Do You Know Toni?

I have been following Toni Lipsey on YouTube for … years.  I started watching her due to a video she did testing out Hobbii yarns.  I was hooked on her personality and her verve.  I subscribed to her channel and every now and then I check in.

Now, Toni is not the only fiber enthusiast that I follow. 

I had already ordered yarn to create my first temperature blanket for 2023, which you can read about here if you are so inclined.

There were so many ‘what I made in 2022’ and ‘my 2023 temperature blanket plan’ videos cropping up in my feed.  I started to watch them.

Thanks to Toni, instead of the I hook I was originally planning to use because that is the size hook my mother uses to make her amazing C2C blankets (also known as Granny blankets), I am going to be using a G hook, which I believe is 4.5mm.  This is off the top of my head, so don’t quote me there. 

I measured out the last single-strand granny square blanket I made.  It’s a little bigger than a queen-size.  It was made with cotton yarn and an I hook.  Not counting the single round of picot stitches for the border, from the center to the last round, this blanket is fifty-two rounds around.

If I were to crochet a single large granny square blanket—not made of squares joined together—one whole huge granny square as a blanket…I would need close to 400 rounds…four HUNDRED. 

Four hundred rounds (give or take) versus queen=sized at fifty-two rounds…uhm, thank you, Toni, for telling us all in your granny square tutorial video to go down a hook size compared to what the yarn label says.

My blanket will be smaller, but nearly four hundred rounds?

Now, I still think I will be making two blankets instead of a single one for the entire year.  King-sized blankets and the lot.  I am ok with that.  Then it hit me.  What if I do a blanket a quarter?  Would I change up my yarn colors for the temperatures?  Based on the seasons?

Ok.  I seriously have to quit this.

If you watch any of Toni’s videos: BEWARE.  She is a MAJOR enabler. 

I mean this.

One of her past temperature blankets, she made using Tunisian crochet. 

She made a different blanket, a rectangle corner-2-corner (C2C) blanket using the linen stitch…I think that is what it is called.  I already have yarn pulled from my stash ready to make this darn thing.  What am I waiting for?  My Tunisian crochet hook set to arrive from Europe.

Why from Europe?  Because Toni did a video about choosing your Tunisian crochet hooks.  I know what crochet hooks work best for me and the ones I love the best.  I was very happy to find that 1 they make Tunisian crochet hooks and 2 Amazon US sells them…from Amazon UK.  Prym is my favorite brand of crochet hook.  I might have gone with a Furls hook, but all of mine are I hook because that is what my mother uses.  And I keep forgetting to take her one.  Plus, it would never have occurred to me to buy a G or an H hook from Furls.  I wasn’t into making crocheted clothes the last time I went on a crochet hook need to buy them now spree.  Spree sounds as if I were throwing money all over.  I wasn’t.  I planned out my strategy and my techniques for buying hooks carefully, based upon the way I found out which knitting needles I love the best (KnitPicks interchangeables).

Now, the Prym set and the Knitpicks set of Tunisian hooks are comparable in price.  Two things drove me closer to my Pryms than to Knitpicks.  Toni’s video on Tunisian hooks pointed out that Knitpicks crochet hook heads were more rounded and thus a little difficult to get into stitches at times while working Tunisian crochet. Second, the Prym set had larger hooks in their set.  This doesn’t seem like such a big deal until you realize that with Tunisian crochet, due to the firmness of the fabric created, going a hook size or two or more is a good thing.  I know my hands.  Between carpal tunnel and arthritis, and the general lack of feeling in my fingers that I have had for decades, I need to know that I will be able to size up if I need to in order to work with these hooks and the yarn I have on hand.  I need to have options.

You know what else Toni has gotten me into?  The 10000-yard stash-down for 2023.  This means using up 10000 yards of stash yarn in the course of a single year.  Ten.  Thousand.  Yards. (I am not even sure WHICH video of hers goes into this; I’ve watched so many lately!)

I have that in my stash.  Easily, I am sure.  But—to use that all up?  It’s going to be a challenge.  But, I am willing to try.  I am going to keep track of what I knit and crochet, even though my temperature blanket doesn’t actually count toward this goal since I bought all but one skein for it.

Yes, I will be building a spread in one of my Bullet Journals, probably Priscilla (more on her soon) since she is my long-term collections notebook.  Among other things.

So, go find Toni.  Watch her videos.  Read her blog.  Become addicted.  See how she will enable you to move outside of your comfort zone and tackle new projects. 

She’s done it to me; all I can do is share. 

Until next time…