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Tips & Tricks

Scheepjes CAL 2014 - Tips & tricks by wink

How to start with a magic ring

  1. Lay out your yarn like in the picture of the file below.
  2. Grab it where the yarn crosses, and hold it between your fingers.
  3. With your hook, pull the strand on the right trough the loop, and make a stitch.
  4. Start working the first round of the square. Work your stitches around both strands.
  5. Pull on the tail of the ring to close it; this makes sure there is no hole in the center.
  6. Close the round with a slip stitch.

How to do the invisible join

  1. Don’t join your last round with a slip stitch.
  2. Cut the yarn and pull out the loop on your hook.
  3. Thread the yarn end through your needle.
  4. Insert your needle from front to back through the top of the first dc (skip the chain 3).
  5. Insert your needle through the back loop of the last dc you made.
  6. Sew in the end at the back and voila! A perfect finish to your square!

How to join a new colour

When joining a new colour, you can use a standing stitch. Use the invisible join on the last round of your square first. Grab the new colour and start with a slip knot on your hook.

Now begin your stitch like you normally would. It’s that easy!

To join the round, simply slip stitch into the top of the first stitch. I usually slip stitch through the back loop only.

How to block your project

Using blocking mats and pins (I use KnitPro), stretch out your square gently and pin in place. I usually put 4 pins in the corners, and 4 on the sides. Make sure you don’t stretch your square out too much; the sides should remain mostly straight.

Spray your square with water from a spray bottle. I add a little Eucalan to my water; this is optional (but gives it a very nice scent). You can use warm or tepid water; this makes your project dry faster.

When your square is dry, remove the pins and remove the square from the blocking board.

Crochet stitches conversion chart

The patterns for the CAL are written using US terms and abbreviations. If you’re more comfortable with UK terms, here’s a neat conversion chart.

US terms
UK terms
single crochet (sc)
double crochet (dc)
half double crochet (hdc)
half double crochet (hdc)
double crochet (dc)
treble crochet (tr)
treble crochet (tr)
double treble (dtr)
double treble (dtr)
triple treble (trtr)

Crochet hook conversion chart

Europeans have a different way of sizing their crochet hooks. If you’re in the US, here’s a conversion chart for sizing.

European sizing
US sizing
2 mm
2,5 mm
3 mm
3,25 mm
3,5 mm
4 mm
4,5 mm
5 mm
5,5 mm
6 mm
6,5 mm
7 mm
8 mm
9 mm
10 mm
12 mm

General tips

  • Read through the pattern at least once before you start.
  • If the amount of squares you have to make in a week seems daunting to you, try to make one square a day. I like to crochet on my sofa in front of the TV with a nice cup of tea; and before I know it, all my squares are finished!
  • Make sure you have a good light source near you when you work at night. You need to be able to clearly see your stitches. Squinting to see is never good for your eyes, nor your work!
  • Take breaks if your hands, arms or shoulders start to feel sore. Trust me on this one. Get up every once in a while, take a short walk, drink another cup of tea and resume crocheting. I crochet for about 1 hour at a time before I take a break. If you do feel any discomfort, stop immediately.
  • Feel free to use any colour (but leave colour 726 from kit 1 and 717 from kit 2; these are the colours that you have 4 balls of).
  • Choose the most comfy place in the house to crochet. Like a sofa, that nice big chair by the window, your bed perhaps - all to make sure you will stay comfortable while you work.
  • Sew in the ends right after you finish your square.
  • I usually block my squares right after I’m done making them, so I block as I go. You could of course block all of your squares at once, but you’d need a lot of blocking boards and pins!
  • The aim of this CAL is to let out your creative side, so choose any colours you like! You can even combine multiple colours in one square. Try to come up with surprising colour combinations. The sky is the limit!
  • Have fun! :)
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