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.

Pattern
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.
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