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ABC crochet

Before Christmas, I embarked on a pretty ambitious project for me, involving charts, different yarn colours, letters and motifs.

As you might know, I put together the technical features for Simply Crochet magazine (overseen by their wonderful technical editor, Cara) – sometimes I also make a project to go with the feature and demonstrate some of the techniques talked about in the feature.

For issue 27 (out now), the subject was ‘how to use a crochet chart’ and for the project, I was really keen to do something with letters. We came up with the idea of monogram coasters, which could also be used to personalise garments, such as a pocket for a cardigan.

Crochet letter coasters

Crochet letter coasters

These are the first three letters in the alphabet that I crocheted and I’m really pleased with how they’ve turned out. I made crochet charts for the whole alphabet, which you can purchase on Ravelry here or on Etsy here.

After making these three, I was then left with the question of what to do with them. Well, it just so happens that my cousin had a gorgeous little baby boy in June (I mentioned this here) and I thought it would be lovely to create a cube using these letters.

I’m no maths genius, but I quickly realised that I would need to make three more squares to create a cube! So I decided to make a motif to go with each letter…

For A, I thought the yarn colours were perfect for making an apple:

A is for Apple

A is for Apple

For B, I made a grey bell on a green background:

B is for bell

B is for bell

For C, I made a car:

C is for car

C is for car

Aren’t they cute?! I particularly like the car.

I must just mention that it was actually my other half who created the initial charts for these three motifs – I told him what I wanted and he made a rough chart, which I polished up afterwards. It was nice to collaborate and have him take such an interest in my makes!

After some firm blocking (to make the squares more um square), a bit of careful seaming and plenty of stuffing, here’s my finished cube:

Crochet baby cube

Crochet baby cube

As an extra touch, I added a little bell inside the stuffing so it’s a stimulating treat for the ears as well as the eyes and hands. Unfortunately, I didn’t finish it in time for it to be a Christmas gift, but it will be a New Year gift, which I think is a nice way to spread out baby Mitch’s treats (that’s my story, anyway!).

If you’re interested in crocheting your own apple, bell or car motif,and making the cube, you can find the pattern on Ravelry here or on Etsy here.

They use a 4ply yarn (West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4ply in grey and apple), a 3mm hook, and double crochet stitches (US single crochet), to make ‘squares’ that measured 13cm wide and 13.5cm tall.

The possibilities for using these letter and motif charts are near-infinite. I like the idea of crocheting the car in a superchunky yarn to make a really big square for a cushion, mat or lap blanket.

If you do use these charts in your crafting, do let me know – I’d love to see how you get creative with them…

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Posted by on January 14, 2015 in Crochet

 

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Make: crochet granny square

They’re quick, they’re easy, they’re fun, they’re colourful: what’s not to like about crochet granny squares?

There are lots of different patterns for granny squares out there, but the classic granny is the one I’ve been using for my rainbow granny blanket recently (by the way, I’m on my third strip of the blanket now!).

This is the simplest type of granny square and uses clusters of trebles. So I thought I’d share the pattern with you…

Granny square light pink © Becky Skuse

Granny square light pink © Becky Skuse

I used a DK yarn and 4mm hook, but the classic granny should work with any weight or type of yarn, as long as you use the appropriate size of hook for the yarn you’re using (see the yarn’s ball band).

Here’s the pattern I used:

Classic crochet granny square (UK terms)
Make a foundation ring using your preferred method (I used Magic Loop, but you could just ch4 and ss to the first ch to join).
Round 1: Ch3, tr2 into the loop, ch3, tr3 into the loop, ch3, tr3 into the loop, ch3, tr3 into the loop, ch3. Tighten the Magic Loop. Slip stitch to top of the 3-ch at the start.
Round 2: Slip stitch into the next two sts. Ch3, tr2 into the corner space, ch3, tr3 into the same corner space, ch1, tr3 into the next corner space, ch3, tr3 into the same corner space, ch1, tr3 into the next corner space, ch3, tr3 into the same corner space, ch1, tr3 into the next corner space, ch3, tr3 into the same corner space, ch1. Slip stitch to top of the 3-ch at the start.
Round 3: Slip stitch into the next two sts. Ch3, tr2 into the corner space, ch3, tr3 into the same corner space, ch1, tr3 into the next side space, ch1, tr3 into the next corner space, ch3, tr3 into the same corner space, ch1, tr3 into the next side space, ch1, tr3 into the next corner space, ch3, tr3 into the same corner space, ch1, tr3 into the next side space, ch1, tr3 into the next corner space, ch3, tr3 into the same corner space, ch1, tr3 into the next side space, ch1. Slip stitch to top of the 3-ch at the start. Fasten off.

Classic crochet granny square (US terms)
Make a foundation ring using your preferred method (I used Magic Loop, but you could just ch4 and ss to the first ch to join).
Round 1: Ch3, dc2 into the loop, ch3, dc3 into the loop, ch3, dc3 into the loop, ch3, dc3 into the loop, ch3. Tighten the Magic Loop. Slip stitch to top of the 3-ch at the start.
Round 2: Slip stitch into the next two sts. Ch3, dc2 into the corner space, ch3, dc3 into the same corner space, ch1, dc3 into the next corner space, ch3, dc3 into the same corner space, ch1, dc3 into the next corner space, ch3, dc3 into the same corner space, ch1, dc3 into the next corner space, ch3, dc3 into the same corner space, ch1. Slip stitch to top of the 3-ch at the start.
Round 3: Slip stitch into the next two sts. Ch3, dc2 into the corner space, ch3, dc3 into the same corner space, ch1, dc3 into the next side space, ch1, dc3 into the next corner space, ch3, dc3 into the same corner space, ch1, dc3 into the next side space, ch1, dc3 into the next corner space, ch3, dc3 into the same corner space, ch1, dc3 into the next side space, ch1, dc3 into the next corner space, ch3, dc3 into the same corner space, ch1, dc3 into the next side space, ch1. Slip stitch to top of the 3-ch at the start. Fasten off.

 
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Posted by on November 20, 2013 in Crochet

 

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Crochet shapes

I’m fascinated by making shapes.

That could mean manipulating fabric into the shape of a bag or scarf or teddy bear using a sewing machine. It could be knitting and crochet yarn into fabric of near-infinite shapes or patterns.

I find it a fun challenge to think two or three-dimensionally, to create flat shapes or 3D shapes. (Maybe I should have been an engineer?)

Anyway, I’ve been having fun recently playing with making crochet shapes. I’m a fairly new crocheter, having only started last year, but I’ve been knitting and sewing for at least five years. So I’m already fairly confident with making shapes in knitting or sewing, but crochet is still new to me and it’s fun to explore the fresh possibilities of creating crochet fabrics.

So I played around recently, making different shapes and seeing how they turned out…

Crochet shapes

Crochet shapes

I just used double crochet (that’s single crochet to Americans), a cotton DK yarn, and a 4mm hook.

Triangle
I think the triangle is the easiest – it’s just worked in rows, with a simple decrease of one stitch at the end of every row.
So make a chain of about 20 stitches.
Row 1: Work a double crochet stitch (single crochet for Americans) in every chain on the first row.
Row 2 and every row after: Work in dc (sc) but decrease one stitch at the end of the row.

Circle
The circle was very simple, but looked more like a hexagon until I got to the fifth or sixth round!
So make a chain of 4 stitches, then join to the first stitch with a slip stitch to make a ring.
Round 1: Work 8dc (8sc for Americans) into the ring and join to the first dc (sc) with a slip stitch.
Round 2: Work 2dc (2sc) in each stitch and join the round with a slip stitch.
Round 3: Work 2dc (2sc) in next stitch, 1dc, 2dc, 1dc, etc, increasing in every other stitch all around, then join the round with a slip stitch.
Round 4: Work 2dc (2sc) in next stitch, 1dc, 1dc, 2dc, 1dc, 1dc, etc, increasing in every third stitch all around, then join the round with a slip stitch.
Round 5: Work 2dc (2sc) in next stitch, 1dc, 1dc, 1dc, 2dc, 1dc, 1dc, 1dc, etc, increasing in every fourth stitch all around, then join the round with a slip stitch.
Continue like this until your circle is the size you want.

Square
I know what you’re thinking – why bother working a square in the round, when you could just work it in rows?! Well, I know that, but I wanted to try creating a square fabric in the round, and to see how it would look. I think the finished edges are more neat than working in rows.
So make a chain of 4 stitches, then join to the first stitch with a slip stitch to make a ring.
Round 1: Work 8dc (8sc for Americans) into the ring and join to the first dc (sc) with a slip stitch.
Round 2: Work 1dc (1sc), 3dc into next stitch, 1dc, 3dc into next stitch, etc, to end and join the round with a slip stitch. (16 sts)
Round 3: Work 1dc (1sc), 1dc, 3dc into corner stitch, 1dc, 1dc, 1dc, 3dc into corner stitch, etc, to end and join the round with a slip stitch. (24 sts)
Round 4: Work 1dc (1sc), 1dc, 1dc, 3dc into corner stitch, 1dc, 1dc, 1dc, 1dc, 1dc, 3dc into corner stitch, etc, to end and join the round with a slip stitch. (32 sts)
Continue like this until your square is the size you want.

Now I’ve got the basics sorted, I’m wondering what other shapes I could make… is a dodecahedron too ambitious?! 🙂

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2013 in Crochet

 

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