Friday, January 23, 2015

Free Pattern: Surface Crochet 3-D Roses

  Many crocheters have stood by the classic rolled rose pattern over the years. Although it's a foolproof, beautiful pattern, as an advanced crocheter, I got bored with it (no offense to the old, tried-and-true rolled rose). While creating a tutorial for three dimensional surface crochet, I noticed the shape of a flower petal forming in my stitches. These beauties soon rolled off my hook.

  Each rose is created from the same pattern, and shaped differently while weaving in the ends. Three different methods of weaving will allow you to create five differently shaped roses. You can follow the written directions here, or for step by step help, see this tutorial.

  What would you use these roses for? Maybe put them on a garland, use them as three-dimensional appliques, attach them to hair accessories, bags, scarves, pillows, get the point, right? What about for weddings? The possibilities are endless!

  The finished size of the basic rose, without shaping, is 5" (12.5 cm), while the rosebud is cinched into a 2.5" (6 cm) ball.

From the top middle to the left: Version 4, version 2, version 3, version 1.

Skill level:

Worsted weight (4) acrylic yarn
  -Red Heart Super Saver used for White and Red
  -Caron One Pound used for pink
Crochet hook size J/10-6.00MM or size needed to obtain gauge
Smaller hook or yarn needle to weave in ends
Stitch marker (optional)

In 4" by 4" (10 cm by 10 cm):
6 rows of 12 double crochet

The base of the pattern is worked without joining rounds. Use stitch markers for the beginning chain spaces of rounds, if needed.

Need help with the surface crochet for this specific project? See this tutorial on Guidecentral.

For more about different ways to use surface crochet, you can see the original tutorial here.

The directions for the surface stitches in this pattern may be confusing, so let's use the first round of raised stitches as an example: When working over the chain-3 space of Round 2, you will actually insert the hook in the chain-4 space of Round 3 to pull up a loop.
-Any time the stitch directions would include "yarn over", the yarn will come from the actual chain-3 space. Where the stitch directions would be "pull up a loop", the yarn will come from the chain-4 space below.
*For example: If you were to make a double crochet, yarn over from above the chain. Pull up a loop from below it. To (yarn over, pull through 2 loops) twice, you will pull up the yarn from above the chain.

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

2 double crochet cluster (2dc cl) - (Yarn over, insert hook, pull up a loop. Yarn over, pull through 2 loops) twice (3 loops on hook). Yarn over, pull through all 3 loops on hook.

Beginning (beg)
Skip (sk)
Space (sp)


To begin, chain 3, join into a ring with a sl st in the farthest chain from the hook.

Round 1:
(Ch 2, sl st in ring) 4 times. Ch 2, sl st in next chain-sp.

Round 2: *Mark the first chain spaces of the following rounds, if needed.
(Ch 3, sl st in the next ch-2 sp) 4 times. Ch 3, sl st in the next ch-3 sp.

Round 3:
(Ch 4, sl st in the next ch-3 space) 4 times. Chain 4.

Round 4:
*Sl st in the next ch-4 sp from back to front. (Ch 3, 2 dc, 1 hdc, ch 3, 1 hdc, 2 dc, ch 3, sl st) in the same sp.* Repeat from * to * 4 more times.

Round 5: (surface crochet)
Turn as if you are going to work in rows. Allow the yarn to fall underneath the work to prepare for the surface stitches. Working on top of the chain-3 spaces of Round 2: Pull the yarn up from under the work. *Sl st in the next available ch-3 sp, before the sl st in the middle of the chain. (Ch 4, 2dc cl) in same sp. (Ch 4, 2dc cl, ch 4, sl st) in same space past the sl st.* Repeat from * to * 4 more times.

Round 6: (surface crochet)
*Sl st in the next available ch-2 sp of Round 2, before the middle sl st. (Ch 3, 1 dc)in the same sp. (1 dc, ch 3, sl st) in the same sp past the middle sl st.* Repeat from * to * 4 more times.

Round 7:
Sk one ch-2 sp. (Sc in the center ring, pulling up a loop from the next available ch-2 sp. Ch 1.) 4 times. Insert the hook in the next (skipped) ch-2 sp from under the beg st. Pull up a loop from under the beg st, complete the sc, and ch 1.

*For all versions other than original version 1, you will need to leave a tail of at least 8" (20 cm).* Bind off. Place your hook under the last ch-1 space, pull the tail through the center to the bottom side. Decide which version of the rose you wish to make before fully weaving in your ends. For version 1, weave in ends now.

Version 2:

This was difficult to capture in a picture because it kept falling over, so if you want a rose that will sit flat, this one isn't it! Weaving the ends this way will create a tight-petaled, full-bloom style rose, with the bottom petals facing downward.

Weave the tail through the stitches until you reach the outer chain-4 spaces of Round 3. Pull the tail under the base loops of all Round 4 stitches (follow the ch-4 sps). Once you've gone all the way around, follow one more chain-4 space to overlap where the tail started. Hold down the center of the rose, and pull the tail tight. Secure the tail, weave in ends.

Version 3:

This method creates another full-bloom rose by pulling the center surface rows tighter, but leaves the outer stitches for a flat bottom.

Weave the tail towards the ch-3 spaces of Round 2. Pull the tail up to the top side through a ch-3 sp. Leave the stitch loose to weave back under it later. Working on the top side of the stitches from Round 4, pull the tail back through the next ch-3 sp to the bottom side. Leaving the stitches loose, continue weaving through the ch-3 sps until you get to the first st. Pull the tail under this st. Weave the tail under all the loose stitches as for a whip stitch. Pull the tail tight to pull the center surface crochet stitches together, leaving the base row flat. Secure the tail and weave in ends.

Version 4:

This version can be worked two different ways. The first way looks quite a bit like Version 2, but much more compact, with the bottom petals curling upward.

Weave the tail to the outer edge of Round 3. From the top side, insert the hook through the ch-2 sp of Round 2, and through the ch-4 sp of Round 3. Pull the yarn up through both sps. From the bottom side, insert the hook in the next available ch-4 sp of Round 5, between the 2dc cl sts. Pull the tail through to the bottom side of the work again. Repeat for the remaining ch-3 and ch-4 sps. This will create long stitches on the back side of the work. Weave the tail back and forth through these long stitches once you have woven through all of the designated chain spaces. Push down slightly in the center as you pull the tail tight.

Want to turn it into a rosebud? Push harder on the center, inverting the pattern as you pull the tail tight. The bottom side will now be the top, with the final row of surface sc creating a base.

Secure the tail, finish weaving in the ends.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Yarn Tales Tuesday

Saving the Yarn:
The culprits

  This week's subject will need a continuation. I just can't deal with it all at one time. Some of you will understand. A few of you will think I'm nuts and tell me to throw it out. Many of you have been in the same situation.

  Let me begin this endeavor with a quick comment: I love my kids. And I love my pets. But sometimes...Ugh. Sometimes as a parent (and pet owner), you have that moment where you envision Homer shaking Bart Simpson by the neck as he says "Why you little...!" But you take a deep breath, count to ten, take another deep breath and count to one hundred as steam rolls out of your ears, and then...Then you fix it. Whatever it is.

  My it is the subject of the following weeks. It started with one simple question: "Mom, do you have some blue yarn I can use?"

  "Sure, I have blue yarn! Do you want royal blue, powder blue, blue blue, or teal blue?" (Gesturing to acrylic craft yarn...)

  "I want that one" (points to the skein of more costly Navy acrylic that I'm about to start a project with).

  "Well, I'm going to use that one to make you a new hat. Can you use a different color?" 

  "I only need a little to tow my truck with. Please?"

  And that's where I made the biggest mistake with my yarn. "Sure, buddy, how long do you need it to be?" After being told he needed to measure, and I was busy at the time, I let him walk off with a skein, trusting it would come back only a little shorter. You can guess what happened, right?

  This is what happened. Here is my new free time. I still get to sit down with my coffee and some heavy metal, but it will include knots and four-letter words until this is done. Let me explain what you might not understand from the picture: The parts that are rolled up are both ends of the skein, coming out of the same end of the skein. After looping around the entire length of the skein, one end goes back inside the center, and comes out the other side. Then somehow, it meets the other end of the skein again. And...they're tied in a knot. Again. 

  The first knot is in the center of the looser tangle, closest to the rolled parts. Then both of the tail ends of that run through a mass of loops a few times. And as I traced the ends past where they are looped around, I discovered the second knot. I may have made it even worse when I tried to pull extra slack from the center of the skein. That's when I found out that the ends also pass through the middle of the skein sideways, as if my boy was using the skein as an embroidery canvas. 

  Ugh. Time for more four letter words, and maybe time for scissors. I just can't take it anymore, but I refuse to throw away yarn that can be saved. You remember seeing the little good guy/bad guys on a character's shoulders in cartoons? I have a set of them with me now. The bad one with the pointy little beard is whispering in my ear "It's a five-dollar skein of acrylic...Throw it away! Just throw it away!". And the good guy in the white dress is yelling "NOOO! No! Don't throw the yarn away! You can save it! You have to save it! You will save it!".  

  Maybe I watched too many cartoons as a kid...

  In my head, the good guy jumps over to the other shoulder, takes the bad guy's pitchfork, and shoves it up his...ahem...anyways... So, I'm putting it down, for now. I don't want to throw it away. I just can't deal with it all at one time. Just when I think I made it past a knot, I find a new one. And just when things are going well with the untangling process, I lose my grip on the ball I'm working with, sending it rolling across the room for a cat to catch. Can somebody remind me why I have a sensitive, caring side?

  Oh, that's right, cute little pets! I forgot the part about my furry little "friends"! Sometimes it seems like my design ideas come to a halt because of pets. I had an awesome idea for salvaging this yarn. I'm pretty sure some cutting will happen, so...Granny squares. Yay, a new afghan! It will look so nice on my couch! Oh, wait...never mind cats' claws in the project that took me three months to finish, I have a bad dog, too. 

  Tater Salad weighs about 120 pounds and slobbers everywhere. He knows he's not allowed on my couch. After repeatedly finding fur on the couch in the morning, I started pushing the coffee table against it before I went to bed. Ha! Now get on the couch, bad dog!

  Right. So, after repeatedly finding fur on the couch even after I blocked it off with the table, I set up a motion-sensor night vision camera. This first picture was taken 20 minutes after I went to bed:

  I swear he's looking right at the camera, thinking "Like that's gonna stop me". And, here he is, nice and comfy, after going right across my coffee table to get to the couch:

  With his head on the pillow and everything. Ugh. And for the grand finale:

  That would be him going across my table again, to get off the couch. Time stamp on photo - exactly the same time my alarm clock started going off. Did I mention he knows he's not allowed on the furniture? The next picture in the group was of me coming out to start the coffee. And when I did, he was on his bed, where he's supposed to be, looking as innocent as the boy who said "I put your yarn back for you, Mom". Thanks.

  Have your attempts with yarn ever been thwarted by the loved ones in your life? Maybe they don't appreciate yarn or the final product the way us yarn lovers do. Maybe the big, smelly dog just wants a nice afghan to cuddle with, and he just doesn't understand why he can't have it. Maybe the kid doesn't really want a new hat.

  And maybe, just maybe, the "yarn gods" will bless me with the power to untangle this skein. Until then, the drink of the day is coffee (as always), the band of the day is Mushroomhead (video will play), and I see the use of scissors in my near future.

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