Caroline Bawn is the owner of online yarn store, Gorgeous Yarns. She’s a knitter, but has made a new year’s resolution to learn to crochet, and over the coming months she’ll be documenting her journey in the magazine and here on the website:
“Welcome to the beginning of my new creative adventure.
“I 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 – hopefully each will show off the other!
“I 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. I’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!
“My 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, I’m a determined person, so I persevered.
“I 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 – I thought my difficulties were over! No, it’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 I’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).
“I 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! I’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 it’s going to be a birthday present for her. What do you think of it now it’s finished? I’m so pleased I’m going to make another one in another colour.
“Finishing 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!
“I am really looking forward to making lots of crochet projects this year, the possibilities are endless, and it’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 don’ts welcome! If you are a learner, like me, let’s learn together and share how we get on.”
Look out for more of Caroline’s projects over the coming months. You can visit Caroline’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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