This summer I decided to try something new and so I tried my hand at crocheting an umbrella cover. Or two.
The steps look deceptively simple, really. The hard part is to make it all work correctly!
I tried two:
- kid sized umbrella covered with white cotton/bamboo blend
- adult sized umbrella covered with acrylic yarn
Errors you should avoid (I didn’t, so I am warning you):
- picking a cheap, shoddy frame (limp spokes, bad opening mechanism)
- using cotton in very dense pattern (HEAVY!)
- removing the old cover from the umbrella too early
Steps to get your umbrella covered, high-level:
- Buy an umbrella (full/straight, not foldable one).
- Crochet a doily of choice that has the same number of beams/parts/spokes as the umbrella (or twice that) to the size of the umbrella, making sure you alter the centre to fit over the umbrella tip.
- Try it over the existing cover to make sure you have enough. Should be rather tight fit, but remember that if you crochet too many rounds, part of it can be left as a bit of an edge. Put knitting markers or something else that will remind you where the ends of the spokes came to be.
- Take the little plastic pins off the end of the spokes. Cut them off the fabric and put safely aside.
- Snip the threads that keep the fabric attached mid-spoke.
- Cut the fabric around the tip.
- Put the doily on, tightening the middle round around the tip of the umbrella with spare bit of thick cotton yarn.
- Tie the little pins temporarily to the places where the doily touched them when you tried it over the cover (where the markers are).
- Put them now over the ends of the wires and slowly open the umbrella to see how taut the whole thing is. You may need to move the plastic pins to another place in the crocheted cover for better fit. Close it to make sure the pins don’t fall off the ends of the wires because of weight of the cover or some unforeseen looseness.
The final outcome is here.
The white, cotton, kid-sized umbrella:
The rainbow, acrylic yarn, full-sized one:
Brand: DROPS Paris
Colour: Solids (both saturated and less so)
Content: 100% cotton
Thickness: 75m/50g (150m/100g)
Country of origin: EU
Suggested needle/hook size: 5mm
I bought Paris for the first time as it was “nice not-wool” for a friend who can’t wear woollen items. I made the hat and got some leftover grey yarn. It was nice, if dull, to knit, as I tend to get easily bored with monochrome work.
Now, of the leftovers I made a small amigurumi mouse for my son…
…and then I bought some colours, as I really liked the feel of that yarn.
Really, I love it. It is made of several strands (8, I think), which plied together make for soft and reasonably strong yarn. Now, 2 years later, I have a crocheted mouse, a blanket:
1. Pieces arranged before stitching
2. During sewing:
3. Sewn together, partial border crocheted:
Now my son is keeping it in his bed and I can’t take a photo of the finished version.
And a bag :) (two different light settings, one for each side ;))
I can reasonably say: I WOULD BUY MORE.
Beginners? Yes, definitely. Undoes with no issue, no fuzz (it’s cotton!), wears out a bit after a few crochet/undo sessions, but not a lot. Before, I wrote it’s not good for beginners, but my son, who just started crocheting this year, actually liked it a lot. I WILL buy more, if he wants to make another mouse or anything.
Brand: YarnArt Everest
Colour: mixes (see link)
Content: 70% acrylic, 30% wool
Thickness: 320m/200g (160/100)
Country of origin: Turkey
Suggested needle/hook size: 5,5mm
I bought Everest ’cause it looked interesting.
It is nice to touch, slightly squeaky, but not much. Crochets up very nice, works good in the knitting mill, although it’s on the limit of its thickness tolerance. The acrylic compound makes in much fluffier than pure wool.
Would buy again, lots. Whenever I have time to work on a really freakishly patterned blanket :)
For beginners, easy to undo, not much fuzz.
Below: a tube pillow crocheted with Everest.
My name is Srebrna and I have a little problem with blankets.
A big amount of yarn made its way into my hands over the last few years – gifts, destashes and so on. None of these could be made into something specific due to limited amount of each colour/type, so I decided to divide all that stuff into colours and make blankets.
Blanket one: Earth colours. Bunch of squares, made into a 10×10 square, bordered in shaded green. It usually rides with us in the car and is used in case someone is cold and the AC doesn’t kick in.
Blanket two: Purples. Also a bunch of squares, but organised a bit differently. Still Work In progress, 8 squares and the border waiting to be finished.
Blanket three: Blues. Squares of various blues and some off-whites, all about 30 cm. All crocheted, but not sewn together. Will go to my son’s room and serve as the bed cover.
Blanket four: Purple & cream round ripple. Made from DROPS Andes yarn, 10 balls. Only one planned more or less properly. Used Excel to calculate optimum usage of yarn.
Blanket five: Cotton. Specifically DROPS Paris. Hexagons trimmed with light gray yarn, of varying pattern inside. Still crocheting them, but I expect this one to be quite a headache when it comes to sewing it.
Blanket six: Purple hexagons. Bunch of pinks, purples and creams from various similar-sized DROPS yarns (karisma, lima, merino extra fine). Made up only of “African flower” hexagons. Hopefully it’ll be pretty. Still only part of the hexagons done.
Blanket seven: Green& brown hexagons. Kind of followup on number one, only in different shapes. Still some odds and ends of earth-toned yarn left, plus I found some green yarn probably older than me in a box, so I need to use it up. Hexagons are more effective than squares.
…ya, a little problem.
Ripple blanket – here’s the pattern
Just finished my new blanket. Took me less than a week – yarn I needed arrived on Wednesday and the whole thing was done on Sunday. Pretty quick.
I should probably start at the beginning.
Some time ago there was a sale on DROPS yarns (very nice stuff in general) and I bought some random balls in colours that seemed interesting. “Andes” was one of these and finally I made a cowl/scarf thing out of it. Which was a total failure, because the outcome was way too thick and stiff. Probably I used a hook some sizes too small. Well.
So this week I undid it and added some cream Andes to it as a contrast, took a 8mm hook and hooked a round ripple blanket. In three days (was kind of busy on Saturday). After work only.
So, here’s the outcome. Photographed inside, no natural light, so colours are a bit wrong, but it’s, in general, somewhat purple-ish. It’s 130 cm in diameter (from point to point) and it covers my new armchair quite nicely :)
Brand: Magic/Magic SURF
Contents: 100% wool
Suggested needle size: 5,5 (I use anything from 3,5 hook to 6mm hook/needles, depending on intended outcome)
The colours. That’s what won my heart. The COLOURS. Have a look at the producer’s website and try telling me you didn’t just drool over the colours. I love all of them, especially 600 (have a pair of socks knit with it), SURF 441 and 446 (waiting their turn to be turned into scarves) and 601 (I’d sooo want to knit a sweater with this one).
The yarn is very, very even, with slight fuzz. Undoes with effort, leaves lots of small threads/threadballs on the undone yarn. Slight scratch, but I can tolerate it even in a winter hat.
No discernible strands, but in places when one colour blends into another you will see the “tail” of one colour twisted with the next one (see producer’s photo for 592 or 602). The gradient change is quite long and single colour also lasts long. In socks it makes for ~5cm per colour + soft colour change.
The colour saturation and combinations give effects very close to DROPS Big Delight (I used a bit of Magic in my Big Delight poncho when I miscounted and run out of the main yarn half a row before end). Can be easily mixed in the same work/substituted.
Needles? Yes. Crochet? Totally. Knitting mill? Perfect, makes lovely hats and scarves, with these colours you will be visible from afar this winter :)
Would I buy more? I already did! Lots and lots, waiting for their time, lying quietly in the box.
Contents: 70% acrylic 30% wool
Producer’s page – examples of finished work, too.
I’ve bought two balls of random Sarayli yarn when I was on vacation and the only source of handmade materials was a local village yarnshop. The existence of one was a bit of a surprise, in fact, but I made use of it ;)
The yarn crocheted wonderfully into this granny-square scarf (3 sq per yarn ball, some tiny amount left due to uneven crocheting).
+ my favourite thickness
+ nice to touch
+ fabulous colours – have a look at the producer’s page, there’s more! (ok, some are a bit childish/sugary, yes)
+ fuzz enough to make sure the work is stable
+ very stable thickness
+ very affordable
– fuzz enough to make undoing a pain
Summary: will ABSOLUTELY buy more. At least one more ball of this colourset, to make the scarf longer.
Brand: Everyday Rengarenk
Contents: 100% acrylic
An example of yarn that is just not for knitting.
In short, it’s slippery. It’s so slippery that the second I took the label off, the ball fell apart – the strands don’t stick to each other as in wool, or even most acrylic threads. It’s so soft and friction-less that knitting with it is a challenge – it keeps falling off the needles.
No much better in mill knitting – kept skipping stitches, making ugly errors, quite visible.
The only way to use it was crocheting, and it turned out to be perfect – soft, nice to touch, very well working (hook 3mm). Made a big colour improvement in my blanket.
Would I buy it again? Yep. Now that I know it’s crochetable ;) and not knittable, and I know it has some exquisite colour sets, I’d definitely buy it next time I’ll be crocheting something needing cute colour accents.
Recommended for beginners? Not really. It has no fuzz and work can be undone very quickly, but it being slippery may be an obstacle for less experienced crafters. It undoes itself with surprising speed…
First, something completely unrelated, but anytime I think “afghan”,
I get this song in my ears, hard to get rid of. See 1:04. I get this song – see 1:40. (sorry for the atrocious quality, but the nicer one was removed ;<)
Now, watched the song? So here’s my afghan:
Nasty mobile photo taken with a shaky hand, but it gives the general idea. It’s 150 x 125cm currently, 1,4kg of wool, acrylic, mixed wool/acrylic and some other, unlabeled yarns. No cotton, silk or alpaca, though.
I kind of started with various leftovers from other projects – I separated them into “earth” colours (green, brown, beige, mustard, white), pinkish (all kinds of pink, purple and violet) and others, of which i don’t have enough to make them a class of themselves.
But when the amount of squares or part-squares grew, I saw I have too much of some hues and way too little of others. Meanwhile I ordered a package of yarn in which I got (among others) 4 balls of extremly slick yarn, very hard to work on needles or mill. Hook deals with it easily.
Over time I bought some yarn for that purpose – Crazy Colour in 3 coloursets, some brown Alize yarns, then found some squares from an afghan once planned but never finished, so I added these, with some framing in brown or green, to blend it in. Some flat plain squares, too.
I crochet on my way to work or back, I crochet on conference calls, on workshops and on presentations. It’s really good I can crochet without watching more than a few seconds, so I’m able to work quite quickly, especially in case of granny squares.
Now, looking at the leftover green/brown/gray yarn I have 350g, which would mean at least another 4-big-squares row added, if I manage to get these properly calculated.
I really hope to get it to some reasonable, useful size.
Brand: Always Magic
Contents: 75% wool, 25% acrylic
Unfortunately this very nice yarn is no longer available. I found only a few pictures left on shops’ websites:
I found it very good in both knitting and crochet, works up quickly and has great colours.
Here are socks I knitted for my niece and nephew:
Pros: very nice structure and great colours, yarn doesn’t unravel and it doesn’t easily come apart by itself. Doesn’t scratch. Easy to undo, if needed.
Cons: Well, hard to buy it now. But if I found some, I’d definitely buy, especially the green-blue-brown mix.