Getting There!

Due to the British Grand Prix being on this weekend I am putting this post together on Monday instead of over the weekend so some of the photographs especially those at the end were created rather quickly (not tutorial standard) but I think they give the idea.

Thank you for putting up with my rant last week.

Never one to give up easily, especially when the alternative would be using up the yarn already purchased by making three shawls. I persisted with the sleeve and decided that I had at last found a way to keep the tension even.

Now when I made the small sample my tension seemed perfect but having crocheted 50 rows I found that I am actually about 10% smaller than what might be expected, though with the created fabric so stretchy it is hard to be sure. However my daughter was afraid that the coat might end up too big since there is four inches between sizes and I had to choose the medium, so this is not a problem.

The big test was coming up when I had to add length both ends.

Now the first addition had to be done by crocheting into the back of a chain and I knew I had found that almost impossible. So what to do.

I realised that if I crocheted round a long thin straight something, like a knitting needle that I could capture the back loop as I went and that is what I did.

While waiting for a response from my daughter on the question of sleeve length, I decided to work a small sample of what had to be done to extend.


Just seventeen stiches in the centre and an added seventeen each end,

Finding that It worked out alright, I started on the real thing.

back loops on knitting needle
Back loops on a knitting needle

Interestingly, with my new method for the crocheting into a chain, it was the FTSS (Foundation Tunisian Simple Stitch) that was the most difficult. Again it is the yarn that is causing me problems. I breathed a sigh of relief when I had finally finished extending, only to realise that I was going have to repeat the exercise a few more times because of the splits in the skirt of the coat.

I have only been reading the parts of the pattern that I need in the immediate future rather than all the way through so I didn’t fee, too daunted.

However in spite of my troubles, eventually I had extended to the 230 stitches necessary and was ready for the return pass..

stitches ready to return pass

I then worked a few rows.

first few extended rows completed

Just another few more and there is reducing and more extending.

Whether I will have got that far by next week is uncertain as working slowly and carefully but occasionally making mistakes on the first pass, it takes about forty five minutes or so for the first pass and fifteen to thirty for the return. So not sure if I will complete more than a row a day. With the hot weather I may even have to give it a miss.

For anyone who has my problem with finding the back loop on a chain with tricky yarn, here are a few photographs accompanying an explanation of what I found I could do.

Using normal DK yarn a no. 11 knitting needle and my 6.5mm Tunisian crochet hook. For no particular reason, except that they were handy and the no. 11 knitting needle was the one I chose to use for extending the coat. It could have been a normal hook.

You have to make the slip stitch as normal and work a chain as normal then slip the knitting needle (piece of wire or similar) from front to back through the back loop of the chain just made.

needle in back loop

After that, and it is a bit tricky but worth it if anything else is impossible, you pull the yarn behind the needle and using the hook in front of the needle,

yarn and hook in place

pull through a chain.

another chain madereplace yarn behind needle and hook in front and repeat until you have as many chains as you want.

four chains on needle

I did it this way because if seemed more natural to see the right hand side of the back loop to the right but if you prefer you can have the yarn at the front and hook the chains from the back and get a similar result with the loops just angled the other way.

three chains on needle done other way.

The loops have to come off the needle before you can work into them but done slowly it worked for me. You do want to use a thin needle not to add too much yarn to the chains. But on the other hand, if you are someone like me who often finds they need to use a larger hook for the chain to be able to work into the back loops this can be an asset. I used the same hook to work the chains as I am using for the coat.

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