Moorish Tiles Square- Moogly CAL 2020

I love starting off the year with the Moogly CAL! It is a great year long project that makes new squares every two weeks. By the end of the year, you have an afghan. It is always a fun project with many inspirational squares.

I am fortunate enough to share my square with you. To check out all the others make sure and follow along here.

This square uses a stitch often called a Catherine Wheel. Essentially it is a row of decrease, and a row of large shell worked in the center of the decrease. This makes a circle in the fabric. Learn more about this technique with my free charity square, 1 for Me, 1 For You- Rolling Along.

I have been playing with this stitch a bit lately. Taking a liking to working a contrasting color row between the “circles”, I have also found that by working slip stitches where this classic stitch works single crochets, creates a bit of a tighter fabric. This is beneficial, as sometimes this stitch technique can become a bit open and “gappy” at the edges of the circles.

The name really came from how the design struck me. It has reminded me of the mosaics I have seen in art books, and inspires me to want to travel.

Moorish Tiles Square

Materials

*Red Heart With Love, #1542 Aubergine (A), #1207 Cornsilk (B), #1562 Jadeite (C), #1001 White (D), #1623, Mallard (E)

*Hook J/10/ 6.00mm

Gauge

12”x 12” square (30.5 x 30.5cm)

Special Stitches

Double Crochet 6 Together (dc6tog): Working over the next 6 sts, [yo, insert hook into next st, yo, pull up a loop, yo, pull through 2 loops] six times, yo, pull through all 7 loops on hook.

Double Crochet 7 Together (dc7tog): Working over the next 7 sts, [yo, insert hook into next st, yo, pull up a loop, yo, pull through 2 loops] seven times, yo, pull through all 8 loops on hook.

Double Crochet 9 Together (dc9tog): Working over the next 9 sts, [yo, insert hook into next st, yo, pull up a loop, yo, pull through 2 loops] nine times, yo, pull through all 10 loops on hook.

Notes/Tips

Single crochet stitches are worked over slip stitches, this may be up to 3 rows, creating a break in color.

When working the last round, work the single crochet stitches into the chain stitches and not the space (with the exception of the corners), so as not to create open gaps.

Learn how to work a Standing Single Crochet here.

The Pattern

Rnd1: With A, ch 4, sl st to first ch to create ring, (ch 5 counts as dc + ch 2, [2 dc, sl st, 2 dc, ch 2] three times, 2 dc, sl st, dc, sl st to 3rd ch of beg ch) in the ring. Fasten off. -16 dc, 4 sl st, 4 ch-2 sps

First Round with Single Crochet over Slip Stitches

Rnd 2: With B, join with a standing sc in any ch-2 sp see notes to work a Standing Single Crochet, ch 2, sc in same sp, [sc in next 2 dc, sc over sl st  in ring, sc in next 2 dc, (sc, ch 2, sc) in ch-2 sp] three times, sc in next 2 dc, sc over sl st in ring, sc in next 2 dc, join. Fasten off. -28 sc, 4 ch-2 sps

Rnd 3: With C, join with a sl st in any ch-2 sp, ch 2, sl st in same sp, [ch 3, dc7tog, ch 3, (sl st, ch 2, sl st) in ch-2 sp] three times, ch 3, dc7tog, ch 3, join in ch-2 sp. -4 dc7tog, 8 sl sts, 4 ch-2 sps

Rnd 4: ch 2, sl st in same sp, [9 dc in center dc7tog, (sl st, ch 2, sl st) in ch-2 sp] three times, 9 dc in center dc7tog, join. Fasten off. -36 dc, 8 sl st, 4 ch-2 sps

Second Round with Single Crochet over Slip Stitches

Rnd 5: With D, join with a standing sc in any ch-2 sp, ch 2, sc in same sp, sc over sl st into sp 3 rows below, [sc in each st to next sl st, sc over sl st into sp 3 rows below, (sc, ch 2, sc) in ch-2 sp, sc over sl st into sp 3 rows below] three times, sc in each st to next sl st, sc over sl st into sp 3 rows below, join. Fasten off. – 52 sc, 4 ch-2 sps

Rnd 6: With E, join to any ch-2 sp, ch 5 counts as dc + ch 2, dc in same sp, [ch 3, dc6tog, ch 3, sl st in next st, ch 3, dc6tog, ch 3, (dc, ch 2, dc) in ch-2 sp] three times, ch 3, dc6tog, ch 3, join to 3rd ch.  – 8 dc6tog, 4 sl st, 4 (dc, ch 2, dc)

Rnd 7: Sl st in ch-2 sp, ch 2, sl st in same sp, [9 dc in dc6tog, sl st in next sl st, 9 dc in dc6tog, (sl st, ch 2, sl st) in next ch-2 sp] three times, 9 dc in dcs6tog, sl st in next sl st, 9 dc in dc6tog, join. Fasten off. -72 dc, 12 sl st, 4 ch-2 sps

Third Round with Single Crochet over Slip Stitches

Rnd 8: With B, join with a standing sc in any ch-2 sp, ch 2, sc in same sp, [sc over sl st into sp 3 rows below, sc in each st to next sl st, sc over sl st into st 3 rows below, sc in each st to next sl st, sc over sl st into sp 3 rows below, (sc, ch 2, sc) in ch-2 sp] three times, sc over sl st into sp 3 rows below, sc in each st to next sl st, sc over sl st into st 3 rows below, sc in each st to next sl st, sc over sl st into sp 3 rows below, join. Fasten off. -92 sc, 4 ch-2 sps

Rnd 9: With A, join in any ch-2 sp, ch 5 counts as dc + ch 2, dc in same sp, [ch 3, dc6tog, ch 3, sl st in next st, ch 3, dc9tog, ch 3, sl st in next st, ch 3, dc6tog, ch 3, (dc, ch 2, dc) in ch-2 sp ] three times, ch 3, dc6tog, ch 3, sl st in next st, ch 3, dc9tog, ch 3, so 1st in next st, ch 3, dc6tog, ch 3, join to 3rd ch. – 4 dc9tog, 8 dc6tog, 8 sl sts, 4 (dc, ch 2, dc)

Rnd10: Sl st in ch-2 sp, ch 2, sl st in same st, [9 dc in dc6tog, sl st in next sl st, 9 dc in dc9tog, sl st in next sl st, 9 dc in dc6tog, (sl st, ch 2, sl st) in ch-2 sp] three times, 9 dc in dc6tog, sl st in next sl st, 9 dc in dc9tog, sl st in next sl st, 9 dc in dc6tog, join. Fasten off. – 108 dc, 16 sl sts, 4 ch-2 sps

Fourth Round with Single Crochet over Slip Stitches

Rnd 11: With D, join with a standing sc in any ch-2 sp, ch 2, sc in same sp, {sc over sl st into sp 3 rows below, [sc in each st to next sl st, sc over sl st into st 3 rows below] twice, sc in each st to next sl st, sc over sl st into sp 3 rows below, (sc, ch 2, sc) in ch-2 sp} three times, sc over sl st into sp 3 rows below [ sc in each st to next sl st, sc over sl st into st 3 rows below] twice, sc in each st to next sl st, sc over sl st into sp 3 rows below, join. Fasten off. -132 sc, 4 ch-2 sps

Row 12: With C, join to any ch-2 sp, ch 5 counts as dc + ch 2, dc in same sp, {ch 3, dc6tog, ch 3, sl st in next st, ch 3, dc9tog, ch 3, sl st in next st, ch 3, dc9tog, ch 3, sl st in next st, ch 3, dc6tog, ch 3, (dc, ch 2, dc) in ch-2 sp) three times, ch 3, dc6tog, ch 3, sl st in next st, ch 3, dc9tog, ch 3, sl st in next st, ch 3, dc9tog, ch 3, sl st in next st, ch 3, dc6tog, ch 3, join to 3rd ch. -8 dc9tog, 8 dc6tog, 12 sl sts, 4 (dc, ch 2, dc)

Last Round, Work in Chains, and Single Crochet over Slip Stitches

Row 13: See notes. Ch 1, sc in same st, [(sc, ch 2, sc) in ch-2 sp, sc in each st and ch across to next ch-2 sp] three times, (sc, ch 2, sc) in next ch-2 sp, sc in each st and ch across to last st, join. Fasten off. Weave in ends. Block. -140 sc, 4 ch-2 sps

Join with a Standing Crochet Stitch

I have become a fan of using standing stitches when joining a new yarn to an existing row, especially when joining with a single crochet.

This technique removes the slip stitch to join and the chain for stitch height. It just works the stitch.

Working a Standing Single Crochet

So to work a standing single crochet is worked by creating a loop on your hook, just as if you were going to being a project. Insert your hook into the stitch to be joined to, yarn over and pull up a loop.

Working a Standing Single Crochet, with a beginning loop on the hook, insert hook into stitch to join.
Continue to work Standing Single Crochet, by pulling up a loop.

Now yarn over and pull through both the loops on the hook. Basically you just work a single crochet, because there is already a loop on the hook to finish the stitch just as you always have.

Finish a Standing Single Crochet by working a yarn over, and pull through both loops on the hook.

If you want to work this with other stitches that have a yarn over before inserting the hook, it can be a bit trickier, but with a little attention to detail is can be readily done.

Work a Standing Double Crochet

To work a standing double crochet for instance, place a loop on you work just as if you your beginning a crochet project, now yarn over you hook. This will feel very awkward as there is nothing to help keep the yarn over in place, so you may want to slide this up you hook and pinch it with the loop under your fingers while holding the hook.

Beginning a Standing Double Crochet, by yarning over the hook before inserting it into the stitch to join. Be careful to hold the yarn over on your hook as it can easily slip off.

Now insert the hook into the joining location, yarn over and pull up a loop, yarn over and pull through the loop and the yarn over you have been pinching on the hook. Then yarn over and pull through the last two loops.

The next step of the Standing Double Crochet is to pull up a loop, still being careful not to lose that added yarn over, as it is still able to twist itself off the hook.
The third step of a Standing Double Crochet lets you breath a little easier ass you pull through both the loop and the yarn off that has been on the hook.
Finish the Standing Double Crochet by pulling through the last two loops on the hook.

You will notice that with all standing stitches the “tail” of the yarn is at the top of the stitch, not at the bottom as is where it is found in traditional joins.

One nice thing about this type of join is that it looks like all the other stitches, and it saves a bit of yarn.

Make It For Me- Italian Spy Handbag

I am so excited to be participating in the Make it for Me with ELK Studio (for all the designs check it out here!). This year I have been inspired to create the Italian Spy Handbag as a Free pattern.

This handbag was inspired by a conversation with a friend that happens to be a fashion designer. She was discussing a crochet fabric with me, and I was discussing shapes with her. The further we went along in the discussion, I had a vision of the perfect small handbag I needed for day trips to the city.

Italian Spy Handbag

For me, a day in the city is San Francisco. I always want to travel with only the essentials, as there is a lot of walking….much more then I typically do in an average day.

So, I want a handbag that can carry the essentials, not weigh a lot, and one that I can comfortably keep close. The Italian Spy fits that build.

It is a simple pattern that uses less then one skein, and utilizes a simple tight stitch. But, just because it is worked in single crochet do not under estimate the overall effect of the fabric, or how it can easily show your mistakes. The pattern is worked in one piece, and then folded and seamed. There is an option to stiffen the sides and bottom, and options for the finishing edge.

I hope you give it a try for you prefect day out handbag. Enjoy.

Italian Spy Handbag

Italian Spy Handbag

Finished Size

10”x7”x2”

Materials

Hook: F/5/3.75mm

Manos del Uruguay Milo light weight 65% Merino wool, 35% linen yarn, (380yrd/350 m/3.5 oz/100 g) 1 skein, colorway #2607 Boreal

  • 1” Button
  • 24” handle

Gauge

Gauge 22 sts/ 25 rows=4”

Front

Ch 50

Row 1: sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in each ch across, turn. -49sc

Row 2-42: Ch 1, sc in each st across, turn.

Row 43: Ch 1, sc in each st across, ch 42, fasten off.

Sides Worked with Body

Row 44: Join with slip stitch to Row 43 at first st of row (opposite end of end just fastened off), ch 43, turn, sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in each ch across, sc in each sc across, and sc in each ch, turn. -133sc

Row 45-55: Ch 1, sc in each st across, turn. Fasten off at the end of Row 55.

Back

Row 56: Skipping 42 sts, join to next st, ch 1, sc in same st, sc in next 48 sts, turn. -49sc

Row 57-100: Ch 1, sc in each st across, turn.

Flap

Row 101: DO NOT CH, sc2tog, sc until 2 sts rem, sc2tog over last 2 sts, turn. -47sc, (2) sc2tog

Row 102-120: Rep Row 101. -7sc, (2) sc2tog

Row 121: Buttonhole Row, DO NOT CH, sc2tog, sc in next st, ch 3, sk 3 sts, sc in next st, sc2tog over last 2 sts, turn. –(1) ch-3 sp, 2sc, (2) sc2tog

Row 122-123: Rep row 101. Fasten off at the end of Row 123. -1sc, (2) sc2tog

Optional Insert (to create more stiffness)

Ch 132

Row 1: Sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in each ch across, turn. -131sc

Row 2-10: Ch 1, sc in each st across, turn. Fasten off at the end of Row 10.

Optional Assembly of Insert

Lay Insert section over the Sides Worked with Body Portion, Seam the insert to the Sides over Body in any preferred method, such as whip stitch with a needle or slip stitch with a crochet hook. For even more stiffening, you can place a strip of plastic or cardboard that measure 1” x 25”, and place it between the Insert and Side worked with Body

Assembly

Fold Front and Back toward each other, and Fold Sides toward Front and Back, seam side of Side to Front, and seam side of Side to Back, on each side of the handbag.

Working over seamed edges, and all unfinished edges, work Reverse Single Crochet or Corded Edge Stitch around to finish.

Sew button on Front to align with Button Hole of Flap.

Sew Handles to Sides.

If Flap is curling, use an iron to seam if flat.

1 for Me, 1 for You- Rolling Along Block

Help me help local communities by creating blocks for Warm Up America, by making a block for yourself and one for a community project with this free pattern. I will be creating a new block every few weeks and sharing it with you, I just ask that make one for donation.

Warm Up America is a nationwide organization that encourages local donations, but will also except donations to be sent to their office so that blocks can be assembled and then blankets can be donated through the United States.

Rolling Along Block

Even if you do not want to participate with Warm Up America, please consider creating blocks, or blankets for your local community. There are various places in every community that accept donations.

Rolling Along Block

Working the Catherine’s Wheel

Catherine’s Wheel is a classic crochet stitch that works one row of shells over a row of decreases to create a circle or wheel look. I have made a couple of changes to the classic pattern. For starters instead of working a single crochet after completing the shell or decrease, I work a slip stitch. I find that this help prevent “gapping” that occurs in the chain 3 area.

Working a dc9tog, you will have 10 loops on the hook.
Yarn over and pull through all the loops on the hook.
Slip stitch worked after the chain 3, to secure the decrease.
Working a decrease on the corner, dc5tog.

I should also point out that I work the shells in “the center of the decrease”, this is the biggest opening. However it is really not the completion of the decrease stitch, but the third chain. I feel that working here emphasizes the “center”, when working in the actual point of completion just looks a bit wonky.

Work the Shell in the center of the decrease, it creates a “hole”.
Working a shell at the beginning of a row means working in the center of the decrease.

I do have an exception to this, and that is when finishing a row with a shell it needs to be worked in the top of the turning chain to keep the edge straight. This will be just over from the “center”.

The “exception” the last shell is worked in the top of the turning chain, this helps to keep a straight edge.

Gauge

7”x9” rectangle

Materials

Medium weight yarn, in 2 colors MC (main color), CC1

K/10 ½/6.5mm crochet hook

Special Stitches

Double crochet 4 together (dc4tog): Working over the next 4 sts, [yo, insert hook into next st, yo, pull up a loop, yo, pull through 2 loops] six times, yo, pull through all 5 loops on hook.

Double crochet 5 together (dc5tog): Working over the next 5 sts, [yo, insert hook into next st, yo, pull up a loop, yo, pull through 2 loops] six times, yo, pull through all 6 loops on hook.

Double crochet 9 together (dc9tog): Working over the next 9 sts, [yo, insert hook into next st, yo, pull up a loop, yo, pull through 2 loops] six times, yo, pull through all 10 loops on hook.

Note:

Change colors without fastening off the yarn. Instead carry the yarn along the edge, and it will be hidden in the edging round. Here are some tips for do it.

The Pattern

With MC Chain 25

Row 1: Sc in 2nd ch from hook, [sk 3 chs, 9 dc in next ch, sk 3 chs, sc in next ch] three times, change to CC1, turn. –(3) 9 dc shells, 5 sc

Row 2: Ch 3, dc4tog, ch 3, sl st in next st, ch 3, dc9tog, ch 3, sl st in next st, ch 3, dc9tog, ch 3, sl st in next st, ch 3, dc5tog, turn. – (2) dc9tog, (1) dc4tog, (1) dcs5tog

Row 3: Ch 3, 4 dc in same st, sl st in next sl st, 9 dc in center of dc9tog, sl st in next sl st, 9 dc in center of dc9tog, sl st in next sl st, 5 dc in top of turning ch-3, change to MC, turn. (2) 9 dc shells, (2) 5 dc shells

Row 4: Ch 1, sl st in same st, ch 3, dc9tog, ch 3, sl st in next st, ch 3, dc9tog, ch 3, sl st in next st, ch 3, dc9tog, ch 3, sl st in last st, turn.

Row 5: Ch 1, sl st in same st, 9 dc in center of dc9tog, sl st in next sl st, 9 dc in center of dc9tog, sl st in next sl st, 9 dc in center of dc9tog, sl st in last st, change to CC1, turn.

Row 6-13: Rep Rows 2-5 twice.

Row 14: Rep Row 2. Fasten off.

Edging

With color MC, sc in each st across, 3 sc in corner, work evenly sc around block working 3 sc in each corner. Finish off.

Eventful Crochet Year and New Opportunities

This is always the time of year that I take stock of what the last year has brought. Honestly, it helps me realize that I am not just spinning my wheels, I really am doing things!

Teaching

For example, this year I have taught 53 classes at my local yarn store (not including private lessons), I have taught 16 classes at 5 different national events. Four classes at DFW Fiber Fest in April (find me there this year teaching the CGOA Masters Day), four classes at the Jimmy Beans Wool annual retreat in June, two classes for the Northern Illinois Chapter of CGOA in May, five classes at the Crochet Guild of America annual Chainlink Conference, and a class for a unique on-line conference, Stitch Markers Live.

This is part of the contributing factors of my 10 trips in 26 weeks that really kept me on my toes. Some were business networking, some were educational, and some were teaching. But all were really enjoyable.

Retreats

I also started day long crochet retreats. Celebrating my first event at a local winery; getting a tour, enjoying learning about wine and crocheting, a grat day was had by all. I have the second event is already on the calendar for the end of January this time at a chocolate shop. Find information to join me here.

Crochet with Linda at the Winery, August 2019

Designs

I didn’t just sit back when it came to designing. I only had 8 designs in freelance publications, but I created 15 designs, 4 for sale in my pattern line, the rest are either free patterns on my website or available for purchase in kits with various retailers.

Charity

I also started an afghan block pattern line to encourage people to learn a crochet stitch and help a national non-profit, Warm Up America. Warm Up America utilizes volunteers to put these blocks together and donate afghans to those in need. I have created 7 blocks this year, and continue to strive to create a new block design every few weeks.

Newsletter

Another large event for me, was actually pulling it together and creating a monthly newsletter. I highlight what has been happening in the month prior and what I am excited about in the month to come. This has really helped me to stay focused and reflective. If you haven’t already, sign up to receive it here.

Volunteering

Then in the midst of all this teaching and creating, I have continued to lead the Crochet Guild of America, as its President. That means monthly Board meetings, and keeping volunteers moving forward with various initiatives and undertakings. Working with 6 other Board members to help spread the word of crochet, preserve its heritage, and encourage more learning.

Home Life

I have juggled this with scheduled power outages to prevent forest fires. With the busy calendars of my two kids, be it sports, band or 4H there is never a dull moment. In addition I have juggled all the running of a household as my husband has had to work increasingly demanding work hours. I know that this is nothing new for women, but it is worth remembering that it takes time and has value.

The Decade

I was considering taking a look at where life has taken me in the last 10 years, but really a decade ago to now, is almost not recognizable. I made new friends, I lost people I care about. I was working in the field of Social Work for the older adults. My children were just starting school, my husband had human being work hours, and I was not in a position to even imagine that I would be self-employed in working in crochet. It is like a completely different world, and leaves me really wondering where the next ten years will take me.