Tuesday, May 9, 2006

Question From Reader: Ribbon Yarn

Dear Dee,
I recently was given a lot of yarn that is flat. I was told it was ribbon. Can I crochet it, and if so, do you have any projects you can recommend? Thanks, Carla.

Hi Carla,
 Thank you for contacting me and inquiring about the fiber that was given to you. Not knowing the brand, the width, or the style of fiber you have, I'd like for us to focus on the width of the ribbon to provide you with the best advice I can.

On the left is the Moda-Dea Ticker Tape yarn that is a hot discussion on various online crochet groups.  It has the look of leather but without as much care -- it's made of 100% nylon.  The manufacturer recommends using a large crochet hook, a size N/15, to get the best crochet results.  (They offer a pretty pattern for a poncho here.)   My rule of thumb is, the wider the ribbon, the more open you'll want your stitches.  The more open the stitch, the more you'll show off the fiber, which is really the name of the game here.  You'll also want to take the time and try to keep the ribbon from twisting as you make each stitch; in my experience, I've found doing this is worth the end results.

Susan Bates Adjustable Aluminum Hairpin Lace Loom Clover Hairpin Lace Tool If you know how to do the Hairpin Lace technique, or if you're up for learning it, then you can create a beautiful scarf with just two strips of about 220 joined loops!  You'll need a tool called a "fork" ... either one of these will work but the one in the pink package here will get you better results because it measures 4" wide (remember the wider the ribbon, the larger the stitches you want!).  Again, you'll want to ensure to keep the ribbon flat as you work it around the fork -- it's worth the extra time!!

But what if you have a skinny ribbon with a hint of texture -- like Berrocos' Suede? This fiber works up well with a smaller hook and due to the natural twisting crocheting creates -- it creates a fantastic textured look!  (Berroco offers a free pattern for it here.)  I used the suede for one of the backpacks (I designed) pictured here.  Can you tell the difference between the two?  (The one in the plumb coloring was created with 100% wool; the cranberry colored one is the suede.)

I think the best advice I can give to you is to experiment.  The white in this Spiral Hat is a thin ribbon yarnTake out a bunch of crochet hooks and start crocheting based on the advice of if it's wide, go with a big hook; if it's skinny, start with a small hook.  Eventually you'll find a look that you like!  :)

Thanks for writing in!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tips with tape/ribbon yarn.  I did my own experimenting last night and made a scarf you can see it on my blog.

Anonymous said...

Samantha's (sammimag) blog entry about crocheting with ribbon yarn can be viewed here: http://sammimagfiberstar.blogspot.com/2006/05/tunisian-crochet-and-some-ribbon-yarn.html#links

Thanks Samantha!  :)