Thursday 3 April 2008

Free patterns and a minor rant about yarn

Ooh! It's not often I stumble across freebies but You Can Make This is well worth a look - sign up to the newsletters and get a bunch of patterns for all sorts of stuff - bags, hats, quilts, applique, all sorts really. Admittedly many of them are things I'd never make but I always figure patterns are well worth getting so you can see how something is done and then make your own up, specially if you're a noob at something (er, almost anything, in my case!).

I spent some time organising the top shelf of my stash today. Lordy. I have a lot of cross stitch to do. I must take a pic of my stash storage when it's tidied up (K's craft stuff now takes up two full shelves out of the four and half mine is relagated to the top!)And, as you can tell, I'm avoiding the sewing machine right now too; between putting K to bed (it was my turn), work phonecalls and admin, and pimping out my opinions to be paid in Amazon vouchers (I am such a market research tart), it's got to 10pm already and I haven't done a thing. But hey, it's almost a tenner towards something off my wish list.

I tell you what I desperately need: an online conversion chart for American crochet patterns. I hate the way yarns are referred to in both American and UK systems, I can't make head or tail of it. There's got to be an easier way to classify wool, for heaven's sake. Hook sizes I can deal with, I have a book with the listing, but what on EARTH is "worsted weight" when it's at home? What's the difference between "chunky" and "superchunky"? Will all hell break loose if I use wool instead of cotton yarn? Does anyone care? Argh! I can see why people get put off; if it's not the impenetrable shorthand of patterns it's the the impossibility of finding what you need, specially when there's no decent yarn shop for 50 miles in any direction. I need a woolly expert to hold my hand (and no, I'm not about to recruit a sheep).


Cats-Rockin-Crochet said...

I am so with you on the yarn conversions. Even when you get a yarn conversion chart, it is still difficult to figure out. How ever I think I am almost there thanks to a book my daughter purchased for me. I am from Australia and our most popular yarn is 8 ply, I have figured out that it can fall into both categories of light worsted and worsted. I'm not a person to use a swatch, so I have to write my own patterns most of the time to match my yarn. I still need more research and practice to completely solve the yarn confusion, but I doubt that it will ever be completely clear.

Caroline said...

Oh, thank goodness - it's not just me being thick, then! Thank you, that's very reassuring (and hello, nice to meet you, by the way!). Whereabouts are you in Australia? My parents-in-law are literally just about to catch a flight to Sydney to visit my lovely brother-in-law :) Hoping it's nice for them, still flipping miserable here in the UK!

Oh yes, I hate doing swatches as well...I am so damn lazy. But I learnt a lot about tension that way!