The last few weeks have been hectic in terms of university work, other side projects, and getting settled in the new place.
With that, I want to jump in to an appropriate seasonal topic: Crocheting. With the weather getting colder, and Christmas gift planning in the works, a handmade gift can be touching. Or tacky – looking at you, ugly Christmas sweater. Yarn comes dyed in beautiful colors and patterns, and you can use it for a variety of projects.
Crocheting can be seen as similar to 3D printing in terms of fabrication. Unlike knitting, you close off most of your loops right away so dropping your hook isn’t disastrous. You can also easily loop parts into others, essentially sewing them into each other. Piece by piece, you put together the the shapes you want and assemble them. This is why amigurumi uses crochet stitches.
Making a yoyo bag is probably one of the easier things you can do to get started, as the pattern is pretty straightforward, and you use very little yarn compared to clothing like scarves. But before we get started, let’s segue into a discussion on why yarn is a good material for yoyo bags.
What you may want from a yoyo bag:
- Protection from scratches. Sand is your enemy. Glass is harder than steel. Sand is basically powdered glass.
- Protection from dents and noise. Having a yoyo rattle around in your bag can be annoying, even if nothing in there can reasonably scratch it.
- Easy access.
- Ideally, your container shouldn’t take up much more space than the yoyo itself.
- Belt hook/attachment points. When you don’t have a bigger bag but don’t want your yoyo dangling around, or when you want quick access.
There’s a few concerns people have toward soft cases, but yarn gets around most of them.
What if sand/dirt gets into the bag?
This can happen regardless of the case unless it’s easy to clean and seal, which means you’re looking for a “bombproof” case like a Pelican. And if there’s grit in a plastic container (like the Lacons that ThrowCafe yoyos come with), the yoyo might get scratched up if jostles around. That’s the main reason we pack everything in tightly with bubble wrap.
What about multiple yoyos in one bag?
Valid concern. Either you make a bigger bag for beaters and let them jingle (which I do), or compartmentalize a bag (which I also do). It’s definitely not as user-friendly as a rigid or sewn case, which is why yarn is best for small travel packs.
I don’t like drawstrings/I’m worried about the drawstring coming off.
Since yarn is stretchy, you don’t need a drawstring like with fabric bags! Here’s how I do it:
Crochet a cylinder, then cap one end completely and only seal 2/3 of the other end. A yoyo can be squeezed into the gap for easy access while being extremely difficult to shake out.
For this purpose, I’d recommend t h i c c yarn that comes in a multicolored skein (ball), unless you prefer solid colors. Bulky yarn is easier to work with, faster to make big things, and you want bulkiness for protection when making a bag anyway. Get a crochet hook of appropriate size and you’ve got all you need to start making things.
If you’re starting out and want advice with crochet, feel free to shoot me some specific questions on Reddit (/u/Kuryaka), Instagram (@throwcafe), or Facebook (ThrowCafe).
Look into how to do single crochet first. The Youtube channel I recommend (Planet June) doesn’t have a super-newbie’s guide to crochet. The Basic Crochet Cord guide from her is good though. I appreciate her clean intro, clear explanations, calming voice, and accommodation for left-handed people.
If you’ve made it through this post, gratz. We’ve been working with some makers in our community to bundle a little something special (non-crochet related) with the next Cappuccino drop. Keep your eyes peeled, because there will be a release comfortably before Christmas. 😉 More details soon.