17 Aug 2017 - By allthatcrochet@gmail.com

Building Up Inventory – Letter Keychains

 

As I prepare for my first craft fair, the only thing on my mind is “INVENTORY “.

The craft show is in late October, in wonderful autumn weather.  This is classic crochet weather. When I create items, my overall goal is to educate and show people that crochet is just not for cold weather wear or frilly home decor.  I demonstrate this by making things like coin purses, bags, summer tops, accessories, and usable/functional home decor items.

With this goal in mind, I ask myself again, “What do I make?”  Do I make the standard hats and scarves or create new products to show the wonders of this craft?  I decided to create new products.  I wanted to think outside the box and put a spin on existing works.

Moogly created wonderful patterns for making crochet letters, here is the link:  http://www.mooglyblog.com/the-moogly-crochet-alphabet

The pattern used worsted weight #4 yarn and an F (3.75mm) hook.  I wanted to make these into keychains and worsted weight yarn would not do at all.

The question I had when I decided to make these was what kind of yarn to use.  I knew I wanted it stiff and resistant to the elements.  My first choice… NYLON YARN.  Now the hunt begins and it ended in a very unlikely spot…. Walmart.  Walmart had a variety of sizes and colors at reasonable prices that I could purchase several sizes/colors.

OMG, it was a total fail!  No matter the size of the yarn and hook it never looked like my vision of this project.  It was floppy and the stitches never seemed to be tight enough. I had to rethink my approach.

Lionbrand has a great product for trying out new colors and materials of yarn without breaking the bank, Lionband BonBons. Here is the link to check out the fabulous color combinations – http://www.lionbrand.com/bonbonsr.html.

Unblocked Letter J

I used the 100% cotton and the 100% acrylic in yarn weight #3 (light).  The hook size E (3.50 mm) or smaller to achieve a tight looking stitch.  I liked the cotton, it was sturdy and did not have fray like the acrylic yarn.  I used cotton yarn, now, how do I make it stiff and how much will it cost me.  If I said it once, I have said it a million times – “The internet is your friend!”

There are many different types of stiffening options. The Crochet Kitten has some great recipes for permanent and non-permanent solutions.

Check her out at http://crochetkitten.blogspot.com/2013/02/stiffening-crochet-plus-stiffener.html 

The solution to my problem was an easy stiffening solution made of equal parts water and white glue and blocking.  I used 1/4 water and 1/4 white glue and mixed it in a plastic resealable container so that you can keep the solution and it will not dry out.  Soak the letter in the stiffening solution for about 5 minutes to have the glue soak into the fibers.  

Glue Solution
Soaking Letter in glue solution

Slightly squeeze out the excess glue solution and block.  Let it dry, add a keychain ring, and there you have it.

Blocking letter J

~My lessons learned~

-Cotton yarn works best for better look after the stiffening blocking

-Make sure you keep track of your row count.  The rows can sometimes get difficult to see.

-Use plastic wrap on your blocking board.  It will make it easier to remove the letter after it’s dry.

-Stretch your fingers and thumbs in between letters.  The yarn is thin and the hook is small, even with an ergonomic hook it can still create fatigue.

 

You may sell items made from this pattern, but please credit me as the original designer.  Also, please do not share the written pattern in print or electronically.  The photos on this webpage belong to All That Crochet  and may not be used for product sales/product listings.  You may share a link back to my blog if you would like someone else to see or work with this pattern.  Thank you for your cooperation and if you have any questions please feel free to contact me!

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