Saturday, 24 January 2015

Chevrons with a straight edge

Chevron. Ripple. Wave. Zigzag.
Call it what you like, but this little stitch is a winner.

Recently, I've been working on a pattern for a magazine and I needed to straighten up the top and bottom edges so that I could stitch it closed.



also had lots of lovely people on Instagram asking me about the pattern. So here you are. Fresh off the hook. I worked on two different versions- you can choose the one you prefer. Mine are just small samples, but you can adjust the pattern to make it as mahooosive as you like- I'll explain how. 
And I've also written the patterns in both UK and US terms and I've (badly) drawn a chart for each.
Cos I'm nice like that.

As you can see from my photos, a bit of blocking would do wonders for the edges, but as I said, this one's straight off the hook and I really can't be bothered.*



*I totally understand the need to block certain items; It relaxes the stitches and defines the shaping. I know that. I am just too lazy. Do block yours. It will look a gazillion times better.

UK patterns
Work in rows. At the end of each row, turn your work.

Stitches
sl st = slip stitch
dc = double crochet
htr = half treble crochet
tr = treble crochet
dtr = double treble crochet
tr3tog = treble 3 together (over three stitches)
dtr cl = double treble cluster

To make the tr3tog stitch:
1. Yarn over hook, hook into first stitch.
2. YOH, pull yarn through stitch (3 loops on hook).
3. YOH, pull yarn through first 2 loops (2 loops on hook).
4. YOH, hook into second stitch.
5. YOH, pull yarn through stitch (4 loops on hook).
6. YOH, pull yarn through first 2 loops (3 loops on hook).
7. YOH, hook into third stitch.
8. YOH, pull yarn through stitch (5 loops on hook).
9. YOH, pull yarn through first 2 loops (4 loops on hook).
10. YOH, pull yarn through all loops.

To make the dtr cl stitch:
1. Wrap yarn twice over hook, hook into next stitch.
2. YOH, pull yarn through stitch (4 loops on hook).
3. YOH, pull yarn through first 2 loops (3 loops on hook).
4. YOH, pull yarn through next 2 loops (2 loops on hook).
5. Wrap yarn twice over hook, hook into same stitch.
6. YOH, pull yarn through stitch (5 loops on hook).
7. YOH, pull yarn through first 2 loops (4 loops on hook).
8. YOH, pull yarn through next 2 loops (3 loops on hook).
9. YOH, pull yarn through all loops.

Yellow Chevrons 
Your foundation chain needs to be a multiple of 12, then add 1 more.
Add as many rows as you need.
Make one of each stitch in every stitch along the row unless directed otherwise.



Foundation Chain. ch 25
Row 1. ch 4 (counts as dtr) then beginning in 6th chain from hook *2tr, 2htr, 1dc, 1sl st, 1dc, 2htr, 2tr, 1dtr* repeat from * to * along row.
Row 2. ch 3 (counts as tr) 1tr in same st, 4tr, tr3tog, 4tr, *3tr in next st, 4tr, tr3tog, 4tr* repeat from * to * along row, 2tr in the top of the ch-4 from row 1.
Row 3 onwards. Repeat row 2. The last 2tr of the row should be made in the top of the ch-3 from the previous row.
Top row. This row should be made on an odd numbered row, so that it is right-side-facing. (Otherwise the reverse of the slip stitches will look a little strange).
1sl st, *1dc, 2htr, 2tr, 1dtr, 2tr, 2htr, 1dc, 1sl st* repeat from * to * along row.

Pink Chevrons 
Your foundation chain needs to be a multiple of 16.
Add as many rows as you need.
Make one of each stitch in every stitch along the row unless directed otherwise.




Foundation Chain. ch 32
Row 1. ch 3 and make 1dtr in the 4th chain from hook (counts as dtr2tog) 3tr, 1htr, 1dc, 4sl st, 1dc, 1htr, 3tr, dtr2tog, *dtr2tog, 3tr, 1htr, 1dc, 4sl st, 1dc, 1htr, 3tr, dtr2tog* repeat from * to * along row.
Row 2. ch 3 (counts as tr) 2tr in same st, 4tr, tr3tog, tr3tog, 4tr, 3tr in next st, *3tr in next st, 4tr, tr3tog, tr3tog, 4tr, 3tr in next st* repeat from * to * along row. The last 3tr should be made in the top of the first dtr from row 1.
Row 3 onwards. Repeat row 2. The last 3tr of the row should be made in the top of the ch-3 from the previous row.
Top row. This row should be made on an odd numbered row, so that it is right-side-facing. (Otherwise the reverse of the slip stitches will look a little strange).
*2sl st, 1dc, 1htr, 3tr, dtr2tog, dtr2tog, 3tr, 1htr, 1dc, 2sl st* repeat from * to * along row.

US patterns
Work in rows. At the end of each row, turn your work.
Stitches
sl st = slip stitch
sc = single crochet
hdc = half double crochet
dc = double crochet
tr = treble crochet 
dc3tog = double crochet 3 together (over three stitches)
tr cl = treble cluster

To make the dc3tog stitch:
1. Yarn over hook, hook into first stitch.
2. YOH, pull yarn through stitch (3 loops on hook).
3. YOH, pull yarn through first 2 loops (2 loops on hook).
4. YOH, hook into second stitch.
5. YOH, pull yarn through stitch (4 loops on hook).
6. YOH, pull yarn through first 2 loops (3 loops on hook).
7. YOH, hook into third stitch.
8. YOH, pull yarn through stitch (5 loops on hook).
9. YOH, pull yarn through first 2 loops (4 loops on hook).
10. YOH, pull yarn through all loops.

To make the tr cl stitch:
1. Wrap yarn twice over hook, hook into next stitch.
2. YOH, pull yarn through stitch (4 loops on hook).
3. YOH, pull yarn through first 2 loops (3 loops on hook).
4. YOH, pull yarn through next 2 loops (2 loops on hook).
5. Wrap yarn twice over hook, hook into same stitch.
6. YOH, pull yarn through stitch (5 loops on hook).
7. YOH, pull yarn through first 2 loops (4 loops on hook).
8. YOH, pull yarn through next 2 loops (3 loops on hook).
9. YOH, pull yarn through all loops.

Yellow Chevrons 
Your foundation chain needs to be a multiple of 12, then add 1 more.
Add as many rows as you need.
Make one of each stitch in every stitch along the row unless directed otherwise.





Foundation Chain. ch 25
Row 1. ch 4 (counts as tr) then beginning in 6th chain from hook *2dc, 2hdc, 1sc, 1sl st, 1sc, 2hdc, 2dc, 1tr* repeat from * to * along row.
Row 2. ch 3 (counts as dc) 1dc in same st, 4dc, dc3tog, 4dc, *3dc in next st, 4dc, dc3tog, 4dc* repeat from * to * along row, 2dc in the top of the ch-4 from row 1.
Row 3 onwards. Repeat row 2. The last 2dc of the row should be made in the top of the ch-3 from the previous row.
Top row. This row should be made on an odd numbered row, so that it is right-side-facing. (Otherwise the reverse of the slip stitches will look a little strange).
1sl st, *1sc, 2hdc, 2dc, 1tr, 2dc, 2hdc, 1sc, 1sl st* repeat from * to * along row.

Pink Chevrons 
Your foundation chain needs to be a multiple of 16.
Add as many rows as you need.
Make one of each stitch in every stitch along the row unless directed otherwise.





Foundation Chain. ch 32
Row 1. ch 3 and make 1tr in the 4th chain from hook (counts as tr2tog) 3dc, 1hdc, 1sc, 4sl st, 1sc, 1hdc, 3dc, tr2tog, *tr2tog, 3dc, 1hdc, 1sc, 4sl st, 1sc, 1hdc, 3dc, tr2tog* repeat from * to * along row.
Row 2. ch 3 (counts as dc) 2dc in same st, 4dc, dc3tog, dc3tog, 4dc, 3dc in next st, *3dc in next st, 4dc, dc3tog, dc3tog, 4dc, 3dc in next st* repeat from * to * along row. The last 3dc should be made in the top of the first tr from row 1.
Row 3 onwards. Repeat row 2. The last 3dc of the row should be made in the top of the ch-3 from the previous row.
Top row. This row should be made on an odd numbered row, so that it is right-side-facing. (Otherwise the reverse of the slip stitches will look a little strange).
*2sl st, 1sc, 1hdc, 3dc, tr2tog, tr2tog, 3dc, 1hdc, 1sc, 2sl st* repeat from * to * along row.

And that's about it.

Happy crocheting, lovely peeps.

Sarah xx


Saturday, 3 January 2015

Crochet with twine


The Mister had some useful presents for Christmas, including a ball of jute garden twine.
It would have been perfect for tying in plants and other gardenly tasks, but I had other ideas.

Involving crochet.
Obviously.


So here's a super-easy little pattern to make a mini flower pot holder. I made two, cos I had two little plants. One of them has some lengths of twine attached so that it can hang at a window. 

(Lots of people have asked whether the twine hurt my hands to work with and the simple answer is no. I made sure that I kept my tension fairly loose and to be honest, these are such a quick project, I didn't notice any discomfort.)

You will need:
I used:
1 ball of jute garden twine
2 x mini flower pots, measuring approx 4cm across base x 5cm tall
5.5mm hook
Stitch marker

[This pattern is written in UK terms. US equivalents are given below]

UK double crochet = US single crochet

Abbreviations:
dc = double crochet
sts = stitches
BLO = back loops only

Pattern:
This pattern is worked in a continuous spiral of stitches, starting at the bottom of the potholder. Use your stitch marker to mark the first stitch of every round, or you'll get in a pickle.

6dc in magic ring, OR ch2, 2dc in 2nd ch from hook.
Rnd 1: 2dc in each st (12 sts)
Rnd 2: (dc1, 2dc in next st) repeat around (18)
Rnd 3: dc 18 in BLO
Rnd 4: dc 18
Rnd 5: (dc 2, 2dc in next st) repeat around (24)
Rnds 6-8: dc 24

Rnd 9: Reverse dc / Crab Stitch edging (24)
(You can always just do an extra round of regular dc if you like)

To make the reverse dc/crab stitch, first chain 1. You are now going to work backwards, from left to right. Insert your hook into the 3rd stitch from your hook, from front to back. (You could try inserting into the 2nd st from your hook, but I found the 3rd easier)



Yarn over and pull through a loop (it all looks a bit weird at first, but bear with..)


Yarn over and pull through all loops. Stitch made.


Now have faith, and keep going. You'll soon get the hang of it and will be making a fabulous edge for your pot holder. 


Once you get back to the beginning of the round, fasten off and weave in ends.

If you want to make a hanging potholder, then cut three lengths of twine to your liking (mine measured about 30 cm) and knot them, evenly spaced to the inside of your potholder.



Job's a goodun'.

Now raid the shed, find the twine and get yourself a hook..

(Oh, and if the Mister comes a-looking for something to tie up the peonies, I'm keeping quiet.)

Enjoy making,

Sarah xx






Saturday, 29 November 2014

The one with the crochet balls

So I found a couple of polystyrene balls which I've had in a box for yeeeears and I decided to do something festive with them.


I was thinking along the lines of homemade Christmas baubles for the kids' teachers, but actually, these would look great displayed in a big bowl too. 



The first ball is made using good old double crochet in continuous rounds. A few increases and decreases help create the shaping- you'll need to use a stitch marker so you know where the beginning of each round is. 

The second uses joined rounds and a few different stitches and techniques, but is just as simple to make.



Fancy making one, or two? 
Then here's what to do...

(Oh and BTW if you're quick, you can still use the fab 10% discount code, ABXMAS off RICO Creative Cotton from Black Sheep Wools. It's valid until 2nd December 2014...)

I used:
2 x 70mm polystyrene balls (if you haven't got these, then you could try stuffing them firmly with toy filling instead),
Odds and ends of Rico Creative Cotton Aran from my stash: Red (05), Orange (74), Light Green (40), Light Yellow (63), Turquoise (36), Candy Pink (64), Fuschia (13)
4mm hook,
Stitch marker
Ribbon for hanging loop.

[This pattern is written in UK terms. US equivalents are given below]

UK double crochet = US single crochet
UK treble crochet = US double crochet

Abbreviations:
ch = chain
sl st = slip stitch 
dc = double crochet
dc2tog = double crochet two together*
sts = stitches
* how to make the dc2tog stitch using the invisible decrease method:
Insert hook into the front loop of the first stitch.
Insert hook into the front loop of the second stitch (2 loops on hook).
Yarn over and pull yarn through the first two loops (2 loops on hook).
Yarn over and pull through both loops.


Striped Ball
Worked in continuous rounds.


I changed colour every round. You'll find that this isn't at the beginning of the round where stated in the pattern, so use a stitch marker and you won't lose your place.
To make the colour change, work the last dc until you have 2 loops on your hook. Yarn over in the new colour and complete the stitch. Make the next stitch a slip stitch (not too tight as you'll need to work into it on the next round) and continue for a few more stitches. Knot the ends of your old and new yarn together and you're done! (And there's no need to weave in your ends- they'll be on the inside, so won't show.)

Work in the following colours: Orange, Candy Pink (from Rnd 2), Fushcia, Yellow, Fuschia, Turquoise, Green, Yellow, Red, Turquoise, Orange, Fuschia, Green, Turquoise, Yellow, Candy Pink, Red, Yellow, Fuschia, Green, Orange.

6dc in magic ring, OR ch2, 2dc in 2nd ch from hook.
Rnd 1: 2dc in each st (12 sts)
Rnd 22dc in each st (24)
Rnd 3: (dc 2, 2dc in next st) repeat around (32)
Rnd 4: dc 32
Rnd 5: (dc 3, 2dc in next st) repeat around (40)
Rnds 6-15: dc 40
Rnd 16: (dc 3, dc2tog) repeat around (32)
Insert polystyrene ball and continue to crochet around it

Rnds 17-18: dc32
Rnd 19(dc 2, dc2tog) repeat around (24)
Rnd 20(dc 1, dc2tog) repeat around (16)
Rnd 21: dc 16
Rnd 22: dc2tog around (8)

Sew closed. Add hanging loop.

Star Ball
Worked in joined rounds



Change colour every round in the following order:
Turquoise, Fushcia, Yellow, Green, Red, Yellow, Turquoise, Candy Pink, Fuschia, Green, Orange, Yellow.

You'll need to know a few extra stitches here, in addition to the ones above:
tr = treble crochet
sk st = skip stitch
beg tr cl = beginning treble cluster*
tr cl = cluster**

* to make the beginning treble cluster stitch:
Chain 2, then make 2 trebles, leaving the last part of each tr unworked (3 loops on hook). Yarn over hook and draw through all 3 loops.

** to make the treble cluster stitch:
Make 3 trebles, leaving the last part of each tr unworked (4 loops on hook). Yarn over hook and draw through all 4 loops.

Begin with a magic ring OR, chain 4 and join with a sl st to make a ring.
Rnd 1: beg tr cl, ch 3, (tr cl, ch 3 repeat x 4) into ring [you should have a 5-pointed star shape] join with a sl st to top of ch 2. (25 sts)
Rnd 2: ch 1, (dc 3, ch 2 in each ch-3 space around) join with a sl st to first dc. (25)
Rnd 3: ch 1 (dc 3 then dc 2 in each ch-2 space around), join with a sl st to first dc. (25)
Rnd 4: ch 3 (counts as tr), 2tr in next st, (tr 1 in next st, 2tr in next st around), 2tr in last st, join with a sl st to top of ch 3. (38)
Rnd 5: ch 3 (counts as tr), tr 1 in same st, sk st, (2tr in next st, sk st around) join with a sl st to top of ch 3. (38)
Rnds 6-7ch 3 (counts as tr), tr 1 in space between 2tr sts, (2tr in each space between 2tr sts around) join with a sl st to top of ch 3. (38) 
Insert polystyrene ball and continue to crochet around it.

Rnds 8-9: ch 1, (dc 1, ch 1 in space between 2tr sts around) join with a sl st to the first dc (38)
Rnds 10-11: ch 3 (counts as tr), tr 1 in each ch-1 space around, join with a sl st to the top of ch 3. (19)
Rnd 12: ch 1, dc2tog around, dc 1 in last st (10)

Sew closed.

And that's about it.


Enjoy making and have a fab week,

Sarah x


Wednesday, 12 November 2014

A BIG Crocheted Christmas tree (Free pattern)

'Could you design us a large, free-standing, crocheted Christmas tree?' the lovely Lesley from Black Sheep Wools asked me.


Yep. 
Sure can.




I used one of my favourite yarns, Rico Creative Cotton Aran, as the colours are bright and it's sturdy stuff.


If you'd like to make yourself a large, free-standing, crocheted Christmas tree, then head on over to Black Sheep Wools, where you'll find the FREE pattern (yes, free- it IS Christmas, after all) AND there's a jolly super 10% discount code to use on Rico Creative Cotton Aran if you use the code 'ABXMAS'. It's valid until the 2nd December, too.


Have fun making and do show me if you make one- I love to see what you've been up to!


Happy Wednesday, everyone.

Sarah xx


Saturday, 1 November 2014

Beginner's Guide to Crochet



So here it is.

It's been a long time in the planning and making and now my book is available to pre-order worldwide (from here and lots of other wonderful retailers) and is due for release in April.
Perfect for complete beginners and experienced crocheters alike, it includes twenty new projects to keep your hook busy. 
(And might I add, it's a rather big book, being some 120- odd pages long, so good value for money, too.)

Here's a reminder of some of the projects in progress:


Oooo, something using Moss stitch.

Bertie Bear. What a cutie.

Granny stripes and pompom trim? Could it get any better?

Yes it could. Humungous pompoms.

And a humungous project using mahooooosive yarn.
Traditional Grannies too.

And sweet little hearts.

Here's the official blurb:

You want to learn crochet, but have no idea where to start? You would love to set to work on some gorgeous yarny creations, but find patterns and charts confusing and scary? Then let author Sarah Shrimpton guide you through the basics, with this book you'll learn to crochet and complete your first project in just one day! 

To top this, did you know there are actually only a handful of stitches you need to learn to be competent at this super-yarny craft? It’s what you do with them that can create something as simple as a dishcloth or as complicated as a teddy bear. 

Beginner’s Guide to Crochet comprehensively teaches all the basic crochet techniques, skills and stitches to get you started. Each new technique is explained with accompanying photographs and diagrams and is followed directly with a project utilizing those skills. Later projects combine several techniques and stitches helping you to develop your skill set and tackle more complicated projects.

There are 20 modern projects, plus a section dedicated to 'extreme crochet', using t-shirt yarn to create larger-than-life crocheted creations. The author's chatty, informal style will take you on on your journey from newbie to fully-fledged crocheter in no time. 

Before you know it you'll be crocheting everything from scarves and hats to the obligatory granny blanket with ease, and making fantastic homemade presents for friends and family.

With crochet becoming incredibly popular, newbie crocheters are increasingly looking for entry-level content that contains all the basic stitches alongside attractive, accessible projects.  

The 20 projects include a cafetiere cosy, trellis scarf, teddy bear, a tablet cosy and of course, no crochet book would be complete without the staple granny blanket. Plus a section dedicated to 'extreme crochet', using t-shirt yarn to create larger-than-life crocheted creations. There is a distinctly modern feel to the projects and the author's chatty, informal style takes readers' on their journey from newbie to fully-fledged crocheter with ease. 



It's all rather exciting, really!
I hope you like it.

Happy weekend to you all,
Sarah x