Today’s posting is very near and dear to my heart, it involves a very special group of people in the World of Warcraft community; Reckles of WTBGold and the lovely (all be it sometimes terrifying), Recking Crew that accompanies him on his Twitch journey.
I will pull some backstory from his Patreon page for those of my readers who are not familiar with Reckles; after studying economics at Columbia and deciding that Investment Banking just wasn’t his thing, Reckles moved to Texas to take up the mantle of WoW Gold Making Guru. This took shape in the form of a YouTube Channel and Twitch stream, where he passes on his knowledge of economics to fledgling goldmakers looking to get a better handle on their in-game finances and reach the gold cap.
I have been wanting to step up my crochet game for a while now, I felt that I haven’t really been delivering on the geeky goodness that my logo and name promises. So, in the spirit of the Reckles’ channel, I decided it was time I learned a new skill that would help me to deliver on that promise.
I visited my profession trainer (Google) and picked up the Tunisian Crochet skill.
For the uninitiated, Tunisian crochet, sometimes called jacquard crochet, intarsia, mosaic, fair isle, and colourwork (today these terms tend to refer to different techniques), is done usually in single crochet stitches and can consist of multiple colours carried throughout the piece. It is sometimes seen as a mixture of crochet and knitting. The biggest difference between regular crochet and Tunisian crochet is the hook used and how those single crochet stitches are worked up.
Tunisian crochet utilizes an elongated hook, often with a stopper or cord at the end which allows the user to cast on like with knitting.
With that out of the way, let’s get back to work!
I decided that I wanted to make something special for Reckles, to thank him and the community for all the times that they helped me to forget myself and laugh with them. Trust me, it is difficult to ignore the Anxiety Monster that lives in my head so this was no small feat.
Seeing as WTBGold is still a fledgling endeavor, I wanted to provide something that would hopefully help the channel out just as much as they all help me on a daily basis. After hearing that Reckles wanted to start improving on his branding, I decided that I would take a stab (hehe, rogue jokes) at making a wall hanging depicting his channel logo.
This proved to be an interesting experience as I first had to figure out how to turn his logo into a pattern for me to work from; with little knowledge of making pixel charts, I got to work.
I decided to use Google Sheets as makeshift graph paper and flitted back and forth between the logo and my graph to make sure I was staying as true as possible to the design.
With the pattern fleshed out, I picked up my new hook and began my work.
The first thing I noticed, was how difficult it was to maintain just the right amount of tension on my yarn so that I wasn’t working the stitches so loosely that the carried colours poked through while also ensuring that my stitches were not so tight as to make the end result look pinched.
Once I found my groove, I got tunnel vision. There were days when I actually worked on it for 8 hours straight without stopping to stretch, eat or even take a hydration break. If anyone from the channel is reading this and wonders where I disappeared to for a week, I was down a rabbit hole, and it was glorious.
This banner was the most fun I had had with crochet in a long time, I felt creative again. I started imagining the other things I could make with Tunisian crochet and my thoughts ran away with me. Eventually, the intense hand cramps pulled me back into the realm of reality and forced me to take a break.
After 2 and a half days, I had completed the first half of my project.
After I had finished laughing like a crazy person from relief (and spooking my cats), I just sat there and stared at it for a solid 3 minutes with a critical eye. I remembered a suggestion given to me by a member of the Recking Crew (shout out to my “alter-ego”) that I should find a way of incorporating the red background from the logo.
This suggestion gave me an answer to another problem I was having; for those who have not tried out Tunisian crochet for themselves this is what the back of the project looked like at this stage:
Yup, here it is, my secret shame. When you carry your secondary colour throughout your work, it results in this tangled mess.
Luckily, I figured out that I could kill 2 birds with one stone and used the red yarn I had slated for the trim, to create a monotone copy of the shield and stitched the two together to create the backing.
I happened to have some gold thread left over from another project, and I used it to accent the piece and hide the seams.
My final task was to find a suitable dowel for the banner to hang from, this was oddly difficult to locate and in the end, I went to the dollar store and repurposed the pole from a paper towel holder.
By this point, 4 days have passed and I am beginning to get antsy the way that I do when I have almost finished a piece. Sadly, I still had to wet block so that the banner would maintain its shape. This took multiple attempts and more patience than I had access to but the end result was well worth the time and effort that went into it.
I apologize for the less than perfect picture quality, one day I will level up my photography skill, but for the time being, you shall have to settle for phone quality.
And there you have it. I really don’t know what else to say except to thank Reckles and the whole Recking Crew for the numerous laughs and shenanigans.
So with that, Smar out! Vanishes into the shadows, dual-wielding hooks as daggers.