Venus rising


(Image © Julie Matkin, www.halfadreamaway.com)

The people have spoken, over in the Aoibhe Ní Crochet-Along voting thread, and Venus has been chosen as our pattern!

Our official start date is tomorrow, March 1st, though if you’re not quite ready to leap in, we’ve got two whole months to work through the project, so there’s plenty of time. Right now, we’re eyeing up suitable yarn, so we thought we’d share some of our thoughts with you.

Aoibhe Ní’s original was worked in laceweight, so we have a number of options. We’re taking into account the rather happy fact that many of us will be working Tunisian lace for the first time, so we’re tending towards yarns that are a little grabby. They’ll behave a little better if we need to frog a wee bit. So we’re thinking of Debbie Bliss Rialto Lace, or Malabrigo Baby Silkpaca, or Dublin Dye Company merino and silk in “Valentine”, or Coolree silk and baby camel (these latter two can be admired in the shop). Decisions, decisions….

When it comes to what hook to use, we’re going to take Aoibhe’s advice: while a traditional Tunisian hook isn’t required at all, it’s a good idea to use a straight hook that doesn’t have a bulge in the middle of the shaft. When working Tunisian lace, you’ll have several loops on the hook at one time, many more than in basic crochet doubles or trebles. Using a hook like the Knitpro Symfonie at the top of the image above means they’ll be comfortable rather than cramped; the two lower ones risk unwieldy crowding.

As for hook size, the usual rule of thumb for lace holds: use a much larger size than you’d usually use for the yarn. Aoibhe’s recommended hook size for a laceweight Venus is 5.5mm. The result will be a light and airy fabric that’ll block like a dream.

A lot of people have been concerned that they’re not expert enough at crochet to embark on Venus. You don’t have to be! If you can do the most basic of crochet stitches (chain and double, really), that’s enough foundation to start with, and the pay-off is something really beautiful. Drop by Aoibhe’s youtube channel to see how straightforward the stitches are, practise on a bit of scrap yarn, and join us!

And in further Tunisian lace news, we’re very glad to be able to announce another all-day workshop with Aoibhe Ní here on Saturday May 25th. You can book a place online clicking here or give us a call.

Now, back to choosing yarn for Venus….