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Friday, September 26, 2014

Free Pattern: Wisteria Bloom




  The beginning of fall is here in the Northern Hemisphere, but for our friends south of the Equator, the weather will be warming. This flower is a great way to welcome spring, or brighten gloomy winter days to come, regardless of your location.



  If you're ready for a pattern that will give you a challenge, this Wisteria Bloom is a good place to start. Made with crochet thread but using simple stitches, the construction of this flower is where the difficulty lies. You won't need a stitch dictionary to complete it, but you will need to pay attention! A few tips and tricks are provided to give you some help.



  What would you use this flower for? I usually make a few suggestions, but I'm leaving the choice up to you this time! For now, I'm just hanging it on an ornament hook for display. When twisted, finished length is 6" (about 25 cm).






Skill Level:







Materials:
Size 10 crochet thread
-I'm using Aunt Lydia's Classic in Forest Green and Violet
*Try using a multi-colored thread for an even more realistic look: In the same brand, I would suggest Monet, Ocean, Pastels Ombre, Shaded (Pink, Blue, or Purple), or even Pink Camo!
Steel crochet hook size 7/1.65MM or size needed to obtain gauge
Smaller hook or needle to weave in ends


Gauge:
Not important -
Row 1 (25 sc) = 4 1/2" (11.5 cm)



Notes:

  • The main branch and stems are created with just 2 rows. In order to simplify the pattern and its repeats, Row 2 is broken up into separate parts.



  • The addition of the flowers is also broken into steps. These are technically worked as one row, but the pattern is simplified for you.



  • For flowers, always begin working to the right of the beginning slip stitch.



  • The appearance of the flowers may be changed slightly with a flip of your work. They will stick out more if you work with you thread on top when slip stitching to join. Flipping the thread under the pattern will pull them to the back. You may work however is easiest for you.



Stitches and other abbreviations:
Chain (ch)
Slip stitch (sl st)
Single crochet (sc)
Double crochet (dc)
Triple crochet (tr)
Beginning (beg)
Front loop (FL)
Space/s (sp/s)


Directions:


The pattern will twist while you're working:



To begin, ch 25 with Green.


Row 1:
1 sc in the 2nd ch from hook. 1 sc in each of the next 23 sts. (25 sc)


Row 2 (beg):
Ch 10, sl st in 5th ch from hook. Sl St in each of the next 4 chs. Sl st in each of next 2 sc. *Ch 10, sl st in 5th ch from hook. Sl st in each of next 4 chs. Sl st in the next available sl st, 2 sc in same sc as sl st. Sl st in the next sc.* Repeat from * to * 3 more times (4 ch-10 lengths).


Row 2 continued (2):
*Ch 14, sl st in 6th ch from hook. Sl st in each of next 7 chs, and in available sl st. 2 sc in same sc as sl st. Sl st in next sc.* Repeat from * to * 3 more times (4 ch-14 lengths).


Row 2 continued (3):
*Ch 18, sl st in 7th ch from hook. Sl st in each of next 10 chs and in available sl st. 2 sc in same sc as sl st. Sl st in next sc.* Repeat from * to * 9 more times (10 ch-18 lengths).


Row 2 continued (4):
*Ch 20, sl st in 7th ch from hook. Sl st in each of next 12 chs and in available sl st. 2 sc in same sc as sl st. Sl st in next sc.* Repeat from * to * 6 more times (7 ch-20 lengths).


You may untwist the pattern as you work to check your progress:




Bind off, weave in ends.


Flowers:


For an example of how the pattern is worked, here are the flowers straightened out:




1. Join Violet with a sl st to the slip st before ch-7 sp. Make 10 sc in the ch-7 sp. Join with a sl st to beg sl st.


2. Working in FL: *1 sc in next st, ch 1.* 2 tr in next st, ch 1.** Repeat from * to *. 1 tr in each of the next 4 sts, ch 1. Repeat from * to **. 1 sc in the last st. Working in both loops: Sl st to joining sl st. Sl st in the back side of stitch Violet begins in. Ch 10, 2 sc in 2nd ch from hook, ch 2. (3 sc, ch 2) in each of the next 7 chs.


Repeat steps 1-2 for the next 6 ch-7 sps.


3. Join with a sl st to the sl st before ch-7 sp. Make 8 sc in ch-7 sp. Join with a sl st to beg sl st.


4. Working in FL: *1 sc in next st, ch 1. 2 tr in the next st, ch 1. 1 sc in following st, ch 1. 1 tr in each of the next 2 sts. Repeat from * to *. Join with a sl st to beg sl st. Working in both loops: Sl st in back side of st Violet begins in. Ch 8, 2 sc in 2nd ch from hook, ch 3. (3 sc, ch 3) in each of the next 5 chs.


Repeat steps 3-4 for the next 9 ch-7 sps.


5. Join with a sl st to sl st before ch-6 sp. Make 7 sc in ch-6 sp. Join with a sl st to beg sl st.


6. Working in FL: 1 sc in next sc, 2 dc in the following st. 1 sc in the next sc, 1 dc in each of the following 2 sts. 2 dc in the last st, ch 3. Working in both loops: Join with a sl st to beg sl st. Sl st in the back of the st Violet begins in. Ch 8, 4 sc in 2nd ch from hook. Remove hook, insert from front to back in the 4th st from loop. Pick up dropped st, pull through. (Ch 1, sl st in the next ch. 5 sc in the following ch. Remove hook, insert front to back in the 4th st from loop. Pick up dropped loop, pull through) 2 times. (Ch 3, 1 sc) 3 times in last ch. Ch 2.


Repeat 5-6 for each of the next 4 ch-6 sps.


7. Join with a sl st to sl st before ch-5 sp. (1 sc, ch 2) 3 times in ch-5 sp. 1 sc in same sp. Join with a sl st to beg sl st. Ch 4, 2 sc in 2nd ch from hook. Sl st in next ch. Ch 1.


Repeat 7 for the remaining ch-5 sps.


8. (3 sc, ch 3) in each of the next 4 sts toward main stem. Sl st in next sp.


Bind off, weave in ends.


The last sts made are the bottom of the flower, but it can go either way. You may flip it over for a different effect which makes it longer, but I think it looks wilted this way:




Which way do you like more?


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Yarn Tales Tuesday



W.I.P.'s 


  In the crochet community, you have probably come across the term W.I.P, or WIP, but did you know what it meant the first time you heard or read it? I've spent a good deal of time memorizing abbreviations for crochet, so I was a bit perplexed after reading this in a magazine, in a simple side note of "share your WIP's" which didn't define the meaning. Looking through my books, I couldn't find WIP anywhere. So, I figured, let's take the investigation to the internet!


  Oh, wow...I had one of those "I feel dumb" moments after a very short search. Here I am, with at least eight WIP's floating around my house, and completely clueless to what this simple acronym means. It's a work in progress


  Ooohhh, okay, I know those! It's those things covering my work table, the arm of the recliner, in a cabinet, in the car, and even under the bed! I previously thought of these things as "unfinished projects", but apparently I can label them as WIP's, which sounds so much more productive. I rounded a few of them up to share with you:



  Well, except for that one project under the bed. Let's call that one a U.F.O, or Unfinished Object.  I'm still labeling that "unfinished", because there hasn't been any progress on that one in about three years. I consider that abandoned. 


  I admit to having a habit of beginning something else before another project is complete. However, I think it's also a habit of most crocheters. Are knitters that way too? I don't knit anymore, but I'm sure I'd have more than one project around if I did. Sometimes it gets messy, and sometimes it gets frustrating, but usually, it's just a bunch of projects waiting to be finished. And as long as they don't sit under the bed for three years, I think it's acceptable.


  After adopting the acronym W.I.P. for my work, an interesting psychological change happened in my mind. I went from feeling buried in projects, wondering when I would finish them all, to a calmer feeling of progressing through them. My work isn't incomplete anymore, it's just in progress (again, except for the U.F.O. under the bed). And for some reason, thinking about it in this way gives me even more ambition to finish things.


  It is popular for crocheters to share their WIP's. Whether it's on social media, or just with a crocheting friend, showing others what you are working on can be a great way to boost your confidence, give you ambition to complete a slow moving project, or maybe even inspire other crocheters to finish their own WIP's.


  If you enjoy sharing your work(s) in progress, what is your motivation behind doing so? Who do you usually share them with? Leave a comment explaining so, and share your W.I.P. if you like. Maybe somebody else out there has a U.F.O. they can share to give my lonely, forgotten afghan under the bed some emotional support.


Monday, September 22, 2014

Special Free Pattern: Pumpkin Earrings




  To welcome the beginning of fall, why not make something quick, simple, and totally fun? Crochet is the Way is offering you an extra free pattern this week in honor of the turn of the season. Made of worsted weight yarn, these pumpkins are large enough to attract attention, but lightweight enough to not wear out their welcome on your ears.



  Follow the provided links if you need help with the stitches needed to complete these cute accessories.



  If bigger earrings aren't your thing, you can still use this pattern for a brooch, pendant, or keychain. Whether you make a fridgie, use as an applique, or hang it in your car, your imagination is the only limit. The pattern only takes a minute to complete, and will help you use up some of that yarn stash.



  Finished size of pattern is 1 1/2" (3.8 cm) wide at center of pumpkin, 2" (5 cm) tall from bottom of pumpkin to top of stem. When assembled as for earrings shown, the height measures 3" (7.5 cm)  from the bottom of pattern to earring hook.






Skill Level:






Materials:
Worsted weight (4) acrylic yarn
-I'm using Red Heart Super Saver in Pumpkin and Coffee; also a sage color I had some scraps of. Brown/tan, light green, dark green, and certain yellows would work well for a stem color. Each motif uses less than a yard of each color.
Crochet hook size H/8-5.00 MM or size needed to obtain gauge
Stitch marker, if needed
Yarn needle or smaller hook to weave in ends
Jewelry findings for assembly
Fabric stiffener or craft glue




Gauge:
Not important. First round of pattern has a diameter of 1 1/2" (3.8 cm)


Notes:
For the last row of pattern, you may chain more than 2 if you like. This is only for a space to add a jump ring, so adjust it to your needs.


Stitches and abbreviations:
Begin/beginning (beg)
Chain (ch)
Slip stitch (sl st)
Single crochet (sc)
Half-double crochet (hdc)
Double crochet (dc)


Directions:

1. Begin with a sl st in magic circle. Ch 1 (counts as 1 sc), (1 hdc, 8 dc, 1 hdc [mark with st marker], 1 sc) in circle. Join with a sl st to beg ch-1. Pull circle tight around stitches.


Bind off, weave in ends.



2. In marked hdc before join, pull color B through, sl st. Ch 1 (counts as 1 sc), 1 sc in each of the next 2 sts.



3. Ch 2, turn. Skip next st, sl st in last st. Bind off, weave in ends.




Hardening motif:

*You may use purchased fabric stiffener if you like, just follow the manufacturer's instructions. I'm using diluted craft glue, and will provide directions for the process.

Here I'm using good ol' Aleene's Tacky Glue. Dilute 2 parts of glue with one part water in an appropriate container. You only need enough to cover the motifs you will be hardening.



Gently squeeze out any excess glue, and allow to dry. You may thread string or scrap yarn through them and hang to dry, but I like to lay them flat to dry on some waxed paper. If you do this, move them slightly every 10 minutes or so, to make sure they don't stick.




Assembly of earrings shown:


1. Once dry, attach a jump ring in the ch-2 space at top of stem.



2. Add a second jump ring to the first.



3. Attach a third jump ring to the second, add earring hook before closing.


Happy Fall!

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