Friday, May 9, 2014

Free Pattern: Opening Rose Square

  The garden of the Blooming Roses afghan has a new blossom showing. As with the others in the series, it begins with a simple square, then uses surface crochet to create the beauty of a romantic rosebud beginning to unfold.

  This square could be added to the collection of the Blooming Roses project, used with plain squares to create a  beautiful, dramatic afghan, or create some matching pillows.


  New to the technique? Don't be intimidated by the thought of surface crochet, click here for help. Finished size of square is 8" x 8" (20 cm x 20 cm).




Skill level:






Materials:
Worsted weight (4) acrylic yarn
I'm using a combination of Caron One Pound in black (color A), and Red Heart Super Saver in burgundy (color B)
Crochet hook size I/9 - 5.50MM
Tapestry/yarn needle or smaller hook to weave in ends



Gauge:
4" x 4" (10 cm x 10 cm) = 14 rows, 12 sc

Stitches:

Slip stitch (sl st)
Chain (ch)
Single crochet (sc)
Double crochet (dc)

Directions for square:




To begin, ch 26 with color A.

Row 1:

Beginning in 2nd ch from hook, 1 sc in each of 24 chs. (25 sc)

Row 2:

Ch 1, turn. 1 sc in each of next 24 sc. (25 sc)

Rows 3 - 27:

Repeat Row 2.

Bind off, weave in ends.


Directions for rose:


1. With color B, attach yarn with a sl st in st 13 of row 14. Remove hook, pull st through right side. Working in sl sts, place as follows: 

1 up & to the left, 1 to the left, 1 down. Rotate work 1 half-turn. 1 up & to the left, 1 to the left, 1 down & to the left. Rotate work 1 half-turn. (1 up & to the left) twice, 1 to the left, 1 down & to the left, 1 down. Rotate 1 half-turn. (1 up & to the left) twice, 1 to the left, (1 down & to the left) twice. Rotate. (1 up & to the left) three times, 1 to the left, (1 down & to the left) twice, 1 down. Rotate. (1 up & to the left) 3 times, 1 to the left, (1 down & to the left) twice. Rotate. (1 up & to the left) 4 times, 1 to the left, (1 down & to the left) 3 times, 1 down. Rotate. (1 up & to the left) 4 times, 1 to the left, (1 down & to the left) 4 times. Rotate. (1 up & to the left) 5 times, 1 to the left, join with a sl st to sl st directly below.


2.  Working into square: 1 sl st up and to the left, 1 to the left, (1 down) twice. Join with a sl st to nearest sl st of spiral. (1 down & to the left) twice. Rotate 1 half-turn, join to nearest sl st of spiral. (1 up and to the left) twice, (1 to the left) twice, join to nearest sl st. (1 up and to the left) twice, join to nearest sl st. 1 up, 1 up and to the left, 1 down & to the left, join to nearest sl st. 1 to the left, 1 down & to the left, join to nearest sl st. 1 to the left, 1 down & left, join to nearest sl st. 1 up & to the left, 1 to the left, 1 down, rotate 1 half-turn. 1 up & to the left, join to nearest sl st. 1 up, 1 up & to left, join to nearest sl st. 1 up, 1 up & to the right, (1 left) twice, join to the nearest sl st.



3. Working into sts of outer circle and petals just made: Make 2 sc in each st around, ending in st before beg join.



4. Turn to work spiral. Make 3 dc in each sl st of first round of spiral, skipping sts containing a joining sl st. End in st before last joining sl st.



5. *4 dc in each of next 2 sts, 3 dc in following.* Repeat from * to * 4 more times.  



6. (1 sc, 1 dc, 1 sc) in each of remaining sts of spiral. Remove hook, pull through.

Bind off, weave in ends.



Friday, May 2, 2014

Free Pattern: Rose in Bloom Square

  This square could inspire anything from relaxation to romance with bold, dramatic colors and a rose open in full bloom. Deceptively complicated looking, this is actually quite simple to make. Surface crochet is used to turn a plain square of single crochet into a masterpiece. 

  Join multiple squares together for an afghan or lapghan. Patterns for coordinating squares coming soon. Finished size is 8" x 8" (20 cm x 20 cm)


Skill level:

Easy/Intermediate

Materials:
Worsted weight (4) acrylic yarn
I'm using a combination of Caron One Pound in black (color A) and Red Heart Super Saver in burgundy (color B)
Crochet hook size I/9 - 5.50MM
Tapestry/yarn needle or smaller hook to weave in ends

Gauge:
4" x 4" (10 cm x 10 cm) = 14 rows, 12 sc





Notes:
Chain 1 at beginning of row always counts as 1 single crochet.

For help with surface crochet, click here.

*While working on this project in low light, I realized it may be difficult for some to determine the proper placement of stitches. For rose, everything after step 5 is mostly done by sight. If you have a stitch more or less, that's fine. Alignment is more important than stitch count, however,  make sure your work doesn't pull.

Stitches:

Slip stitch (sl st)
Chain (ch)
Single crochet (sc)
Double crochet (dc)

Directions for square:




To begin, ch 26 with color A.

Row 1:

Sc in  2nd ch from hook and in each of remaining sts. (25 sc)

Row 2:

Ch 1, turn. 1 sc in each of remaining  sts. (25 sc)

Rows 3 - 27 :

Repeat Row 2. Bind off, weave in ends.

Directions for Rose:

With color B, attach yarn behind work with a slip stitch in stitch 13 of Row 14. Remove hook, pull loop through to right side.

1. Slip st to the left of beg st and in one st down. Rotate work 180 degrees, (sl st in st to the left) twice, sl st in one st down. Rotate 180 degrees, sl st in next row up, 1 st to the left. (Sl st in st to the left) twice. 1 sl st in st one row up, to the left. Rotate. Sl st in st one row up, sl st in next row up, 1 st to the left.


2. Ch 2 behind work. Pull up loop 2 sts over. Work a circle of 22 sl sts 1 row away from beg spiral. 

3. Pull through, ch 2 behind work, pull through one st over. Work a circle of 29 sc in sts surrounding beg circle.

4. Working in sts of outer circle: *3 sc in first available st, 2 sc in following.* Repeat from * to * up to last st of outer circle. 


5. Pick up yarn in front of st, ch 2. Skip first st of inner circle, *3 sc in each of next 4 sts. Remove hook, insert from back to front in < 14th st > of outer circle. Pick up st, pull through.*
Repeat from * to * 5 more times. 3 sc in each of remaining 2 sts.  
**After beg < 14th st > refers to counting 14 away from last join in outer row.


*(see note) 6. Pull through. Ch 3 behind work, skip 2 sts to the left in "empty" row, pull through. Work a circle of 16 sc.

7. Working into row of 16 sc: 4 dc in each st (64 dc). Join with a sl st to beg dc.



8. Ch 3, pull through, ch 2 behind work. Pull st through in the st to the right of where the spiral meets itself. Ch 1, 1 sc in same st, 2 sc in next st. Remove hook, align with center of outer petal, insert from back to front of dc, pull st through. *2 sc in each of next 2 sts.** Remove hook, align with center of petal, insert from back to front, pull st through.* 



Repeat from * to * 3 more times, from * to ** once.

9. Rotate to work opposite direction around remaining sts of spiral. (1 sc, 1 dc, 1 sc) in each st. Pull through center st.

Bind off, weave in ends.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Yarn Review: Bernat Baby Jacquards

  Do you ever buy yarn on discount or clearance? I do it every chance I get. This skein of Bernat Baby Jacquards was less than half price, so I snagged it.

  This is a 90% acrylic, 10% nylon blend, DK (3) yarn.  It is extremely soft to the touch, lightweight, machine washable and dryer safe. According to the manufacturer's website, it looks like there are eight colors available, including this one.

  Buried at the back of a shelf, with a ripped up label, I almost missed it. Almost. How could you miss this color? Although the color name is Berries 'n' Cream, it reminds me of a pitcher of cold pink lemonade with lemons floating in it on a hot summer day. Beautiful.




  I was surprised with my results once I completed a project with Baby Jacquards. It created a luxurious fabric that is soft, light, and drapes wonderfully.


  I have no complaints about working with this yarn. I do have to admit some unhappiness with my own results, though.
After finishing the Pink Lemonade scarf using this material, I hand washed it, and it came out fine. When I washed it a second time in a machine (gentle cycle), it fuzzed up quite a bit. It didn't ruin my project or anything, it just didn't have that nice smooth look anymore. Perhaps it is best to hand wash it. Has anyone else had this happen?

  I have a second complaint,  but it's not really serious. Hey, Bernat, who says this has to be just for babies? Move over, babies! I want this yarn for myself! In grown-up colors too!

  But seriously, if Bernat had the same product in more adult pleasing colors, I think I would make one of everything out of it. My favorite part of working with Baby Jacquards was watching as the colors unfold from the skein.




  When someone speaks of a yarn using terms like "luxurious" and describes how well it drapes, you probably think of something with natural fibers (and usually a high price); this yarn will challenge that idea. "Baby" yarn or not, I would enjoy making some garments with it. Wouldn't this make a cute pair of socks for a little girl (or for yourself)?

  Making a guess, I think any baby would enjoy being wrapped up in this softness. Go ahead, make a baby blanket with it, then try to tell me that a secret part of you doesn't want one for yourself. You'll see.

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