Friday, 30 September 2016

Quick interlude of other pieces of crochet: pineapples and bootees

 Just as a little diversion from the throw crochet-along pattern devising and crocheting of squares for my daughter I started a little bolero from a free pattern on Ravelry that I came across in printed format when I was tidying my workroom last week. It's called From the Middle Bolero by Patons and here is the link:

I must admit to not even reading the instructions as I loved the look of the back and the diagram showed me what to do to make the back so I got stuck in with some Texere pure linen yarn on a cone, I think it's 4 ply or DK, and a 3 mm hook and got started!

It was such fun I do like a pineapple design and have made a few shawls using pineapples, but I really also liked the spreading diagonal groups of shells in this pattern and how they radiate outwards.

I read the comments on Ravelry from all the people who had made it and printed off a few of their photos of blocked front and back and sleeve pieces to see how it would all work together.
There was no diagram for the sleeve and as I was working without checking the gauge I could not work the fronts from the pattern diagram, I had a feeling my gauge or tension was working out a lot larger than in the Patons pattern.

This is how every piece except the back panel starts- radiating shells from a 4 chain....
It is the first time I have crocheted with pure linen and it's tricky but a joy. It feels so cool like crocheting with paper?  It has a lovely sheen and although very splitty and consisting of 11 very fine strands if held and twisted as you go it crochets beautifully most of the time.
And of course it irons out like a dream with fabulous stitch definition.

Here I am working on the left and right fronts which are actually simply worked identically...

I unpicked the side extensions which were 4 groups of shells for 3 rows and changed it to 5 groups of shells for 2 rows as this would fit so much better to the front pieces.

I also added a neckline shaping as I did not want a high straight neckline sitting on the back of my neck, so I added two more rows to each shoulder and tapered it in slightly with a half shell on the first of those rows to create a curved back neckline. See above.
 Side extensions changed.
 Fronts in full.
 With sizes so you can compare so much better if the yarn and gauge you have differs.
The tape measure is in cm.

The neatly stepped front neckline, which looks very nice on.
After finishing both fronts last night I tacked it all together as I was dying to see how the fit was going to be. I had tried with one front but it did not give a clear view as I was holding up one shoulder and it skewed the view. Having guessed at the repeats needed and also having recently made a few garments always overestimating size and making them too large for me I wanted to see if I could get it more closely fitted for once.
Lovely fit at the front, neckline depth just right and edges meet neatly , not too much spare. But also not too tight.
The side views show the problem, my bust!  The armhole looks too big and awkward?!
I do not want a huge floppy sleeve that low, do I?
The back view is looking very nice indeed.

The length is longer than I wanted, at just below my natural waist , when I wanted it just above, but still I do like this.
To make the armhole smaller I made 2 small triangles to sew into that large armhole gap that was seen in both side view photos.

This has worked a treat but now I will have to re-think the way the sleeve fits into the design...

Meanwhile here are some bootees I quickly ran up for a baby girl..

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

BUS AT CAL- SQUARE 10: Central square , Star or Circle Clock Square.

Bath University Sampler Aran Throw   Crochet-Along

BUS AT CAL- Square 10 - the CENTRAL square : a STAR or Circle CLOCK square.

As initially drawn on the plan - this can be seen on the ''plan '' post a few days ago....
I thought of a central square theme with other raised and textures as well as flatter squares radiating out from this one central square.

At first it was going to have a crochet heart applique sewn on, or maybe a star ( onto a plain dc square)  but then I have decided to possibly have a heart at each final corner instead and I wanted a circle that turns into a square for this central , ONCE only square...

Again I have to credit the Crochet Block Bible book mentioned in the square 9 post , but I have amended it to have a closed centre and then changed the outer edge to transform the circle to a square of 17 stitches per edge... I did aim at 18 sts but it needs that central prominent FPTr to have impact and even with 17 sts it is a stretchier square so still fits perfectly with all the others after all.

The central circle was inspired by their block 82 but mine does not have a 4 ch central hole.

The additional learning objective or fun part of this sampler exercise is that THIS square is made from the centre outwards! so it DOES NOT START with a 18 ch!!!

I call it a clock face as it has 12 raised ridges in the placement similar to a regular clock face.

For abbreviations , terminology and yarn/yardage details see plan and square 1 posts please.

Stitches not yet used are:
DTr= Double Treble ( USA = Treble)
TRTr= Triple Treble ( USA= Double Treble)
Tr= Treble ( USA = dc)
ss= slip stitch.

FPTr= front post treble which has been used before and explained in earlier squares. ( USA fpdc)

Row 1:

You need to start with a loop on your 5 mm hook that adjusts in size from the SHORT yarn end.By short yarn end I mean NOT the yarn that runs into your yarn ball but the start, short end bit that gets sewn in at the finish?
OR you can use a magic loop to start and work into.

For those that have their normal crochet loop on the hook that tightens from the short end: ch 4, then make the first ch a bit looser/ larger and work 11 Tr into the first ch , ss into the top of the 4th ch and pull the hole closed by tugging on the short yarn end.( 12 sts)

For those using a magic loop, ch3 then work 11 Tr into the magic loop and pull it closed, then ss into the 3rd ch of the starter 3 ch.( 12 sts)

Row 2: ch 3 , work a FPTr and a Tr into the next Tr, repeat all around until you have 12 FPTr and 11 Tr with one 3ch standing in as a Tr. the raised and non raised TR ALTERNATE neatly around in a circle and the circle is closed with a ss into the top of the  3rd ch at the start.( 24 sts)

Row 3: ch3, * work a FPTr round the first FPTr then work 2 TR into the next Tr **, repeat from * to ** all around and finish with a single FPTr and one Tr as the 3 ch stands in t for the second TR in the earlier sections, ss into top of 3ch to close the circle. ( 36 sts)

Row 4 : ch3, *** work a FPTr round the first FPTr then work 1 Tr into the next Tr and 2 Tr and into the next Tr, then repeat from *** to end with 2 single Tr worked into single stitches after the 12th FPtr as the 3 ch stands in for a Tr. ss into the top of the 3ch. ( 48 sts)

You should now have a circle with 12 raised FPTr and each of these have 3 Trebles lying between them at the outer edge.

Gauge/ TENSION is that this circle is 12 cm across.

Now we convert this circle into a 15 cm square.

Row 5 ( final row) : ch 2 ( equivalent of a HTr and counts as a stitch), working round to the left around the circle I will describe the first quarter which takes you from ''midnight'' on the clock to Nine O Clock, THEN THIS IS REPEATED  to 6 and 3 O' Clock and back up to Midnight or Noon - I.E. 3 MORE TIMES, but omitting the last HTr as this is represented by the 2 ch at the start. OK?

There is a FPTr at each quarter point only in this row: at noon/ midnight, 9, 6 and 3 O 'Clock.

First quarter: from Midnight to Nine O 'Clock.

FPTr round the FPTr which denotes the top central, vertical ridge, work 1 HTr into each of the next 2 sts, work 2 Tr into the next 2 sts, work 2 DTr into the next st, work ( 1TRTr, 2 ch 1TRTr) into the next st - this turns the corner- work 2DTr into the next st, work 1 Tr into each of the next 2 sts, work 1 HTr into each of the next 2 sts, this is where this quarter ends.

the next stitch is the FPTr at 9 O' you now repeat the above 3 more times?

Then at end ss to the 2nd ch of the 2ch which represent a HTr. Fasten off.
Tug/ Block into a square shape.

You  should have 17 sts along each edge 8 running to each corner, including the relevant ch at the corner, and 1 FPTr in the centre of each side.

Sew  in the starter end to ensure the centre is closed and remains thus.

Hooray what a fun circle into a square that was?  Well done!!!

BUS AT CAL Square 9: Meandering ''flat'' bobbles....

Bath University Sampler Aran Throw    Crochet -Along- Square 9

Meandering ''flat'' BOBBLES.....

Yes I do know that bobbles and flat are essentially a contradiction in terms ...
But I am hoping nay planning to include some more raised bobbles later on so these are the less raised version of the bobbles yet to come...

And they meander only very mildly, in fact they kind of look cabled as they are very slightly staggered in vertical rows really. Ahgain I had a bit of fun with this and there were very many trial pieces that hit the bin!

THIS is the final square, viewed from the front or correct side.
This is the back
This is a close-up view ...

And this is one of the REJECTED versions, just to show it does not always ''click'' first try.

For this square I was inspired by a book: The Crochet Block Bible by Roberts and Lodinsky published by Search Press. My square was inspired by square 16 in the book but again I have adapted the stitch and the square to generate what I desired to see in my square.

My bobbles are bigger and the layout is quite different.

Shall we start? This one is a simple 4 row repeat until you have 9 bobble rows.

Foundation row: with 6 mm hook ch 18, change to 5 mm, ch 1 .

Row 1: work 18 dc , 1 st in each ch starting from 2nd ch from hook.

Row 2: ch 1, 1 dc into first dc,* work a bobble into the next st, work 3 dc  one into each of the next 3 sts ***, repeat from * to *** three more times work 1dc into last st, turn.

A bobble is made as follows:insert hook, yo, pull through, 2 loops on hook, repeat yo and pull through 1 loop, 2 loops on hook one of which is a part made dc.
Now repeat the part dc three more times all in this same stitch: 5 loops on hook. YO and pull through all 5 and make a nice tight dc into the next stitch. This tight dc is one of the three mentioned above and is NOT part of the bobble.  The bobble will appear on the side not facing you as you work them.
You can ''puff'' them up by poking them with a finger to appear one either side but in this case we want them on the other side.

Row 3: ch1, work 18 dc.

Row 4: ch1, 1 dc into the first 4 sts, ** make bobble into next stitch, work 3 dc one into each of the next 3 sts ****, repeat from ** to **** to end with just 1 dc after the last bobble.

Row 5: repeat row 3.

These rows 2-5 form the pattern and are repeated until you have 9 bobble rows and end on a dc row without bobbles.


BUS AT CAL Square 8 : Crossed Trebles Mock Cable

Bath University Sampler Aran Throw Crochet-Along.

Square 8: Crossed Trebles: mock cables.

This square starts with two photos as the front looks very similar to the back and this is important as if you work the stitch in a different way the back will not have any diagonal strands showing.

After square 7 this one is quicker, simpler and flatter so it is a nice contrast.
This is often referred to as a cable itself but I find as it's only a few strands crossing over that a mock cable is a more suitable name.

If you are just joining me here, please refer to the post for square 1  and the ''plan'' post for abbreviations, yarn quantities, plans, ways of working and terms used, size of square , yarn , hook sizes etc.

Pattern for the BUS AT CAL  Square 8: Crossed Trebles: mock cables.

Foundation row: as always work a 18 ch with 6 mm hook, change to 5 mm for the rest of the square.

Row 1: ch1=Tch, work 18 dc 1 in each ch starting from 2nd ch from hook.

Row2: ( I do not mention turning as this is assumed in normal crochet worked back and forth, it is mentioned for square 7 as you turn during a row)
Ch3, work a Tr into the first dc, * skip a stitch, work 1 Tr in each of the next 3 sts, then work a Tr into the skipped stitch and pull the loops up nice and long and loose across the 3 Tr already worked, finish the treble in the normal way. Strands of yarn should be lying across both the front and the back of the work. Repeat from * across three more times and finish the row with a Tr into the final stitch.

Row 3: ch1, work a dc into each stitch: 18 dc.

Repeat row 2 and 3 four more times. Fasten off.
You should have 5 rows of 4 crossed treble cables.

End of a dc row.
3ch turning chain Tch.
1 Tr, 1 skipped stitch and 3 Tr worked and skipped stitch indicated with a stick.
Loopy crossing treble being made...
finish the treble as usual, YO through 1 loops twice...

Bottom edge...
Top edge....

Front and back as first two photos.

Voila, nice easy square N'est-ce pas? 

BUS AT CAL Square 7: raised waves

Bath University SAMPLER ARAN THROW Crochet Along- Square 7 is raised waves.

This one is so much fun, it really is quite different from the usual cable patterns and is worked in a most interesting way.
I came across something similar a few weeks ago in an American pattern ( I must credit the Divine Textured Throw and Pillows pattern from Red Heart for the technique idea) but I have adapted it to my own use here and adjusted it until it fits exactly into the square designs for the throw.

The final square is shown in dark grey above as the extra yarn ordered from Wool Warehouse came today but I developed the design and photographed the tutorial yesterday so the main section is in the silver grey yarn for sample and teaching purposed only.

For all abbreviations see post for square 1, the pattern uses UK terms for crochet and for this square there are photos showing the trickier parts of the technique.


Foundation row: with 6 mm hook chain 18 and change to a 5mm hook, chain 1= Tch.
Turn and start the rows:
Row 1: work 18 dc, 1 in each chain starting from the 2nd chain from hook, the Tch does not count as a stitch. Turn.

Row 2: start of the waves:
ch1= Tch then work a dc into the first dc below, * ch 3 , skip 2 dc and work a dc into the 3rd stitch.
TURN the work! Now work a dc into the top loop of each of the 3 chains just made, TURN.
This is shown in the photos below albeit a bit higher up the square, the principles stay the same.

the turning chain.
The first dc.
the 3 chain.
Skipping 2 sts and working a dc into the 3rd stitch.
the dc made in the above photo...then TURN!

3 dc into the top loops of those 3 chains., TURN!

Now working behind the loop with the 3dc, you work a dc into the 2 skipped stitches , 1 dc per stitch.
work is turned back .
pushing the loop forward and identifying the two stitches to each work a dc into next.
Here starts the first dc.
second dc.
second dc made.

Now chain 3 etc which means: repeat from * across the row.
the next 3 ch....

At the end of the row you only have 2 stitches left so you work the dc to anchor the final 3 ch into the nubby loop indicated above in the photo, it's at the far left.
THAT one...

and finish the stitch with those final 2 dc behind the ''raised wave''.

Row 2 completed, turn. You have 6 raised waves. TURN.

Row 3: this too is a little tricky but the key objective is to EVENLY distribute 18 Htr across the stitches.

The back of the work ready to work the equivalent of a row 3.

 One HTr before the first ''bump''.
Chain 2 as Tch, work 18 Htr across the top and I have suggested where these go by the pins in the photos. 
I generally have worked 1 HTR BEFORE the first BUMP of a wave, then 3 HTr between two BUMPS - so that's 5 times, then a final 2 HTr after the last BUMP at the far left in the photo.
Thus making it a neat 18 HTr ready for the next waves row...
The funny little loop up theside of the bump for each first HTr of the groups of 3.
Indicated by the pins...
The second stitch of the 5 groups of 3 HTr positions for the HTRs that lie BETWEEN the bumps...
And the 3rd HTr positions between the bumps after the first one- only 4 times indicated- then the final two orange pins at the far left show the final two HTr s of the row.
Work HTrs all the way across the row.
HTr being worked....
YO and through all 3 loops on hook, HTr completed.

Back view of all HTr s completed, then turn work and repeat row 3 and row 4.
The square is completed when 6 repeats of row 3 and row 4 have been worked in total: so 6 rows of raised waves on the front and the final row is a HTr row.
How it looks after an HTr row, ready to start a waves row again...

Working into the top V loops as usual. As shown below, do not be tempted to work into the V's that face you at the front.

The front side, such FUN is it not?

The square may have a tendency to skew diagonally, DO pull it to a proper square and damp block it at the end of the project before assembly please.

The loops are raised and jolly fun and could be used to thread velvet or satin ribbons through? 
I like them left plain and think they look like the waves of the sea on a calm day.

I hope you had as much fun as I had designing and making this square?

It can be used horizontally or vertically in the final throw or blanket.

DO let me know how you get on with this and how you will use it?

I can see myself wanting to use this stitch pattern in many more projects and patterns!