I love you. You’re wonderful and fabulous and energized about seeing a cool project on the inter-webs and have finally said “yes! I think I could do that! This is the one that will get me into knitting/crochet” With all the excitement and joy in the world you go to the craft store, grab the coolest looking yarn (in the best color, duh) and the cheapest needles/hook you can find (If if needles are too intimidating, you opt for the knitting loom. It comes in a 3 pack! score!). You follow the instructions as best you can with dreams of your project turning out exactly like the professionally taken photograph. Oh my naive, beautiful newbie yarn bender, you are on a craft high. Head so far in the clouds that you don’t realize what has happened until it’s done. We’ve all been here at some point, no matter how skilled a person is.
My lovelies. Please learn from the mistakes that have already happened. Take the time to learn about gauge and value the materials needed. I am most definitely NOT saying buy the most expensive stuff. I am saying that skien of yarn that is one dollar more will likely make you enjoy the finished product bounties more than the value of one dollar.
Take the top picture. This was most definitely made on a knitting loom. Im personally not a huge advocate of these. They’re great for learning how knitting works. Not great for endless feats of creativity. You’re limited by the size of the loom which limits you to the size of the yarn as well as the size of the object you make. For something that will not ladder (the long horizontal bits between the “V” stitches) you need yarn thick enough to touch the stitch next to it when wrapped around the loom. In the case of the photo, yarn far too thin was used.
The next picture looks like it could be arm knitting. Which was a fad I loved. Can we bring this back instead of those pony tail hats? The larger the needle, in this case your arm, the larger yarn you need. The original appears to have multiple yarns being used. Perhaps our newbie knitter didn’t realize that’s an option? Lesson here: Larger needles, larger yarn. Smaller needles, smaller yarn.
The last picture. This crocheted hippo went through the stretcher! oh no! This is a case of right yarn, wrong size hook. When your needle/hook is larger than your yarn and you put it under tension (in this case, stuffing it) the created fabric will stretch (more-so demonstrated in the first picture). Amigurumi is also hard as shit. The people who do it very well are incredible talented. We should all bow before their prowess. Please don’t try an amigurumi (small figurine knitting/crochet) as your first or even 5th project!
General rule of thumb: if you don’t want holes in your work look for yarn and needle/hook approx same size in diameter.
Alas, you have returned for the craft store. Heading the advice you’ve gotten complimentary yarn and needle/hook. TIME TO START THE CRAFT JUICE!
“but whyyyy?” you whine
Because we must first test the yarn.
“But tests are boooooring” says the yarn.
I agree, talking yarn. Tests are boring and terrible and holy crap tell you if you’re doing something right or wrong. This is useful information to know before creating something beautiful with your HANDS.
Also my dear newbie yarn bender, practice makes a better yarn bender. Resist the urge to pump out something fast. Pinterst lied to you. It’s not going to take 1 hour. It will take at least 3 hours and two trips to the craft store. Accept this now. Knitting/crochet is slow ASF. Accept this now. Or find a different hobby.
So loop on some stitches and knit or crochet your joyous heart out. Then measure it once you get around 5 inches. Count the stitches horizontally and vertically. Then refer to the chart above and make sure everything agrees. Got 12 stitches per 4 inches and using DK (3) yarn? Time to change needles sizes or get your gorgeous self some bulky yarn. Or get yourself some bulky yarn anyhow. Treat yo’self.
i love you newbie yarn benders! Go forth and create and learn
“Just like that?” -a mini fancomic. This is silly but I hope you enjoy :)
And @modmad, hope I’m not bugging you by tagging you! but there’s a sort of nod in there to Enough Time to Fall, which I absolutely adore, and I thought you should know. (sorry if your popcorn got cold. I had some technical issues that delayed this a few days.)
My favorite theme of Voltron is the idea that the thing you are uniquely talented at and suited to may not be the thing you are called on for.
Keith is textually the most naturally talented pilot on the team, a speed demon, a loner, a risk-taker. He is uniquely suited to the Red Lion. But he was called on to lead and he worked hard to learn to do it well.
Allura is biologically and magically bonded to Altean technology, the only one who can operate the teludav, and inherited command of the Castle. But she wanted to be on the front lines and she overcame her self-doubt to pilot the Blue Lion.
Shiro is the most natural leader of the team and the one who immediately formed the strongest bond with his lion. But circumstance took that away from him, and opened him up to a new opportunity: Atlas. Magical like the lions, but by and of Earth, new and exciting with boundless potential. A gift he could never have realized if he had stayed rooted in Voltron.
Lance was in search of an identity. The Blue Lion claimed him because it is dynamic and allowed him room to grow. He wanted to grow into command. But he was called to a support role and he embraced it both on the battlefield and off - instead of bouncing around looking for attention and glory he now brings out the best in others.
The best part is that these transitions aren’t easy or clean. They take time, and each person’s individuality is sometimes at odds with their role. Allura wears pink to honor her Altean heritage even after she’s accepted by the Blue Lion. Lance still wears blue - he can still be playful and mercurial. Keith still wears red - he is still an ace pilot. Every transition Shiro goes through leaves a visible physical mark on him.
Because even if you think you know who you are and what you’re good at and where you belong, the world is more complicated than just one person. You might want to try something new, or you might be needed elsewhere, or you might fight against your nature to find a new path. You might be called on to do something you don’t want to do. You might not get the chance to use all your talents. Sure, you might be a Pidge or a Hunk - your calling might be obvious, immutable, and something that brings you joy. But more likely, you might have to change.
It is okay to be talented at something. It is okay to be uniquely suited to something. It is okay to be the best at something. It is okay not to do what you are talented at, or suited to, or best at. For a variety of reasons.
I just think this is such a mature, complex, wonderful message for a show aimed at young people to tackle and I’m constantly impressed by how well they pull it off.