I love yarn.
It’s an addiction. Every single store I go into, in every new city, I’m searching for their yarn section. From hardware stores to big box to local yarn shops…I need all the yarn. All of it.
A few months back, this new yarn started making the rounds in all my fav stops.
Yup, Loop Yarn.
But, what do you do with it? I’m and knitter and crocheter already so, does this even apply to me? Why would I waste my time with that?
So. Many. Questions.
I veered away from the loop yarn for ages, just thinking it was a passing fad. Turns out? It’s not! Loop yarn is here to stay and the yarnies love it!
Last week, I decided I needed to try out some of that loop yarn. Why not?
Let me tell you…if it wasn’t the most frustrating 10 minutes of my crafty life.
Then, my designer brain went to work and I had a thought, “What if I crocheted it?”
Well, here’s how the actual conversation went:
“I’m done. I can’t do this.”
“Just crochet with it.”
“Wait. Crochet with it! That’s genius! Use the hook to…hook the loops! Omg! Yes!”
I spent the next four hours crocheting the loop yarn and loving the results! I had my Afghan a quarter of the way finished in just that time! How cool is that?
Anyway, want to learn to crochet loop yarn yourself? Well, I’ve uploaded a quick tutorial video I shot on my front porch here in North Carolina. It was a gorgeous day so I thought, why not?
So, what do you think? Are you going to crochet with the loop yarn? Should we have a little Afghan CAL?
Let me know in the comments below!
Fall is right around the corner and I’ve got the perfect scarf for you! The Waterrock Scarf is easier to make than it looks, and takes just three skeins of yarn!
Get this FREE Tunisian crochet pattern from Rohn Strong and JOANN below!
I’m one of those people that feels the slightest nip in the air and I’m throwing on a scarf, breaking out the autumn leaf scented candles, and spraying strangers with Pumpkin Spice…
I might be exaggerating a bit…maybe.
The Waterrock Scarf gets its name from the mountain, Waterrock Knob, which is the 16th highest mountain in the Eastern United States – and the 15th highest of the 40 mountains in North Carolina over 6,000 feet. And Waterrock Knob in fall? GORGEOUS!
Waterrock is worked in one long rectangle from end to end with increases and decreases to give it that slanted stripe look. We begin by casting on a few stitches, increase to the total width, then work back and forth in rows (with those increases and decreases) until the scarf is the desired length. Lastly, we work decreases on both sides which will give us the finished rectangle.
This method is often referred to in knitting as “bias knitting’. That’s primarily because we are working on the bias the whole time. In tunisian crochet, the concept is the same, we just work back and forth with the right side of our work facing us the whole time.
We maintain the bias look by working an increase at the beginning of each row and a decrease at the end of each row. Changing colors at different points is what really shows off the resulting slanting stitches. While working this in one color would be equally cool, working it in multiple colors really shows off the bias look.
I knew I needed a great yarn that carried a hefty amount of yardage when I started the scarf. Yarn choice is often make it or break it for me. This scarf was designed for this kind of yarn. A 100% acrylic worsted weight yarn that has a tight twist.
Yarn can have a huge impact on your finished piece. Whether it’s knit or crochet. Tunisian crochet produces a fabric that shifts all the stitches to the back and creates an imbalance. That’s why you get the curl when working tunisian crochet. When designers recommend a few rows at the beginning of a project to help combat curl, this is to help cure that imbalance.
Tunisian also uses a great deal of yarn. Which can create a heavy project. A tight twist, which Big Twist Soft has, will make sure the scarf holds up for years to come and doesn’t stretch out. Acrylic yarn will also help the design keep its luster, as it tends to hold up better than wool. Definitely stay away from cotton or any kind of cotton blend.
Big Twist Soft is definitely one of my go-to yarns. It’s a soft acrylic with a tight twist and just the right amount of yardage. With a 6oz ball bringing in nearly 320 yards. How amazing is that? There are also a number of colors to choose from and for about $4 a yard (before a coupon of course) you can’t really beat it.
7.5 inches wide and 72 inches long after blocking
12 stitches and 16 rows = 4 inches before blocking
Ch – Chain
YO – Yarn Over
Tks – Tunisian knit stitch
Sl st – Slip Stitch
St – Stitch
Tks2tog – Tunisian Knit Stitch 2 Together
RetP – Return Pass
Tunisian Knit Stitch (Tks): Beginning in the second vertical bar, insert the hook from front to back between the front and back vertical pars and draw up a loop. Repeat this in each pair of vertical bars across, working under both bars on the last stitch.
Loop already on hook at beginning of the forward pass counts as first stitch.
This scarf is completed using three different colors. Here we’ll refer to them as A (Taupe), B (Orange), and C (Blue).
For the stripe sequence as shown in the photo, you’ll change the colors at the beginning of every forward pass after completing the number of rows outlined below:
A – 1 row
B – 1 row
C – 2 rows
A – 3 rows
B – 5 rows
C – 8 rows
A – 13 rows
B – 21 rows
C – 34 rows
A – 55 rows
B – 14 rows
Here is an up-close photo of the beginning stripe sequence.
Row 1: Yo, tks in each st across to last st, yo, tks in last st. RetP.
Rep Row 1 until there are a total of 41 stitches or desired width of scarf.
Next Row: Yo, tks in each st across to last 3 sts, tks2tog, tks in last st. RetP.
Rep last row until scarf measures 72″ when measured along the longest end, or desired length.
Next Row: Tks2tog, tks in each st across to last 3 sts, tks2tog, tks in last st. RetP.
Rep last row until just 5 sts remain.
Last Row: (Tks2tog) twice. RetP.
Weave in all ends. Wash and lay flat to block.
I really hope you enjoyed this pattern! I just love sharing all these free patterns with you all! If you stitch this up, make sure you take a photo and tag me in them on Instagram and show off your project in the Rohn Strong Maker Community on Facebook too!
Get the Ridge Rock Gansey Set just CLICK HERE!
I’ve worked for and with Annie’s for the last five years! I can’t believe it’s been that long! Over that time I’ve designed a slew of projects for their different publications and I’m so excited to let you know I have another! YAY!
Last week, Annie’s Signature Designs released their Fall 2019 collection and it’s absolutely gorgeous. I’m always humbled to be in such great company with designers I’ve always admired. Lena Skvagerson has such a beautiful eye for design and brings us designers together to create a truly stand out collection.
My contribution was the Ridge Rock Gansey Set!
These patterns were such fun to design and presented a few challenges. Read all about my design process, inspiration, and then enter our giveaway below!
My Design Process
Designing for a collection is always fun. The theme is usually set and yarn selections are made, which allows me to flex my muscles. I love designing within constrictions. If I don’t have those limitations I tend to simply flail. Lena knows this (I think!) and works with me to come up with the very best design.
We knew a shoulder piece was absolutely needed and I loved the crescent shape of a cowl, but we needed a modern textural update. The shape was difficult to get down if I’m being honest. Crochet doesn’t move organically so working with increases and the right set of stitches, I was able to get it to work.
On top of that, I took advantage of both front and back loops to give the piece the dimension it needed.
The hat proved much more simple than I originally thought. Everything came together, from the textured stitches to the cables to decreases at the crown. I loved everything about this hat and kind of want to make one…or two for myself!
This entire collection was inspired by the classic Gansey Sweater. Now, Gansey’s (or Guernsey’s) are hard-wearing sweaters, often seamless, that were worn by the fisherman who spent their days at sea. These sweaters were often knitted by the wives to protect their husbands from the harsh sea life.
Gansey’s are really known for their texture which, for the most part, was reserved the knitwear for many years. However, innovative designers have been able to translate that texture to crochet and the entire Fall 2019 Annie’s Signature Designs collection is a celebration of that texture!
I was so excited to spend a bit of time exploring texture because, for the most part, I’ve spent my career exploring color. To delve deep into texture has made my design brain go a little crazy!
To celebrate the launch of Annie’s Signature Designs Fall 2019 launch, I’m SO excited to give away a copy of my pattern, Ridge Rock Gansey Set! All you need to do is comment on this blog post! That’s it!
Check back next Monday when I reveal our winner!
Thanks so much for checking in with me today! We’ll talk soon friends! If you crochet this up, make sure you snap a few photos and tag me in them on Instagram and show off your project in the Rohn Strong Maker Community on Facebook too!
Do you love sewing with batik fabrics?
Never thought about it?
Think they’re a bit too…retro? 70s? Ugly?
I’ve heard it all over the years. Batik fabrics – you either love them or you hate them. There never really seems to be a middle ground. But, here’s the thing…working with batiks doesn’t have to be scary or old fashioned. In fact, nothing could be farther from the truth.
What are batiks?
Batiks are a type of dyed fabric in which removable wax is applied in a design or pattern. This creates a ‘resist’ which keeps the dye from reaching those ares where the wax is applied. After the fabric is dyed, it is then boiled off, which exposes the color and design. Layering with wax and dye a number of times creates a multi-colored design! The best part? Batiks don’t have a right/wrong side…well…most of the time. We’ll go more into what batiks are and the different types in a later blog post!
Sewing with batiks is fun and easy. They create one of a kind patterns that are just as beautiful to look at as they are to work with.
Anyway, here are a few of my Top Tips for Sewing with Batiks.
1. Choose what inspires you.
Inspiration is the mother of all design. My best ideas come from a kernel of an idea that I allow blossoming. The first batik quilt I ever made (pictured below) was born of an idea to use up a few spare batik layer cakes I had lying around. I cut them up, mixed them up, and sewed them all back together! Cool right?
My inspiration drove the design but the batiks supported it. I stepped away from the preconceived notions I had about them, and just went with it! Often, we have to push past the barriers we’ve built in our minds to open us up.
2. Stop looking at the overall fabric.
I think a lot of people look at batik’s and get overwhelmed. Take, for example, this fabric. It’s gorgeous BUT there is a lot going on and it can look a bit muddy overall.
So…let’s break it down. Quilting is simply cutting up perfectly good fabric and then sewing it back together, right? Right.
If we zoom in, we get three different looks. From green to purple to gold. Would this require a bit of fussy cutting to get these specific colors? Sure. But, I’m not proposing that. What I want to encourage you to do is to not look at the overall fabric but to break it down into manageable areas. This takes the fear out using a fabric as ‘busy’ or ‘variegated’ as this.
3. Combine solids and batiks!
It sounds a little…dirty? Some people just don’t love mixing fabrics but, sometimes it really is for the best. Combining a solid fabric with batiks gives a little area for the eye to rest. Batiks can be busy and even the neutral prints can have a lot going on. So, try using a simple solid quilting cotton to give your batiks the moment they need to shine in all their glory.
Try it out! I mean, Edyta Sitar has built a while career combining solids and batiks!
4. Just LEAN IN
Batiks require a little courage and a certain measure of leaning in! In my quilt, Flying South, I wasn’t really sure I was going to love it. I used six different batiks for each of the flying geese and a neutral batik for the background.
I was so happy with the mix. There is a subtle movement in each of the blocks that I echoed with the directional quilting. I absolutely love this quilt, even bringing the batiks to the binding!
Leaning into the batiks in this quilt gave me the confidence I needed to keep using them. I might even have a fall quilt or two up my sleeve! YAY!
Sewing with batiks is so much fun, and I truly love the process. From choosing the fabric to stitching the blocks, every single part is just so much fun! I hope these top tips for quilting with batiks helps you take the plunge!
A simple yet graphic wall quilt that’s quick to stitch and easy to piece? SIGN. ME. UP. Find this free quilting pattern in partnership with my friends at Annie’s and the Creative Quilter’s Fabric Club! Read through my design process, inspiration, and more below!
See a full Video Tutorial HERE!