Sunday, May 14, 2017

The Magic of Changing Your Hook and Yarn Weight

Happy Mother's Day!!

I am thoroughly enjoying my lazy Sunday, so I figured today is as good a day as any to start blogging again. To start off my foray back into regular blogging, I am going to talk about the magic of changing the recommended hook size and yarn weight in a project. I'm sure I'm talking to a bunch of old pro's at making modifications to a pattern, but just in case a new crocheter happens to read this post, I am going to talk about the modifications I have made to a simple beginner's pattern from Lion Brand called the Amigurumi Frog

This particular pattern calls for regular worsted weight/aran weight/10ply yarn and an H hook. For me, that makes a frog that is about 4" tall/wide (first picture). I decided that I didn't want to make a frog that big. I wanted to make more than one frog in rainbow colors and put them together as a baby gift, so I decided to go with a #3 light/DK weight yarn and an F hook. That produced a frog about 2" tall/wide (second picture- I wish I had a side by side). 

What is the significance of this, and why would I write a blog post about it? Not everyone who is new to a craft knows that you can use the written pattern as you see it and make something "new" just by changing up the hook size and yarn weight you work with. No, it's not a new product. You are essentially making the exact same item as the pattern, but what is "new" is that you can then take your resized toy and do more with it. 

**I am going to take a quick moment and emphasize that this is something you would do with toy patterns or afghan patterns. I do not recommend making these sorts of nonchalant changes to a clothing pattern. Clothing is MUCH more precise and you don't want to create a Barbie sweater when you are trying to make something for the new baby in your family.**

So, what do you do with your resized toy? I'm going to reference the Amigurumi Frog as a sample;  If you go down in size, you can make more than one in a variety of colors, sort of what I am doing with my rainbow frogs, and make a learning set as a gift for a baby shower. 
My favorite way to go with toy patterns is to shrink them down and make up a fun bag to house all the characters, then give them as gifts for new babies or donate to children's homes. Some of the projects that I have made in the past using someone else's toy pattern, and creating a special bag to go with, are the Frog Pond Bag and the Whimsical Castle Bag

I encourage you to find a pattern and play with a different hook and yarn weight than recommended. Stick to the instructions, and see what size you can come up with. Maybe make one according to the recommendations, and one with a different hook/yarn? This will also help you become familiar with your gauge if you are new to the craft, or have just never really paid attention to it before. It's very useful to know what your work looks like with different tools. 

Well, I'm going to go visit my mama since it is Mother's Day. I hope this helps someone. 
See you next week! :)

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