Bavarian crochet. I've heard it called 'Yarn Eater' crochet, but I prefer Bavarian. It makes me think of sleepy German villages, nestled at the foot of a mountain, with snowy fir trees and cozy wooden houses. Sitting within these houses, next to the fire, warm blankets are stitched while tasty pretzels are being munched (because there always must be food).
Anywhodle, I bought this book from Amazon several weeks ago when I was trying to get my total high enough for free shipping.
I gave a flip through the projects and decided I love this baby blanket--
--and this table runner:
I then put the book down and forgot about it completely. Last weekend when we were sitting around, waiting for Superstorm Sandy to go away, I didn't feel like sewing (though I had some to do). I remembered my forgotten book and sat down with some yarn left over from my granny square to practice with.
I don't know why (because crochet is crochet, after all) but I thought this was going to be some entirely new method of hooking. What it really is is a two-round stitch pattern with a few variations for different shapes. The projects are all based on the same stitch, just with different counts depending on what it is you're making. If I had thought ahead slightly I'd have searched Google for instructions and found everything I needed to know (so do that if you're interested and save yourself some money).
Here's the first thing I made up--just a square...thing.
Everything is triple/treble crochet and chains (with a few singles thrown in). I don't usually work in triples so it's hard to make the double-wrap a habit. I also seem to work a little looser in this stitch than I prefer--
I'm not a fan of gaps . Of course because I embrace the definition of insanity (same thing/different results) I kept trying. Next I went for the rectangle--
It seems that finding just the right yarn and hook combo is critical to creating a fabric that isn't too tight, but isn't too loose and open. I decided to see if switching to a double crochet would help at all. I switched to one of the super-soft yarns instead of regular for this.
It gave the look I wanted, but was way too hard to do. There are a ton of back-post crochets, and the double really didn't give enough flexibility to do it over and over and over without the feeling that you'd need carpal tunnel surgery the very next day, even with the softer yarn.
After a bit of examination, I realized my problem. In between certain sections you're required to chain 5. This was too many. When I cut it down to 4 I was much happier with the results, though I still need some practice to get my stitching consistent.
I love the diamond-pattern that emerges on the front as you go round and round and round. And round. No wonder it's aka the yarn eater.
The back has an interesting look, too. Kind of puffy and squishy looking. I can't quite put my finger on what it reminds me of.
But I've decided this will be my next blanket. I'd like to do a sportweight yarn so it won't be heavier than me when I'm done but I'm having trouble finding colors I like. I may have to forgo that idea and go with a yarn that is widely available, since I have no idea how much I'll need. I foresee several yarn-buying trips during the making of whatever I decide on.