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Crochet cables - DC project by Sylvie Damey
Last week I mentionned crocheted CABLES as being the most common use of the Front/Back post double crochet. Crocheted cables ? What ? How do you do that ?
How about we take a closer look…

For this episode we’ll use both dc in both loops and Front post/Back post dc.

Our goal: take advantage of the relied and added texture of the front/back post dc to create an elevated vertical stripe in the center of the swatch.
Then we’ll simply cross the Front post dc every 4th row to create the cable. Just as knitters do !

Ready ? Let’s start with a very basic CABLE over 2 STITCHES. Just so we understand the moves and technique.

I’ll keep the same yarn and hook as for the other episodes of this DC project: Rowan “all seasons cotton”, and my usual 5 mm Susan Bates hook.

Dc1ENGLISH
Let’s start with a foundation chain of 22 chains (= 22 ch).
Insert hook in 4th chain after hook, and work your first dc. Continuer and work 1 dc in each next chain. Turn. You have 20 sts, counting the first ch3 as first st.

1 2
Next, work as follows:
Row 1 (Right Side) – ch3, 8 dc in both loops, 2 front post dc, 9 dc in both loops.

Row 2 (Wrong Side) – ch3, 8 dc in both loops, 2 back post dc, 9 dc in both loops.

3

When looking at RS of work, you can see the center vertical stripe which pops.. and will become a cable in the coming rows.

Now, let’s cross the front/back post dc to create the cabled effect.

Row 3 (RS) -ch3, 8 dc in both loops, skip 1 stitch, 1 Front post dc in next st, come back to skipped st and work 1 Front post dc in skipped st, end with 9 dc in both loops.

which you could break up into photographs below:
4 5

Skip 1 st, insert hook around post of next st..

6 7

You can already see the first crossed stitch of the cable – Then insert hook for the 2nd crossed st…

8

And now here are the 2 center crossed sts. It doesn’t quite look like a cable yet, but it will pop more as soon as we work more “plain” rows…

Now let’s continue with 3 rows without crossing sts:
Row 4 (WS) – ch3, 8 dc in both loops, 2 back post dc, 9 dc in both loops.
Row 5 (RS) – ch3, 8 dc in both loops, 2 front post dc, 9 dc in both loops.
Row 6 (WS) – ch3, 8 dc in both loops, 2 back post dc, 9 dc in both loops.

10

And Bam ! Suddenly we can clearly see our narrow cable in the center of the swatch (still looking on RS).

Now you only need to repeat this 4-rows sequence to make a longer cable.

However… as can clearly be seen on this swatch, the front/back post dc AND crossed stitches tend to crush the work vertically along the cable area. Not so nice.

So how about we try a SECOND CABLE, but this time worked over 4 STITCHES. This time our cable will include a mix of front/back post DOUBLE and TREBLE CROCHETS, so that we maintain an even height between cable and rest of swatch.

DoubleCable

We’re still using the same 20 sts swatch.

Row 1 (RS): ch3, 7 dc in both loops, 4 front post TREBLE crochets, 8 dc in both loops. Turn.

Row 2 (WS): ch3, 7 dc in both loops, 4 back post DOUBLE crochets, 8 dc in both loops. Turn.

Row 3 (Endroit): Crossing sts – ch3, 7 dc in both loops, skip 2 sts, 1 front post TREBLE crochet in each of the next 2 sts, then come back to the skipped sts, and work 1 front post TREBLE crochet in first skipped st, and 1 in next skipped st, end with 8 dc in both loops. Turn.

Row 4 (WS): repeat row 2.

And repeat this 4-rows as long as desired to crochet your cable…

FiniENGL

Separate both sections of cable with a line in surface crochet. Sit back and imagine all the possibilities… Cables on the side of a hat, on a pair of mittens…

Relief Back

When looking sideways, you can clearly see the center cable stitches pop. But on the wrong side ? Not so pretty…

And now, how about playing with cables and experiment: add more stitches, try different heights of stitches (I’ll certainly try cables in a swatch crocheted in dc in the front loop !)
Share your photos and experiments so I can add them on the Facebook album !

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How about YOU ? Anything I forgot or didn’t see in those swatches ? Please share in the comments !
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DC project Episode 1
DC project Episode 2
DC project Episode 3
DC project Episode 4
DC project Episode 5

2 1

Two amazing ladies came to my corner of the Alps to learn how to crochet a sweater or cardigan without a pattern during 2 days of crochet workshop. We started with having a look at the 20 pages document I gave them, choosing the style of garment they wanted (sweater or cardigan, short or long sleeves, boxy, empire waist or fitted waist…)

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Started with the yoke as we’re working top down in one piece.

4 6

The key to this method is to try the sweater on yourself again and again, so that it ends up fitting YOU just perfectly. No fiddly measurements or complicated math and calculations… Just a clever arrangment of increases for the yoke and easy system to divide your sleeves.
By the end of the first day, both crocheters were ready to divide the body and sleeves.. or had already finished the top part of the bodice.

8 9recut

On the second day, we then focused on working the lower section of body to bust and waist shaping…

11 15r

Discovering the million usefull ways to use stitch markers, or how to add character to a plain sweater with pretty finishing touches…

25 22

Learning new lace motifs… At the end of the second day, both sweaters already look amazing ! The crocheters have all the tools and notes to finish them at home. And with one already started on her sleeve, while the second one finished her edgings, they’ve both seen many techniques in action during the workshop.

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Icing on the cake – love that review from one of the crocheters:

“Thrilled by this 2-day parenthesis away from the busy routine! As a beginner crocheter (been crocheting for a year, and left-handed !) I learned a lot of techniques. This workshop is a door opener to “allow yourself” to combine your knowledge, invent and create with crochet. Sylvie is certainly full of imagination and suggestions in this area !”

“Enchantée de ces deux jours de parenthèse hors du monde ! Beaucoup de techniques apprises pour la débutante que je suis (un an de crochet à mon actif et gauchère de surcroît !…).
Ce stage est un sésame pour “s’autoriser” à associer des connaissances, inventer et créer au crochet. Sylvie ne manque pas d’imagination et de pistes dans ce domaine !”

PS – In love with that orange and plum yarn ? So am I.
It’s available here and on sale too !

Dc project by SylvieDamey

Have you made your first swatch from Episode 3 yet ? Great ! Take it in front of you and let’s explore all the differences we can find between
– dc in both loops
– dc in 3rd loop
– front post dc
– back post dc
(all worked in rows at this stage)

1/ TEXTURE & VISUAL APPEARANCE:
The most obvious difference is in the texture and visual look.

dc in both loops => flat surface, stitches look neatly stacked on top of each other

dc in 3rd loop => slightly undulating surface, reminiscent of the dc in front loop. Visible “braid” every 2nd row (= easy to count rows !), on top of which fabric folds easily. Intersting to note: the posts of each stitch looks slightly twisted sideways, making them look different than dc in both loops: more texture, not so flat.
Also, when looking at the light coming through our swatch, we see that the gap between each stitch is at least similar to the one in between each dc in both loops, if not larger.

DC project by Sylvie Damey (click for full size)

front post dc => a lot of texture !! With deep ridges and crevices… The ridges here are relatively centered in between each “crevice”. Fabric is dense, with hardly any light coming through the stitches.

DC project by SylvieDamey

back post dc => here again, a lot of texture with high ridges. Yet the result looks quite different from front post dc: the ridges are here located very high in each set of 2 rows, creating quite a sharp edge after it. It’s interesting to compare this stitch to dc in the back loop: pretty similar look, although the ridges of front post dc are much more marked.
Fabric is also dense, with hardly any light coming through the stitches.

2/ SIZE

Let’s take measurements of each section of your swatch. Here’s what I found on mine, measuring over 15 sts and 4 rows :
(reminder: I used the same size of hook to crochet each stitch variation!!)

dc in both loops => width 9.7 cm – height 4.5 cm => Let’s use this as our reference measurements.

dc in 3rd loop => width 7.5 cm – height 4.6 cm => dc in 3rd loop is 29% narrower and 2% higher than dc in both loops.

front post dc => width 7.2 cm – height 3.2 cm => front post dc is 35% narrower and 40% shorter than dc in both loops.

back post dc => width 7.7 cm – heigth 3.1 cm => back post dc is 26% narrower and 45% shorter than dc in both loops.

Now, here are again some very intersting results !

– dc in the 3rd loop may look quite similar to dc in front loop, yet it doesn’t stretch as much vertically at all ! When you touch it, you’ll realise the fabric is thicker than dc in front loop, which explains the difference in height.
– front post and back post dc have SO MUCH texture that they loose as much in height. If making a project using one of those stitches, you’d need more rows to make it the right height… which is good to know (I love dc BECAUSE it’s a tall stitch working up quickly).

3/ STRETCH & DRAPE

Now, those parameters are more difficult to assess on such a small swatch. But here’s what I learnt from experience. You can also stretch your swatch in all directions to notice the differences:

dc in both loops => solid fabric. sturdy. does not stretch much vertically.

dc in 3rd loop => stretches horizontally, but not vertically. The folding lines sitting on top of horizontal braids every 2nd row lets it gently follow along curves.

front post dc => Quite the opposite from what you’d think… but this stitch has very limited stretch. It does stretch more vertically than horizontally. Quite sturdy structure. But does fold easily along the ridges.

back post dc => Very little vertical stretch, a little more horizontal stretch. This stitch will also easily fold along its ridges to follow curves, although it doesn’t have any proper drape.

4/ BEST USES

Now, with all these parameters in mind, let’s try and see which types of project use each variation of the dc :

dc in both loops => see conclusions of episode 2

dc in 3rd loop => because of its horizontal stretch and pretty decorative braids, I could totally see myself crochet a grocery bag with this stitch, or add a few decorative rows along bottom edge of a sweater.

front post dc => you could probably find uses to take advantage of its unique texture. This stitch is VERY usefull and widely used to crochet CABLES.

back post dc => here again, you may find decorative uses for the high texture of this stitch. I would not recommend it for clothing though. Again, this stitch is widely used to crochet CABLES.

5/ WORKING IN THE ROUND
Working in the round changes the visual aspect of all 3 of those stitch variations. I’ll explore this in a further episode…

*********************************************************************************************************************************************
How about YOU ? Anything I forgot or didn’t see in those swatches ? Please share in the comments !
*********************************************************************************************************************************************
DC project Episode 1
DC project Episode 2
DC project Episode 3
DC project Episode 4
DC project Episode 5

Once again, I had the pleasure to be invited along with the Greblogueuses at the big local craftfair “Creativa”. A perfect opportunity to connect with crafters, see again familiar faces… and share my love of crochet and spindle spinning with others !

Here are a few pictures of those 3 days…

3
Learning how to spin yarn with the simplest tool: a spindle

4
Using the park and draft method, they learn how to rotate the spindle, stretch the fiber, pinch it, let the twist go up the fiber to transform it into yarn…
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At the end of the hour, we plied their singles into a balanced yarn, so that each lady could bring back home their mini-skein of handspun yarn :-)

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Crocheting a flower.. or how it’s sometimes harder to choose the colors than the shape of a project !

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Crocheting in public always attracts interested viewers…

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Another interesting crochet mini-class with Camille: understanding the basic construction of a top-down seamless sweater.
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And the mini-sweaters we made during the class…

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Another Crochet flower class.. except this time the ladies had no idea about how to crochet ! Wowza! That was slightly stressful at the beginning.. until I decided they could make an easier flower and practice the basic crochet stitches at the same time…

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Which worked perfectly ! After 1h 1/2, they both knew how to chain, do a single and double crochet… and had finished their beautiful flowers !

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Lovely times with lovely friends, including Heike and her spinning wheels :-)

Loup Deutsch von Sylvie Damey

Viele Häkler wollten die “Loup” Kapuzenjacke machen. Katharina Sokiran hat die Anleitung ubersetzt.

Anleitung fûr die Kapuzenjacke Loup ist jetzt auch auf deutsch erhältlich !! :-D

Ravelry – http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/loup-hooded-jacket
Etsy – https://www.etsy.com/shop/SylvChezPlum?section_id=18480869

Loup is now available also in german ! If there’s enough interest, I might have more patterns translated too…

In this episode3 of our “DC project”, we’ll explore 3 more versions of the DC:
– double crochet in the 3rd loop
– front post double crochet
– back post double crochet

Dc project by Sylvie Damey

First, choose your yarn. No fun fur or bouclé yarn, you want neat stitch definition for this project.
I’m using the long-discontinued Rowan “All seasons cotton”
You’ll also want to have enough of this yarn to make ALL the samples of the series (sot they can all be compared). I’d say have at least 200 m…
Choose a hook which works well with this yarn: crocheted fabric should be not too tight, not too loose. I’m using a 5 mm (H) Susan Bates hook

Dc0

Step 1 – REGULAR DC = DC IN BOTH LOOPS

Let’s start our sampler with 6 rows of DC in both loops as a reference to compare the other stitches to.

Dc1ENGLISH

Chain 22.
Turn and work a double crochet (dc) in 4th chain from hook. Then dc in each chain across. Turn work. You should have 20 sts (including initial ch3, which counts as 1st st. I know there are options for this, but let’s keep this for later)
We’re now going to insert the hook under BOTH loops of each stitch: when you look the top of the stitches, you see a “V” sitting on top of each dc. Both legs of the V = both loops.

Dc3

You have now 6 rows of dc in both loops. Mark last row of dc in back loop with a stitch marker.

Step 2 – DC IN THE THIRD LOOP

After working in the front or back loop in Episode 1, let’s discover yet a new place to insert our hook into: the third loop !
If you look at the front/ right side of your work, you’ll see a little horizontal bar sitting at top of each stitch: it’s the 3rd loop.

1fleche

Insert your hook in this loop, from front to back.
Next 6 rows: ch3, 19 dc in 3rd loop, turn [20 sts]

4

Soon enough you’ll see clear lines of “V”s appearing on the wrong side while working a row. Those will produce lines separating each set of 2 rows, a little like when working in the front loop, but more visible.

Dc in 3rd loop, sylvieDamey.com

You have now 6 rows of dc in 3rd loop. Mark last row of dc in 3rd loop with a stitch marker.

Step 3 – FRONT POST DC

Now this one is a bit more common, so you might already suspect that you’ll be crocheting AROUND the post (=vertical part of each dc) of each dc.

Front post dc by SylvieDamey.com

For the front post dc, insert your hook around the post while working on the front /right side of the work: insert hook from front to back in between 2 posts, then come back after post of the dc from back to front to RS of fabric again.

front post dc by SylvieDamey.com

Work 6 rows in Front post dc (often abbreviated Fpdc): ch3, 19 dc in front post, turn. [19 sts]

Front post dc, SylvieDamey.com

Fabric is now highly textured, with deep crevices on either side and high ridges.

Step 4 – BACK POST DC

And of course, after working in the front post, let’s work in the BACK POST this time. Will it look just the same, just the other way round ?

Back post dc, SylvieDamey.com

This time again, we’ll work around the post. But this time, your hook is in the back of work, poking though the fabric from back to front, around the post, then back to the wrong side of work again.

back post dc, SylvileDamey.com

Work 6 rows in Back post dc (often abbreviated Bpdc): ch3, 19 dc in backt post, turn. [19 sts]

Back post dc, SylvieDamey.com

Again, a LOT of texture and sharp ridges. But same or different ? I’ll let you take a closer look and will be back with my own conclusion in Episode 4 next week ;-)

Step 5 – SEPARATING visually each stitch

Just as we did for first sampler, let’s separate each section by a line of surface crochet, using the stitch markers to visualize where to stitch.

14SurfaceCrochet

Holding working yarn UNDER work (= on WS), work in loose slip stitch so as not to alter width of sampler. Fasten Off.

Finally, admire your sampler ! Can you spot any difference, or decide which best use could be applied to each variation ? I’ll be back in Episode 4 next week with my conclusions.

Dc project by SylvieDamey

Once again, please share your pictures and comments on my Facebook page !!

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DC project Episode 1
DC project Episode 2
DC project Episode 3
DC project Episode 4
DC project Episode 5

Find EPISODE 1 of the dc project !

variants of dc stitch, http://SylvieDamey.com

Have you made your first swatch from Episode 1 yet ? Great ! Take it in front of you and let’s explore all the differences we can find between
– dc in both loops
– dc in front loop
– dc in back loop
(all worked in rows at this stage)

1/ TEXTURE & VISUAL APPEARANCE:

The most obvious difference is in the texture and visual look.

Both loops => flat surface, stitches look neatly stacked on top of each other

Back loop => all but flat: very textured, with ridges in relief which makes the fabric fold itself along those ridges as soon as you hold it horizontally.

Front loop => flat surface, very slightly undulating. Very visible horizontal line dividing every set of 2 rows (= easy to count rows)

DC14English2

Also, when you hold your swatch in front of a window, you’re in for a surprise: the gaps between each dc are not the same !
Striking to realise that the gaps are really obvious between each dc in both loops, yet you can hardly see any gap between each dc in the front loop. (dc in back loop being somewhat in between). Interesting… That’s certainly something to keep in mind when making a sweater or skirt: depending on how much see-through you want, you might decide to use one option or the other..

2/ SIZE

Let’s take measurements of each section of your swatch. Here’s what I found on mine, measuring over 15 sts and 4 rows :
(reminder: I used the same size of hook to crochet each stitch variation!!)

Both loops => width 10.3 cm – height 4.5 cm => Let’s use this is as our reference for this project.

Back loop => width 8.6 cm – height 4.85 cm => Dc in the back loop is 17% narrower and 8% taller than dc in both loops.

Front loop => width 8.4 cm – height 5.4 cm => Dc in the front loop is 19% narrower and 20 % taller than dc in both loops.

Whoah !! What a difference that makes, right ?!! Knowing this means several things:
– working in only one loop of each stitch tends to stretch the fabric vertically, making it narrower. Which is quite logical when you think of it…
– don’t switch between one and another when using a crochet pattern specifically asking you to work in both/front/back loop. That would totally modify the final measurements of your piece.
– you could use those properties to shape a garment: imagine starting a skirt in the front loop (= narower) then switching to both loops to make it wider.. (texture and visual appearance being another story here…)

3/ STRETCH & DRAPE

Now, those parameters are more difficult to assess on such a small swatch. But here’s what I learnt from experience. You can also stretch your swatch in all directions to notice the differences:

Both loops => solid fabric. sturdy. does not stretch much vertically.

Back loop => a lot of vertical stretch. with those ridges, fabric could look thicker than dc in both loops. folds very easily along ridges, thus following curves of body.

Front loop => quite stretchy in both directions (not as much than the back loop vertically though !). fabric is visibly thinner than both other samples and has lots of drape.

The one thing I like to remember is that when working in only ONE loop, each double crochet is stretched lengthwise, making the fabric thinner (closer to knit Stockinette stitch) and giving it more stretch.. and drape.

4/ BEST USES

Now, with all these parameters in mind, let’s try and see which types of project use each variation of the dc :

Both loops => projects which require durability and as little stretch as possible: home decor, potholders, bags …

Back loop => textured sections of a project, typically to mimic ribbing when worked sideways (cuffs..) or need to be quite stretchy and elastic. Working just 1 row in the back loop could also make a perfect folding transition between base and sides of a bag with flat bottom.

Front loop => projects which require thinner fabric, stretchiness and drape: it’s ideal to make garments, as it follows the curves of the body and will stretch where needed. The fact that the fabric is thinner, and with hardly any gap in between stitches is also a plus in my book !

RoundRug Floralie cardigan, crochet pattern by Sylvie Damey Altay1 RondPotholder JehanneCardi

5/ WORKING IN THE ROUND

Working in the round changes the visual aspect of all 3 of those stitch variations. I’ll explore this in a further episode…

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How about YOU ? Anything I forgot or didn’t see in those swatches ? Please share in the comments !

*********************************************************************************************************************************************

DC project Episode 1
DC project Episode 2
DC project Episode 3
DC project Episode 4
DC project Episode 5

WIP wednesday – purplish boxy sweater

Boxy sweater by Sylvie Damey

now testing my instructions for the boxy any-gauge sweater (obviously in dire need of a better name!) with salvaged gradient mohair yarn, in tones of purple…

let’s see if this one turns out as intended: my plan is to make a pattern which works for any weight of yarn, bulky to worsted.. and maybe more.

stay tuned.

Banner4
I’ve had this idea in the back of my mind for ages, and would love to invite you to participate in a little crochet experiment if you’re keen:

Let’s explore all the variations of the Double Crochet (treble if using UK terms), one of the most versatile and usefull crochet stitches.

We’ll see together all the differences between those variations:
– visual difference
– texture difference
– difference in measurements
– and more !

Together we’ll try to gather the implications of those differences, so as to use each type of dc for its better use.

But let’s get started ! For this series, I’ll assume you know how to chain and work a plain double crochet.
I’ll explain in pictures all the rest :-)

Dc0

First, choose your yarn. No fun fur or bouclé yarn, you want neat stitch definition for this project.
I’m using the long-discontinued Rowan “All seasons cotton”
You’ll also want to have enough of this yarn to make ALL the samples of the series. I’d say have at least 200 m…
Choose a hook which works well with this yarn: crocheted fabric should be not too tight, not too loose. I’m using a 5 mm (H) Susan Bates hook

Step 1 – REGULAR DC = DC IN BOTH LOOPS

Dc1ENGLISH

To start our sampler, Chain 22.
Turn and work a double crochet (dc) in 4th chain from hook. Then dc in each chain across. Turn work. You should have 20 sts (including initial ch3, which counts as 1st st. I know there are options for this, but let’s keep this for later)

We’re now going to insert the hook under BOTH loops of each stitch: when you look the top of the stitches, you see a “V” sitting on top of each dc. Both legs of the V = both loops.

And here’s a video I just shot to show all 3 stitch variants we’ll see today:

Next 5 rows: ch3, dc under both loops of each of next 19 sts, turn. [20 sts total]
Mark last row of regular dc with a stitch marker.

Dc4b Dc3

Sampler should look something like this… This is what is considered by many crocheters as “plain double crochet”.

Step 2 – DC in BACK LOOP

Dc5backLp

We’re now going to insert the hook under the BACK loop only of each stitch: when you look the top of the stitches, you see a “V” sitting on top of each dc. The BACK loop is the back leg of that V, sitting further away from you when holding work in front of you.

Next 6 rows: ch3, dc in the back loop only of each of next 19 sts, turn. [20 sts]
Mark last row of dc in back loop with a stitch marker.

Dc6 Dc7

Work should feature ridges with lots of texture. That’s normal, and quite typical of the dc in the back loop.

Step 3 – DC in FRONT LOOP

Dc9frontLp

We’re now going to insert the hook under the FRONT loop only of each stitch: when you look the top of the stitches, you see a “V” sitting on top of each dc. The FRONT loop is the front leg of that V, sitting closer to you when holding work in front of you. Tip: I usually turn top of work slightly toward me to make it easier to insert hook in that front loop.

Next 6 rows: ch3, dc in the front loop only of each of next 19 sts, turn. [20 sts]
Fasten off.

Dc10

Work should feature horizontal lines every second row. This is quite typical of the dc in front loop, at least when worked flat (= back and forth in rows)

Step 4 – Separating visually each variation

Now, you can admire your first 3 variations of the double crochet stitch.

Dc11Separate

However, in order to make it easier to compare each variation of double crochet just worked, I suggest you work lines of surface crochet with a contrasting color (preferably of the same yarn) in between each section.

Again, I demonstrate how to work in Surface Crochet in this video:


Holding working yarn UNDER work (= on WS), work in loose slip stitch so as not to alter width of sampler. Fasten Off.

variants of dc stitch, http://SylvieDamey.com

Ta Dam !! You’re done with the first sampler. Sit down and compare each section.

Can you spot any difference ?

Let’s meet again next week with our conclusions for Episode 2. Same day, same place !

Feel free to share your progress in comments, and photos on my Facebook page !

*********************************************************************************************************************************************
How about YOU ? Anything I forgot or didn’t see in those swatches ? Please share in the comments !
*********************************************************************************************************************************************
DC project Episode 1
DC project Episode 2
DC project Episode 3
DC project Episode 4
DC project Episode 5

Boxy crochet sweater by Sylvie Damey

Planned this one for months (maybe since last summer ?). Finally started before the holidays…
Using 3 strands of thin yarn. The grey alpaca gives it a subtle variagated effects I just love.

Boxy crochet sweater by Sylvie Damey

It’s now coming along nicely, although I’m still not too sure about the sleeves.

Let’s see where this adventure will lead…

chezplum.com - patterns design - © Sylvie Damey
 

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