We’re gearing up to start our Team Scoreboard KAL sponsored by Skacel. This KAL uses a great yarn called ‘Simplicity‘ that is very wearable and machine washable! The KAL is fun because you get to create a unique “Knitted Record” of the scores for your favorite team in a scarf that tells the story of their season! Each scarf has at least 2 colors. Every time your team scores you knit the number of rows for points your team gets. If the opposing team scores, you knit rows for their points. When the game is over you knit a purl row to call it wrap and begin again on the next game!
Be sure to pick your colors and order up your yarn so you can participate and share in the fun this football season! We’ll posting photos along the way and having fun knitting while we support our favorite teams!
Author, Teacher, and Designer Michelle “Knit Purl” Hunter is once again teaming up with skacel to create the most highly anticipated knit-along of 2015!
Slated to kick off with the beginning of the football season, the 2015 Scoreboard KAL will allow fans to capture their favorite team’s season in the form of a hand-knit SCOREBOARD cowl!
THE SCORECARD KAL PATTERN WILL BE AVAILABLE ON SEPTEMBER 3, 2015!
Let’s show some team spirit and…may your favorite team win!
Here’s the college colors by number:
and here’s the Professional Team colors by number:
We have created a visual step by step guide to help you learn about the basics of crochet. Whether you’re new to stitching and would like to learn how to crochet or if you’re a knitter looking to diversify your skills today we’ll teach you how to get started crocheting!
Make A Slip Knot
Before we begin we’ll need to start with a slip knot. Hold a loop of yarn in your right hand, with the yarns crossed. Pick up the strand that is still attached to the ball. This is underneath the cut end of the yarn and is called the tail. Pinch the strand of yarn that’s still attached to your ball of yarn and pull through the loop on your right hand, holding the ends in your left hand. Place this loop on your crochet hook, you’ve created a slip knot! Pull the ends of the yarn to tighten the knot on your crochet hook. Now we’re ready to crochet.
Step 1: Bring the yarn over your crochet hook, making sure that the yarn is coming from behind the hook and towards you over the hook.
Step 2: Pull this loop through the stitch on your hook. You’ve chained one stitch!
Continue to chain stitch until you have enough stitches for your pattern, or you’re happy with the width of your crochet piece.
Single Crochet: First Row
Step 1: Skip the first stitch down from your hook, and insert your crochet hook into the second stitch from the hook, inserting through the center of the stitch.
Step 2: Bring the yarn over the hook, making sure that the yarn is coming from behind the hook and towards you.
Step 3: Pull this loop through your chain stitch, you’ll now have two stitches on your crochet hook.
Step 4: Bring the yarn over the crochet hook again, then pull the loop through both stitches on your hook.
Step 5: You’ll be left with one stitch on your hook, you’ve just completed your first single crochet stitch! Insert your hook into the next stitch, and repeat from Step 2 until you’ve worked a row of single crochet into all of your chain stitches.
Single Crochet: Next Row
This is what your piece should look like after completing your first single crochet row.
Step 1: Turn your work, and chain 1 stitch by bringing the yarn over the hook, then pulling it through the stitch on your hook. This will give height to the edge of your work so that you’ll have straight edges and clean corners.
Step 2: Insert your hook into the first stitch of the first single crochet row, going through the center so that you’ll have two strands over your hook. Single crochet as before, going back to Steps 2-5 of the Single Crochet First Row. All consecutive rows are started like the this, and the single crochet is the same throughout. It’s important to remember that on the first row you skip the first chain stitch, and then on consecutive rows you chain 1 stitch at the beginning of each row.
To finish cut your yarn, and pull the stitch on your hook up until the cut end of the yarn comes out the other end of your work. Don’t forget… when learning a new skill it will take some practice. Soon you’ll be crocheting like a pro! Have you tried crochet? We’d love to hear your thoughts on learning to crochet.
Knitting. It’s the new yoga. It’s hip. It’s trending. You can knit on your arm or fingers. Celebrities knit. We hear more about knitting today than any other craft.
What’s happened to crochet?
Plenty! Crochet is full of innovation, creativity, and beauty. I sometimes feel crochet is the craft people “admit” to doing. I hear customers in our store say, “I don’t knit, I only crochet.”, almost as if crochet is something less than knitting.
But it’s not less, it’s just different.
I did a quick search on youtube- the word knitting returned 717,000 videos. The word crochet returned 1,670,00 videos. I believe that people like to crochet!
Crochet was the first needle craft I learned. I grew up surrounded by thread crochet pieces that my grandmothers and great-grandmothers had made and I was impressed. At age 17, I went to my local yarn store and took a beginning crochet class. That began a fiber adventure that has lead me to knitting, spinning, tatting, and now even working in a yarn shop. I still enjoy crochet. It’s my personal favorite way to use a lace weight yarn.
If crochet has been overlooked by the major pattern and yarn companies, it has not been overlooked by independent designers. There are patterns all over the internet, both free and purchased that are beautiful and wearable.
I know that crochet has a bad wrap sheet- I remember the days of toilet tissue covers and Christmas candles crocheted to fit over aluminum cans. It was ugly.
But today you can find a huge variety of patterns and styles that are stunning. One of my favorite designers is Tara Murray. Her patterns are a delight. I made these cuties out of Cascade 220.
She was busy the rest of the summer, filling requests to make more!
Another staff member, Tina, made this beautiful cowl from Cascade Kid Seta and taught it as a class here in the store.
So, do you crochet? We do!
We haven’t forgotten crochet here at Alpaca Direct. We carry a variety of crochet hooks, both beautiful and practical. You’ll find crochet patterns on our website, and a passion for crochet in our staff members! If Alpaca Direct is your local yarn store, look for a Begin to Crochet Class in January 2015 followed by other crochet classes in the late winter and spring.
Here’s my contribution to the crochet pattern community. I hope you enjoy it!
My sister sent me photo of a scarf she admired, asking if I could make something similar. This pattern is the result. When my sister-in-law saw the finished scarf, she asked for one too! So it’s the “Sisters” scarf, because I’ve been blessed with a wonderful sister and sister-in -law!
Gauge is not terribly important to this project. You should adjust the hook and yarn to produce a fabric that you like. I wanted it slightly drapey, but still wanted to maintain a certain amount of structure.
Approximately 8” x 60”
Dc- double crochet– wrap yarn around hook once
Trc- triple crochet– wrap yarn around hook twice
Row 1: Dc in 4th chain from the hook, dc in each chain across. Ch 3, turn
Row 2: Trc in 2nd dc, trc in each dc across, dc in top of turning chain, ch 2, turn
Row 3: Dc in 2nd trc, dc in each trc across, dc in top of turning chain, ch 2, turn
Row 4-5: Dc in 2nd dc, dc in each dc across, dc in top of turning chain, chain 2 turn
Row 6: Dc in 2nd dc, dc in each dc across, dc in top of turning chain, chain 3 turn
Row 7: As row 2
Row 8: As row 3
Row 9-10: As rows 4-5
Row 11:As row 6
Row 12: As row 2
Row 13: Dc in 2nd trc, dc in each trc across, dc in top of turning chain. Finish off.
Block gently, stitch buttons on one end to correspond with Triple crochet rows, which are used as buttonholes.
Up here in the Northwest knitting and crocheting seems to get put on the back burner as soon as flowers begin to bloom and sunshine warms our faces. Our hooks and needles grow cold and lonely while we lounge on beaches or dig in gardens. Why do you suppose that is? It certainly isn’t due to a lack of reasons to continue our fiber love affair! There are multitudes of celebrations to keep our fingers flying Below, I’ve linked up some ideas and samples to each item. Just click on each item to get inspired!
There is also the fact that Christmas is just 6 short months away! You know, it’s never too early to start those personalized handmade gifts…Of course if that doesn’t get the creative wheels turning, it’s perfect weather to yarn bomb a bus!
What are you working on this summer? Do you have a favorite pattern or project just for warm weather? Or are you working away on your gift list for the holidays? It’s Show and Tell time
Many times I am asked the question, “What does worsted weight mean?” It’s a good question! There are several thicknesses of yarn which we refer to as weight. Don’t confuse this with the actual gram or oz weight listed on the label which reflects the heaviness of the yarn. I am referring to weight as it is called for in a pattern, such as sock weight, worsted weight or bulky weight, to name a few. It can be a mind boggling affair and it is not uncommon for two experienced knitters to disagree about the weight of any particular yarn they are considering.
Enter The Craft Yarn Council of America! This fine institution has for many years now made a valiant attempt to standardize the Craft Yarn industry. Many larger yarn companies and publishers use this standardized system when labeling yarn and patterns as you see below:
Standard Yarn Weight System
Categories of yarn, gauge ranges, and recommended needle and hook sizes
Yarn Weight Symbol & Category Names
Type of Yarns in Category
Fingering 10-count crochet thread
Sock, Fingering, Baby
DK, Light Worsted
Worsted, Afghan, Aran
Chunky, Craft, Rug
Knit Gauge Range* in Stockinette Stitch to 4 inches
Recommended Needle in Metric Size Range
2.25— 3.25 mm
3.25— 3.75 mm
3.75— 4.5 mm
4.5— 5.5 mm
5.5— 8 mm
8 mm and larger
Recommended Needle U.S. Size Range
1 to 3
3 to 5
5 to 7
7 to 9
9 to 11
11 and larger
Crochet Gauge* Ranges in Single Crochet to 4 inch
32–42 double crochets**
Recommended Hook in Metric Size Range
Steel*** 1.6–1.4 mm
2.25— 3.5 mm
3.5— 4.5 mm
4.5— 5.5 mm
5.5— 6.5 mm
6.5— 9 mm
9 mm and larger
Recommended Hook U.S. Size Range
Steel*** 6, 7, 8 Regular hook B–1
B–1 to E–4
E–4 to 7
7 to I–9
I–9 to K–10 1⁄2
K–10 1⁄2 to M–13
M–13 and larger
* GUIDELINES ONLY: The above reflect the most commonly used gauges and needle or hook sizes for specific yarn categories.** Lace weight yarns are usually knitted or crocheted on larger needles and hooks to create lacy, openwork patterns. Accordingly, a gauge range is difficult to determine. Always follow the gauge stated in your pattern.*** Steel crochet hooks are sized differently from regular hooks—the higher the number, the smaller the hook, which is the reverse of regular hook sizing
I recommend you print this handy guide out and tuck it into your pocketbook. You will always be able to figure out what yarn you need or want based on the information here even if it isn’t marked with the standardized system! Alpaca Direct has also incorporated the Standard Yarn Weight System into our website! What a great resource when shopping for yarn. I am so excited about this new feature. Let us know how it helps you!