Being a fiber enthusiast is such a great gateway to other fiber hobbies. It didn’t surprise me to learn that many of the Gist weavers are also crocheters! As a crocheter myself, I was delighted to learn this. In this post we will discuss yarns in Gist's lineup that work well with crochet.
When choosing the best yarn for a project, there are a few things to consider: fiber content, weight, and ply. Ask yourself a few questions before diving in:
Below I will share my experience swatching with three Gist yarn lines: Beam Organic Cotton, Ode Alpaca, and Mallo Cotton Slub. My swatches were worked up a bit differently than most—they are all double crochet stitches worked in the round. I find this way of swatching is best for evaluating a new yarn because it gives you access to how it will operate in the round, while using one of the most popular stitches. If you are unfamiliar with crochet, it is important to know that gauge swatches can be made in any stitch! Since you can manipulate the height of each stitch based on which one you use, it is always important to know which stitch a gauge swatch is worked up in.
Beam makes for a workhorse crochet yarn. It can be both rigid and soft, depending on the stitches used and the gauge. It is suitable for home goods, such as baskets and towels, and would would also excel in a light weight lace garment, such as a beach coverup or warm weather wrap.
Beam shown in Toffee. Gauge: 19 stitches x 10 rows met with 3.25mm hook.
Any yarn with alpaca gives it an immediate level of luxury and Ode, made from 100% baby alpaca fiber, is no different. It is the most traditional style of yarn in Gist's line-up. Each shade is lightly heathered to give the yarn more dimension. This yarn is a great choice for any project that will be in close contact with the skin thanks to its softness. Excellent drape is guaranteed with Ode.
Ode shown in Shadow. Gauge: 19 stitches x 10 rows met with 3.25mm crochet hook.
This is a fun one! Mallo is great because of its unique ply that gives it thick and thin bits. This means when you work it up, the fabric will be textured. For this reason, I recommend using simpler stitches with it to help maintain gauge. Consider Mallo for a simple garment that allows the unique texture of the yarn to be showcased.
Mallo shown in Clay. Gauge: 2 stitches x 10 rows met with 3.25mm crochet hook.
When I started with these yarns I was excited to try crocheting from a cone for the first time. I quickly learned that I would need a Wood Yarn Spindle. This lovely tool allows you to plop your yarn cone right on it allowing the yarn to flow freely while you crochet from it. Other tools I can’t live without are my Tulip Etimo hooks and blocking supplies.
Finding patterns is one of the most exciting parts of crocheting! I find it best to try to buy patterns directly from your favorite designers, if possible. If that’s not an option or you are just looking for inspiration, I recommend searching on PayHip or Ravelry. Please note that Ravelry is known to not be an accessible site for some—read this article to help you decide if it is a safe site for you.
Crocheting with these yarns was highly satisfying. There’s a fiber for every type of project and you can’t beat the yardage! You can easily use one cone for a full project. Be mindful of the project you are making and match it to the fiber you are looking to use. Grabbing an alpaca yarn for a towel project won’t yield you the best results. Finally, make a gauge swatch for every project before you start and block your project when it’s finished. Trust me, the drape is worth it.
Here is a chart to help as you're choosing yarns, which you can also download as a PDF to print at home.
Brittany Garber is the crochet and Tunisian crochet designer behind KnotBadBritt. She has been crocheting since 2016 and designing since 2019. In addition to designing, Britt dedicates her time to managing the Makers of Color Collective Maker and Pattern Directory, and advocating for more black, brown, indigenous, and melanated people to be represented in the fiber industry. You can learn more about her work at KnotBadBritt.com.