Yarn Use Philosophy

One of my favorite things about yarn is that it doesn’t expire. If it is kept dry and contained, it can hold up for years. I currently have a beautiful copper tub that my mother-in-law gave me that containes the yarn she was using before she stopped crocheting regularly. This bin, so I am told, also belonged to her mother-in-law before her (my partner’s grandmother) and was used for storing all her yarn. It is now in my living room and my go to stash when I have an idea I want to try out and just need a little something, or when I want to take on a full scrap yarn project.

the Copper Tub

If I can’t use scrap yarn, I like to uses the most affordable yarn I can find so that anyone could recreate my designs on any budget. To that end, and because Joann’s has been the craft store closest to basically wherever I have ever lived, I tend to use thier Big Twist yarns as well as Red Heart, Caron, and Lion brands. There are some good wholesale online retailers out there but I find that when I get something in my head, I like to be able to get the yarn ASAP, so Joann’s has been my main go to.

Other yarn considerations inclued fiber content, company ethics, wash and dryability, as well as any potential allergy consederations.

Being vegan, it is important to me that I use non-animal based fibers for the most part. This leads to a lot of acryllic as some of the other options for non-animal based fibers can get pretty pricey. If there is any animal basesd fibers, I check to make sure they were etichally sourced and that the company who produces them cares properly for the animals the materials were taken from.

It can be tough to know where certian companies stand on issues that are important to me but I think doing the digging is worth it to make sure I am supporting companies whose values align with my own. Some of my top considerations are an anti-racist stance and environmental consciousness. These are values I strive to live up to in my personal life and ones I hope companies I support hope to live up to as well.

The last couple of considerations are basically based on being as mindful as I can of the ease of use and comfort of those who might make my patterns as well as any use for charatible causes. I personally appreciate being able to macine wash and dry my corchet items as this keeps my hassle level down to a minimum so dend to use materials that can be washed and dried. While I do not have any particular allergies, otehr people do, so I hope to used things that are accomodating in this regard.

When planning a project, I first think of re-using yarn that otehrs have given up on as this feels like the most sustainable thing to do. Reuse and upcycling are aligned with my lifestyle and help me to reduce my own personal carbon footprint. Using low cost yarns is my next choice as I want to be a crocheter that is accessable to anyone. Though, my hook choices are very different, more in another post I think 🙂 Finally, it is important to me that if I am buying yarn I am supporting companites who are ethical in how they treat thier people and animal sources, environmentally responsible and working towards the creation of an anti-racist culture.

This is my yarn philosophy. I don’t always get it right, though I try my best to do so. And if I learn better, I do my best to do better.

Astrology Square Series

The trial, error, and final squares pile

My main focus for the past several months has been making afghan blocks that represent the position of the moon in each astrolocial sign. So, for example, the Full Moon in April was in Libra and the New Moon will be in Taurus. One of my favorite techniques has always been tapestry crochet and so that was the method I used to create this series.

Libra Square (Full Moon edition)

Tapestry crochet is a process of using two or more colors in one piece and you switch colors by completing the working stitch with the new color, then move to the next stitch. The yarn of the previous color(s) are worked over so they run through to the next spot where they are to be used.

As with most ideas, it took me a bit to work out the exact dimensions of the squares to make them consistent but I landed on 29 stitches across and 24 rows high with a single crochet border in two rounds. This creats and 11 by 11 inch square, depending, of course, upon yarn, hook, and tension. I like the idea of using scrap yarn for most things so this will obviously effect the overall gauge.

Practice Squares

Once I figured out the dimensions, I did decide to go with specific colors for this series rather then sticking with scrap yarn. I picked up some elemental colors to correspond with the astrological element and the main color for the square is either cream or black, depending upon the moon phase. I lean towards favoring darker or more muted colors so may have to adjust the brown (earth) and blue (water) for the New Moon squares.

The project basket

Once I have a years worth of moon phases, I plan to join them together to create a blanket representing the moon phases of 2022. I am excited to see how it turns out!

The Space to Make

We work with what we have! When I was living on my own, my living room/dinning room were my crafting space. When I moved in with my wonderful partner, well, we had to figure something else out since a monopoly on the shared living space seemed distinctly inequitable 🙂

So, while I did get a portion of the dining room (which I pull out and pack away so other people can use the space, of course), most of my supplies found their home in the garage. Which actually works our fairly well, provided it is neither freezing nor sweltering outside, as the temperature outside matches exactly the temperature in the garage.

This arraignment makes for some creative solutions to both storage as well as forces a sort of work in progress limit. I can only start so many things due to space and temperature constraints. Also, while no one really ever gives me grief about the space I am using, I do want other people to have comfortable places to sit now and again.

Looking at my gallery above, it looks so chaotic! But I promise, it is a very comfortable place to work and I am very content with what I have to work with 🙂