Tuesday 6 June 2017

Sunshine and Showers - Part 2

I am a little tardy with this post today, so apologies if any of you have been waiting patiently for me to post part 2 of the patterns.

Late May and early June is a time when my garden usually looks it’s best, although we have recently had a major clear out so it is looking a little empty and, with the weather being so bad the last few days, I haven't got around to planting my hanging baskets, but as a general rule at this time of year the grass is still healthy and green thanks to the rain of late spring and all my favourite flowers are in bloom. 

I wanted to capture the colours and shades of an English garden in this month’s crochet along patterns. Within this set of patterns I will talk you through weaving and sewing in yarn tails, making puff stitches and working back and front loop double crochet which gives a lovely textural effect to your work.

The blog patterns are written for the Stylecraft Special DK version with the shade and hook alternatives for the Yarn Stories option written within brackets. You can choose to purchase a download version of the patterns for just 95p a copy (total of 12 patterns). There is a link to the download copy for the Stylecraft Special DK version here and for the Yarn Stories Fine Merino DK version here. Please note that all step by step images are for the Special DK version.

Yarns used this month:

Stylecraft Special DK 100g balls

1712 Lime 
1027 Khaki 
1023 Raspberry
1068 Turquoise
1241 Fondant
1820 Duck Egg

Yarn Stories Fine Merino DK 50g balls
2516 Spring Green 
2501 Bottle 
2509 Fuchsia 
3534 Iced Teal 
2514 Raspberry 
2507 Duck Egg 

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. 

Pattern Repeat:

If you have chosen to make the blanket in a different size you will need to calculate your pattern repeats accordingly.

On Row 10 the Puff Stitch Flowers stems are worked over a repeat of 5sts + 1

Note: The pattern is written in UK terminology.


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

Weaving in: Rather than sew in all your yarn ends, you may wish to weave some of them in as you work. You can do this with Right Side or Wrong Side facing, but it is best to weave over just one yarn tail at a time and you must make sure that the yarn is carried to the back of the work. Weaving yarn tails in works best when you are crocheting double crochet stitches as on the next 2 rows:

Hold the tail end of yarn you wish to weave in in line with your crochet leading over to the left.

Work your crochet stitch over the yarn tail so that you trap it within the stitch
Weave the yarn end in on at least 10 stitches to ensure it is securely trapped within your row of stitches.
Trim yarn end

Row 8: (RS facing) Using Lime (Spring Green) & 4.5mm (4mm) hook, 1ch (does not count as a st), 1dc into each st to end, turn (171sts)

Row 9: (WS facing) 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 10: (RS facing) Using Khaki (Bottle) & 4mm (3.5mm) hook 3ch (counts as 1tr), 1tr into st at base of 3ch, 2ch, skip 4sts * [1tr, 1ch, 1tr] into next st, 2ch, skip 4sts; repeat from * to final st, 2tr into final st, changing yarn shade to Raspberry (Fuchsia) on the final step of the last st, turn (35 flower stems made - 33 complete stems and 1 partial stem at each edge)

Row 11: Using Raspberry (Fuchsia) & 4.5mm (4mm) hook 1ch (does not count as a st), 2dc into st sp between 2tr, 2ch, skip 1tr & 2ch & 1tr, 4dc into next 1ch sp (between 2tr made on previous row), * 2ch, skip 1tr & 2ch & 1tr, 4dc into next 1ch sp; repeat from * 31 times, 2ch, 1dc st sp between next 2tr, 1dc into 3rd ch of 3ch made at beginning of last row, changing yarn shade to Turquoise (Iced Teal) on the final step of the last st, turn. (35 flowers made)

Row 12: Using Turquoise (Iced Teal) & staying on 4.5mm (4mm) hook 1ch (does not count as a st), 1dc into next st, 3dc into next ch sp made on Row 10 working around previous row also so that 2 lots of ch sts are covered, * 3ch, skip 4dc, 3dc into next pair of ch sp made on previous 2 rows as before; repeat from * to last 2sts, skip 1dc, 1dc into next dc, fasten off. Do not turn.

This is a good point to sew in your loose yarn ends. I tend to use a large blunt sewing needle:

Sew through the middle of at least 5 stitches – again it is easier if you sew at the reverse side of double crochet stitches. It is a good idea to sew back on your self a couple of times to ensure the yarn is secure.

MP (Make Puff)
On the next row you need to make some puff stitches as follows:

* Yarn round hook, insert hook into stitch and pull up yarn loop; repeat from * twice so that there are a total of 7 loops on the hook (one loop was already there before you started the puff stitch), yarn round hook, draw yarn through all yarn loops on the hook

Row 13: (RS facing) Using Fondant (Raspberry) & 4.5mm (4mm) hook, join yarn into top of 1st dc made on previous row by working 1ch + 1ch (counts as 1htr) 1htr into same st, 1ch, * skip 3dc made on previous row, working in front of 3ch made on previous row so that you are working into the sts made on Row 11 [MP into next st, 1ch] 3 times; repeat from * 32 times, skip 3dc made on previous row, 2htr into final st, fasten off. Do not turn

Row 14: (RS facing) Using Duck Egg (Duck Egg) & 4.5mm (4mm) hook, join yarn into 2nd ch made at beginning of previous row by working 1ch, 1dc into same ch, 1dc into next st, * working in front of ch sts made on previous row 1tr into central dc of next 3dc group made on Row 12 [skip puff, 2dc into next ch sp] twice, skip puff; repeat from * 32 times, working in front of ch sts made on previous row 1tr into central dc of next 3dc group made on Row 12, 1dc into each next 2sts, turn (170sts)

Row 15: (WS facing) 1ch (does not count as a st), 1dc into each next 85sts, 2dc into next st, 1dc into each st to end, turn (171sts)

Working into the front and back loops:
On the next 4 rows you are going to work into the back or front loop of the chain that runs along the top of your stitches. This gives a textural appearance to your stitches.
It can be a little bit tricky to get used to this stitch as the back loop is not always visible as you are working along the row, my advice is to look down on your work a little more than you usually would.

Row 16: 1ch (does not count as a st), * 1dc into front loop of next st, 1dc into back loop of next st; repeat from * to last st, 1dc into front loop of next st, turn (171sts)

Row 17, 18: work as Row 16, turn (171sts)

Row 19: work as Row 16, place last st on holder

Work other piece to match. 

Depth of each individual piece is equal to 12cm (4 3/4in)

With a bit of luck by the time we get to July we will be basking in some glorious sunshine! I know I am not alone in hoping for a nice warm month so hopefully the patterns for July will be fitting to the weather - a sneak peek is below:

Next set of patterns will be posted here on the 4th July.

With thanks to the team at Crochet Now magazine.