Monday, August 18, 2014

Scifi Chris here with another post.

First off, there were more comments!  That’s always exciting to see.  Thanks again for reading and commenting.  I’m glad that there was some use to be had from my yarn crawl description.   The yarn crawl was much fun and for the most part a very positive experience.  I’m looking forward to next year’s Steel Valley Yarn Crawl.

I’d also like to remind everyone that Three River Crochet meets every Saturday, from 2 pm to 5 pm, at the Panera’s near Magee Hospital.  New folks are very welcome, no matter what your skill level.  Knitters are welcome, too.  As are spinners and weavers and felters and dyers.  Despite the name being Three River Crochet, all types of yarn users can be found in our group. 

Besides lots of yarn, I also picked up some new books on the yarn crawl.  One of the books is the subject of this week’s post.  (Aside:  I’m trying to get something posted here once a week, although no promises.  Any suggestions for what topics you’d be interested in reading about would be welcome.)

I bought Creating Crochet Fabric: Experimenting With Hook, Yarn, and Stitch by Dora Ohrenstein at Natural Stitches.  It is available on Amazon.  Your local yarn shop or book store might have it or be able to order it for you. 

There are very few patterns in Creating Crochet Fabric, although it does have several samples in the stitch dictionary at the end of the book.  The primary purpose of this book is to show the way yarn type, hook size, and stitch pattern interact to create different types of crochet fabric.  Ohrenstein created dozens of swatches, pictured in the book, showing how the stitch pattern and drape changes depending on the type of yarn used.  She goes into detail exploring the many different types of yarn available, their texture, and the type of projects that tend to go well with specific yarns.  I also like that she includes blueprint patterns (diagrams and symbols) in addition to the normal abbreviated written directions.

So why get excited about that?  After all, patterns tell you what type of yarn to use and what hook size.  However, what about those of us that have a tendency to use patterns as just guides or ideas?  Or folks that want to take the jump into designing their own patterns?  Or even just folks that happen to have all this yarn piling up in their stash from a recent yarn crawl that they need to figure out what to do with?  This book helps out with that.  It helps answer the question – what can I make with this yarn – by showing the type of stitch patterns that look best with a given type of yarn, taking into consideration the fiber its made from, the weight of the yarn, its texture, and even its color (solid vs. variegated, long color changes vs. short changes). 

Creating Crochet Fabric has been an interesting and informative read.  The many color photos give excellent comparisons of the same stitch pattern done up with different yarns.   It’s a great guide to understanding why yarn functions the way it does.  The stitch dictionary in the back of the book has given me lots of ideas for possible projects, along with the actual patterns included in the book.  I’d definitely recommend reading this to anyone interested in picking their own yarns for projects or creating their own patterns.



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