Monday, January 24, 2011

Shall we gather?!

Note: I meant to post this last Monday but I was stricken by the plague. Ok maybe just the flu but I was in bed for literally 3 days straight. I'm still not quite right but at least I can sit up and stand now without the room spinning!

SO... lets tally the votes! haha

3 - slippers
1 - ear warmers
1 - fingerless gloves
1 - hat

Yeah! We'll do the slippers which I was really excited to make myself. But if I do my job correctly over this coming week you will know and understand crochet terms and stitches as well as the "magic adjustable ring" used so frequently to start crocheting. You should also be able to read a pattern written in American crochet terms and hopefully be able to create any of these quick and simple projects!

There are also so many patterns out there written in "graph" or "chart" form. And if I stumble across any free ones we can work on those too later on. I just learned to read these recently when I was making some Hello Kitty amigurumi (a big fancy Japanese word for crocheted doll) dolls for the girls. The patterns are "written" in Japanese luckily the book I purchased also had the charts! My hubby called me crazy for buying a book written in Japanese, until I showed him the charts. haha

So for the slippers you will need:

one skein of worsted (medium) weight yarn in the color of your choosing
a small bit of a contrasting color (for the edging and straps) in worsted (medium) weight as well
An H (5.00mm) hook
A couple large buttons
a tapestry needle (or any needle really, used to sew on the buttons)

Let me explain a bit. If you've never worked with yarn your probably asking yourself what the heck is a skein and worsted weight?

A skein is a length of thread or yarn wound in a loose long coil. So in simpleton terms that means one ball or bundle of yarn like what is pictured above.

Worsted weight is a general weight for yarn. It is a medium weight smooth yarn (also pictured above). It is easy to work with (since you can easily see your stitches). It also yields smooth, warm finished products. So your feet will be soft and warm! You will find what type of yarn on the label of yarn. See that little number 4 on the wrapper of a picture of yarn. That will show you your weight. Also on the label you will find the best suited hook for that specific yarn as well as the washing instructions and usually a lot number. If you are making a blanket or something larger pay attention to lot numbers when purchasing multiple skeins of yarn. Sometimes colors will vary slightly from lot to lot.

Basically, if you use a fine yarn your slippers will be too small in contrast to if you use a bulky yarn you slippers will be too big. I can usually tell by looking at the yarns. And soon enough you will be able too as well!

Please oh please refrain from purchasing these beautiful yarns for this project. Both are bulky weight (so they aren't the right weight anyway). But more importantly from a beginners standpoint you will want to rip your hair out because of how difficult the stitches will be to see! When working with a hairy yarn you more or less "feel" where your next stitch will go since the hair covers what you would normally look for. The finished product is beautiful (like the soft pink cocoon I did) but you will probably add some of your own ripped out hair to the product! haha And the bauble sort of thick yarn is really beautiful too. Probably easier to work with than the hairy one but a nuisance all the same. Either way these are examples of what NOT to get!

When you are looking at hooks I like metal hooks. They don't flex when you are working with them at all and they are nice and smooth making the stitches work evenly. You can get a variety pack for very inexpensive. You can also buy the ones with bamboo handles and they are good too more ergonomical or whatever?! But I hold my hook higher than the handles so they don't make much of a difference for me.

SO go gather and meet me back here on Wednesday and we'll get started!! In the meantime I'm going to work a few of these up and see if I run into any difficulties!

Love and Hugs,


Leigh Anne said...

Yay! Thanks for the wonderful explanation....can't wait to get started :)

barneyn said...

oh yay! this will be fun! i love to crochet and have never done slippers but it will be fun!

J. Camille said...

Excited to get started! I used metal hooks originally, but my husband got me a set of bamboo hooks for Christmas. Love them!