March is National Craft Month! Spend your time learning something new and challenging yourself while being crafty! I have watched many die hard knitters learn to crochet, and watched those same knitters shy away from colorwork. I have heard that we get old because we stop learning new things, so pick up that hook or needle set and entertain your brain and your hands!
If you would like to learn to crochet, we present Tamara Kelly of Moogly! Her patterns are geared towards the beginner with simple repeats and mindless continuity. Try the Artfully Simple Infinity Scarf or the Artfully Simple Angled Scarf to learn the basics of crochet like chain stitches, Single Crochet, Double Crochet, Increases and Decreases. Want something a little more challenging? Try Tamara's Fortune's Shawlette with its beautiful lace design, perfect for all of those spring weddings!
I personally love to crochet and have done it for over 20 years (am I that old?). It goes much more quickly than knitting, and is known to use up to 40% more yarn. I love how quickly the tail of the skein ends up in my hands, too. I would look down and see that I was down to 10% of the skein and then flick! It is all gone. Tying onto the new skeins is really simple (pick your choice of knot), and you never have to weave in ends! Simply hold the "tails" along the top bar of the row, and crochet along the chain around the tails too. I have never noticed a thickness difference, and the tails are held securely and don't tend to pop out later. Can't figure out what all these words mean? Watch this video to change colors!
So, now we come to the advanced beginner to intermediate knitter who is scared of colorwork and won't try it because it looks complicated. Well, I am here to tell you to put that notion in the past and get going! Start with simple stripes to learn the essence of colorwork and color changes. Stripes are easy peasy because you are not carrying the second color along the back and worrying about tension. If you want a small project to try, check out the 21 Color Slouch Hat which is now on sale! Hate weaving in ends, use the Russian Join or the Back Join to change colors.
If you would rather have a more substantial project, try Anrdrea Mowry's Om Shawl. Andrea's projects are delightful due to the layers of colors and cables and endless possibilities. With 6 stripes at the edge with some diagonal colorwork comprising 2 bands, you are sure to get the hang of it! I suggest working a swatch (4-6 inches wide) with the diagonal banding to learn the tension and the 2 handed fair-isle technique (10 minutes and you will be a pro!) Simply stretch your needles apart every few stitches to make sure your back floats aren't too tight. Tight floats make an hourglass shape in your finished project and prevent the stretching we love in knits.
If you aren't quite ready for colorwork, maybe some lovely texture will excite you and help you learn new stitches! Again, Andrea Mowry has just come out with the Kingston Tunic which is laced with texture. This oversized sweater is quickly becoming a favorite project, even after only being released in February!
Hannah Fettig of Knitbot loves texture so much, that she recently released a book entitled Texture: Exploring Stitch Patterns in Knitwear. Yarn Loop would never make you buy a book and then wait for yarn, so we have carefully selected several projects so that you can buy a gift kit which includes the yarn to make a pattern from the book! Select any project below to pick your size, yarn, & colors! The Eventide Cardi is flying to the top of the #1 Seller list at Yarn Loop with its elegant drape and small purled stripes. The Boatyard Pullover is designed for both Men & Women to wear with a wonderfully warm seed stitch pattern! And who doesn't love a chunky cable cowl?
I promise that it isn't as hard as you imagine and you will be so rewarded by challenging your brain and teaching yourself something new. Having trouble? Sidle on down to your local knitting group and have someone show you! Or hit up the Ravelry forums! These ladies and gents can show you the best video tutorials available and usually respond within minutes of a post.
Weekly Special for March 3-9th: Receive $10 off any kit or gift set mentioned above! No code needed!
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