Stashbusting Project #1; learning tunisian crochet

Have you heard?  It’s Stashbusting September!

What is Stashbusting you ask?  Stashbusting is taking all those great materials you have stuffed in every nuck and cranny of your home that have accumulated over the year (or several) and finally do something with them.

I found out about Stashbusting September over on The T-Shirt Diaries and took the Stashpbusting pledge to:

  • Craft for personal use only with items I have on hand and not buy new craft supplies (even from Goodwill or garage sales).
  • Think of unique and creative ways to use items I was thinking of throwing out.
  • Think outside of the box.
  • Try to make at least one upcycled craft item this month.
  • Proudly post the Stashbusting September button on my website so everyone knows I am busting some stash (see button on right side bar).
  • Check back to The T-Shirt Diaries to find other blogs that are busting some stash.

For my first Stashbusting September project I decided to use up some yarn and learn a new technique called Tunisian crochet. 

Though Stashbusting is mainly about using up all those materials that have mysteriously multiplied and are taking over your life, I think it can also be about using tools that you’ve accumulated but haven’t really had the chance to use and discover their potential.  For me, one of those tools was my Tunisian crochet hook.

IMG_7779

I found this Tunisian crochet hook at a second-hand store earlier this summer and shortly afterword picked up a Tunisian crochet book from the library by Sheryl Thies called Get Hooked On Tunisian Crochet; Learn How With 13 Projects.

The tutorial at the beginning of the book was very easy to follow and has very clear illustrations.  Personally, I find that I learn crochet and knitting techniques very well from books like these.

The first thing I made yesterday was a very small swatch of the Tunisian Simple Stitch (Tss), using the size G hook I recently found and some left over Soft Pink from Carron’s Simply Soft line.  You might recognize this yarn from several of my past projects including my granny square blanket (with tutorial for making granny squares) and Mary Jane slippers, a plastic canvas heart pin for Valentine’s Day, little hen egg cozies for Easter, and even some of my crochet flower hair clips.

Tunisian crochet produces a fairly dense stitch, which has its applications, but I was interested in achieving something with a bit more drape.  That would mean I either needed a finer yarn, or, a larger hook.  Luckily, I had a very chunky, wooden size 15 hook stashed away that I bought several years ago at another thrift store (hooks and needles can be expensive since you need so many different sizes, so I love finding them second-hand.  Plus, they’re usually of a higher quality than what is made today).

I don’t believe my size 15 hook was meant to be used for Tunisian crochet, as it lacks the knitting-needle-like stopper on the end.  However, since it doesn’t have a thumb grip, I didn’t see why it wouldn’t work, as long as I didn’t make too many stitches.

The result of using my big hook with this particular yarn is a bit mixed.  I really like the drape that is achieved, however, I’m a little disappointed in the sloppiness of the side seems.  Sloppiness was not an issue with my first swatch, probably because the gauge was a closer match to what is recommended for the yarn (size H).

It’s not perfect, but I think I’m going to continue with this piece and make it into a child-size scarf.  Stashbusting is all about the process of using up some of this extra “stuff” we have so that ultimately we can accumulate more and make more.  I know, it’s a vicious cycle.

Thank you for visiting zween!  If you are officially participating in Stashbusting September, I’d love to hear from you and see what you’re doing.  If you’re not, that’s okay, I hope that this post has inspired you to get through some of that extra yarn, fabric, beads, etc.

To keep up on all things zween, please like my facebook page.  Thanks!

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2 Comments

Filed under Just For Fun

2 responses to “Stashbusting Project #1; learning tunisian crochet

  1. Very cool! I made an afghan with one of those hooks years ago, but I had no idea it was called Tunisian crochet.

    Just an idea for your crochet hooks with no stopper: Try a pencil grip on the end. Or, if your hook isn’t thick enough for a pencil stopper, stick a wad of sticky tack on the end until you’re finished, then pull it off.

    I love to see what you make! I wanted to join Stashbusting September, but I hate to commit to not buying anything new. I’m all about stashbusting, though. I have enough projects here to last me until the day I die! 🙂

    • That’s a good idea to use a pencil grip or sticky tack to make a stopper. Unfortunately, my big wooden hook is my only one that I would be able to convert in this way because it is both long AND has no thumb grip…that’s the rub, most crochet hooks have thumb grips (and are also pretty short) so they are unsuitable for this application.

      I also understand your hesitation not to pledge to buy any new supplies. I’m a big time thrift store shopper and garage sale hunter and this will be hard. I guess I will console myself with the fact that I’ll still be able to shop for business related supplies if I need to, but really I shouldn’t have to.

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