Stash buster skirt and new yarn!

I loved the skater skirt so much that I wanted to wear it everyday. So I made another one as a stash buster project and used up a bunch of random acrylic I have had taking up space. I don’t love it as much as the teal and neon yellow, but it definitely served its purpose and I even wore it to visit a new (to me) yarn store today! Here it is:

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Speaking of yarn store, I checked out a new one today. Spent about an hour feeling everything in the store (of course) and left with some knitting needles and a couple hanks of Berrocco Cotton/Acrylic blend to practice with. I’ve decided that I should be fluent in not only crochet, but knitting as well. So, I am forcing myself to work through a knitted project. I have always preferred crochet because I like to make up my projects as I go along. With knitting it seems like you have to have it planned out beforehand. So this will be a lesson in patience for me. But I love the colors I chose and I am excited to try out these new needles. They are Knitters Pride brand, the maker of my favorite crochet hooks (the Dreamz line), so I’m hoping this will up my tactile-experience! Here’s what I’m working with:

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Ooooh..ahhh.. Ok, now that we’ve oogled the lovely yarny things, do you have any suggestions on what project I should start with? I’d love to do something with a bold stripe (alternating these colors) in something I can wear after it’s finished. Comment and tell me what you think!

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The Crochet Skater Skirt

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I finished my mystery WIP and I couldn’t be happier with the outcome. I did at one point tear out about 20 rows because I wasn’t happy with the way it was working up. And I’m so glad I did. Because it completely changed the look and vibe of it.

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All those wavy rows were torn out

My crochet style is consistent with my personality; resourceful, free-spirited, and innovative. For this project, I wanted to capture a few trends of this season. Bold colors with hints of neon, short hem with a natural waist, feminine with an edge. I’m calling it the Skater Skirt. And while I don’t have a “pattern” per se, I do have an outline that you can use to recreate your own. I know I’m ready to make one in every color now!

To begin, you can use any yarn you choose. Just keep in mind how the gauge and drape will change with different fibers and thicknesses. Because of a limited budget and also because this was an experiment, I went with a cheap acrylic. It actually worked out well and makes my finished skirt machine washable. But I would love to try it again with a superwash merino if budget wasn’t an issue.  Here’s what I used:

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Crafter’s Secret, color name: Fabulous! + I Love This Yarn! Sport weight Yellow neon

I used almost all 355 yards of the teal and only a little of the accent neon yellow color.

Getting started, with my main color I made a chain that was long enough to fit around my waist and leave enough room to stretch over my hips. For me that was 90 chains using a 6 mm hook (the yarn gauge calls for a 5.5 mm, but sometimes I go up a hook size to keep my stitches stretchier.) It is helpful to start with a multiple of 10 if you can, this will make your increases easier to keep track of.

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waist band

Slip stitch to the first chain to create a circle. You will be working in the round. I used single crochet for my first 12 rounds to create the waistband. I switched up my stitch after the waistband to get a thinner, more stretchy fabric. So for the remainder of the skirt, I used extended single crochets (ESC).

[ESC: insert hook into next st, yo and pull up a lp, yo, draw through 1 lp on hk, yo and draw through rem 2 lps on hk]

This is my first project using ESC and I am hooked. I love how it works up.

So, you have 12 rows of sc. Work 3 rows of ESC.

Now we’ll start increases. Here’s how I worked mine in. Since I started with 90 stitches per round, I decided to add 10 stitches evenly distributed throughout my first increase round. So every 9th stitch I worked 2 ESC. By the end of this round I had 100 stitches. To keep the increases gradual, I worked 2 more rounds of 100 stitches. (So 3 rounds of 100).

I repeated this process throughout. So my next increase round I added 10 more stitches by working 2 ESC into every 10th stitch (110 stitches). Then work 2 more rounds of 110 stitches.

I did this 5 more times until it was a length I was happy with. For me, my final three rounds were 160 stitches.

This is just a simple guideline to help you make this project your own. I found that adding 10 stitches every three rounds made for a really nice a-line shape which is exactly what I was going for. But don’t be afraid to experiment with that formula to make it to your preferences. That’s the beauty of free-form crochet. It can be easily adapted.

For the hem detail with my accent color, I could have done any edging. I actually made mine up as I went along. It turned into a cool asymmetric scalloped edge. Just keep in mind the number of stitches you end on and find a repeating pattern you like that divides it evenly. Or you could simply add an extra 3-6 round with increases for a color blocking effect.

So here it is! If you have any questions or issues please leave a comment. I look forward to seeing how you use this guideline and make it your own. Please share finished pictures too!

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Pinkie Pie says it best

This whole crazy idea came about one day on a walk home from downtown Ferndale with my little family. My husband and I have always daydreamed together about owning our own business, being our own boss… But we never settled on one thing we could run with. Until that day. I was lamenting that while our awesome downtown has just about everything, it didn’t have a badass yarn shop, and what a shame that is. I would go to one everyday if we had it!

If you aren’t familiar with Ferndale (or Fabulous Ferndale as it is often referred to) it is about a 20 minute drive from the heart of Detroit. But like many metro-Detroit cities, it is its own bubble of activity. Ferndale is full of smiling neighbors, musicians, artists, young families, and hip singles. It has a homey feel while retaining a rock and roll edge that speaks to us creative types. There are cool music venues, nightclubs, and some of the most unique and awarded bars in the area. There are also a couple natural/organic food and vitamin stores, a gorgeous natural baby store that draws people from miles away for their selection of modern cloth diapers and baby carriers, a beautiful library, a comic book shop, hip salons, local restaurants, resale shops, art galleries, Nature’s Playhouse (an all natural family wellness center which hosts activities like Yoga and Play and my own crochet class), The Rust Belt Market (an Etsy style marketplace for unique locally made goods) and the list could go on and on. But no yarn shop!

So here I am, a total newbie to the business world. With a vision for a new way of doing this fiber arts thing. A desire to spread the love, share the joy, and inspire the next generation of makers. My tools are a crochet hook, yarn, and passion. And I welcome all who are willing to join me in this. What I need right now is support, and a show of hands so-to-speak of who is in. I need investors and prayers. All the good vibes and love. Because I think this place could really use some more locally grown creativity. And I want to be the cultivator.

Pinkie Pie sums up my current feelings in all of this 😉 :

 

WIP: The Convergence Top by Linda Skuja

I came across this gorgeous top in the Spring 2014 issue of Interweave Crochet and have been dying to try it out.

 

You can find the pattern on Ravelry here.

I have a section of the back panel finished. It has been an easy project so far. Though I did have to work on the first angled section after the kids were in bed so I could concentrate. I am using 100% Cotton Lily Sugar and Cream for this project. But I am considering dyeing the final product as an experiment! Here it is:

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Why “Unicorn Yarn Shop”?

A Unicorn is a rare, magical, and elusive creature. It represents something extraordinary. Something altogether different. It is not like every other horse. It embodies my dream for a new dynamic  fiber arts community that throws off the old constraints of tradition and snobbery commonly found in the needle arts world. It captures the essence of a young and vibrant movement to create in new and relevant ways. It is wild and free. Inspired and motivated. That is my viewpoint as a 20-something crocheter working through an ancient art form.  That explains the Unicorn part, so why “Yarn Shop”? I’m glad you asked.

I have a vision and a plan to spread this ideal by means of a real life community. As awesome as the online forum is, yarn and fiber arts are just better in person. It is impossible to feel the texture, weight, and sheen of a skein of yarn through a computer screen. Or to experience the drape and stretch of a crochet garment in a YouTube video. And while I will make every effort to bring a sense of tangibility to the blog medium, I really want to open a brick-and-mortar store where a community of artists can gather to share information and innovation. A place where I can curate my own carefully chosen fibers, yarns, and tools. And a meeting place to host workshops, classes and hook-ups.

So this is my starting point. And I’m running with the name “Unicorn Yarn Shop” because it reflects my goals and personal point of view. I hope you continue to check in on my progress and join my community, whether you are a virtual member or local supporter. Thank you for being here!