Crochet by Feel- Scrubby

Scrubby is a crochet by feel! This yarn from Red Heart has been out for a little while, and it is quite unique. It has a variety of solid and variegated colors, and at first glance you may not believe it is a yarn.

This 100% polyester yarn is actually a fine strand that is plies together with 2 overtwisted threads. Overtwist is when a yarn or fiber is twisted in a continuous direction until it begins to bunch up or twist back on itself. This is sometimes noted as the “twist energy” of a yarn. You can see an example of it for yourself by taking any fiber of yarn you have at hand and holding it firmly on one end, twist the other end either clockwise or counter clockwise until bumps begin to appear. These bumps are points where the strand is beginning to ply onto itself. At this point you can bring both ends together, then grasp the middle and attempt to straighten the strands, let go of the middle and watch the strand twist.

This yarn has 2 overtwisted threads that have twisted bumps in various points throughout its length, this is what creates the unique scrubbing quality of the yarn.

This yarn probably has more uses then comes to my mind. With these scrubby bumps it does not provide a much defined stitch, so I do not recommend this yarn for beginning stitchers as it is difficult to see you stitches. It is designed for dishcloths and I can tell you I am sure it will fit that build very well. I know some that have used it to create body scrubs and have been quite happy. It is definitely not soft enough for garments, but could find a use in possible lite rugs or toys.

If you have been crocheting for a while, then you may want to give Scrubby a try. Just remember since crochet is forgiving, that not knowing where the stitches are, and crocheting by feel, can still be a great success.

How Do You YO? (Yarn Over)

ScannedImageIt is funny sometimes how you don’t really think about the little things. I was assisting with a crochet workshop this past week end, in which people were learning crochet stitches by placing an edging around a handkerchief, when the question came up about “yarn overs”.

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Yarn over by coming under the yarn and rotating counter clockwise

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Yarn over by coming over yarn and rotating clockwise

Now talking about something as simple and fundamental to crochet as the ability to put yarn over a hook should be pretty straight forward, but in reality it is not. There are primarily two different ways that this is done, the most common is to place the hook under the yarn and twist counter clock wise, and the other is to placer the hook over the yarn and twist clockwise. I always find it difficult to process the description mentally so I have included photos to help visually.

The effects from this differing yarn over techniques are subtle, but there is a difference, the latter method (coming over the top) adds more twist, and thus twist energy then the former (coming under the bottom). This twist energy is most evident in basic stitch of the chain, it is caused to twist.  Thus more complex stitches, such as picots, do not lay flat and require additional blocking to have a finished look. (Although it was pointed out to me, that if you wanted a really ruffled edge that this yarn over could be a benefit).

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samples of yarn over chain stitches, those are the left are from under, and the right are worked with yarn over from the top

Another effect of this method is that the stitches can appear more compact, and tighter, even with the airiest of yarns. The extra twist compacts the yarn slightly and thus creates a stitch that may not be as full as that created by yarning over from the bottom.

If you find that your crochet fabric has a mind of its own at times, you may want to look at the simple steps you use to execute them and see if a small change could make a big difference. I always find it amazing that it really is the little things that can make all the difference.