Leisure Arts Baby AfghansREGARDING CROCHET BOOKS and cookbooks, if I spent less time day-dreaming over the patterns or menus, and more time making them, I would have a whole lot more to show for myself. I have had the Leisure Arts book Our Best BABY AFGHANS for a long time - its copyright is 1996.

Here’s the thing. Every time I look through the book, I stop on the page titled Itsy Bitsy Spiderweb. I love that pattern, light and airy and very different from the aran or fisherman crochet blankets that I usually make. Yet, I haven’t made it. Yesterday, when I stumbled on the book and pattern again, I decided to just do it.  I am between projects, I have enough new exquisite pink Wendy Peter Pan DK yarn (that I love), and I have no excuses.

Last night I made my gauge swatch, 16 double crochet and 10 rows equal 4 inches. I achieved perfection with a G hook. Then I realized that I would have to deal with those awful turning chains at the end of each row: the holes they leave and the annoyance of digging into them. Thankfully, I also remembered another book that I have been consulting off and on for about a year, Lily Chin’s Crochet Tips and Tricks.

Book, Yarn and PatternLily gives a great tip to avoid the space at the beginning of half double and double crochet rows. The tip is on pages 128 and 129 of this down-to-earth volume. It eliminates the holes, and the annoyance of trying to stitch into a turning chain that is counted as the first half double or double crochet.

It works! I could see how much better the sides of my project will look and how much neater and easier the edging will be. I don’t think that I can share the tip in a public post without permission but the book is probably in your library or on the shelves of one of the big book stores in your area.

Tonight I begin with enthusiasm: a new pattern, beautiful yarn, and a tip from a pro. This is going to be fun. I’ll share my progress in this post.

All is well ~ Mary

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