Why I’m not a Yarn Snob

Red Heart Super Saver and Handspun Yarn
Does this trigger the Yarn Snob in you? It shouldn’t.

Here is my yarn story for today’s Misc. Monday:  Once upon a time and for a fleeting moment shortly after I began spinning, I felt my soul being drawn towards a certain negative force.  It felt so wrong.  It’s just not who I am.  However, I couldn’t fight it.  I was being drawn into the depths of yarn hell!.  Then, like the protagonist in a shape-shifting monster anime, I resisted that negativity and regained myself.  Ahhh….  Zen….

What was this horrible force drawing me into the void, you may ask.  It was the awful enemy, “The Yarn Snob”.  It looks down on Red Heart Super Saver.  It scoffs at Lion Brand Pound of Love.  It sneers at Caron Simply Soft.  It also considers certain other yarns (depending on its branch of yarn religion) less than dirt.  It’s a horrible enemy that must be quashed!.  It must be annihilated!

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Beginner Crochet Series – Getting to Know Your Hook

Crochet hooks in the snow
Using the recent weather to my advantage

I know your first thought is to bypass this post.  Please don’t.  It’s important to know your crochet hook because it is the tool you will be using.  It is your partner in this endeavor.  It is an extension of your hand like a pencil is when you write.

In the beginning you might hate your crochet hook.  It’s awkward and doesn’t listen to what you are telling it to do.  But it’s just like picking up a pencil for the first when you were a child.  You need to train your muscles so they use the correct movements to make your stitches.

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Revisiting the Seraphina Shawl Pattern by Doni

Seraphina Shawl
Stitch detail of the Seraphina Shawl by Doni

Several years ago I wrote a blog post about the “Seraphina Shawl” by Doni.  This is my all time favorite shawl pattern.  At least six of these fantastic shawls have passed through my hooks with one or two still waiting to be finished.

If you look on the Seraphina Shawl’s Ravelry page, you will see that it is quite popular with over 1600 projects.  I’m not the only person who considers this pattern their favorite either as it’s beautiful and fun to crochet.

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WIP Tuesday – “Dimholt” by Jasmin Räsänen

Dimholt shawl WIP
Today’s WIP – The Dimholt Shawl

Good day, everyone!  Hope the beginning of your week is going well.  Today’s pattern for WIP Tuesday is something that I have been working on for several months.  It feels like a really long novel I don’t want to give up.  I’ll be sad when it’s finished because it’s such a pleasure to crochet.  What is it?  Oh, it’s a shawl called Dimholt by Jasmin Räsänen that I found on Ravelry.

The shawl is so delicate and graceful that I had to find the perfect yarn to highlight the filet crochet and lacework.  As an added bonus, the yarn I chose is a long gradient so I am not going to get bored.

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Craftsy: A Fun Place to Learn Crafting

Notebooks, pens, crochet hooks
Taking notes from my educational weekend

How was your weekend?  Mine was educational.  I streamed Craftsy classes during one of its free weekends.  It’s a great way to get tips and tricks on a large variety of crafts from baking to quilting to painting, and or course, crochet and spinning.  There are paid courses, but I found several free ones too.  Craftsy is so much more that just online classes for crafting students though.

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Introduction to My Beginner Crochet Series

Welcome to my Beginner Crochet Series!  Whether you have never picked up a crochet hook before today or you have only dabbled just a tiny bit only to have a wonky something-or-another as a result, I hope to help you learn and improve your crochet skills.

Dish cloths
Small projects like these dish cloths are a great way to feel you have achieved something when you first start crocheting.

Crochet is so much more than your Grandmother’s doilies and Granny Square afghans, though both are staples in the world of yarn.  And yes, it will take many hours of practice to master the basic stitches.  However, your biggest challenge will be training your hands and fingers to effectively use a crochet hook.  I understand you will feel awkward and clumsy in the beginning.  This is a new skill that requires fine tuning your motor skills.  And you know what?  That’s okay.  You are not a robot that lacks programming.  You are a human being that needs to make mistakes to move forward and improve yourself.

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Endlessly Wrapped Cowl – Free Pattern

This week I am pleased to introduce you to my Endlessly Wrapped Cowl.  This pattern is great for beginners since there is plenty of basic stitch practice.  It also works well if you just need a quick cowl with almost endless wearing options.  Wrap it around once, twice, or even three times.  The choice is up to you.

Endlessly Wrapped Cowl
Close up of the stitches for this pattern.

Crocheting into the back humps of the chains stitches gives you a nice braided edge to most of your projects.  If your chains are fairly consistent, the back hump should be an easy part of the stitch to identify.  Once you do a few stitches the back humps should turn to the top of your work.  Even if your chains go a bit wonky here and there, with a little tug you should be able to see them.  If you plan on adding a border to your project, this makes that task quite easy because the bottom of the chain stitches are exactly like the tops of the other stitches in crochet.

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WIP Tuesday: Cloudberry Blanket by Mijo Crochet

WIP Cloudberry Blanket
Today’s WIP: The Cloudberry Blanket by Mijo Crochet

Welcome to the first installment of WIP Tuesday!  I’m looking forward to sharing projects that are currently on my hook in the hopes you will be inspired to join me.  There is also my selfish desire to kick myself in the rear so I can finally get my ever expanding pile before my home gets taken over by the WIP Monster.

Today’s highlight is the “Cloudberry” blanket/lapghan designed by Johanna Lindahl of Mijo Crochet which caught my eye several months ago as I was browsing her website.

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Future Plans for My Website

After some well needed time alone, I am looking forward to bringing you some exciting future plans for my website.  It has been a long time coming and I am ready to begin this new adventure!

A Taste of Yarn
This is a small collection of my yarns (handspun and commercial) and the projects I am crocheting.

I’ve been trying to find a way to bring my love of crochet to others. In-person teaching has been a good way to start, but I feel that something is missing in a two hour class. Learning the very basic chain stitch is not easy for someone who has never touched a hook. The beginner is concentrating so hard on one or two steps that they can’t process the rest of the entire dance.

 

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Poncho Sleeves: Is That a Thing?

Poncho Sleeves?  Is that a thing?  Or is it an oxymoron?  Or am I just being a moron?  Hmm…  Oh well…  If it wasn’t a thing before, it is now.

This past fall as I was crocheting the Modern Granny Winter Poncho by Jeanne Steinhilber of the Crochet Crowd, I realized that it really needed to have sleeves.   The temperatures were beginning to drop, but not enough for a winter coat.  And while the cowl was keeping my neck toasty and warm, my arms were still chilled.  Rather than continuing to add round after round until the poncho became an unwieldy blanket, sleeves became the best option.Ppncho Sleeves

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