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Posts Tagged ‘Crochet!’
I’ve realized lately that every time I check my social media sites, the first thing I do is see what WEBS is doing there. There is a rich treasure trove of websites that are devoted to putting people in touch with other people, and you can find someone, for instance, who is a left-handed crocheter who only does stuffed animals in the blink of an eye. Knitting is a pretty social craft, as is crochet; less so, unfortunately, are weaving and spinning. Weavers and spinners, I know you are lovely and sociable, but there aren’t many sightings of folks dragging an 8-harness loom to the local Starbucks for Craft Night. In that way, sometimes it’s easier for knitters and crocheters who don’t know each other to get to know each other. I thought I’d walk you through our social media sites so that you can check out what we post, and who talks to whom through our newsfeed. In this post, I’ll spotlight Ravelry and Facebook, and in some subsequent posts, I’ll walk you through some of our other social media platforms.
No mention of fiber social media is complete without Ravelry. This is the first place I look each day. I check our “All Things WEBS” group to see how the knitters and crocheters doing our Mystery Knit-A-Long and Mystery Crochet-A-Long are doing, what new yarns or needles have been added to our Anniversary Sale, or any information about store events that I might have missed. You can also search for Valley Yarns patterns, or see if anyone is knitting the same design you are, and if they made any modifications to the pattern. You can see how many folks are using Valley Yarns for different projects. And, best of all (to me), you can search for a group that might be tailored to your own particular interest. Once again, left-handed crocheters, I just searched and found not one, but TWO groups devoted to left-handed crocheters, both with large memberships. It’s a wonderful time-suck, and in my position as Education Manager, I’ve tracked down guest teachers, connected with students who’ve requested interesting class ideas, found some great designs to have our instructors use as teaching ideas, and lots more.
Facebook is a great place to find information but it’s also a fun place to find interesting blog posts from other designers and yarn companies, see some deals before they make it onto the website, and hear from our customers around the world. Dena, who manages our social media presence on all sites, manages to find the most beautiful images our in-house photo and video team has produced to complement each post. I love to read the comments folks post about what we share on Facebook; I’ve learned about locally-sourced, allergy-free yarn as well as some variations on Tunisian Simple Crochet stitch from various customers who chime in with their knowledge from time to time.
April has arrived already and the next design from Doris Chan is here! The Motif Bolero is crocheted in two colors of our Valley Yarns Charlemont, a lovely sock/fingering weight blend of superwash Merino wool and silk, the color sequence tends to emphasize the geometry of the motifs. For a less patchwork look go with a single shade, or choose your own color combination!
The Motif Bolero is a unique, open-front jacket constructed from granny-style motifs that have been updated with open stitch rounds for a lacy look and pretty drape. Pentagons form the V-neck and shaped shoulders. Squares fill in the underarms and complete the boxy body, which falls just below the waist.
This is a great piece to layer for Spring. Pair this little jacket with a flirty spring dress or your favorite t-shirt and jeans. What colors of Charlemont will you choose?
In the store’s final salute to National Crochet Month, I’d like to share a terrific garment made by Connie Chisholm. Connie states that she stopped by WEBS to pick up 10 skeins of Universal Yarn’s Classic Worsted Tapestry. This yarn is no longer available, but using Universal’s Classic Worsted will yield the same beautiful results. Originally, her idea was to crochet an afghan. That plan evolved a few times and the final result is a tunic-length pullover which Connie designed herself using a double crochet stitch. You can read all the details about Connie’s first sweater on her Ravelry page.
Connie says that she loves to crochet because it allows her to design creatively and that “all you need is an idea, patience and time to enjoy the process.” Connie’s garment clearly demonstrates her enthusiasm for crochet and her design skills too.
Changing color in a crochet project can seem like a really tricky bit of maneuvering if you’ve never done it before but it truly is simple! The key is to stop using your old color before you do the LAST YARN OVER of the last stitch in your old color. The last yarn over should be completed in your new color!
1. You will start one stitch before your color change actually starts (here we’re demonstrating in single crochet)
2. Insert your hook into the next stitch
3. Yarn over
4. Bring up a loop
1. With the new color, fold the yarn over to form a loop, leaving about a 6 inch tail
2. Grab the new color loop with your hook
3. Pull that loop through the 2 loops already on your hook
4. Continue working with just the new color (you can see the new stitch in the new color)
And now you’re set up to work over your tails. What do I mean by that? One of the great things about solid stitch patterns in crochet is that you can crochet your stitches right over your tails and not have to worry about weaving them in!
1. bring the tail of your new and old color across the top of the row of stitches that you’re working into
2. Now hold those tail in place but FORGET that they’re there! Just pretend that they are part of the tops of the stitches in the row below
3. Insert your hook into the next stitch the same way you always do – see how the hook goes under the tails as well?
4. Yarn over your hook, just as you always do. You can see, highlighted in red, that your yarn over has gone over the tails, essentially locking them down to the top of the row below
2. Yarn over one last time – here you can see that the tails are actually inside the stitch!
3. Once that stitch is finished you can’t even see those tails
4. Keep trapping those tails inside your work for a few inches and you can cut those tails and move along!
Do you change colors this way? Do you crochet over your tails?
As we celebrate National Crochet Month we thought it would be a great time to look a little more closely at our Crossroads Pullover.
The Valley Yarns Crossroads Pullover is made with two squares that grow from the center-out, to create this ingenious and easy to crochet tee. A draped V-neck on the front and back create a flattering, adjustable neckline as well as cap sleeves, all without additional shaping. Finish it off with four simple seams and you have have a new wardrobe staple that’s perfect for almost any occasion.
Crocheted in Valley Yarns 2/10 Merino Tencel you get the benefit of the bounce and memory of the merino paired with the shine and drape of the tencel. Fine yarn and a loose gauge create a sheer, lacy fabric that’s great for layering.
We’d love to see your finished garments! Anytime you’ve made a Valley Yarns pattern be sure to tag it with #VYwearit We may feature you here on the blog, highlight you on Facebook, or repost you on Instagram!
I should probably start by saying that I am a life-long knitter. My passion for playing with two sticks and some string has been with me for as long as I can remember. In fact, I was crafting with yarn long before my grandmother ever taught me to knit. So it seems odd to me, in retrospect, that my deep and abiding love of all things yarn never made the jump to crochet. Perhaps it’s because there simply wasn’t a crocheter close at hand to steer me in that direction. At any rate, as time went on, I found that I was quite happy knitting away and gave very little thought to including crochet in my skill set.
Since joining the team at WEBS, however, I have found that it just might be helpful to have some understanding of the crochet questions and conundrums that arise from time to time, and in order to do that, I should probably begin to acquire some functional knowledge of the craft. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got the conceptual basics down, you know, things like: crochet projects require more yarn than knitting projects; recommending the proper hook size for a particular yarn; and making (very) basic estimates about gauge. Herein was the sum total of my understanding of crochet. Until now.
Over the past month or two, I have begun a new adventure into the world of chains and half-double crochets, and find myself chomping at the bit to unravel such mysteries as pattern reading and crocheted lace. Fortunately, I am firmly committed to the notion of swatching as a means of acquiring skill, and I have created several lovely (and with mostly straight edges, I might add) single crochet swatches. Feeling confident that it is time to expand my repertoire, I am celebrating National Crochet Month by incorporating a new stitch or two into my next few swatches and investigating our crochet class offerings here at WEBS. How lucky I am to spend my days in the company of truly accomplished crocheters who are happy to answer questions and take the time to help a newbie progress. Whenever I get stuck or make a mess (I even crocheted so tightly that I once broke my swatch – don’t ask), my co-workers patiently get me back on track and tell me how well I’m doing. Encouragement for which I am truly grateful. They point me in the direction of the instructional videos on our website, suggest wonderful tools of the trade (the Knitter’s Pride Dreamz hooks are my favorites so far), and some beautiful patterns to whet my appetite – Valley Yarns Crocus Lace Stole and Fluvial by ChickenBetty both have piqued my interest. They tell me the motion of the hook and my tension will begin to feel more comfortable soon, it just takes a bit of practice. I know they’re right, after all, I’ve said very similar words to many a burgeoning knitter. I just have to relax and and enjoy the process.
The long winter has me itching to start new things, which is terrible for my WIP list, but great for discovering new (and new to me) patterns. Since March is National Crochet Month, I decided maybe I’d flex my crochet muscles and took a peek at what we have for crochet PDF patterns. I love PDF patterns for several reasons. They don’t clutter up my house, I can store them on my phone or iPad, so I have them right there with me, and I can make notes on the patterns with several of the PDF apps that are out there (and save my notes for future projects).
Perusing our collection of PDF crochet patterns, I have encountered a small problem. I want to make every pattern I’ve looked at. I guess I haven’t been keeping up with our PDF patterns because, wow! There are some incredible patterns available.
I’m a big fan of hats, because I’m often cold, and if you’re having a less than stellar hair day, you can always throw a hat on! Sweet Clementine by ChickenBetty (who happens to be our own Sara Delaney) is high on my to-crochet list. I have loads of Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool in my stash, and already have two hats made from it, so I know it’s great for just this purpose.
I want to crochet every single one of the adorable amigurumi patterns from Fresh Stitches by Stacy Trock. Flavia the Unicorn, Forrest the Gnome, Murray the Squirrel, Jackie the Cow, the Choose Your Own Adventure Dragon – I don’t know where to start! These are a great gift for your favorite child. One of my favorites (my godson) is turning two later this month, and he may be getting at least one of these as part of his gift.
All the time I’ve been spending inside lately has made me want to make some changes around the house, and Linda Permann, in addition to having some spectacular garment and accessory patterns (we did a CAL with her Sugar Sparkles Shawlette), has a lovely pillow that I can picture on my couches. The Everyday Lace Pillow has a fabric cover underneath, and since I’ve also been dabbling in some sewing, this project will be a great way for me to combine that in.
What PDF patterns do you want to download right now and start?
Of every shape and color! Whether you use a traditional hook, or prefer tunisian, we have a hook to fit your style.
From the classic Susan Bates Silvalume and Quicksilver hooks, to steel hooks for fine thread work and large plastic hooks for for super bulky and rug working projects you’re sure to find the crochet tools you’ll need on our site or in our retail store.
Skacel offers some great hook options in their addi line. The color coded hooks are available individually and in a full set. Their ergonomically shaped Swing hooks can help ease hand strain and they even have a set of click hooks for your tunisian work.
Knitter’s Pride offers an almost unbelievable assortment of hooks. In the Dreamz line you have individual classic hooks and tunisian hooks as well as full classic sets and tunisian sets and you can purchase additional cables for your tunisian hooks. the also offer a specialty Symfonie Rose set with decorative Swarovski Crystals. Their newest Waves hooks feature color coded comfort grips and are also available individually and as a set. There’s also the line of Bamboo hooks, individual or in sets and as well as individual tunisian hooks and tunisian hook sets.
Do you have a go-to hook brand? Do you change it up based on the project or fiber your using? Tell us all about your favorite hooks!
We’re always excited when March rolls around and we have the added incentive to feature extra crochet content! While we do work to make sure that crochet is represented throughout the year it’s really nice to make it our focus for a month each year.
We’ll be talking about the different crochet hooks we carry, we’re introducing a new styling guide on the blog for our Valley Yarns patterns and the first featured pattern is crochet. Our Ask WEBS posts will focus on answering your crochet questions this month, and we’ll launch the 2nd square in our WEBS Mystery Crochet-a-Long (It’s not too late to get started, you can join the CAL at anytime!)
Be sure to check out the hundreds of crochet patterns available on our website, with almost 200 FREE crochet patterns there’s sure to be something for everybody. And if you’re able to visit our retail store this month be sure to check the yarn swatches for all our new yarns, there are knit and crochet swatches for each!