Crochet Tips for Baby Suri. I’m going to talk about crocheting with this lovely, fluffy yarn! Baby Suri is a yarn that’s similar to Mohair. Here I’ve got a yarn with Baby Suri Alpaca 74% and 26% Mulberry Silk by Lottie Knits. This is comparable to Kid Silk Mohair yarn. It’s a lightweight yarn which is classed as a heavy lace weight. So, you’ll need a hook size between 3 -5mm depending on what type of fabric you’re aiming for. Baby Suri is often suggested as an alternative to Mohair for people that find Mohair irritating next to the skin, but it has got Alpaca in it, and I know that that is an issue for some people. However, it is an option worth trying if you know you don’t have an allergy to Alpaca but find that the Mohair is too irritating.
Scroll down to the bottom of this post to see the matching YouTube video.
Baby Suri V Kid Silk Mohair
I’ve got some work here, my “Cowl Island” pattern, which is made in Kid Silk Mohair, also by Lottie Knits in the colour-way “Oil Slick Rainbow”. Next to it, I’ve got a little sample that I’ve crocheted up in Baby Suri in the colour-way “Lichen”.
So you can see the difference, there’s slightly less of a halo with the Baby Suri but overall it has got quite a similar look. In regards to texture, I would say although the Kid Silk Mohair is very soft, the Baby Suri this has got a softer, slightly plumper feel. Lottie describes it as “kitten soft”. It reminds me of the “Teddy Bear” fabrics you can get. It feels like the yarn is a little bit denser – probably because the Mohair is laceweight and the Baby Suri is a heavy-lace but also because the core of the yarn seems to be more voluminous.
The other thing I would mention as a difference between the Kid Silk Mohair and the Baby Suri is, the distribution of fluff along the yarn strand. It is quite uneven, I wouldn’t go so far as to call it slubby, but you will get areas where there’s less fluff than others, and because this yarn has been hand-dyed is quite attractive because you can see some of the inner core of the silk coming through, which does give the stitch quite an unique texture with a slight variance of color.
As mentioned, with Baby Suri yarn, the distribution of fluff isn’t as even, however, the overall effect once crocheted up, this isn’t really noticeable as it does even itself out across the stitches. The other thing I would say that I noticed about working with this yarn is that, there’s actually very little shedding. When I’ve worked with Kid Silk Mohair in the past, you do get an awful lot of little bits of fluff coming off as you’re crocheting, they float into the air, they can get into your eyes, on your clothes and you notice as well on the work surface little fibers that have shed off. With this Baby Suri, even as I’ve been frogging, there is very little coming off it. So this might be another reason why it’s more suitable than Kid Mohair for some people because you get less chance of these particles coming off and irritating your skin, your eyes, and your nose.
Crochet Tips for Baby Suri
I’ve crocheted up some swatches and I’ll show you those first, before I go into talking about how easy it is, or how easy it isn’t to crochet with this kind of yarn – maybe dispel some of the myths about that.
I think this kind of yarn is best worked up in a slightly larger hook size because you’re probably going to be making garments, scarves or shawls out of it so you don’t really want the fabric to be too stiff.
Single Crochet (UK Double)
So here is a little swatch that I’ve crocheted up in single crochet (UK double crochet), and I’ve used a 3.5mm hook. It does create quite a nice floaty fabric which would be great for a top. Usually, a sc crochet stitch generates quite a stiff fabric which is why it’s more commonly used in toymaking and homewares as opposed to garments.
Gauge (after washing & blocking) : 18st & 21 rows to 10cm with a 3.5mm hook.
Extended Single Crochet (UK Extended Double)
Here is a sample in extended single crochet which in my opinion is underused and underrated stitch.
Gauge (after washing & blocking) : 16st & 14 rows to 10cm with a 3.5mm hook.
Half Double Crochet (UK Half Treble)
And then I’ve got a half double crochet sample here (UK half treble), which is really nice. Hdc is a really useful stitch for making garments because it’s a quick stitch that’s not too open.
Gauge (after washing & blocking) : 18st & 11 rows to 10cm with a 3.5mm hook.
Double Crochet (UK Treble)
And then here I’ve got double (UK treble) crochet. Generally, double crochets are such long stitches that they can make quite an open fabric, especially if you’re using slightly larger hook than recommended. However, you can get away with it with this Baby Suri because the halo of fluff does fill in some of these little gaps, and helps to mesh the fabric together which I think would make it really good for a scarf, wrap, or floaty top.
Gauge (after washing & blocking) : 17st & 8 rows to 10cm with a 3.5mm hook.
Honeycomb Mesh Stitch
Here’s a more lacey and open stitch. I just used to kind of v-stitch which creates a nice meshy fabric. This would give you really good yardage of this precious Baby Suri yarn if you wanted to make a wrap, or even a kind of a throw over top.
Gauge (after washing & blocking) : 10st & 7 rows to 10cm with a 4.5mm hook.
There is quite a widespread belief that crocheting with this kind of yarn is quite tricky. So, whilst I wouldn’t deny that it’s not as easy as crocheting with a nice smooth yarn, I also don’t actually think it’s as bad as we’ve been led to believe, especially if you are using open stitches or maybe working into spaces. If you do think you’re going to struggle with stitch visibility, you might be better off going for a stitch pattern where you are crocheting into spaces, like a mesh or shell stitch. I found that, the core of silk in the middle and with the fluff not being too dense, it wasn’t actually that difficult to spot the stitches. I didn’t have any problems at all crocheting my samples of single, half, double and treble crochets. Overall, with this Baby Suri, I don’t think stitch visibility is a particular issue.
Frogging or Ripping Back
There’s another belief that frogging this kind of yarn is really tricky. So again, I would say from my experience having sampled this Baby Suri yarn with crochet, that frogging isn’t as difficult as you may think.
The trick is to just unravel it quite slowly and gently. And of course, remembering to wind the yarn you’ve frogged back onto your ball otherwise you will end up with a big tangled mess. Every now and again, I’d get a little snag, but if I look closely, I could see that it’s just where the fluff is meshed together and if I pull that gently, it will actually come apart. So the trick is once it snags, loosen it up, pull it again, and loosen it up, pull it again. Frogging isn’t a major problem for me, as long as I was careful to not just rip, rip, rip quickly but do it quite carefully and slowly, stitch by stitch and look to see what’s caused the snag.
Having said that, occasionally, you might come to quite a badly stuck together part, especially if the yarn has previously been crocheted and frogged multiple times which seems to increase the likelihood of running into problems when fogging. Sometimes the halo of fluff can form a kind of noose around the yarn. If you look closely, you might see that there’s a little loop around the two bits of yarn which is not actually any part of the stitch. Sometimes you can loosen this by gently pulling it apart in different directions or you can actually just snip the noose with a small pair of sewing scissors.
I’m actually in the process of designing a top with this particular stitch, and I will also be using this exact yarn from Lottie Knits. If you’d like to see how that turns out and you’re interested in the pattern, please subscribe to my newsletter and YouTube channel so that I can keep you up-to-date with my latest designs. Thank you!
Accompanying video for : Crochet Tips for Baby Suri
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This post : Crochet Tips for Baby Suri
I’m going to show you how to make a mini skein – no calculations, measuring or complicated maths. You’ll just need a swift and a set of reasonably accurate scales.
I’m taking part in the Posh Yarn Advent Swap 2019. This is a really fun swap that takes place on the Posh group on Ravelry. Each participant winds 24 x 10g of Posh 4ply/Sock yarn into balls or mini skeins, wraps them up (preferably in a festive fashion) and sends them off to the organiser. Each participant then receives a delicious parcel with 24 little packages of beautiful, hand dyed yarn which can be opened, one each day, just like an advent calendar.
I took part last year and I thoroughly enjoyed it, however, at the time, I didn’t know how to make a mini skein so hand winding 24 little balls of yarns was a real bore.
This year, I decided to get to grips with making mini skeins. As we all do, I had a quick look on you tube… it seemed so complicated to get a specific weight and yardage. In the end, I came up with this simple method for making a mini skein – no calculations involved!
How To Make A Mini Skein
- A swift. Any kind of swift will work – I have a simple Sunflower Swift (no longer made). An umbrella swift is also good.
- A set of accurate scales (I’m using my digital kitchen scales).
Before you start, you’ll need to make sure that your hank of yarn has been wound into a cake or ball. If you’ve wound it into a ball, you’ll also need a bowl to put it in, so that it doesn’t roll off the table and bounce round the room!
- Place your cake (or ball AND bowl) on your scales.
- Tare the scales, i.e. set to zero. On mine, I have to hold the “on” button down for a couple of seconds.
- Set your swift to the desired size – this will effect the length of your mini skein. I’ve set mine with a radius of about 10″/26cm.
- Secure the end of the yarn to the swift.
5. Start winding the yarn onto the swift, keeping an eye on the scales.
6. When the scales are minus the desired weight (e.g. 10g), stop, ending at the point where you secured the end of the yarn.
7. Cut the yarn, wrap the two ends around each other and then wrap one end around all the strands and fasten off.
8. Carefully remove the yarn from the swift, making sure the strands are kept together, using your index fingers.
9. Extend your arms and start to twist each end in opposite directions, being careful that the yarn doesn’t slip off your fingers!
10. Twist until it’s quite tight. I needed to twist 11 times. If it’s too loose the skein ends up looking messy and if you over-twist, you could accidentally damage the yarn by overstretching it. You might need a few goes to get this just right.
11. Draw your hands towards each other. The yarn should naturally start twisting together.
12. Transfer the loop off yarn off one finger to join the other.
13. Gently pull and massage the twist to make the “twizzle” uniform.
14. You might need to give each end a couple of extra twists if they are not as tight as the rest of the mini skein.
15. Now you’re going to tuck one end into the other.
15. That’s it! You should now have a cute little mini skein!
Need to SEE this being done?
I also have a You Tube video “How To Make A Mini Skein” :
Disclosure : I sometimes use affiliate links for my favourite yarns and other accessories!
Throughout the years I’ve taught crochet , there have been many projects where a cord is required (e.g. the mesh soap bag). There are many options for making cords and having tried various methods, I’ve found that the Crochet Lucet Cord or Four Sided Chain is my favourite option for the following reasons:
- You don’t need any special equipment – yes, you can make a lucet cord without a lucet!
- You can use the hook you’re already using for your project.
- The technique is easy to memorise.
- Once you get a rhythm going, the cord works up pretty quickly.
- It makes a firm and thick cord.
- The finished cord is flexible yet strong.
- It’s very attractive – it looks like a four sided chain.
- Yarn – thicker is better for a good effect. I’m using a DK weight yarn doubled up (Paintbox Cotton DK in Melon Sorbet).
- A crochet hook – in this example I’m using a 3.5mm hook (Clover Amour). Use a slightly smaller hook than you’d normally use for the yarn thickness otherwise the stitches in the cord can end up being too slack.
How much yarn will I need for my cord?
You’ll need about 9 x the finished length of your cord.
E.g. desired cord is 30cm /12 inches long, so I’ll need 2.7 m / 3 yards of yarn or 2 x 2.7 m / 3 yards if you’re doubling up.
- Wind off a separate ball of yarn from your main skein to make a double thickness thread – tie the ends together to keep them together to start with.
- With the tail end to the left, lay the yarn on a flat surface in an “arc” shape (fig. 1).
- Fold over the top of the arc (fig. 2) , to make 2 “loops”.
- Insert the hook into the right loop, from above, then, coming from underneath, bring the hook up through the left loop (fig. 3) .
- Pull the loops tight on the hook (fig. 4).
- Rearrange the yarn – move the working end of the yarn over the left and hold the tail end as if to make a chain (fig. 5).
- Yarn over and pull a loop through the first loop on the hook, i.e. ch1 with the left loop (fig. 5).
- Carefully remove this loop from the hook (fig. 7).
- Pinch this loop between your thumb and middle finger (or forefinger if you use your middle finger to feed the yarn) to stop it coming undone when you work the next stitch (fig. 8).
- Ch1 with the right loop (fig. 9).
- Replace the left loop on the hook (fig. 10)…
- …and ch1 with the left loop (fig. 11).
- Continue in this way, i.e. drop & hold left loop, ch1 right loop, replace left loop; ch1 left loop…until the cord measures desired length (fig. 12).
- To finish off, after a ch1 left loop, yarn over and pull the yarn through both the left and right loops (fig. 13).
- Cut the yarn, yarn over and pull through the loop on the hook and all the way out. Pull tight (fig. 14).
- Tie a tight knot in each end and trim, or as in this example, you could also add a bead at each end for a decorative effect (fig. 15).
TIP : To even out the cord, roll it between your fingers and pull it gently all along is length. This makes a big difference to the look of the cord – making it firmer and smoother.
You can also find a video of this technique on my YouTube channel:
I sometimes use affiliate links to my favourite yarns, hooks and other craft materials.
I’ve put together this tutorial showing you how to get the perfect picot stitch. When I first started crocheting, I struggled to get my picot stitches looking right… they didn’t stand up straight and they weren’t symmetrical. There are quite a few different ways to make a crochet picot stitch – you’ll be especially aware of this if you have ever made Irish Crochet. Eventually, after much trial and error, I started making them the way I’ll describe below – this method consistently gives me a satisfying, even, symmetrical and upright set of picots!
In the following crochet tutorial, I am adding the picot stitch trim to my “Mesh Soap Bag“, which is a free pattern.
3 Single Crochet & Chain 3 Picot Stitch Pattern
This is a simple stitch pattern of 3sc, ch3 picot. In the round it’s a 3 stitch repeat and worked flat it’s a 3 stitch repeat + 2.
The stitch pattern looks like this, in a chart format:
If you’re unfamiliar with crochet charts : the crosses are the single crochet stitches & the three loops and dot represent the chain 3 and slip stitch
Make 3sc and then make the picot as follows: chain 3, then hold the chain at the back of the work and into the last sc made FROM THE BACK OF THE STITCH, TO THE FRONT – slip stitch, pulling the slip stitch tight before proceeding with the pattern repeat, i.e. 3sc, ch3 picot … as many times are required!
I have also made a “Perfect Crochet Picot Stitch” video tutorial, which you can find here, on my Mezzamay YouTube channel:
- Yarn : Paintbox Yarn DK Cotton, in Melon Sorbet (417)
- Hook : Clover Amour 3.5mm
- Pattern : Mesh Soap Bag by Merrian Holland
I sometimes use affiliate links to my favourite yarns, hooks and other craft materials.
I often get asked how I weave in my ends and what is the best way to sew in ends of crocheted projects so that they don’t come undone or look messy. I’ve put together this post to show you how I’m weaving in the ends of a project. The project features solid granny motifs and the traditional granny stitch. It also deals in particular with very short ends which can be difficult to handle. It’s not a definitive guide – I’m just sharing with you how I do it.
Projects using multiple motifs are a great favourite of mine. I know other crocheters also love making motifs but are put off by all the ends that need sewing in. This is a time consuming task which is made all the more daunting when you are not really sure how to do it.
How do you make sure it’s secure?
In my experience, the key to a securely hidden end is to sew in one direction, then back on itself in the opposite direction, whilst making sure a stitch is caught or sewn over so that you’re not just undoing the stitch you’ve just made. I use a standard wool needle for knitters. It has a large eye and relatively blunt tip. Specifically, I use Pony Gold Eye Sewing Needles.
To start with, I always make the first step of securing the ends while crocheting. I.e. when I actually join the new yarn colour to the project. I do this by crocheting over the tail end for 3 or 4 stitches. Initially this doesn’t seem a very secure start. Worry not, as the final sewn step keeps everything in place. This works well with solid stitch patterns and clusters but is often not possible when you’re making a lacy or very open pattern. In these instances, you’ll need to employ other strategies.
If you’ve managed to catch the end in during crocheting, you only need to sew it back on itself again. Remember to catch in or skip over the first strand so that you’re not undoing the stitch.
How do you deal with very short ends?
When you have a short tail to sew in, start with the needle in the fabric/stitches where you want to sew and then thread the needle. I tend to use my thumb nail to push the yarn through the eye.
In most cases, sewing in one direction and then the other is enough to ensure the work doesn’t come undone. Don’t forget to skip a strand of yarn when you change direction (see second image above). However, if you’re making something for a baby, or a gift or a paid commission, you may want to add an extra step. I.e. change direction and sew back again before trimming the yarn. If you’ve got a very short tail, carefully pull the needle through, without un-threading it. Then use the eye of the needle to sew back on itself. This technique is not advisable if your needle is sharp!
How do you ensure it looks neat?
I always try to sew the ends into a congested area of stitches, such as a corner or cluster. I find this offers the most secure spot and the tail end finds it difficult to wriggle.
Sometimes, such as here, where the corners of the four motifs join, there is no congested area to conceal a tail end. Instead I make a running stitch into the post of an adjacent stitch – here it’s a double crochet, until I came to a denser area suitable for sewing into.
For both methods, I find it best to work from the back of the fabric. I check the front occasionally to make sure I haven’t left any visible stitches that might blemish my work on the right side. It is also important to ensure your sewing matches the gauge of your crochet pattern. After each sewn stitch, I gently pull the fabric to make sure my weaving in isn’t creating any pulls or puckering.
Lastly, I like to use a small pair of sewing scissors to CAREFULLY snip off the remaining tail end. Sadly, I have had disasters in the past. Once, coming to the last few threads, I managed to cut a hole in a project when I was rushing and excited to finish!
- This is a large wrap made using a modified version of the Blue Buoy Blanket pattern.
- The pattern for the three row solid granny square can be found here.
- The traditional granny stitch border an join can be found here.
- KnitPro Zing Hook – size 3.25mm.
- Yarn is sock weight/fingering yarn from Posh Yarn …25 different hand dyed shades in total!
And here’s a video.