For anyone who knows me you may recall that I am pretty much addicted to crocheting. My mother Eileen is a wonderful knitter making beautiful mitts, socks and shawls for the shop for many years until she retired at the age of 100. By the way she is still well and enjoying life at nearly 102!
Back to me! Much to my mother’s dismay I cannot settle to knitting even though I learned how, as she did, as an adolescent but crocheting is probably one of my favourite crafts. Which takes me to a recent post on Instagram from @mystiedawncrochet. I would suggest that you take a look at Mystie’s page on Instagram and see all the beautiful knitting and crocheting that she does. In a recent post she made an appeal for crochet pattern testers. She is in the process of developing a pattern for her signature crocheted beanie and she needed testers for the pattern. I thought this would be fun and might be helpful to Mystie so I volunteered!
Sounded like a great idea and as it turned out it was an awesome learning experience but not without its challenges!
Mystie suggested a particular super chunky yarn which I did not happen to have nor was I able to source it locally ( living in rural Newfoundland has its own challenges, not the least of which is sourcing crafting supplies)! No problem I told myself because I have some super chunky yarn that I can substitute. My first test beanie could have fit an elephant.
So my next question became what can I use?? Two more tries with other Super Chunky yarns without much success. I was stumped at that point and went to my friend Veronica Bavis at Skivvers Fibre Studio and Wool Craft in Cow Head for advice. Turns out that the suggested yarn is an air blown yarn not a spun yarn! And yes that does make a difference. Not all super chunky yarns are created equal I learned so beware.
After sharing this feedback with Mystie she verified this conclusion and suggested I try an Aran type yarn. Results - perfect!
Given that Mystie plans to sell her pattern once the editing is done I can't share it with you here but I have to say it was a great pattern to follow and I can't wait to see it for sale. What I really loved about the pattern was the fact that it was an easy repeat to follow and the end result was pleasing(with an appropriate yarn, that is).
Fortunately Mystie gave me a deadline otherwise I would still be trying to find a suitable yarn
I had to give Mystie specific feedback which I knew from the start and which made the test easier for me because I was looking for answers as I went along.
Communicating with Mystie was easy and quick by email. She answered my questions in a timely manner and seemed to really appreciated my help,
What was in it for me?
Well I saw this as a challenge to begin with and in the end it proved to be a very valuable learning experience. I learned so much about yarn weight and yarn content which I can hopefully pass on to our visitors in the shop. Secondly I met another Newfoundland fibre artist living on the West Coast who has already proven to be a valuable resource! And last but not least, I will soon be able to add a new crochet pattern to my collection which will make my granddaughters happy!
Hope this finds you in great spirits as we look forward to spring!