Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Sunshine and Showers - Part 10

February can be a pretty dull and dingy affair here in the UK and this year it seems especially cold for us after the warmth of a few weeks in Mysore! The weather is rarely anything but cold, grey, wet and overcast here in North London at this time of year, so it is a good job that the month is brightened a little by the red hearts of Valentines day and the first glimpses of crocuses and daffodils in the garden.

By the end of February we start to feel like spring might just be on it’s way, so within the crochet patterns for this month I wanted to try to emulate those first sprigs of new leaves and blossom appearing outside in the cold and of course include some love hearts!


If you take a look on line you will find lots of crochet heart patterns including the one pictured below on my free download page:


One of the best little heart patterns I have found is by Chic and Cheap and you will find a link to the video here on Youtube. The image below shows a slight variation of the Heart shown in the video.



If you want to purchase a download copy of the patterns for just 95p you can access the Stylecraft Special DK version by following this link and the Yarn Stories version by following this link - please note that step by step images in all patterns are from the Special DK version.

Yarns used this month:

Stylecraft Special DK 100g Balls
1068 Turquoise
1072 Khaki
1065 Meadow
1712 Lime
1005 Cream
1023 Raspberry
1078 Petrol

Yarn Stories Fine Merino DK 50g Balls
3534 Iced Teal
2501 Bottle
2510 Leaf
2516 Spring Green
2504 Cream
2514 Raspberry
2503 Cobalt

Equipment Special DK:
4mm & 4.5mm hook
Sewing Needle

Equipment Fine Merino DK:
3.5mm & 4mm hook
Sewing Needle

Dealing with yarn ends: Sewing yarn ends in as you go along makes the finishing process much easier and means that you are less likely to loose stitches or make errors with your tension.

Hook Changes:
This month there are a few hook changes, so make sure you take note of where they are.

Pattern Repeat:

If you have chosen to make the blanket in an alternative size then you will need to work out the stitch repeat calculations accordingly.

On Row 62 the pattern is worked over a repeat of 6sts (+1)

Note: The pattern in written in UK terminology

Method:

Undo stitch from holder to the point where you can change yarn shade to Turquoise (Iced Teal) on the final step of the stitch, turn.

Row 60: (RS facing) Using Turquoise (Iced Teal) & 4.5mm (4mm) hook 1ch (does not count as a st) 1dc into each st to end changing yarn shade to Khaki (Bottle) on the final step of the last st, turn.

Row 61: Using Khaki (Bottle) 1ch (does not count as a st), 1dc into each st to end, turn.


Change to 4mm (3.5mm) hook

Row 62: Using 4mm (3.5mm) hook 3ch (counts as 1tr), 1tr into next st, * skip 2sts, 2tr into next st, 1ch, 2tr into same st, skip 2sts, 1tr into next st; repeat from * to last st, 1tr into next st changing yarn shade to Meadow (Leaf) on the final step of the last st, turn.


Working around the post of a stitch:
On the next 2 rows you need to work a stitch around either the back post of the treble stitch made on the previous row or around the front post . Working around the post of a stitch in this way creates 3D continuous looking stitches. You can create textural and travelling stitches (that can look like knitted cables and ribs) by working around the front and back posts and can create some other really great effects.

Unlike knitted stitches, which form continuous V shapes on the RS, crochet stitches are made up of more than one part. They have a post (which is the vertical part of the stitch) and a top yarn loop, which forms the chain that runs along the top of the stitch.

On a double crochet stitch the post of the stitch is very small and looks like a V, but on longer stitches like treble and double treble (where more steps are taken to make the stitch) the post of the stitch gets longer and is clearly distinguishable.

Over the next 2 rows you are going to work a new stitch around the post of the stitch, either from the back or from the front, rather than into the chain stitch that runs along the top of the stitches.



Working a treble around back post:
This is referred to in the download pattern as (RtrB)
Yarn round hook. From the back of the work insert your hook into the stitch space (st sp) to the right of the post of the stitch, then take the hook around the post of the st and through the next st sp (to the left of the post) so that the hook comes through to the back of the work. Complete your treble in the usual way.






Row 63: (WS facing) Using Meadow (Leaf) 3ch (counts as 1tr) 1tr around back post of next st, * skip 2sts, 2tr into next st, 1ch, 2tr into same st, skip 2sts, 1tr around back post of next st; repeat from * to last st, 1tr into 3rd ch of 3ch made at beginning of last row changing yarn shade to Lime (Spring Green) on the final step of the last st, turn.



Working a treble around front post:
This is referred to in the download pattern as (RtrF)
Yarn round hook. From the front of the work insert your hook into the stitch space (st sp) to the right of the post of the stitch, then take the hook around the back of the st and through the next st sp (to the left of the post) so that the hook comes through to the front of the work. Complete your treble in the usual way.

Row 64: Using Lime (Spring Green) 3ch (counts as 1tr) 1tr around front post of next st, * skip 2sts, 2tr into next st, 1ch, 2tr into same st, skip 2sts, 1tr around front post of next st; repeat from * to last st, 1tr into 3rd ch of 3ch made at beginning of last row changing yarn shade to Cream (Cream) on the final step of the last st, turn.




Row 65: Using Cream (Cream) 3ch (counts as 1tr) 1tr around back post of next st next st, * skip 2sts, 2tr into next st, 1ch, 2tr into same st, skip 2sts, 1tr around back post of next st; repeat from * to last st, 1tr into 3rd ch of 3ch made at beginning of last row, turn.

Heart Pattern:
To make the heart pattern on the next row you need to carry your pink shade of yarn across the back of the work between hearts. The method for moving the yarn is called stranding as in the knitted fairisle technique. In this instance you are asked to strand (carry) the yarn across 3sts, but if you had a pattern which asked you to carry across more than about 5 stitches then you would be wise to catch the yarn in mid way or a couple of times to avoid large loops of yarn at the back. I have included an image of the back of the work so that you can see what mine looks like.

The colour changes between the hearts is done in the same way as for the bobbles we made back in October and if you have forgotten how to do tr3tog you could refer to the flower edging made in August where we worked a tr4tog.



Note on yarn swaps: 
Throughout the blanket Fuchsia Fine Merino DK has been used as the alternative shade to Raspberry Special DK. For the Hearts made in Row 66 our crocheter used Raspberry and not Fuchsia as the swap. Fuchsia is not used within the blanket again until you put the edging on at the end, but if you feel you have enough yarn (we cant guarantee this) you may wish to use Fuchsia in place of Raspberry.

Row 66 & 67 do not show alternative yarn shades in brackets as the shade names are the same for both Special DK and Fine Merino DK.


Row 66: 3ch (counts as 1tr) * 1tr into next st, tr2tog over next 2sts changing yarn shade to Raspberry on the final step of the st, 



skip 2tr, using Raspberry tr3tog into next ch sp changing yarn shade back to Cream on the final step of the st, 


using Cream 1tr into same ch sp changing yarn shade back to Raspberry on the final step of the st, 


using Raspberry tr3tog into same ch sp changing yarn shade to Cream on the final step of the st, using Cream tr2tog over next 2sts; repeat from * to last 2sts, 1tr into next st, 1tr into 3rd ch of 3ch made at beginning of last row, turn.

Right Side
Wrong Side

Change to 4.5mm (4mm) hook

Row 67: Using Cream and 4.5mm (4mm) hook 1ch (does not count as a st) 1dc into each next 3sts, * skip next st (Raspberry) 3dc into next st, skip next st (Raspberry), 1dc into each next 3sts; repeat from * to end working final st into 3rd ch of 3ch made at beginning of last row, turn.

Row 68: 1ch (does not count as a st) 1dc into each st to end changing yarn shade to Petrol (Cobalt) on the final step of the last st, turn. (171sts)

Row 69: Using Petrol (Cobalt) 1ch (does not count as a st) 1dc into each st to end, place last st on holder. (171sts)


Measurement: Each piece should measure approximately 46cm (18in) from bottom edge x 92cm wide

Work another piece to match
Sew in yarn ends





The next set of patterns will be available here on Tuesday March 6th. The patterns predominantly feature cluster stitches which I hoped would be reminiscent of the first spring time flowers beginning to bloom - something I am already really looking forward to!
 
With thanks to the team at Crochet Now magazine.


Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Sunshine and Showers - Part 9

January is a hard month in terms of the weather and the light here in the UK, so we tend to spend quite a lot of time wrapped up inside trying to keep warm and cosy. Here in London it seems that the first 2 months of the year are when we are most likely to get snow – rarely the picture postcard fluffy white type, but more often the sludgy sleety kind that goes grey and mucky really quickly! We had quite a lot of snow in early December and it was white and pretty and was melted and gone quite quickly, but since then it has been a fair bit warmer. This week however, the weather has turned much colder here, so perhaps a dusting of snow is on the horizon?


I thought this month I would try my best to convey the idea of little snowballs by working a repeated puff stitch. This is an easy stitch that you have worked already when making the pretty pink flower pattern back in June.

This month there is quite a lot of hook changing – I have marked in bold the hook you should be using for each row and have also written the instruction to change hook before each row to reinforce the need to change!

Last month left you with the wrong side facing. If you are unsure of which side is which take a look at the bobbles that you made in October and check that they are on the side facing away from you. 

If you want to purchase a download copy of the patterns for just 95p you can access the Stylecraft Special DK version by following this link and the Yarn Stories version by following this link - please note that step by step images in all patterns are from the Special DK version.
Yarns used this month:

Stylecraft Special DK 100g balls
1063 Graphite
1005 Cream
1722 Storm Blue
1078 Petrol
1067 Grape

Yarn Stories Fine Merino DK 50g balls
2500 Anthracite
2504 Cream
2535 Bluebell
2503 Cobalt
2518 Thistle

Equipment Special DK:
4mm & 4.5mm hook
Sewing needle

Equipment Fine Merino DK:
3.5mm & 4mm hook
Sewing needle


Dealing with yarn ends: Sewing yarn ends in as you go along makes the finishing process much easier and means that you are less likely to loose stitches or make errors with your tension.

Hook Changes:
This month there are quite a few hook chnages so make sure you take note of where they are.

Note: The pattern in written in UK terminology

Method:

Undo stitch from holder to the point where you can change yarn shade to Graphite (Anthracite) on the final step of the stitch, turn.

Row 49: (WS facing) Using Graphite (Anthracite) and 4.5mm (4mm) hook 1ch (does not count as a st), 1dc into next st, [1dc into next ch sp, 1dc into next st] 7 times, * 1dc into each next 2sts, [1dc into next ch sp, 1dc into next st] 9 times; repeat from * 6 times, 1dc into each next 2sts, [1dc into next ch sp, 1dc into next st] 7 times, working last st into 3rd ch of 4ch made at beginning of last row, turn. (171sts)


Row 50: (RS facing) 1ch (does not count as a st), 1dc into each st to end, changing yarn shade to Cream (Cream) on the final step of the last st, turn. (171sts)


Row 51: Using Cream (Cream) work as previous row, do not change yarn shade on the last st, turn.

Change to 4mm (3.5mm) hook.

Row 52: Using Cream (Cream) and 4mm (3.5mm) hook, 3ch (counts as 1tr), skip st at base of 3ch, 1tr into next st, 1htr into each next 2sts, * 1dc into each next 3sts, 1htr into each next 2sts, 1tr into each next 3sts, 1htr into each next 2sts; repeat from * 15 times, 1dc into each next 3sts, 1htr into each next 2sts, 1tr into each next 2sts, working last tr into tch on previous row, turn. (171sts)

Change to 4.5mm (4mm) hook.

Row 53: Using 4.5mm (4mm) hook 1ch (does not count as a st), 1dc into each st to end, working last st into 3rd ch of 3ch made at beginning of last row and changing yarn shade to Storm Blue (Bluebell) on the final step of the last st, turn. (171sts)


Change to 4mm (3.5mm) hook.

Row 54: Using Storm Blue (Bluebell) and 4mm (3.5mm) hook, 1ch (does not count as a st), 1dc into each next 2sts, * 1htr into each next 2sts, 1tr into each next 3sts, 1htr into each next 2sts, 1dc into each next 3sts; repeat from * to end, omitting 1dc on final pattern repeat, turn.

Change to 4.5mm (4mm) hook.

Row 55: Using 4.5mm (4mm) hook 1ch (does not count as a st), 1dc into each st to end, changing yarn shade to Petrol (Cobalt) on the final step of the last st, turn. (171sts)


MP (Make Puff)
On the next row you need to make some puff stitches as follows:

* Yarn round hook, insert hook into stitch and pull up yarn loop; repeat from * twice so that there are a total of 7 loops on the hook (one loop was already there before you started the puff stitch), yarn round hook, draw yarn through all yarn loops on the hook.

Change to 4mm (3.5mm) hook.

Row 56: Using Petrol (Cobalt) and 4mm (3.5mm) hook 1ch (does not count as a st) 1dc into next st, 1ch, skip next st, * MP into next st, 1ch, skip next st; repeat from * to last st, 1dc into last st, turn. (84 puffs)


Row 57: 3ch (counts as 1tr) * MP into next ch sp, 1ch; repeat from * to last ch sp, MP into next ch sp, 1tr into next st changing yarn shade to Graphite (Anthracite) on the final step of the last st, turn. (86 puffs)


Row 58: Using Graphite (Anthracite) 1ch (does not count as a st) 1dc into next st, 1ch, skip puff, * MP into next ch sp, 1ch, skip next st; repeat from * to last st, 1dc into 3rd ch of tch made at beginning of last row changing yarn shade to Grape (Thistle) on the final step of the last st, turn. (84 puffs)

Change to 4.5mm (4mm) hook.


Row 59: Using Grape (Thistle) and 4.5mm (4mm) hook 1ch (does not count as a st), 1dc into next st, 1dc into next ch sp, skip puff, * 2dc into next ch sp, skip puff; repeat from * to last ch sp, 2dc into next ch sp, 1dc into next st, place st on holder. (171sts)

Image Jan 7

Measurement: Each piece should measure approximately 38/38.5cm from bottom edge x 92cm wide.

Work another piece to match.

Sew in yarn ends.

The patterns for next month will feature little crochet heart shapes to honour Valentines day - there is an image posted below. The patterns will be live here on the blog on February 6th.



With thanks to the team at Crochet Now magazine.

Happy New Year!