Caroline Bawn is the owner of online yarn store, Gorgeous Yarns. Sheâ€™s a knitter, but has made a new yearâ€™s resolution to learn to crochet, and over the coming months sheâ€™ll be documenting her journey in the magazine and here on the website:
â€œWelcome to the beginning of my new creative adventure.
â€œI own an online yarn shop, Gorgeous Yarns and I will be using the hand-dyed yarns we sell for the patterns and designs I make â€“ hopefully each will show off the other!
â€œI can crochet a bit, but not very well (my Gran taught me when I was a little girl) and patterns are like a foreign language to me, so I will be sharing my experiences this year as I learn. Iâ€™ll tell you where I find useful tips and resources, my trials and errors, mistakes and successes, and hopefully by the end of 2015 I will be able to count myself as a crocheter!
â€œMy Mum gave me a very old book of crochet stitches for beginners, so I had a go. What I quickly discovered was that crochet is about rhythm and tension; my first attempts at a foundation chain were loopy, then tight, and to work the first row on top, well, it was horrible! Uneven and unattractive and not like the pictures. But, Iâ€™m a determined person, so I persevered.
â€œI next looked at various clips on YouTube and I stumbled on one which showed how to create the foundation chain and first row in one go. Brilliant â€“ I thought my difficulties were over! No, itâ€™s still about rhythm and tension. It was a lot easier though, once I got my head around working sideways for the first section, then working back and forth after that. I have practised and practised, and Iâ€™m getting used to holding the hook in my right hand, yarn in my left hand controlling the tension of the yarn (very strange for a knitter, used to two needles and the yarn in my right hand).
â€œI found this lovely cowl design by Kristen Hein Strohm and decided this would be a great first project because it looks far more complicated than it is! Iâ€™m using two strands of Pirkkalanka yarn: one of Vahva (DK) and one of Ohut (4ply), in this gorgeous soft mulberry purple. I think my sister will love it so itâ€™s going to be a birthday present for her. What do you think of it now itâ€™s finished? Iâ€™m so pleased Iâ€™m going to make another one in another colour.
â€œFinishing the ends was a bit tricky. I struggled to make the joins look smooth and tidy when I crocheted them together, so I ended up sewing them neatly and hiding the joins in the plait. Note to self: learn to finish off ends and join pieces together properly!
â€œI am really looking forward to making lots of crochet projects this year, the possibilities are endless, and itâ€™s very exciting to think about my skills growing through the year. I would love to hear from you; any tips, encouragement or dos or donâ€™ts welcome! If you are a learner, like me, letâ€™s learn together and share how we get on.â€
Look out for more of Carolineâ€™s projects over the coming months. You can visit Carolineâ€™s Facebook group at www.facebook.com/gorgeousyarns and the Gorgeous Yarns Ravelry group at www.ravelry.com/groups/gorgeous-yarns.
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