Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Gauge squirkle

I got this great Amigurumi book yesterday.

The author recommends making a gauge circle in order to figure out your suitable hook size, before beginning any of the ridiculously cute projects in the book.

She suggested to start with a 3.5mm hook, so I grabbed my variety package of ten, only to discover that it contained no 3.5mm hooks, but two 3.75mm ones. The idea was that if your circle turned out bigger than 2 inches in diameter, you should use a smaller hook than the 3.5mm, and if it was smaller than 2 inches, you should use a larger hook.

Anyway, I made my first attempt at a circle (actually a spiral) from a magic ring using one of the 3.75mm hooks. It took me a few tries to get the hang of the magic ring, and then I followed what I think must be a fairly simple pattern - an increase every second stitch for five rounds. I am almost ashamed to show a picture, but here goes....

As you can see, it is not the most perfect of circles, and somehow I ended up with about 35 stitches on the last round (should have been 30). BUT it is almost exactly 2 inches!

I also learned a lot during the making of this cat's toy:
1. (a) I can't count up to two without getting distracted.
      (b) Then I can't figure out whether I've already crocheted into that stitch.
2. I make such tight stitches that I sometimes struggle to get my hook in.
3. I'm getting more comfortable with my hand position.
4. Double crochet is single crochet if you are following a non UK or Aussie pattern.
5. It is best not to have a cat nearby during a crochet session.


Sandra said...

2. I make such tight stitches that I sometimes struggle to get my hook in.

That comes with time...try to keep your hands relaxed. Also, the way you hold the yarn can cause this too. I used to crochet very tightly until I changed how I held my yarn.

3. I'm getting more comfortable with my hand position.

You will. Once you do the motion becomes natural.

4. Double crochet is single crochet if you are following a non UK or Aussie pattern.

So what I call double crochet you call single crochet? What do call what I call single crochet?

5. It is best not to have a cat nearby during a crochet session.

Nor knitting...only if you want them to "help"!

Sam said...

Ooops - see how confusing I find the terminology? I got the double and single crochets around the wrong way! Your single is our double - we don't have single crochet.

I'm doing a little bit of crochet every day and I think I'm improving. I'm certainly getting more relaxed, but I'm not sure if I've found the best way to hold my yarn. I will keep experimenting.

Thanks Sandra :-)

Lisa said...

I'm looking forward to following your journey into amigurumi and crochet! I taught myself to crochet from library books awhile back just so I could make cute things. I still have trouble with all but the simplest patterns, but it is so much fun. I've checked the book out from the library that you have, though I haven't made anything from it. For me, patterns from Amigurumi World have been the easiest to follow. I also love Ravelry--do you have an account there? I also love Planet June as well! I'm looking forward to your future posts!

PS I am sunnyblueskies on swap-bot :)

Sam said...

Hey Lisa! Nice to see you :-)
I have made an account on Ravelry and I'll look out for you there.

I ordered the Amigurumi World books last week and can't wait to get them. PlanetJune has been very helpful.

I'm enjoying my crochet journey greatly!

Sandra said...

I think I was the confused one. It was first thing in the morning here and I may not have been caffeinated enough yet.

OK, so what I call single you call double? My sizes go single, double, treble. Yours go double, then what?

Sam said...

Sandra, here we don't have any equivalent to single crochet. You can easily spot the difference between sc and dc if there is a photo along with your pattern. Not too much drama for me yet as I have only learned a few stitches and probably won't be using any of the taller stitches.
Conversion chart:
Yarns are also different here, nobody has heard of "worstead", and we don't use letters for our hook sizes.

Crocheting is kind of like getting used to different currencies when you go on an exotic holiday!

amy/chick chick sewing said...

Hi Sam!! I'm so thrilled to visit your blog again! And yay! Welcome to the world of crochet :) Although I'm just a beginner myself, I'm totally hooked playing around with a yarn ball and a hook to make things with crochet. Can't wait to see your amigurumi soon!

From your Japanese crafty friend from California :)

Sam said...

Hiya Amy! Thanks for visiting my blog :-) If I can get anywhere near as good as you in crochet I will be very happy!

Daisy Yellow said...

Sam, I took an intro crochet class on the web, and tried my best for about a month, finally throwing in the hook. My daughter learned though, and has been making scarves with all of the cotton yarn I got. I did find that using a larger hook helped me not stitch so tightly. I'm so happy to see all of your creations on your crochet journey!

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