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  • Hand Dyed Yarn Three Ways


    Three Looks for a Unique Hand Dyed Yarn

    Today I present three very different crochet textures in the SAME. EXACT. YARN.

    hand dyed yarn three ways

    At Left, Tunisian Islander Wrap; center, random Love Knots (stitch game test); at right, color stacked slip stitch mobius.

    These photos span about seven years. This particular hand dyed yarn is Misti Alpaca Hand Paint Sock.

    The 2016 design on the right was such a different experience of this yarn that it felt like a new purchase from the yarn shop. I had crocheted a whole shawl with the same yarn, though, seven years ago.

    I thought it was just me. When I showed the two projects in a Stitch Games class yesterday, others were also noticeably surprised that it’s the same yarn.

    Hope you’ve had a great weekend! If you don’t see a new blog post from me tomorrow, it will only be because we lost power due to the tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico. It hits sometime tonight or in the early morning.

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    • June 5th, 2016 by Vashti Braha

    Day 1 of 50: Crochet Conference Prep


    “Day 1 of 50”?

    Yes. Fifty days of updates. Fifty is 7 weeks-and-a-day, a nice round number. I need all 50 because I’ll be teaching 5 different 3-hour classes at a crochet conference while managing a booth in its market. It’s epic.

    A friend is preparing to teach at the same event for the first time, and another friend is considering it in the future. They’re on my mind as I do this prep again. (It’s my 2nd time having a booth and I think the 6th time teaching lots of classes.)

    I’m going to track my progress and thoughts out loud as I go. Some days it’s various teaching prep, other days it’s booth merch/yarn company stuff, and always lots of swatching and designing. Most days it’s a jumble and I’ll blog a highlight of it. Years from now I’ll enjoy looking back over this.

    Today I Cross a Big Teaching Item Off the List

    The yarn used in a crochet conference class can matter immensely. Having also taken many crochet classes, I know how hard it is for students to choose which yarns to bring to class.

    I asked a yarn company if they would sponsor my Stitch Games class at the crochet conference. This means they would donate enough yarn for all of the students to use. Today they said yes

    This makes my week. Their hand dyed yarn is my first choice for this class! (Below are swatches of this company’s yarns in soft colors. These are tests for other class topics.)

    I’ve used it so much while developing the Stitch Games swatches and designs. I know its fiber, weight, bounce, and twist work for key stitch patterns, and I find the color sequences to be dependably easy and fun for crochet. I want each student to have the best possible experience learning something unfamiliar. This yarn helps guarantee it!

    This colorway is custom hand dyed for my local yarn shop. It’s called “Grape Jelly” and is based on the colors of the Crown Jellyfish found in Fiji’s Rainbow Reef.

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    • May 20th, 2016 by Vashti Braha

    Yarn Tests for a New Tunisian Crochet Filet Design


    This blog post is third in a short series about the development of a new Tunisian crochet pattern pdf.

    I did two kinds of yarn tests for my new Tunisian crochet filet scarf (first blogged here).

    1. I needed a good yarn for photo tutorial close ups. I’ve learned that I have the best luck with a single ply yarn. More than one ply could add a possibly distracting texture. I love the look and colors of the purple yarn in the first photo, but its plies worried me.

    A thicker yarn is better for close ups than a skinny one so that their individual fibers don’t show up too much! See the two close ups in the second row.

    A yarn’s colors also matter for Tunisian crochet filet close ups. Strong contrasting color shifts are distracting, but subtle color shifts can be a real plus.


    Soft tonal dyeing makes a stitch or row easier for someone to distinguish right away. It’s easier for my camera too. One solid light color is great for in-person classes, but not always for extreme close ups. Sometimes my camera thinks the stitches are just fuzzy blobs no matter what I do. (Maybe it’s user error, shhhh.)

    2. Wool. I fell in love with my first Tunisian crochet filet design in wool. That would be…Warm Aeroette! (Hence the “warm” part.) Until Aeroette I’d only had Tunisian crochet filet thoughts in bamboo (Ennis), silk (Aero), and cotton (dishcloth test in my Lotus yarn). Traditional filet lace has mostly been a cotton thread kind of crochet project. Maybe that’s why I didn’t reach for the wool.

    I needed to know if I loved Aeroette because the yarn I used is not a thick wooly wool. It’s a fingering weight fine-micron merino wool. Fine-micron merino has an almost silky drape. The thinner fingering weight (like a sock yarn) gives the stitches a fine-grained texture. In a thick wool like the Mochi Plus (blue photo above), the filet-style lacy eyelets could look clunky or lumpy as a scarf. Would be a lovely afghan border though.

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    • October 30th, 2014 by Vashti Braha


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