It’s getting chilly out there! If you’re looking for some knitwear inspiration, you should download a copy of Holla Knits Accessories Magazine!
As always, Alyson has spearheaded a collection of really exciting and unconventional pieces. Holla Knits always has something that you won’t find anywhere else!
I’m really excited about this magazine because, aside from the gorgeous patterns, there is a little article by yours truly in there! I wrote a bit about learning to crochet after spending the last 10+ years as a knitter. It’s hard to go back to basics! Especially when you’re a stubborn lady like me. Keep an eye out for this photo of my friend Katie’s adorable daughter CE (and my first crochet project is in there, too) in this issue and my article will be close behind.
Do you believe in teaching an old dog new tricks? Have you ever challenged yourself to learn something new?
It’s National Crochet Month! So I’m crocheting my first garment!
I spied this pattern for the Sparkle Slipon at work and it just screamed VEGAS. Now, I’ve never once in my life been interested in visiting Las Vegas but Jon has a business trip there in the spring so I am tagging along to get a little sun. And now I’m making this top to wear by the pool. (I’d worry about granny square tan lines but I’ve never had a tan in my life.) It’s just so glittery! Can’t you just picture it?
I’ve already gotten started. I’m using the suggested Vanna’s Glamour in Purple Topaz, Garnet, Gold, Moonstone, Jewel, and Topaz. I figure that, since it’s machine washable, it’ll work well to wear over my bathing suit and I won’t freak out if I get sunscreen on it. Arabia, the crochet queen of the Studio, gave me some help arranging the colors and gave me some advice.
It feels so weird to me being a novice in something. I’m really second-guessing myself with everything about this. Since I’ve made granny squares, I feel like I can handle this piece. It’s really just a big granny square. But working into the chain was incredibly nerve-wracking. My chain looks awful. Jill suggested I try a chinless foundation row. I’m not quite sure if that would work here since it creates a single crochet row but I really need to do more investigating there. Also, don’t even talk about gauge.
How are your foundation rows when you crochet? Have you crocheted a garment?
The votes are in! It was a tight race but you guys decided that I should learn to crochet granny squares. And, boy, have I!
I pulled out some stash yarn and experimenting with basic granny square patterns. Quickly, I realized that I really didn’t know how to crochet at all. Whenever I ran into something I didn’t know how to do (double crochet? triple crochet??), I’d check YouTube and figure it out. (I tend to use Lion Brand’s videos. It’s important to use a quality source that you can trust when you’re learning online.) It was remarkably easy to learn. I can’t believe it took me so long to try it.
I didn’t have much leftover yarns that matched each other but I ended up making around 20 granny squares in a week. They’re ADDICTIVE. Who knows what I’m going to do with all of these mismatched granny squares (I said, “I’ll make a bunting!” a hundred times. I do not need more than one granny square bunting.) There are lots of free patterns that I’ve been trying out and I’ve been getting so much inspiration from this Pinterest board. I couldn’t stop. The different shapes really excite me, circles inside of hexagons, flowers inside squares. Each one feels kind of magical. I’m really obsessed with this sunburst pattern. I’ve made so many of them.
I’m not very good at crochet yet. I don’t know which hook to use with which weight yarn the way that I would with knitting needles. I’m not terribly fast since (yet). There are some other things that make me feel like I won’t be giving up knitting any time soon. But in the end, I’m loving the finished product. I’m definitely going to make a lot more granny squares. And, seriously, I love that new-craft feeling. I keep holding granny hexagons up in Jon’s face and yelling, “I did that! Look!” That feeling never gets old.
Will you learn to make granny squares? Have you tried them? Did you think they were easy?
This week is all about skill building and I’ve got a new way for you to do it!
I’ve taught so many people to knit over the past eleven years, I’ve lost count. Sometimes an old high school friend will tell me about a wonky scarf or their first hat that I helped them make and I can’t quite remember doing it. It really makes me happy, though, that those memories are so vivid for them. Teaching someone else to knit is a joy. (I don’t get gooey that often so you better believe I mean it!) And I don’t know any knitter that has not jumped at the chance to teach someone else.
So in that spirit, I want to share Yarndevu with you! Yarndevu is a new site that’s launching very soon in the New York area that’s all about skill-sharing in person. You can use it to learn or teach someone how to knit or crochet and the whole idea behind it is getting together, face-to-face. I love the online craft community (I mean, duh) but it’s really magical when we get together in person and, let’s face it, there’s no better way to learn. It’s hands-on and you can get immediate answers.
Yarndevu is great for anyone that’s googling “How to Knit” (Did you know “How to Crochet” and “How to Knit” were both in Google’s top 5 “How To” searches for 2014?) but it’s also fantastic for people that are looking to graduate to the next step in their craft education. I love the idea of pairing someone very experienced with a newbie! If you’re like me and you want to master a new aspect of the craft (I want to learn brioche this year), or you’re stuck where you are, it’s a great resource as well! Maybe you’re confused about how to turn a heel or you need help reading a colorwork chart. Or you’re a certain knitter that is interested in granny squares but maybe doesn’t know where to start. You can use Yarndevu to find someone that will help to guide you over a coffee.
I’m pretty excited about the launch! I’m really excited to see what I can learn and also teach using this new tool. But most importantly, I am looking forward to using Yarndevu to meet other crafters. You can sign up today and you’ll snag an invite to the launch party later this month. So, what do you want to learn?
ps. Don’t forget to vote for what I should learn next!
Tags: crochet lessons nyc, how to crochet, how to knit, knitting, knitting circle, knitting lessons nyc, learn to crochet, learn to knit, learn to knit nyc, meet up, nyc, skill sharing, teach knitting, Yarndevu
While you might be under the impression that I am a Master Knitter (TM) that knows everything there is to know about everything, that is not the case. In actuality, I don’t know that much about anything but I can give you really good directions to the pedestrian crossing of the Williamsburg bridge (stay on South 6th for three blocks and turn left at Bedford) and I have a fairly extensive knowledge of Mad Men story arcs. I know a thing or two about knitting as well. But there is still more to learn!
New year, new skill, right? I’m torn between two things that I really want to learn but I’m having trouble deciding which to tackle first. I’ve sworn I’d learn to crochet for the past two years. Maybe 2015 is actually going to be the time that I make my first granny square. I’ve also been dreaming of making a brioche scarf for a long time but I’ve been way to scared to try it.
So I need your help! Voting ends Friday 11:59pm EST! Help me pick!
Tags: brioche, brioche cowl, brioche stitch, granny square, how to knit brioche stitch, learn, learn how to knit, learn to crochet, learn to knit, meet me at mikes, Purl Bee, skill builder, technique, two color brioche, vote