Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Mosaic Potholder/Washcloth Pattern

This geometric potholder (or washcloth) has concentric half-squares on one side and stripes on the other.  Make quick gifts while trying out a new crochet technique!

I designed this simple, free pattern to better show people the concepts of what I call mosaic crochet before they decide to purchase one of my patterns featuring this technique (click here to see them all).  I also include detailed videos to demonstrate the pattern techniques.  Each video is linked in its location in the pattern, but you can also see the entire playlist here.  Try out the pattern, and let me know what you think!

Gauge & Size
Gauge is not critical in this pattern unless you want to make it a specific size.  If you're using scrap yarn, I suggest using an appropriate hook size for your yarn thickness and allowing the potholder/washcloth to grow or shrink accordingly.  Gauge is 12 stitches and 15-16 rows of sc = 4 inches square.  The finished size is about 6 3/4 inches wide by about 5 1/2 inches long.

Design Notes
Color work:  When changing yarn colors, loop in the new color as the last “pull through” of the previous stitch to create better color borders.  Do not cut each color until the end.  Every other row, we drop a color behind the work and pick up the new color from the previous rows.

Blocking:  Blocking (according to your yarn type) is strongly encouraged as it makes for a much more professional-looking piece.

Even Rows:  All of the even-numbered rows are return rows for a particular color, and can be simplified to this:  ch 1 before first stitch, ch 3 across any ch-3 space, and sc in every sc or ht.  The detailed instructions are still included as a double-check.

Abbreviations and Special Stitches
The stitches in this pattern are fairly basic, except for the special half treble crochet (ht).  The ht is how we make the vertical stripes in the pattern.  We perform this stitch into stitches from previous rows.  

As you make the pattern, you will chain stitch across areas where you are in the wrong color for two rows. Then, on the next row when you are in the “right” color, you work your ht into the stitches 3 rows below the current row (always working in front of the chains).  The net effect is that the potholder will be the concentric half-squares on the front side and stripes on the back side. 
Why “half-treble”?  I’ve never heard of that stitch.  When I first started working mosaic crochet, I used dc as other patterns suggested.  I’ve found that those stitches are too short and thus cause curling.  Triple/treble crochet is a bit too high, and half-treble was just right.  Feel free to experiment with stitch height.

I created a video for how to make the Special Half-Treble Crochet (ht) stitch, which you can watch here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9oNoywwc1U.

Abbreviation = Stitch
ch = chain
ht = Special half-treble crochet (see video) – work in front of ch-3’s into the stitch 3 rows below.  Yo twice, insert hook in stitch, yo and pull through, yo and pull through 2 loops, yo and pull through remaining 3 loops
sc = single crochet
sl st = slip stitch
st = stitch
yo = yarn over

Motif Graphic
This graphic is provided for those of you who work better with pictures than text, like me.  Any square that is blank is simply a sc stitch. The ht stitches are worked into the sc’s 3 rows below the current row, and always worked in front of the chains of the in-between rows (watch the video).  Row 1 starts at the bottom with Color A, which is grey in this graphic.

Beginning Chain:  Ch 19 with the I hook. 
Row 1:  Using the H hook, sc in second ch from hook and across (18 sc).  Ch 1, turn.

Row 2:  Sc across.  In last st, join Color B in last pull-through.  Drop Color A, but do not cut as we will pick it up on future rows (here and throughout pattern).   Ch 1, turn.

Row 3 (watch video):  In Color B, sc 8, ch 3 and skip 2 st, sc 8.  Ch 1, turn.

Row 4 (watch video):  Sc 8, ch 3 and skip 2 st, sc 8, changing to Color A in last pull-through (just pick it up from the lower rows, and make sure not to pull too tight).  Ch 1, turn.

Row 5 (watch video for rows 5 and 6):  In Color A, sc 6, ch 3 and skip 2 st, ht 2, ch 3 and skip 2 st, sc 6.  Ch 1, turn.

Row 6:  Sc 6, ch 3 and skip 2 st, sc 2, ch 3 and skip 2 st, sc 6, picking up Color B in last st.  Ch 1, turn.

Note:  Now that you have the hang of it, when you see “ch 3”, you will know to either skip 2 st or skip a previous ch 3.  It won’t be written fully out, which should make it simpler for you to read the pattern also.

Row 7 (watch video for rows 7 and 8):  In Color B, sc 4, ch 3, ht 2, ch 3, ht 2, ch 3, sc 4.  Ch 1, turn.

Row 8:  Sc 4, ch 3, sc 2, ch 3, sc 2, ch 3, sc 4, picking up Color A in last st.  Ch 1, turn.

Row 9 (watch video for rows 9 and 10):  In Color A, sc 2, ch 3, ht 2, ch 3, ht 2, ch 3, ht 2, ch 3, sc 2.  Ch 1, turn.

Row 10:  Sc 2, ch 3, sc 2, ch 3, sc 2, ch 3, sc 2, ch 3, sc 2, picking up Color B in last st.  Ch 1, turn.

Row 11 (watch video for rows 11 and 12):  In Color B, sc 2, ht 2, ch 3, ht 2, ch 3, ht 2, ch 3, ht 2, sc 2.  Ch 1, turn.

Row 12:  Sc 4, ch 3, sc 2, ch 3, sc 2, ch 3, sc 4, picking up Color A in last st.  Ch 1, turn.

Row 13 (watch video for rows 13 and 14):  In Color A, sc 4, ht 2, ch 3, ht 2, ch 3, ht 2, sc 4.  Ch 1, turn.

Row 14:  Sc 6, ch 3, sc 2, ch 3, sc 6, picking up Color B in last st.  Ch 1, turn.

Row 15 (watch video):  In Color B, sc 6, ht 2, ch 3, ht 2, sc 6.  Ch 1, turn.

Row 16:  Sc 8, ch 3, sc 8, picking up Color A in last st.  Fasten off Color B.  Ch 1, turn.

Row 17:  In Color A, sc 8, ht 2, sc 8.  Ch 1, turn.

Row 18:  Sc across.  Fasten off.  Weave in all ends.

If desired, add a border of sc around the entire work (watch video).  For the sides, use about one sc per row.  I ended up using 3-4 sc per 4 rows as one per every row stretched out the sides too much.  Sc 3 in each corner.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Square Key Scarf Pattern Release!

Another pattern release!  I'm on a roll now.  :)  Check out the photos for my newest design, the square key unisex scarf.  Unique Greek key motif on one side and stripes with texture on the other.  And one super-cute canine model.

Pattern can be found on both Etsy and Ravelry.  Cheers!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

L.Y.L.A.S. Cowls Pattern Just Released!!

Love You Like A Sister...

The photos are finally in, so you can now check out my new L.Y.L.A.S. pattern!  Grab a crochet friend for this fun project (or just make two if you don't have a best crochet friend).  :)

You can find the pattern in my Etsy shop and also on Ravelry.  Enjoy!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

It's Crochet Season!!

The heat index might be 100 degrees here in New Orleans, but I realize the rest of the northern hemisphere "might" have started cooling off by now.  I'm definitely seeing a pick up in crochet activity, so I figured it was time to get the yarn out of the attic, crank up the air conditioning, and start moving on some projects that have been hibernating during our 10-month long summer.  All for you, my fans.  You who live in cooler climates.  Hopefully a few sales will help accommodate for my higher electric bill to satisfy the masses with more patterns.  :)

So, what do you guys want this season?  Right now I'm working on a LYLAS cowl... yep, you heard right... Love You Like A Sister cowl.  It's actually two interlocking cowls that you can work on with a friend or simply make 2 and share with your non-crocheting best friend like me.

THAT should be coming soon.  But, what should come NEXT?  Give me some ideas.  I have a few, but I'd like the People to have a say.

Some ideas I'm contemplating right now:

  • Another man scarf.  You guys seem to love these.  Maybe there aren't enough in the marketplace.  The new idea is more drapey, single-color, and light to show off a textured pattern.
  • Fleur de lis beanie hat using cables.  I have yet to invent how this would actually work, but whatever will help my Saints, I will do...
  • Poop bag holder for my fellow dog-owners.  I need some fun ideas for this though.  No serious poop bag holders here.
  • Pillow cover with a textured scene, and eventually a complimentary set of squares that could be made into an afghan.
Which ones do you love/hate?  Any special requests?  Special requests that get made will get a free copy of that pattern or any other in my etsy shop.  :)

Monday, June 9, 2014

Phone Cozy

I had some leftover awesome-looking sari yarn and thought my phone looked cold even though I live in New Orleans. Alas, my creativity led me to do something about both problems at once.


Yarn:  I used Berocco Idol which is a variegated sari yarn.  It is theoretically bulky, but I found that it worked up more like an aran weight or heavy worsted weight yarn.  You can adjust the pattern to match your yarn weight (add/remove beginning chains and add/remove rows).

Materials:  Crochet hook size US H (5.0 mm) or appropriate size for your yarn, yarn needle (to weave in ends)

Abbreviations and Special Stitches 
ch = Chain 
dc = Double crochet
hdc = Half double crochet
sc = Single crochet
sc2tog = Single crochet 2 together
sl st = Slip stitch
st = Stitch 

Note:  Throughout pattern, the chains at the beginning of a row do not count as the first stitch.

Main Body (worked in the round)
Beginning chain:  Ch 10.
Row 1:  Sc 2nd ch from hook and across (in back loops).  Sc 3 more times in last ch.  Rotate to work back across in the front loops to the beg ch.  Sc 2 more times in the beg ch. (Net stitches:  4 total sc in the beginning and ending ch, and 2 sc on either side of each of the other ch for 24 total sc). Sl st to top of beginning sc.
Row 2:  Ch 1, sc in same st and around, sl st to top of beg sc (24 sc).
*** After row 2, test the size of your cozy by inserting your phone.  If it is too big, start over with a smaller beg ch.  If it is too small, start over with a larger beg ch.***

Row 3:  Repeat row 2.
Row 4:  Ch 2, hdc in same st and around, sl st to top of beg hdc (24 hdc).
Row 5:  Repeat row 2.
Row 6:  Ch 3, dc in same st and around, sl st to top of beg dc (24 dc).
Rows 7-14:  Repeat rows 3-6 two times.
Row 15:  Repeat row 2.  Do not fasten off - continue with Flap row 1...

Flap (worked flat)
Flap row 1:  Ch 1, sc in same st and next 9 st (10 sc).  Ch 2, turn.
Flap row 2:  Hdc across (10 hdc).  Ch 1, turn.
Flap rows 3-6:  Repeat rows 1-2 two times.
Flap row 7:  Sc across first 8 st then sc2tog in last 2 st (9 st).  Ch 1, turn.
Flap row 8:  Sc across first 7 st then sc2tog in last 2 st (8 st).  Ch 1, turn.
Flap row 9:  Sc across first 6 st then sc2tog in last 2 st (7 st).  Ch 1, turn.
Flap row 10:  Sc across first 5 st then sc2tog in last 2 st (6 st).  Ch 1, turn.
Flap row 11:  Sc across first 4 st then sc2tog in last 2 st (5 st).  Ch 1, turn.
Flap row 12:  Sc across first 3 st then sc2tog in last 2 st (4 st).  Ch 1, turn.
Flap row 13:  Sc across first 2 st then sc2tog in last 2 st (3 st).  Ch 1, turn.
Flap row 14:  Sc in first st then sc2tog (2 st).  Ch 1, turn.
Flap row 15:  Sc2tog.  Do not fasten off.  Make the wrap cord by chaining for about 1 yard.  Fasten off.  Keep end tail to tie off pom-pom.

Pom-Pom (See photos below)

  1. You may want to practice with junk yarn first.  Cut a piece of yarn at least 6 inches long and set aside.  
  2. Find an object whose circumference is a bit more than half of what you want the diameter of your pom-pom to be.  Wrap yarn around it many times (20+) and then cut the end. 
  3. Carefully slip all the yarn off the object and use the previously cut yarn length to tie tightly across the middle of the loops.  Knot one side then loop back and knot the other side too for insurance.  
  4. Now snip all the loops.  You will have a scraggly looking pom-pom like the one below:
  5. Trim all the ends EXCEPT the ends of your knot yarn until you have a nice, even pom-pom.  
  6. Tie the knot yarn to the tail of your wrap cord then weave in/trim all ends.


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Sneaux Day Activity: Pups in Cups

If you don't already know, we are in the midst of a sneaux-pacalypse in New Orleans.  Thanks to facebook, I discovered one activity to keep our household busy -  Mutts Muggin, or as I like to call it, Pups in Cups. Here is our attempt - it's much more difficult to achieve than it looks.  :)

Happy Sneaux Day!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

New pattern release: Andras Man Scarf

I just released the Andras man scarf pattern on both Etsy and Ravelry.  Here are the photos - and yes, that is my dad.  I wanted to make him a special Christmas present that was stylish and represented our culture.  I hope you enjoy it too!

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