I am curious what project and yarn each of us is going to try and why.
Do you need help picking a first time project and yarn? Here are some tips:
- worsted weight is great for beginning projects because it is easy to see the
stitches and "read" your work.
- cotton/silk/bamboo/acrylic re NOT a good fiber choice for first
project. They don't have much give so any inconsistencies in stitches
tend to show up more. Wool/alpaca/blends are more forgiving and will also respond
well to blocking to even out stitch gauge and shaping.
Balance the complication - simple stitches or single color with more advanced
shaping OR several stitch types or colors with simple shaping. Since all
crochet stitches are based on the chain, don't be afraid of trying a pattern
with more than single crochet and double crochet stitches. We can help
you through the tricky parts.
Most of all, pick a yarn and pattern that you really love to invest your time
and talent in!
Just keep doing what makes you happy. I'v made several Bavarian crochet baby ghans, similar to Catherine's Wheel but I like it better. You are basically finished every 2 rows. If you get too bored you can stop at some point and turn it into something else. pillow, lapghan...
My vote is it was a very brave thing to do! The laptop cover, that is. Sounds like you are a woman who knows what she wants and goes for it! I think you'll find yourself exploring lots of ideas and creating many more beautiful things! Congratulations!
And I agree with Anna, KP yarn is very good. I've yet to find one I didn't like the feel of. If you want a little softer feel, but a cotton yarn for wash cloths and such things, try Comfy, a cotton/acrylic blend, (comes in worsted, sport, fingering), Shine, a cotton/Modal blend, (comes in worsted and sport), or CotLin, a DK weight cotton/linen blend. The other fibers in all of these help cut down on the stiffness/scratchiness cotton alone can have.
Carole, I don't crochet but I love seeing what everyone is doing here. Such lovely FOs (finished objects). I don't think I've used a KP yarn that I haven't liked.
Just a hint on felting from a knitting perspective. Not sure if the same thing applies with crochet. I do like my felted projects to be where there is no stitch definition left. Most of the time I usually get about 25% shrinkage. When felting, the general rule is that animal fiber will felt and plant fiber or manmade fiber won't. Another general rule is that it needs to be at least 75% wool. Also different types of wool will felt differently from others. And different colors in the same wool can felt differently. White often doesn't felt as well as other colors. And when felting, it usually shrinks more from top to bottom than it does from side to side.
If a project needs to be a certain size when finished, it is a good idea to do a swatch. I usually do a 6" x 6" swatch. Then I take some cotton (so it won't felt) and mark a 4" x 4" swatch within it. I check my gauge and write it down. Then I wash my swatch as I would wash my project. Once I have a nice tight fabric, I measure how much my 4" x 4" swatch shrank. Then I will be able to know how big I need to make my project. It doesn't necessarily mean it will come out to an exact size, but usually it comes out pretty close. That is part of the fun of felting. It's always an experiment.
And I agree with Nutty's analysis of KP's cottons. My brother loves hand knit washcloths and really likes the feel of Comfy.
Anyway, glad you have joined the group.
Thanks to everyone for welcome. I have also recently re-taken-up knitting but for me it is much more challenging. With it I have just made scarves and truly simple practice swatches. I am getting better. I need to take a final picture of the laptop cover and I will get one of my kids to help me post the pictures. I am going to order some KP yarn tomorrow on payday! On the IPad cover I didn't really estimate 25% larger, I did the number of stitches the pattern recommended. It is still cute, and does the job of protecting it, plus it cost about 5 dollars and my time, not the 30 and up I see for the pre made ones at the store. It is probably a good idea to swatch and wash/felt but I find I am terribly impatient once I get an idea in my head and just sort of dive in. So far, so good....however before I start an afghan I will have a complete game plan, I don't want to mess something that large up!
I'm notorious for diving right in. And since you were following a pattern, well, that does make a difference.
Don't discount your knitting and crocheting skills! Although you may be able to purchase a commercial cover for $30, there is no way $30 could compensate you for your time involved in doing knitting and crocheting projects!
I do a Christmas stocking that takes about 25 hours worth of time. When someone asked me if I would make one for $25 I laughed in their face and said that wouldn't even cover the cost of the yarn. So when they upped the figure to $50, I laughed even harder. I asked if they would like to get paid 50¢/hour. They stopped asking after that.