Category Archives: Amy Answers

Amy Answers – Hole in One Scarf

A few weeks ago I got an email from a customer who was struggling to wrap her head around the pattern for our Hole in One Scarf.

ClassicShades_9945 Hole-in-One

This popular one-ball project uses self-shading Classic Shades yarn and is thoroughly visually entertaining.

Part of my job at Universal Yarn is emailing and talking with folks over the phone regarding pattern problems they’re having. This can be frustrating at times, because I can’t always “see” what they’re seeing. Often times, if I could only show the knitter or crocheter in person how to do a certain thing, it would be totally easy to explain. Or if I could take a look at their project in progress, I could spot the issue with no problem. Without this ability, often the best course of action is to take photos to try and illustrate. That is what I did in the case of this scarf.

Basically, the holes in this scarf are formed by binding off stitches on one row and then casting on stitches over the gap on the next row. I cast on for the scarf, worked a full pattern repeat, and then worked up to and through the first “action” row of stitches being bound off. Here is a photo of my scarf in progress:

after row 4

The real trouble this particular knitter had was with the following row. So I worked across that row, took a picture, and then identified each stitch in the row:

after row 5_with illustrations

And that’s all there is to it! Having trouble with one of our patterns? Let me know!

Amy Answers – Going Places Shawl

We got a question recently about how to do a technique in our Going Places Shawl, this lovely triangular shawl knit in anniversary yarn, Universe.

Going Places Shawl back_blog

If you look closely at the diamond motifs in the shawl, you’ll see that there is a little decorative “blip” in the middle of each.

Going Places Shawl detail_hi-res_withcircle

To achieve this “blip”, you will knit 3 stitches together, yarn over, and then knit the same 3 stitches together. If you’ve never done a seemingly acrobatic knitting maneuver like this before, it can seem a little daunting! Check out this video for a demonstration of the stitch in question:

And be sure to check out all of our beautiful patterns in Universe. We think you’ll be dazzled!

Universe ball cut out shiny label hi-res

Amy Answers – Basketry Handbag

I got a call today from Ginger at In Sheep’s Clothing, a friendly LYS in Torrington, CT.  She told me about a customer of hers who is working on the Basketry Handbag in Yashi and is having trouble with the Basketry stitch pattern.

Yashi Purse 2_DSC1262

The main stitch pattern on the bag body is really cool looking. In Yashi (100% raffia), it creates a rustic woven look. The stitch pattern is easy enough once you get the hang of it, but can be tricky to wrap your head around it by reading the text instructions only. I decided the best way to help Ginger’s customer was to take a short video demonstrating the technique.

One key piece of advice I have on knitting this handbag in Yashi, is to keep the work very loose on the needles. Yashi is not elastic, so if you’re not conscious of the tautness of the work, things go downhill very fast.

Amy Answers – Laurel Crochet Stole

I’m delighted to introduce a new occasional feature here on the blog: Amy Answers. Part of my job with Universal Yarn involves answering customer emails and phone calls when pattern issues arise. Sometimes these conversations are regarding an error in the pattern (I hate these! But unfortunately they do happen from time to time). Other times, we talk about what a pattern really means when it tells you to do x, y, and z.

Educating crafters is something I’m very passionate about. In this occasional section of the blog, I’ll be sharing what a customer learns through one of our phone calls, what I learn through one of our phone calls, how to do a stitch patterns in some of our new designs, and whatever else makes sense!

To kick things off, I’ll be doing a photo tutorial on how to join motifs in one of our Polaris patterns, the Laurel Crocheted Stole.



I love love love join-as-you-go motif projects. What this method typically means is that first a full motif is made. Then, the next motif is made less the final round. On that final round, the current motif is joined to the previous motif in multiple places. Sometimes this occurs with just a slip stitch. But in the Laurel pattern, we join “in pattern” with dtrs (double treble crochet).


Here is the first motif, rounds 1 and 2. It is complete.



Here is motif 1. Next to it is motif 2 in progress. It shows the completion of round 1, and this first part of round 2: Ch 7, sc in next ch-7, ch 7, (dtr, ch 5, dtr) in next dtr, ch 7, [sc in next ch-7 sp, ch 7] twice,



Next we begin to join motif 1 to motif 2.  Here is what the next part of the instructions are: * (dtr, ch 2, dtr in corresponding corner sp on previously worked motif, ch 2, dtr) in next dtr *

Notice that there is a string of instructions inside a set of parentheses (we’ll call this A), and then after the parentheses is another string of text (B). This means that that entire set of instructions A happens in B, or in the next dtr. So, the first step is to dtr in the next dtr, which is pictured above on motif 2.



After that, it tells me to “ch 2, dtr in corresponding corner sp on previously worked motif”. This is shown above. The “corner” space is the chain 5 from round 2 of motif 1.



The last action inside the parentheses is to  ch 2, dtr in the next dtr (which is the SAME dtr from round 1 of motif 2 as we’ve just dtr’d in), shown above.



The next part of round 2 is: [ch 3, dtr in next sp on previously worked motif, ch 3, sc in next ch-7 sp] twice.

The photo above shows this done once…



and here it is done twice.



Next, we join to motif 1 in the next space along that same side: ch 3, dtr in next sp on previously worked motif.



Then we have arrived at the next corner, and we’re instructed to repeat from * to * once more.



The remainder of motif 2, round 2 is completed without further joining. You can see that motifs 1 and 2 are joined in 5 different spots. Two of them are in corner spaces, and the other 3 are in the chain 7 spaces in between the corners.

So this solves joining one motif to the side of another. But wait, there’s more! Because the Laurel stole is 5 motifs wide x 17 motifs high, there will be a number of motifs that will be joined on more than one side. Below demonstrates how to do the “Two-Sided Join” described in the pattern.



To demonstrate, first I’ve made a third motif and joined it to motif 1 in the same way as shown above.



Here we have motif 4 started and ready to begin joining to motif 3.



The joining process is the same as before until we get to that corner spot. This part is a little different.



This next part of round 2 reads: , (dtr, ch 2, dtr in corresponding ch-5 corner sp on previously worked motif, sk ch-5 corner sp on next previously worked motif, dtr in ch-5 corner sp of next previously worked motif, ch 2, dtr) in next dtr.

So, to break it down, we dtr in the next dtr (same motif, motif 4), ch 2, dtr in corresponding ch-5 corner on previously worked motif (motif 3/purple), skip the next ch-5 corner space (motif 1/pink), then dtr in the next  corner (motif 2/blue), ch 2, dtr in same dtr on current motif.



Then we finish joining to motif 2 (blue) and then complete round 2 of the current motif, motif 4.

I’ve shown my motifs in different colors of Uptown Worsted for the sake of clarity. The original stole worked in Polaris 61002 is beautiful in pure white. I know this project would look really lovely in some of the more multi colors of Polaris too. Motifs show off colorful yarns nicely.

I hope this helps for any crocheters out there working on the Laurel stole or another join-as-you-go project.