Monday, January 23, 2012

Crocheting check-in, and a note on gauge (now with photos)

Last weekend I posted some notes about our first crochet class. The girls (and a couple of moms who came) all did splendiferously. Later that day I went to Walmart and picked up a big skein of blue Red Heart Super Saver, and two smaller multicoloured skeins of the same. You'll see complaints about RHSS all over the Internet, but I like the colours and it's affordable (especially at Walmart), so I keep using it.

I decided to use some of the blue yarn to make a hat for the Apprentice, like the red one shown on the cover of that pattern book. I often do "forget" to do a sample swatch and check the gauge before jumping into a project (yes, I know it's one of the ten rules), but this time I wanted to be really careful. Good thing too, because it took three swatches and two changes of hook before my stitch size lined up with the pattern. But I got it worked out, and the Apprentice liked her hat fine. (Photo coming)

So I started a second hat, using the Primaries mix above. This time I didn't bother to check the gauge, since I had worked it all out the first time. And you can guess turned out bigger than the first one. Not miles bigger, but enough that I probably should have gone back to the original hook size. Same Red Heart Super Saver--but the multicoloured yarn was slightly heavier and also had a bit different texture (what RHSS critics call "scratchy").

Go figure.

Crayons said she would like that hat, even though it was a bit big, and she also requested a smaller one for one of her dolls.  The doll has a side ponytail, so I left a gap for her hair.

I also brought home some scrap yarn from the thrift store: the fuzzy, furry eyelash kind. I used it to make a long, skinny boa scarf--two strands held together to make a long chain and then three rows of double crochet. Almost three, because I ran out of yarn just before the end of the last row, but it's not too noticeable. Fuzzy eyelash yarn isn't a great choice for beginners, because it's really hard to see where your stitches are--I just guessed as I went along. On the other hand, it's very forgiving, even if you run short of yarn or have to work in a lot of ends (the yarn was in small balls and scraps that I had to work together), because mistakes just disappear into the fluff.

Did any of you try the bead bracelets or the snowflake ornaments? Have you been making anything else? Crayons has been making jewelery for her dolls this week. My friend Krakovianka does awesome things with thread--but if you want a lesson in that, you'll have to go to Krakow.

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