For the past two years, I have judged Knitting at the Sonoma County Fair in California.
This year I was asked to be the judge for Crochet.
These three experiences have been very interesting for me.
All of the projects were done by amateurs, but does amateur work mean not well done? Absolutely not!
Some of the items were wonderful, and showed close attention to detail. I wish I had pictures to show you.
Some others had problems and although designs were beautiful, I could not give them any ribbons.
As a judge, I always look for good workmanship, nicely finished projects,
and I try to be impartial to the colors and patterns used.
I thought it would be beneficial, if I share with you my view of a good workmanship.
In my view, there are several factors that separate the winners from the others.
These factors apply not only to Knitting and Crochet, they apply to Silk Ribbon Embroidery too.
Nazanin S. Fard
- The winners never tie a knot when they switch from one color to another,
or when they start using a new skein of yarn or another piece of ribbon.
Instead of tying a knot, for Knitting simply stop working when you have about 5" (13 cm)
left of your old yarn. Start a new skein, hold the tail of the old yarn with the stitches
and knit it in with the next four or five stitches.
For Crochet, hold the old yarn close to your work and stitch over the tail at the same time as you work.
Let the ends hang and then hide them while you finish your work.
Of course this is just one way of doing it, you might find other ways if you search around.
For Silk Ribbon Embroidery, use the "Soft Knot" described in our library and
for sewing with thread, simply hold the tail close to your work and stitch over the tails.
When you work so hard, don't you think a knot sticking out of your work,
will ruin the whole effect?
- As I discussed in previous issues of this newsletters, blocking is very important.
It will give your work a finished look. Some people think crochet does not need any blocking.
Block a swatch and see the difference for yourself.
- Seaming is very important too.
In some cases, I could stick my fingers between stitches in the seams.
Be careful about the technique you choose.
Clearly, Back Stitching is not a good choice for heavy sweaters because it creates a bulky seam.
Choose one that gives you a smoother, less noticeable seam.
- Use products that are suitable for your project type.
For instance, using Acrylic yarn is not a good idea for knitting or crocheting potholders and trivets.
First time you use them, they melt and create a mess.
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