Friday, March 8, 2013

CAL: Yarn and Hook Selection

Good morning and Happy Friday!  I was so excited when I woke up this morning because today is the very first day of our crochet along!  In case you missed yesterday's post...

Crochet Along Announcement

When I created the schedule, I decided to spread things out a bit and make each part of the CAL on a Friday, so you will have lots and lots of time to work on your piece.  Today we will be selecting yarn and the corresponding hook.

I chose to take a little shopping trip to my yarn stash because I could definitely stand to use up some yarn...I'm sure you can relate.  If you're in a shopping mood, have fun!  That is definitely an extremely thrilling part of the process too.  Anyhow, I collected three that I thought would be especially nice.

When choosing yarn for a project, you can either try and stick with the same yarn, or if there is some flexibility in the pattern, you can depart from it somewhat.  For example, if you choose a smaller hook size, your piece will be smaller/narrower...that is unless you make a larger chain than called for.  Good news!  Our pattern has lots of flexibility because the beginning chain does not have to be a specific length.

Another thing to consider is washability.  Do you want to be able to wash it regularly in a machine?  Are you willing to hand wash your cowl?  

So in my yarny travels, while digging around and sorting (do I really have that much yarn?) I seemed to keep coming back to these pretties:

The first is the same yarn as the original pattern, but in a taupe color...I really love this yarn, but wanted something extra springy.  The bluish lavender one I was drawn to right away, doesn't it look just like a grape hyacinth?  I put that in the "maybe" pile and kept digging.  Then I came across this purpley beauty...just like a bouquet of lilacs!  What to do? 

Next, onto hook selection.  When working from a pattern, I generally choose a yarn that calls for the same hook as the original pattern.  Let's take a closer look at one of the labels...

Obviously, we are interested in the square with the hook.  Be sure to check out the hook size...this particular label calls for an I could try the piece with a different hook, or go up a hook size. 

My advice with any yarn or hook you choose is to make a small swatch, or a small square to sample the yarn and hook choice.  Be sure to test out each stitch from the pattern: single crochet, double crochet, and treble crochet, so you'll have complete confidence in your selection.  What does it look like?  How about the same yarn with a different hook?  Now check it out...look at the stitch definition, give it a tug, flip it over, etc.  Don't like it?  Try another hook, or abandon it all together and keep digging for more yarn.  Not to worry, I guarantee you, that yarn will be perfect for something else.

Oh, and I ended up choosing the lilac colored yarn, my eyes just kept coming back to it.  It's Caron Simply Soft Eco, in the "Heather Mist" colorway.  It is totally soft, a beautiful color, machine washable, and has a small amount of recycled material (plastic bottles I think).  Because our CAL ends on Earth Day week, I thought it would be perfect.  Now onto making my swatch...

Many of you have responded via Facebook, RSS feed (the email), in the comments section, etc. about the excited that lots of crocheters will be participating!  What yarn did you choose?  We want to know!  Please share, that's what makes it so fun!

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  1. When you're picking yarn from your stash, how can you know how much yarn you have left from any ball or skein? How can you tell if there's enough there for another project?

    1. That is a great question Elaine! There are a few things you could could always measure it with a tape measure the long and tedious way. Also there is a tool, Knit Picks has one I believe, that you can run the yarn quickly through for measurement. However, if you don't want to bother with all of that, consider making a striped project. That way you can have a safety net and increase the amount of yarn on hand. I hope that helps!

  2. I am new to crochet but I am going to do this cowl too. I will have to buy some yarn this week. Can't wait to get started.

    1. Awesome! Glad you'll be joining us!


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