Tuesday, March 2, 2010
is it a circle, or a hexagon?
Earl Lenmeyer the Flask starts with you making a flat circle for his base.
Did you say "circle"?
Then why does it look like a hexagon?
Ah, well, yes, I suppose it does. But this one doesn't.
How did you do that?
I staggered the increases.
Um, look, I know this is a flask and all, but not that kind of flask, right?
(hic) Huh? Oh, I see. Very funny. Do you wanna know how to make it round or not?
Well, yeah, but what's that got to do with you not being able to walk straight?
Nothing (hic). Nothing at all. Shall we begin?
(these directions are not exactly as the original, I've paraphrased them, using different abbreviations/notations, but the base number and the increases are the same)
First thing you need to know, when making a crochet circle: if you do the increases right on top of each other as you go around, you'll get a slight corner, or pointy bit, at each increase (increase=inc=2 sc in same stitch). Not a huge problem, unless you were really counting on having something perfectly round. Which is sort of how I am with this. Not everyone will notice, or care, but as I do, and you might, here's how it's done.
Let's use our friend the flask for an example:
Rnd 1: 6 sc in magic ring
Rnd 2: inc in ea sc around, 12 sts
Rnd 3: *1 sc, inc in next* repeated 6 times, 18 sts (to this point, there isn't anywhere to go to stagger your increases yet)
Rnd 4: *2 sc, inc in next* repeated 6 times, 24 sts (optional staggering: 1 sc, *inc, 2 sc* repeated 5 times, inc, 1 sc - 24 sts)
Rnd 5: *3 sc, inc in next* repeated 6 times, 30 sts
Rnd 6: *4 sc, inc in next* repeated 6 times, 36 sts (optional staggering: 2 sc, *inc, 4 sc* repeated 5 times, inc, 2 sc - 36 sts)
Rnd 7: *5 sc, inc in next* repeated 6 times, 42 sts
Do you see where this is going? Every other row, the increases are offset, centered in each repeated segment, instead of at the end of each segment. You don't need to stagger every Rnd, just every other increase Rnd, starting with Rnd 4.
I have sometimes started my staggering on Rnd 5 instead, but then the offset increase isn't centered between an equal number of sc. This doesn't hurt the shaping, but I can get confused when I have an odd number of sc between increases. Plus, my compulsion for symmetry is upset. However, the concept is the same, and you will still get a more circular circle, no matter which Rnd you choose to start your staggering.
Then why are you holding your head in your hands?
All this staggering is making me dizzy. Are we done?
Do you have a more circular circle?
Hey, look at that, I do!
Then, yes, we're done. Except...
What? More staggering? But I'm dizzy already!
If it helps, you have a few rounds before you have to think about it again.
Okay. So, I've got my nice circular base, and I'm starting up the sides, right? What's next?
Oh. Of course. Same concept, right?
Exactly. Do your first decrease round as written, and on the next round of decreases, center the dec in the repeated segment. Stagger every other decrease round, just like the increases.
Got it. Are we really done now?
Good. I'm going to go lie down. I need some rest before I start staggering again.
(BTW, small pattern correction: Round 2 reads "Round 2: sc in each sc around (=12)", which of course isn't possible. It should read "inc in each sc around (=12)". But I'm betting most of us were smart enough to figure that out on our own. Or, more likely, read it quickly, and read it as we expected it to be.)
(Note: if you aren't familiar with "magic ring" in crochet, click on the words, either here, or in the pattern above, and you'll be taken to a great tutorial from Planet June)
yarns used for this tut: Vanna's Choice Baby, in Little Boy Blue, Goldfish, and Pink Poodle