Sunday, March 4, 2012

HELP! My Crochet Looks Like Swiss Cheese

This is one of 2 tutorials that I will be putting up today.
Often a tutorial comes out of necessity, other times out of a single question... this one, because of a custom order recently completed.

A few weeks ago, I received an eMail addressing BLO (back loops only) and if I could complete a project  for several baby items (a blanket, binkey & bottle) using only Back Loops.  I thought it strange but took the commission and completed the job.  When the client received her completed order, she wrote me again asking me HOW I was able to get it done without it looking like "Swiss Cheese".  
The issue was that when my client attempted to crochet using the back loops, there were gaping holes in the work that were aesthetically unsatisfactory.

Working in back loops only can be a bit tricky if you don't want your completed project looking more like a doily rather than a stuffed toy or 'plush blanket'..
Here I will show you how to tighten up those gaps.

Crocheting a pattern which is a round, let's say Rnd 1 = 6, Rnd 2 = 12 and so on up to 30 sts (which is only as far as I made this tutorial) and working in BLO (back loops only)

Rnd 1:  Nothing new here, begin your project how you would usually start any project by either crocheting a 2 chain and beginning your work in the 2nd chain from the hook - or using one of the 'magic circle' starts.

The photo here, is obviously more than just the first round - however I wanted to have a large enough space to work to be able to show you exactly what I had done for the previous 2 rounds - so I changed to a variegated yarn ..

You can tell from the ridge lines of the unworked front loops, I am working on Rnd 4 by the time of this photo.. but once you understand where you should be placing your stitches, this will not matter!

Now, in the photo above, this is the stitch that most people go through and think, "okay, that's the back loop, that is the one I am supposed to use.. I'm good"
.. but if you look a little harder... you can actually SEE 3 possibly workable loops to use.. 

So, anyone who's read my tutorial on chain starts.. yup, you know where I am going!
You take advantage of this 'hump' for a fuller stitch that creates less drag and pull!

Now, that looks like any other normal single crochet stitch that you would make, but.. it's not!  
You are crocheting in the back loop only of the current round, if my hook wasn't pressing against it, you would be able so see the front loop - unworked..

Well, doesn't that mess things up over all?  I mean, if you are using the hump... doesn't it mess up somewhere?  Does it make your round smaller?  Bigger?
Judge for yourself - here is the "wrong side" of the work ...  (as you can tell from my sloppy, unruly tails, waving to the camera)

and here they are side by side...

Try it for yourself.  The hardest part of this method, will be retraining yourself of the habit of using a single strand of yarn to hold a stitch.  :)


Erins Toy Store said...

I should probably have known that already but alas I didn't. :P Thank you so much!!! That really helps. I too had "Swiss cheese" when working in BLO before.


LindaHensens said...

LOL! I still have swiss cheese. Man, I wish you had a video of this that I could physically watch you do over and over.. Do you have a YouTube channel where you share your wisdom of Amigurumi? Please? I think I could get it if I could watch you do it and mimic your moves several times. There are some Amigurumi videos over there, but nothing as cute as your stuff. :) I just LOVE JellyBean, Peeps, and Benton.. Too precious!

K4TT said...

Sorry Linda, I don't do YouTube..
There is always so much commotion going on in my home that I never get a 'quiet' time long enough to make anything that could involve sound.. LOL
patience, practice and persistence.. it's all you need.

Robin (RsIslandCrafts) said...

Love it! I am always concerned about the strength of the item when using back loop only. If it is a blanket I always worry that it will stretch since it doesn't have the security of using both loops. Your way will solve that problem. Thanks!

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