Working On “Special” with Some Nice Results

ScannedImageSo I am one of those people that will eat dessert last. If I eat it first, it means that I am skipping dinner. Even as a kid with T.V. dinners, I would save that little two bit dessert of fruit cobbler until the very end. I still do this today; I eat my most favorite part of any meal last.

So now what does this have to do with crochet? Well not a whole lot, except that if I find a “special” yarn or accessory I have a difficult time getting around to using it. I want to “save” special until I find the right fit.

This is true with a couple of things I have received over the last year, but I am forcing myself to bring them to use. After all how can I truly enjoy them if they are tucked away somewhere “special”. So I begin this process by making my own necklace.


My “Special” Creation with Mini Masterpiece Pendant and Kreinik Twist Yarn

Those that see me often know I do not where all that much jewelry, just a simple necklace of a single pearl, a pair of earrings and a handmade bracelet. All things that have some sentimental value to me, and bring back memories, so receiving a Mini Masterpiece Pendant this last summer from one of its creator Shelby Allaho, immediately placed it in a “special” category.

I will admit the pendant is a little bigger then I am use to wearing, at least daily, but I think that I would put it to use on “special” occasions. So the Mini Masterpiece Pendant is actually a small wooden frame, it is light weight and has a simple, yet decorative design. It is meant to frame a piece of stitching, (or anything your imagination can conceive of), but this also became a “special” hang up for me. What is “special” enough to be placed in the frame…( I possibility might have a problem here)….

A few months ago I also received some Kreinik Twist Carry-Along Yarn color #339 Teal. So this carry along yarn is a lace weight, and has a lot of sparkle. So it got me thinking….these are two things that I might be able to combine. I played around with many possible small motifs created out of Twist, and found that the yarn is very soft, has a nice elastic quality in the stitches, and as I stated earlier, has a nice sparkle. This yarn is intended to be used with a heavier yarn, to add a little something extra to your overall fabric, but I decided to use it by itself. I was quite happy with the result.

I made a simple 2 round motif (if you want to make one too, here are my notes on the pattern:Rnd 1: Ch 10, sc in first ch, *ch 9, sc in same ch as sc; rep from *2 more times. (4 ch=9 loops)Rnd 2: Sl st in each of the next 3 ch of ch-9 loop, ch 4, 4 tr in ch-9 sp, ch 5, *5 tr in next ch-9 loop, ch 5; rep from * 2 more times, sl st to top of beg ch 4. Finish off. ) Then stitched it to the frame, I then added a single pearl bead to the center. It is airy, light, and I enjoy the shape created in both the positive and negative space.

This is a very creative concept to “frame” your stitch work and it does give you something to think about…What would you frame? I have always felt that crochet is an art; I guess I may need to get some more frames.

Learning the Hank (part 2)


From Hank to Skein with Blue Heron Yarn

ScannedImage(Continued from April 19, 2013 post)…. So I finally understood the concept of a “hank” of yarn, it was intimidating me anymore, so I would simply open it up and roll it into a ball. Needless to say I had nothing but a tangled mess. After freeing the large loop of yarn so that I could unravel it from its loop, I learned that it might want to hold on to its neighboring thread and pull it ever so slightly with it, moving the neighboring thread from where it sat and growing into a mess. It took me hours, and even then I needed to cut places and work out knots that I had made, it was a head ache.  But this time I was not discouraged. I would find a process.


Let the loops hang smooth, note the yarn that ties to loop together, keeping the yarn in place


Usually you can fond the end of the yarn tied to a securing yarn, that holds the loops in place

After playing with some hanks I learned that before I even attempt “freeing” the yarn from its loop, I need to make sure the loop in smooth, not twisted, that it hangs nicely, this will definitely help. Then I need to place it somewhere that will keep it taunt, maybe over the back of a dining room chair, but I found that I use my knees (not very lady like but effective for me), I have learned that some people use a swift…it reminds my somewhat of an umbrella, but without the fabric. This expands to the size of the loop and will spin as you pull the yarn). Then I can make it into a ball, if I want to pull it from the center I can wrap the yarn around an empty toilet paper tube (open finishing wrapping it up, I can pull out the tube and use the middle yarn, as pulling from  the center means that the yarn will not be rolling around that floor as I use), or there is a little tool called a ball winder that you place your yarn end in and crank its little handle and it spins it onto a tube, to make a pull from the center skein.

So why is yarn placed in hanks? Is it just to give you a little more of a work out, or to look fancy? Actually it does have a reason; it places less stress on the yarn. By being in that “loop” it helps the yarn to relax, where putting it into a skein or ball, the yarn in the center is under more pressure than the yarn on the outer edges. This may be a subtle thing, but it can make a difference in some processes and designs, especially if the fiber has been sitting in this more pressured state of a long while. If you think about it you have seen this with a basic skein of yarn, when you pull out the beginning end, it is often bent of twisted, where by the end of the skein it is smooth. So if you want to use a hank of yarn, only wind it into a ball when you feel you are ready to use it. It will help the yarn stay consistent.


Notice the hank lets you view the length of the color change, whereas the skein it is less obvious

One of the benefits I have found with a hank, it a purely visible one, I can open a hank to a loop, and see how long the color changes are for a variegated yarn. This is something that I have difficulty seeing in a skein.

I have found that I am not alone in my understanding of this “yarn hank”, so I hope my experience will help you take the step to attempt a yarn you may not have used because of the way it is presented. (And I have since learned, that most of these Local Yarn Stores, will in fact wind the hank into a skein for you at purchase, you just have to ask). Take the plunge and explore the world of fiber!