Shaped Crochet Babywearing Cover

This is a slightly more complex cover than the one I shared with you last week, and is again an outline designed for you to work from to create the size and shape that you require. **Common sense note: Please … Continue reading

Granny Square Basics (or how to square a circle)

GS1This tutorial aims to introduce you to the essentials of Granny Squares. There are many slightly different methods, but this is the one I like most and will be using in workshops. Once you’ve made a few, there are endless variants of colour and pattern to explore, squares with flower centres and much more besides. Triangles, hexagons and other shapes are possible too!

Materials required:

Yarn – I’ve used Wendy Supreme Cotton DK (light worsted #3)

Hook to suit your yarn and preferences – here you’ll see a 4.00mm KnitPro Waves hook.

Scissors and yarn needle

 

To begin the square, oddly, we start with a circle. There are two main ways:

Chain 4 stitches, and form into a circle (as in the flowers tutorial)

alternatively, a magic or adjustable ring can be used. Annemarie’s Haakblog has a tutorial that I found really helpful when I first learned this technique.

 

GS3

1. Wrap the yarn around your finger, starting at the back, up, over and round twice (or once if you prefer)GS4

 

 

 

2. Insert the hook under the loops, yarn over hook

 

 

 

 

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3. Catch the yarn and draw it back under the loops on your finger, so you have one loop on the hook

 

 

 

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4. Yarn over hook and draw yarn through the loop on the hook

 

 

 

 

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5. This creates a stitch that holds the ring in place while allowing it to be adjusted.

 

 

 

 

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6. Chain 3 (or use the starting treble which gives a neater stitch); this counts as one treble and is the start of your first cluster of 3 stitches.

GS11

 

7. Work 2 trebles (tr/US dc) back into the ring, to complete the first cluster. Each round is made up of clusters and chain spaces.

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8. Chain 2. This creates your chain space and the first corner in this round.

GS13

 

 

 

 

9. Work a set of 3 trebles (3dc) into the ring and chain 2 again. This completes the second cluster and chain space.

GS14

 

 

10. Repeat step 9 twice so that you have 4 clusters and 4 chain2 spaces.

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11. Slip stitch to the top of the initial chain 3 to close the round (square!) and adjust the ring – I find it works best if I place one finger end in the ring as I tighten the yarn tail – until it closes.

The next round is worked in much the same way.

GS19

 

 

 

 

12. Chain 3 (or use the starting treble (dc) if you’re continuing with the same colour, or a standing treble (dc) if you wish to change colour at this stage.)

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13. Work two trebles (2dc) into the same corner space. N.B. As you work along the side of a square, you can chain 1 between clusters, though I prefer not to as I find it gives a neater finish.

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14. Work 3 trebles (3dc) into the next ch2-space, and chain 2 to create the new ch2-space for this corner

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15. Work another cluster of 3 trebles (3dc) into the same corner ch2-space, a cluster into the next corner ch2-space, and chain2 to create a new corner space and complete the 2nd side.

GS23

 

16. Repeat step 15 to create the third side (cluster into same ch2-space, cluster in next ch2-space, ch2 to create new ch2-space).

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17. Repeat step 15 again to create the fourth side of the square, and slip stitch into the top of the initial ch3/tr(dc) to close the round.

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A 3rd round is worked here in the same way as the second, so that there are ch2-spaces at the corners but no spaces between clusters along the sides.
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A larger piece can be made either by continuing to create rounds in the same way, or by joining squares, for which there are several methods that we’ll look at later…
‘Bye for now,
NNN. x

Broomstick Lace Crochet Tutorial

Broomstick Lace Crochet TutorialAs promised, here is an introduction to broomstick lace crochet. It’s one of the first techniques that I learned, and is much less complex than it appears. If you can work double (US single) crochet and are reasonably dextrous – as you need to handle a knitting needle or broomstick as well as a crochet hook and yarn – then you can probably manage this quite well with a little practice.

Simple broomstick lace starts with a row or rows of double crochet stitches; a series of loops is then worked out of those stitches, and the loops are gathered into clusters using a further row of double crochet.

I tend to work with groups of 4, 5 or 6 stitches; the example here is worked in 6 groups of 4, and the wrap I made last week has 18 groups of 4. This can be varied to achieve different effects and to suit the yarn you have chosen.

I will use UK terms throughout, with US terms in brackets when I remember.

Abbreviations used: dc – double crochet (sc- single crochet)

Tools and materials:

This sample piece and the wrap are made in a polyester-cotton marl yarn. Initially I’d suggest working with something that gives you good stitch definition, for example a mercerised cotton like Wendy Supreme.

 

Broomstick Lace1

You will also need a crochet hook to suit your yarn. Here two 4mm (G/6) hooks are shown, alongside a large knitting needle or ‘broomstick’. I generally use a 20mm or 25mm knitting needle. You could equally well use a broom handle or curtain pole for larger loops.

n to the required length. In this example, it is 25 stitches: 6 groups of 4 plus a turning chain of 1.

Row 1: Turn, and work 1dc (sc) into the second stitch from the hook and every stitch until you reach the first chain. Alternatively, you could use foundation double (single) crochet (links to a Moogly tutorial) to achieve the same end result.

Row 2: When you have completed the final stitch, draw the loop up to the size of your knitting needle or broomstick.

Broomstick Lace4

 

 

 

 

Without twisting the loop, pick it up on the broomstick. Next, insert the hook into the back loop of the next double crochet along the row, draw up a loop and place it on the broomstick in the same way. (N.B. you can work in the front loop only, or both loops, if you prefer; each will give a different effect and you might wish to experiment a little at some stage to see which you prefer

Broomstick Lace5

Broomstick Lace9Broomstick Lace10

Repeat this along the row, until you have the same number of loops on the broomsticks as the stitches in your row of double crochet (24 here). You may find that you need to even out the tension of the loops a little, especially the first few, which I often find are looser than the later ones. At the end of each row I count the loops, to be certain that I have neither missed a stitch nor worked two loops into one or more stitches.  Here I have grouped the loops into fours to help illustrate the next step, though it’s not necessary to do so.

Broomstick Lace11 Broomstick Lace12

Row 3: Now, with the crochet hook, pick up the first four loops. In this group you need to work a locking stitch – like a slip stitch – and need to will do so at the start of each row like this. Lift the loops off the broomstick,yarn over hook and draw a loop back through the four large loops (one loop on the hook); yarn over hook and draw through the loop.

Broomstick Lace14 Broomstick Lace15

You can choose to chain one here, or not to (I prefer not to, but feel free to try both ways and see what you prefer). You then work 4 double (single) crochet into the group of 4 loops (or as many dc/sc as you have loops in the group if it is not 4). Pick up the next group of 4 loops and work 4dc (sc) into these and into each group of loops until you have 24dc (sc) or as many stitches as you began with. I find that it sometimes helps to hold the loops with one finger of my left hand so that I don’t get them crossed.

Broomstick Lace20 Broomstick Lace21 Broomstick Lace22

Repeat rows 2 and 3 until your work has reached the desired length. To finish, work one or more rows of dc (sc), fasten off and weave in the yarn end.

Broomstick Lace28 Broomstick Lace29 Broomstick Lace30

This larger piece, my spring wrap, has 31 2-row sets of the lace pattern and a row of dc to finish. I then dip dyed it in Dylon Sea Green (which is very pale due to the polyester content of the yarn).

Broomstick Lace Wrap

As I experiment and learn more about increasing, decreasing and variations on Broomstick Lace Crochet, I’ll add more tutorials and patterns. Please share what you’ve learned, too, and feel free to ask questions or suggest changes that would make this clearer.

NNN. x