1 For Me, 1 For You- Quick Weave 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.

Quick Weave 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.

The Basket Weave Stitch

Utilizing stitch placement is all that makes this pattern appear. It is essentially only a double crochet stitch, however it is worked around the body or post of the stitch a row below. There are two different stitches, the back post and the front post.

Post stitches can be worked with any stitch type, and I describe below how to work the location. Check out more information about stitch locations here.

Back Post Locations

The back post pushes the post away from the fabric facing. This is done by inserting the hook from the back side of the fabric to the front, between the “post” or “body” of the next stitch to be worked. Then push the hook from the front to the back of the fabric on the other side of the “post” or “body”. I have found this easier to view by shifting the fabric a bit and looking down at the top of the stitches, as I can see the body being pushed backward.

Insert the Hook from the back of the fabric
Push the hook to the back again. This image is looking down from the top of the fabric, note how the post is pushed to the back of the fabric.

Front Post Location

The front post is often easier to work, and pushes the post toward the front of the fabric. This is done by inserting the hook from the front to the back of the fabric between the “post” or “body” of the next stitch to be worked. Then re-insert the back of the fabric to the front of the fabric on the other side of the “post” or “body”.

Hook location for the Front post

Gauge: 7”x9” rectangle

Materials

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

K/10 ½/ 6.5mm hook

Notes

Back Post Double Crochet (bpdc): Yo, insert hook from back to front and then to back again around post of stitch, yo, pull up a loop, [yo, pull through 2 loops] twice.

Front Post Double Crochet (fpdc): Yo, insert hook from front to back and then to front again around post of stitch, yo, pull up a loop, [yo, pull through 2 loops] twice.

Since this Block uses three colors, instead of cutting the yarn, carry it along the side of the Block. If you need tips on this check it out here.

Front post double crochets are easily seen, the back post double crochets show a stripe of color in the row below and look like it is behind the row below.

Block Pattern

With MC Ch 22

Row 1: Dc in 4th ch from hook, dc in each ch across, change to CC1, turn. – 20 dc

Row 2: Ch 3 (counts as dc now and throughout), [fpdc in next 3 sts, bpdc in next 3 sts] 3 times, dc in last st, change to CC2, turn. – 2 dc,  9 fpdc, 9 bpdc

Row 3: Ch 3 (counts as dc now and throughout), [bpdc in next 3 sts, fpdc in next 3 sts] 3 times, dc in last st, change to MC, turn. – 2 dc,  9 fpdc, 9 bpdc

The Beginning of the Repeat

Row 4: Ch 3 (counts as dc now and throughout), [fpdc in next 3 sts, bpdc in next 3 sts] 3 times, dc in last st, change to CC1, turn. – 2 dc,  9 fpdc, 9 bpdc

Row 5: Ch 3 (counts as dc now and throughout), [bpdc in next 3 sts, fpdc in next 3 sts] 3 times, dc in last st, change to CC2, turn. – 2 dc,  9 fpdc, 9 bpdc

Row 6: Ch 3 (counts as dc now and throughout), [fpdc in next 3 sts, bpdc in next 3 sts] 3 times, dc in last st, change to MC, turn. – 2 dc,  9 fpdc, 9 bpdc

Row 7: Ch 3 (counts as dc now and throughout), [bpdc in next 3 sts, fpdc in next 3 sts] 3 times, dc in last st, change to CC1, turn. – 2 dc,  9 fpdc, 9 bpdc

Row 8: Ch 3 (counts as dc now and throughout), [fpdc in next 3 sts, bpdc in next 3 sts] 3 times, dc in last st, change to CC2, turn. – 2 dc,  9 fpdc, 9 bpdc

Row 9: Ch 3 (counts as dc now and throughout), [bpdc in next 3 sts, fpdc in next 3 sts] 3 times, dc in last st, change to MC, turn. – 2 dc,  9 fpdc, 9 bpdc

Just Finished the Pattern Repeat

Rows 10-16: Rep Rows 4-9 once.

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)

You’ve Got Options- Diamond Star Square

What fun to be part of the You’ve Got Options CAL! This is a project that actually has 2 different squares, different sizes, but built upon each other. If you have missed any of them, please check out all the opportunities here.

For my part I worked a square that utilizes carrying your throughout the project, crocheting over the color you are not working. This allows for some specialized color changes without having to weave in a bunch of ends.

A little insight

It also uses a process that creates inverted V’s, by using front post double crochet stitches that are worked together. These may be new techniques for you, or stitches you may not work often, so I offer some detailed information about them, and recommend reviewing it before beginning the squares. If you want to understand more about post stitches, both front and back are used in this design, I share some insight here.  To understand more about how to work decrease stitches, I share some tips here.

After you complete the smaller 6″ square, you then really put this square on its head, by moving the corners to the sides. This causes the square to rest on its point.

Square measures 12” x 12” (at end of Round 6, square measures 6” x 6”)

Materials

  • J/10/6.00mm crochet hook
  • Lion Brand Basic Stitch Premium medium weight 100% premium acrylic yarn (3.5 oz/100g/219yrds/200m) 1 skein each color #141 Plum (MC), #98 Cream (CC)

Abbreviations:

  • Beg: Beginning
  • Bpdc: back post double crochet
  • Bphdc: back post half double crochet
  • Bpsc: back post single crochet
  • CC: contrasting color
  • Ch: chain
  • Dc: double crochet
  • Fpdc: front post double crochet
  • Fphdc: front post half double crochet
  • Hdc: half double crochet
  • MC: main color
  • Rnd: round
  • Sc: single crochet
  • Sl st: slip stitch
  • Sp: space
  • St(s): Stitch(es)

Special Stitches

Front Post Double Crochet Two Together (Fpdc2tog):  Yarn over, insert hook from front to back and then to front again around post of stitch last worked into (or around st indicated) on previous row, yarn over and pull up a loop, yarn over and draw through 2 loops on hook, skip next st on rnds 2 and yarn over, insert hook from front to back and then to front again around post of next stitch (or around st indicated), yarn over and pull up a loop, yarn over and draw through 2 loops on hook, yarn over and draw through all 3 loops on hook.

Front Post Treble Crochet Two Together (Fptr2tog): Yarn over twice, insert hook from front to back and then to front again around post of indicated stitch, yarn over and pull up a loop, [yarn over and draw through 2 loops on hook] twice, yarn over twice, insert hook from front to back and then to front again around post of indicated stitch, yarn over and pull up a loop, [yarn over and draw through 2 loops on hook] twice, yarn over and draw through all 3 loops on hook.

Notes

Leave unused color behind your work and work over unused color when possible.

The Smaller Block

Rnd 1: With MC, ch 4 (last 3 chains count as dc), 15 dc in 4th ch from hook, join to top of beg ch. -16 dc

Rnd 2: Ch 3 (counts as tr here and throughout), dc in same st, dc in next st, change color to CC, fpdc2tog, change color to MC, [2 dc in next st (behind fpdc2tog), 1 dc in next st (used for 2nd leg of fpdc2tog), change color to CC, fpdc2tog, change color to MC] repeat around, slip stitch in top of beg ch-3 to join. – 8 fpdc2tog, 24 dc

Working stitch location of “legs” of fpdc2tog
Completed Round 2

Rnd 3: Ch 3, dc in same st, change color to CC, fpdc2tog over last and first fpdc2tog, change color to MC, skip next st, 2 dc in next st, dc in next fpdc2tog, [2 dc in next st, change color to CC, fpdc2tog over last-used and next fpdc2tog, change color to MC, sk next st, 2 dc in next st, dc in next fpdc2tog] repeat around, sl st in top of beg ch-3 to join. -8 fpdc2tog, 40 dc

Completed Round 3

Rnd 4: Ch 3, dc in same st, dc in next 3 sts, 2 dc in next st, change color to CC, fptr2tog over last and first fpdc2tog of previous row, change color to MC, [skip next st, 2 dc in next st, dc in next 3 sts, 2 dc in next st, change color to CC, fptr2tog over last-used and next fpdc2tog, change color to MC] repeat around, sl st in top of beg ch-3 to join. -8 fptr2tog, 56 dc

Working stitch location for “legs” of fptr2tog
Completed Round 4

We start making corners

Rnd 5: Ch 3, dc in next st, hdc in next 2 sts, sc in next 3 sts, change color to CC, fphdc around fptr2tog, change color to MC, sc in next 3 sts, hdc in next 2 sts, dc in next 2 sts, change color to CC, (fpdc, ch 1, fpdc) around fptr2tog (corner made), change color to MC, [dc in next 2 sts, hdc in next 2 sts, sc in next 3 sts, change color to CC, fphdc around fptr2tog, change color to MC, sc in next 3 sts, hdc in next 2 sts, dc in next 2 sts, change color to CC, (fpdc, ch 1, fpdc) around fptr2tog, change color to MC] repeat around, sl st in top of beg ch-3 to join. Fasten off CC. -4 fphdc, 4 (fpdc, ch 1, fpdc) corners, 16 dc, 16 hdc, 24 sc

Rnd 6: Ch 2 (counts as hdc), [hdc in each st across to ch-1 sp, (dc, ch 1, dc) in ch-1 sp] repeat around, hdc in last st, sl st in top of beg ch-2 to join. Fasten off. – 68 hdc, 4 (dc, ch 1, dc) corners, (19 sts on each side of square)

Making the Bigger Square

Rnd 7: With CC, join to any ch-1 corner sp, ch 3, (dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in same sp as join, bpdc around each st to next ch-1 sp, [(2dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in ch-1 sp, bpdc around each st to next ch-1 sp] repeat around, sl st in top of beg ch-3 to join. -76 bpdc, 4 (2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) corners

Rnd 8: Ch 3, dc in next st, (dc, ch 1, dc) in ch-1 sp, [dc in next 3 sts, change color to MC, fpdc2tog, change color to CC] five times, {dc in next 3 sts, (dc, ch 1, dc) in ch-1 sp, [dc in next 3 sts, change color to MC, fpdc2tog, change color to CC] five times} repeat around, dc in last st, sl st in top of beg ch-3 to join. -20 fpdc2tog, 72 dc, 4 (dc, ch 1, dc) corners

Rnd 9: Ch 3, dc in next 2 sts, {(dc, ch 1, dc) in ch-1 sp, dc in next 6 sts, [change color to MC, fpdc2tog over previous and next fpdc2tog, change color to CC, sk next st, dc in next 3 sts] 4 times, dc in next 3 sts} repeat around omitting last 3 dc on last repeat, sl st in top of beg ch-3 to join. Fasten off both colors. -16 fpdc2tog, 84 dc, 4 (dc, ch 1, dc) corners

We are moving the corner…

Rnd 10: Note corner location will shift in this round. With MC, join to any ch-1 sp, ch 1, sc in same sp, bpsc around next 4 sts, bphdc around next 4 sts, bpdc around next 5 sts, (dc, ch 1, dc) in next st, bpdc around next 5 sts, bphdc around next 4 sts, bpsc around next 4 sts, [sc in ch-1 sp, bpsc around next 4 sts, bphdc around next 4 sts, bpdc around next 5 sts, (dc, ch 1, dc) in next st, bpdc around next 5 sts, bphdc around next 4 sts, bpsc around next 4 sts] repeat around, sl st in first sc to join. –32 bpsc, 32 bphdc, 40bpdc, 4 sc, 4 (dc, ch 1, dc) corners

Rnd 11: Ch 1, sc in same st, sc in next 4 sts, [hdc in next 5 sts, dc in next 5 sts, (dc, ch 1, dc) in ch-1 sp, dc in next 5 sts, hdc in next 5 sts, sc in next 9 sts] 3 times, hdc in next 5 sts, dc in next 5 sts, (dc, ch 1, dc) in ch-1 sp, dc in next 5 sts, hdc in next 5 sts, sc in last 4 sts, sl st in first sc to join. -36 sc, 40 hdc, 40 dc, 4 (dc, ch 1, dc) corners

Rnd 12: Ch 1, sc in same st, sc in next 10 sts, [hdc in next 5 sts, (dc, ch 1, dc) in ch-1 sp, hdc in next 5 sts, sc in next 21 sts] 3 times, hdc in next 5 sts, (dc, ch 1, dc) in ch-1 sp, hdc in next 5 sts, sc in next 10 sts, sl st in first sc to join. Fasten off. -84 sc, 40 hdc, 4 (dc, ch 1, dc) corners

Rnd 13: With CC, join to any ch-1 sp, ch 2 (counts as hdc), (hdc, ch 1, 2 hdc) in same sp as join, bphdc in each st across to next ch-sp, [(2 hdc, ch 1, 2 hdc) in ch-1 sp, bphdc in each st across to next ch-sp] repeat around, sl st to join. Fasten off. Block. –132 bphdc, 4 (2 hdc, ch 1, 2 hdc) corners (37 stitches on each side of square)

The wrong side of the Diamond Star Square

Understand Crochet Post Stitches

In crochet Post Stitches are all about where you put your hook. It really can be that simple, yet it can be intimidating. It is from post stitches that interesting textures and designs can be created. But first it helps to understand the basics.

To work a Front Post Stitch, the hook is inserted between the “body” of a stitch, from the front of the fabric to the back, then returned back to the front of the fabric. Causing a post (or “body”) of a stitch to be pushed forward. In all the examples I show here I am demonstrating with Double Crochet stitches (US Standard), but really any stitches can be utilized in this manner. Then the indicated stitch is completed as normal.

As for a Front Post Double Crochet -FPDC, (US Standard), you would yarn over first, insert the hook as indicated above, yarn over and pull through a loop to anchor the stitch, then yarn over pull through 2 loops, and repeat the yarn over pull through of the last 2 loops on the hook.

To work a Back Post Stitch the process is very similar, it is just placing the hook in the reverse order, pushing the post (or “body”) of the stitch toward the back of the fabric. Essentially inserting the hook between the “body” of the stitch, from the back of the fabric to the front, then returning the hook to the back of the fabric. Once again you complete the stitch as indicated.

When working a Back Post Double Crochet -BPDC, (US Standard), you would yarn over first, insert the hook around the post of the stitch from back to front, then front to back as described above, yarn over and pull through a loop to anchor the stitch, then yarn over and pull through 2 loops two times.

Knowing these stitch positions opens up many different stitch texture opportunities, such as basket-weave and cables, I have displayed here a simple basket-weave of alternating front and back posts, as well as working a front and back post stitch around the same stitch. Working around the same stitch you will have to skip a stitch between or work the stitches over a mesh base. Using the same stitches, and in this case even in the same order (alternating front and back post stitches), you can get very different effects. Try this stitch placement out for your self. 

 

A Subtle Pattern Hit, the Subtle Diamonds Throw

There are times that I undertake a project and later wonder what I was thinking. Sometimes this is because I have bitten off more than I can chew, maybe I hadn’t thought my plan through enough, or maybe my timetable really will not allow for what I think it would. Yet with some perseverance it all comes out in the end. So when I took on the challenge of the Subtle Diamonds Throw I should have already been aware of my own pitfalls, but I jumped in anyway.

The challenge of Subtle Diamonds was really of my own creating, as it was designed as a challenge, could I create an afghan from a few skeins of hand dyed yarns. Some may think this really isn’t a challenge, yarn is yarn, and you are making a blanket…that seems pretty straight forward. However using hand dyed yarns can create a bit more thought in the designing.

Subtle Diamonds Throw Photo courtesy Ancient Arts Yarn

Some may not realize it but one of the thoughts that goes into a design for a pattern is if it would be cost prohibitive. By this I mean, if I designed a pattern that took 25 skeins of a $10 per skein yarn, would anyone realistically spend $250 in materials to make it? Probably not, especially if it was something pretty basic. This thought comes into play not only with the designer but with publishers and yarn manufactures. So working with hand dyed keeps this price pointing in your mind to find the most cost effective way to create.

So with Subtle Diamonds I was limited on the amount of yarn, using only 2 skeins of each color this throw can easily be made into a 48”x48” (122x122cm) throw, adding 1 more skein of 2 colors and it can become a 54”x48” (137x122cm). Then I wanted to ensure that the fabric was appropriate and would keep you warm, as well as the stitch pattern being interesting. Utilizing post stitches a staggered diamond pattern is created while helping the colors visually blend and harmonize together. This design as a result took a bit more planning and I am pretty happy with the way it finally came out.

Subtle Diamonds Throw Photo courtesy Ancient Arts Yarn

I teamed up with Ancient Arts Yarn to bring this design to you, they loved the idea of the challenge and added a bit of a twist to the process by requesting that the design have a modern, contemporary feel. I will in no way claim to be an expert in meeting, understanding, or designing to specific “type” or “style”, but apparently I came close since they liked it.

This challenge did help me grow as a designer, as all challenges do in general. It sharpens your senses and helps you to focus.

Corkscrewing Thoughts on the Unfurling Hat

ScannedImageIt amazes me how something so simple can create such an interesting look. The Unfurling Hat, in the Autumn 2016 issue of Crochet! Magazine is one such design. It is a warm, strong hat that features post stitches. It is these post stitches that create corkscrew effect, or might even be described as a pinwheel kind of look, as it spirals outward from the top and cascades down to the brim.

M22164_Unfurling_300

Unfurling Hat Autumn 2016 Crochet! Magazine Photo courtesy of Annie’s

The brim is quite generous, and the hat tall. There are a couple of reasons for this, okay, mostly one, I usually have my hair up, and running out in the cold weather I like to be able to throw a hat on and go, not re-do my hair so my hat will fit comfortably and still keep in warm and dry. So by adding a little length to the hat, I can simply put it on and go. It fits over my bun, my pony tail, my French twist. It fits over my clips, and combs, while still doing its job. In addition I think it still looks pretty stylish, while covering up my up-do.

CoverThe design of the post stitches, came out of simple playing again. I had a lush yarn in my hand and I wanted to just crochet, not think, and not work any math, just crochet. The placement of the stitches for this design actually allow me to do that. After you work the first round, the same basic concept works in all subsequent rounds, so I no longer had to think about what stitch I was working. It has a natural organic feel, and works up quickly.