I told you a few weeks ago that I had agreed to make my daughter a coat.
Now I really like Regina’s patterns and this one was in Tunisian simple stitch that I thought I could manage.
As I showed you I managed to get into the groove with DK yarn.
Now I had had a quick look at the yarn that was needed and noted that it was an Aran weight yarn and bought suitable hooks that I thought between them would let me achieve the correct tension.
So far so good.
I later had another more detailed look at the yarn description and discovered that although it is designed to be worked as Aran, it is actually more like a thin DK for thickness.
Now I still had the yarn that I had complained to Stylecraft about as being too thin, so I got this out and worked another sample with the larger hook.
Maybe a bit trickier but I eventually felt I was was mostly okay.
There was a bit of an issue with colour for the main body yarn because the one my daughter liked best had been discontinued but eventually we managed to get that yarn after all – Healing Teal and so I could start.
The idea is that as with many crochet patterns you make a long chain and work into the back of the chains.
Now I am very familiar with doing this, as you will realise if you’ve seen some of my patterns. It has become my favourite way.
However with this yarn, not only was it hard to know which hook to use to make the chain but having made it, it was so loose and the yarn so wiggly that seeing where the back loops were was almost impossible. Or should I simply say “was impossible!”
Here are the Aran, thin DK and recommended yarn compared.
Can you see what I mean?
Luckily there was a description of Foundation Tunisian Simple Stitch that allowed you to make the chain and the first row all in one, a stitch at a time. Still a bit tricky but possible.
So I managed to make a tension sample.
which confirmed what I had found already that I needed a 7.5 hook and not a 6.5.
Well maybe a bit wonky or is it the yarn?
Now, if you look at the back of my previous two samples you can see that the stitches are fairly clear and not perfect but good enough, since you don’t see them.
Well this yarn is so crinkly and variegated that I can’t even tell if it is even or if I am making mistakes or if the back is even (as long as the number of loops on the hook is correct, I plough on.) I suppose you could call this a blessing as well as a curse. Hopefully if I can’t tell if it’s not okay no-one else can.
It’s not so good for my eyes though I realise.
They say you should not stare at a VDU continuously. Well my VDU backs onto a wall but there is a window in the same wall and I often find myself looking out of it.
My mother could knit without even having to look at what she was doing. I am not quite that good but I don’t have to look all the time with stocking stitch and even with crochet I don’t have to look continuously and can watch a TV programme at the same time. So my eyes get a change between near and distance.
With the Tunisian crochet I have felt that I had to look at it with a ferocious intensity: firstly to make sure that I am going into every loop and then on the return pass to check that I am going through two loops and not one or three. Not much happens between these actions so no time to look away.
I think I am going to have to slow down watch TV at the same time and make a point of stopping and looking at the screen and hope it doesn’t mean more mistakes. And it’s not like I am going at more than a snail’s pace already!
The yarn seems to be becoming even more variable in colour and thickness and it’s so easy to miss a stitch and I have to count every time I have filled up the hook.
And this is just the relatively easy sleeve.
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Well that was what I thought when I started putting this post together a couple of days ago. Now it is Sunday and I have undone about twenty rows because I could see that my tension had changed in the middle which would have made a wonky sleeve.
I have totally lost my confidence and the bumpy back looks all wrong, even if it isn’t.
And that is before I finish the sleeve and have to extend the sleeve to create the body and have four times as many stitches by making another chain one end and this time you can’t work the FTSS, that I mentioned above, but I think I have worked out how to make a chain using a knitting needle which captures the back loops on the needle. You can use FTSS for the extension at the other end so at least that is something.
Oh well – I undid about the top third of the photograph above of the back. Now in the middle of row 12. With the extra length for my daughter’s arm that is about another fifty rows before I have to do the extending.
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A concerted effort Sunday afternoon/evening and I have replaced about half of the rows I had to undo.
I think it’s better this time.
Chose to leave it on the hook, though it doesn’t lie flat that way as the piece is longer than the hook.