Thursday, March 26, 2015

Sampler Crochet-A-Long Square #6

I'm so glad the sun is shining today!  We received some very sad news yesterday.  I'm reminded to count my blessings every single day.  The sun shining is definitely one of those blessings.  Life is fragile - be kind to those you come in contact with.  Pass less judgement and love and enjoy life more!

If you're just joining in, WELCOME!  Click on the following links to get caught up: Introduction, Square #1, Square #2, Square #3, Square #4, Square #5.

Block #6 is our colorwork square for March.  While the stitches used in the block are very basic, it is the placement that creates the fun alternating blocks of color. This stitch pattern creates a fairly thick fabric, excellent for any project where you want something that holds it's shape well.  I used it in this convertible hat/cowl.
You might be seeing this guy a lot here, he's a handy model :-)
One thing to note on this one - it uses 3 colors so you change colors at the end/beginning of each row.  Just drop the previous color and leave it there, you will pick it up again when you get back to that side. Once you've started all the colors, you simply pick up the color that is there waiting for you.  Working with 3 colors changing on each row is easy.

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Block #3
Foundation chain/Row 1:  With A, chain 32.  Dc in 4th chain from hook.  Dc in next ch.  *Ch 3, skip next 3 ch.  Dc in next 3 ch.  Repeat from * across until 3 ch remain.  Ch 3, skip next 2 ch, sl st to last ch. Drop A, pick up B.  Turn.
Row 2:  Ch 3.  Working over ch-3 sp, dc in each of next 2 unworked ch stitches from the foundation ch.  Ch 3.  *Skip next 3 dc.  Working over next ch-3 sp, dc in each of next 3 skipped ch in foundation ch.  Ch 3.  Repeat from * across to last 3 stitches.  Skip next 2 dc.  Sl st to top of turning chain.  Drop B, pick up C.  Turn.
Row 3:  Ch 3 (counts as first dc).  Skip first stitch.  Working over ch-3 sp, dc in next 2 skipped dc 2 rows below.  *Ch 3.  Skip 3 stitches, working over next ch-3 sp, 1 dc in each of next 3 skipped dc 2 rows below.  Repeat from * across until 3 dc from previous row remain.  Ch 3.  Sl st to top of turning ch. Drop C, pick up A.  Turn.
Row 4:  Work as for row 3.  Drop A, pick up B.
Rows 5-24:  Repeat row 3 for pattern, alternating colors A, B, and C throughout.
Row 25:  Working with A, ch 3.  Skip first stitch.  *Working over ch-3 sp, dc in next 2 skipped dc 2 rows below.  Sc in next 3 dc from row 24.  Repeat from * for remainder of row.  Fasten off and weave in ends.


close-up of stitch pattern
So what small blessings do you have to enjoy today?

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Sampler Afghan Crochet-a-Long Square #5

If you are just joining us, welcome!  We're so glad to have you :-)  These links will get you up to speed on things: introduction, square #1, #2, #3, #4

So here we are in March!  I'm enjoying seeing the sun more, although daylight savings was brutal at my house this year!  I am looking forward to St Paddy's day and my upcoming wedding anniversary to this hottie :-)  Hopefully you have some nice things to look forward to this month as well!

hottie husband willingly modeling my crochet wares ;-)

Now on to business.  Square #5 is this month's solid square and features a basketweave pattern.  This will give you lots of practice with your post stitches.  This stitch pattern produces a fairly sturdy and thick fabric with excellent texture.  Some ideas of how to use this pattern - it would make an excellent warm scarf, placemat, afghan or hat.  Use your imagination, the possibilities are endless!


Pattern

Special Stitches:   

front post double crochet (fpdc):  Yo and insert hook from the front to the back around the post of the dc on the previous row.  Complete as for regular dc.
back post double crochet (bpdc):  Yo and insert hook from the back to the front around the post of the dc on the previous row.  Complete as for regular dc.

Foundation ch & row 1:  Ch 34.  Dc in 4th ch from hook and in each ch across (32 dc). Turn.
Row 2: Ch 2, skip first dc.  *Work fpdc around the post of next 3 dc.  Work bpdc around the post of the next 3 dc.  Repeat from * across.  Hdc in top of beginning ch.  Turn.
Row 3:  Ch 2.  Skip first hdc.  *Work fpdc around the post of the next 3 stitches.  Work bpdc around the post of the next 3 stitches.  Repeat from * across.  Hdc in top of beginning ch.  Turn.
Row 4:  Ch 2.  Skip first hdc.  *Work bpdc around the post of the next 3 stitches.  Work fpdc around the post of the next 3 stitches.  Repeat from * across.  Hdc in top of beginning ch.  Turn.
Row 5:  Repeat row 4.
Row 6, 7:  Repeat row 3.
Row 8- 23:  Repeat rows 4-7. (Ending with row 7.)

close up view of basketweave stitch pattern


my sweet girl wearing my basektweave beanie
hottie husband wearing my basketweave beanie



So you all know that I'm looking forward to an anniversary this month, what is something you are looking forward to?


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Sampler Afghan Crochet-A-Long Square #4


If you are just joining us, welcome!  We're so glad to have you :-)  These links will get you up to speed on things: introduction, square #1, #2, #3.

Now for square #4!  This is our second square for February and is our colorwork square for the month.  This particular block is worked from corner to corner in a diagonal pattern.  The pattern is a basic double crochet stripe and uses increases and decreases at the beginnings and endings of the rows to achieve the correct shaping.  One thing to note with this pattern is with the color changes, please just drop the old yarn and pick up the new one when there is a color change.  Cutting the yarn is not necessary.  As you can see in the photo, you do end up with the loose yarns along the edge where you changed colors, but these will be hidden when the blocks are seamed together, so there's no need to fuss or do anything with them at this point.


Pattern

Special stitch instructions:  
Double crochet 2 together (dc2tog):  (Yarn over, insert hook in next stitch, yarn over and pull up a loop, yarn over and draw through 2 loops) two times.  Yarn over and pull through all loops on hook.
  
Begin this square with B.  Work 2 rows with B, then work 2 rows with A.  Continue in this manner for entire square.  Do not cut the yarn when switching colors, just drop it and pick up the next color. 

Foundation chain: Ch 4 Row 1: Make 4 dc in beginning ch. (5 stitches) Ch 3, turn. 
Row 2: Make 2 dc in first dc.  Dc in each of next 3 dc.  Make 2 dc in top of turning chain.  (8 stitches) Ch 3, turn. 
Row 3: Make 2 dc in first dc. Dc in each remaining dc.  Make 2 dc in top of turning chain. (11 stitches) Ch 3, turn. 
Row 4-11: Repeat row 3.  (Stitch count will increase by 3 on each row)
Rows 12-21:  Skip first stitch.  (Dc2tog over next 2 stitches) twice.  Dc in each stitch on row. Leave top of ch 3 unworked.  Ch 3, turn.
Row 22:  Ch 3.  Dc3tog over next 3 stitches.  Fasten off and weave in ends.  

This particular stitch pattern is used in the unforgettable ponchette pattern available here.  In the ponchette below, a self-patterning yarn was used to create the striped look without the color changes.


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Taraduff's Sampler Afghan Crochet-a-long Square #3


Hopefully you've enjoyed the squares so far and learned some new stitches!  If you are just joining us, You can find the basic information about the crochet-a-long here, and the pattern for square #1 here, and square #2 here.  

Square #3 is our solid square for February.  If you remember, the last square (#2) used a v-stitch.  This block also uses a v-stitch, although the pattern itself is slightly different.  It is a super easy pattern that can be used in a variety of projects.  It makes a fabric that drapes, stretches, and is slightly airy without large holes.  It is used in this beret hat.  Thanks also go to my sweet friend Peggy Ashby for helping design this square.  


Pattern

Special stitch instructions:

V-stitch:  Dc, ch 1, dc in same stitch.

Foundation ch & row 1:  Ch 32.  Dc in 4th ch from hook.  Ch 1, dc in same ch.  *Skip 2 ch, v-stitch in next stitch.  Repeat from * across to last ch.  Dc in last ch. (10 v-stitches)  Turn.
Row 2:  Ch 3.  V-stitch in ch-1 sp of next v-stitch and in each v-stitch across.  Dc in top of beginning ch-3.
Rows 3-15:  Repeat row 2.  
Fasten off and weave in ends.

Below is a close up of the block.



Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Sampler afghan crochet-a-long square #2

Block #2 for our sampler afghan is our first colorwork square.  This block uses 2 colors.  I used up some of my stash on the square in the photo.  For those using the Red Heart With Love colors I used in the finished blanket, the key to the colors is as follows:


A - Mango
B - Bluebell
C - Lettuce

If needed, please refer back to this post for yarn and gauge information.

This block uses a v-stitch.  If this stitch is new to you, it s a great one to know.  It looks great in a solid color as well as stripes.  It is used in the body of this kufi hat to give you an idea of something to make! 

Square #2


Pattern

Special Stitch Instructions
V-stitch:  Dc, ch 1, dc in one stitch

For colorwork, work rows in following colors:
1-5: A
6,7: C
8,9: A
10-13: C
14,15: A
16,17: C
18-22: A
Foundation ch and row 1:  With A Ch 32.  Sc in second ch from hook and each remaining ch.  (31 sc)  Turn.
Row 2:  Ch 1.  Sc in first sc.  *Skip next stitch. V-stitch in next stitch.  Skip  next stitch.  Sc in next stitch.  Repeat from * until 2 stitches remain.  Skip next stitch.  Make 2 dc in last stitch.  Turn.
Row 3:  Ch 1.  Sc in first dc. *V-stitch in next sc.  Sc in next ch-1 sp.  Repeat from * until last ch-1 sp is worked.  Make 2 dc in last sc.  Turn.
Rows 4-21:  Repeat row 3 ending with row.
Row 22:  Ch 1.  Make 1 sc in each stitch and each ch-1 sp.  (29 sc) Fasten off and weave in ends.

Below is a close up of the stitch pattern for square #2.


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Taraduff's crochet-a-long square #1


It's time for the first solid square pattern for our sampler afghan!  This particular square is fairly basic.  It starts and ends with a row of dc.  The patterned rows consist of a basic sc, dc, dc pattern.  I have seen this called the silt stitch before, however the times I have seen to it referred to as such, it had a row of dc in between each patterned row.  If it has another name that you are aware of, I would love for you to share it!  I've seen this pattern used for baby blankets.  It produces a fairly solid fabric with a nice texture.  It's also used in the body of this cute newsboy cap

Square #1



Pattern:

Foundation ch and row 1:  Ch 33.  Dc in fourth ch from hook and in each ch across (31 dc)  Turn.
Row 2:  Ch 1.  (Sc, 2 dc) in first dc.  Skip next 2 dc.  *(Sc, 2 dc) in next dc.  Skip next 2 dc.  Repeat from * across.  Sc in top of beginning ch.  Turn.
Row 3:  Ch 1.  (Sc, 2 dc) in first sc.  *Skip next 2 dc.  **(Sc, 2 dc) in next sc.  Repeat from * to end of row ending at ** Sc in last sc.  Turn.
Rows 4-22:  Repeat row 3.
Row 23:  Ch 3.  Skip first stitch.  dc in each remaining stitch.  (31 dc)  Fasten off and weave in ends.

Below is a close-up of the stitch pattern.


Saturday, January 10, 2015

2015 Sampler Square Afghan Project! (2015 crochet-a-long introduction)

Hi there :-)  I for one am glad that 2014 is OVER!  It held many ups and some pretty down downs for us and I'm glad to see it end.  Whether you had a wonderful 2014, or you had a less than stellar year, my heartfelt wish for you all is that you experience much joy and happiness and prosperity in this new year.

With a new year come new projects!  Hopefully you have some crochet projects you want to tackle, or perhaps some new crochet skills you'd like to learn.  A dear friend of mine and I embarked on a sampler square project (afghan) last spring/summer that we'd like to share.  The afghan consists of 24 squares. There are 12 solid squares and 12 colorwork squares.  With each square being 10 inches, once they are assembled, the blanket will measure 40 inches wide and 60 inches tall.  The border will add roughly 1 1/2 inches on each side to make the finished blanket measure 43 x 63 inches.

I'll be sharing the pattern for each block here on the blog.  I'll post one solid square and one of the colorwork squares each month.  Working two squares each month will leave you with all 24 at the end of the year ready to be assembled!  In December I'll also talk about assembling the squares and adding the border.

Things you will need........

1.  YARN!  Ha ha, I bet you didn't see that one coming ;-)  OK, really, this would be a great stashbuster project if you like that kind of thing.  The yarn I used on the finished blanket was Red Heart With Love.  I used 1 skein each of the colors Mango, Bluebell, and Lettuce and 3-4 skeins of Caramel. Sadly, Caramel is no longer available, but a good substitute would be Red Heart With Love in Tan, or Vanna's Choice in Toffee.  I've found Vanna's Choice and Red Heart With Love to be interchangeable and achieve the same gauge with either yarn.

2.  CROCHET HOOK!  Yes, I'm sure you saw that one coming, right?  I used a size J hook.  If you crochet relatively tight, you will probably need a larger size hook to get the right gauge, I crochet a little on the loose side.  However, if you make one square and it doesn't turn out 10 inches square, but you like the size and are comfortable with the hook size you used, by all means use that hook.  If you use the same type of yarn on each square, they should all turn out the same size.  It will affect the size of your finished afghan though.  Just multiply the size of your square by 4 for the width and by 6 for the length, plus a couple of inches for the border.  If you'll be happy with that size, then go for it!  Otherwise, adjust the size of your hook and try another square.

3.  You will also need scissors (obviously)  and a tapestry needle.

Lets talk about gauge for a moment.  The base gauge for this project is 10 stitches x 6 rows in dc = 4 inches.  That being said, the stitch patterns vary from square to square.  You will want to keep an eye on the size of each finished square to be sure they are coming out pretty uniform in size.  I have made each square a few times and had them checked by a tester as well and each square did seem to turn out the same size for everyone as long as the same size hook and same yarn was used for each square.

Here is another finished afghan in a different color scheme.

I hope you'll consider crocheting along with me on this project for 2015.  You'll learn some new stitches and skills and end up with a beautiful blanket as well!