Wednesday, 4 February 2015

…But Wait…There's More!

Close up of 3 crocheted ripples, left to right: denim, camel and dark grey.

I couldn't help myself …

… and started yet another project!

I still haven't got over my bout of "Start-itis" but the scarves and fingerless mitts will have to wait because an elderly relative has suddenly taken ill and is feeling the cold in hospital.

Thus an urgent dash to the craft shop: large hooks and super chunky yarns are a good recipe for a speedy crocheted blanket to warm frozen toes and brighten the spirits. 

I narrowed down my pattern choice–either a log cabin afghan or a ripple blanket, both using super chunky yarn (US weight #6) and large hooks (9 mm and 10 mm respectively). Both of these designs are guaranteed to stand out from the hospital linen.

The log cabin afghan is like a patchwork quilt, comprised of individual squares of crocheted log cabin designs that are pieced together.  The portability of the squares allows more opportunities to work on the project while 'on the run'; the more chances to work on it, the quicker to complete. 

I like the sophistication of the log cabin pattern but the piecing together might slow me down as I am not the most agile at hand sewing.

On the other hand, the ripple blanket is just row upon row of stripes (no sewing!).  The ripples add a decorative edging on two sides, removing the need for a separate border–hooray, one less thing to do!

The ripple blanket became the obvious choice and I am enjoying the feel of my large bamboo hooks. Look how far I have come in just a few hours …

A ball of chunky acrylic yarn in denim blue attached to a partial ripple stripe which is worked onto a ripple blanket. The blanket is only two stripes high starting with dark grey, camel and then the partially complete blue ripple stripe.  The chunky yarn ripple blanket is 6 ripples across., each ripple has 4 treble stitches between each double increase and double decrease.
Two stripes (4 rows) of a total seventeen.

I'm loving the speedy progress!  

What is your experience with chunky yarn?

Links & References

Lion Brand,  "Bright Log Cabin Afghan" free crochet pattern #L20383:

Lion Brand, "Shaded Ripple Afghan" free crochet pattern #L0092AD:

Lupey Loops, "A Bad Case of …" blog entry, 29 January 2015:


  1. I love chunky yarn, I am in the process of knitting a cape with Wendy Mode yarn and also made a cowl in moss stitch the other day. Really fun, love the colours of the blanketxx

    1. Hi Michelle, which knitting pattern are you using for your cape? Are you using Wendy Mode Chunky? My favourite crocheted cape pattern is "Lacy Cape" by Carol Meldrum. It can be crocheted in one evening!
      It is also easy to modify to make a longer style.
      Was your cowl in the chunky yarn also? It was black so it was hard to tell - was it tricky to make? I look forward to seeing your cape when it is finished. Let us know how you go! :-)

  2. I like using chunky yarn for certain things. It certainly is quick to work up. Where did you get a large bamboo hook? My large hooks are all plastic and are really hard to work with. They make working with the chunky yarn a bit of a pain.

    1. Hi Gillian!

      Bamboo hooks are not easy to come by around here - at least not when I am looking for a particular size! I will often find every other size but the one I need! When I find a shop with bamboo hooks, I will grab as many as I can. For me, the best places to find bamboo and wooden hooks have been at craft fairs.

      I love my bambook hooks because they are light first of all so they are easy on my hands; they have 'in-line' heads which makes them perfect for loosely plied chunky yarns that are prone to splitting. The regular hooks tend to catch individual strands but the bamboo ones slide right through!

      I don't like plastic hooks because they usually have sharp seams from the injection moulding. What is hard about working with your plastic ones? Is it their shape, feel or their response to your yarn or something else?

      When I first started crocheting I didn't notice hooks much but now I have learned that choice of hook can make a big difference

      I hope your plastic hooks are not literally giving you pain! May you find a better hook so you can enjoy your chunky yarn properly. Good luck with your quest.

      Cheers, Jodie xx

  3. I have done exactly one potholder with Ultra, and made a pouffe cover with T-yarn, busy with a doily rug in Netlon (the stuff they use for onion bags). I'm lucky to have gotten my hands on sturdy wooden hooks with thinner necks, makes it easier to work with the T-yarn and Netlon.

    1. G'day Stel,
      I like wooden hooks too. I don't have many besides bamboo but I discovered that other woods are a bit heavier to handle. What a variety of materials you have listed there! Do you find some hooks suit some materials bvetter than others? I would love to see a picture of your wooden hooks to compare the necks with regular hooks. How do the thinner necks help with the T-yarn and Netlon? I get nervous about very thin sections of my hooks - I fear bending or breaking them! I hope that doesn't happen to you. I will keep an eye on your Ravelry projects to see your progress. Fun and hugs to you! :-)

  4. I fell in love with chunky yarn too this winter when I was making Christmas presents. It works up so quickly. I certainly need to try and source some bamboo hooks, I really don't like the plastic large hooks! I'm sure your relative will love it. Xx

    1. The lightness of bamboo hooks is much appreciated when working with heavier chunky yarns. The thinner bamboo ones can be brittle. Some of the better thinner plastic hooks are quite flexible and may suit some crochet projects and working styles better. Trial and error to see what works for you and each individual project.

  5. Hello Jodie! What a great idea for a quick blanket, I hope you get plenty of chance to work on it!!!
    I recently used Rico Chunky yarn for making a cowl, some hats and a headband (you saw it on my blog recently). It worked up quicker, that's for sure.
    Happy crocheting!!!
    Ingrid xx

    1. Hi Ingrid,
      Those hats and headband etc. look great. I love the Rico colours. I like the adventure of the colour changing yarns because one is never quiet sure how the items will look until they are at least halfway done.
      Sorry I am late with replies - it has been a busy week so I am working through all the comments as I get a moment here and there. I realised that the colours I chose for the chunky blanket would also work well in my lounge room so maybe I will make another sometime...maybe.
      Have fun! Jodie xx

  6. I'm a knitter, rather than crochet, but even so, I'm finding as my hands deteriorate, I can't manage heavy yarns so well. These days, I'm more comfortable with 8ply and under. I like your colours - it's going to be a pretty rug.

    1. Hi Kaz,
      I am sorry to learn that you are having hand trouble. I had no idea. Heavy yarns would put a strain, but the size of a project would also affect it. The chunky yarn I was using was 100% acrylic and quite light and fluffy; it wouldn't be too heavy with a smaller project but with the blanket, it does get hefty! I use a table top to support the blanket, taking the weight off my lap and taking the strain off my shoulders, arms, wrists and hands. It seems that shoulders are a problem area for people with MCTD. For once, my body is typical about something. I do hope knitting is more of a help than a hindrance for your hands. Do you have a project on the go at the moment? I will show you my finished blanket very soon!
      Take care, Jodie xx

  7. Rippling is lovely isn't it. I hope that your relative is much better soon. xx

    1. Hi Amy,
      It is always nice to see your comments here and thank you for taking the time to visit when you had so much going on with your own blogging activities recently.
      I love ripple patterns. This one from Lion Brand was very easy because there were only 4 plain stitches between each inc and dec so it was easy to keep track of the pattern. I love ripples so much that I also own a book called "200 Ripple Stitch Patterns" by Jan Eaton. It contains both knit and crochet ripple stitch patterns and is a great inspiration, but funnily enough, it did not have a basic ripple like the Shaded Ripple Afghan pattern that I used. Maybe it was too basic. Good luck with catching up with everything and it was nice to catch up with you here.
      Jodie xx

  8. Hurray for joining the ripple haze! :) I am 98 % finished with mine (need to weave in the ends), made that one with dk yarn. I bet it will look great with chunky yarn though!
    I like to work with chunky yarn for beanies! And I am currently using it for my poncho!
    Hope your relative gets better soon!
    Take care
    Anne (Crochet Between Worlds)

    1. Hi Anne,
      I love the way your ripple blanket uses texture to show the ripples instead of colour changes. It is very masculine that way and I am sure your dad will love it. Ripples are great for either gender (unlike flowers which can be controversial) and any age.
      I look forward to seeing your poncho when it is done (as well as your blanket).
      Don't give up now! Get those ends done. :-)
      Cheers, Jodie xx

  9. I did one once with hook 12 wtih almost the same colours as yours !!! Good luck ! Have a lovely sunday !

    1. Ooh! Do you have a photo of your ripple blanket? Is that a size 12 hook that you used? If so, is that 8 or 9 mm? That would be the right size for working with super-chunky yarn. I do hope to see a photo of your blanket if possible. Thanks for the good luck wishes, Géraldine! :-)

  10. I'm so sorry I haven't been actively reading here for a while. I'm so busy I forget everything!

    But I love the projects you're making. I have a very bad case of Starteritis too. And then I get overwhelmed by the amount of WIPs I have so I get complete crafting block. Ugh!

    I very rarely use chunky yarn, I don't know why, maybe because I haven't found a thick yarn that I really like. The yarns I touched are often too scratchy for me. But that could be just the limited choice I have living in a tiny town.

    1. Don't apologise, Frigga! Life gets busy for all of us, especially when children and animals are involved! :-)

      Please don't be overwhelmed by lots of WIPs either! May I suggest to set aside a bit of time every day, even if it is just 5 minutes when you wake up, and cycle through the projects so you are doing a little bit of each thing regularly. Alternatively, choose just one or two to focus on and put the others away until you are finished the one or two that you have prioritised.

      Perhaps keep one in the car or handbag so you will always have it with you when you find yourself waiting. It is amazing how much crochet can be done in 5 minutes here and 5 minutes there. If it weren't for these moments I would never get anything done! You could leave different projects around the house (safe from little fingers and big paws/teeth of course) so they are handy to just pick up and down during those quick moments.

      I wonder how others deal with start-itis and managing multiple WIPs.

      I can also relate to the problems of limited choice and I don't live in a tiny town but I don't have a lot of yarn suppliers nearby. My blanket was a case in point - I had to settle for 100% acrylic instead of 50:50 wool:acrylic (because i had no time to wait for delivery) but the results were still great. I don't like to order online unless I have had a chance to sample the yarn with my own hands. Am I too fussy?

      I look forward to seeing your projects, WIPs or not, on your blog again soon.
      Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment. You are always welcome.
      Hugs xx