I am A #HumansThatYarn

Humans that yarn. Sounds like an interesting caption, but to the Craft Yarn Council it is a bit more than that.

The Craft Yarn Council is a nonprofit organization that is designed to promote all things yarn that includes certifying knitting and crochet instructors….it is an interesting course that I completed of crochet in 2012, and really has helped me to teach crochet more effectively. (You can find information about the program here). The Humans that Yarn campaign is an effort by this organization to hear the voices of those that craft with yarn.

Often as crocheters it seems like we are defined by the fact that we are not knitters, and this campaign gives us an opportunity to talk about who we are and what yarn means to us, so I thought I would share my thoughts.

For me I really do not remember a time in my life without yarn somewhere around. As I have talked about in the past I taught myself to crochet at the age 10 from a book, but it wasn’t from a true desire to crochet as much as it was to learn and create. It just happened that I had access to yarn, hooks and the book.

Most of my yarn came from others. Other people would give me there left over scraps and partial skeins. There was a time when I finally committed to creating my first afghan that I convinced my mom to allow me to purchase some yarn. I remember spending time going over patterns finding the one that I wanted to create. I remember standing in the aisle of the store putting various combinations of yarn together to find the perfect colors. I remember asking my mom’s advice on the color selection, she after all as in many different art classes at the time.

Yet yarn is not just a memory for me. It is a way of moving my hands and keeping my mind flowing it is being productive in even the most likely of times.

It might be that I tend to want to do or experience things that no one would quite expect to look at me. No one in grade school would expect me to be crocheting, I had many friends in high school look at me like I was crazy when they found out…although many still have the afghan I made them. I guess I liked a bit of the awe factor. Not fitting into any particular mold…I still find it appealing.

People that know me are no longer surprised by the crocheting, but they tell me they are inspired by my designing, teaching and taking it on as a business. The title “Crochet Designers” does garner surprise from people I meet, as they never thought of any career like it.

So I guess, my easiest summation for Who am I? when considering Humans that Yarn, I am contrite wanting to be different and a bit surprising while utilizing a common craft.

Share your #HumasthatYarn story, Who are You?

Christmas In July -Slight Trail Men’s Gloves- Free Pattern

As part of the Christmas in July Crochet Along, I am happy to share Slight Trail Men’s Gloves as a free pattern for you!


Check out more Christmas in July patterns as well as giveaways here

 

Slight Trail Men’s Gloves by: Linda Dean

Fingered gloves are a must during the cold months, and are easier then they look! This simple stitch pattern offers a unique texture that gives the gloves just enough stretch.

Skill Level: Intermediate

Finished Size: men’s size gloves-10” circumference

Materials List:

  • Size I/9/5.5mm hook or hook size needed to obtain gauge
  • 1 skein of Lisa Souza Baby Alpaca Sport, sport weight,  100% Baby Alpaca Yarn (330yds/3.4 oz)  (www.lisaknit.com)
  • Stitch Marker
  • Tapestry needle

Gauge:  8 st /10 rows =2”

Pattern Note/Special Stitches

Glove are worked in a continuous spiral, there is no joining. Use stitch marker to indicate end of round.

Pattern worked in round has single crochet stitches stacked upon single crochet stitches in the back loop, and single crochet in the back loop stitches stacked upon single crochet stitches.

Magic Loop: Create a loop with yarn, inset hook, yarn over and pull through a loop, work indicated stitches in loop, pull the “tail” end of the loop to tighten.

Abbreviations:

ch: chain

rem: remaining

rep: repeat

sc: single crochet

sl st: slip stitch

sk: skip

sp: space

st(s): stitch(es)

Gloves (Make 2)

Cuff

Row 1 : Ch 10, working in back bump only, sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in each back bump across, ch 1, turn. (9 sc)

Rows 2-39: Sc in each back loop across, ch 1, turn.

Hand

Rnd 1: Turn cuff so that ends of fabric (Rows 1 and 39) are touching forming a tube, crocheting in the ends of the rows, sc in the end of each round. 39 sc

Rnd 2: *Sc in next 3 sts, sc in back loop of next 3 sts; rep from * 6 times, sc in next 3 sts.

Rnd 3: *Sc in back loop of next 3 sts, sc in next 3 sts; rep from * 6 times, sc in back loop of next 3 sts.

Rnds 4-16: Rep Rnds 2 & 3, ending with a repeat of Rnd 2.

Rnd 17: Ch 9, sk next 6 sts, *sc in back loop of next 3 sts, sc in next 3 sts; rep from * around. 33 sc and 1 ch-9 sp

Rnd 18: 9 sc in ch-10 sp, *sc in next 3 sts, sc in back loop of next 3 sts; rep from * around. 42 sc

Rnd 19: *Sc in back loop of next 3 sts, sc in next 3 sts; rep from * around.

Rnd 20: *Sc in next 3 sts, sc in back loop of next 3 sts; rep from * around.

Rnds 21-28: Rep Rnds 19 & 20

Index Finger

Rnd 1: Sc in back loop of next 6 sts, turn glove over, working in 7th stitch from end, sc in back loop, sc in back loop of next 6 sts. 13 sc

Rnd 2: Sc in back loop of each st around.

Rnd 3-16: Rep Rnd 2. Finish off, using yarn needle weave end through each stitch in last round and pull tight, sewing end closed.  

The rest of the fingers, with the exception of the thumb, start by working into Rnd 28 of the hand. Start with the glove positioned so that the index finger is to the right. (For left handed crocheters the index finger should be to the left).

Middle Finger

Rnd 1: Join yarn with sc in same st as last st for index finger on same side, sc in back loop of next 7 sts, sk next 19 sts, sc in back loop of next 5 sts, sc in next st (that was used in previous finger).  13 sc

Rnd 2: Sc in back loop of each st around.

Rnd 3-18: Rep Rnd 2. Finish off, using yarn needle weave end through each stitch in last round and pull tight, sewing end closed.  

Ring Finger

Rnd 1: Join yarn with sc in same st as last st for middle finger on same side, sc in back loop of next 7 sts, sk next 8 sts, sc in next st, sc in back loop of next 4 sts, sc in next st (that was used in previous finger).  13 sc

Rnd 2: Sc in back loop of each st around.

Rnd 3-16: Rep Rnd 2. Finish off, using yarn needle weave end through each stitch in last round and pull tight, sewing end closed.  

Pinkie Finger

Rnd 1: Join yarn with sc in same st as last st for middle finger on same side, (sc in back loop of next 7 sts, sc in next st (that was used in previous finger).  10 sc

Rnd 2: Sc in back loop of each st around.

Rnd 3-12: Rep Rnd 2. Finish off, using yarn needle weave end through each stitch in last round and pull tight, sewing end closed.  

Thumb:

Rnd 1: Working in sk sts of Rnd 17 of Hand, sc in back loop of each st, evenly work 9 sc in bottom side of ch-9. (15 sts)

Rnd 2: *Sc in back loop of each st around.

Rnd 3-14: Rep Rond 2. Finish off, using yarn needle weave end through each stitch in last round and pull tight, sewing end closed.  (note optional for texting thumbs, simply weave in end, not closing top of thumb)

Tissue Paper Yarn Dyeing

Dyeing yarn with tissue paper? Yeah, it sounds a bit unusual, however I have been busy playing with all kinds of dyeing approaches this last week as I get ready for a class I am teaching in two weeks at the Crochet Guild of America’s Chainlink Conference.

I have been working with food coloring and Easter egg dyes, while dabbling with Kool Aid. I have been playing with multiple protein based fibers (yarns that are made from animal fibers, like wool, alpaca, silk, mohair, etc.), but it was trying to find something in my closet that sparked me in a little different direction.

I tend to be a person that doesn’t really throw much out, if I can find another purpose for it I will hold on to it to use it in the future, so tissue paper from gifts gets saved. When digging through the closet I found a stack of this saved tissue paper and I began to wonder….Can I dye with this?

The answer…YES!

I began by soaking the yarn in a bath of water and citric acid (1 teaspoon citric acid to 4 cups of water), you can use white vinegar instead of citric acid if you like (1/4 cup white vinegar to 4 cups of water), then I wrapped various pieces of colored tissue around the yarn. After covering the yarn with paper I placed it in a microwavable bowl and added some of the water/acid solution. I placed it in the microwave for 2 minutes, took it out and waited.

I have to wait after removing it from the microwave, frankly because I do not like to burn myself. After it cooled down a bit I removed the tissue paper and rinsed out the yarn. I was impressed. Some colors bonded to the yarn better than others, but that could be because I had some different quality papers. There was some white space, and different colors in different patches. Offering a bit of a kaleidoscope of possibilities.

I am continuing to play with this technique, and currently find a vast amount of ideas just bubbling to the surface. I am sure that by the time my workshop comes around in a few weeks I will have a very contagious attitude to share with my students!

Excursion Wrap! This Is A Show Stopper!

I love when a design comes out like I was hoping! Excursion Wrap came out just as I envisioned, okay, better than I could have hoped. I saw this design in my mind as soon as I laid hands on the yarn, it just came to me and I had to find a way to get it worked up in the stitches.

Excursion Wrap

That is not to say that it came out perfectly in just one try, I ripped things back several times. I played with some different combinations of stitches and color sequins before finally landing on the perfection, and the difficulty of using multiple color rows and designing like this is when ripping back I end up with many more ends to weave in….some right in the middle of rows, as I ensure the use of all the yarn.

The wrap is worked in 2 contrasting colors, which offer a bold definition of the design. The yarn is Silk Baby Camel by Lisa Souza Dyeworks, and is lusciously yummy! It is soft, but with nice structure, making it a dream to work with. Being that the pattern only takes 2 skeins, it is manageable in both crocheting and in cost.

The lacy ripple pattern is worked as a 3 row repeat, so it is simple to memorize yet keeps the pattern engaging. So you can work the stitch pattern successfully without getting bored with it.

The color sequencing is what really brings this design to life, it demands the eye to transverse the entire piece and then to look again. The altering of the stitch pattern and the colors offers a cascading effect of interest that will definitely have you garnering praise.

This wrap is a show stopper, one that makes people stop and admire your handiwork. I already have plans to work up this design a couple of more times….once is just not enough!

Get your pattern here!

 

Gotta Love that Shawl- Free Pattern

Since I have been playing around with some stitches, and attempting to finish some yarn in my stash, I have a free pattern to share. Gotta Love that Wrap is worked entirely of Love Knots! If you are not familiar with the stitch I have a tutorial here.

I love how you can use this pattern really with any yarn, although I prefer it with lighter weight yarns. The Wrap in phots here was actually worked up in Plymouth Yarns Linaza, which is 50% alpaca, 25% linen and 25% Tencel, so it really hold the shape of the knot.

The benefit of this yarn is that it really allows the yarn to go along way, the yarn I used was 100g/440yards, and as you can see it made for a wide and long wrap. So feel free to pull something out of your stash and give it a try, or purchase that one skein in a color you love.

This design is actually only a 2 row repeat, so it is pretty simple and relaxing to work. I would recommend that you place a stitch marker somewhere along row 1, to note it as the bottom edge. As the fabric is worked along and becomes squarer, it can be difficult to discern which way the rows are being worked.

The pattern is essentially creating the points of triangles in each even row, the closing it off to a straight edge every odd row, and when the pattern states to slip stitch in the knot, the knot is recognized as the most closed point of the stitch (where is was finished).

Gotta Love that Shawl

Materials:

  • One skein of any yarn, light weight preferred. The longer the yardage the longer the wrap
  • Hook size compatible for yarn weight

Gauge: Gauge is not critical for this project.

Special Stitches

Love Knot: See here

Abbreviations:

Rep=repeat

Sl st= slip stitch

Row 1: 18 Love knots, turn.

Row 2: Skip first knot, sl st in 2nd knot, [2 love knots, sl st in next knot] rep 15 times, turn.

Row 3: 2 love knots, sl st in next knot, [1 love knot, sl st in next knot] rep 15 times, turn.

Row 4: 2 love knots, sl st in next knot, [2 love knots, sl st in next knot} rep 15 times, turn.

Rep Rows 3 & 4 until desired length.

Last Row: Rep Row 3, fasten off. Weave in ends, block as desired.