on this blanket is chain stitch in the slit then 1 chain stitch, then 1 chain in the next slit, and so on around the blanket.

The second row is chain 2, skip 2 stitches, 5 double crochets in the next stitch, chain 2, skip 2 stitches, then chain in the next stitch, then repeat.

This blanket could be for either a boy or a girl, although adding the second row makes it a little more feminine to me.

I am pleased with the end results of this blanket, both with the use of skip stitch blade #1 and the pattern that I used for the second row.