Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Sunshine and Showers - Part 6

So, this post is hopefully better late than never! I am so sorry to those of you who have been waiting for this month's post. We had a little bit of a hiccup here yesterday which delayed things a little……

The design for this month's pattern is all about autumn. We are still getting warmish sunny days here, but as the leaves are dropping and the mist is starting to descend in early evening here in North London there is no mistaking that we are definitely within the throws of autumn. I think October really is autumn at it’s best – here in the UK it tends to be relatively nice weather this month, before the grey murkiness and drizzle of November and December set in! I have said before that the Spring and Summer are my favourite months, but there is something special about October, I suppose because you can still be surprised by a really warm beautiful day and of course can go for long walks kicking through fallen leaves!

When I think of October I think of Halloween and all things pumpkin related, so it was no surprise to me that as soon as I sat down to work on my design for this month the very first thing that came to mind was to make crochet bobbles in pumpkin colours! I really love crochet bobbles as they are almost perfectly round and sit much more pronounced from the background fabric than their knitted equivalent.

Last month you started a new blanket strip, which you should have made twice over. This month you are working onto the top edge of that strip.

If you want to purchase a download copy of the patterns for just 95p you can access the Stylecraft Special DK version by following this link and the Yarn Stories version by following this link - please note that step by step images in all patterns are from the Special DK version.
Yarns used:

Stylecraft Special DK 100g balls
1078 Petrol
1067 Grape
1709 Gold
1027 Khaki
1063 Graphite
1065 Meadow
1711 Spice
1722 Storm Blue 

Yarn Stories Fine Merino DK 50g balls
2503 Cobalt
2518 Thistle
2502 Burnt Sienna
2501 Bottle
2500 Anthracite 
2510 Leaf
2515 Rouge
2535 Bluebell

Equipment Special DK:
4.5mm hook
Sewing needle

Equipment Fine Merino DK:
4mm hook
Sewing needle

Dealing with yarn ends: Sewing yarn ends in as you go along makes the finishing process much easier and means that you are less likely to loose stitches or make errors with your tension.

Hook Changes:
This month you will work using 4.5mm (4mm) hook throughout

Pattern Repeat:

The bobbles are made over a pattern repeat of 8sts. The bobble counts as one stitch and there are 7sts between each bobble.

To make the bobbles sit centrally you will need to allow some stitches at the beginning of the row for the lead into the repeat and the lead out at the end of the row

Note: The pattern in written in UK terminology

Method:

Undo last st and rework to the point where you can change yarn shade to Petrol (Cobalt) on the final step of the st, turn

Row 11: (RS facing) Using Petrol (Cobalt) & 4.5mm (4mm) hook, 1ch (does not count as a st) 1dc into each st to end, turn (171sts)

Row 12: 1ch (does not count as a st), 1dc into each st to end, changing yarn shade to Grape on the final step of the last st, turn (171sts)

Row 13: Using Grape (Thistle) 1ch (does not count as a st), 1dc into each st to end, turn (171sts)

On the next row you are going to make some bobbles!

Bobbles are a little fiddly to make, especially as they are made with the Wrong Side of the work facing you. This means you need to keep an eye on your stitch count and also need to move your yarns from back to front to avoid having yarn left on the incorrect side of the work.

I love bobbles and especially like them when they are worked in different shades to the background yarn colour, however, if you find making bobbles in this way too tricky you could always stick to working in just one colour to create textural bobbles.



Row 14: Using Grape (Thistle) 1ch (does not count as a st) 1dc into each next 4sts, 1dc into the next st until the last step of the stitch so that 2 yarn loops remain on the hook. Bring yarn to the front. Draw Gold  (Burnt Sienna) through the last step of the stitch leaving a yarn tail of approximately 15cm (6in). Yarn loop on hook is Gold (Burnt Sienna).



Using Gold (Burnt Sienna), work 5 incomplete treble crochet stitches into the next st, leaving 1 yarn loop on the hook after each stitch so that 6 loops remain on the hook.
Bring Gold (Burnt Sienna) to the front. 


Pick up Grape (Thistle) and draw through all yarn loops, pulling the yarn across the back of the bobble. Yarn loop on hook is Grape (Thistle). Tighten the working yarn – do not pull too tightly as you can loose the stitch at the top of the bobble.


Using Grape (Thistle) 1ch (does not count as a st), 1dc into each next 3sts, 1dc into next st, weaving in Gold (Burnt Sienna) yarn as you work the stitch ** 1dc into each next 3sts, changing yarn shade to Gold (Burnt Sienna) on the final step of the last st; repeat from * until a total of 21 bobbles have been made (5sts remain), ending last repeat at **, 1dc into last st, turn. Cut Gold (Burnt Sienna) yarn.


Row 15: (RS facing) Using Grape (Thistle) 1ch (does not count as a st) 1dc into each next 5sts, 1dc into st at top of bobble, * 1dc into each next 7sts, 1dc into st at top of bobble; repeat from * to last 5sts, 1dc into each next 5sts, changing yarn shade to Khaki (Bottle) on the final step of the last st, turn (171sts)



It is a good idea to check that your stitch count is correct as the end of this row!

To help you count your stitches use the following guide:
  • Count 5 sts at the beginning of the row before the first bobble
  • 1 stitch at the top of the next bobble
  • [7 stitches before the next bobble, 1 stitch at the top of the next bobble] x 20 times
  • 5 stitches at the end of the row after the last bobble = 171 sts

Stitch count from here to end of this set of pattern will remain at 171sts.

Row 16: Using Khaki (Bottle), 1ch (does not count as a st) 1dc into each st to end of row, changing yarn shade to Graphite (Anthracite) on the final step of the last st, turn.

Row 17: Using Graphite (Anthracite) work as Row 16, changing yarn shade to Meadow (Leaf) on the final step of the last st, turn

Row 18: (WS facing) Using Meadow (Leaf), 1ch (does not count as a st) 1dc into each next 9sts, changing yarn shade to Spice (Rouge) on the final step of the st, * bring yarn forward and make a bobble (MB) as for Row 14 changing yarn shade back to Meadow (Leaf) once the bobble is complete (make sure that yarn tails stay on the wrong side of the work), 1dc into each next 3sts, 1dc into next st weaving in Spice (Rouge) yarn as you work the stitch, 1dc into each next 3sts, changing yarn shade to Spice (Rouge) ready for next bobble; repeat from * until 20 bobbles have been made (9sts remain), using Meadow (Leaf) 1dc into each st to end, weaving in the tail end of Spice as before and changing yarn shade to Graphite (Anthracite) on the final step of the last st, turn (171sts)



Again it is a good idea to check that your stitch count is correct as the end of this row.
  • To help you count your stitches use the following guide:
  • Count 9 sts at the beginning of the row before the first bobble
  • 1 stitch at the top of the next bobble
  • [7 stitches before the next bobble, 1 stitch at the top of the next bobble] x 19 times
  • 9 stitches at the end of the row after the last bobble = 171 sts
Row 19: (RS facing) Using Graphite (Anthracite), 1ch (does not count as a st) 1dc into each next 9sts, 1dc into st at top of bobble, * 1dc into each next 7sts, 1dc into st at top of bobble; repeat from * to last 9sts, 1dc into each next 9sts, changing yarn shade to Khaki (Bottle) on the final step of the last st, turn (171sts)

Row 20: Using Khaki (Bottle), 1ch (does not count as a st) 1dc into each st to end of row, changing yarn shade to Grape (Thistle) on the final step of the last st, turn.


Row 21: Using Grape (Thistle) work as for Row 20, do not change yarn shade.

Row 22: (WS facing) Work bobble row as for Row 14.

Row 23: Work as Row 15, changing yarn shade to Petrol (Cobalt) on the final step of the last st, turn.


Row 24: Using Petrol (Cobalt), 1ch (does not count as a st) 1dc into each st to end, turn.

Row 25: Work as Row 24, changing yarn shade to Storm Blue (Bluebell) on the final step of the last st, turn.

Row 26: Using Storm Blue (Bluebell), 1ch (does not count as a st) 1dc into each st to end, place last st on a holder.



Work another piece to match

Each piece should measure approximately 13.5/14cm from bottom edge x 92cm wide



The image above shows the pattern for next month, which will be published on the 7th November. 

With thanks to the team at Crochet Now Magazine. 

Monday, 4 September 2017

Sunshine and Showers - Part 5

It has been a pretty dismal summer holiday for the children here in the UK this year, with only a handful of warm sunny days over the 6 week period they have had off school. We had some nice weather throughout June and into July, but as I am a real sun lover and there is not much I enjoy more than long warm sunny days, it seems that the journey into Autumn is now all too quickly upon us. 

I always feel a little sad that the days will get shorter and colder as we approach the winter months, but that said, September is by far my favourite month from a crochet point of view!  I am always excited by what the Autumn will have in store in terms of projects, shows and events and love the fact that Septemebr is always a really busy and buzzing month.

We will be exhibiting at Yarndale in Skipton on the 23rd and 24th of September – this show is by far my most favourite as it has such a good vibe and is the one show to offer crocheters in particular a chance to see some really great products and design work. We are really excited about the show this year as we have some brand new designs to show you including a new re-coloured version of one of my favourite patterns and a brand new blanket design called 'Fields of Gold' which features sunflower and poppy motifs.



Rather than jump straight into the idea of Autumn for this blanket installment I have tried to capture the idea of the last few flowers of late summer entangled in the trellis in the garden, before the gold, brown and yellow shades begin to appear.

This month you are going to start 2 more blanket strips (both the same). Starting a new piece gives you a chance to revisit the techniques covered at the beginning of the project, such as making a chain and working your foundation rows. 

If you want to purchase a download copy of the patterns for just 95p you can access the Stylecraft Special DK version by following this link and the Yarn Stories version by following this link - please note that step by step images in all patterns are from the Special DK version.

Yarns used:

Stylecraft Special DK 100g balls
1712 Lime
1027 Khaki
1065 Meadow
1067 Grape
1005 Cream
1820 Duck Egg
1722 Storm Blue

Yarn Stories Fine Merino DK 50g balls
2516 Spring Green
2501 Bottle
2510 Leaf
2518 Thistle
2504 Cream
2507 Duck Egg
2535 Bluebell

Equipment Special DK:
4mm & 4.5mm hook
Sewing needle


Equipment Fine Merino DK:
3.5mm & 4mm hook
Sewing needle

Dealing with yarn ends: Sewing yarn ends in as you go along makes the finishing process much easier and means that you are less likely to loose stitches or make errors with your tension.

Hook Changes:
Please take note of changes in hook size. Changes will be marked in bold

Blanket Construction:
So far you have been working on 2 blanket strips. The pieces you have completed are not worked on again until the end of the project so you can put them to one side for now. From this point onwards the blanket is made from 2 new strips. All pieces will be joined together later on to make one blanket. You need to repeat each stage so that you have 2 strips of crochet completed to the same point at the end of each pattern stage

Pattern Repeat:

If you are making the blanket in a different size you will need to calculate your pattern repeat accordingly. This piece needs to have the same number of stitches as your other pieces and the pattern repeats over 5sts + 1.

Note: The pattern in written in UK terminology

Method

Using Duck Egg (Duck Egg) & 4.5mm (4mm) hook make 172ch

Foundation Row: skip 1ch, 1dc into each ch to end (171sts), changing yarn shade to Storm Blue (Bluebell) on the final step of the last st, turn

Row 1: Using Storm Blue (Bluebell) & 4mm (3.5mm) hook, 3ch (counts as 1tr), skip st at base of 3ch, 1tr into each st to end, changing yarn shade to Lime (Spring Green) on the final step of the last st, turn (171sts)

Row 2: Using Lime (Spring Green) & 4.5mm (4mm) hook 1ch (does not count as a st), 1dc into each st to end, changing yarn shade to Khaki (Bottle) on the final step of the last st, turn (171sts)


Row 3: Using Khaki (Bottle) 1ch (does not count as a st), 1dc into each st to end, changing yarn shade to Meadow (Leaf) on the final step of the last st, turn (171sts)



Row 4: (RS facing) Using Meadow (Leaf) & 4mm (3.5mm) hook 1ch (does not count as a st), 1dc into st at base of 1ch, * 5ch, skip 3sts, 1dc into next st, 3ch, 1dc into next st; repeat from * to last 2sts, dc2tog over next 2sts, place last st on holder, do not turn.

On the next row you are going to work with the Right side facing you - you will in effect be working behind the row you have just made. You need to join your yarn in near the beginning of Row 3 before you can start and it is important that you start in the right place so use the images as a guide.

Row 5: (RS facing) Working behind the previous row, join Grape (Thistle)  into the 3rd st made at the beginning of Row 3 by working 1ch, 1dc into the same st, * 2ch 3dc into next 3ch loop made between 2dc on previous row, 2ch, working behind the previous row, skip ch and 1dc made on previous row and also skip 1dc made on Row 3, work 1dc into central dc of 3ch group that were skipped on previous row; repeat from * 32 times - 3sts remain unused at the end of the row – fasten off.






Return to st on holder. Undo last st and rework to the point where you can change yarn shade to Cream (Cream) on the final step of the st, turn.



Row 6: Using Cream (Cream) & staying on a 4mm (3.5mm) hook 5ch, 1dc into 5ch loop made on Row 4 * 5ch, skip 3dc made on previous row, 1dc into next 5ch loop made on Row 4; repeat from * 32 times, 2ch, 1tr into last st made on Row 4, turn.


Row 7: 1ch (does not count as a st) 1dc into st at base of 1ch, * 3ch, skip next dc made on Row 5, working around ch made on previous row and into the stitch on Row 5 at the same time 1dc into each next 2sts; repeat from * 32 times, 3ch, 1dc into 3rd ch of 5ch made at beginning of last row, turn.



Row 8: Using 4.5mm (4mm) hook, 1ch (does not count as a st) 1dc into st at base of 1ch, * 3dc into next ch sp, 1dc into each next 2sts; repeat from * to end, working last 2dc into the same st on final pattern repeat and changing yarn shade to Duck Egg (Duck Egg) on the final step of the last st, turn. (171sts)



Row 9: Using Duck Egg (Duck Egg) 4.5mm (4mm) hook 1ch (does not count as a st), 1dc into each st to end, changing yarn shade to Storm Blue (Bluebell) on the final step of the last st, turn. (171sts)


Row 10: Using Storm Blue (Bluebell) 1ch (does not count as a st), 1dc into each st to end, place last st on holder. (171sts)

Each piece should measure approximately 7cm deep and 92/93cm wide.

Work another piece to match
Sew in yarn ends.

The image below shows the preview image for October, the design for which I based on the idea of pumpkins sitting in fields waiting to be harvested for Halloween!

The next set of patterns will be released on the 3rd October


With thanks to the team at Crochet Now magazine.

Hope you have fun with your crochet this month!
Janie x


Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Prize Draw - Crochet Club 2013

I am so excited to be able to tell you about the new prize draw to raise funds for Knit For Peace - an amazing charity that works to improve the lives of the needy and vulnerable all over the world via knit and crochet campaings and initiatives.

You may remember that we ran a prize draw over the course of a few months last year and (by asking you to donate a small monetary amount to be in with a chance to win a fabulous knit or crochet project) we managed to raise some vital funds for the charity.


A few months ago we were contacted by a lady called Jayne Bailey whose sister Sally Smith sadly recently passed away. While sorting through Sally's things Jayne came across a complete yarn and bead kit for the 2013 Crochet Club project (pictured above) which Sally had purchased, but not started. Jayne has returned the complete kit to us and has very kindly agreed that we can feature it as the prize in a new giveaway that we are running in Sally's memory in aid of Knit For Peace.




The kit includes 31 balls of Rowan Cotton Glace, 3 bags of Debbie Abrahams beads and all the exclusive download patterns. This kit was only available to club members in 2013 and neither the patterns nor kit are now available, so it is incredibly rare for a complete kit to become avialable, especially as it is much sought after .*

To be in with a chance of winning this project pack, which originally sold for £195, all you need to do is follow this link to make a minimum donation of £2 to Knit For Peace. Each donation equals one entry to the prize draw and you can enter as many times as you like. The prize draw is open to everyone regardless of where you are in the world and runs between now and the 4th of September. The winner will be picked at random and the kit will be sent out to the winner towards the end of September.


We are hoping that this giveaway will raise a really fabulous amount of money for Knit For Peace to continue with their amazing work. You can find out more about the charity and how you can do other things to support them by following this link.

With many thanks to Jayne Bailey and in fond rememberance of Sally.

Jane x

* Please note: Club members paid a premium price for this exclusivity and so patterns and kits will remain archived - please don't email us to ask for patterns or kits!