G is for Granule

G could be for Granny squares, circles, hexagons, rectangles, or triangles, but I’ll leave Granny sippin’ sweet tea for now. Today, g is for Granule stitch.

What is it?

Granule stitch is the perfect textured stitch for a dishcloth or rug. It takes the chain three picot and turns it sideways to create a swatch with one textured size and one flat side.

To start, chain any multiple of four. I’ll do 20 today.

chain 20

Then, chain one to turn your work and single crochet across. I think we’ve covered this before, but just in case I missed it, that turning chain just hangs out. You don’t ever work a turning chain unless the instructions for your pattern tell you to.

sc across

Simple enough so far right? Chain one to turn and single crochet in the first single crochet to start row two. Then we’ll work a picot single crochet.

This stitch is really simple, basically it’s a single crochet with a chain three stick in the middle of it. First, insert your hook into the next stitch, yarn over and draw through the loop–just like starting a single crochet.

Then chain three, leaving one loop on the hook.

psc ch3

Finally, yarn over and draw through both loops on the hook, just like finishing your single crochet.

psc 4

And that’s a picot single crochet! Why is it called picot? Well a picot is commonly group of chain three that are usually joined together at the base. Like this:

picot

You’ve just made one of those (sort of) in the middle of your single crochet, so hopefully the name makes a little more sense.

To finish off row two, work single crochet, picot single crochet alternating until you reach the end. Make sure as you work that all of you picot single crochets are pointing the same direction, otherwise you’ll have texture on both sides, not just one.

Then chain one to turn and single crochet across. When you get to the picot single crochet, make sure you’re working in the stitch and NOT the chain three space. It should look like this:

the psc stitch top

Row four is the same as row two, but we’re offsetting the picot single crochets so that they make something of a lattice pattern rather than being in columns. To start, single crochet in the first TWO stitches, then alternate picot single crochet and single crochets across. End with a single crochet and you have the pattern done! Good job!

What Else Can You Do With It?

I already mentioned that I like this stitch for rugs or dishcloths, the picot single crochet gives a nice texture for scrubbing and usually feels softer on the feet (depending on the yarn used of course!). Granule stitch would also be a fun way to imitate wool on a sheep doll, the fluffy side of a baby blanket, or very short curly hair on a baby doll. Another good application would be the inside of socks.

If you were here for my Crochet Sock Tutorials, then you already know how I feel about crocheted socks, but I think adding a soft texture with the right yarn might just make me a believer in crochet socks as a good thing. I think I’ll have to try it out after the holiday season.

The Short Version

Pattern Stitch

Picot Single Crochet (Psc): insert hook into next st, yo, draw loop through, chain 3, yo, draw through both loops on hook.

Chain a multiple of 4

Row 1: ch 1, across, turn.

Row 2: ch 1, sc into first st, *Psc into next st, sc into next st; rep from * to end, turn.

Row 3: ch 1, sc into first and each st to end, turn.

Row 4: ch 1, sc into first 2 sts, *Psc into next st, sc into next st; rep from * to last st, sc into last st, turn.

repeat rows 1-4 until desired length is reached.

Advertisements

F is for Flag Stitch

F is yet another tricky letter. There are techniques that begin with F–fillet crochet, foundation single crochet (or ch/sc foundation),  and fan stitches come to mine. But there’s not a ton of actual pattern stitches that begin with F. Today though, F is for Flag Stitch.

What Is It?

I can’t help but think of Flag stitch as a funky way to work a treble crochet. It works almost like making two stitches in the same space, but you don’t add or lose any along the way because you skip every other stitch. It does create a great texture and there MIGHT just be another dishcloth pattern in the middle of this post….

Don’t let that distract you though! Chain any odd number to start with. Then single crochet a row to set up. If you want, you can work this step in one go, just take a look at the link above for foundation single crochet if you need the refresher. I worked 31 for today.

row 1

Chain four to start your next row, then we’ll get started on the flag stitch.

To begin the flag stitch (which we’ll be abbreviating flg in the short version), wrap the working yarn twice around your hook like you would for a treble crochet:

yo two

Insert your hook into the next stitch and draw up the loop.

draw up loop

Yarn over and draw through two (nice and familiar so far right?):

peg 1

Now the twist, do that again! Insert your hook into the same stitch, draw up the loop, yarn over and draw through two more loops. That’s the base of the stitch done.

Alright, can’t fool you, that’s too easy. So is this next part. Yarn over and draw through two, then yarn over and draw through the last two. You’ll have what appears to be the completed stitch.

Yeah, it’s not. Here is where things get a little hard to explain. You need to insert the hook into the top of the stitch. Specifically, the first set of two loops you worked off your needle AFTER you finished the base of the stitch. Work a single crochet in those loops and NOW you’re done.

You can see that the top has two “heads” as it were, making this a really fun way to sneak an increase in if you need it.

two heads

Since we don’t for now, to keep working, we’ll skip the next single crochet and keep working flags across.

When you get to the last stitch, treble (triple) crochet to finish the row. Then chain four to turn and start the next row of flags. Keep working until you have your very own flag museum–or until you’re happy with the length.

row 2

How Else Can You Use It?

Well, I said there might be a dishcloth pattern here…and there IS! I really like the texture on this stitch for a dishcloth and I need a new one anyway. Here’s the trick though, we’re going to be changing things up from the standard to get this to do what I want.

If you want a little more practice working this stitch before you follow me down the rabbit hole, it still works into a really nice dishcloth, just use a smaller hook (somewhere around E–3.5 mm or F–4.0mm) for standard kitchen cotton (which tends to be worsted–4). The smaller hook with this yarn will keep the gauge tighter and give you a nice texture for washing.

So, here’s what I did with it:

half cloth

Keep that chain 31 from our practice and single crochet across. Then chain four to turn and work a flag in every stitch, alternating between working the front loop and the back loop only. Triple crochet the last stitch and you should have this:

tree skirt

Another tip: If you make your foundation chain and work a flag in every stitch across rather than every other stitch, you’ll have doubled the amount of stitches you have to work with. That pulls the work into a bow shape or semi circle, so it’s a really fast and easy way to make a tree skirt if you need one.

Now to straighten the thing back out, chain one to turn and half double crochet two together across. You should have something that sort of sticks out on either side. Not quite like a bauble, but similar. I find that having that extra texture helps with the washing.

discloth row 3

Repeat the last two rows until you’re happy with the length and you’re good to go!

 

Flag Stitch Dishcloth

Materials: H hook, kitchen cotton (sugar and cream or similar)

Chain 31

Row 1: ch 1 to turn, Sc across (31 sts)

Row 2: Ch 4 (counts as first tr) turn, *flg in the front loop of next st, flg in the back loop of next st repeat from * to last st, tr.

Row 3: Ch1 to turn hdc2tog across.

Repeat row 2 and 3  three more times for a half wash cloth (pictured) or seven more times for a full wash cloth.

half cloth 2

The Short Version

Pattern Stitch

Flag Stitch (flg): yo twice, (insert hook into st, yo draw through loop, yo draw through 2 loops on hook) twice, (yo draw through two loops on hook) twice. Insert hook into previous two loops worked–not the two you JUST worked, but the two before those–yo draw through, yo draw through 2.

Chain any odd number

Row 1: sc across

Row 2: Ch 4 (counts as 1st tr) *flg in next st, sk 1 rep from *to last st, tr in last st

Repeat row 2 until desired length is reached.

E is for…

Alright, here’s the deal: when I started this alphabet series, I didn’t put a ton of thought into what exactly I was doing. I knew I didn’t want to do techniques or simple stitches. I wanted fun things that you may not see anywhere else or that you may not have learned to work yet. Upon thinking about the letter E, I have come to the realization that there just aren’t any interesting letter E stitches. There are Extended stitches (extended double crochet for example) but that’s really a technique. There are some motifs that start with E, but motifs are also a category unto themselves (in my book anyway). There’s edgings, basics and cop outs, but no REAL stitches that start with E (feel free to argue that point, if you have one I really DO want to know about it!).

So, just for you all. Because I made a commitment to you and I don’t want to let you down, I would like to introduce: The Eye Drop stitch by Natalie Laffranchi.

What is it?

You know when you put eye drops in and no matter how accurate you are they roll down your face? Aside from being really irritating, that’s what this stitch reminded me of and how it got it’s start.

To begin, chain a foundation that is a multiple of four plus one. Then chain one to turn and single crochet in every foundation chain across to make the first set up row (you should have 21 single crochets and one turning chain that you don’t do anything with).

row 1

For set up row two, chain two to count as your first single crochet, then double crochet in the next single crochet.

start row 2

Now, working in the FRONT LOOP ONLY, triple crochet. We’re going to use that back loop for the drop stitch on row four.

Next double crochet then single crochet and continue on in that pattern of double, triple in the front loop, double, single across the row.

 

Now it’s time to begin the pattern rows proper, the first is really easy, just chain one to turn (like before) and single crochet across. You’ll notice that the row of single crochets sort of pulls the wavy from row two straight. Don’t worry, it works itself out.

Chain four to start the next row. That will count as your first triple crochet, then double crochet.

Next we’re going to work a sort of modified half double crochet drop stitch. For those of you unfamiliar with the drop stitch technique, any time you work a stitch into the any row below the row you’re working, you’ve used the drop stitch technique (not to be confused with the DROPPED stitch which means you’ve lost a stitch in your row–not usually good).  Now, if you’ve never done a drop stitch they’re really easy, but they don’t USUALLY stretch across a triple crochet. The key with this stitch is to take it slow the first couple of times and make sure you have a nice, even tension. You want your drop stitch to lay nicely across the face of the work without pulling too much.

Insert your hook into the exposed back loop under the triple crochet on row two.

drop stitch

Yarn over and draw that through the loop.

draw up loop

Then insert your hook into the next single crochet on row three.

through sc

Yarn over and draw through the stitch. You should have three loops on your hook at this point. Make sure you’re happy with the way the dropped part on the other side of the work looks.

three loops on

When you’re ready, yarn over one more time and draw that through all three of the loops on the hook to complete your stitch. For the sake of this pattern, that stitch is now named the eye drop.

draw through three

In the next stitch, work a double crochet and then start the pattern over. Triple crochet (still working triples in the front loop only), double crochet, eye drop, double crochet across and end with a triple crochet.  Chain one to turn and work another row of single crochet.

pattern rows

Chain two to count as your first single crochet. If you’ve paid close attention to this point, you’ll see already that you’re not going to work the eye drop at the beginning of the row, you won’t work it at the end of the row either.

So, moving on, work a double, then a triple in the front loop and then a double and an eye drop.  Continue in the pattern across and work a single crochet in the last stitch of this row.

pattern rows done

And you’ve got it! Congrats! And have fun with Eye Drop Stitch!

What Else Can You Do With It?

Well, here’s the thing, I just came up with this, so it’s a bit untested. You can do whatever you’d like with it! Wanna make it a square? Just end on a single crochet row to give it faux boarder. Wanna make it a circle? Join your foundation chain with a slip stitch.

I think this stitch would make a great afghan, decorative pillow, or basket. I also think that doing this stitch in two colors would be fun as well.

The Short Version

Pattern Stitch

Eye Drop: insert hook into exposed back loop, yo draw through, insert hook into next sc, yo draw through, yo draw through all three loops on hook.

Chain a multiple of 4+1

Set Up Rows

Row 1 (RS): ch 1 to turn, sc in each ch across.

Row 2 (WS): ch 2 (counts as 1st sc) *dc, tr in front loop, dc, sc rep from * across

Pattern Rows

Row 1 (RS): ch 1 to turn, sc in each ch across.

Row 2 (WS): Ch 4 (counts as 1st tr) dc *eye drop, dc, tr in front loop, dc rep from * to last stitch, tr in next sc.

Row 3: rep row 1

Row 4: ch 2 (counts as 1st sc) dc, tr in front loop, dc, *eye drop, dc, tr in front loop, dc rep from * to last stitch, sc in next sc.

Repeat pattern rows 1-4 until desired length is reached.

D is for Dew Drop

In crochet, D will usually be attached to C to mean double crochet (dc), but since we already covered that and since I wanted to bring you all something a little more interesting; today, D is for Dew Drop Stitch.

What is it?

Dew drop is a cross hatched cluster stitch that creates a fun textured “lace” stitch. It’s not a really lace, but it does have a few gaps which puts it right on the edge of the lace category. To start, make a foundation chain that is any multiple of four and two more stitches. Then chain four more to be your first single crochet and chain 3 set.

foundation chain.png

The next thing you’ll need to do is a technique called a cluster. Many people will tell you that a cluster is an actual stitch, but it’s not really. Clusters are a technique (rather than a stitch) that can be done a multitude of ways. The basic idea is to work a few stitches (in this case double crochets) into the same space and only add one stitch in the process. Clusters are similar to baubles in that they are many parts worked together into one stitch, but they are NOT the same as baubles (which are worked exclusively with yarn overs).

To work the cluster, start out like you’re going to make a double crochet (yarn over, insert into the stitch, draw the yarn through the stitch, yarn over and draw the yarn through the first two loops on the hook)

begin cluster

Repeat that a total of three times.

four loops

Then draw the working yarn through all four loops on the hook and you’ve created your first cluster.

cluster

Now that you know how to cluster, the rest of this should be easy. Chain one, skip the next two chains on your foundation and single crochet into the next chain.

Chain three and do another cluster. The chain three sort of looks like the spine for your cluster and will be the space that you working for the coming row to make the clusters work in opposite directions.

sc ch2

Repeat the pattern across to the last two stitches. Chain two and double crochet into the last foundation chain.

end row 1.png

To start row two, chain four and work your cluster into the chain two space that you just made.

start row 2.png

cluster row 2.png

Chain one and single crochet into the next chain three space (the “spine” of the cluster on the row below). Chain three and work a cluster in the same chain three space.

row 2 moving

Repeat that across to the last two chain space. Just like before, chain two, and double crochet into the fourth chain in the previous row (that’s the one near the base of the previous row).

end row 2

Now that you have two rows done, you have mastered the Dew Drop Stitch. Repeat that second row until you’re happy with the length and then fasten off.

What Else Can You Do With It?

I keep coming back to working these stitches in the round, so today I’m going to give you a slightly different idea. Try making this stitch into a flower.

flower

The base stitch does need a bit of modification to support the approach, but it isn’t so very different that I would call it a new stitch. Just change your chain one into a chain three and you’re set. Need a little more help? Here’s the pattern:

ch 14 join in round with sl st

Round 1: ch4 cluster, *ch3 sk2 sc ch3 cluster, rep from *to last two chs, ch 3 join in 1st ch of round 1 with sl st.

Round 2: ch 4 cluster *ch 3, sc in ch 3 sp, ch 3, cluster in same sp rep from * around, ch 3 join in 1st ch of round with sl st.

The Short Version

Special Stitches

  • Cluster: *yo, insert hook into stitch, draw yarn through stitch, yo draw through first 2 loops on hook rep from *3 times (4 loops on hook), yarn over, draw through all 4 loops

Chain Multiple of 4 +2

Row 1: ch 4 (counts as sc, ch 3), cluster, ch 1, skip 2 ch, 1 sc into next ch, *ch 3, cluster into next ch, ch 1, skip 2 ch, 1 sc into next ch, rep from * until last 2 sts, ch 2, dc into last ch, turn.

Row 2: Ch 4 (counts as sc, ch 3), cluster into first 2 ch space, ch 1, *sc into next 3 ch space, ch 3, cluster into same 3 ch space, ch 1, rep from * to last ch space, sc into last ch space, ch 2, 1dc into 4th chain in previous row, turn.

Repeat row 2 until you’ve reached the moon…or your desired length.

C is for Crocodile

Since writing the Mermaid Tail Blanket Pattern, I have had more questions about this stitch than anything else in crochet. So, C is for Crocodile this time.

What Is It?

Crocodile stitch is a fun and unique stitch that creates the appearance of crocodile scales. It is worked in two rows, a double crochet row and a “scale” row. Now, some tutorials (like this one) will tell you to work two double crochets, chain two, then work one double crochet. There is nothing wrong with that method (in fact, it can save you some yarn), that’s just not the way I learned it, so that’s not the way I do it. Whichever way you’re more comfortable with it gives you the same result.

So, let’s get started, to make things a little less confusing, I’m going to break this down into a few steps for each row.  First, we’ll chain a multiple of six plus one.  Chain 3 more to count as your first double crochet  then double crochet in the last chain of your foundation (as a side note, I was once asked why I have people make the foundation chain and then have them chain more rather than put it together. The answer is that I feel like it’s a clearer way for people–especially beginners–to understand what’s what). Chain two and skip two then work two double crochets into the next chain. Repeat that across and you’ll have finished step one–which also happens to be the first row.

2016-11-19 19.29.28

The next step is REALLY simple. Take that whole thing and turn it sideways:

2016-11-19 19.30.09

Step two isn’t required to work crocodile stitch, but I think it makes crocodile a lot easier. Step three is to work five double crochets (chain three to count as the first double crochet) around the POST of the last double crochet on the previous row.

2016-11-19 19.30.48

If you’re not familiar with working around the post, it just means that you’ll just the side of the double crochet rather than the top.

Step four is to chain one and work five more double crochets up the other side to complete your shell (or scale, whatever you prefer to call it):

Chain one and skip the next two chains, two double crochets, and two chains from row one (it seems like a lot, but it’s not really). Work five double crochets around the post of the next double crochet just like we did for the first shell and you’re on your way.

To start the next row, chain three for your first double crochet and slip stitch into the center of the shell you just made.

shell center

Chain three to be your first double crochet, double crochet into the same shell. Then chain two and work two more double crochets in the space between the next two double crochets from row 1, wrapping both the chain one between the shell you just worked and the next shell into the double crochets like so:

Work that across and you should have a familiar scene:

set up row 2

Now you’re ready for your next set of shells. We’ll be working in an offset pattern, so this row will actually have less shells than the last row, but don’t worry. You haven’t dropped a stitch, that’s normal.

So, chain one (to help stretch) and work five double crochets around the third double crochet from the hook.

3rd dc

Chain one and work five more double crochets up the post of the next double crochet from the previous row and you’ve got your shell.

Work that across until your last pair of double crochets and slip stitch into the last pair to complete your second shell row.

shell row 2

Work another set up row and another shell row and you’ll be on your way to doing the crocodile rock….

finished croc

Ok, not really, but you will have a lot of stitching that looks like scales!

What Else Can You Do With It?

At this point, you’re probably aware that you can work Crocodile stitch in the round, but here’s a quick how to for that. First we need to change the amount that we chain for the foundation. Chain a multiple of three plus one for working in the round. Then work the first set of crocodile scales.

Take that first set of crocodile scales we made and make a ring. For the sake of this demonstration, lay it scale side down

2016-11-22 16.13.42

Then fold it in about thirds to make the ends meet:

2016-11-22 16.14.46

Now, you should have a loose set of two double crochets on row one that are just hanging out behind the first shell. You’ll need those for the next round that you make, so no, you don’t have extras really.

Next, insert your hook into the first shell and join with a slip stitch:

The two shells where the ends meet may look a little squished to start with, but the work will pull them slightly as you go and you won’t notice when it’s done.

2016-11-22 16.17.14

Now you’re ready to start your next row and get going on your own Mermaid Tail Blanket!

The Short Version

Chain a multiple of 6+1

Set up row1: chain 3 (counts as 1st dc), dc in 4th chain from hook, *chain 2, dc 2 in same chain rep from* across

Set up row 2: Chain 3 (counts as 1st dc) dc 4 around post of last dc on row 1, *ch 1 dc 5 around post of next dc on row 1, skip ch2, 2dc, ch2 rep from *across

 

 

B is for Broomstick

Today we’re working on “B” and that could mean baubles or braids, but today I’m thinking all about Broomstick! Broomstick is a stitch I’ve been wanting to try, but just haven’t found the time to do, so here we go!

What is it?

Broomstick is a sort of lace stitch worked with a large dowel and a crochet hook. You can use a knitting needle (like a 35), a dowel (about one inch diameter), or in fact, a broom stick (if you really want the length). The length of the dowel you’re using will determine how wide your work can be. While you can go shorter than the dowel, making a work longer than the dowel only works for a couple inches and the stitches will have to be jammed up and that can effect the tension.

To begin, you’ll need a multiple of five stitches. We had 20 last time, so lets stick with that and add to our Astrakhan stitches. Join your yarn and single crochet across 20 stitches (if you aren’t adding this to something that’s already started, chain 20 and chain one to turn):

broomstick set up

Now, just like Astrakhan, DO NOT TURN! I know, it’s like the cool kid thing now. Stretch the loop on your hook and pull it over your dowel (I’m using a size 35 knitting needle, more on why in a minute).

35

Loop to dowel

Then repeat that for each single crochet across. You should have something like this:

loops on

Now is the crazy part, slip five giant loops onto your crochet hook (you can remove the dowel at this point if it’s easier to work, I found it easier to keep them on the needle and pull them as I went), then yarn over and draw the working yarn through the center of all five loops.

slip 5

ch 1

Chain one, and single crochet five times in the same space.

sc through 5

Then slip five more giant loops onto your hook and single crochet five times in the center of those. Repeat that step across and you’re done with your first row of broomstick!

To start the next row, draw up loops again and work back and forth like we just did until you’re done.

broomstick

TIP: Broomstick stitch can be a little finicky when it comes to tension. Even if you have GREAT tension, it can be loose or slide around. You can pull the single crochets slightly left or right to help your work look better and this is one of the few times I’ll recommend blocking crocheted work.

What Else Can You Do With It?

Working any stitch back and forth is easy enough, but what about working it in the round? Broomstick may seem like a stitch that CAN’T be worked in the round because you’re stuck dealing with a very straight dowel, but don’t let THAT stop you! Knitting needles are sold in pairs of two and are often times available in circular sets that will allow you to work broomstick around. Just work one side of your work on one needle and the other side on the other needle. When you single crochet around, join the first and last stitch with a slip stitch, just like you would for a normal round, then slip stitch back into the last single crochet to start your loops for the next row.

in the round

Want to work an increase into this business? Work six single crochets (rather than five) across five sets of five loops, so that you add five stitches. This will give you five extra loops on your next round and allow you to increase your work by one broomstick stitch.

The Short Version

Chain any multiple of 5

set up row: sc across

Row 1: With dowel in left hand, draw loop over dowel. *Using crochet hook, insert hook into next sc, YO, draw yarn through sc, and draw loop over dowel rep from * across

Row 2: With crochet hook, slip 5 loops from dowel, YO and draw through loops, ch 1. Sc 5 in center of loops, *slip 5 loops from dowel, sc 5 in center of loops, rep from * to end.

Repeat rows 1 and 2 until desired length is reached.

 

A is for Astrakhan

A is for Astrakhan! Well, at least today it is…just remember, DO NOT TURN!

What is it?

Astrakhan is a crazy stitch that seriously reminds me of a shag carpet. It has a fun, sort of random wiggle to it that makes it great for scarves, edging, and rugs (Side note: we totally had orange shag in my parents house when I was a kid.). To begin you need to chain any number of stitches. I’m going to do 20.

Chain 3 more to count as your first double crochet and double crochet in each chain across.

Astrakhan step 1

DO. NOT. TURN. You’ll hear that a lot in this stitch because rather than being worked from right to left and turned or rounded, this stitch is worked from right to left, then back from left to right in a similar fashion to the Tunisian stitch (for those of you who aren’t familiar with that stitch, we’ll get there for T).

For the next row, we’re going to work from left to right, so I’m going to break it down into a couple steps. First, Chain 7.

chain 7

Then (again working from left to right–I know it feels a little backwards for us right handed people) and working in the FRONT loop only, slip stitch into the double crochet to the right.

to the right

Repeat that step across and you have what looks like a cool lace cuff edging.

one done

To start the next row, chain three to count as your first double crochet and double crochet across, working in the BACK  loop only. Chain 7 and repeat your left to right row to get back to the beginning and you’ll have row 2 done.

What Else Can You Do With It?

As mentioned above, Astrakhan is a great stitch for rugs, edging, or just a fun scarf or sweater (and according to my husband, beards). Need a project idea? Make some towel yarn (the same way you make T-Shirt yarn) or get your favorite plush bulky yarn (if you’re in Georgetown, TX The Knitting Cup just got in some wonderful bulky yarn!) and a K hook (6.50mm) and chain 75 or about 32 inches. Work the Astrakhan stitch for 20 rows (one set of double crochets and one set of chains) or about 22 inches. Fasten off and weave in your ends and POOF you have a bathmat sized rug.

bathmat

Want to work it in the round? Rather than working right to left and then left to right, continue around in a spiral. This will still give the astrakhan effect, without the “backward” feeling of working left to right.

The Short Version

finished

Chain as many as you’d like

Row 1a: chain 3 (counts as 1st dc here and throughout), dc across. DO NOT TURN

Row 1b: Working left to right, chain 7. Sl st into FRONT loop of tr to the right. repeat across.

Row 2a: Working right to left, chain 3, dc in BACK loop of next dc across.

Row 2b: Working left to right, chain 7. Sl st into FRONT loop of dc to the right. repeat across.

Repeat rows 2a and 2b until work is finished.

 

Crochet 101: The “ugly” Toe

Crank up those Christmas tunes one more time and let’s get finished with this stocking!

We’re ready to start the toe now and once again, we’ll be following the pattern for Top Down Socks here. I liked how the toe looked a little better by decreasing every round (as you would for a child sock), but whatever looks good to you is fine. Once you’re done with the toe, close it up and you should have a basically finished stocking:

toe

Now we’re ready to get the fun pieces done up and put on the sock. I’ll be adding a small pom pom “star” (though it will look HUGE for the tree) and some ornaments as well as a chained garland. I’ll also add some bauble yarn to the top to give the leg a little extra.

I don’t know about y’all, but when our tree goes up, we have all sorts of mish-mashed decorations on our tree, not the Home Living Magazine kind. Especially with two small boys in the house, I don’t see that magazine tree happening any time soon, so to help my stocking tree look like my home tree, I’m going to use a couple different kinds of yarn to make these look more like real tree decorations. If you like a more uniform look to yours, just use the same weight and style of yarn as you did for the stocking. If you’re just curious about a certain style of yarn and how it works, now would be a really good time to experiment with a few.

Getting back to our task, the chain is easy enough, so let’s start there. Make about an 8 inch chain (or long enough to cross your tree a few times) and fasten it off. You can sew the chain on with a yarn needle, or if you’d rather no sew, you can attach your yarn at either the top or the bottom of the tree and chain across the tops of the stitches, attaching the chain to the tree with a slip stitch when you need to turn.

Either way you go, you’ve got a garland on your tree.

Next I’m going to make a few decorations for the tree. Let’s start with a pompom for the top. The basics behind making pompoms for this project are the same as making pompoms for hats and other things we’ll work on another time. First thing to do is to take a single piece of yarn and lay it over itself a LOT. Remember, the length of the yarn you lay is going to be the size of your pompom so if you lay the yarn out two inches before doubling back, you’ll have a two inch pompom when you’re done.

One of the easiest ways to do this is to take a piece of cardboard like a toilet paper or paper towel roll and lay it flat. Because I am trying to make a very small version of the pom pom, I am not going to use cardboard here. For mine, I’m leaving a very long tail and wrapping the yarn around my finger for spacing. Don’t be shy here, the more yarn you wrap, the more poof your pom pom has.

pom wrap

When you’re happy with the wrap, take it off your finger very carefully and use the tail to make a tight knot around the loops. Don’t be shy here either, you’ll want that knot as tight as you can get it without messing up your work.

pom Tie

It’s kind of cute just like that isn’t it? To make it a real pom pom though, we need to snip the loops and trim them to make the strings about even all the way around (note: if you like the ragamuffin pom pom look, don’t trim the ends). Just be careful not to snip your tails!! You need those to tie the pom pom onto the tree.

pom cut

Once all of those are snipped,you have a cute little pom pom you can tie to your stocking.

pompom

Finally, we’ll make some ornaments for our tree. Attach your any color yarn to the FRONT of the post where you want to “hang” your ornament.

ornament1

Chain three and insert your hook in the OPPOSITE direction to slip stitch and fasten off the chain.

ornament2

See, kinda cool huh? And SO easy! Do that with a few more colors and you’ll have a brightly colored tree for your stocking.

ornament3

The final touch will be adding some edging with the bauble yarn. Bauble (or pom pom) yarn can be a little tricky to work with, but I’ll walk you through it. First though, find that goofy looking ridge that marks the beginning of your round.

round joining'

Unlike other yarns, we will NOT be using a slip knot on this yarn. Working from the inside of your stocking, put your hook through the space where the round joins and lay the thin part of the bauble yarn over your hook.

attach bauble

Pull the yarn through and you have a loop on your hook.

Put the hook through the bottom of the next chain and pull the thin part of the bauble yarn through the chain and the loop on the hook to make a slip stitch. Repeat that all the way around, skipping past a bauble each time you make a slip stitch, to get your first round of fluff. You may need to adjust your tension to be looser to make sure that the baubles sit right.

work foundation chain

When you get to the end of the round, join it with a slip stitch in your first slip stitch. you should have a neat ring of slip stitches around the inside of your stocking  and a round of baubles on the outside.

Using the line after the next bauble, chain one.

For the next round, use that ring of slip stitches like you would a foundation chain. I’m going to single crochet around, but I’m going to work it very loosely so I have two baubles per stitch.

Continue that around and join the round. You should be able to see the stitches well from the back of the work.

sc stitches back

Repeat that round as many times as you would like for your stocking (I did one more) and you’re done! Congratulations!

crochet finished.png

The Short Version

The “Ugly” Christmas Stocking

Materials:

  • 1 ball red worsted weight yarn
  • 1 ball green worsted weight yarn
  • 1ball white worsted weight yarn
  • 1 ball green pompom (bauble) yarn
  • various scraps of yarn
  • US H (5.00mm) hook
  • scissors
  • Stitch markers
  • yarn needle (optional)

Gauge:

15 sc x 13 rows =4×4″

Cuff

With red, Ch 52 join chain and turn.

Round 1 and 2: sc around, join and turn.

Work chart over next 26 sts (side 1) and repeat for next 26 sts (side 2) using red for the background and green for the tree:

Chart

Next two rounds: sc around, join and turn.

Heel Flap

Row 1: Join white 13 stitches before beginning of round. Sc 26 turn.

Row 2: Ch 2, sc across, turn

Repeat row two until heel flap measures 2 inches (or desired length)

Heel Turning

Row 1: With white, Ch 2, sc 14 sc2tog twice. LEAVE 8 STS UNWORKED.

Row 2: Turn ch2, sc 4, sc2tog twice. LEAVE 8 STS UNWORKED.

Row 3: turn, ch 2, sc across worked sts from previous row, sc2tog twice in unworked stitches.

Repeat row 3 until one unwork stitch remains on either side.

Last Row: turn, ch 2, sc across worked sts from previous row, sc2tog in unworked stitches.

Repeat Last Row.

Gusset

Round 1: Join green, DO NOT TURN. Ch 1, working side of heel flap rows, evenly pick up stitches in the side of each row, stop at second to last row. Work sc3tog in last row of heel flap, worked cuff sc and unworked cuff sc. Place marker. Sc across cuff to last stitch. Sc3tog in last cuff sc, worked cuff sc, and first heel flap row. Place marker. working side of heel flap rows, evenly pick up stitches in the side of each row (same number as side 1). Sc across top of heel flap, join round.

Decrease Round: Ch 2, sc to two stitches before marker, sc 2 tog, sc to marker, after marker sc 2 tog, sc to end of round, join with sl st.

Repeat decrease round until the GUSSET stitch count is the same as the CUFF stitch count noted, adjusting markers to remain in the first and last stitch of the CUFF as you work.

Foot

Round 1: with green sc around, join round with sl st.

Repeat round 1 with green until green portion (including gusset) measures 1.5 inches.

Join white. Repeat round 1 for 1.5 inches.

Join red. Repeat round 1 for 1.5 inches

Toe

Lay sock flat and place markers in the sides of the foot (markers may not line up with row beginning).

Round 1: Join white, Working in a spiral, place marker at beginning of round. *Sc to two before marker, sc2tog, repeat from * sc to end of round.

Repeat round 1 until toe reaches desired length. Sew toe shut.

Finishing

Garland

Using scrap yarn, make 8 inch chain. Attach to tree using yarn needle. Repeat for second side.

Pompom “star” (make 2)

Using scrap yarn, wrap several times around one finger leaving two long tails. The wrap should look poofy.

Slide the wraps off your finger carefully and use the tail to tie a knot around the center of the loops.

Cut the loops with your scissors and trim any long ends as needed, leaing two long tails to tie the pompom to the tree.

Ornaments

Using scrap yarn, attach to the front of the stitch you wish to “hang” your ornament from. To attach, insert hook from right to left and make a slip stitch. ch 3. Insert hook into same stitch as join from left to right, slip stitch to join round and fasten off.

Repeat with different colors on different stitches as desired. Repeat for side 2.

Edging

Attach pom pom yarn at join. Working in bottom of foundation chain, slip stitch around.

Round 1: Using slip stitches as foundation chain, sc around loosely join round

Round 2: ch 1 sc around loosely.

Repeat round 2 until desired length is reached.

 

Crochet 101: The “Ugly” Heel and Foot

Get the Christmas music back on, and re-watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” or whatever you need to do to keep in the Christmas mood, we’re ready to start the heel.

The heel will be worked as we did in Top Down Socks with only a couple minor change. The first change comes in the heel flap, we’ll need to bridge the beginning of the round we just finished so that the heel is on the side of the sock and shows off the picture when displayed.

First, place a marker at the beginning of the round. Then count backward 1/4 of the stitches in the round (13 if you’re following along) and attach your yarn to start the heel flap. I’ll be working with white for the heel and the toe on this one. Work your heel flap back in forth like normal, I did about two inches for mine. If you want a little more pronounced heel, go for three inches.

heel flap christmas

When the heel flap is done, move onto the short rows. Remember, with the short rows, it is MOST important to have an even number of stitches and the SAME amount of stitches unworked on both sides. If that means you have to work more than half the stitches or work less than half the stitches, that’s what you do. I left 8 stitches unworked on either side and had to single crochet 4 rather than three to get this one to work out right. I also had to change the last two rows so that I only worked two together once at the end of each row.

turning christmas.png

When you’ve finished the turning, cut your white and switch to green. To get the different color heel effect you see on some socks you work the heel in one color and the gusset and foot in a different color. In this case, the foot is going to be striped, so we’ll just start our stripes in the gusset.

The gusset will be worked the same as Top Down Socks, so I’m not going to go into much detail with that here. Just remember, because we’re using a larger yarn and hook, you may have a smaller gusset for this project. Of course, the longer your heel flap is, the bigger the gusset will be. Just remember to start the foot when you have the same amount of stitches as the cuff.

For the foot, I worked three stripes. Each one is about 1.5 inches (6 rounds) and they’re green, white, and red–in that order. See:

christmas boot.png

With the foot done, we can move onto the toe, but I’ll save that for the next post.

Oh, and does that leg look a little short? It’s ok. Next post we’ll also learn how to do some edging and work with bauble yarn all at the same time.

 

 

 

Crochet 101: The “Ugly” Christmas Stocking

Roll up your sleeves and put on your Dean Martin, Straight No Chaser, or Trans-Siberian Orchestra, we’re launching into our Christmas project!

For those of you who missed the last post on design, yes, it’s July. It is also the perfect time to start all your Christmas (or other winter holiday) projects so that you’re not rushing to finish at the end of the year.

In the design post, I posted this as the basic design for the project:

crochet design

If you don’t like that or would like to do something else, then please do! I’ll be following this as a basic pattern and showing you what I do for it. We’ll be reviewing colorwork (both in pattern and stripes) and learning about edging and appliques on this project.

The VERY first thing we’ll do though is take a look back at the posts on toe up socks and top down socks to guide us through making the basic form of our stocking. You’ll want to measure out before hand how big (or small) you want your stocking to be so that you don’t end up with a really skinny, tiny stocking (unless that’s what you actually wanted to make). A lot of times, taking a large piece of paper and drawing what you want your stocking to look like or measuring an existing stocking helps (if you don’t have a stocking hanging check the craft store and measure what they have).

Once you know how you’re going to make your stocking and what the measurements are, we’re ready to start looking at the pattern. I’m going to work my stocking top down this time, starting with the red and green tree portion. This is the part where we get to pull out the colorwork technique we learned a few posts ago. Take a minute and go back to that post if you need to review on how to get cleaner looking colors.

We’ll also need to have the tree pattern. Since I’m not planning on writing out every single line BEFORE I get started, I’m going to work off a chart. We’ve sort of dealt with charts before when we talked about pixel art in Designing Colorwork. Color charts look like this:

blank-tree

Usually the rows are numbered up one side and the stitches are numbered across the top or bottom. This is only one type of chart used in crochet, but we’ll get to the other kind another time. For this sock, I’ll be using a chart similar to the chart above to work the tree into my stocking. For those of you who want to follow along, here it is:

Chart

I know that I am going to be making about a 7 inch square stocking (the top will be seven inches wide, the leg will be 7 inches tall, and the foot will be seven inches long–it seemed like a good number at the time). I also know that I am going to be making my stocking top down (hence starting with the tree). I have my chart ready, so there’s only ONE more thing to look at before we REALLY get going.

I my post on top down socks, I have you work the cuff in the round. The reason we do that is to avoid having a seam running up the leg of the sock. In this case, we’ll be working the cuff in rows, back and forth and joining as we go (sc across, join, turn, repeat). Because no one is going to wear this sock (who am I kidding, my three year old will have this on in no time), I am not concerned about the seem and it will in face help us when we get to the heel portion in the next post.

Since I know all of that, and I’ve already gotten my gauge from my gauge swatch. If you haven’t made a gauge swatch, make one. I did. All the cool kids do. See:

gauge swatch

I know how many stitches to chain to make 14 inches (7 inches across and it’s round). In my case it’s 52 (hence the 26 stitch tree up above). Make sure you check you gauge if you’re following along or this could get messy. If you’re not following along, you can just use a tape measure to check the length of your chain. You’ll want it to be twice the width of the desired top of your sock.

measure.png

For those of you who went back an read my post on top down socks again you’ll notice that I did NOT make my gauge swatch in the round. I made a square rather than a round because we’ll be working back an forth, NOT in a spiral around.

When you have the length you want, join your chain and TURN. Work two rows (or about half an inch) of single crochets. Don’t forget to join the rows and TURN the work. You’ll start seeing the seam right away, but it really won’t be that big of a deal. Once that’s done, we can start on the colorwork. (If you don’t want to work the half inch, don’t. it’s purely for aesthetic reasons that I have it there).

Now you can begin your chart. If you’re following mine, start at the top and work the next 20 rows, joining the round and turning at the end of each round. You’ll be making one tree on each side of your stocking, so you may want to make two balls out of your green to make the work a little easier (I did), but you can also just carry the green around with you. When you’re finished with your chart, work two more rounds of just red (sc around, join, turn).

Why is it so important to work in rows this time? I don’t want that seam! Can’t I just work in the round?

Alright Mr. George Bailey, let’s take you down that lovely path of what if…..

When you have the length you want, join your chain and work two rows (or half an inch) of single crochet in a spiral. For those of you unfamiliar with working in a spiral, when you get around to the first single crochet in the round, just keep working on top of it. Don’t worry about joining or chaining or anything, just keep workin’. Once that’s done, we can start on the colorwork. (If you don’t want to work the half inch, don’t. it’s purely for aesthetic reasons that I have it there).

Now you can begin your chart. If you’re following mine, start at the top and work the next 20 rows, working the round in a spiral. You’ll be making one tree on each side of your stocking, so you may want to make two balls out of your green to make the work a little easier (I did), but you can also just carry the green around with you.

If you chose to work with two balls of green, you’ll notice as you work around that the green is on the wrong end of the work for you to pick it up when you come around. Don’t worry. This is called a float and you’ll see it in Fair Isle knitting as well (should you choose to take up Fair Isle knitting).

To get the float back to the right side of things, lay it under the working yarn and then use it like you would normally.

As you’re working with the float, watch your tension VERY closely. Pull the line too tight or leave it hanging too loose and you’ll be able to see it on the front of the work. Note: I adjusted the color on the ‘too loose’ picture to–hopefully–help you see the puffy stitches that are too loose. The red I’m working with doesn’t like the camera very much.

When you’re finished with your chart, work two more rounds of just red (sc around, in a spiral like before) and you’ll have the finished leg! You’re ready to move on to the heel and the next post!

tilted

Now that this little adventure is over, let’s all have a hug, ring a bell for Clarence, and have a look at the REAL finished work.

straight finish

Comparing the two, I’m sure you can see that the first one is tilted. That’s not just a trick of the photo, it REALLY does lean like that. Working in a spiral shifts the work by one stitch every time you go around. You’ll have the same issue if you join your work, but don’t turn it. Because you’re continuing around rather than turning, the natural lean of the stitching will start to show through. Working back and forth allows the lean to move left and right as you work, pulling the work straight.

It’s not right or wrong to have your work one way or the other, but you need to be aware of what will happen before you choose so that you get the outcome you’re after. Whichever way you choose to work your colorwork, you are now ready to move on to the heel and the next post for sure!