You know it’s hard to go back and remember a time when you didn’t know something. You see this any time you embark into new territory. Doctors forget their patients haven’t spent years in medical school, lawyers forget their clients haven’t spend years in law school and court rooms, teachers (and other adults) forget what is like to be a child.
As a crocheter who spins, I often forget what it was like before I made yarn. What I knew about yarn then, was about where almost all crafters are; I knew what felt good to me and what didn’t. I knew what worked up well when it did, and what did not work up well (more often than not) for the project at hand and I ALWAYS found out in midstream.
I pride myself on making crochet yarn, why? Because, I discovered from working with my very shakey, unbalanced, nubby beginner yarn that even though the yarn wasn’t “perfect” my crochet projects turned out better than they ever had before.
As you know from my earlier posts, I ended up embarking upon a quest to discover the why of the situation.
So, I’m going to give you a few hints about working with yarns in projects that may just make your crafting/art go from great to phenominal. (OR from I’m not very good to WOW look at what I can do!)
1: Different projects have different requirements. Remember we have a very versatile craft. From jewlery making to rugs, afghans and throws, pillows to hats, and wedding dresses to doilies the range of creative potential is endless in crochet. Each kind of project has a yarn that will work best.
So baskets are in, lets take a look at what kind of yarn would work best for a basket.
If you didn’t want it felted, Red Heart Brand would work great. If you don’t want to use acrylic, try out a hemp or linen. If you want a felted basket, wool is your best bet, or a wool/mohair or wool/llama blend. (Wool/alpaca will work too). Remember, acrylic doesn’t felt.
Why these suggestions for baskets? Well think about what a basket requires to be a basket and not a handbag or a hat. It needs to have a firm construction. The best stitch to use is a single crochet because it makes the firmest fabric (to make patterns check out tapestry crochet). The best yarn? One which already has a firm structure and won’t relax when you work with it. A fine alpaca lace weight is the wrong fiber for this job.
Why did I choose baskets? Because I’m working on one at the moment. A friend of mine spins linen and hemp yarn, (I don’t I do not care for the feel of plant fibers on my hands) but doesn’t use her yarn. She wanted something made out of a variety of skeins she’s spun over the past few years.
I knew this yarn was unsuitable for a hat, and unlikely to be a wearable scarf (due to how she had spun the yarn), and I didn’t want to make a pillow, or a belt. She doesn’t really use handbags, so as I’ve been inspired by making baskets of late I asked if she would like one.
Of course she did! 🙂 So I’m currently working on a basket, free forming it in single crochet, with four different skeins of yarn, and, enjoying the luster and texture of the basket as it evolves.
I know the project will work out, no worries at all…why? Because I knew what the yarn was capable of producing before I started my project. No guess work, just happy productivity.
You don’t have to make yarn to know yarn, or how best to use yarn or which yarn to use!
I have a handy dandy cheat sheet that covers yarn and it’s best uses The Secrets of Yarn(c) Project Guide I/II which can be found on my website www.thesecretsofyarn.com or at my ETSY store www.camanomade.etsy.com! I’m an EtsyFAST (Fiber Arts Street Team) Member and PROUD of it!