Arya Ebruil Yarn Has Some Definite Possibilities

ScannedImageYarns with only a single twist can create a unique stitch that is well defined and full, but there can be some draw backs. I experienced these with a new yarn, Nako Arya Ebruil.


Nako Arya Ebruil yarn

The yarn has beautiful colorways, with long gradient color, so long that it maybe that only the beginning and end use of the skein will share the same tones. It is lovely lace to superfine weight yarn comprised of 80% Acrylic, 10% wool, and 10% Alpaca, so it is not only durable, but has a little extra warmth. The feel is quite soft, and the single strand has a nice twist.

So what is a single strand? Well yarn is usually made up of multiple strands of twisted fiber that are plied together, meaning they twisted together in the opposite direction than they were originally created, it is this tension that creates a study yarn. A single simply means that it is only one, being the initial twist of the fiber, there is no plying with others to create a tension. This does cause some definite positives as it creates a nicely defined stitch, and can easily highlight various stitch work, but there is a drawback, it tends to pill, and is not a yarn that you want to rip back often as it usually snags on itself. This is due to the fact that the individual fibers are not as securely “locked” into the yarn structure and can break free of the twist. All of these characteristics are present in this yarn.

That being said, it still has a nice drape and feel that encourage me to put it to use. I can see where this yarn would lend itself very nicely to a wrap of shawl, possibly even a garment (I would suggest sleeveless, to avoid underarm pilling).

Another Crochet Journey, New Projects, New Inspirations

ScannedImageOne of the things that I really enjoy about crochet is that it has so many possibilities. When I began crocheting I created scarves and Barbie dresses, then I worked afghans….many, many afghans. I really didn’t even begin to make hats for several years as I was a little intimidated with working in the round and the working it straight, I was fine with the flat circle, but the contours of a hat use to intimidate me. I think I may have made my first sweater before my first hat, not much before, but before. When I realized that I was just creating fabric garments became my new go to, (and I include shawls in my garment category, as it took me a long time to place a shawl in my personal wardrobe).


BBD (Baby Brown Dog)

Looking back on my time stitching I can see certain trends, however I never really got into the trend of doilies or toy making. However, I find myself taking inspiration from the work of classic thread doilies and applying it to some of my current designs and at the prompting for some of my crochet students I have been investigating some Amigurumi.

In playing with the techniques used to create toys, I have made up a little puppy. BBD (Baby Brown Dog as it is affectionately referred to in my home), is created with 2 skeins of Plymouth Baby Alpaca DK yarn, so it is really quite soft and cuddly. This stitches used are simply single crochet, with the only challenge being the Magic Loop beginning (that can be substituted if desired with alternative circle beginnings). Simple increases and decrease are worked for the overall shaping. The paws have a little special touch of having nickels added to give a little weight to the legs so that they always want to hang downward (so it can be recognized as a 20¢ puppy).

I may not be someone that creates things like this often, but I will admit, this little dog has gotten to me, and even I enjoy cuddling with it. Sometimes working on things outside your everyday comfort zone can inspire new ideas, BBD already has me things…I wonder where this journey might take me.

If you would like to take a journey with BBD you can find it on Ravelry and Craftsy for only $5.50 US.


Adding Stitch Extentions

ScannedImageThe world of crochet seems to be ever evolving, and one technique that I have seen recent renewed interest in is the “extended stitches”. Extended stitches are essentially the same stitches as are regularly used, single, half double, double, treble, etc. however they have an extra pull through making them slightly taller.


Begin an extended double crochet just as you would a typical double crochet; yarn over, insert hook in indicated space, yarn over, pull up a loop

This stitch type is really nice is you are created a fabric that has gradual height changes as an extended single crochet is slightly taller than a single crochet, yet slightly shorter than a half double crochet, creating a very nice gradient of height by using the three stitches together.
To create an extended stitch, you begin as you do for the standard stitch, for example for a double crochet and an extended double crochet you; yarn over, insert hook in indicated stitch, yarn over, pull through up loop. Now, this is where the only difference now takes place, for an extended stitch, you chain 1, then continue as you would with the remainder of the stitch, yarn over pull through 2, twice.


Next, Chain 1, then complete the stitch as normal, Yarn over, pull through 2, twice

By simply creating a chain stitch at the very base of the typical stitch you create this extra height. Another interesting creation with this stitch is that it creates a fabric that is a little more “stretchy” than the traditional stitch, while giving a very similar appearance. I often mix this stitches in items that I create in a free form style to allow for smoother transition of styles, and I also use then mixed with more traditional stitches to create fabrics with subtle texture changes.


See the subtle difference between the stitch on the left and the one adjacent, the bottom of the stitch as a little more height before the first bar in the post

I hope this clears up any mysteries about this simple adjustments to everyday stitches, that can easily be added to you foundation of stitch knowledge.

Thoughts on the Thermal Stitch…

ScannedImageWhen I started out to write this post, I was thinking of the cold weather I was seeing on the news, and it made me think of the thermal stitch. I have always been a little intrigued with this stitch; it makes a double layer fabric and has the resemblance to long johns, with the little indented squares. But as I started writing, I realized that there were questions about the properties of this technique that I couldn’t quite answer. So that is how I will preface this post, that it is a little beginning exploration for me with this technique.


Insert hook from the bottom of the loop, beginning with the back loop from the row below (now facing) and the front loop of the stitch of the current row


Yarn over and pull through 2 loops

The basic premise of this stitch is that you work single crochet stitches in the front loops of the row as well as the back loops of the row below. Working the stitch into the foundation chain can be a little daunting, so to give you an understanding of the stitch I will begin on the second row of a piece of single crochet. The rows of single crochet will be offset from one another, this creates the setback, while pulling up the lo op from a row below creates the edges to the “indented little square”.


Yarn over and pull through remaining 2 loops to finish stitch

One of the main things to remember with this stitch is to insert the hook in the loop of the row below from the bottom, then insert it into the front loop of the next working row from the bottom.  You then yarn over and pull through both loops (you might want to pull up a longer than usual loop), yarn over again and pull through the two loops remaining on the hook to finish the stitch.  This will create a dense fabric, and if you want to have a little fun, you can alternate colors every row and get a double sided fabric (although there would be many ends to weave of leave it fringed).


Using two colors, here is one side….


…here is the other.


Play swatch, showing same technique using sport weight yarn and an N size hook (in one color), look at the open effect…has some possibilities….

One of the areas I plan on playing with is large hooks with finer yarns. In the small sample I started working with I was impressed with the draping I received as well as the slight openness of the fabric (made me think of springtime). Amazing how attempting to explain a simple concept can yet lead to more questions, and hopefully better understanding…I will keep you posted.