Weaving Olden Patterns

Friday, 2 December 2016

Time to think about presents already? / Già tempo di pensare ai regali?

Who would've thought? It's December already, typically a month for presents, either for beloved ones or for ourselves. I've been writing about Tunisian crochet almost all year long, so of course now I have to make another post on the subject, and more specifically on TC-related presents.
If you think it's time to purchase some long hooks and books to study and make practice, allow me to help you through the many choices out there. As I mentioned in a previous post, I'm enjoying a collaboration with Italian blog "Maglia-Uncinetto.it" with my reviews and opinions about TC books and such (and in the future I'll write about other crafty subjects, too), but I still haven't been able to translate my reviews in English. Though, since there are many English reviews about these books, so far I'll tell you briefly about the ones I really like, and I suggest you go and search for other reviews on the web.

Now, about the presents.

Let't think about the hooks, first. 

What catches one's eye when they first encounter TC is the oh so pretty ("but how do you manage to hold it-that's huge!") long hook, or the fascinating yet odd-looking cabled one ("now, what on earth is that?"). As with other crafts, you can buy cheap instruments, or you can choose higher quality sets. I myself began with rigid hooks found at my local market, "Pony" was their brand. They were awful. The tip was so round, every stitch hurt my wrist - and oh, they were sticky. No yarn went smoothly on them. Bad experience, I recommend you not to choose these. My very first set, on the other hand, was a no-brand bamboo set of cabled hooks I purchased on Amazon. Very very cheap, but nice to work with nonetheless. They have a decent tip, and I still use them from time to time. If you like wooden instruments and you've never tried TC but want to without spending lots of money, I say try these. Many experts will tell you not to buy them as they're no high quality instruments: of course they are not, this I'm aware of and I think you are too, but if you fear you might not like the technique they might be a better choice than an expensive set you might never use twice in your life. 
If you have a few more money to invest in hooks, I'll tell you my favourite brand is KnitPro (aka Knitter's Pride), and more specifically their Trendz series. There you can choose between long and rigid hooks and cabled ones, depending on your personal taste, and they have double-ended ones too. The sizes range from 5 mm to 12 mm for all three kinds, and they're pure delight to work with. They're so smooth, the tip is pointed but not too much (it doesn't ruin the yarn), the hook is deep and  therefore they're great for both simple and complex stitches. Strongly recommended. I also like other series by KnitPro, such as Symfonie, but they're more expensive and have less sizes, so I suggest try Trendz first, then if you fall in love with TC there'll be plenty of hooks to buy later on.
My second choice, but just because of personal taste, are Denise hooks. They're shorter that KnitPro's so having rather big hands I personally find them a bit less comfortable during the first minutes of work at least: I need some time to get used to their size, but then everything is smooth. Denise hooks' tips are less pointed than Trendz' but that's no problem, because they get through the stitches just as well. What makes them really interesting to me is that they range from 3,75 mm to 15,00 mm - gotta love a nice 15,00 mm hook! They also come in cute cases besides the classic plastic ones, so they might be a nice, good-looking present.

Are you bored enough? Well, enough for today. Next time, I'll tell you about some interesting books that might come in handy to make practice with your brand new hooks.

***LETTORI ITALIANI***
Per gli argomenti trattati in questo post vi rimando al mio ultimo articolo apparso su Maglia-Uncinetto.it, "Feste di Natale all'insegna dell'uncinetto tunisino!".

Monday, 14 November 2016

Fancy a risotto?

Well, if you do, don't miss my brand new free pattern for a Tunisian crochet scarf, "Mushroom Risotto": I made this scarf with one skein of bulky yarn and a 15 mm hook, so as you can imagine it grows quickly. It's the perfect project for beginners because I haven't used the simple stitch but other stitches that combined together create an interesting fabric; depending on how you block it the fabric can be dense or airy, almost lacey, without efforts. Also, it's perfect for both women and men, so it might be a nice idea for some Xmas gifts! If you're waiting for the right project to try this technique, think about this scarf: it won't disappoint you.






Monday, 10 October 2016

"November Shades"

Well, hello readers!
Thanks for all your nice comments about my article that's been published: I still haven't had time to translate it in good English, but I'm working on it and on the other ones, so I hope to post them here soon.
Today I'd like to show you a new project instead, a cowl called "November Shades", whose pattern is available both on Etsy and Ravelry. It's made once more with Tunisian crochet but this item is worked in the round! TC in the round is lots of fun: you have to work with two strands of yarn and a double-ended hook, so if you're an absolute beginner it can get tricky, but after a bit of practice it gets really enjoyable. Plus, if you take advantage of the double-ended hook to use two contrasting colors it creates a marvelous effect with pretty little effort.
I'd really like to hear your opinions about this item: I'll be honest, I'm quite proud of it and how it turned out, so I hope y'all like it as much as I do.
For those interested: pattern is available in English, Dutch and Italian, and I have a promotion going on on Ravelry only with which you can get both this and "Pumpkin Skin" at a reduced price. Coupon code is AutumnROX.

Ciao a tutti!
Grazie per i commenti sulla pubblicazione del mio articolo, mi ha fatto davvero piacere il vostro incoraggiamento!
Oggi vi mostro un nuovo progetto, uno scaldacollo che ho chiamato "November Shades", sempre lavorato ad uncinetto tunisino, ma stavolta in tondo. L'UT in tondo è davvero divertente: si lavora con due capi di filato e un uncinetto a doppia punta, quindi se siete principianti assoluti può risultare intricato, ma con un po' di pratica diventa molto piacevole. In più si può sfruttare a proprio vantaggio l'uncinetto a due punte e lavorare con due colori a contrasto: in questo modo si ottiene un risultato stupendo con poca fatica.
Sono curiosa di leggere le vostre opinioni su questo capo: ad essere sincera io ne sono piuttosto fiera e mi piace molto com'è venuto, spero piaccia anche a voi.
Per chi fosse interessato: lo schema è disponibile in italiano, inglese e olandese, e al momento c'è una promozione su Ravelry che permette a chi acquista anche "Pumpkin Skin" di ricevere i due modelli ad un prezzo scontato. Il codice da inserire è AutumnROX.




Monday, 3 October 2016

I've been published! / Mi hanno pubblicata!

Now that's some title, isn't it? Well, to tell the truth I *have* had an article, a review about TC book "Tunisian Crochet Stitch Guide" by Kim Guzman, published on one of the most famous Italian websites about knitting and crochet, Maglia-Uncinetto.it. I'm so sorry my readers from other countries won't be able to read it due to language issues, but don't worry: I'm translating this (and the other articles that will follow!) in English to publish on my blogs, so if you're interested you'll have your chance to read them anyway! =D

Dopo tanto, torno a scrivere un post in italiano: segnalo ai miei lettori che una mia recensione su un famoso libro ad argomento uncinetto tunisino, "Tunisian Crochet Stitch Guide" di Kim Guzman, è stata pubblicata sul famosissimo sito Maglia-Uncinetto.it. Non so descrivervi l'emozione, anche l'onore, di vedere un mio articolo comparire su questo sito: un sito che ho seguito fin da quando mi sono avvicinata al mondo dell'uncinetto, guardando le autrici e gli autori degli articoli con un'ammirazione sconfinata per le loro capacità e le loro conoscenze, pensando che mai avrei visto il mio nome come autrice... e invece, grazie alla redazione, in particolare a Veruska (altresì nota come Happysloth) che ha seguito molto da vicino il mio progetto, ben quattro mie recensioni su altrettanti manuali di UT compariranno su M-U.it!

Monday, 26 September 2016

New pattern and two beanies

So, I've finally managed to publish my latest pattern, a nice Tunisian crochet cowl named "Pumpkin Skin". Since it's worked flat then sewn and it uses only one stitch besides the simple stitch it's an ideal project for beginners, for people who've tried TC, found it interesting and would like to try something different but not too hard. I rate it as an easy pattern, from an advanced beginner level on.
You can download a digital copy of it from both my Ravelry and Etsy stores (so far only English is available, Italian version will be there soon!).


Besides working on my own patterns I've also followed others' to make something: I've been asked for a couple of ladies beanies, and though the pattern's title suggests otherwise I've chosen Kim Guzman's "Favorite Beanie for Men". I've never enjoyed making hats and such, I get bored easily and I'm almost never satisfied by how they turn out, but Kim's pattern made me change my mind: these beanies are so much fun to make as they're worked in short rows with a double ended hook, and the stitch creates such a marvelous, soft and elastic fabric - pure delight! I've already made a third in a different colour, and will surely make more. Oh, they're also very quick, takes just a few hours to finish one, so they're a great idea for gifts (especially last-minute ones by crafters who are alway late, lol!). Strongly recommended pattern!