Wednesday, 14 January 2015



This has been a lovely relaxed and fulfilling trip. We’ve reached Lagos in South Portugal, and are at a beach resort just off the Praia de D.Ana and its got the fabulous name of Villa Doris Suites.  The name ‘villa’ did make me dream of a little chalet, and the place where we had to check in (reception and registration) was a lovely chalet, but sadly that was not the resort.  The resort is a building, and at first look we were a little upset.. but the apartment is lovely and the view is awesome – we had a beach facing apartment and there is a cute little balcony that opens out of the main bedroom with an even better view – so breakfast there was awwww! J
Once again we scored on this apartment that we booked via

So come with me on a quick look-see of the awesomeness of Lagos beach, and you'll know why I’ve dedicate the inspiration for this bolero to this beauty. 

The castle - lit up on Christmas eve 

A whole road of lit up trees - Christmas eve

Lagos beach

Looking up .. from the beach

Just can't get enough of this view

The walkway to the top of the little cliff from the beach

and looking down from that cliff

and now you're on that little cliff

 Yes, it beckons.. doesn't it?

and a panaromic view of this awesome bay 

OK so we're all in the mood, let's get a-crocheting. This is not my original pattern  and it’s just one of those wonderful free floating freebies over the net.  I am, as usual, writing down my notes, and am sharing them with you. As I was halfway through creating it, my wonderful friend Rajeshwari Karthikeyan asked what I was up to and when she found I was struggling with a really poor chart, instantly sent me another version.  This second version has a different edging - so yet again, I offer you choices and decisions.

I have a few boleros already made, and just in case you want a dekho at those free patterns … here you go

Materials used : Today I’ve used about 3 (100 gm) balls of the lovely cotton Rosarios 4, Fo- Finho, which (I think) is a 4-ply baby acrylic yarn, fingering weight, with a 3.25 mm crochet hook

Size made : 34 - 36” ; Length : 16”
Gauge : I small shell (across)  = 1 “ ; 1 dc row (high) = ½”

Stitches used :
fsc : Foundation Single Crochet : To refresh your skill on the fsc, please view this superb video by Tamara Kelly at the link

Chainless dc start : Instead of the usual start with ch 2 or ch 3,I’d like to introduce a lovely way of starting a double crochet row.  Do take a look at this self explanatory super video
In case you are unhappy with this start, or do not like it, do continue with the usual ch-2 or ch-3 start.  However, all instructions will be given assuming that you are using this chainless dc start.

dc 2-tog : Double crochet 2-tog : [yo, insert hk in st or ch-sp, yo and pull up a lp ; yo and draw through 2 lps] 2 times (3 lps on hk) ; yo, draw through all lps on hk.  One dc 2-tog made.

Abbreviations used :
lp(s) : Loop(s)                                                              sc : Single crochet
dc : Double crochet                                                     sp : Space                                           
sl-st : Slip stitch                                                            ch : Chain
st(s) : Stitch(es)                                                           hk : Hook
yo : Yarn Over                                                            fsc : Foundation Single Crochet                     
Instructions : (Using U.S terminology)

Quick analysis of what we’re going to do here today.  We start at the base of our bolero at the back and work upwards to the shoulders.  When we reach neck level, we will divide for the shoulders, and continue on to make the front of the bolero.  The fronts of the bolero are attached to the side and (not the bottom) of the back, which gives it the lovely curve. We will then work a little border along the armhole edge as well as one continuous border along the top of neck, down the two fronts and the back of your bolero. 
Take a quick look at the many charts and pictures below.
So let’s get started…

BACK  : Our pattern repeat count is 8 + 1.  So start with the number of stitches you need for the width of the back of your bolero.

Row 1 : Start with fsc in multiples of 8 + 1. Turn.

We will be using a 2 types of shell stitches in this pattern.
The small shell stitch will be (3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) all in the same st or ch-sp.

Row 2 : 2 dc in the 1st fsc ; *ch 2, sk next 3 fsc, small shell st in the next fsc ; ch 2, sk next 3 fsc, 2 dc in the next fsc* ; rep *to* till end . Turn. 

The large shell stitch will be [dc in the 1st dc of the small shell st ; (ch 1, dc in the next dc) ; rep (to) once ; ch 2, rep (to) 3 times].

Row 3 : sc in the 1st dc ; ch 2, sc in the next dc ; * large shell st in the ch-2 sp of the next small shell st ; (sc in the next dc ; ch 2, sc in the next dc) * ; rep *to* till end . Turn. 

Row 4 : 2 dc in the 1st ch-2 sp ; *ch 2,  sk all 1st 3 dcs and 1st two ch-sps of large shell st , small shell in the next ch-sp ; ch 2, sk all dcs and ch-sps of the same large shell st and 2 dc in the next ch-2 sp* ; rep *to* till end . Turn. 

Row 5 : sl-st into the 1st ch-2 sp , sc in the same 1st ch-2 sp ; *large shell st in the ch-2 sp of next small shell st ; (sc in the next dc ; ch 2, sc in the next dc) * ; rep *to* till end . Turn. 

Rep Rows 4 & 5 for back pattern. 
How to do the trc 

How do do the sc 

Now the designer has done a total of 38 rows (ie 19 repeats) that I can count off.
Right, so we’ll work on this back part, and meet back here shortly.

I initially thought I’d do a 22” length for the back, and did not count the repeats by the designer.  I then smartly (or so I thought) went on to make the front of the bolero.  When I started to attach, I found that this did not look good.  The only reason it doesn’t is because we attach the front bit to the side of the bolero – so the armhole that automatically formed was really large and totally disproportionate to the body and the front bit looked like a really thin strip.  So ripped out , re-did it.. and lesson learned – well, let’s keep it like a bolero is meant to be – short and sweet.  I’ve done 15 pattern repeats for my back and front and the length of my bolero is 16” for a width of 37”.

So, after you’ve got the back done up to the neck, we’re going to divide for the two front parts.  It looks like the designer has done a similar number of rows for the front and back (so once again 19 pattern repeats)

The pattern remains the same, but there are only 2 pattern repeats across.  To get that front curve along the neck edge, we will increase the length of our last st, and for convenience I’ll re-number our rows.
Now remember that we are increasing st length along the border away from the armhole and side.  This is important as we will need to make a mirror image for the two sides – so for one side you’ll follow instructions below, and then mirror for the second side.

Row 1 : 2 dc in the 1st ch-2 sp ; *ch 2,  sk all 1st 3 dcs and 1st two ch-sps of large shell st , small shell in the next ch-2 sp ; ch 2, sk all dcs and ch-sps of the same large shell st and 2 dc in the next ch-2 sp* ; rep *to* twice BUT in the last sts, do 2 trc in the last 2 sts . Turn. 
Note : You are changing the last 2 dc stitches into trc, so that there will be a natural curve at the neck end. We will do a total of three repeats as per pattern given by designer.

Row 3 : sc in the 1st trc ; ch 3, sc in the next trc ; *large shell st in the next small shell st ; (sc in the next dc ; ch 2, sc in the next dc) * ; rep *to* till end . Turn. 
Note : Our ch-3 sp at the start of this side will once again add to the curvature of our bolero.

Now what I’ve done is attach this to the side after completing the front rows – and then fastening off.  So if you plan on the same thing.. you attach this front flap to the side of your work and not the bottom as we usually do.  (See pic below)
The attachment looks loose and weird as the armhole round looks loose and flappy.  Don’t worry – it works out and flattens out and once you’ve done it, you’ll see what I mean – the back comes around to the front and neatly picks up that sag.

Right, so once done, you then re-attach yarn at for the other part of the back /neck-shoulder / front and mirror this side so that both your fronts are done too… and then we’ll work some more magic in finishing this up.

Sleeve finishing & Border - I
Now written below is the edging I've used, but as I said at the start, Rajeshwari shared a second pattern chart with me and this one has another lovely edging which is self explanatory in photos. So take your pick.

Right.. so, as we’ve joined the front to the sides of the back, we have a natural arm hole opening made.  Let’s take a look at the armhole.  It has row edges that has either the dc’s or the sc + ch edge.  So we will be working in the centre of each one of these stitches, and term them as ‘stitches’ for convenience. 
One trick that one can use is that for the last ch-5 (before joining up), do a ch 2 + dc, which then brings you right at the centre of that last ch-5 sp and where you need to be.

Round 1 : sc in the 1st st ; *ch 5, sc in the next st* ; rep *to* all around. Join with a sl-st to the 1st st.
Now this is a bit tricky.  This round needs to be in multiples of 3 (i.e. there should be a multiple of 3 ch-5 sps) as the pattern starts in Round 2 and that needs this count.  So do try and figure that out in this round.

Round 2 : sl-st into the 1st ch-5 sp, sc in the same ch-5 sp ; *(ch 3, dc 2-tog in the next ch-5 sp ; ch 3, dc 2-tog in the same ch-5 sp) ; ch 3, sc in the next ch-5 sp* ; rep *to* till end, joining with a sl-st to the 1st st.

In the last round of our border, we will be using the picot as a decorative stitch.  Our picot will be ch 3, and then sl-st into the 1st ch. We will also be doing a shell st only in the ch-sp between the dc 2-togs.  Our shell st here is [dc in the ch-5 sp ; (picot + dc in the same ch-5 sp) ; rep (to) 3 times ; one more picot on top of that last dc].  We will also be doing 1 dc each in the ch-3 sps just before and after the ch-3 sps, and this is basically our last round of pattern.

Round 3 : sl-st into the 1st ch-3 sp , sc in that same ch-3 sp ; *ch 1, dc in the next ch-3 sp (just before the next dc 2-tog) ; ch 1, shell st in the next ch- 3 sp (between the two dc-2 togs) ; ch 1,  dc in the next ch-3 sp ; ch 1, sc in the next ch-3 sp* ; rep *to* all around, joining with an sl-st to the 1st st.

Fasten off and repeat this for the other armhole as well as the neck edge, around the front edges and then the bottom of your bolero in one continuous round.

Sleeve finishing & Border - II

Great job.. We’re done with one side of the front. Fasten off and weave in ends. Repeat this for the other front side as well. J

Enjoyed this ?? I sure did.. come back right here for more freebie patterns

If you're visiting me here for the first time, and have liked the experience, do add me to your mailing list (for your convenience) , and all my future free patterns will come straight to your mail box.  

I’d appreciate if you could credit my blog (sadly I don't have the original pattern link) when you make your own bolero.  Thanks.

and these were some of the original creations that excited me into creating my own.. aah, now you saw this one on the net too, didn't you? 

Have a great day and see you soon. J