Crochet confusion part 2: worsted yarn

It feels odd referring to the stuff I have called “wool” all my life, as “yarn”. The Americans are right though, it is yarn. Wool is defined as a fibre obtained from the coats of animals. Yarn is the term to describe a continuous length of interlocked fibres. So the pedant in me insists that I now call it yarn. 
When I started crocheting, I had a plentiful supply of yarn left over from my knitting days, but it wasn’t the yarn they were recommending on patterns. Most patterns called for a “worsted weight yarn”. Say what? I had no idea. Turns out that worsted weight is approximately equivalent to our aran weight. That is, unless the pattern is asking for light worsted or heavy worsted…they are totally different! (double knitting and chunky to us in the UK).

Why can’t these things be the same the world over? Why can’t we all use the same terms to describe our yarns? Why can’t we all decide to just call the crochet hooks their actual size ie a 5mm hook (as is UK convention), rather than a “H” hook (US!)? Why is our single crochet a US double crochet?!

Sorry, back to yarn. 

So, I spent the first few months using aran weight yarn, not convinced it was the right stuff, but my items worked up ok so I was happy.

I was browsing the Wool Warehouse site, looking for some cotton yarns to make lighter hats, more suited to spring and ordered lots of balls of gorgeousness like this one…

Can you imagine my excitement when I spotted this on the label!

Finally I could feel confident that I was using the correct yarn. I hadn’t used cotton before so thought I’d do a couple of little projects to try out the pretty new additions to my stash. 
I used the solid colours (Drops Paris) to make a cover for my phone using a pattern from Moogly. I lost some stitches along the way so it is far from perfect but it was good for getting used to using an inelastic fibre. I might even make a matching one for my laptop. 

 I loved working with the Lily Sugar n Cream Ombres to make this little hat. Gorgeous colours, perfect for spring days.

The cotton works up beautifully, giving a really polished finish to items. It is more expensive than acrylic yarns and less forgiving when it comes to sizing, but I think I will be buying a lot more cotton, worsted yarn in the future. 

From knitter to hooker…

I have been a knitter ever since my lovely Mam taught me when I was about seven. I remember making knitted dolls as gifts when I was a teenager. I even had to make a replacement for my friend’s toddler cousin as he was devastated at losing the original!

However, as an adult, I always struggled with completing items. I managed to make ONE mitten for my precious first born. Parenting fail indeed. I didn’t do much knitting until a few years later when I was expecting #3. I managed to make a blanket AND a cardigan before he was born!

(We won’t discuss the lack of buttons on the cardi…)

I made this hat when he was a few months old and got a good way through the matching jumper. I still have a beautiful fair isle tank top in my knitting bag. By the time I finished it (although the loose ends STILL need to be weaved in, two years later!), it didn’t fit over his head! *sob*

So, knitting. I enjoy it, but it takes me so long and for some reason, I only have a 40% completion rate.

Fast forward a couple of years…I was very heavily pregnant, it was the middle of August and I couldn’t move much. So I thought I’d give crochet a go. Again. I had tried it a year or so before but struggled. Probably because I only had a 2.5mm hook which is very, very tiny and probably meant for elves or something. I watched a few YouTube videos, bought some more hooks and gave it a go. And it just clicked! I was hooked 😉

The first item I made was a simple headband, followed by a baby hat, then I started on the novelty hats. The rest, as they say, is history.

My first project
Excuse the creepy doll…
A week later I completed this!

I have a lovely friend who knits for me now!

My little crochet business

I launched my little business, Betty’s Bells and whistles in February 2014 and have certainly been kept busy since then! 

I make items to order and made all the parts of this hat last night in between multiple visits to settle my 6 month old. I had hoped to complete it last night but the baby had other ideas! He had a good nap this morning so I used that time to get it finished and here it is… 

I love it, it’s so cute.  Once I have completed items, I check them meticulously to make sure they’re perfect and then wrap them to protect them in transit. 

I recently ordered some labels (as well as business cards) from vistaprint and I’m very happy with the quality and design of them. They really finish off the packaging. Here it is, wrapped and ready to go… 

I even managed to fit in a cuppa and a biscuit before the baby woke!