Tuesday, 12 August 2014

SWIRLING LEAVES BLANKET


SWIRLING LEAVES BLANKIE BLOG

My sister wanted something special for her friend’s to-be grandchild, and that got me started on  yet another lovely new journey – to either find just that perfect pattern or design one myself.  Creative juices flowing, hook and yarn in hand, I started off with ideas.. while the internet was also doing it’s thing.. giving me ideas and free patterns and this lovely Swirling leaves blanket caught my eye.

The designer has done a superb job in giving us not one, not two, but ten options of making this pattern.. all the way from a “lovey” size at 12” x 12” to a “king” sized one at 104” x 96” !!  Stitch pattern is the same, with differences worked in for counts that the designer has taken the trouble of giving us J
Pattern link for the original Swirling Leaves Blanket http://www.cre8tioncrochet.com/2014/07/swirling-leaves-blanket/

The stitch is also a lovely one – cute, quick and a really simple repeat. The yarn and my loose hold
(i.e tension) is also making it so soft and fluffy that oooh, it’s lovely! J
One point I’d reiterate and agree with the designer who says in her notes section that we should keep a count on our stitches every few rows to ensure we don’t drop a cluster .. DO count.. else, like I did you too may need a ‘rip rip’ froggin .. and none of us like that now, do we ? L

I make notes for all the patterns I  make, as many-a-times, the pattern is so good, but due to the difference in my yarn and hook, I end up with a slightly ‘different’ end project.  Then I realized that many of us (Indians, who are using similar local yarns) have the same drawback.. so here are my inputs with our locally available Indian yarn.. I’ve put the “Indian” into the pattern J

Materials used : Vardhaman baby soft (~ 225 gms / 10.2 skeins) ; 4.5 mm (US 7) crochet hook

Size : Stroller (32” x 36”)

Gauge : 3 cluster sts across x ~ 2 rows high = 2”

Skill level : Easy, advanced beginner. 
Need to know how to do ch, sc, dc and dc 4-tog.

Stitches used : cl st : A cluster stitch with is a 4 dc-tog.  The designer uses the 4 dc-tog as a wrapped stitch, where in you wrap (or go around) the previous dc, such that instead of your 4 dc-tog coming up at you like a regular triangle, this stitch is an angled triangle, so the stitches all look diagonal or angled.  And then just for a difference, and for fun, the designer has thrown in another twist, where she has split the 4 dc-tog stitch… So ..

How do we do the cl st for this pattern : dc, ch 2, sk 2 sts, [4 dc-tog in such a way that you do 3 dc-tog in the previous dc, and the last dc (of the 4 dc-tog) in the st after the 2 sk sts].  Make sense?  I've made a chart and you can also take a look at this lovely video link provided by designer at http://newstitchaday.com/how-to-crochet-the-connected-spiral-stitch/
Note that in the video above, the cluster /connected spiral stitch shown has ch 3, whereas designer has used ch-2, but the idea is the same.

I thought I’d chart what I’ve done with the pattern, as the photos (which the designer has provided) do not really show the lovely stitch .. for what I’ve done J
Key / Legend for chart at the end of the blog

fsc : Foundation Single Crochet : To refresh your skill on the fsc, please view the superb vide by Tamara Kelly at this link below http://www.mooglyblog.com/foundation-single-crochet-fsc/

I’ve also used the lovely Moogly Chainless dc start. So instead of the usual start with the ch 2 or ch 3 (for dc), I’d like to introduce this lovely new way of starting a dc row.  Do take a look at the self explanatory super video at http://www.mooglyblog.com/chainless-starting-double-crochet/
Assuming that you will be using this start, chart is shown for 2 dc for start stitch too J
However, in case you do not like this chainless dc start, do continue with the usual ch-2 or ch-3 start (and add ch as needed for this start)


Pattern instructions :

I’d like to break down the lovely cluster st (cl-st) into two here : one for the 1st fsc row and one for all other rows.  The cluster st is a 4 dc-tog, here the designer has split the st into 3 dc-tog in one st and then 1 dc in a st (2 sts away) and then putting all these 4 separated sts as 1 dc 4-tog.

1st fsc row cl-st : (We start all rows with a 2 dc, and the 1st cl-st will be in the 2nd of these two dc’s, which will be called the ‘previous’ dc)
So start with 2 dc, then 2 ch, the 1st 3 dc (of our cl-st) go into the previous dc, then sk 2 fsc, and then the last dc (of our cl-st) is in the next fsc).  So our cl-st (4 dc-tog) is spread over 4 sts.

cl-st for all other rows : (Remember we start all rows with a 2 dc, and the 1st cl-st will be in the 2nd of these two dc’s, which will be called the ‘previous’ dc)
So start with 2 dc, then 2 ch, the 1st 3 dc (of our cl-st) go into the previous dc, then the last dc (of our cl-st) is in the next ch-2).  So our cl-st (4 dc-tog) here will be moving in the opposite direction from the one in the earlier row – which is why they look like leaves J (Check photo below)

Row 1 : Started with 121 fsc.  Turn.



 Row 2 : 2 dc in 1st fsc ; ch 2, sk 2 fsc, cl-st in next previous dc (i.e dc just made in 1st fsc) ; *ch 2, sk 2 fsc, cl-st in the previous dc (i.e the dc after the 2 sk sts)* ; rep from *to* till end ; ch 2, dc in last fsc.  Turn.  (40 cl-sts) (Refer to 1st fsc row cl-st )


  
Row 3 : 2 dc in 1st dc , ch 2, cl-st in such a way that dc 3-tog in the previous dc, and the last dc of the cl-st in the 1st ch-2 sp ; *ch 2, cl-st in the previous dc and next ch-2 sp* ; rep from *to* till end ; ch 2, dc in the last dc.  Turn.  (40 cl-sts) (Refer to cl-st for all other rows )


Rep Row 3 (per pattern it reads Rows 4-46, but I achieved a length of 38”with a total of 40 rows, from
start)

And just to show you how the ‘leaves’ turn in opposite directions,  here’s the next row .. J


Next row : sc in the 1st dc ; *2 sc in ch-2 sp, sc on top of the cl-st* ; rep from *to* till last dc ; check that you have 121 sc and then turn and do one more row of sc’s on top of this row ; then you will continue down the sides of your blanket till the 1st fsc row ; do a row of sc on that 1st fsc row and then up the other side till you reach the top corner of your blanket.

Finishing : Designer has suggested 2 rows of sc and then one row of crab stitch or reverse sc to complete. 

Crab stitch / Reverse single crochet : (Reverse sc) : This is your regular single crochet st, but done in reverse.  So instead of moving ‘clockwise’ as we regularly work, you move anti-clockwise or counter clockwise, and you’ll achieve a slightly ‘bumpy’ single crochet, which is your reverse sc. 

See how the 'leaves' look - so in each row, we make the has the cl-st in such a way that it looks like the pattern is moving in the opposite direction, so the pattern looks like leaves.  Makes sense?? well, do it.. and see how lovely this is!








 the edging reverse sc / crab sttich
the yarn - Vardhaman baby soft Color shade BBM015











Key or Legend for chart symbols