Flower Trellis Afghan, Where You Place the Stitches Makes the Difference

ScannedImageThe unique thing about crochet is that it all depends upon where you place your hook. Basically there are only a couple of stitches, but a very look happens when the stitches are placed in different places.0001830918_small2

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One side of Flower Trellis Afghan “Flowers” Photo courtesy of Annie’s

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Opposite side of Flower Trellis Afghan, “Snowflake” Photo courtesy of Annie’s

My Flower Trellis Afghan, on the cover of the current special issue of Crochet! Magazine From Scraps to Sensational, really shows how stitch placement can create a completely different effect, allowing this afghan to have two different but equally beautiful sides.

This afghan is comprised of motifs, which are only 3 round each. The first 2 rounds are the pops of color! Only a little yarn is needed for these rounds, so it really puts the scraps in your stash to work, the more interesting the color, or variegation, or hue of the yarn, the more interest to the overall effect.

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Flower Trellis Afghan Photo courtesy of Annie’s

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Flower Trellis Afghan Photo courtesy of Annie’s

The really magic occurs in the third round. The stitch placement of working in round 1 behind round 2, allows for the petals of the “flowers” to become distinguished, while creating the “snowflake” appearances on the opposite side. Or at least that is what I envision when I see them.

The other great feature about this afghan is that it is joining as you go; all is worked in the third round. So working the color of the motifs can be completely portable, and then join them all together when working the last round. This is a rewarding project, as it really helps clean up the left over bits of yarn you have been holding onto for the “special” project, and by placing your stitches in a different location you find that you have a project that has a personality, and differing effect on either side

Pattern with a Purpose!- Fighting Cancer!

ScannedImageI am really excited about my latest design! Not only is it fun to work up with a great drape and fit over the shoulders but it helps fight cancer!

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Twinkle Hope Diamonds Shawl

The Twinkle Hope Diamonds Shawl (find it here on Raverly) is a join as you go motif design that high lights a large motif in the back, and since it is V shaped it stays in place over the shoulders. I will admit the name has a little of a double meaning to me. Yes, they are diamond shaped motifs that have a twinkle effect of the stars I see at night with the slight taper in the edges; but I also see it as also a symbol of hope.

I have had several people close to my heart be affected by various cancers. Some are no longer with us; some are living a life forever changed. I know that I am not alone by having had cancer enter the realm of life, so I am happy that all the proceeds from the sales of this design (as well as any other of my design patterns) goes directly to benefit cancer research through the organization Cast Off Chemo.FINAL-LOGO-FOR-JPEGS-01-cropped All designs created for this program have done with hours of volunteering. The pattern writers, sample stitchers, technical editors, photographers, publishers, designers; everyone, has donated their skills to create an avenue to raise funds for this worthy cause.

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Twinkle Hope Diamonds Shawl

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Center back of Twinkle Hope Diamonds Shawl

So, if you feel so inclined, please check out my latest designs, the other designers featured by Cast Off Chemo, or donate to the organization directly. It is always the small steps that can make the biggest difference.

Where Designs Grow- The Bharat Star Table Runner

ScannedImageThe New Year seems like it has been a bit of a whirl wind, especially since I have several designs coming out in various publications over the next several weeks. I enjoy sharing my thoughts of where these designs grew from, and the latest of these is the Bharat Star Table Runner, that is now available in the special issue of Crochet World Magazine, Blue Ribbon Crochet (available on newsstands and for download now).

871501_BlueRibbon_COVERThis table runner created with #10 cotton thread (Nazli Gelin Garden, color #700-09), was a design that grew out my approach to seeing in uses for the picot stitch. The picot stitch is a crochet classic, which is often used in an edging, sometimes within lace stitches, and is essentially working a chain-3 loop among a row or round of stitches. This creates a little, for lack of a better term, “nub” to rise above the other stitches and create a visual interest.

In playing with this classic technique, I have used the picot, instead of an embellishment as a location of additional stitch work. I have found that increasing the picot to a chain-4 loops, this becomes an excellent place to put shell or fan stitches, that creates a nice rounded arch.

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photo courtesy of Annie’s

So while sitting in grass at my old high school, waiting for my kids to finish their parks & recreation tennis lessons last summer, I was playing with motifs. I was originally attempting to create large lace motif, but after working my fourth round by working a shelled arch in a picots I could not find a way to continue it further. I loved the shape that it made. I knew I was really on to something with it when the other parents waiting for their kids commented on how much they liked what I was making (once again crochet is an ice breaker).

I added the small motif squares to the mix, as a way to assist in a smooth join to the fabric, and believe that the square shape is a nice compliment to the star shape. I actually enjoy this stitch pattern enough that I have considered, several times, adding more motifs to make a wrap, or even a full table cloth.

If you do not feel comfortable using thread, this pattern can use yarn, and offer beautiful results as well.

I enjoy many of my designs, but this one is up among my favorites.

Small Shifts, Big Differences…Where is Your Yarn?

ScannedImageSimple things can make a huge difference….I was reminded of this just the other day, as I was putting together some “join-as-you-go” motifs.

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Working yarn behind the hook

They would join at through chain loops, and I found that I was working along splendidly, then put things down and come back and have the joins twisting. I could not for the life of me figure out what was causing this difference. I was entering the chain in the same direction, I was making the same number of stitches, and so what was my hold up? Was I distracted? Were my fingers and hook no longer obeying?

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Working yarn in front of hook, being pulled into chain stitch

Then, I noticed a very subtle difference….where was the working yarn drawing from? In every instant that I had a problem with the join twisting the working yarn was in front of my work, in front of my hook. This was the cause of the difference. Usually my working yarn is always behind my hook, this makes for a smooth fabric and joins that behave, but the simple acts of letting the working yarn get in front of the hook and everything goes backward.

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Top join is worked with working yarn behind hook, and bottom join is worked with working yarn in front of hook. Notice the twist of the loops in the bottom join.

This is similar to the effects of how you “yarn over”, the placement has very subtle and telling results (for a description of that post check out “How do you YO?”). The working yarn in front of the hook creates an extra twist to my join and, though creates a more textured fabric, is not necessarily the effect I am looking for.
So I put a little extra knowledge of how crochet stitches work in my basket, and will have to play with it in the future and see what effects it can create, that I actually intend for.