Thursday, September 14, 2006

Tunisian, Anyone?

This blog itself is a WIP! I guess if I weren't so picky about design elements and getting everything "just right", it would be easier.

There is a huge black ant in my room. I swear I threw him out the front door three days ago after he ran across me in my sleep (waking me up), yet here he is again! Or maybe it's a different ant. Oh no. That's not a good thought to be having right before bed. Hey—where did he go? Uh-oh...

Anyway, I've started listing my works. Since I do more than knitting, I thought it would be helpful to indicate which—er, method? technique?—is used for each project. Hence the KN, CR, TC notations. Don't worry, I'll work the bugs out and put a glossary above that section in the sidebar rather than repeat it each time. I suppose I'll have to add WV (weaving) and SP (spinning) in the future. Should there also be SW for sewing, or is that just too much?

Some of you may be wondering about the TC Tunisian Crochet designation. I am absolutely fascinated with it after discovering it this summer. Tunisian Crochet, for the uninitiated, is a technique that IMHO is a strange blend of knitting and crocheting. It is referred to by many names, most commonly "Afghan". Wikipedia's blurb describes it most simply:

Tunisian crochet, also known as Afghan crochet, uses an elongated hook with a stopper on the handle end, called an Afghan hook.

In Afghan crochet, each row is worked in two halves: the first half is worked from right to left and the second half from left to right. Work is never turned.

After the starting chain is completed, the first row is worked by inserting the hook in the chain, pulling a loop from the free end of the yarn, and inserting the hook in the next chain without working the loop off the hook. At the end of the row, you will have as many loops on the hook as there are stitches across. In the second half of the row, you will work the loops off the hook.

This type of crochet creates a dense fabric with a definite front and back side. It is ideal as a base for cross-stitch.


I'm really excited about it. What happened was, I chose some yarn intended for my horse's Fly Mask project. Two yarns, in the clearance bin at JoAnn's—Sensations Bellezza Collection Petalo "Blue Raspberry" (no photos of that exact yarn but Margherita is close, Petalo is more turquoise and white) and Sensations Baja "Turquoise":



Margherita (Petalo)

Baja


I was playing around with them and found I liked the effect when they are twisted together. I'd just discovered Tunisian and needed "scrap" yarn to practice with—so I used Petalo and Baja together, figuring if I get bends in my yarn afterward, no biggie, it's just going to be made into a horse mask.

Surprise, the swatch was INCREDIBLE!!! Lush, soft, textured, very fast to crochet up, yet dense like knitting. I knew what had to be done. I was now going to be making myself a Tunisian Sweater! Darn it! This is much too nice, even for my beloved equines.

I scrapped the idea of making Horse Fly Masks out of it and went on a major Yarn Crawl to every JoAnn's within 25 miles, scarfing up every last ball of Petalo and Baja in existence. Now, I'm in design mode. I'm thinking tunic length with bell sleeves. Petalo for the body, with Baja edges.

Oh, this will be cool! I hope. First off, I've never designed anything knitwise or crochetwise, let alone a sweater. I've done lots of sewing and took garment design classes in college, but knitwear is another story. Secondly, I'm brand new to Tunisian. Do I even have enough yarn? It might not be tunic length by the end, LOL! But that's the story on that.

I found another yarn for my horse.

It's occurred to me that most of my FO's are crocheted, not knitted, and many are baby projects. Explanation: no, I am NOT expecting. Blame my niece for the infant-wear. She and her DH adopted a baby girl (Leah) from China almost a year ago and upon returning home, she discovered she was pregnant. Her DH threatened to name the new baby Bogo (Buy One Get One). Kera was born July 13 and she is the very first recipient of a truly Finished Object! For me, this was a huge triumph. Not only did I finish the project, but I finished it completely, buttons and all, before the child was born (big news) AND got it in the mail while it still fits! LOL!

Now, to weave in the ends on Mother's shawl...

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