need some suggestions please

joyousdayOctober 14, 2007

Hi everyone,

Yesterday I decided to start crocheting because I need a relaxing hobby (that doesn't involve a computer ).

I went to Walmart and picked some yarn. I bought Red Heart's Cherry Chip yarn. I tried to look up some patterns online, but even the beginner ones seemed to list a few different stitches.

I looked up youtube videos and learned how to the treble/double stitch, and I went to work on a scarf... this is what it looks like right now:

I'm not happy with it, and at this point I'd like to just quit and call it a potholder (or whatever) and start something new. I dislike the way the colors are spotted, as well as the pattern to the spots.

I would like something that looks more like this: The color pattern is more speckled instead of being spotted like mine. What I'd really like is something that looks more like this:, but I think (correct me if I'm wrong) that scarf is knitted rather than crocheted?

So I guess what I'm trying to ask is:

* Is the pattern that's there the result of my changing the gauge of my stitches while I was crocheting?

* Would the colors be less spotted and more speckled if the width of the scarf was different?

* Is there a different stitch I could use to make it so the color pattern had more of a random, speckled look?

* Are the color patterns of something determined by the yarn itself? I mean, are there yarns that are colored more randomly with the purpose of providing a random, speckled look?

* Do different multi-colored yarns have different patterns that they work best with, based on the spacing and pattern of the coloring of the yarn itself?

I'm willing to go buy some knitting needles and learn to knit if that's what I need to do in order to end up with results I like more, but I'd rather not have to run back to the craft store right now. Is "beginner" knitting more complex or more simple than "simple" crocheting (or is it comparable)?

Because my overall goal here is to do something that relaxes me, I don't want to end up doing something that's really complex in hopes that I'll end up with something that looks better. I just want to sit down with some yarn and relax.

Any suggestions?

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Wow, I'm really impressed you just started and can already produce something that good.

In answer to your questions, your scarf is getting those big color blocks because the variegated yarn you are using has a long color repeat. If you pull out a strand of the yarn, you will see long stretches of the same color. The samples you showed must have short color repeats. And you are right, they are knitted, not crocheted. To get that speckled look, the colors should only be an inch or two in length. What you probably wanted was long stretches of the white/cream, with just specks of the brown and pink. I know they do have yarns like that; you'll just have to look for them.

I have to log-off right now, the grand-kids are hollering for me. Oh, one more thing, that type of yarn is acrylic and wouldn't make good dishclothes. You really need cotten for that. I'll check back later to answer the other questions if someone hasn't already done it.

I also noticed that your scarf is getting wider. You have to watch to make sure you're not picking up extra stitches along the way.

You should be very proud of what you've accomplished. Most people need someone to help them learn to crochet, and you picked it up in just a day. Your stitches are very neat and even.


    Bookmark   October 14, 2007 at 12:50PM
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I don't crochet but I agee with Dorothy that the long color repeats are giving you the splotches of color. The patterning would vary depending on the width of your project; say if you were to do the scarf lengthwise or knit a sweater, it would look different. There are some yarns that self-stripe like Noro or Nashua Wooly Stripes and they have long color repeats but are not broken up by a plain color like the white in your yarn. If you want speckles, the color repeats are in short bursts like in Koigu or Regia sock yarns. Another related problem is pooling which happens with some handpainted yarns. Depending on your gauge or width of your project, large areas of one color will pool in a large blob. To get around this, some knitters alternate 2 skeins of the same colorway. You can try doing this - alternating rows of the same color yarn from different skeins to see if you can get a more random speckled effect.

Your crochet project looks very good for a first effort. You may have the same color issues whether you knit or crochet, depending on the size of the project and the coloring on the yarn. If you do have a yarn store nearby, you may be able to get yarn that is more to your liking there and some advice from the staff.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2007 at 2:02PM
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Knitting takes more practice to do well, in my opinion. Both crochet and knitting take practice to get your stitches consistently the same size, but knitting is a little more demanding--at first just to get used to it. With knitting you have a needle in both hands; while in crocheting, only one hand has a hook in it, so it does not feel as awkward. Both are relatively easy to learn skills, but you just have to be persistent to get past that awkward stage so you can enjoy the craft. The stitches are not difficult to learn in either craft.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2007 at 7:18PM
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Congratulations on your new hobby! As the others have said, one of the reasons you are getting those blocks of color is that the length of yarn for each color is longer than what you are looking for. Another reason is the type of stitch you are using. If you use treble crochet, (and the variegated you've chosen), you can't help but get blocks. If you were to use single crochet (and the same type of yarn), you would end us with longer patches of color, but they wouldn't be as tall. Of course, there is no way to know where the next stripe of the same color would show up on the next row and most likely you will still have some "pooling", albeit with a bit different look. I don't believe it has anything to do with changing the gauge of your stitches.

If the width of the scarf changes, the color blocks will change also, but you will never get a speckled look using that yarn, no matter what stitch you use.

Unfortunately, many of the "speckled" yarns are fingering weight, not worsted. Not that worsted speckled doesn't exist, but I don't see it in the less expensive yarns. A couple of suggestions might be Red Heart Fiesta. There is a variegated strand plied with a solid and that might give you an interesting look. See it here:

And then there is Caron Simply Soft Shadows. It is made similar to the Fiesta, but is so soft and I love the way the colors blend. See it here:

Again, neither of these is speckled, but you might want to check them out.

Although it is a fingering weight, I love the Regia Bamboo. See it here: . Click on the picture to enlarge it and check out the Red Spot and Blue Spot. Is that sort of what you are looking for?

And Red Heart Tweed is another nice multi with shorter lengths of variegated. See it here:,158,,61

Good luck!

    Bookmark   October 14, 2007 at 7:24PM
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You've gotten good answers on the yarn question so I don't have anything to add to that. Anytime I work with variegated yarn I find the results something of a surprise but it's part of the fun for me, although it can be frustrating when it doesn't turn out the way you like!

I guess the difficulty of knitting vs. crocheting is somewhat subjective. I crocheted for a long time and when I finally tried knitting I liked it much better and thought it was easier (once I taught myself continental, as opposed to English, which for some reason I had a hard time with)(and whether you like English or continental is another subjective thing!). Don't get me wrong, I still like crocheting a lot, but I find knitting a lot of fun, I love the patterns, and I love that it usually takes less yarn to make an object with knitting than crocheting. To me, beginner crocheting and knitting are probably fairly comparable (although as mentioned, knitting uses 2 needles and requires both hands -- but I didn't find that increased the difficulty -- but that's me and others will have different experiences) and it all boils down to your own preference.

It looks like you're off to a good start -- have fun with it! And don't hesitate to ask questions here -- everyone here has been really generous with all my questions -- it's a great place to learn lots!

    Bookmark   October 15, 2007 at 7:50AM
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I think knitting is easier. There are only 2 stitches, knit and purl. It goes slower than crochet. I am a complete numbskull at crochet. I've been shown how to crochet many times, but I just can't get the hang of it.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2007 at 6:02PM
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