Friday, February 07, 2014

The Reluctant Hooker

I've often thought if I were to write a book of crochet patterns that that would be the title. Reluctant in that crochet doesn't flow for me like knitting does but maybe it should be "The Persevering Hooker" in that even though at times it befuddles me I'm not going to give up!

(The above pattern is now available as a PDF download $6.50)
One of the main reasons for my wanting to persevere is because of the amount of requests I get from crocheters who want a crochet version of my knit designs. And because I love a challenge I can't say no, I'm always adding to my crochet "to-do" list from these requests. The above coat is the result from one of these requests. It's the crochet version of my Swing Coat (currently working on the pattern).

Made in Tunisian Crochet with a S hook and @7 skeins of Cascade Magnum (@860 yards super bulky) it works up quickly, love that about crochet!

Not sure how many of you are familiar with Tunisian Crochet but it takes elements of both knitting & crochet and is pretty easy to get the hang of... and even if you can't knit or crochet you will be working this stitch in no time.

So in preparation of this coat pattern I've worked a super simple cowl in Tunisian Crochet for you all to try.
Materials needed:
@123 yds/@112m of a super chunky yarn like Magnum by Cascade.
(color shown #9430 Highland Green)
A Tunisian crochet hook size S/19mm.
A Tunisian crochet hook is different from a regular crochet hook in that the shaft of the hook is longer and is the same size the whole length of the shaft like a knitting needle. I used a hook I purchased on Etsy from mimisneedlebasket. I bought both the R and the S but found I liked the S better with the yarn I was using. I used the S hook for the coat as well.

Finished measurements: 12"x 31" measured when laid flat before sewing together.
Gauge @1.5sts= 1"

Start by chaining 18. Going into the 2nd chain from hook pull a loop up through each chain space to end.

I went through the bump on the back of the chain because I like the way the edge looks.
When wrapping the hook the yarn should come over the top of the hook so when pulling the loop through the left leg of the loop sits in the front.

You should have 18 loops on your hook. You can see in this photo how the edge looks by going through the bumps on the back.

Now we work back. Do not turn. 
Wrap and pull 1 loop through the edge stitch. This is the 1st stitch of the next row.
Now wrap the stitch as before and pull through the next 2 loops on the hook. Work in this way down the row of loops until you are left with 1 loop on the hook.

The next row will put the loops back on the hook. Do not chain 1 before starting the next row. You may see other tutorials that have you chain 1 before starting the next row but I found it creates a nicer edge to not chain 1.
Insert hook into the 2nd stitch of the previous row. 

 Wrap and pull up a loop. 2sts on the hook.
Work this way to the end of the row.
The last stitch is worked the same as the others by going into the stitch of the previous row.
Continue working the rows as described until desired length. I used 1 full skein of Magnum and when I counted the vertical lines that you can see so prominently in the photo of the finished piece I counted 34 from the starting chain to the end. 

I ended on a row with the loops on the hook then joined that edge to the starting edge by crocheting the edges together.

Rodney looking a little unsure about wearing the cowl.... You can see the side that's showing more prominently here looks a bit like reverse stockinette stitch or a purl side and that's why I chose it for the crochet version of the Swing Coat. The knit version is worn with the purl side facing out and I thought this was a good substitute.

Maybe you'll be inspired to try Tunisian Crochet and for extra help I'm sure there are countless videos on youtube to check out ;) OR if you're in Los Angeles the first weekend of April during the 3rd annual LA County Yarn Crawl we'll have demonstrations of Tunisian Crochet at The Little Knittery so come on by!