Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Sunshine and Showers - Part 12

Well here I am on this first Tuesday in April posting the final piece of the Sunshine and showers CAL pattern. I cannot believe that yet another year has flown by and that we are well and truly planted in 2018!

One of the things that I really love about designing and making a project over a long period of time, such as the Sunshine and Showers blanket, is that the crochet becomes a visual reminder of the things that happened over the same period of time. I originally designed the project a few months ahead of the people who made their blankets by following the original magazine patterns in 2016/17, so for me the months don’t always tally with the themes, but I still love the way the crochet stitch combinations and panels can trigger a memory. I hope you will find the same positivity from your own blankets, that you will be pleased with the outcome of the design and that you feel you have learnt lots of valuable crochet techniques and tips along the way.



When I designed this project on paper (as a rough sketch in my notebook) this month was going to represent the moon sitting high in the sky on a clear spring night, but as I worked through the design it became clear that I would not have enough yarn to make the circular motif in Cream as planned, so I have used the yellow based shades instead. I really like the effect created by using Gold and Lime as it reminds me of a slightly foggy/misty moon, but if you feel you might have enough Cream yarn to complete both pieces I am sure it would look great too! 

I know that when this final pattern was revealed in the magazine last year everyone thought I had designed Easter Eggs - so feel free to interprit the design however you wish!

 

This month you will be making fans and clusters to create a pinwheel stitch pattern, you will also finally be joining your crochet panels together to make one blanket piece and will be adding a simple edging along two sides.

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
1078 Petrol
1067 Grape
1709 Gold
1712 Lime
1068 Turquoise
1241 Fondant
1023 Raspberry
1080 Pale Rose

Yarn Stories Fine Merino DK 50g balls
2503 Cobalt
2518 Thistle
2502 Burnt Sienna
2516 Spring Green
3534 Iced Teal
2514 Raspberry
2509 Fuchsia
2536 English Rose

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: 

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


Row 83: (WS facing) Using Petrol (Cobalt) & 4.5mm (4mm) hook 1ch (does not count as a st) 1dc into each st to end, turn. (171sts)

Change to 4mm (3.5mm) hook.


Row 84: Using 4mm (3.5mm) hook 1ch (does not count as a st), 1dc into each next 3sts, * skip 2sts, 7tr into next st, skip 2sts, 1dc into each next 3sts; repeat from * to end changing yarn shade to Grape (Thistle) on the final step of the last st, turn. (21 fans made)

Change to 4.5mm (4mm) hook.


Row 85: Using Grape (Thistle) & 4.5mm (4mm) hook 1ch (does not count as a st) 1dc into each st to end changing yarn shade to Gold (Burnt Sienna) on the final step of the last st, turn. (213sts)

Change to 4mm (3.5mm) hook.


Row 86: (RS facing) Using Gold (Burnt Sienna) & 4mm (3.5mm) hook 3ch (counts as 1tr) 1tr into next st, tr3tog over next 3sts, 3ch, 1dc into back loop of next 3sts * 3ch, tr7tog over next 7sts, 3ch, 1dc into back loop of next 3sts; repeat from * 19 times, 3ch, tr3tog over next 3sts, 1tr into each next 2sts, fasten off, do not turn.

On the next row you are asked to work into the centre of the cluster (tr7tog) made on previous row. The stitches look best if you work into the stitch where all the yarn loops appear to be made into one stitch and therefore looks like the centre of the cluster.
This ‘stitch’ is in fact the space made by the first chain after the 7trtog on the previous row, however in the pattern it is referred to as the centre of the cluster.

Because of the way crochet stitches work in this pattern when counting the chain that you need to skip it will look like you count 4 (not 3) and then 2 (not 3) after you have made 7tr into the cluster.


Row 87: (RS facing) Using Lime (Spring Green) & 4mm (3.5mm) hook join yarn into 3rd ch of 3ch made at beginning of last row by working 1ch + 2ch (counts as 1tr), 1tr into next st, 3tr into centre of cluster (tr3tog) made on previous row, skip 3ch, 1dc into each next 3ts, * skip 3ch, 7tr into centre of next cluster (tr7tog) made on previous round, skip 3ch, 1dc into each next 3sts; repeat from * 19 times, skip 3ch, 4tr into centre of next cluster (tr3tog) made on previous row (this is the top of the next tr made on the previous row), 1tr into next st changing yarn shade to Grape (Thistle) on the final step of the last st, turn.


Change to 4.5mm (4mm) hook.

Row 88: (WS facing) Using Grape (Thistle) & 4.5mm (4mm) hook 1ch (does not count as a st), 1dc into each next 5sts, * fold last 2 rows forwards do that you can see the remaining loop of the stitches made on row 85, 1dc into each next 3 sts made on Row 85, skip 3sts made on previous row, 1dc into each next 7sts; repeat from * 19 times, fold last 2 rows forwards so that you can see the remaining loop of the stitches made on row 85, 1dc into each next 3 sts made on Row 85, skip 3sts made on previous row, 1dc into each next 5sts working final st into top of tch made on previous row and changing yarn shade to Petrol (Cobalt) on the final step of the last st, turn. (213sts)


Change to 4mm (3.5mm) hook.

Row 89: (RS facing) Using Petrol (Cobalt) & 4mm (3.5mm) hook 1ch (does not count as a st) 1dc into each next 3sts, * 3ch, tr7tog over next 7sts made on previous row (leaving sts on Row 87 unworked), 3ch, 1dc into each next 3sts; repeat from * to end, turn.

Change to 4.5mm (4mm) hook.

Row 90: (WS facing) Using 4.5mm (4mm) hook 1ch (does not count as st), 1dc into each next 3sts, * 1dc into each next 2ch, skip 1ch, 1dc into next st, skip 1ch, 1dc into each next 2ch, 1dc into each next 3sts; repeat from * to end changing yarn shade to Turquoise (Iced Teal) on the final step of the last st, turn.


Row 91: Using Turquoise (Iced Teal) 1ch (does not count as a st), 1dc into each st to end, fasten off. (171sts)

Measurement: Each piece should measure approximately 58cm (23in) from bottom edge x 92cm wide.

Work another piece to match.
Sew in yarn ends.

Joining the panels:
You should have 4 completed crochet panels: 2 panels were made May to August and the other 2 were made September to April. The panels now need to be joined together using double crochet stitches on the reverse side of the work.

When joining the smaller panel (May to August) you will be matching the chain stitch that runs along the last row of April to the remaining part of the foundation chain made at the very beginning of the project back in May.

Method:

Using Fondant (Raspberry) & 4.5mm (4mm) hook hold the 2 crochet pieces together making sure you have the wrong side of the work facing you and that both the right sides face inwards towards each other. It is easier if you hold the smaller panel at the back.

Join yarn into the first pair of corresponding stitches by working 1ch, 1dc into each pair of stitches to the end.

The images below show step-by-step joining.


At the centre of the blanket you need to work into the remaining part of the foundation chains and match stitch for stitch.

Method:

Using Turquoise (Iced Teal) & 4.5mm (4mm) hook hold the 2 crochet pieces together making sure you have the wrong side of the work facing you and that both the right sides face inwards towards each other.

Join yarn into the first pair of corresponding stitches (these are the remaining yarn loops of the foundation chain of both pieces) by working 1ch, 1dc into each pair of stitches to the end.

It can be a little tricky working into the remaining part of the chain. I find it easier if I turn my hook away from me to find the yarn loops.

Edging:

I have added a simple double crochet edging to my blanket. I worked 2 rows, but if you want to use up more of your left over yarn you could choose to do a striped version using more shades.

When working edging stitches I work into the obvious space left by double crochet stitches between rows and into the post of all other stitches rather than into the stitch space as this can leave a gap. Try to get 2 or 3 stitches into the post of a treble and 4 into a double treble where necessary.


Note on yarn swaps: 
Throughout the blanket patterns I have referred to the yarn shade swaps between the original Special DK version and the Yarn Stories Fine Merino version. In all but one case (for the heart shapes in February) the yarn swaps have stayed consistently the same, however, for the edging the swaps are not the same as previously and have been based on left over yarn amounts.

Method:
Row 1: (RS facing) working along the side edge from flower edging towards the middle of the blanket and using Rapberry (Thistle) & 4.5mm (4mm) hook work 43dc along side from flower edging to Fondant join, work 119dc along next panel to next Turquoise join, work 119sts along next panel to next Fondant join, work 43sts to flower edging, fasten off, do not turn. (324sts)

Row 2: (RS facing) Using Pale Rose (Fuchsia) & 4.5mm (4mm) hook join yarn into first dc made at beginning of last row by working 1ch (does not count as a st), 1dc around back post of each st to end, fasten off. (324sts)

Work another to match.

Sew in yarn ends.



Completed Blanket Measurements Special DK:
Pre Blocked measurement: approx 177cm (69¾ in) x 92/93cm (36in)
Blocked measurement: approx 186cm (73¼ in) x 95/96cm (37½ in)

Completed Blanket Measurements Fine Merino DK:
Pre Blocked measurement: approx 172cm (67¾ in) x 89cm (35in)
Blocked measurement: approx 180cm (70 in) x 92cm (35½ in)

I hope that you have enjoyed working through the Sunshine and Showers CAL blanket. I am hoping to start work on a new CAL project soon, but as you may be aware my design process takes me quite a long time! All being well though, there should be a new CAL project either late Autumn or early 2019.

Over the next few months we will be releasing some new projects too - the first will be my Indian Roses blanket, which I have designed using West Yorkshire Spinners British yarn. The project will be available as a kit from mid to late April, so do watch out for our weekly newsletters for more information.  

 With thanks to the team at Crochet Now magazine. 

Janie x

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Sunshine and Showers - Part 11

Could it possibly be the beginning of spring? Let's hope so!
  
After the dull days of winter and the madness of thick snow here in London last week, we are beginning to see the promise of spring. The days are getting a little longer and the garden is starting to come back to life. The birds are busy building nests and there is far more activity out in the garden.

Although we live on the outskirts of our beloved capital city we are also very close to fields and woods, so we are lucky to see lots of wildlife. Of course we don’t have to go far to see the evidence of urban foxes and the destructive squirrels, but not far away we can also see rabbits, deer and other little furry beings busy in the spring sunshine. 

When thinking about the design for March I decided to try to crochet a design that looked like rabbits in the countryside. You can see below my trial scraps of crochet and can probably guess from those that I soon discovered the rabbit idea would make things pretty complicated (and a bit cheesy!) so in the end I went down a little more abstract route by coming up with a design which I hope emulates the idea of rabbit ears emerging from holes. By changing the yarn shades used for the cluster stitches I hope that the pattern also looks a little bit like crocuses and daffodils beginning to bloom.
 

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.

Yarn used this month:

Stylecraft Special DK 100g balls
1068 Turquoise
1027 Khaki
1065 Meadow
1063 Graphite
1712 Lime
1711 Spice 
1241 Fondant 

Yarn Stories Fine Merino DK 50g balls
3534 Iced Teal
2501 Bottle
2510 Leaf
2500 Anthracite
2516 Spring Green
2515 Rouge
2514 Raspberry 

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 Turquoise (Iced Teal) on the final step of the stitch, turn.

Row 70: (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. (171sts)

Row 71: Using Khaki (Bottle) 1ch (does not count as a st) 1dc into each st to end changing yarn shade to Meadow (Leaf) on the final step of the last st, turn.


Row 72: Using Meadow (Leaf) 1ch (does not count as a st) 1dc into each st to end, turn.


Row 73: (WS facing) 1ch (does not count as a st) 1dc into each next 3sts, * 3ch, skip 3sts, 1dc into each next 3sts; repeat from * to end changing yarn shade to Graphite (Anthracite) on the final step of the last st, turn. (28 holes made)

Change to 4mm (3.5mm) hook.


Row 74: Using Graphite (Anthracite) & 4mm (3.5mm) hook 4ch (counts as 1tr & 1ch) * [tr3tog, 3ch, tr3tog] into next ch sp, 1ch, skip 3dc; repeat from * to last st, 1tr into last st, changing yarn shade to Lime (Spring Green) on the final step of the last st, turn.

Change to 4.5mm (4mm) hook.


Row 75: (WS facing) Using Lime (Spring Green) & 4.5mm (4mm) hook 1ch, 1dc into st at base of 1ch, 2dc into next ch sp, * skip tr3tog made on previous row, 3dc into next 3ch sp, skip tr3tog made on previous row, 3dc into next 1ch sp; repeat from * 26 times, skip tr3tog made on previous row, 3dc into next 3ch sp, skip tr3tog made on previous row, 2dc into next ch sp, 1dc into 3rd ch of 4ch made at beginning of last row changing yarn shade to Meadow (Leaf) on the final step of the last st, turn.


Row 76: Using Meadow (Leaf) 1ch (does not count as a st) 1dc into each st to end, turn. (171sts)


Row 77: 1ch (does not count as a st) 1dc into st at base of 1ch, 2ch, skip 2sts, * 1dc into each next 3sts, 3ch, skip 3dc; repeat from * 26 times, 1dc into each next 3sts, 2ch, skip 2sts, 1dc into last st changing yarn shade to Spice (Rouge) on the final step of the last st, turn.

Change to 4mm (3.5mm) hook.


Row 78: Using Spice (Rouge) & 4mm (3.5mm) hook 4ch, (counts as 1tr & 1ch), tr3tog into next 2ch sp, 1ch, * [tr3tog, 3ch, tr3tog] into next 3ch sp, 1ch, skip 3dc; repeat from * to last ch sp, tr3tog into next 2ch sp, 1ch, 1tr into into last st, changing yarn shade to Khaki (Bottle) on the final step of the last st, turn.

Change to 4.5mm (4mm) hook.



Row 79: (WS facing) Using Khaki (Bottle) & 4.5mm (4mm) hook 1ch (does not count as a st), 1dc into st at base of 1ch, 2dc into next 1ch sp, * 3ch, skip tr3tog & 1ch & tr3tog made on previous row, 3dc into next 3ch sp; repeat from * 26 times, 3ch, skip tr3tog & 1ch & tr3tog made on previous row, 2dc into next ch sp, 1dc into 3rd ch of 4ch made at beginning of last row, changing yarn shade to Fondant (Raspberry) on the final step of the last st, turn.




Change to 4mm (3.5mm) hook.

Row 80: Using Fondant (Raspberry) & 4mm (3.5mm) hook 4ch (counts as 1tr & 1ch), * working over last row tr3tog into next 1ch sp made on Row 78, 3ch, tr3tog into same ch sp, * 1ch, skip 3dc, [tr3tog, 3ch, tr3tog] into next ch sp made on Row 78; repeat from * to last 3sts, 1ch, skip 2sts, 1tr into next st changing yarn shade to Meadow (Leaf) on the final step of the last st, turn.

Change to 4.5mm (4mm) hook.



Row 81: Using Meadow (Leaf) & 4.5mm (4mm) hook 1ch (does not count as a st) 1dc into st at base of 1ch, 2dc into next ch sp, * skip tr3tog made on previous row, 3dc into into next 3ch sp, skip tr3tog made on previous row, 3dc into next 1ch sp; repeat from * 26 times, skip tr3tog made on previous row, 3dc into next 3ch sp, skip tr3tog made on previous row, 2dc into next ch sp, 1dc into 3rd ch of 4ch made at beginning of last row, changing yarn shade to Turquoise (Iced Teal) on the final step of the last st, turn. (171sts)


Row 82: Using Turquoise (Iced Teal) 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 53cm (18in) from bottom edge x 92cm wide.

Work another to piece to match.

Sew in yarn ends.

With thanks to the team at Crochet Now magazine.



Above is the preview image for April. There is a bit of a story to this design, which I will tell you about next month - which will see the final CAL pattern - can you believe it?

The next set of patterns will be released on Tuesday 3rd April.

Jane x