Friday, September 1, 2017

Granny Panel Blanket

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  I gave this project the nickname of the "Change-Your-Mind Blanket" for three reasons: 1) If you're using scraps and you run out of a yarn, it's easy to keep busting that stash by changing colors. 2) Get bored with the pattern? Multiple panels give you plenty of space to practice different stitches for a sampler afghan. 3) Give up on finishing? (Because we all know that happens sometimes!) If you're working the pattern as written, then the long panels can be up-cycled into scarves for gift-giving, charity donations, or for yourself.

  Oh, and... Just a bonus reason to make this awesomely-easy pattern: Each panel begins with my favorite "chain-less" beginning. This effortless method makes the start of the panels go lightning-fast. Plus, it's so much easier to count the chain spaces instead of individual chains! For help, you can watch this method worked in a video for the Not-So-Mesh scarf which uses the same beginning.

  The version shown is made in four colors, keeping each panel a solid color and using a contrasting color for the seam. You could turn this project into a major stash-buster by changing colors within the rounds of the panels. The pieces are quick to work up with a no-chain beginning and simple "granny" stitch, plus a large hook makes it go even faster.

  If you're interested in some pictures of the panels before they were joined, see the post "Progress in Reverse". (There's a great example of why you should start the seam with a full One-Pound skein unless you want to join new yarn.) And to see the "finished" blanket before the border was added, see the followup post "Forward Progress".

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  **This is my project for September's GrannySpiration Challenge, so don't forget to go see what everyone else has created, too! (Find links at the end of this post.) **


Finished size:
52" (132 cm) wide; 64" (162.5 cm) length

Total yarn weight:
36 oz. / 1020 g
2.25 lbs. / 1 kg

Skill level:
Easy

Materials:
Worsted weight (4) acrylic yarn
I used a combination of Red Heart Super Saver in Light Blue (A) and Light Grey (B), plus Caron One Pound in White (C) and Black (D) 
Hook size N - 9mm
Yarn needle
Stitch markers (optional)

Gauge:
In 4" by 4" (10 cm by 10 cm)
5 rows of 16 double crochet

Notes:
Chain 1 at beginning of rounds does not count as a stitch. Chain 2 to meet the height of the double crochet if necessary.

Panels are worked in the round.

The single crochet stitch is used to join rounds in order to take the place of a chain-1 space.

A stitch diagram is included after the written pattern.

*Personal note about yarns used:
Colors A and D are used the most... I began with full jumbo (16 oz) skeins of each, and had very little left over. Color B came from my stash and worked to complete one panel with less than a 7-oz skein, so you could work with smaller skeins for A, B, and C. Although scraps will work for making the panels, I highly recommend starting with a jumbo skein for the joining (color D), which takes the most yarn. 

Stitches:
(American terms)
Chain
Single crochet
Half double crochet
Double crochet
Slip stitch

Pattern stitch:
(1 chain, 2 double crochet)
Worked just like the classic granny stitch, with one double crochet of the multiple removed.

Instructions for panels:
For pattern shown, make (3) color A, (2) color B,  and (2) color C.

Beginning row:
This chain-less beginning builds upwards to create the first "row" of the pattern. The stitches of the first round will be worked into the chain spaces. Remember you can find help for this beginning row in this video.

Chain 2, half double crochet in the farthest chain from the hook.
*Chain 2, half double crochet in the chain space between the previous chain-2 and half double crochet.*
Repeat from * to * 50 times for a total of 52 chain spaces (64" / 162.5 cm finished length of blanket), or work to desired length... Keep in mind that the remaining rounds and border will add about 6" to each end of the panel. 

Round 1:
Working into the half double crochet side of the spaces...
Chain 1, make 2 double crochet in the last chain space made.
*(1 chain, 2 double crochet) in each space to the end.*
(1 chain, 2 double crochet) twice more in the end space.
Working around into the chain-2 side of the spaces, repeat * to *.
In the last space, (1 chain, 2 double crochet) once more. (3 sets of 2-double crochet in the space.)
Join with a single crochet in the beginning double crochet (counts as chain-1 space).
**Optional** Mark the chain-1's of the corner spaces, found between the double crochet sets in each end space. (The single crochet joining stitch makes one corner of the pattern.)

Round 2:
Chain 1, make 2 double crochet in the single crochet joining space.
*(1 chain, 2 double crochet) in each space up to the corner chain-1.
In corner space, make (2 double crochet, 1 chain, 2 double crochet).*
Chain 1, (2 double crochet, 1 chain, 2 double crochet) in the next corner space.
Repeat * to * up the next long side to remaining corner space.
Chain 1, make 2 double crochet in the single crochet joining space.
Join with a single crochet in the beginning double crochet.

Round 3:
Chain 1, make 2 double crochet in the single crochet joining space.
*(1 chain, 2 double crochet) in each space up to the corner chain-1.
In corner space, make (2 double crochet, 1 chain, 2 double crochet).
(1 chain, 2 double crochet) in the next chain-1.*
(2 double crochet, 1 chain, 2 double crochet) in the next corner space.
Repeat * to *.
Make 2 double crochet in the single crochet joining space.
Chain 1. Bind off, join with a false stitch by weaving the tail through the beginning stitch, back through the top of the last stitch, and through the middle of the false stitch (from bottom to top).


Joining:
**Panels can be joined using any technique you prefer. The following instructions are for a "seamless" continuous join. Click here to see a diagram/map for how to join squares in this method, but don't let it confuse you!.. Joining these long rectangular panels will be like working only one strip of squares (see a photo-tutorial example here). 


First panel:
Begin at the far end of the short side of a panel, using color D.
*Work 3 double crochet in each chain-1 space to corner.*
Make 3 more double crochet in the corner space. (6 total)
Repeat * to * across long side of panel, turn. (Do not complete as a corner!)

For each panel added:
Chain 1, turn.
Make 3 double crochet in the corner space (long side) of the next panel.
Chain 1, remove hook. Insert the hook in the space between the corner double crochet set and the next available set of the previous panel. (Hook should come from behind work and back towards you.) Pick up stitch and chain 1.
*3 double crochet in the next chain-1 of the current panel. Chain 1, remove hook. Insert the hook in the next space available of the previous panel and pick up stitch. Chain 1.*
Repeat from * to * to the corner space.
Make 3 more double crochet in the same space of the current panel.
3 double crochet in each chain-1 across short side to corner; 6 double crochet in the corner space; 3 double crochet in each chain-1 across long side, ending in corner space.

Repeat the step above for each remaining panel.
Complete the corner of the last panel with 3 more double crochet, then continue around the remainder of border with the 3-double-crochet stitch (twice in corners!).
Complete the last corner with 3 more double crochet (6 total). Bind off; join with a false stitch using the tail; weave in ends.

Border:
Using the same 3-double-crochet stitch pattern, work rounds of each color in the following order...
1-B
1-C
1-A
2-D

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Stitch diagram:

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Charts made with Stitch Fiddle

Happy Crocheting!


GrannySpiration Challenge:

  I do apologize for not having the linkup and giveaway available this month! In a fog of insomnia, I deleted my blog's background... And it's possible that I've done worse than that, because I can't get the code for the Challenge to convert - It just stays as code. Let's hope it's just a temporary glitch because I've done everything I can to fix it and I give up. You can still enter the giveaway and linkup (runs from 12 a.m. on Sept. 2nd, 2017 to 12 a.m. Sept. 18th) at EyeLoveKnots, where Alexandra doesn't accidentally delete working parts of her blog. 

And visit everyone else in the Challenge for some awesome granny-inspired projects!






Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Never Make Important Changes When Tired

  About five minutes ago, I was playing around with different blog themes after changing my text size. I've been meaning to increase the size of the text because I've received a few (friendly) requests. I'm more than happy to help you out with that... Once I remember how to do it! It all came back, but there's one big rule I forgot about: Never make important changes when TIRED.

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  So, I got distracted while I was playing with the colors of the text (of which I was only supposed to change size), and I selected some different themes to see what would come up for suggested colors... I think it's pretty cool how you can load a picture (or pick a theme) and Blogger will help you out with what will look good...

  But I don't think it's cool that there's no "undo" button! I went back to reload my background picture when I was done playing, but it wasn't there. Since I still had a page open with the old background, I took a screenshot in order to copy the picture from there. (That file can be found two-un-backed-up computers ago.) With the picture cut off on both sides, there's no real hope of going back to fix it - It will never be the same.

  I just hope you're happy! 😉 I started this blog back in 2012, and I've never changed the background for spiteful reasons... I received a lot of complaints in my first year, but none of them were like the friendly requests for larger text. They were hateful, rude comments, calling my background "ugly", telling me I'll never be successful, and other negative things that I've since forgotten through my stubborn determination to never change just because of what someone else says.

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  If only I could have been hard-headed enough to stop myself... "Just a little more work and I'll go to bed" I said at 9 o'clock in the morning as I published a new pattern and video... "Let me get to that text thing, first" I bargained at noon... "Hey, I wonder how it would look in this color" I thought about 45 minutes ago... And now instead of fighting to recover my background, I've decided to let go of the hate, stubbornness, and spite. Others shouldn't have to suffer just because of a few negative people. Maybe I'm just a little too tired, but I'm thinking the rest of the world could really use that advice right now.

  Besides, I've been punishing myself as well. I always hated that background, too. But not because of the colors. It was due to the one thing that nobody ever did complain about... Those stitches were wrong-side-up. HA! I'm going to try to get a few hours of sleep now. Let's hope I actually do it before I accidentally delete the whole blog.

Happy Crocheting!

Not-So-Mesh Scarf

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  If you've ever bought a fluffy, textured yarn and found it difficult to work with, then you've found the perfect pattern to use it on! Can you believe there's open mesh stitch in all of that of super-bulky yarn? When I unearthed three skeins of Country Loom yarn from my stash, the memories flooded back... Bought when I was a beginner, I found it extremely frustrating to work with this fuzzy yarn. (Read the rest of that story along with my review of Country Loom.) Even though my skills have advanced since then, there's times I still prefer "easy" over a challenge... So I set my mind to designing a pattern that might make it possible for a beginner to tackle with this yarn.

  You can choose to work in short rows for a more textured, scalloped edge, or start with the length of the scarf for a straight-edge, ribbed design. This stitch pattern is simple to follow with a one-row repeat, and you only have to work directly into a stitch one single time to begin the project. The rest is all easily worked into chain spaces!


  This scarf works up super-quick using super-bulky yarn, and a large P - 10 mm hook helps it go even faster. If you're a speedy crocheter and you catch on to the pattern quickly, you just might find yourself done in an hour like I was!.. In case you need a little help with your project, there's a photo tutorial included after the pattern and stitch diagram... Or, you can click here for a video tutorial.

Finished size:
Both versions shown are 60" (152 cm) long and 4" (10 cm) wide.
Total yarn weight: 4 oz. / 113 g.

Skill level:
Easy

Materials:
Super-bulky weight (6) acrylic yarn
I used Country Loom by Loops & Threads in the color Merlot, which seems to be a discontinued colorway. Similar colors (currently) available are Kiss Me or Tapestry.
Crochet hook size P - 10 mm
Stitch markers
Yarn needle

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Gauge:
In 4" by 4" (10 cm by 10 cm)
7 rows of 4 multiples

Notes:
Multiple for pattern stitch is 2 + 1.

Pattern uses a "ladder" of stitches to take the place of the beginning chain. This counts as row 1.

Chain 1 at beginning of rows does not count as a stitch.

Half double crochet at end of rows counts as (chain 1, single crochet).

Stitches:
(American terms)
Chain
Half double crochet
Single crochet

Instructions:


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Check out the video tutorial starting around 9:00 to see why this pattern changes so much just by working different directions. The amount of stretch might affect which version you want to create.

Row 1:
Chain 2. Half double crochet in the farthest chain from the hook.
*Chain 2. Half double crochet in the space between the previous chain-2 and half double crochet.*
Repeat from * to * for desired length or width...
For short-row version, work 4 multiples across.
For long-row version, work 60 multiples or to a length of 60".

Row 2:
Working into the half-double-crochet side of the first row... Chain 1, single crochet in the first available space.
(Chain 1, single crochet in the next space) to end of row*... You will have one less chain space in the row once you've worked into the last space.
*3x for short rows; 59x for long rows.
Half double crochet in the last same space as the last single crochet made (counts as chain-1, single crochet).
Short row: 4 chain-1 spaces / Long row: 60 chain-1 spaces.

Row 3:
Chain 1, turn. Single crochet in the first chain-1 space.
(Chain 1, single crochet in the next chain-1 space) to the end of the row.
Half double crochet in the same as last single crochet made.

Repeat Row 3 for each additional row.
7 rows total for long-row version; short-row version worked to length (60") without counting.

Bind off; weave in ends.

Stitch Diagram:
Click on the chart below to enlarge image.


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Photo tutorial:
Chain 2, yarn over for a half double crochet:
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Insert hook in the first chain/farthest from hook:
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Yarn over, pull up a loop (3 loops on hook)...
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Yarn over, pull through all three loops:
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Chain 2, yarn over for a half double crochet:
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Insert hook between the previous chain-2 and half double crochet:
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Complete the stitch for a half double crochet:
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(Chain 2, half double crochet in the space below) to desired length or width:
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Single crochet in the first available space:
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Chain 1, single crochet in the next space:
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(Chain 1, single crochet in the next space) to the end of the row:
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Half double crochet in the same as last:
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Chain 1, turn, single crochet in the first space:
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Follow the previous steps for each row. Mark beginning/end spaces of rows:
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Happy Crocheting!

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