Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Ravelry's 2013 Crochet Block-A-Month

As if I didn't have enough yarn, I went and bought more!  

I joined a group on Ravelry for the 2013 Crochet Block-A-Month group ... and I am going to crochet right along with several hundred other people using 3 new block patterns each month!  I am so excited!  These are the colors that I will be using:

Red Heart Black

Red Heart Carrot - much prettier in person

Red Heart Soft White

Red Heart Tea Leaf

Red Heart Turqua - much brighter in person

Crocheted Ruffled Scarves - Sashay vs. Starbella

Happy New Year! 

Over the Christmas holiday, I took advantage of the sale on Sashay yarn at Michael's to try out this new product, well, fairly new product.  I just hadn't gotten up the courage to give it a try!  I absolutely love how the ruffled crochet scarves turned out - don't you?!?

To overcome my fear of working with this non-traditional yarn, I began by watching the Red Heart Sashay Yarn video on YouTube.  It was helpful in giving me an idea of what to do, but the angle was not filmed well so it was sometimes hard to see what they person was talking about.  Once you get started though, it really came together rather quickly.

Hook sizes ... Sashay called for Size J hook, which I tried and did about 4 inches of the scarf with but ended up tearing it out and starting over with a smaller hook.  My first scarf was 6 stitches across for the foundation row and then 5 stitches for the remaining rows.  With each new scarf, I adjusted the hook size and the width of the stitches and finally settled on a size G hook and 3 stitches.  This makes the scarf not quite as "puffy" and a little longer - each averaged about 40 inches for 30 yds. of yarn.

When I purchased my Sashay yarn, I also purchased the competitor's yarn - Starbella from Premier Yarns.  It was about $1 more than the Sashay, and is 33 yds. as opposed to 30 yds.  After stitching up the 3 crocheted ruffled scarves pictured above, I did one Starbella scarf (picture to come!).  In working with both yarns, my preference is the Starbella.  Unlike the Sashay yarn, the Starbella yarn does not have the glittery edge to it and is a softer, more pliable yarn.  The Sashay was much stiffer to work with, but it does make a nicer, more polished product with the sparkly edge to it.  The Starbella is more casual, but equally as pretty!

In working with this type of yarn, the trickiest issue was having to flatten out the netting from the tape-like skein it comes on.  As I got to the end of the scarf (about 3/4 of the way through), the skein end of the yarn was completely twisted, making it more cumbersome to unravel and prepare to crochet and therefore slowing me down.  On my second scarf, I unraveled all of the yarn, flattened out the netting, and re-rolled it (again, very tedious) hoping it would make a difference in actually crocheting the project.  Nope, not much help and overall about the same amount of time.  It did seem that the Starbella yarn did not twist quite as much, but it did still twist. 

I have many more skeins of both the Starbella and Sashay in my stash and will work those into scarves - and yes, I will buy more of both products as I think these scarves are very pretty and have had requests from people looking for these types of scarves in particular!  

What has been your experience in working with Sashay or Starbella?