Celtic Napkin Ring pattern

The light has been very bad lately, with the odd bits of brightness at inconvenient moments, or I would have shown you my blanket at the half way point. So finding a little bit of better light I quickly took the photographs for this tutorial.

I used DK (US worsted weight) cotton and a 3.5mm hook. If you crochet loosely you may need a smaller one.

You need to crochet all stitches into the back loop of the the chain so both edges look the same on the right side. (One such loop is shown in black below).Back loop of chain

To start make 50 chain and then make the first treble (US – dc) into the back of the fourth chain from the hook.

After the 50 chain the pattern is

4 tr, 5tr tog, 9tr, 5tr into 1ch, 9tr, 5tr tog, 9tr, 5tr into 1ch, 4tr.

US version

4 dc, 5dc tog, 9dc, 5dc into 1ch, 9dc, 5dc tog, 9dc, 5dc into 1ch, 4dc.

Make four pieces as above in four different colours. Four strips For the tutorial part of this post I used the same colours as I used originally. If you want to use different colours you might find it helpful to copy what I have written and replace my colour names with yours.

The first thing to do is to join the red piece in a ring. Red strip joined All the joins will be hidden but it is only 3 trs (US-dcs) that will be hidden so it is best if you finish the ends up and down the trs (US-dcs) rather than along the edges.

I hope it will be possible for me only use the term treble from now on and for US readers to understand that to them it means the dcs.

Now you thread the blue piece through. You need to secure this in place at each overlap or underlap, as you go, unless you are very deft with your hands.

I have found small safety pins work better that dressmaking pins though if you didn’t have a lot of safety pins you could stitch each overlap with a piece of contrasting thread that you remove later.

The blue starts by overlapping the red just to the right of one of the upper points. This overlap consists of the three trs next to the corner 5tr into 1ch. Pin or secure this overlap. First blue overlap Now align the blue strip along the side of the red one passing under the red this time just next to the corner and secure. First blue underlap Continue along the side of red strip going over the next time then under the final time and securing each overlap.

Unless you are very unsure this is a good time to join the ends of the blue strip together. If you were being very cautious you should still join the two ends together maybe just with a knotted loop of contrasting thread at each edge.

When I made it the first time I distributed the joins around the circle but here you can see the joins in the red and blue strips as neat as I could make them. Joins will only show on the inside. Red and blue joins Now you add the green strip. Again you start by overlapping the strip after an upper point – the blue one this time – You need only secure the outer overlaps this time.

Again you will go over and under and align the strip against the previous = blue one.

However you will go over blue and then over red, followed by under blue and under red, then over blue and over red, followed by under blue and under red. Green overs and unders Join or secure the ends of the green strip at the back. This time the join will be hidden under the red strip. Green ends join Now thread through the yellow strip. (No need to secure except at the start at the back of the blue strip.)

Start, as before, to the right of one of the upper green points. Secure in place tucking the end treble under the blue strip and pinning at the back. Starting yellow This time you have only to go alternately under and over as you work your way round in a similar manner to before. No more securing needed till the end.

Turn the ring inside out and secure the two yellow ends with the safety pin you started with. Yellow ends secure Now remove all the other pins (or securing threads) before joining the ends of the yellow strip (and any other ends you didn’t connect before).

Now you can make sure that all the interweaving is even and you are done.Finished napkin ringMaking one of these takes me a couple of hours.

Four ways to crochet into a chain

When I started getting back into crochet I had not realized that there was more than one way to crochet into a chain.

I thought it might be interesting to compare all four ways.

To help with visualisation I am using a method I found on someone else’s blog, unfortunately I can’t remember whose it was.

Here is a chain. As you can see each chain consists of three strands. The top strand here coloured red, the bottom strand (as you look at it) coloured blueFront of chainand the strand at the back, coloured black.Back of chainWhen you are starting a crochet piece which will be worked in rows you start by making a chain and then crocheting the first row of stitches into it. There are in fact four ways of doing this.

Method 1

This is the method of crocheting into a chain that I have seen most frequently used in books. You insert your hook under only the top/red strand. This can create more of an obvious loop sometimes but is probably a good way for beginners as it is the easiest way.Method 1

Method 2

An alternative method that I have sometimes seen suggested is to insert the hook under both the top/red strand and the back/black strand. This of course is the same as inserting the hook over the bottom/blue strand. I find this seems to give a firmer start.Method 2

Method 3

This, for a long time, was the way I thought you were supposed to do it because it was the way I found on a tutorial I looked at.

You insert the hook from below (or the front depending on how you see it) under both the blue and red strands. This is most similar to the way that you crochet into stitches on the row below. I like to use this method especially when I slip stitch into the top of the starting chains that are supposed to represent a treble (US – dc) or similar.Method 3

Method 4

This method, which I only discovered recently, has become my favourite in many situations because it means that both the bottom and the top of the crochet piece have the same appearance.

In this method you turn the chain over and insert your hook under the back/black strand. At first this may be harder to see but I have found with practice it is no more difficult than the other ways. And although you are only going under one strand it does give a firm finish.Method 4Here is an uncoloured close up showing how a row of back loops look.Back loopsHere I have crocheted into those back loops. This is showing the starting edge.Starting edgeI hope you found this interesting.

How do you like to crochet into the starting chain?

I have found a problem!

I have always told people who wanted a copy of one of my patterns to cut and paste into a word processor which is what I have done in the past for patterns I may want to make some time in the future because just saving the link can mean that when you come to make it the pattern is not there any more.

BUT

I have now found that WordPress no longer allows the picture part of a post to be copied together with the text.

This is good I suppose with regard to copyright and makes it harder (though not impossible) for people to copy photographs willy nilly to put on Pinterest. I have been disappointed lately to find that Pinterest boards often don’t even give a link to where the picture came from which is annoying both because of a lack of acknowledgement and because if you find the picture in a Google search you cannot find where it came from.

Because the photographs can no longer be copied easily with the text I have downloaded ‘Open Office’ ‘Writer’ so I can create pdf files.

I have kept copies of many of my patterns in ‘Word’ by the cut and paste method before this was an issue and will be able to use them to easily make pdf files.

However I do not have copies of the tutorials and some of the patterns though I have kept copies of all the photographs I uploaded to each post.

It is not possible to make a copy of a post with photographs even in the editor.

So making the pdfs will take a while to complete and I am not sure if I will make any of the tutorials into pdf files because of the time necessary.

No photos in this post! Just for information.

If anyone thinks I am mistaken or knows an easy way to copy posts please let me know.

Making a snowflake cloth

Plan for rainbow snowflake spiral cloth as in photograph is at the bottom of the post.

Because there is a woman in my craft group whom I have been teaching how to make the snowflakes that I used for my spiral rainbow clothRainbow spiral clothas well as how to join the snowflakes together. I thought that I would put together a couple of tutorials. One on making the snowflake and another on joining two and then three snowflakes, just in case they would be of use to anyone else.

The woman in question wants to make a top for her daughter but the snowflakes could be used for anything really.

I joined them in a rainbow spiral but it is worth mentioning that the snowflakes look good when different coloured ones are next to each other.

For this three colours are both necessary and sufficient as in this diagram.3 colour hexagonsI have used the colours as I used for the tutorial, simply as they contrast well.

The original pattern is found in this post – https://rainbowjunkiecorner.wordpress.com/2014/01/23/snowflake-bookmark-pattern/

and the full tutorial – HERE

The tutorial for joining the snowflakes is HERE

I will eventually add these to the tutorials in the menu.

I originally gave a chart for how to join two snowflakes when using them for a bookmark.

Original snowflake bookmark joining chartThis can be enlarged if you click on it.

The stars in this chart represent replacing the central chain of the joining loops of the second showflake with a slip stitch into the adjoining loop of the first snowflake.

At the time it seemed the easiest way to show what needed to be done.

But now I have done some new charts.

[Please excuse the fact that as the charts get more complicated I have not always managed to have the slip stitch symbol as near the loop it is worked into as would be ideal.]

The first one shows joining two snowflakes together with slip stitches in the right places.Joining 2 snowflakes chartNote that you work the first four corners and join on the last two. You end with the four dcs. (US – scs) no slip stitch needed. Just sew in ends.

When you have a third snowflake to join this is the chart.Joining 3 snowflakes chartNotice the large blue spot in the centre. That represents a slip stitch worked by inserting the hook into the 7 chain loop of the second (red) snowflake and out of the 7 chain loop of the first (black) snowflake.

For the third snowflake you work three corners before starting the joined corners.If you continue joining snowflakes around the first snowflake you will find when you complete the circle that you have to join four corners. The second and third of these will involve slip stitching into two loops at once as in the chart above.Joining four corners chartThis time obviously, you only work two corners before having to think of joining.

As you can see from the charts, for every sequence of joining snowflakes the first and last loops are un-joined but every loop in between is joined.

I used DK weight (US – worsted weight) cotton and a 4mm hook but any suitable yarn and hook could be used.

If anyone finds any mistakes in the charts or tutorials or photographs please let me know as I know I made many mistakes along the way but think I have now corrected them.

Here is the plan I made for the rainbow spiral cloth.

Rainbow spiral cloth plan
This will enlarge if you click on it

For the edging I slip stiched into the loops at the points of the snowflakes and worked 3ch loops between adjacent loops and 5ch loops between corners.

Confession time! and a ‘Thank You’

Recently I didn’t have anything at a suitable point to take to the ‘Crafty Coffee’ morning so I decided I would take a copy of my Christmas bauble pattern and some #10 crochet cotton and start making some more crochet baubles for that special time of year.

Original bauble

However as I followed the pattern – shock horror! – there was a mistake. On row 3 the pattern said to repeat five times when it should have been eleven and this mistake was repeated on the following rows.

I have now corrected this but if anyone tried the pattern and got totally confused I apologise.

I will include here a few extra suggestions for anyone who wants to make some baubles based on my recent experience.

The original bauble was made to fit over a ball I begged off my daughter.

Ball covered with cling film

But since my original attempt at covering the ball with vaseline had made it go soft, I decided to buy some polystyrene balls from Hobbycraft as this way I could stiffen a few at once and have a better ball. The size I thought was closest to the original was 70mm.

Polystyrene balls

Having made a new bauble this time in red, I covered the ball with cling film as before. This time I decided that I would stiffen both halves at one to make an even join. And to ensure that I knew where the  halves fitted I used a bit of old fuse wire to hold them together. (This was a little hard to remove at the end as it had stuck firm so I broke the wire.)

Fuse wire joining

I also sewed a piece of thread round the joining edges to keep them close together, to help them fit closely.

Halves sewn together

I remove this at the end before sticking the two halves together with polystyrene glue. [I need a new tube my present glue has gone a bit thick.]

Comparison of baubles

I had to stretch the crochet more to fit this size ball which is obviously a little larger than the one I used before, as you can see, but I think it makes for a better bauble.

Finished red bauble

End of apology!

However on a brighter note Lisa Victoria from yarnchick40  has just made a very pretty crochet hook case from my pattern – http://yarnchic40.wordpress.com/2014/09/05/crochet-hooker-storage/ so at least that one works and I have seen crochet crosses and granny ripple blankets made from my patterns on Ravelry so at least some of my patterns work.

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I also want to thank say a big THANK YOU to Marianne of maRRose CCC who sent me this bracelet as part of her recent giveaway. Her’s is a blog I follow as she makes lots of lovely colourful things.

Gift

 I just love the flower beads and the colours are my favourite ones – so pretty and dainty.

Here I am wearing it.

Wearing bracelet

Tutorials and Patterns

I have decided to add my picture tutorials as a separate item on the top menu divided by the categories of crochet and knitting. Thus:-

Crochet

Crochet Tutorial pictures

and Knitting

Knitting Tutorial pictures

There is obviously some overlap with my patterns but some are minor tecniques and some are separate pages that have been abstracted from an earlier post.

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I have also decided to create picture links for all my patterns and so I have removed the lists and just made two pages, one for crochet patterns  and one for knitted ones.

They look like this:-

Crochet

Crochet Pattern pictures

and Knitting

Knitting Pattern pictures

I thought this would make it easier for people to see if anything interested them.

 

African Violet tutorial

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Patterns now available as a pdf – African Violets

If you use this tutorial any feedback would be gratefully received. If you had a photograph I would include it in a future post.

Here is how I made my African Violets. The great thing about this is that we don’t need to be perfect. We are trying to copy nature and nature is never perfect.

When I follow someone else’s pattern I often adapt it to my preferred way of working, so feel free to adapt this to suit yourself and the sort of African violet display you wish to create.

The first thing to do is to find a suitable thing to use as a plant pot.

For this tutorial I am using a 3.5″ – 9cm plastic plant pot but you could also cut down a 500g yogurt pot and decorate it, as it is a similar size. Otherwise you could use a pot or similar container of any suitable size.

You will need to fill the pot with scrunched up kitchen paper or similar with a flatish top as I did in my other pots.

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I am going to start by describing making the brown circle that the leaves and flowers are attached to. Very little of this will be visible so no special care needs to be taken in its making.

I start with a magic loop and not to overload the tutorial, I have written a Magic Loop tutorial that takes you through the process of working the first dc (US – sc) for those who might be interested. – You can find the LINK HERE.

I am using UK terms throughout.

FOR THOSE WHO LIKE SUCH THINGS – There are charts for the leaves and flower and short patterns right at the end. AND there is a US version of the short patterns at the very end.

I think that once you get into it you should be able to make the whole project in no more than four to six hours.

Making the brown circle

I now have an improved pattern for working a ‘perfect circle’ – https://rainbowjunkiecorner.wordpress.com/2016/04/18/how-to-crochet-a-perfect-circle/

In this post I worked the circle with a 4.5mm hook, a 3.5mm hook at my sort of tension was a bit small though a 4mm hook was okay. Working an extra row was too much even with the 3.5 hook so I would suggest eight rows with a 4mm hook for most people or a 4.5mm if you crochet a bit tight like me.

Use the above for the increases in each round and you will get a circle not an octagon!

Tutorial valid from HERE

This is worked with dark brown DK yarn and a 4mm hook.

Work 8 dcs into a magic loop.

8browndc

Then pull the loop tight and working in a spiral and starting in the first dc.

0267-dcintodc

Work 2dcs into each of the first eight dcs.

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Note the eight holes. This will be important later.

To HERE – I may redo the rest at some point!

Continuing in a spiral and working into every dc, increase eight times in every round .

Next round: Working into each dc – work  2dc into first dc then 1dc – repeat eight times

Following round: Work 2dc into first dc then 1dc, 1dc, – repeat eight times

Can you see a pattern here?

You can either count or if you prefer to look you will see that the increases are always into the first of the two increase dcs on the previous round.

0267-increases

 

What you create is more of an octagon than a circle and the increases are at the points.

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Continue until the circle fits neatly into the pot. It doesn’t matter if it is not quite flat but it needs to fit on top of the paper (or other filler) near the top of the pot.

[My last round was (2dc, 1dc,1dc, 1dc, 1dc, 1dc) x 8.]

Finish off the loose ends.

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Next: let’s make the leaves. We make four each in three sizes.

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Use dark green DK yarn and different size hooks as indicated. Leave good long tails for sewing in.

Small Leaf

This is worked with a 3.5mm hook and mine came out about 1.5″ without the stem.

You want to make the sort of slip knot that will close easily if you pull the tail. [Tail here extra short so you can recognise it.]

0267-slipknot

Start by making 7ch and work 1tr into the back loop only of 3rd ch from the hook and another similarly in the next chain

0267-2trsworked

Then a dtr into the following two chs.

0267-2trs&2dtrs

You will now be back to the first loop.

We will work three stitches into this. Two before the knot – a dtr and trtr.

0267-dtr&trtrinloop

and one after – a dtr.

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Then work back along the chain working into the other side of the loops in reverse. (dtr, dtr, tr, tr). Finish with 2ch then insert hook behind 2ch opposite

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and make a slp stitch into the loop.

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Complete by working 4ch to make a stem.

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Leave a long tail

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Pull the slip knot tight and sew in the yarn up the back of the leaf so it does not show at the front.

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and then down again.

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This gives a good spine to the leaf.

The leaf may need to be pulled into shape but it is meant to be curved.

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Make three more.

Medium leaf

This is worked with a 4mm hook. (Mine was about 1.7″ without the stem.)

It is worked in the same way as above, except that five stitches are worked into the loop at the start of the yarn instead of three.

These are dtr, dtr, trtr before the knot and dtr, dtr after.

0267-mediumleafchange

At the end there are five chain for a stem.

Make four of these

Large leaf

This is exactly the same as the medium leaf but worked with a 4.5mm hook. (About 1.9″)

Make four.

Now the flowers. We will join them all together at the end.

I made six flowers.

Flowers

For the tutorial I made these with a 4mm hook because I couldn’t remember what I had used originally.

I think that I probably made the first, dark purple ones, with a 3.5mm hook and this makes them easier to space out. However African Violet flowers come in a variety of colours and sizes so choose what you prefer – experiment!

I made the original flowers in three different colours.

0265-threeflowers

For the tutorial I chose to use the lighter violet as I thought it would be easier to see the stitches.

So choose your preferred colour in a DK yarn and preferred hook size and get started.

There are only two rounds.

They also use the Magic Loop but you work 10dcs for the first round.

For the second round you work 1dc into the first dc at the start0267-startpetals

and then 3ch

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a 2tr cluster into the next dc.

Here is how to work the 2tr cluster for those who would like some pictures.

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1) Yarn round hook insert in stitch. 2) Loop pulled through. 3) Yarn pulled through two loops – two loops on hook, yarn round hook ready for next part.

4) Insert hook in same stitch and pull through loop (4 loops on hook). 5) Pull yarn through two loops. 6) Pull yarn through remaining three loops.

After another 3ch and 1dc into next stitch this gives the first petal.

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You alternate between 1dc and (3ch, 2tr cluster into next dc, 3ch) all round the circle, ending with a slip stitch into the start.

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Leave a good long tail. You have a flower with five petals. Turn it over.

Sew the tail into the back of the flower0267-movetail

so it comes out opposite the starting tail.

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Pull the starting tail to close the circle up as much as you can.

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Make five more flowers or as many as you want.

Now we make the yellow centre for the flowers. The picture below will enlarge in case you need a closer look.

I used yellow #10 crochet cotton for these but you could use DK yarn if you split it and use just one strand or maybe split a DK strand of cotton yarn rather than buy a whole ball you don’t need for anything else.

I start with 5ch. Two to hold onto and three for a picot.

Insert your hook into the third chain from the hook (as in first picture below) and make a slip stitch – One picot. Another three chain and slip stich into third chain from hook as before;  repeat twice more. Four picots. (Second picture.)0267-makingcentre

Finish off the yarn leaving a long tail and thread the tail through the chain just before the first picot. (Third picture.)

Then thread the same end through the midle of the four picots from below. (Fourth picture.)

Finish off by threading back through the chain next to the picots (no picture) and pull tight. One centre made.

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Now pull the ends through the centre of the flower

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and sew firmly in place with three little stitches at the back and trim ends of yellow cotton or yarn. They won’t be seen.

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Here is how the flower looks with crochet cotton centre and one strand acrylic yarn centre.

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Make the same number of centres as flowers and sew in place.

Now we are ready to put it all together

Remember those eight hole I showed you at the beginning? Well you want to thread the stems of the four large and four medium leaves through these.

I used this picture to decide how to choose which size leaf to put in each hole.

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Although the leaves are all the same colour, I have used dark green to represent the large leaves, medium green for the medium leaves and pale green for the small ones.

Pin the leaves in place allowing them to extend beyond the edge of the brown circle. (Make sure they are all right side up.) It is probably best not to let them extend by more than half their length. Make them all a bit different. Sew them in place from below with a small stitch at the base of the leaf (as shown by the light purple yarn in the picture) using the long tails and secure the ends with a couple of small stitches and trim.

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(I have used red pins for the large leaves and yellow ones for the medium.)

The stiches below won’t be seen so we don’t have to aim for invisibility.

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Now we thread the four small leaves through the central hole.

Pin in place, not extending further than the other leaves (refer to the chart) and sew in place using the long tails as with the other leaves. I think one of them on the photograph may be the wrong way up. I had to adjust later 🙂  ) So do check carefully.

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Now we are ready for the flowers.

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Start with one in the middle and thread the two tails through as in this picture.

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It is best to avoid sewing through the leaves.

Tie the two ends together with a double knot on the other side.

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If you aren’t sure of placement don’t trim the ends till later.

Then add the other flowers in an irregular manner so it looks natural.

Tweak the leaves so they are convex (although real plants have concave ones as well) and ruffle the petals – especially if you have made larger flowers.

Which gives you –

 

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“Here’s one I made earlier!” – or three!

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Chart and patterns

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Brown circle

DK yarn and 3.5mm hook

Start with a magic loop

Working in spiral and working into each stitch

Rounds

  1. 8dc
  2. 2dc in each dc – (16 dcs)
  3. (2dc, dc) x 8 – (24 dcs)
  4. (2dc dc, dc,) x 8 – (32 dcs)
  5. (2dc, dc, dc, dc) x 8 – (40 dcs)
  6. (2dc, dc, dc, dc, dc) x 8 – (48 dcs)
  7. (2dc, dc, dc, dc, dc, dc) x 8 – (56 dcs)

Continue in this pattern or finish earlier till circle fills top of pot.

Leaves

Small Leaf – make 4

Dark green DK yarn and 3.5mm hook

start with slip knot that can be closed by pulling starting tail.

Ch 7

working into back loops only

Tr into 3rd ch from hook, tr into next, dtr into next, dtr into next.

Dtr and trtr into centre of chain at start then dtr in same chain after knot.

Work into other side of loops in reverse to start, dtr, dtr, tr, tr, 2ch.

Slip stitch into loop made by 2ch at start, pull tight.

4ch for stem. Leave long tail for sewing leaf in place later.

Pull slip knot tight. Sew starting tail at back of leaf up one side of the centre and back down the other side to strengthen spine.

Medium Leaf – make 4

As small leaf but use 4mm hook and work 2dtr, trtr, 2dtr, into chain at start instead of dtr, trtr, dtr. Make 5ch instead of 4ch for stem.

Large Leaf – make 4

As medium leaf but use 4.5mm hook

Flower – make 6

Start with a magic loop

10dc into loop

Then working into each stitch

(1dc, 3ch, 2tr cluster, 3ch) x5

Leave long tail and sew into back of flower so end is near centre opposite to starting tail. Pull starting tail tight.

Flower centre – make 6

Using yellow #10 cotton ( or whatever you have that is similar) and 1.5mm hook

Chain 5, ss into 3rd ch from hook (1 picot),

3ch, ss into 3rd ch from hook (2nd picot),

3ch, ss into 3rd ch from hook (3rd picot),

3ch, ss into 3rd ch from hook (4th picot).

Finish off.

Thread tail through chain before first picot then from below in gap between second and third picots then back through chain before first picot. Pull picots together with tail.

Insert centre through middle of flower and secure ends at back of flower.

Refer to tutorial above for advice on putting component parts together

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US version of pattern

Brown circle

Worsted weight yarn and 3.5mm hook

Start with a magic loop

Working in spiral and working into each stitch

Rounds

  1. 8sc
  2. 2sc in each sc – (16 scs)
  3. (2sc, sc) x 8 – (24 scs)
  4. (2sc sc, sc,) x 8 – (32 scs)
  5. (2sc, sc, sc, sc) x 8 – (40 scs)
  6. (2sc, sc, sc, sc, sc) x 8 – (48 scs)
  7. (2sc, sc, sc, sc, sc, sc) x 8 – (56 scs)

Continue in this pattern or finish earlier till circle fills top of pot.

Leaves

Small Leaf – make 4

Dark green worsted weight yarn and 3.5mm hook

start with slip knot that can be closed by pulling starting tail.

Ch 7

working into back loops only

Dc into 3rd ch from hook, dc into next, tr into next, tr into next.

Tr and dtr into centre of chain at start then tr in same chain after knot.

Work into other side of loops in reverse to start, tr, tr, dc, dc, 2ch.

Slip stitch into loop made by 2ch at start, pull tight.

4ch for stem. Leave long tail for sewing leaf in place later.

Pull slip knot tight. Sew starting tail at back of leaf up one side of the centre and back down the other side to strengthen spine.

Medium Leaf – make 4

As small leaf but use 4mm hook and work 2tr, dtr, 2tr, into chain at start instead of tr, dtr, tr. Make 5ch instead of 4ch for stem.

Large Leaf – make 4

As medium leaf but use 4.5mm hook

Flower – make 6

Start with a magic loop

10sc into loop

Then working into each stitch

(1sc, 3ch, 2dc cluster, 3ch) x5

Leave long tail and sew into back of flower so end is near centre opposite to starting tail. Pull starting tail tight.

Flower centre – make 6

Using yellow #10 cotton ( or whatever you have that is similar) and 1.5mm hook

Chain 5, ss into 3rd ch from hook (1 picot),

3ch, ss into 3rd ch from hook (2nd picot),

3ch, ss into 3rd ch from hook (3rd picot),

3ch, ss into 3rd ch from hook (4th picot).

Finish off.

Thread tail through chain before first picot then from below in gap between second and third picots then back through chain before first picot. Pull picots together with tail.

Insert centre through middle of flower and secure ends at back of flower.

Refer to tutorial above for advice on putting component parts together

May Montage

In May I showed you the ‘sock savers’ I had made to protect my hand knitted socks from damage when not wearing shoes and the way I make spagetti and a couple of salads to have with it.

I finished the colourful cowl I was making by request and shared this and some other things when they were ‘works in progress’.

I also showed you the photographs I had managed to take of a rainbow I had seen through my bedroom window.

I gave you a peak at the socks and blanket I have made as part of my birthday doll project. (Full reveal on Monday.) I also included a mini-tutorial on my method of making a standing treble stitch.

And last of all I showed you all the lovely new yarn I have just bought

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A Quickie Blanket

This as you may guess is another part of my knitted doll birthday present project. It is almost 18″ (45cm) per side.

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However it is a much quicker way of making a blanket than my previous ones as I only started on Thursday evening and finished it Sunday afternoon. Which means I could probably make a full sized blanket in about half the time I normally take.

As it is for my grandson I decided to just have a simple dc edging.

In a way this is a style of blanket I have been wanting to make for the last two years.

Around the time I started my blog I found someone who was selling granny baby blankets with repeating sequences of colours and I thought about what colours and patterning I would choose if I made something similar and I came up with this

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and put it in my sampler pile. So I am very pleased to have finally made the blanket even if it is a small version.

Another thing that pleased me was that having read somewhere that there was a way of starting a row with a treble (US dc) instead of three chain when beginning a new colour, I worked out how to do it and it worked perfectly.

I like to start my rows in the middle of a corner. So in the picture below the three trebles to the left of centre are the first granny group of the row. I think you can see, especially on the white, that the first stitch of the group is a treble and not three chain.

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Looking on the internet today there seem to be a variety of ways of doing it (I have just found two) but my way is slightly different.

One way is to start with a slip knit on your hook. That was my first idea but I found that it left you with a knot and was not necessary.

You start by folding the new yarn over the hook. (Obviously this is described as for a right handed person.)

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Then you fold the tail under to the left and over to the right as in this picture.

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Then pull tight and place the twist on the far side of the hook a little way from the end.

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From now on you press your right forefinger tightly against the twist to hold it in place.

Pick up a loop of thread and insert the hook in the work, as usual.

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Draw through a loop, as usual.

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Then draw more yarn through the first two loops (again as usual). This is the point to press really tightly on the twist and not lose your nerve as the stitch seems to stretch out.

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You now need to change your hold to your left hand as you pick up the a new loop of yarn ready to pull through the last two loops on the hook.

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Pull the picked up yarn through the last two loops and there you are

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Pull gently on the tail to take up any slack and you can continue with the rest of the row.

This means that your starting and finishing tails are on the same level which I quite like.

January Montage

Having spent the last few months doing a lot of crochet items, this month, as you can see, I picked up my knitting needles again.

In January I showed you a super chunky scarf I had made as a Christmas present and something I received myself from Pretty Little Things in a Box. I also showed you what I sent her as a thank you – the bookmark and threads. Later I also shared the pattern for the bookmark with charts (which didn’t seem to fit well into the montage).

I made a tasty winter pudding with mincemeat as well as a crochet cushion using up the scraps from my spectrum granny ripple blanket.

I acquired some extra projects: a cowl for someone I know, a new pattern dishcloth and repairing my beaded knitted slipper which had worn through under the toe.

Finally while making some new socks I put together a tutorial on knitting wrapped stitches when making toe-up socks.

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Next month: at least one sock should be finished and I start a new blanket.