Friday, 31 July 2015

BEAUTIFUL FLOWER BLANKET

BEAUTIFUL FLOWER BLANKET

Yet another blanket pattern that is freely available via the wonderful pages of the world wide web.. and of course this too was just too good to miss out on.

Yes, I do seem to have made a line of blankets off late, have I not.. well, babies and more babies to spice up our lives.. so blankets and more lovely blankets to keep our cuties warm and cuddled.

The original pattern is available at http://www.stranamam.ru/post/9165845/
As this is not in English, I just thought I’d add my notes here for you as I work this pattern.  This is not my original pattern, though the work and instructions here are my effort and hard work.



Materials used : Today I’ve used our lovely Indian 3-ply Oswal acrylic light fingering yarn, with a 3.5 mm crochet hook.

Skill level : Intermediate 

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

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.

Treble / Triple 3-together : or trc 3-tog.  This is a cluster of 3 triple stitches together.  Refresh your memory to do this stitch at http://crochet.about.com/library/weekly/aa053103.htm



Abbreviations used : (Using U.S terminology)
lp(s) : Loop(s)                                                 sc : Single crochet
dc : Double crochet                                             sp : Space                                 
sl-st : Slip stitch                                             fsc : Foundation Single Crochet
st(s) : Stitch(es)                                             hk : Hook
yo : Yarn Over                                              ch : Chain
MC : Main Colour                                        CC : Contrast Colour
trc : Treble / Triple crochet                      trc 3-tog Treble/Triple 3-together


We are so fortunate that this is a free pattern with a lovely chart and a super photo tutorial as well.  
I will be using the original photographs and chart I found.

We will work our pattern in two colours and I’ve chosen white and blue.
Our pattern repeat is 8. 

Start (using MC) : with an fsc chain in multiples of 8 + 2

Row 1 : (using MC) : dc in the 1st fsc ; dc in the next fsc ; 
(ch 1, dc in the same fsc) ; rep (to) once ; 
ch 1, sk next 3 fsc, sc in the next fsc ;
*ch 1, sk next 3 fsc, dc in the next fsc ; rep (to) 4 times ; ch 1, sk next 3 fsc, sc in the next fsc* ; rep *to* till the last 5 fsc ; 
ch 1, sk next 3 fsc, dc in the next fsc ; rep (to) 2 times ; dc in the last fsc.  Turn.


In the following row we will use the trc 3-tog or the triple 3-together cluster stitch.

Row 2 : (using CC) : sc in the 1st dc ; ch 1, sc in the next ch-1 sp ;
*(ch 3, trc 3-tog in the next ch-1 sp ; ch 1, sk next sc and the next 2 ch-1 sps , trc 3-tog in the next ch-1 sp) ; ch 3, sc in the next ch-1 sp ; ch 1, sc in the next ch-1 sp* ;
rep *to* till 2nd last ch-1 sp ; 
ch 3, sc in the next ch-1 sp (i.e the last ch-1 sp) ; ch 1, sk next dc, sc in the last dc.  Turn.


Note : Now we change to MC but we only use this for one row.  So you have two options here.
You can either fasten off your CC here and then re-attach at the start of Row 4, OR you can run your CC along with the MC and then use it at the end of Row 3. 

So leaving that choice to you, let’s carry on with the pattern.
Remember though, that I will not be repeating this instruction about MC or CC fastening off or re-attachment.

Row 3 : (using MC) : sc in the 1st sc ; sc in the next ch-1 sp ;
*ch 1,  sk trc 3-tog, dc in the next ch-1 sp ; (ch 1, dc in the same ch-1 sp) ; 
rep (to) 3 times ; ch 1, sk next ch 3 sp, sc in the next ch-1 sp* ; 
rep *to* till last ch-1 sp ; 
ch 1, sk last ch-3 sp, sc in the last ch-1 sp ; sc in the last sc.  Turn.


Row 4 : (using CC) : trc in the 1st sc ; 
*ch 1, trc 3-tog in the next ch-1 sp ; ch 3, sc in the next ch-1 sp ; ch 1, sc in the next ch-1 sp ; ch 3, trc 3-tog in the next ch-1 sp ; ch 1, sk next two ch-1 sps and sc, trc 3-tog in the next ch-1 sp* ; 
rep *to* till end, 
ch 1, sk last ch-1 sp and sc, trc in the last sc.  Turn.


Row 5 : (using MC) : dc in the 1st trc ; dc in the next ch-1 sp ; 
(ch 1, dc in the same ch-1 sp) ; 
rep (to) once ; ch 1, sk next trc 3-tog and sc, sc in the next ch-1 sp ;
*ch 1, sk next sc and trc 3-tog , dc in the next ch-1 sp ; rep (to) 4 times ; ch 1, sk next trc 3-tog and sc, sc in the next ch-3 sp* ; 
rep *to* till the last trc 3-tog ; 
ch 1, , dc in the next ch-1 sp ; rep (to) 2 times ; dc in the last trc.  Turn.


Put your work done and admire the one pattern repeat we’ve completed.  As you’ve guessed, our pattern repeat is from Row 2 to 5.

Continue Rows 2 – 5 till your work is of the size you desire.


Another tweak ? You’ve now seen that we work two rows in MC and only the flowery trc-3 row in CC.  If you like, change the CC row colour for the next set, and add another splash of colour to your already lovely looking blankie.

Once you’ve reached the length you want, I’d suggest you finish on any MC row, and then do one round of hdc all around.  Well, we have the fsc that starts our blanket with MC, so you needn’t do that row, or sl-st through it all.


I decided to make a border for this and if you’d like to do that too, here’s my notes.

Border :
Our pattern repeat is 4. 
We will work in one continuous round here.

Round 1 : Sc in the 1st st, 
*ch 4, sk the next 3 sts, sc in the next st* ; 
rep *to* till the first corner ; 
ch 4, sc in the same corner st ;  rep all around till the 1st corner ; ch 2, hdc and join with a sl-st to the 1st st.

Round 2 : 2 sc in the 1st st, 
*7 dc in the next ch-4 sp ; 2 sc in the next ch-4 sp* ; 
rep *to*  all around ; Join with a sl-st to the 1st sc.

Round 3 : Sl-st til the 1st dc , sc in that same 1st dc ; 
(ch 3, sk next dc,  sc in the next dc) ; rep (to) 2 times ; 
*ch 3, sk next 2 sc ; sc in the next dc ; rep (to) 3 times* ;   
rep *to*  till end. Join with a sl-st to the 1st sc.

Fasten off and weave in ends.

I do think that our blanket looks so much better with the border.. what do you think?  Block as per yarn instructions and enjoy all the accolades when you gift this off to a loved one.

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

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.  


Have a great day and see you soon. J

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Wednesday, 29 July 2015

MY PEACOCK BLANKET




MY PEACOCK BLANKET

Yet another blanket pattern that is freely available via the Red Heart pages that was just too good to miss out on.

I actually am not too keen on motifs and granny squares – I love their creation and design (as that’s the lovely bit), but their joining and weaving in of ends and  neat finish / presentation… oof, don’t quite like that bit!
One little end sticking somewhere and that’s it.. the whole project can look shabby – so I usually stay away from these two types of projects. 
That said, off late I seem to have done a lot of these two projects.. and I’ve loved each and every one of them!

The original pattern is called Retro Ornament Throw and is available at http://www.redheart.com/free-patterns/retro-ornament-throw (Photo below)

I have, however, tweaked it just a bit.. so I’ll just add my notes here and give you, yet again, choices n decisions


Materials used : Today I’ve used our lovely Indian Vardhaman millennium DK ply acrylic yarn with a 4.5 mm crochet hook

I made my blanket with the four peacock colours I could find, starting with a 
Purple / Lavender centre, then a lovely Firozi (Turquoise) , followed by a bright yellow and ending my peacock feather with an Emerald green.  I then finished this all off with a pure white like the designer has.  White just brings the whole thing together, I think.

I mulled over the colour rounds and did two swatches, finally settling on my color combination.



 Stitches used :

Magic circle : To refresh your skill, please view this easy video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLuSVyKvoUg

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.

Bphdc : Explained on the main instruction paper – but this is a hdc done in the back posts

How to do a picot : We will use a 3-ch picot for our border. So that’s (ch 3, sl-st into the 1st ch) in each dc of the border round.
A quick refresher at this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GGlzZZl3I8


Abbreviations used :
lp(s) : Loop(s)                                                                sc : Single crochet
dc : Double crochet                                                            sp : Space                                 
sl-st : Slip stitch                                                             fdc : Foundation Double Crochet
st(s) : Stitch(es)                                                             hk : Hook
yo : Yarn Over                                                             ch : Chain
bphdc : Back Post Half Double Crochet       sk : skip
sc-blo : Single crochet back loop only


The designer instructions are self-explanatory. 
My notes here are only for the small start change, the use of the wonderful chainless dc start, and a finishing idea / difference, in making this a square blanket.

If you see the original pattern, we have a lovely wavy edged finish.  I felt this was ideal for an afghan.  I am, however, using this pattern to create a smaller baby blanket , so this is my change for that.

I started with a magic circle instead of the ch 4 start… however, this is just a choice.

In Round 3, I worked my 2 dc in the ch-1 sps rather than in the hdc. 
I am not sure if it’s my yarn or looseness of st, but the ch-1 sp was showing through when I followed designer instructions (and used the hdcs) , so I thought I’d use the ch-1 sp instead.

Strip : My strips are of 4 “ornaments” in one row, and 3 “ornaments” in the next row alternating till the end.  I’ve done five rows in total.
My tweak here was to do a ch 5 start, then add on the first ornament, and end with a ch-6, turn and work sl-st in each ch, and then work sl-st in each st on the other side of the ornament.

So what does this mean ? The designer starts Round 1 with a ch 1.  I started with ch 5.
I then sl-st in the 3rd trc (of the 4 set) and then worked all the way down till the end as per designer instruction.  The designers then asks that we do a ch-5 and add on the next ornament.  So continue that till you have as many ornaments as you want.  At the end, I did a ch 6 , turn and working back on the ch-6 we’ve just done, sl-st in the next 5 ch (the 1st ch being a turning ch).
So this way you start and end with a ch 5, and have your ornaments dangling in between on this first round.

Round 2 then starts (if you’re using my instructions) with a sl-st in the 1st 5 chs, then working as per designer instruction till the ch-5 at the other end.  I then did a dc in the first 4 sts, and 3 dc in that end st (thus helping us turn around neatly).  Continue down the other side working the dc’s as per designer instruction till we reach our 1st ch-5, and we do a dc in the last 4 dc, and 2 dc in that 1st dc.
This way you have a longish end at both ends of this strip.

One other thing that I did was use the sts of Round 5 of the ornament, (which in my case is the emerald green round), when working this round.  The first round of the strip is the sl-st round in white.  That sits on top and gives our ornaments this lovely raised edge, so go under that stitch into the lower sts for this round.

Finally stitch explanation.  In Round 1, we’ve done a set of 25 sts along one side, and then that ch 5 to add on the next ornament.  So in this round, we will need to work on 25 sts. 


(So initially I started with a row of 5 ornaments, found it was too large for the blanket size I wanted, and frogged it down to 4 ornaments on that centre row)

As I wanted a square blanket, I changed the order of attachment.
I figured that I needed only 4 ornaments to make up the width for my little blanket, so I thought of doing it this way – and I love the way this has turned out.



To make a larger square blanket, just start with more ornaments in that centre row and decrease as you go along.

This blanket could be finished as is.. but I want a small border – so here’s what I’ve done for the border.


Border : For our border I have thought of a shell-like finish, which also looks a little peacock-y.


Our border repeat is in multiples of 5. 

Round 1 :  sc in the 1st st ; 
*ch 5, sk next 4 sts , sc in the next st* ; 
rep *to* all around till last 5 sts ; 
ch 3, dc and join with a sl-st to the 1st st.
(You are now in the centre of that last ch-5 sp)

Note :  Ensure you have an even number of ch-5 sps.

Round 2 :  sc in the 1st ch-5 sp ; ch 5, (dc, ch 3, dc) in next ch-5 sp ;  
*ch 5, sc in the next ch-5 sp ; ch 5, rep (to) in the next ch-5 sp* ;  
rep *to* all around ; 
ch 5 and join with sl-st to the 1st sc.

We will now work in the ch-3 sps between the 2 dcs.

Round 3 :  sc in 1st sc ;  
*ch 2, sk next dc , (3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc) in the next ch-3 space ; ch 2, sk next dc , sc in next ch-5 space* ;  
rep *to* all around ; 
ch 2 and join with a sl-st to the 1st sc.

We will use a 3-ch picot in the following round. So that’s (ch 3, sl-st into the 1st ch) in each dc of this border round.

Round 4 : sc in 1st sc ;  
*ch 1,  (dc in next dc, picot) ; rep (to) 2 times in the next 2 dc ; rep (to) 3 times in the next ch-3 sp ; rep (to) 3 times over the next 3 dc ; ch 1, sc in the next sc* ;  
Rep *to* all around ; 
ch 1, and join with a sl-st to the 1st sc.

You now have several choices for your blanket.. and whatever you choose to do, you will have one really cute project at the end of it all J

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

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.  


Have a great day and see you soon. J

You may want to take a look at these beautiful and unusual free blanket and afghan square patterns as well




















Monday, 27 July 2015

OH SO EASY COWL


OH SO EASY COWL

This cowl is not a new one – it’s a freely shared one by Moogly and it’s one that you will surely make again and again.. and this blog is proof of that. 
I’d made this lovely cowl for my daughter and on her return to India, her friend loved it so much she requested for one ; and I’ve made it several times in the middle without writing about it too. The yarn I’d used originally is way too warm for India, so I thought I’d use one of our locally available yarns.

The reason I am writing this all out is that I’ve found we are unable (sometimes) to visualize what a particular project will look like with locally available yarns.  In India, we do not get all the yarns that are suggested on the pattern sheet(s), but this one made with our locally available Vardhaman Millenium shows us that hey! We can make this one too J

The word infinity means boundless, limitless, unending.. and this truly applies to this cowl.  The possibilities for what you can do with this cowl are endless – limited only by your creativity and yarn availability.

Materials used : Today I’ve used our Indian Vardhaman Millenium ; holding three strands together for the whole project, with a 6.5 mm crochet hook.

Pattern :   I’ve used the Artfully Simple Infinity Scarf pattern by Tamara Kelly available at http://www.mooglyblog.com/artfully-simple-infinity-scarf/

However, I’d like to add a few of my notes to this.

In this creation, I’ve used three strands of Vardhaman millennium – two strands of this lovely peach and one of smoky dark grey.  When I saw the colours, I thought they would blend well, and I am so happy with the final finish.

In each of my creations, I try something different, so in this one, I decided to change the number of stitches between joins.  Not that much of a tweak, but worth a mention.  

Instead of 10 ch between 2 joins, I used 8 large chain.

With a larger hook and a looser tension, I feel this just makes this all look so much lacier and lighter – but still affords warmth.

In the original pattern, the designer has used a nice button tie at one end – but I have decided make a tie-up finish at one end (over which one can embellish and then bring that bit to the front, or as I suggested to the recipient, keep behind the neck so that there is no hair tangling).

So for this, after reaching the width needed, and fastening off, do not cut off yarn.  Just hold the end of the project together (i.e the start end where you will have some loose yarn that you can now neatly hide), and then pass the yarn ball over and around this start bit of cowl.  You’ll notice that it really scrunches up nicely – so depending on how tight you want this bit, increase tension – and continue wrapping till you have a rope-like finish.  
Once done, cut off yarn , fasten off and then neatly pull the yarn through the centre of this rope bit.. so that you hide that end (so weave it into this rope like finish).. and c’est tout.. your project is done!

If you keep this tied up bit along the side of the neck, it changes the whole appearance, or so I think – and of course, this same tied up portion can be well hidden under your hair at the back of your neck.


I also feel that the looser you make your chains, the more your yarn will stretch, so it will be that much longer – and can thus be wound around the neck better.



Right , enough chatting..  off you go.  Oh pattern? Well, the link for that is http://www.mooglyblog.com/artfully-simple-infinity-scarf/


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

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.  


Have a great day and see you soon. J

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