Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Tunisian crochet

Tunisian crochet has been described as a cross between knitting and crochet but it is much closer to crochet in technique and movement.

The craft uses a long hook or as in our Deluxe Ginger hook set, a hook with an interchangeable cable and cable stopper attached. This allows you to make your projects as wide as you want.

In Tunisian crochet each row involves two “passes”. On the first pass you work into the row below in a similar way to crochet but leaving the loops on your hook. Then, on the second pass you work back from left to right through the loops until you are back to just one stitch.

By varying how you work into the row below you can create fabric with either a woven or a knitted look.

Because you use a larger size hook (generally two sizes up) than you would in traditional crochet, your project grows quickly once you get to grips with the stitches.

It is a fun technique with plenty of online tutorials and is great for creating accessories such as scarves and wraps, and homewares such as blankets and cushions because of the squishy, thick fabric you can create. When learning start with the simple stitch and the full stitch as pictured here to get the hang of creating the stitches and working the two pass rows. Then you can move on to a wider range of stitches.

We have picked out a few patterns to get you started.

This pretty 4ply shawl uses the Tunisian simple stitch and an eyelet pattern. It is recommended for confident crocheters wanting to try their first Tunisian project. 

These placemats are a good way to practice your Tunisian crochet including how to change colours.

Once you get more confident with colourwork in Tunisian crochet you could tackle something like this interesting modular blanket.

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Fix a cable without ripping all your work back

One of the most frustrating things that can happen when you are working on a cable pattern, is when you suddenly notice that one cable is crossed the wrong way.

Your usual reaction is that you are going to have to rip out several rows to solve the problem but there is another way if you catch your mistake in time. It is possible to just drop down the cable stitches and cross them over the correct way.

Step 1
Work across to the part of the cable that is wrong.
Place your work on a foam blocking mat and slip the cable stitches off your needle.

Step 2
Rip back one row from the affected stitches and pin the loop of yarn released to the matt as shown.

Step 3
Repeat the process, row by row, pining out each loop, until you have ripped out the row of the cable cross. Use lockable stitch markers to secure each stitch individually.

Step 4
Use a crochet hook to pick up one column of stitches ensuring the cable crosses correctly and place the stitch back on the correct needle.
You may need to unpin each strand of yarn but only release one at a time and repin it after you have picked up the stitch.

Step 5
Repeat for the remaining stitches.

Once you have complete the row and worked back the corrected cable will look like any other.

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Measure your knitting with our new SmartStix needles

How many times has this happened to you? 

You are merrily knitting away on a rib band or nearing the armhole shaping on a jumper and reach for your tape measure to check the length, but you measure isn’t in your project bag.

We’ve all tried to improvise measuring implements or guessed (sometimes very badly) the length of our project.

Our new SmartStix offer a solution because if you have your needles, you have a measure. The metal needle tips and the cables on the circular and interchangeable needles are marked in 2cm intervals turning them into instant measuring tapes. There are also SmartStix double pointed needles.

As you can see it is easy to check the length of your project.

The marked up cable make it very easy to check your stitch tension while knitting. Here we have placed our knitting flat, being careful not to stretch it. The pins mark either end of a 10cm space as indicated on the cables. It is easy to count the stitches in 10cm.

We think these are going to be a very handy addition to our knitting kit.