Have you ever crocheted with self-striping yarn? If so, how did it go? Did your projects turn out gorgeous? Or did they disappoint you?
You wouldn’t be alone if you’re in the camp that was disappointed by the results of a project made with self-striping yarn. Those yarns look so beautiful, so tempting, so gorgeous as they beckon to you from the shelves of the craft store. But when you get them home and crochet or knit with them, it seems like making them actually work in a project can be the toughest of challenges.
Unless you have the know-how for what to do with self-striping yarn, or, even better, a stash of patterns that work well with this type of yarn.
You have an advantage when working with patterns that are specifically designed for self-striping yarn — because not every pattern will give you good results when you make it with a self-striping colorway. A LOT of crochet (and knitting) stitches simply DO NOT work well with your typical self-striping yarns. The stitches and yarn can compete with each other for attention, even if you’re using the simplest of crochet stitches.
Self-striping yarn is a type of variegated yarn; and variegated yarn is a topic I’ve written about extensively over the past few years, largely because of my own love-hate relationship with it. I’ve had my share of variegated disaster projects – so, if you have too, you can take comfort in knowing you are not the only one. In fact, if we were to have a contest on who has had the worst disasters with variegated yarn, I’d be surprised if anyone could beat me. I think I could win that one easily.
But you know what? After having wasted somewhere close to zillions of dollars over the years on self-striping and variegated yarns that did not do what I was hoping they’d do, I started studying what makes them work well in various projects versus what does not.
And I now have a better understanding of what types of crochet stitches to use when making projects with these yarns — and also an understanding of which variegated yarns are best-suited to using with crochet.
The tip I’d most like to share with you: If you’re planning to crochet with a self-striping yarn, try to choose a yarn that has loooooooooong, gradual color repeats rather than shorter, choppier or more abrupt color repeats. The long distance between color changes will give your eyes a chance to visualize the crochet stitches apart from the changing yarn colors. This has a much better chance of making your crochet project look enchanting and fascinating, rather than just looking like a hot mess of busy craziness.
This is a principal that Bonnie Barker has used exceptionally well in her brand new crochet pattern book called
Self-Striping Projects: Accessories for You and Your Baby. In this book, Bonnie has given you a daring collection of patterns that hit the IDEAL match between interesting crochet stitches and colorful self-striping yarns. If you study her yarn choices, you’ll see that there’s a common element: In each case, she has paired her interesting stitch work with a yarn that has a long enough color repeat that it works with the stitches instead of against them.
So if you need a little help implementing the tip I shared above, I highly recommend picking up a copy of Bonnie’s new book. I think you’re going to love it!
What You Need to Know About This Crochet Pattern Book:
Author: Bonnie Barker
Publisher: Leisure Arts
Copyright Date: 2018
ISBN 13: 978-1464772351
ISBN 10: 1464772355
This book is available in the following format(s):
- Softcover With Perfect Binding
- Digital download: PDF e-book (Available directly from the publisher, Leisure Arts)
Number of Pages: 48
Skill Level: The projects included in this book range from easy to intermediate level projects. There are NO advanced level projects – there’s nothing overly complicated here!
The Focus of This Book:
The projects in this book have one thing in common: They’re all crocheted using colorful, self-striping yarns.
Crochet Projects Included in This Book:
1. Sweet Crochet Baby Blanket Pattern
This beautiful crochet lace baby blanket has mass appeal; I could see this being one of the hottest patterns of 2019. Why? Well, there are multiple reasons:
- The finished blanket looks really impressive! You’ll be so proud of yourself when you hand this lovely creation off to a friend or family member at a baby shower. You’ll smile at the proclamations of “You’re so creative!” as the members of your inner circle ooh and ahh over your gift. Your friends will be just as impressed if you make this and keep it for your own baby.
- The design of the blanket is totally unisex, so the pattern is likely to appeal to numerous crocheters. While the sample project was crocheted in a variegated pink yarn, you could just as easily choose a self-striping blue yarn to make a boy’s version. If you aren’t sure whether you’re crocheting for a baby boy or girl, you could use a self-striping green or yellow colorway to make a gender-neutral blanket.
- This is SUCH an interesting project to crochet. For starters, the subtly shifting yarn colors will help to keep you absorbed in the project and looking forward to what each stitch will reveal. The stitch pattern itself is interesting to work on, yet it’s an easy stitch pattern that moves along relatively quickly.
2. Cabled Crochet Backpack With Lining
One of the best things about this pattern: Bonnie has given you detailed instructions for making a lining for the bag, ensuring that it will be a truly useful project. Bags without linings aren’t always all that practical; they can’t necessarily be trusted to hold your pens, lip liner or lighter.
3. Crochet Beanie Cap (Part of a Set)
This beanie is a sophisticated style that could lend an elegant touch to your fall and winter wardrobe. You could dress it either up or down, and it would work equally well. The photo stylist chose to pair the beanie and its matching cowl with a casual outfit: jeans, a t-shirt and a casual jacket. That’s a great way to wear it, but I could also see this sophisticated set topping off a smart tailored suit you’d wear to the office — or perhaps a pretty velvet dress. The details on these pieces are really special. When you wear them, they’ll command attention as the focal point of your ensemble.
4. Crochet Cowl (The other part of the Cap & Cowl Set)
This cowl complements the cap perfectly; they’re quite a lovely pair of accessories.
5. Rainbow Crochet Baby Blanket Pattern
If you’re looking for a total showstopper of a baby project, you just found it! Rich, sumptuous textures and vibrant colors combine to make a baby blanket that’s simply enchanting. This design is suitable for babies of either gender.
6. Lace Crochet Stole Pattern
Would you believe this is an easy crochet pattern? It looks fancy, but the crochet work isn’t complicated.
7. Celtic Weave Crochet Cowl Pattern
If you’re interested in crocheting or wearing richly textured projects, this cowl is likely appeal to you. The texture perfectly complements the subtle color changes for a project that offers lots of style and eye appeal.
8. Aran Crochet Poncho Pattern
Just look at all the squishy texture on the surface of this gorgeous striped poncho! You don’t have to go to any additional effort to achieve that subtle striped effect; the yarn does all the work for you. The simple shape of the poncho combines with post stitches, resulting in a project that’s interesting to work on, yet not overly complicated.
9. Crochet Shoulder Wrap Pattern
Making this pretty wrap for yourself would be a lot like giving yourself a big hug. The wrap is a cozy project that’ll keep you looking stylish at the same time it keeps you warm. If you’re inclined to make the gifts you give to others, this would also be a unique, one-of-a-kind gift for someone who love. It’s definitely a gift-worthy project.
The Best Things About This Book
These projects are all drop-dead GORGEOUS!
Bonnie’s instructions are easy to understand and follow. Plus, a tech editor is credited in the book. That means the team at Leisure Arts designated a person whose job was to go over the instructions and clarify them where needed. Having a tech editor significantly increases the chances that you will find the instructions in a pattern book to be clear and workable.
All of these projects are colorful, but you don’t have to hassle with working color changes – or weaving in excessive numbers of loose ends – to duplicate these colorful designs.
You get an intriguing variety of different stitch patterns in this book – including cables and texture stitches, which the author, Bonnie, is famous for expertly incorporating into her work; plus you also get a couple of patterns that feature lovely lace stitches. Best of all, the wonderful rainbow baby blanket pattern incorporates both types of stitches into the same design.
There’s no shortage of ideas for gift-worthy projects to crochet in this book. If there are ladies or babies on your gift list, this book would be a worthwhile investment for the gift-giving inspiration alone. Most of these projects don’t require you to make sizing decisions, which makes them even more attractive as gift options.
The book includes enticing full-color photographs that were professionally styled by a talented stylist. I found the choice of props and backgrounds in this book to be helpful and interesting, without being overly distracting. I think most crafters will be able to look at these photographs and easily determine whether or not each project is one they would want to make, or not. The skilful styling facilitates this ease of decision, because each of the photos is free of elements that significantly detract from the crochet designs.
This book is made in the USA.
One of these patterns, the shoulder wrap pictured on the front cover, includes instructions for two sizes. The size information is printed in different colors to allow you to easily find the exact information you need for making your size. What a brilliant feature! That saves you the time and effort of having to go through the pattern and highlight the size info you need. Thumbs up!
The author of the book, Bonnie Barker, is active on Youtube. She has shared stitch tutorials for many of her crochet projects on her Youtube channel. So, if you get stuck while working any of her projects, and you have enough bandwidth available that you can view videos online, help is just a few clicks away.
Other Observations About This Book
This book does not include international symbol crochet charts; the instructions are all written out in text.
For the most part, the photography in this book is truly exceptional. Each photograph is clear, helpful, and in focus. There are numerous detail shots showing you close-ups of the stitches.
There’s only one minor detail I found lacking in the photography. With most of the projects, you get at least one shot of each project showing you what the whole thing looks like. The one exception is the spectacular rainbow baby blanket. You get two truly lovely, helpful photos of the blanket in this book — but neither photo gives you a good look at what the center of the blanket looks like. You’ll have to just trust the pattern. Luckily, the instructions seem pretty clear and straightforward, so to me, this is not a deal breaker.
I’m delighted to recommend this book to other crochet enthusiasts. I think it’s a clear-cut winner, offering you a fantastic variety of appealing and exciting patterns. The book’s affordable price makes it accessible to a broad variety of crocheters.
Where to Buy This Book:
- Click here to shop for this book at Knitpicks.
- Click here to shop for this book at Amazon.com.
- Click here to shop for this book at the Leisure Arts website.
Similar Craft Pattern Books and Related Resources
Bonnie Barker is extremely talented, and she is a prolific author. I have two of her other books, and I highly recommend both of them. One is called Noggins and Necks. This book features – you guessed it – patterns for hat and scarf sets. There are 4 coordinating sets in the book, giving you a total of 8 different projects. All the sets feature Bonnie’s signature aran-style classic textured patterns. They’re all sized for adult women – so if you’re a lady in need of new patterns for hats and scarves, you will definitely want to grab yourself a copy of this book. I highly recommend it!
I have one other book of Bonnie’s that features nothing but truly spectacular textured afghan patterns. It’s called Aran Afghans to Crochet. The afghan patterns included in the book are wonderful! There are 5 of them all together, and they all ooze classic sophistication. They’re exactly the type of patterns you want to reach for if you want to crochet a blanket for a guy, or for a couple – think extraordinary birthday gifts, wedding gifts and Christmas gifts for your inner circle.
If you also enjoy knitting with variegated yarn, there’s another Leisure Arts pattern booklet you’ll want to know about in addition to Self Striping Projects. It’s called Ice Cream Baby Afghans. The patterns featured in both books are truly enchanting. Consider buying them both – I think you’ll find both of these books to be well worth the money!
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This page was last updated on 10-30-2018.