Tag: crochet

Trivet In Bloom

Trivet In Bloom

FREE crochet pattern!

Trivet

How about a FREE crochet pattern for Mother’s Day? I present to you, Trivet in Bloom! While I was running a CAL for my Best Potholder You’ll Ever Own, I got the idea that maybe for Mother’s Day this year, I could create a matching trivet and kitchen towel to make a set. I knew that flowers would be great, but I just wasn’t exactly sure how I could make that work for a trivet. It came to me while in bed one night trying to get to sleep (isn’t that always the way??) The next morning I gave it a shot, and the most lovely little flower just fell off my hook. This is what I give you today, a Trivet in Bloom for the special lady in your life (and yes, that could totally be YOU!) 

If you want a printable .pdf version of this pattern, find it here.

Stitches:  Ch, sl st, SC, DC

Yarn: 2 colors of worsted weight cotton, approx. 50 yards each
(I like Dishie but you can use whatever you like.)

Hook:  J/10

Sizes:  8” across from tip to tip

Gauge:  6 DC x 4 rows = 2”

Trivet In Bloom. Let's do it!

Pattern:

Flower

Ch 4, join with sl st to form a circle.

1) DC 12 inside the circle. Join. = 12 DC

2) 2 DC in each st around. Join. = 24 DC

3) *(DC, ch 1, DC) in next st, sk next st* around. Join. = 24 DC, 12 ch-1 sps

4) *(2 DC, ch 2, 2 DC) in next ch-1 sp, 2 SC in next ch-1 sp* around. Join. = 24 DC, 6 ch-2 sps, 12 SC

5) *8 DC in ch-2 sp, ch 2* around. Join. = 48 DC, 6 ch-2 sps

6) Sl st your way to the middle of the 8 DCs so that you are starting this round BETWEEN the 4th and 5th DC. *(DC, ch 1, DC) in sp between 4th and 5th st, ch 4, DC in each ch of the ch-2 sp, ch 4* around. Join. = 24 DC, 6 ch-2 sps, 12 ch-4 sps

7) *SC in DC, 3 SC in ch-1 sp, SC in next DC, 4 SC in ch-4 sp, SC2tog in the next two DC, 4 SC in ch-4 sp* around. Join. = 90 SC

Cut yarn. Weave in ends.

Now for the backing hexagon

 

Ch 4. Join to form a circle.

1) DC 12 inside the circle. Join. = 12 DC

2) 2 DC in each st around. Join. = 24 DC

3) *DC in next st, 2 DC in next st* around. Join. = 36 DC

 

4) 2 DC in first st, (DC in each of the next 5 sts, 3 DC in next st) 5 times, DC in each of the next 5 st, DC one more time in the same stitch as your first two DCs of this round. This puts 3 DC in that very first st. Join.  = 48 DC

5) 2 DC in first st, (DC in each of the next 7 sts, 3 DC in next st) 5 times, DC in each of the next 7 st, DC one more time in the same stitch as your first two DCs of this round. This puts 3 DC in that very first st.  Join. = 60 DC

6) 2 DC in first st, (DC in each of the next 9 sts, 3 DC in next st) 5 times, DC in each of the next 9 st, DC one more time in the same stitch as your first two DCs of this round. This puts 3 DC in that very first st.  Join. = 72 DC

7) 2 SC in first st, (SC in each of the next 11 sts, 3 SC in next st) 5 times, SC in each of the next 11 st, SC one more time in the same stitch as your first two SC of this round. This puts 3 SC in that very first st. Join.  = 84 SC 

DO NOT CUT YARN!

Time to assemble

Now you’re going to stack your flower piece on top of your backing piece, with both right sides facing up, NOT facing together. Line up the first st on each of these pieces. Remove your hook from the loop on the backing piece, insert it through the first st on the flower piece, grab that loop, and pull it through. 

Ch 1, SC through both pieces at the same time, all the way around, joining them together. Cut yarn, weave in ends.

Now for a little surface crochet, but only if you want!

Taking a new strand of the same color you used for your backing piece and holding it in back of your trivet, stick your hook through both trivet pieces together in the top of the VERY FIRST stitches you made, in the first round, and pull up a loop of yarn. Slip stitch around through the tops of all of your round 1 stitches, through both pieces, joining the centers together. When you get back around to your first stitch where you started, slip stitch into that one one more time, cut your yarn, and use a tapestry needle to pull the yarn through the first stitch to the back. Weave in ends.

And do it again if you want to, through the stitches in the second round! Do it all the same way, weave in your ends, and now the center of your trivet is connected together. This surface crochet used to join isn’t absolutely necessary, but it keeps the two pieces from flopping apart in the center.

trivet collage

All finished!

Trivet potholder

I hope you love this pattern as much as I do! If you want to make a matching set, check out my Best Potholder pattern and keep an eye out for a hand towel pattern that I’m working on, as well.
I’d love to see your trivets. Post yours on social media with the hashtag #RowsAndRosesTrivet so we can all see what you’ve made!

If you’ve found value in this post, please considering sharing it. Forward the link, post on facebook, instagram, pinterest, twitter, and anywhere else you hang out. Check out my shop (there are Best Potholders!) join my facebook group, and crochet along with us in the Ravelry group. Every little thing you do to support my little business is so appreciated ♥

SUNday FREE PATTERN!

SUNday FREE PATTERN!

FREE crochet pattern

Sunday Collage

SUNday is a cheerful sunny scarf, and just what we all need to hurry Spring on her way. Crocheted lace is one of my favorite springtime indulgences. This stitch pattern, worked on the bias, offers interest during crocheting and produces a naturally scalloped edge. Worked in WeCrochet’s Upcycle Alpaca, a drapey DK weight, the alpaca makes it nice and soft, while the silk and Tencel give it a gorgeous sheen. This one-skein scarf is a quick project, so why not make two and gift the second to a very special person in your life!

You can get a .pdf version of this pattern for just $1.99 on Ravelry. This makes it easily printable so you can take it with you, and it helps support me in the writing of even more patterns. Even if you don’t purchase the .pdf, please go rate it for me!

If you love this pattern, check out some of my other FREE patterns, as well as my Ravelry shop.

A little info

Stitches:  Ch, sl st, beg V-st (ch 4, DC) V-st (DC, ch 1, DC) W-st (DC, ch 1, DC ch 1, DC)

Yarn:  200 yards DK (WeCrochet’s Upcycle Alpaca, alpaca/silk/Tencel, 1 skein)

Hook:  H

Sizes:  Approx. 5” wide x 62” long, unblocked (if you use a whole skein of Upcycle Aplaca)

 

Gauge:  3 V-sts x 3 rows = 2” approx.

 

Notes:  Ch 4 in beg V-st counts as (DC, ch1) and ch 3 at the beginning for row 3 counts as a DC.

Let's get hookin'!

Pattern:

Ch 32

Row 1) V-st in 5th ch from hook, *sk 2 chs, V-st in next ch* eight times, sk 2 chs, W-st in last ch. Ch 1. Turn.   = 9 V-sts

Row 2) Sl in 1st ch-1 sp, beg V-st in same ch-1 sp, V-st in each ch-1 sp to end. Ch 1. Turn.  = 11 V-sts

Row 3) Sl in 1st ch-1 sp, ch 3, *V-st in next ch-1 sp* to last ch-1 sp, W-st in last ch-1 sp. Ch 1. Turn.  = 9 V-sts

Repeat rows 2-3 until desired length or until you run out of yarn. Finish off. Weave in ends.

Yup, that’s literally the whole entire thing. Wasn’t that the most enjoyable and stress-free little piece of crochet you’ve ever done? Now you’re ready to spring in style! I hope you’ve enjoyed this pattern. I’d love to see your finished scarf! Share your project on social media with the hashtag #RowsAndRosesSUNday so we can all see how you’ve made it your own! As always, if you have any questions, just ask. I’m easy to find 🙂

Blocking Finished Items

Blocking Finished Items

The whys and the hows

I’m sure that we’ve all seen some handmade items that, well… left much to be desired. It’s not the yarn. The yarn is gorgeous! And it’s not the pattern. We can see pictures of other items made by different people using the same pattern, and they are remarkable. However,  perhaps the one in front of us just doesn’t seem right. Sloppy? Is that the right word? Could it be that the gauge is off? Or maybe it looks more like what you would consider a “rough draft” would look like. 

I bet I know why this beautiful item, knitted or crocheted by a talented fiberartist who knows what they’re doing, in the most scrumptious yarn, fails to impress. I bet it’s due to a shoddy blocking job, or perhaps it hasn’t been blocked at all! So we’re going to talk about blocking today. See that picture above, with the colorful top next to the black top? That is the exact same top. Same yarn, same size. The colorful one has been blocked, and the black one has not (yet.)

A Big Difference

Take a look at the picture on the left. This gorgeous doily was crocheted by a very talented fiber artist on Ravelry (click the pic to see her project.) She did an amazing job crocheting it, and then lovingly and painstakingly blocked it, pinning all the little points and scallops. Isn’t it amazing?!

But look at the difference between the top slice and the bottom slice. See how the top slice looks bunched up? That’s before blocking. And the lacy and open bottom slice is after.

Just imagine if they had left this gorgeous doily unblocked. Would it ever have laid flat? Could you even see all the special stitches and lacy spaces there toward the center? The points and loops on the outer edge wouldn’t even be noticeable! The stitches for them are, but you can’t see them. THIS is why we block. Maybe not so much for things like dish cloths or mittens, but for anything with a stitch pattern, yes, you really should block it.

Getting your Block On

Just so that you are aware, blocking is not a difficult thing to do. It does, however, take some supplies, and usually a good bit of time if you’re going to do it right. See these three pictures on the right? They show the transition from a bunched up swatch of yarn, to the blocking mat, and finally to the absolutely stunning shawl that this artist knew they were making all along. I’m sure it took a lot of faith in the magic of blocking to continue on knitting this lace shawl when the whole time it was looking like the top picture!

So let’s get ready to do some blocking! 

Then first thing you’ll need is something to block your item on. Some people, like me, have special blocking mats we like to use. They are made of dense foam, and they interlock to form a surface as big as you need. The middle picture here shows interlocking blocking mats. The ones I have are smaller, and I have two sets so that I can put together a mat for unusual designs, such as crescent or asymmetrical shawls

You’ll also need some rust-resistant pins, and if you’re blocking lace, some blocking wires. I just use guitar strings.

You’re going to soak your item in a warm bath for a little while, then squeeze or spin as much of the water out of it as you can. Block damp, not saturated! Lay your item out on the blocking mat in the form it should be when it dries. Pin it liberally, taking care to get all the little points. There are never too many pins when you’re blocking a piece! Once you’ve pulled it out into the correct shape and pinned it, let it dry and you’re good to go!

It's Not Just for Lace!

While blocking is, of course, necessary for lace projects in order to open them up, I am a firm believer that a good blocking equals a better finished, more polished piece of knitting or crochet. This before/after of a sweater shows how even cables can benefit from a good blocking. 

Blocking helps any item go from “homemade” to “handmade” and is the final touch that I would encourage you to add to all of your projects.

Are you first time blocker, looking to give it a try? Show us! I’m dying to see how it goes for you. I bet you’ll love it, and will block from now on. Share your before/after pics on social media and hashtag them #RowsAndRosesBlocking so we can all see your masterpiece! And as always, if you have found value in anything set forth in this blog post, please consider sharing, pinning, tweeting, or otherwise helping to get it out there for others to use ♥

Craft-alongs

Craft-alongs

Why community is so important

I’ve always been quick and easy to make friends. All my life, I’ve enjoyed getting to meet up with other humans and hang out and chat. I love getting to know people: their interests, their stories, what makes them tick. Sharing my thoughts and ideas, and interests and plans, is very important to me when connecting with people. If I’m currently feeling the urge to get creative in the kitchen, I seek out others who love to cook. When we’re struggling through a difficult time in our homeschool, I reach out to homeschool communities locally and on facebook to share my frustrations and get new ideas, as well as gain a new perspective. Human beings connecting with other human beings- REALLY connecting and not just smiling and sipping coffee and remarking on the weather- is the single most important thing in life that I can think of. It’s no wonder then that craft-alongs are one of my very favorite things to do.

What are craft-alongs?

When I think of craft-alongs, I think specifically of crochet-alongs (CALs,) knit-alongs (KALs,) spin-alongs (SALs,) and weave-alongs (WALs.) I’m sure there are other craft-alongs out there, but these are what I’m into since I’m a yarny. 

In a CAL, for instance, a group of us get together and pick a crochet pattern- or pattern type- and then we all crochet it at the same time. We share our yarn choices, our pictures of our works in progress (WIPs,) and we ask questions and encourage each other. It’s a great way for crocheters to connect with each other and gain inspiration and offer help. Furthermore, it gives us the sense of community and  camaraderie that many of us so crave. We laugh and cut up, and just have an all around great time. There is really something to be said for doing the same thing with a bunch of other people, all over the world, at the same time.

Craft-alongs for motivation

Sometimes I just want to make something different. Or sometimes I need to make something custom ordered and just really don’t know about this pattern or design. Possibly, I’m scared of messing it up. Then again, I could just be in a creative rut. 

Craft-alongs to the rescue! I love joining into a community of other makers who are making the same thing. I’ve found it especially helpful during a daunting project to be able to chat about our experiences with the pattern. If anyone has questions, they ask in the group and everyone else chimes in with their helpful answers. Errors happen in patterns sometimes, and when someone catches it, posting in the -along helps everyone else who hasn’t made it that far yet.

Rockstar Ravelry

If you’re looking to join a craft-along or two, my advice to you is the check out Ravelry. This website is FULL of everything yarn. From their massive database of knitting and crochet patterns, to their forums full of groups of every kind of yarn crafting imaginable, Ravelry has it all. I have a group there for Rows and Roses, and we actually have a CAL for my Felici on the Double cowl going on right now! Pictures are being shared and encouragement is being given as we speak. Please come join us, we are having so much fun! It’s free to join, and only takes a second (username and password. Done!) You can create project pages for everything you knit or crochet, find groups of people for just about anything you can think of, and I’ve never seen so many patterns in my life. Many of them are free! Come join our community, cast your voice with the rest, and show us what you’re working with!

Felici On The Double Cowl

Felici On The Double Cowl

FREE crochet pattern!

Felici cowl

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I am giving you all this Felici On The Double Cowl crochet pattern I wrote, for free. I am so thankful for you! If you don’t know about Felici, this is a Knit Picks Special Reserve yarn that only stocks twice a year, and is much loved and coveted by Felici lovers such as myself. In fact, we tend to be known for never using it, in fear that no pattern we choose will do it justice. In my humble opinion, this pattern does! If you decide to crochet this cowl, please hit the “favorite” button and create a project page on Ravelry. There are precious few crochet patterns written specifically for Felici, and I’m hoping to remedy that. On to the pattern!

Get your printable .pdf copy of this pattern for just $1.99 and help support my little business!

**Find the matching hat pattern HERE **

Felici On The Double Cowl

Crochet Cowl

Materials:    Hook size I/5.5mm, 2 balls of Felici (can be same or different colorways)

Before you get started:

~ This pattern is written for two strands of yarn held together at the same time.

~ There is a strangeish stitch here where you work a DC2tog decrease over 3 sts instead of two. Basically you will skip the middle of the 3 sts completely, working your decrease into the 1st and 3rd sts.

~ The ch 2 at the beginning of each row does NOT count as a stitch.

Gauge is not important, just know that you may have to stop a row early if you use a bigger hook or get a bigger gauge. No big deal 🙂 For more on why gauge IS usually important, check out this post.

My finished cowl was 8″ wide by 28″ circumference. Your size may vary, and this is okay! This pattern is meant to be laid back and stress free, so don’t overthink it!

 

felici cowl

Time to get hookin'!

Instructions:

  • ch 33, with both strands held together
  • Foundation row: 2DC in 2nd ch from hook, *DC in next 3 chs, DC2tog over next 3 chs skipping middle one, DC in next 3 chs, 3DC in next ch** repeat * to ** to end, ending with only 2DC in last ch. Turn. = 31 sts
  • Ch 2, 2DC in first st, *DC in next 3 sts, DC2tog over next 3 sts skipping middle st, DC in next 3 sts, 3DC in next st** repeat * to ** to end, ending with only 2 DC in last st. Turn. = 33 sts

Repeat previous row until almost out of yarn (I got 48 rows.) Then, line up ends and sl st together to form the cowl. Weave in ends. Was this the easiest thing ever?

felici cowl

I can’t wait to see your color combos! Post your finished object on facebook or instagram with the hashtag #FeliciOnTheDouble so we can all be inspired!
I hope you enjoy this Felici On The Double Cowl FREE crochet pattern. Writing patterns is time-consuming and labor intensive, so I don’t often offer them for free. Please, if you love this pattern, share this post! Share on facebook, link from your blog, or share in Ravelry forums. We need more Felici crochet patterns, so let’s help get this one out there! ♥

I have uploaded a .pdf version of this pattern to Ravelry to make it easier to print and take with you. For the month of January (2020) you can get it free using the code CAL when you check out. Otherwise, it’s just $1.99 like all my patterns. Thanks for your support! Get it here

THROWBACK: Candy Corn Sack

THROWBACK: Candy Corn Sack

**FREE CROCHET PATTERN**

In honor of my very favorite time of year, I decided to move my free crochet pattern for this Candy Corn Sack over to the new blog, for your hooking pleasure 🙂 This was hugely popular when I first released it. If you haven’t made one yet, you still have time before Halloween! If you love this, please share ♥

(Original post from 2017)

Here at Rows and Roses, we’re all so excited for cooler weather and scary good times. I created this pattern for Halloween this year, for my kids and for a round of Halloween specials that just recently closed in my group. You know I never publish free patterns, so I thought I’d spread a little spooky fun and share it with you 🙂

One thing, though: please make sure that if you choose to share this pattern with your friends (and I sure hope you will!) that you only provide a link to this blog or to the pattern on Ravelry. Writing a pattern takes a long time and always makes me want to cry a little, so please never claim a pattern as your own or copy & paste any part of it. Always link!

Alright, let’s have it:

Candy Corn Sack

Free crochet pattern

Materials:(1) skein I Love This Yarn (Hobby Lobby brand) in “Ivory” (40 yards)

(1) skein I Love This Yarn in “Desert Glaze” (75 yards)
(1) skein I Love This Yarn in “Yellow” (90 yards)
Hook- size 7 (gauge isn’t important, so whatever makes a good fabric for you)

Stitches Used:
Chain (ch)
Single crochet (sc) 
Slip stitch (sl st)
Increase (inc) two sc in next st
Decrease (dec) pull up a loop in each of the next 2 sts, yo and pull through all 3 loops on hook
Half double crochet (hdc) In this pattern, these are only worked INTO THE                                              STITCH BELOW the stitch you would normally work into. This is to create a thick, sturdy, reinforced handle.

The way I work up this bag is by putting 2 increases, an equal distance apart, into every round. This forms a nice, slow flare, making the triangle shape not too deep and not too shallow. I work in a spiral, so no joining rounds (until close to the end.) I use a stitch marker near the beginning of the rounds just so I know where I am. 

Let’s get started!

With Ivory:
Ch 4. Join with sl st to form a ring. 
6 sc in center of ring. DO NOT JOIN, here and throughout until instructed.
*Inc in next st, sc in each of next 2 sts* twice. = 8sc
*Inc in next st, sc in each of next 3 sts* twice. = 10sc
*Inc in next st, sc in each of next 4 sts* twice. = 12sc

Continue in this manner until you have 50 sc around, or, as I prefer to count my sections separately, 25 sc from one inc to the next.

Change to Desert Glaze in last st.

With Desert Glaze:
*Inc in next st, sc in each of the next 24 sts* twice. = 52sc
*Inc in next st, sc in each of the next 25 sts* twice. = 54sc

Continue in this manner, remembering to move your stitch marker each time it starts to shift too much, until you have 90 sc, or 45 sc from one inc to the next.

Change to Yellow in last st.

With Yellow:
*Inc in the next st, sc in each of the next 44 sts* twice. = 92sc
*Inc in the next st, sc in each of the next 45 sts* twice. = 94sc

Continue for 3 more rounds, until you have 100 sc around, or 50 sc from one inc to the next.

NOW YOU WILL JOIN by slipping into the next st (which would be the first st of the next round.)
Ch 1.
Now you’re starting the even, joined rounds.
*sc around. Join with sl st. Ch 1.* 5 times altogether. You now have 5 even joined rounds of 100 sc.

Time to start the handles!
Still with Yellow:
  sc 15, ch 28, skip 20 sts, sc 30, ch 28, skip 20 sts, sc in 15. Join.

Now we will work 3 rounds of sc, while decreasing at the places where the handles “join” the bag.

*sc in each st to 1 sc before ch, dec in next sc and 1st ch, sc in each ch to last ch, dec in next ch and 1st sc after ch* twice, sc in remaining sts. Join. = 112sc

*sc in each st until 1 sc before dec, dec in next sc and dec, sc in each st to dec, dec in dec and next sc* twice, sc in remaining sts. Join. = 108sc

Repeat previous round. = 104sc

To finish up, we’re going to work a final round of hdc, working into the stitches one row below. THESE ARE THE STITCHES YOU JUST WORKED INTO ON THE PREVIOUS ROUND. This creates a thick reinforced ridge at the top of the handles.

hdc in each st BELOW, all the way around, skipping the decreases altogether. (You will see where the decreases from the previous row are, there will be 3 “holes” in which you can place a stitch. You will hdc into the first “hole,” skip the second, and hdc into the third. If reading this doesn’t make much sense, it will once you’re actually doing it. Don’t worry, keep going <3 )  = 104hdc

That’s it! You’re all finished! Grab a yarn needle and weave in your ends, then go collect as much candy as possible <3

If you like this free crochet pattern, please leave a comment here, on Rav, favorite it, queue it, Pin it, pass it on, visit my facebook page, join my group, or drop me an email.

Check out all the pretty stuff I’m offering in my shop right now!

Is Gauge Important?

Is Gauge Important?

Have you had trouble getting gauge with knit and crochet? Is getting gauge with knit and crochet even important? Read on and let me help!

An adventure in swatching- Getting Gauge with knit and crochet

The short answer: Yes. Getting gauge in knit and crochet *IS* important. This is true especially if you are unsure about sizing, or the pattern uses a technique that is new to you. Doubly so if your math skills are not up to snuff, or you have a specific amount of yarn with which to work. Basically, there are many good reasons why you’ll want to pay attention to gauge. Read on and see how you can make gauge work for you.

These swatches are all the exact same yarn, worked with different sized hooks.

Gauge? Huh?

So what is gauge, exactly? Well, to put it simply, gauge is how many stitches and/or rows you have per unit of measurement, usually 1″ or 4″ squared. If you’re looking at a pattern and it tells you that gauge is 20 sts x 24 rows = 4″ then you know two things. First, that 20 stitches needs to be 4″ across. Which also mean you’ll need 24 rows to be 4″ tall. Here’s where you need to swatch.

A gauge swatch is simply knitting or crocheting a small, square piece of fabric using the yarn and hook or needles specified in the pattern. Work your swatch before you do anything else so that you can see how close (or far off) you are from the intended gauge. If you’re getting less stitches per inch than the pattern calls for (for example you only get 12 stitches in 4″,) then you’ll need to go down a hook or needle size and try again. Same goes the other direction: if you’re getting too many stitches in your measured section, then your hook or needles are too small and you’ll need to go up a size.

Tell me why!

What happens if your gauge is close but not quite? What happens if you decide not to swatch and just hope for the best? Well…. maybe everything will be okay, but more than likely, you’re going to deal a with a good bit of frogging (rip-it, rip-it) and a whole lot of wasted time. Here’s why:

Say your gauge is too small, but not by much. Maybe you’re supposed to get 10 stitches per inch, but you’re  getting 11. Seems like not a huge deal, so you just go with it. Close enough is close enough, right? Well, maybe. If you’re just making a washcloth, or a scarf, then you may not mind one bit if it’s just slightly wider or longer that the pattern says it will be. In fact, you may never even notice! 

But what if it’s a sweater? Or mittens? You must remember that you’re not going to be just one stitch too many in the finished item, but rather one stitch PER INCH too many. If your item is supposed to be 10 inches long, then at 11 stitches per inch, it’s going to be 11 inches long. For a mitten, that’s a good bit more than you bargained for. What if your finished item is supposed to be 30 inches long? Now it’s going to be 33. 

Think about that. That’s a BIG difference, especially in something like sleeve length, or bust circumference! This is how being just slightly off in gauge can result in a hat or sweater that is completely unwearable. Look what happened when I tried to knit an adult hat and didn’t swatch:

Great, but is it ALWAYS necessary?

It is absolutely possible to turn this whole idea on its head though, if you’re good at math and know what you’re doing. One of my preferred methods of creating “my own” item out of someone else’s pattern is to swatch for fabric, rather than for gauge. Especially if the yarn contains any silk (swoooooon.) I will look at the recommended hook or needle size and start there, just to have a jumping-off point. Then I will make 3-4 swatches with hook/needle sizes close to the stated size .

For example, if a pattern calls for a 4mm hook, I may make swatches using 3.5, 4, 5, and maybe even 6. This is so that I can see how the fabric feels and drapes. I’ll pick the swatch that looks and feels the best to me, and then rework the math in the pattern to make it match my gauge. 

This is fairly time consuming, and math isn’t something I’m great at, only passable. Therefore, I tend not to do this for a customer’s order as it takes an ample amount of extra time and effort, and I have to charge extra for that. As I progress in my journey, I hope to one day be good enough at it to start making most of my items this way.

Show us your gauge!

I’d love to see your pictures of gauges gone wrong! Send them to Sati@rowsandroses.com or post them on the facebook page with hashtag #GaugeGoneWrong and share your horror story with the world. Show everyone why getting gauge with knit and crochet is so important! 

If you have any questions about what you’ve read, you can always contact me. And please, if you found value in this post, take just a second or two to hit some buttons for me. Like, tweet, pin, comment, and mostly SHARE SHARE SHARE!

Yarn Selection: How it works

Yarn Selection: How it works

Part I: Fiber

Have you ever fallen so deeply in love with a yarn or pattern that you had to have it RIGHT NOW RIGHT NOW!! so you send me what you have and tell me what you want, and…. I dash your dreams by telling you that there’s no way this yarn and this pattern will work together? If you have, then I’m so sorry to have to be the person who ruins everything! But you know what? The ruination (new word, enjoy) would have been much more devastating if we had gone ahead and messed up your yarn with the wrong pattern, or messed up your finished item by using the wrong yarn.

What makes a yarn perfect for an item, or all wrong? There are two factors here: fiber content and yarn weight. We’ll discuss fiber today, and leave weight for a Part 2 post. For now, enjoy these gorgeous yarn pics while I babble.

There are two different kinds of fibers we will discuss here because the third type (man-made aka acrylic, polyester, nylon, etc.) are all plastics and I tend to stay far away from those if I can help it. For today, we have plant fibers and animal fibers. A few types include:

Plant:

  • cotton
  • hemp
  • bamboo
  • linen (flax)
  • jute

Animal

  • wool (all different breeds!)
  • alpaca
  • cashmere
  • angora
  • silk (it comes from worms)
  • mohair
  • yak

So how do we know what gets used where? Well, there are no hard and fast rules that apply across the board (that I’m aware of, anyway) but there are some basic ideas that can help us decide.

For example, plant fibers, like cotton and bamboo, tend to be very strong and absorbent (especially linen!) so they are great choices for kitchen textiles such as dishcloths, hand towels, and placemats. They do not, however, hold their shape very well, especially when wet, and can become heavy and stretched out. Because of this, you wouldn’t normally use cotton for a heavy sweater, or something that needs to spring back and “hug” you, like a hat, or socks.

On the other hand, animal fibers such as wool and alpaca, tend to be very warm, and very springy. They are excellent for things like sweaters and hats because they’re lighter than plant fibers and don’t usually pull out of shape. They are insulating and will help you retain body heat in the winter, but they’re also very breathable and will actually keep you from sweating. This is why cloth diapering parents LOVE woolies! They’ll absorb moisture while allowing the air to circulate and dry the skin off. No diaper rashes here!

Now don’t get me wrong, lots of items “could” be made with all different types of fibers and turn out just fine. I’ve made hats from cotton before, I just make sure to let the recipient know that it may require more frequent trips through the dryer to spring back into shape. I don’t normally make “kitchen stuff” with animal fibers, but I LOVE making coffee cozies and trivets out of wool since wool will hug my cup better AND keep things warmer, for longer.

It is my mission as a semi-professional yarny to make sure that you are aware of these things when deciding on an item you want, and while picking a yarn for it. I am always happy to make suggestions and will be sure to steer you in the right direction. I won’t let us run off the rails and make something that ends up being completely ridiculous and useless by choosing a yarn that couldn’t possibly work. Forever and always, I am committed to bringing you items that are wonderfully astounding and will be loved and cherished- and USED!- year after year after year.

Join me here again later on for more chatter on yarn in Part II: Yarn Weight. Until then, why not cruise the site and see what you can see? Every single like, comment, pin, tweet, and share, is so appreciated as it helps Rows and Roses to grow and thrive. Thank you so much for being here ♥

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