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Monday, February 26, 2007

Crocheting For Knitters

On Sunday I took part in Judi Swartz's Crocheting for Knitters workshop, and loved it. Judi is a wealth of information -- she's authored numerous knitting patterns, as well as Hip to Crochet and Getting Started In Crochet, and she used to manage a Chicago yarn store.

The all-day workshop was at the perfect pace for a novice crocheter like myself. My previous crocheting was limited to a one-hour private lesson with Cathy Montoya, followed by some fiddling with a few crocheted accents and Doris Chan's Crocheted Slippers pattern from the Fall 2005 Knitscene:

So I already felt comfortable doing the stitches, but like I didn't really know when to use crocheting instead of knitting.

Judi taught us how to add borders, including what pickup ratio to use, and how to use crocheting instead of the mattress stitch to seam knitted pieces. We also had time to make a few accents. Judi set a relaxed tone, and instead of my usual M.O. of worrying about getting the stitches perfect, I just stitched merrily along, ignored the glitches, and kept up with the rest of the class. Yes, my samples turned out wonky, but they're done and they're mine. :)
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Check this out -- I blocked my swatches before I went to class, and took a picture of the bathwater because I couldn't believe how much oil and dirt I got from half of one skein of Philosopher's Wool.

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This is Dark Purple Heather and Light Purple Heather from their Woodland color scheme:
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The unwashed wool is a little grabby to work with, but it smells wonderful, and the heathers are gorgeous.

After lunch we worked on edging a scarf. Judi had instructions and samples for fancy edge stitches, but since my knitted scarf was visually complex, she suggested doing a simple picot (those are picots, not super wonky stitches sticking out on the bottom left sample above). Step 1 is to add single crochet to all the borders, which I can finish during my commute. Step 2 will be to add the picot.

You can see that the left side of the orange scarf is rolling under by about half an inch, and that the right side with the applied crochet is already lying flatter, even pre-blocking:

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This scarf was my motivation for taking the class, so I couldn't be happier.

The long and the short of it: if you get a chance to learn from Judi Swartz, jump on it, she's a great teacher, and if you can't learn from her in person, seek out her books.

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6 Comments:

Blogger stickchick said...

Everything looks great!! That yarn is lucsious. Yum!!

The scarf is really looking great!!

6:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is that luscious pink yarn?

3:03 PM  
Blogger Navi said...

The crocheted slippers look wonderful and so cozy.

I love the heather yarns too, lovely colors you have there.

11:42 PM  
Blogger sweetfigs said...

Thanks everybody!

I knew somebody was going to ask about the scarf yarn.

Well, it's actually made for socks. It's Schaffer's Anne, so it's mostly wool, but there's some nylon & mohair in there.

I really like its hand, and the handdyed colors (way less neon than they appear in the photo) are really pretty.

The hank was labeled, but didn't have a color name or number.

The diameter is similar to Trekking XXL, very thin, so socks would require a fine gauge needle, but I think it would be sooooo worth it for a stunning pair of socks that could take a beating.

9:35 AM  
Anonymous Emilee said...

That scarf is so beautiful. I can't wait to see it when it's finished!

5:34 PM  
Blogger AlisonH said...

Oh, cool, look at that! (More patterns coming, soon, soon, not to sound like an advertisement but being a little kid jumping up and down with excitement. June 11th!)

--Alison Hyde

2:05 AM  

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