This was a question asked on one of the crochet forums I’m on. Thought I’d share my response here. Feel free to add your input in the comments to help others!
I would say that what yarn you use depends on project and attitude actually. I know everyone has an opinion and there are various camps of thought. But my take is more of a unifier of worlds. I’m a true Libran – I dislike division.
You can crochet with anything. Seriously. And I’ve done it. I’ve mixed all sorts of fibers (some thigns not even considered “fiber”) and broken most taboos out there. And what I haven’t broken yet, I will endeavor to before I die. You can’t focus on being able to see. This is the eternal quip between my grandmothers and I. “But grandma, if you really know how to crochet, you don’t have to see your stitches, right?” It’s our private little laugh between us. But it’s true. I’ve used lots of stuff people didn’t think you could crochet with. But I also find that people get in a rut with fibers because they only use one type of hook or tool. Hooks can make an incredible difference in the variety of things you can create. Certain ones are better for certain things.
Only once have I come across a fiber that I felt was the spawn of satan and that I refused to try again and actually threw it away. Something called whirly-gig. And the monstrosity was difficult to use because it falls apart. Shouldn’t have been called yarn! In my experience, as long as it doesn’t fall apart, it can be crocheted!
I find most yarns do not meet people’s expectations because they approach it either with preconceived notions or one hook fits all approach. And that’s OK. Specialization is important too. Let the fibers speak to you and you’ll figure out how they best like to be used. It’s like anything in life, you learn how it works. All fibers have a personality of sorts and a way they “prefer” to be handled. All you do is just figure that out.
I say take the fear and hesitation out of it and just let go. Get some paint and splash it on that canvas and see what you get.
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* Fair warning, I’ve noticed that the Animoto videos sometimes play the music twice in a row, even though the video portion is done. So wait for the music to stop before clicking on the 2nd video, or they’ll both play at once.
10 foot Spider Web attached to the side of my tent
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My Latest in Crochet Jewelry Designs with a Little Perk from Jack…
Jack's Blue Rose Pendant with Julia's Railroad Crochet Choker
My daughter (who goes by Jack btw – from her initials and also after her great-grandpa Jack), has finally discovered polymer clay this summer!
YES!! I knew those pottery classes were going to pay off sometime!
And we’ve been working on a new line of collaborative projects!
Jack's Red Rose Pendant
I’ve been tickled pink to watch her designing jewelry and working her clay this summer and she’s come up with a few really sweet designs that in spite of her inexperience, I think she did a great job with.
Jack's Blue Rose Pendant with Julia's Railroad Crochet Choker
We have quite a few summer birthdays in our family, so we were busy crafting away and coming up with fabulous things to gift away.
I wanted to crochet some necklaces and Jack wanted to make some pendants, so we met in the middle.
See what we came up with!
(Stay tuned! – More Aberrant Crochet Jewelry + Jack & Jules Collaborative Designs to come! Be sure to watch my Etsy store ~ all Jack’s sales go to her college fund!)
This is an article I wrote over a year ago for potential use on Ravelry or for The Crochet Liberation Front First Ever Book. Thought I’d reprint it here for your reference.
Getting the Most Out of Your Fiber Blends
The “Half-Stitch” Technique
by Julia Meek Chambers – Aberrant Crochet ™
Fiber blending in crochet is when we use more than one color and/or fiber in a project at the same time. Many people have crocheted with at least two fibers at a time to increase the gage of the stitch or add variety to the colors and shading in a product. It is a great way to add extra dimension to any look.
Sometimes, in our work, we assemble the perfect combination of colors and textures for a project, only to discover that there’s not enough of one of the fibers to complete it as envisioned. Whether the lack of yardage is due to budget constraints or because the fiber itself is simply discontinued or otherwise unattainable, this limitation does not have to mean a disappointing dead-end to an otherwise fantastic fiber combination.
Why not try using the determinate fiber for partial stitches only? I call this the “Half-Stitch Technique.” This technique is accomplished by using the fiber in question for only some loops of a given stitch, but not others in the same stitch.
For instance, a single crochet stitch is accomplished in two steps. If you don’t have enough of a fiber to complete an entire project or section of single crochet, then with the Half-Stitch technique, you would instead use the fiber in only one half of each stitch and then drop it for the second half of each stitch. Though more understated than being used in a full stitch, this allows the color and texture of your limited fiber to still be present in the project.
Remember, there really are no rules in crochet other than the use of a hook, so give it a whirl and see what this technique can do for you!
Copyright © 2003 – 2009 by Julia Meek Chambers, all rights reserved.
Since some have asked, here’s a link to the book now on sale that my “Flaming Crochet Hook” tapestry crochet design was published in:
My tapestry design is even featured in the “Look Inside This Book” links! Yay! Very cool!
Fair warning though, this is an advanced crochet book. If you are into crochet, this is not a book for beginners and it’s that way by design. Though some patterns require less skill than others, none of these patterns are basic by any means. This book is a crochet book designed to push the bar. A book for avid crocheters, by avid crocheters and mostly targeted towards those who want so much more out of a book of crochet patterns. You will be exposed to all sorts of techniques in here that if you do not already know, you will be expected to learn them first elsewhere before you can really implement them in these patterns.
I am honored and proud to be featured in this book and to rub shoulders with so many talented designers and artists from around the world!
Project Bag sporting my “Flaming Crochet Hook” tapestry Crochet Design
Cover of the new book