Friday, May 22

String Theories

Oh, relax, this has nothing to do with math.

I've been crocheting for many years, although I got obsessive about it only a few years ago. Still, there continue to be new things to learn. This pattern, in a book of afghan's called Vanna's Afghans All Through The House, was my first experience with the afghan stitch, also known as Tunisian crochet. Yes, Vanna. Yes, her. FYI, she's an avid crocheter, has put out a few pattern books, and even has her own line of yarn. I haven't checked the etymology, but I'm presuming (rightly or wrongly) some kind of association with Tunisia (the stitch, not Vanna), probably in the same way that the word afghan has anything to do with Afghanistan, which is to say only vaguely if at all. But I digress. Go read this earlier post if you are curious.

And now I'm learning something again. This photo shows the first few rows of a new sweater I'm working on which uses a stitch called broomstick or peacock lace. You should be able to click on the photo to get a better idea. In case you are curious. Just saying. The effect does look a lot like bristles on an upside down broom, or the "eye" on the end of a peacock feather. This is the first time I've worked with this stitch, and like the Tunisian crochet, it combines elements of both crochet and knitting. Working backwards along the chain, you use a crochet hook to pull up loops of yarn which are cast onto a fat knitting needle as you go. (In case you are wondering, it's a #19, 15mm wooden needle.)
The broomstick effect is created after you slide the needle out from the loops (this required a great leap of faith for me) and then gather clusters of loops with a series of double crochets. I have no idea what might have inspired anyone to do this, who did it first, or when or where. It's like wondering who first considered putting cinnamon and apples together. Or chocolate and peanut butter. How do people come up with this stuff?

sneaking this one in here so as not to scare BCB. I finished it about two weeks ago. I love it. Doesn't fit as snuggly as I thought it might. Next time, if there is one, I think I'll try using a smaller hook. It might be a little tricky, but smaller hook will = smaller stitches, which in turn = smaller size.


BCB said...

Oh geez. More yarn stories. Very pretty, very impressive. The thought of doing that is making my head hurt.

But I'm glad it makes you happy.

hersebul: exactly

MCB said...

Well close your eyes. Ge'ez aren't you the one who talked about learning experiences?

GatorPerson said...

That's a really pretty texture!

Anonymous said...

I used to crochet. I've thought about it. I wonder if my old fingers would a) remember how b)work :)


unexe: Is that like remarrying your ex??