Blog Blanket CAL – Square no 3

Today is Friday and that means a new motif!   So here is square no 3:

Number 3
Number 3

First a quick reminder on the abbreviations:
ABBREVIATIONS
The pattern is written in English crochet terms.
St = stitch
Ch = chain
Tr = treble (US dc)
Ss = slip stitch
Sp = space
Ch-sp =chain space

And here’s the pattern:

Foundation:  Make a 4ch foundation ch and join into a ring with a ss

Round 1: 5ch (counts as 1tr, 2ch), (1tr, 1ch, 1tr, 2ch) 3 times into the ring, (1tr, 1ch) into the ring, join to 3rd st of starting 5ch with a ss.

Round 2: ss into 2ch-sp, (note for this and each subsequent round: this ss is to position the start of the round in the right place) 5ch (counts as 1tr, 2ch), 2tr into the same 2ch-sp, *1tr in next st, 1 tr in 1ch-sp, 1 tr in next st, (2tr, 2ch, 2tr) in next 2ch-sp; repeat from * another 2 times, 1tr in next st, 1 tr in 1ch-sp, 1 tr in next st 1tr into first 2ch-sp, join to 3rd st of starting 5ch with a ss.

Round 3: ss into 2ch-sp, 5ch (counts as 1tr, 2ch), 1tr into the same 2ch-sp, 1ch, *(1tr in next st, 1ch, miss 1 st) 4 times; (1tr, 2ch, 1tr, 1ch) in next 2ch-sp; repeat from * another 2 times, (1tr in next st, 1ch, miss 1 st) 4 times, 1tr into the first 2ch-sp, join to 3rd st of starting 5ch with a ss.

Round 4: ss into 2ch-sp, 5ch (counts as 1tr, 2ch), 2tr into the same 2ch-sp, 1tr into each st and 1ch-sp around, (2tr, 2ch, 2tr) into each 2ch-sp, and work a final 1tr into the first 2ch-sp, join to 3rd st of starting 5ch with a ss.

Break yarn and fasten off, leaving a long tail of about 3m for sewing or crocheting together later.

You should have 15tr along each side and a 2ch-sp at each corner.

I made 16 of these in various colours.

Please keep sharing progress on my Ravelry forum.

Next week there will be a different sort of square….so stay tuned 🙂

Happy crocheting xxx

PS if you love crochet you will love this new online yarn store.   It’s the same company as LoveKnitting with the same excellent service, just more of a focus on all things crochet.

 

 

Blog Blanket CAL – Square no 2

A week has passed since I published the first square and I know some of you have already made plenty of them in varying colour schemes.   So I know you are ready for number 2 – here it is:

Number 2
Number 2

This is all one colour, but I have made another in pastel colours so you can see what each round looks like a little more clearly:

Number 2 in pastels
Number 2 in pastels

A reminder of the ABBREVIATIONS
The pattern is written in English crochet terms.
St = stitch
Ch = chain
Tr = treble (US dc)
Ss = slip stitch
Sp = space
Ch-sp =chain space

Foundation:  Make a 4ch foundation ch and join into a ring with a ss

Round 1: 5ch (counts as 1tr, 2ch), (1tr, 1ch, 1tr, 2ch) 3 times into the ring, (1tr, 1ch) into the ring, join to 3rd st of starting 5ch with a ss.

Round 2: ss into 2ch-sp, (note for this and each subsequent round: this ss is to position the start of the round in the right place) 5ch (counts as 1tr, 2ch), (2tr, 1ch) into the same 2ch-sp, *(1tr, 1ch) into next 1ch-sp, (2tr, 2ch, 2tr, 1ch) into the next 2ch-sp; repeat from * another 2 times,  (1tr, 1ch) into next 1ch-sp, 1tr into first 2ch-sp, join to 3rd st of starting 5ch with a ss.

Round 3: ss into 2ch-sp, 5ch (counts as 1tr, 2ch), 2tr into the same 2ch-sp, *(1tr, 1ch) in next st, (1tr, 1ch) in each of next two 1ch-sps, miss 1 st, 1tr in next st**, (2tr, 2ch, 2tr) in next 2ch-sp; repeat from * another 3 times but on the last repeat finish at **, 1tr into the first 2ch-sp, join to 3rd st of starting 5ch with a ss.

Round 4: ss into 2ch-sp, 5ch (counts as 1tr, 2ch), 2tr into the same 2ch-sp, 1tr into each st and 1ch-sp around, (2tr, 2ch, 2tr) into each 2ch-sp, and work a final 1tr into the first 2ch-sp,  join to 3rd st of starting 5ch with a ss.

Break yarn and fasten off, leaving a long tail of about 3m for sewing or crocheting together later.

You should have 15tr along each side and a 2ch-sp at each corner.

Make as many as you like of these but I made a total of 16, 1 each in Purple Mix and Olive Mix, 2 each in Forget-me-not and Orange Mix, 3 each in Blue and Red and 4 in Goldenrod.

Please join in the discussion and share your progress on my Ravelry forum here.

And tune in next week for square number 3.

Happy crocheting xx

 

Blog Blanket CAL 2015

Last week I posted a few photos from the Christmas Blanket CAL with a hint of a new CAL to come.   Today I am launching that CAL.

This is the Blog Blanket CAL 2015, and I’m launching it now because I know some people have decided to have a ‘stash down’ for Lent, using yarn in their stash for the whole of Lent.   This blanket is a great stash buster, if you join in you will find that your stash diminishes quickly – freeing up space in your yarn cupboard for when you next go shopping!

So what type of blanket is it?

It’s made of square motifs, variations on the granny square.    If you can make a granny square then you can make this blanket and if you are an experienced crocheter you will find it a quick and relaxing make.  (If you want something challenging, then maybe this isn’t for you.)

There are no complicated stitches – it uses chain, treble (US double crochet) and slip stitch, and for the border maybe a few other stitches like double crochet and half treble.

There are 6 styles of square – each will be published at weekly intervals.  You can use as many of the styles as you like.

I am making mine in one colour per square, but you can use lots of colours if you like.

I will publish 2 types of layout towards the end of the CAL, but you can follow any layout you like and make it as big or small as you like.

I am using aran weight yarn but you can use any yarn provided you use a suitable hook size.

The finished size of mine will be about 1.2m (4ft) square but I haven’t decided what I will be doing for the border yet, so it may be a bit bigger.

This is what I am using:

Yummy yarn!
Yummy yarn!

For the main blanket I am using 21 balls of Drops Nepal, 75% wool/25% alpaca, 50g/75m per ball in 7 different colours.  The border will need more yarn – maybe another 3 balls.

And I am using a 4.5mm crochet hook.

Next week I will publish the first square, I hope this gives you enough time to gather your thoughts and your stash!

Happy crocheting xxx

Hooking Up! final feature

This is the sixth and last design in the Hooking Up! ebook.   It is the Starry Night Blanket, another design by special permission of the designer Amanda Perkins.   I think it is the perfect first large blanket for a new crocheter.

Starry Night - smaller version
Starry Night – smaller version

Many people make a granny square blanket as their first major blanket project.  I am no different – my first blanket was a granny square design (in shades of blue).   But I have found so much more enjoyment out of making a more unique blanket.    I first saw this design in 2011 and I fell in love with it; it had been many years (too many to confess!) since I had made a blanket and I knew this was the one that would set me on the path of making them again.

The photo is the Starry Night I made; it is a smaller version of the blanket design. Why?  Well, Amanda’s blanket is a lovely shade of blue and uses variegated yarn to highlight the design but I decided I wanted a midnight blue and a sparkly star highlight for mine.  Unfortunately I had difficulty finding the yarn I wanted in the quantity required – but I improvised with the quantity of yarn in the colours available and that is why mine a smaller version.    I love the final effect I achieved, but I also love the original colours.  So it seemed perfect to fit this in the book because I could show you how to make 2 sizes. Those of you who are less confident may wish to go for the smaller size (approx 110cm square), or maybe you just want something a little smaller. The original large design is approx 140cm by 150cm.   So the choice is yours – large or small.

Another reason this is a perfect fit for the book is that it builds on the techniques you will have learnt as you work through the book.  The motif is hexagonal like the Cassia Cowl and joining is the ‘as you go’ method.   And it really does make up quickly once you have made a few motifs.

Amanda is the queen of crochet blankets, she has some beautiful designs in glorious colours.  Quite coincidentally she is running a mystery blanket club this year for a star themed design – Zodiac.   This club is now closed for those who want the complete package of yarn and design, but she has released the design (in monthly instalments) in her Etsy shop.  I will be blogging about my progress on this in another post – meanwhile if you want to learn more have a look in her Etsy shop.

I hope you have enjoyed following the designs in the Hooking Up! ebook. If  you have just learnt to crochet, then I hope it will help you grow your craft and I would love to see what you make.

Happy crocheting xxx

PS Starry Night is also available as a single pattern here.

 

Hooking Up! feature no 5

This is the fifth design in the Hooking Up! ebook.

It is included in the book by special permission of the designer Amanda Perkins.  You can read all about Amanda on her blog, she creates the most beautiful crochet designs and has a brilliant eye for colour.  I am proud to call her my friend and I am probably one of her biggest fans!

This design is the Cassia Cowl.

Cassia
Cassia

The photograph is the cowl I made for the ebook.  I used a different yarn to the one Amanda used originally, to show that it is adaptable and because I wanted to!  It is made with motifs that are joined as you go.  If you have followed the ebook through you will understand how to join as you go by the time you reach this pattern.   I love working with motifs, especially those that are hexagonal (six-sided or six-pointed) and this one is straightforward to make yet looks so beautiful.

This is a Mobius Cowl, so it needs careful attention when joining into the cowl shape.  The ebook provides detailed instructions of 2 ways in which you can do this.

This is not exclusive to the ebook, you can buy Amanda’s individual pattern here.

Tomorrow I will share the last design in the ebook, another by Amanda Perkins.

Happy crocheting xxx

 

 

Hooking Up! feature no 4

The next design in the Hooking Up! ebook is a baby or lap blanket.

Granny Blue Lap Blanket
Granny Blue Lap Blanket

Again this design is exclusive to the ebook.  I love this blanket, it was a joy to make and it is a perfect size for the chair, and is an ideal size for a baby!

It is included because it teaches some important techniques.  The first is how to join motifs as you go (rather than crochet them together or sew them together later); this is a technique which is used in many motif projects.  To help you there are a few photos showing the technique.

The second technique is how to do a ‘granny’ border that lies flat.  Too often I see granny blankets with a ‘granny’ edging that looks wavy rather than flat and it is very easy to avoid this if you know how.

Finally it has a nice final edging which is firm and very practical.

If you haven’t made a granny blanket before then this is a good one to try, provided you want to learn a few new techniques.

 

Happy crocheting xxx

Spring Lifter CAL part 1

I’m going to make this CAL relaxed and slow – so you will get 3 weekly instalments and, hopefully, will have plenty of time each week to complete the instalment.

At the end of 3 weeks you should have a lovely bag like this
At the end of 3 weeks you should have a lovely bag like this

Ok – are you ready to start?

You will need 13 Granny Squares each about 15cm/6″ square.  I used a traditional granny square and the pattern I use is written below – but you may use whatever granny pattern you like.  Using my pattern and 4ply cotton yarn and a 3mm hook I ended up with 7 rounds (just a little smaller than 15cm/6”).

If you are using different weight of yarn you may wish to do fewer or more rounds and, of course, you may choose any colour scheme you want.

A quick reminder of my yarn colours: A is Heath (deep purple), B is Sea Green, C is Canary (yellow) and D is Light Pastel Green.

ABBREVIATIONS
The pattern is written in English crochet terms.
St = stitch
Ch = chain
Tr = treble (US dc)
Ss = slip stitch
Sp = space
Ch-sp =chain space

7 round granny square
7 round granny square

Foundation:  Using Yarn A, make a 4ch foundation ch and join into a ring with a ss
Round 1: 5ch (counts as 1tr, 2ch), (3tr, 2ch) 3 times into the ring, 2tr into the ring, join to 3rd st of starting 5ch with a ss.
Round 2: ss into 2ch-sp, (note for this and each subsequent round: this ss is to position the start of the round in the right place) 5ch (counts as 1tr, 2ch), (3tr, 1ch) into the same 2ch-sp, (3tr, 2ch, 3tr, 1ch) into each of the next three 2ch-sps, 2tr into the first 2ch-sp, join to 3rd st of starting 5ch with a ss. Break yarn and fasten off.
Round 3: Using Yarn B, ss into 2ch-sp, 5ch (counts as 1tr, 2ch), (3tr, 1ch) into the same 2ch-sp, *(3tr, 1ch) into the next 1ch-sp, (3tr, 2ch, 3tr, 1ch) into the next 2ch-sp; repeat from * another 2 times (3tr, 1ch) into the next 1ch-sp, 2tr into the first 2ch-sp, join to 3rd st of starting 5ch with a ss.
Round 4: ss into 2ch-sp, 5ch (counts as 1tr, 2ch), (3tr, 1ch) into the same 2ch-sp, *(3tr, 1ch) into each of the next two 1ch-sps, (3tr, 2ch, 3tr, 1ch) into the next 2ch-sp; repeat from * another 2 times (3tr, 1ch) into each of the next two 1ch-sps, 2tr in the first 2ch-sp, join to 3rd st of starting 5ch with a ss. Break yarn and fasten off.
Round 5: Using Yarn C, ss into 2ch-sp, 5ch (counts as 1tr, 2ch), (3tr, 1ch) into the same 2ch-sp, *(3tr, 1ch) into each of the next three 1ch-sps, (3tr, 2ch, 3tr, 1ch) into the next 2ch-sp; repeat from * another 2 times (3tr, 1ch) into each of the next three 1ch-sps, 2tr into the 1st 2ch-sp, join to 3rd st of starting 5ch with a ss.
Round 6: ss into 2ch-sp, 5ch (counts as 1tr, 2ch), (3tr, 1ch) into the same 2ch-sp, *(3tr, 1ch) into each of the next four 1ch-sps, (3tr, 2ch, 3tr, 1ch) into the next 2ch-sp; repeat from * another 2 times (3tr, 1ch) into each of the next four 1ch-sps, 2tr into the 1st 2ch-sp, join to 3rd st of starting 5ch with a ss.  Break yarn and fasten off.
Round 7: Using Yarn D, ss into 2ch-sp, 5ch (counts as 1tr, 2ch), (3tr, 1ch) into the same 2ch-sp, *(3tr, 1ch) into each of the next five 1ch-sps, (3tr, 2ch, 3tr, 1ch) into the next 2ch-sp; repeat from * another 2 times (3tr, 1ch) into each of the next five 1ch-sps, 2tr into the 1st 2ch-sp, join to 3rd st of starting 5ch with a ss. Break yarn and fasten off, leaving a long tail of about 3m for sewing or crocheting together later.

Tune in for the next stage, which I’ll publish in a week.

I have a discussion thread on my Ravelry Group here.   Please join in and share your progress.

Happy crocheting xx

My Spring Lifter!

Here is what I have been making this week:

Zingy spring lifter
Zingy spring lifter

It is in zingy colours and is lifting my mood, making me think of Spring even though we are still in Winter here in the UK.  I have seen similar bags but never attempted to design one like this before, it was easier than I imagined it would be!  So I thought you might like me to share how I made this with you.

I will be posting 3 blogs on the ‘how to’.

If you want to join in you may wish to start gathering your equipment now.

I made my ‘spring lifter’ in a 4ply/fingering weight cotton in a chosen colour scheme.  However this can be made in any yarn weight and would be a fabulous stash buster.  Remember if you use a different yarn weight you should use a suitable hook size.

So here is what I used:

YARN
Scheepjes Cotton 8, 50g/170m/186yds per ball.  I used 4 colours:
A – 1 ball of Heath (721) – a deep purple
B – 1 ball of Sea Green (723)
C – 2 balls of Canary (714) but I used only about 5m/yd of the second ball
D – 1 ball of Light Pastel Green (663)

HOOK
3mm crochet hook (US D/3)

OTHER
4 lockable stitch markers
Tapestry needle for sewing ends
Ring for Dorset button (optional) for the centre of my simple flower.

Start gathering your equipment and I’ll post part 1 of the ‘how to’ tomorrow.

Meanwhile, I have started a discussion on my Ravelry forum here, if you want to join in this CAL please join in the discussion too.  I’d love to see what you make.

Happy crocheting xx

Christmas CAL final part – THE BIG REVEAL!

Happy New Year!  I hope you celebrated the turn of the old year in suitable style.

Today is the big reveal!

First I will explain my edging.  I wanted something simple.  In fact when I had joined my motifs I liked the look of the blanket so much that I almost didn’t do an edging.  But not doing an edging is a crochet sin!  All blankets need something firm along the edge to hold the whole shape.

I experimented with several ideas and settled for the simplest.  I expect you think I did a double crochet edging, this is simple isn’t it?  Well I didn’t.  The simplest edging is slip stitch, and I did 2 rounds of slip stitch.

To maintain the same effect that I achieved with the joining of the motifs, the slip stitch edging was done into the back loop only.  This leaves the front loop of each motif to ‘frame’ the motif.  So the first edging round was done into the back loop of every stitch along the sides (that works out at 25 per motif edge).

Edging first round
Edging first round

Once you have completed the first round you will find the blanket has a nice firm edge.  Actually I think this simple round give a good finish, but I wanted a little more.

The second round went into the back loop of the first round.  When the second round is complete you’ll see that only the front loop of the first round is showing.  So choose your colours carefully as the second round is the predominant colour.

Edging second round
Edging second round

I didn’t do any extra stitches in the corners, I don’t think it necessary when it is just 2 rounds of slip stitch.  And it creates a gentle curve at the corner.

Edging corner
Edging corner

 

Nicely edged
Nicely edged

And this is the final blanket in it’s glory, being inspected by @yarnaddictcat :

@yarnaddictcat inspection
@yarnaddictcat inspection

No little embellishment have been added (yet!).

If you look very closely you may notice that I didn’t quite follow the layout plan.  The colours are the same but the motifs are slightly off plan.  This is because, as I mentioned in part 4, I was running out of some colours so adjusted the order of motifs I made a little bit.

Now I’ve shown you mine – please show me yours!

Happy crocheting xxxx

 

Now for the legal stuff – I designed this, it’s all my own work and is copyright. Please feel free to make as many as you like, but not for commercial purposes, and please credit me with the design. Thank you!

 

Christmas CAL part 2

How are you all doing?   Did you finish the motifs from part 1?

I didn’t do too much yesterday, I was far too busy eating and drinking!   But I did have a flash of inspiration after all that excess, a little embellishment for the blanket – so this will be included in one of next week’s updates.

I have seen some progress on Ravelry, and I know some of you have completed 9 squares and therefore must be ready for this instalment.  So here it is:

First a reminder of the ABBREVIATIONS:

The pattern is written in English crochet terms.

St = stitch

Ch = chain

Tr = treble (US dc)

Ss = slip stitch

Sp = space

Ch-sp =chain space

This is the second motif design, I am making 10, 2 in each of my chosen colours.  I call it the FULL MOTIF 1:

FULL MOTIF 1
FULL MOTIF 1

Foundation:  Make a 4ch foundation ch and join into a ring with a ss

Round 1: 5ch (counts as 1tr, 2ch), (3tr, 2ch) 3 times into the ring, 2tr into the ring, join to 3rd st of first 5ch with a ss.

Round 2: ss into 2ch-sp, (note for this and each subsequent round: this ss is to position the start of the round in the right place) 5ch (counts as 1tr, 2ch), 2tr into the same 2ch-sp, 1tr into each tr along each side and (2tr, 2ch, 2tr) in each 2ch-sp on the corner, finish with 1tr in the first 2ch-sp and join to 3rd ch from start with a ss. You should have 7tr along each side and 2ch in each corner of your motif.

Rounds 3 to 6: Repeat Round 2. The number of tr along each side increases by 4 with each round. So after Round 3 you have 11tr, after Round 4 you have 15tr, after Round 5 you have 19tr and after Round 6 you have 23tr.

Break yarn and fasten off leaving a long tail about 3m long for sewing or crocheting together later.

Please share your progress on the discussion thread on my Ravelry Group here.

Stay tuned for the next instalment, which I aim to publish on Sunday……..

Happy crocheting xxx

 

Now for the legal stuff – I designed this, it’s all my own work and is copyright. Please feel free to make as many as you like, but not for commercial purposes, and please credit me with the design. Thank you!