Just wanted to show off my second finished work and also ask a couple of questions.
milford satin 2-ply perle no.5 and a 2.0mm hook
Original pattern: http://crochetartblog.blogspot.com.au/2013/04/crochet-doilies-free-crochet-pattern.html
I'm glad I had already done a practice one because this one took a fair amount of time and it would have been a shame if it turned out badly. The way it came out there are some flaws, but I'm pretty happy with it in general.
So, my first question is about thread/yarn. I initially thought I would be doing this in fine cotton thread. I bought #20 thread (milford mercer), but it's very 'wirey'. It's like trying to crochet with fishing line and it makes it quite loopy and unattractive. I did a few rows, but as well as being loopy, it was also quite scratchy, like a synthetic loofah. I switched to another cotton that I had bought (milford satin 2-ply perle no.5), and it was much nicer, so that's what I ended up using. It's quite nice, and ended up finer than I expected, but I'm still thinking I could have benefited from using a slightly finer one. So, I'm wondering what kind of threads/yarns would be recommended for this sort of thing. I'm quite happy with these results, and would use this stuff again, but if there is anything else that might be appropriate, I'd love to hear suggestions.
My second question is about tension. With my first doily, I found that when I used a tension that is similar to how I knit, it turned out very loose and loopy. I had already tightened up my tension, but after about 10 rows on this one, I realised it was still quite loose, so I tightened up even further. At this point I was crocheting at a tension that was so tight that the loops were actually tight on the hook and it was hard to crochet into stitches. This made it time consuming, and was feeling very hard on the joints in my fingers. I found I could loosen it slightly without compromising the apprearance, which made it a lot easier to do, but it's still very tight compared to how I knit, which is very relaxed. So I'm just wondering if that is a normal thing, that people find their crochet tension needs to be a lot tighter than their knitting tension to produce nice results.
My third question is very specific. When I do large stitches (there were a lot of double-trebles in this work) the final loop is quite loose. This is the one that lies horizontally at the top of the stitch. I have tried making sure that the yarn-overs are all tight and that they all sit parallel, because if they are diagonal, they contain more yarn which ends up making the last loop bigger. But the problem is that every time I slide them off the hook, they shrink slightly, sending a little bit of slack to the next loop. With a double-treble, this happens three times and causes the last loop to contain a lot of slack, and it makes double trebles sit very far away from each other because the horizontal loop that connects them is very large. If you look at the border of the leaf-shaped motifs in my finished work, it is made up of four double-trebles next to each other, and on the website I got the pattern from, these double-trebles are almost touching, but in mine they are separated a little because of these large loops at the top. I'm just wondering if this is a common problem and if anyone has any suggestions of how to avoid this.
Thanks in advance