I don't think that I'll ever stop being excited about getting something in the mail. Even when you know exactly what's inside of it, there's just something about the anticipation of waiting for a package to arrive that makes it feel like an unexpected gift. (A box, for me? You shouldn't have.) And of all the things you can order, I think the best kind of delivery has to be yarn mail. So when the kit for this gorgeous clutch from We Are Knitters showed up on my porch, I couldn't wait to get started on it. A very merry unbirthday to me!
I've seen other people posting pictures of their projects made from We Are Knitters (WAK) yarn and patterns on social media, but I'd never actually ordered anything from them before, so I was excited to try it out for myself. It took me a while to decide on which kit I wanted, but I eventually settled on the Tetuan Clutch; most of the WAK projects I've seen others make have been knit-based, so I was interested in seeing how a crochet kit would fare, and the clutch looked like an interesting challenge (it's classified as an "advanced" level kit, per their site).
The biggest upside of the kit is that it came with all of the required tools: yarn, the recommended hook, the frame for the clutch, the printed pattern, and tapestry needles. It also came with an official WAK label to sew on and some bonus stickers (#swag). So as soon as the kit arrived, I was ready to go.
Before starting in on the kit, I highly recommend making the gauge swatch. Especially since you need to finish the clutch with the metal clasp, so you want to make sure that the dimensions are right. Even though I normally crochet more tightly than others, I found that I actually had to size down a hook (from the recommended 5.0mm to a 4.5mm) in order to match gauge, which surprised me. Unfortunately, that meant I didn't get to use the snazzy hook that came with the kit. But I did end up with a clutch that matched the given dimensions, so I think it was the right way to go. Also, one tip for anyone trying to match gauge on this specific project: you need to make sure you actually make a swatch using the waistcoat stitch (which requires working in the round) instead of trying to take a shortcut by measuring regular single crochet stitches, since I found the tension to be completely different. It's more effort, but it's a much more accurate measurement for sizing the clutch.
Because it uses the waistcoat stitch, which can be sort of fiddly until you get the hang of it, and because of the tapestry crochet work, this definitely wasn't a quick crochet project. It was a much slower pace than I'm used to, which was kind of zen but may not be for everybody. Personally, I think that it was totally worth the extra time it took because the final look of the clutch is just stunning. Definitely a step up from the typical finished crochet look.
If I'm completely honest, I wasn't always happy with the wording of the pattern. I'd like to think that I'm pretty well versed in reading crochet patterns, but a couple sections were slightly confusing to me. Luckily there are some corresponding videos on the WAK site that help clarify the techniques the pattern requires, but you'll have to search for them on the site, under the "blog" section. I did like the chart for the tapestry section though. It was easy to read and divided neatly into smaller blocks that made it a lot easier to keep my place in the pattern. And, since it was a printed copy, I could just check off each row as I finished it, so I never lost my place.
My favorite part of using the kit would have to be the yarn, hands down. The skeins are gorgeous, with the perfect amount of squish. The yarn has a nice sheen to it and creates great stitch definition, which is perfect for textured projects. It does split a little bit if you frog it repeatedly or if you catch the middle of another strand when you're working the tapestry section, but it wasn't usually an issue. I'm pretty excited that I have some extra yarn leftover from this clutch that I can turn into something equally lovely. Because this yarn is too dreamy to waste.
Overall, I was pretty happy with this WAK kit. I think that the way the pattern itself is written could use some improvement, but the design is beautiful and I love the way the finished clutch turned out. I don't really have any strong opinions on the hook since I didn't get to use it for this project (see the discussion about gauge above), but I loved the yarn and the tapestry needle. I really enjoyed making this project since it gave me a chance to learn a new stitch and practice my tapestry skills and I'm excited to use my new clutch.
If anyone else has made this kit, I'd love to hear what you thought about it! And if you have any ideas for what I should make with the extra yarn, please share! Happy hooking!
Note: The Tetuan Clutch kit was sent to me by We Are Knitters, but all opinions are 100% my own.
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