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Thursday, January 2, 2014

Technical Thursday: Hooking with ruffle yarn(a one skein scarf tutorial)

Welcome to 2014!

I lurk on quite a few different crochet oriented pages/groups on facebook to get ideas for technical thursdays, and one of the things I've been seeing pop up a lot is "How do I work with ruffle/sashay/starbella/this weird yarn?"

Now, I own a single pair of knitting needles, but I am a hooker at heart ;) So I use a crochet method to make my ruffle scarves :)

So this week I'll be talking about options for ruffle yarn, how to use it properly, and helpful hints.

First things first- what are you going to use it for? You can make a scarf, or add ruffles to a skirt, or even the cuffs of a long sweater. Or you can use it as a plain, slightly flat super chunky weight yarn to make just about anything. For our purposes, we're going to say that we didn't spend $5 on 30 yards of super bulky yarn and are going to use it for ruffles.

One of the main problems people have with ruffle yarn is using it as intended, spreading it out into it's ruffle form as they work. It takes a very coordinated hand to hold, feed and spread at the same time. There is a very easy solution for this problem, but it does add to your time totals- a toilet paper roll :) Simply take 15 minutes and gently flatten it out as you roll it onto the tube and then you're ready to go :)

I've rerolled my yarn and am ready to work with it now ;)

Yes, the pictures are out of order. But now that we're ready to work, which side do we use? Hmm, maybe that side with the thick edge and sparkles wove in! Nope. Actually, we work in the second row of loops from the top, opposite the sparkly edge. 

How to make a 1 skein ruffle scarf using a crochet hook

 So now I'm stretching it out a little bit- I want to start my stitches in the 2nd row, the second "hole" that is not cut open.

 Now I insert my hook from front to back, and yarn over by drawing the top edge around the back of my hook which I immediately stick into the next "hole" and create a working loop by slip stitching.
 Next, pick a magic number- the higher the number(I'd recommend between 6 and 10), the tighter your ruffles will be. I use 8 or 10. By sticking your hook in every other "hole" on the 2nd row, you want to get your magic number of loops on your hook.
Once you've got the desired number of loops on the hook, stick your hook in the next "hole" and perform a slip stitch. 
Then start over, doing a slip stitch every 8-10 loops on the hook. Continue this until you run out of yarn- 1 skein makes 1 perfect sized scarf for most purposes. When you get to the end of the skein, simply leave the last 5 or so "holes" unworked and pull the loop left on your hook as wide as you can and slip your end into it, and pull it tight. Some people add liquid stitch to make sure it holds, some use a bit of thread or coordinating yarn and hem the end, some just leave it as it is.

Got a knot? Gently untie it if you can, and do a slip stitch to hold both ends together as you continue to work on the scarf. Or, if you're so inclined, you can leave it knotted and work over it, it'll disappear into the ruffles(usually- there's always the wicked knot/ball determined to prove me wrong, but on a general basis, it works).

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