1 for Me, 1 for You- String of Stars 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.

String of Stars 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.

Star Stitches

This block is used working star stitches. Star stitches are similar to working a decrease over several stitches, but instead of over several stitches it is over various parts of adjacent stitches. Pulling up many loops in many places creates this unique looking stitch, in this block I have you working 2 different types of star stitches. One star is big and full over yarn overs to create a dynamic appearance, while the lighter star is does not have yarn over, and few loops, but creates a great textural effect, and in my opinion looks cute pall stacked upon one another.

Gauge: 7”x9” rectangle

Materials

Medium weight yarn, in 3 colors MC (main color), CC1, CC2

K/10 ½/ 6.5mm hook

Special Stitches

Beginning Full Star (BFS): Yo, insert hook into 2nd ch from hook, yo, pull through loop, yo insert hook through base (post) of last stain next ch, yo, pull through a loop, yo insert hook into same st as chain, yo, pull through a loop, yo, insert hook in next st, yo, pull up a loop, yo, insert hook into next hook, yo, pull up a loop, yo, pull through all 11 loops on hook.

Full Star (FS): Yo, insert hook into eye last star made, yo, pull through loop, yo insert hook through base (post) of last star, yo, pull through a loop, yo insert hook into same st as last base (post) of last star, yo, pull through a loop, yo, insert hook in next st, yo, pull up a loop, yo, insert hook into next hook, yo, pull up a loop, yo, pull through all 11 loops on hook.

Loop placement for the Full Star Stitch (the placement is the same as the Light Star, but a Yarn over is worked between each inserting of the hook).
After pulling through all the loops, you chain 1, this creates an “eye” at the center of the stitch

And the Smaller Star

Beginning Light Star (BLS): Insert hook into 2nd ch from hook, yo, pull through a loop, insert hook in next ch, yo, pull through a loop, insert hook into same st as chain, yo, pull up a loop, insert hook in next st, yo, pull up a loop, yo, pull through all 5 loops.

Light Star (LS): Insert hook into eye of last star made, yo, pull through a loop, insert hook through base (post) of last star, yo, pull through a loop, insert hook into same st as last post of last star, yo, pull up a loop, insert hook in next st, yo, pull up a loop, yo, pull through all 5 loops.

Loop placement for the Light Star Stitch.

If you would like to see some more detailed step bu step of the loop location, here is a tutorial for the Light Star Stitch.

Block Pattern

With MC Ch 28

Row 1: Sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in each ch across, turn. -27 sc

Row 2: Change to CC1, ch 3, BFS, ch 1, [FS, ch 1,] 12 times, turn. -13 Full Stars

Row 3: Change to MC, ch 1, 2 sc in same st, sc in each ch and the top of each star across, turn. -27

Single crochet into the top of the Star Stitch, and in the chain space, when working stitches over the Full Star Stitch.

Row 4: Change to CC2, ch 3, BLS, ch 1, [LS, ch 1] 25 times, turn.-26 Light Stars

Row 5: Change to MC, ch 1, 2 sc in same st, sc in each ch-sp across, turn. -27 sc

Only work in the chain space when working the next row on a row of Light Star Stitches

Row 6-13: Rep Rows 2-5 twice.

Edge

Rnd 1: Ch 1, sc in sc in same st, sc in each st across until 1 st remains, 3 sc in last st, working over row ends evenly sc across to beg ch, 3 sc in last st, working in unused loops of beg ch, sc in each chain across, 3 sc in last st, working over row end evenly sc across, 2 sc in last st, sl st to beg sc, fasten off.

Weave in ends, block. (see tips here)

Titter Tat a Stitch that Breaks the Rules

There are times when you can come across a crochet stitch that breaks all the rules, for me the stitch I refer to as Titter Tat does just that. This stitch creates an open stretchy pattern whose stitches appear to be sideways, and you do not chain at the beginning of a row, you simply begin working your stitches.

I have used this stitch in the Wine Country Throw that is found in the October 2016 issue of Crochet World, it does have a bit of stretch, which can be deceiving when attempting to get a desired size, but I really love the affect.

Titter Tat Stitch www.lindareancrochet.com

Titter Tat Stitch

Begin with a chain that is a multiple of 4, then add 2 more chains. Single crochet in the second chain from the hook, [chain 4, skip 3 chains, single crochet in next chain] repeat everything in the brackets across, then turn. Do not chain anything, and simply work (2 double crochet, chain 3, single crochet) in all chain 4 loops across, and then turn your work. This can be a little awkward with the first stitch as it seems a bit distorted as it is pulled over, this is the correct approach as it will set the first stitches up the match the rest. All subsequent rows are worked the same, no beginning chain, working (2 double crochet, chain 3, single crochet) in all chain 3 spaces across. You work this until you have the desired length. This stitch can really benefit from blocking, but the type of yarn can influence how well this works.

The more formal written pattern looks like this:

Ch a multiple of 4 +2

Row 1: Sc in 2nd ch from hook, [ch 4, sk 3, sc in next ch] across, turn.

Row 2: [(2dc, ch 3, sc) in ch-4 sp] across, turn.

Row 3-desired length: [(2dc, ch 3, sc in each ch-3 sp] across, turn.

You may want to add a solid border to the stitch to limit the stretch, but that is a personal choice. If you are seeking to practice this stitch and create a throw for charity you may want to consider your local foster youth programs. Often foster kids in any community have limited personal belongings, and upon during 18 are now legal adults with in many cases nothing to begin their own households. Foster youth programs try an ease this transition.

Cross Stitch- Crochet For a Difference

I will admit, that featuring on how crochet can make a difference locally has really helped me remained focus on what is important. Prior to working as a freelance designer and instructor I worked in public service, I there are times that I really miss the satisfaction at the end of the day knowing that you made a difference in someone’s life. So finding a way to remind myself that crocheting is a way to make an impact, is very powerful to me.

I was thinking about a simple stitch for an afghan, and my mind kept coming back to a simple cross stitch. It is made up of double crochet stitches that are, as the name states, crossed. To this stitch I work a chain in any even number, and add 1.

Row 1: Single crochet in the second chain from the hook and in each chain across, turn.

Row 2: Chain 3 (this will count as a double crochet, and not be crossed, this is the edge), [skip the next stitch, double crochet in the next stitch, now double crochet in the stitch that was skipped] repeat across, double crochet in the last stitch, turn.

Repeat Row 2 until desired length.

Final Row: Chain 1, single crochet in each stitch across.

Cross Stitch www.lindadeancrochet.com

Cross Stitch

This creates a lacy type of fabric, and works well in a wide variety of yarn types. It is a simple texture as well, creating many options of feel. One of the reasons I enjoy this stitch is that once it is set up, it almost becomes a mindless stitch pattern, since it is really pretty simple to see if I made an error, thus I do not have to count my stitches.

After working this stitch up in an afghan you may want to consider donating it to a local residential care home. In any community you may be familiar with long term care homes, or what some people call nursing homes, yet there are many smaller ones that may actually be down the street from you in a simple home. To find these locally in your community contact your local Long Term Care Ombudsman Program, this program facilitates and trains volunteers to routinely visit all sorts of care facilities to ensure that the rights of the residents are not being violated. Find your Long Term Care Ombudsman within your local Area Agency on Aging, find it here.

Simple Basket- Crochet for A Difference

There are various ways that crochet impacts organizations and individuals every day. I have always tried to use my crochet ability to make a local impact, so I want to share a crochet stitch and inspire you to Crochet For A Difference.

I have stated it in past posts, that crochet specialty stitch pattern names really are not known universally, but in order to make it clear about the stitch I am discussing I have to give it a name, so I want to share the Simple Basket Stitch Pattern with you.

Front post double crochet www.lindadeancrochet.com

Where to work a Front Post Double Crochet, insert the hook around the post.

This stitch pattern is worked in double crochet with the only variation being the Front Post Double Crochet. This Front Post stitch can seem intimidating, but essentially it is the same double crochet that you have always worked it is just in a different location. To work this stitch you begin with a yarn over and insert the hook around the body or post of the next stitch from the front to the back and then to the front again, and then work it as a regular double crochet by working a yarn over then pulling it through, then yarn over again and pull through two loops, twice.

To work the Simple Basket you need to create chain that is a multiple of 4, then add 2 more chains.

Row 1: Work a double crochet in each chain across, turn.

Row 2: Chain 3, [front post double crochet in the next 2 stitches, double crochet in the next 2 stitches] repeating across until 1 stitch remains, double crochet in the last stitch, turn.

Simple Basket Stitch www.lindadeancrochet.com

Simple Basket Stitch

Repeat Row 2 until you have reached the desired length.

To help visually understand where each stitch goes so that you do not have to worry about counting, essentially if the stitch you are working into appears to be pushed forward then work a front post double crochet, if the stitch you are working into appears to be pushed away from you work it as a double crochet stitch.

The texture created gives a great visual as well as esthetic feel. It has a nice loft to it that really helps the stitch feel like it is harder than it is. This can create a great blanket that you may consider to donate to a homeless shelter. It is estimated that any given night in the United States that over 600,000 people were experiencing homelessness only 17% of those are consider chronically homeless (source greendoors.org). Meaning that a great percentage of those experiencing homeless on any given night, are in a short term housing situation and a simple blanket can make a difficult time a little more bearable. Find one in your community here.

V Stitch- Crochet for a Difference

ScannedImageCrocheting for a Difference, to me is a way to use my skills to benefit others. One of the drawbacks to being a Freelance Crochet Designer is that I do not get the direct feedback that I use to receive when I worked in the field of Social Work. It can be a bit isolating working from home, and not sure if you are making a positive impact on the world around you. So I crochet to help benefit others.

I have made countless scrap afghans and throws for a multitude of outlets and charities over the years. Even when I was staying at a city for only a short time I found places that could benefit from the hand skills of crochet. I have decided that I want to help encourage others to find a way to make a difference locally, so I am planning to share some stitch patterns and some ideas about places in your local community that might benefit from your crochet skills. I am calling it Crocheting for a Difference.

V Stitch Pattern for Crochet for a Difference

V Stitch

Today, I am sharing a basic V stitch pattern that I enjoy using to create a fast fabric. After establishing the first row, it really becomes pretty mindless, as you work the V stitches in the chain space created in the V stitch the row below. I usually work the entire length of the scrap yarn, and then change to the new color or skein, regardless of where I am in the fabric. This does cause color changes in the middle of a row, but I think it adds a nice rustic feel, but it can easily be a solid color, or stripes.

To begin you create a chain as long as you like (if you want Row 1 to work up without any extra chains, then crochet a chain that has a number of chains that is a multiple of 3, then add one more chain). Please note I am writing this stitch pattern in US standard format.

V stitch: (Double crochet, chain 1, double crochet) in the indicated location

Row 1: V stitch in the 5th chain from the hook, *skip two chains, V stitch in next chain; repeat from * across, double crochet in the last stitch, turn.

Row 2: Chain 3, V stitch in each chain-1 space across, double crochet in top of turning chain the row below, turn,

Repeat Row 2 until it is a desired length.

After creating an afghan in the stitch pattern consider donation to a Crisis Center, in some places known as a Women’s Center. Aiding those leaving domestic violence situations. Often when someone is leaving a volatile situation they leave with almost nothing, or nothing at all. A throw, an afghan, a scarf, a hat…all can help to begin a life anew.