A latch hook disaster!

I’m getting so close to the end of this latch hook – I’m hoping to finish it by the end of the weekend, and for once I think this is an achievable goal.

I did hit a massive snag today though with the canvas – can you see the problem in the picture (hopefully not!) which made me scream in frustration and work out how to fix it?

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Hopefully you aren’t able to see it! In the sky, between the mountain and the tree on the right, I started that column and saw this on the canvas:

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The canvas seems to have been cut somehow! I nearly cried, because there was no way of doing those, and when I tried to do the ones around it, it pulled the rows out further due to the tugging on it.  I think I managed to fix it well though (and here’s a mini-tutorial in how to fix latch hooks while I’m at it).

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There is quite a bit of excess canvas around the edges, so I cut off a section that was a little bit bigger than the hole, and unpicked a bit more. Then I put the wool back through, but tried to pick up both canvases. It was tricky, but I mainly wanted to get it secured around the edges and work my way in.

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Then I secured it at the top, and worked my way around the edges and down towards the middle. It was still a bit tricky to do – and it’s by no means perfect, but it’s a lot better than it was and at least I haven’t had to leave any gaps!

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This is the finished section – because the wool goes in different directions, I can manipulate it a bit more to cover any gaps.

In hindsight, I would’ve (and would recommend) selected a larger piece of canvas as my ‘patch’ to cover it up more, as I had difficulties in some bits even with the double layer, as it is hard to do the edges. But, that said, here’s hoping I never come across a mystery hole in my latch hooks ever again!

Thankfully it hasn’t set me back too badly, and it taught me a new skill at least!

Fingers crossed that no more craft disasters appear any time in the near future…

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Tutorial: How to finish a Latch Hook

Well, I did it! My first official finish for 2014 – and it’s a project that I’ve had, on and off, for the last 5+ years (most likely more – I can’t remember when I first bought this kit).

I finished the Snowmen latch hook off on Saturday, but this one below I’d actually finished around about 18 months ago, and never fully completed the whole thing. Which.. was just finishing off the edges and sewing it up. In retrospect, very easy.

The latch hook kits all seem to have the same directions for finishing off a completed latch hook, and are all rather useless, hence me putting this off for so long. I tried to search YouTube, but for once it’s let me down in terms of tutorial videos. I did come across a couple of blog posts, but they were a bit tricky to follow. So, trial and error ensued, and thanks to a couple of requests, I’m detailing the process. It’s by no means perfect, but I think I did a pretty decent job for my first go!

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Decent scissors were a must, to cut through the fabric. I also used some larger needles (Chenille, Size 18, according to the packet, although it doesn’t really matter), and some DMC Perle 5 thread. Perle 8 would work just as well, I think, it’s just that Spotlight only had the colour I wanted in Perle 5.

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I started by cutting about two squares up (just under an inch?) from the edge of the completed rug area. The straight side was obviously the easiest part, and so I started with this side. You could probably go a little closer, but in the end, it didn’t make a huge difference.

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I knotted off at one end, and tucked the fabric over. Then, it was just a simple matter of going through each square, one by one. I’ve tried to get a good picture to show what I did – basically, go on the diagonal, and make it loop over. Don’t worry too much if you catch the wool – I did this quite a bit and you can’t see from the other side, as long as the needle & thread are pulled through securely.

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Sometimes the canvas can be quite thick, and doesn’t move with the stitching (see above). Just fold it down as you get to the area, and it’ll stay in place as you stitch nearer to it.

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The rounded sides were a little trickier for me, but I continued with the rough pattern of two squares around the edge.  Less is more – you can always trim it if a certain bit gets too fiddly to work with, like I did.

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I did the corners in different ways, although I didn’t get a picture of the second one. In this one, I cut it down and folded it over, to try and make it a bit neater, however it didn’t really make a huge difference – the next one, it was 2 squares on either side and folded up nicely. As long as both sides are equal, and you keep them flat when sewing, they’ll sit quite nicely.

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I admit, the rounded areas aren’t the prettiest – when it went down 1 square each row, it was neater than when it went down 2 or 3 squares. Either way, the canvas is fairly easy to manipulate, and you should be able to do some kind of stitch on each diagonal square to catch the fabric. Don’t be worried about doing extra stitches, sometimes they are needed.

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As you finish each length of thread, knot it off and start another one. The finished product should hopefully end up something like this, roughly even around the whole thing. There is latch hook/rug binding which can be purchased to sew on top and produce a more polished finish, but I didn’t bother on this one – after all, nobody’s going to be looking at the back, and this is a Christmas themed rug anyway.

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The finished product! As you can see, it tucks well under and you can’t see where the stitching has come through. Relatively quick and simple to do, for a nice finished edge all round.

Luckily, I’ve only got one more that is rounded, and the rest of my latch hooks are rectangular or square, so it’ll be a lot quicker to sew along. I do have a couple of the “huggable” latch hooks which turn into a toy which have been proving to be a bit of a challenge – if I manage to work out what on earth I’m doing with those ones, I’ll try and put up a tutorial for that one too.