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.

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.

At Long Last Interrupted! – Knit it! Crochet it!

People can be a bit surprised at how long it can take for a design to become a pattern, even when you are self-publishing. In some cases it can take up to a year; there is the design process that has you working out all the bugs, then writing the pattern and stitching the item (or maybe you stitch it first then write up the pattern), then you send it for review with a Technical editor to make sure that everything makes sense and can be understood (not everyone does this step, but it definitively makes a difference). Then it is into the world of photography, and lay out…then it is ready to upload and announce its introduction into the world. Did I mention that this happens while you are juggling any other contracts you may have in place? Or juggle the needs of your family? Or still attempting to create new ideas? Yes, it can take time.

Interrupted Shawl, knit version wwww.lindadeancrochet.com

Knit version of Interrupted

That is a bit of the history of Interrupted. The name may be a bit foretelling in its journey to being born into the world.  This design is another of my “Two in One”, meaning you get both a knit and a crochet version in the same pattern almost like a little bit of “something for everyone”. It actually got its name from the drop stitches that break the solid fabric pattern to create an airy feel. Both patterns are worked from the small point of a triangle outward, this makes for a great pattern that you can just use along with your yarn and end it when you think the size if correct for you.

Interrupted Shawl, crochet version www.lindadeancrochet.com

Crochet version of Interrupted

The solid fabric has a bit of texture, and that is the first thing people comment about them. The texture looks much more difficult than it is to execute, but when paired with dropped stitches it has a contrast that really highlights the textural differences. Check this design out for your self at either Craftsy or Ravelry.

Once again this design is pair with a Lickin Flames shawl pin, and Lisa Souza Yarn (Baby Alpaca Silk Petite…1 skein)…I love coming up with these one skein projects, and working with these two companies is always a joy. It really helps that they are such nice people, if you haven’t checked out their work, I really recommend it.

Celebrate a Month of Crochet! The Spokes Tam

Welcome to my post for the annual National Crochet Month Blog Tour hosted by Crochetville.com! I am honored to have been participated in the last 5 years of this tour event, and this year theme is “Glamping”…or Glamorous Camping, every day in the month of March Crochetville.com has visited designers, yarn stores, and had various giveaways…don’t miss a stop of the tour.

I cannot say that I have done much crocheting while camping…honestly, I have not been camping in years. I live a rural life, and have lost count of the days I spent camping as a kid, so I vacation now in a bit more of a “modern” style…someplace that offers room service.

To celebrate National Crochet Month I have a free pattern to share with you as well as a discount at my Ravelry.com store (use coupon code NatCroMo2017 and receive 25% off any and all patterns).  The Spokes Tam is a simple beret hat dresses up your Glamping adventure with a bit of style. You can really use any weight yarn with an appropriate crochet hook, but I have listed what I have used below.

Spokes Tam (For a printable version, this pattern is available at Ravelry.com for $2.00)

Spokes Tam by Linda Dean www.lindadeancrochet.com

Spokes Tam

Special note: All Front Post Double Crochet (fpdc) after Round 2, are worked around fpdc the row below.

Front Post Double Crochet (fpdc): Yarn over, insert hook from front to back and then to front again around post of stitch, yarn over and draw up loop, [yarn over and draw through 2 loops on hook] twice.

Front Post Single Crochet (fpsc): Insert hook from front to back and then to front again around post of stitch, yarn over and draw up a loop, yarn over and draw through 2 loops.

Double Crochet 2 Together (dc2tog): [Yarn over, insert hook in next st and draw up a loop, yarn over and draw through 2 loops on hook] twice, yarn over and draw through all 3 loops on hook.

Materials:

*1 skein Lisa Souza Dyeworks Cashmere Sport (www.lisaknit.com)

*Size J/10 ½/6.00mm crochet hook

Gauge: Gauge is not critical for this design

Rnd 1: Ch 4, 15 dc in 4th ch from hook, sl st to join. (16 dc)

Rnd 2: Ch 3, fpdc in same st, 2 dc in next st, [(dc, fpdc) in next st, 2 dc in next st] repeat around, sl st to join. (24 dc, 8 fpdc)

Rnd 3: Ch 3, fpdc in same st, dc in next st, 2 dc in next st, dc in next st, [(dc, fpdc) in next st, dc in next st, 2 dc in next st, dc in next st] around, sl st to join. (40 dc, 8 fpdc)

Rnd 4: Ch 3, fpdc in same st, dc in next 2 sts, 2 dc in next st, dc in next 2 sts, [(dc, fpdc) in next st, dc in next 2 sts, 2 dc in next st, dc in next 2 sts] around, sl st to join. (56 dc, 8 fpdc)

Rnd 5: Ch 3, fpdc in same st, dc in next 3 sts, 2 dc in next st, dc in next 3 sts, [(dc, fpdc) in next st, dc in next 3 sts, 2 dc in next st, dc in next 3 sts] around, sl st to join. (72 dc, 8 fpdc)

Rnd 6: Ch 3, fpdc in same st, dc in next 4 sts, 2 dc in next st, dc in next 4sts, [(dc, fpdc) in next st, dc in next 4 sts, 2 dc in next st, dc in next 4 sts] around, sl st to join. (88 dc, 8 fpdc)

Rnd 7: Ch 3, fpdc in same st, dc in next 5 sts, 2 dc in next st, dc in next 5 sts, [(dc, fpdc) in next st, dc in next 5 sts, 2 dc in next st, dc in next 5 sts] around, sl st to join. (104 dc, 8 fpdc)

Rnd 8: Ch 3, fpdc in same st, dc in next 6 sts, 2 dc in next st, dc in next 6 sts, [(dc, fpdc) in next st, dc in next 6 sts, 2 dc in next st, dc in next 6 sts] around, sl st to join. (102 dc, 8 fpdc)

Rnd 9: Ch 3, fpdc in same st, dc in next 7 sts, 2 dc in next st, dc in next 7 sts, [(dc, fpdc) in next st, dc in next 7 sts, 2 dc in next st, dc in next 7 sts] around, sl st to join. (136 dc, 8 fpdc)

Rnd 10: Ch 1, turn, fpsc around same st, fpsc around each st, sl st st join. (144 fpsc)

Rnd 11: Ch 3, turn, dc in next 6 sts, dc2tog over next 2 sts, [dc in next 7 sts, dc2tog over next 2 sts] around, sl st to join.

Rnd 12: Ch 3, dc in next 5 sts, dc2tog over next 2 sts, [dc in next 6 sts, dc2tog over next 2 sts] around, sl st to join.

Rnd 13: Ch 3, dc in next 4 sts, dc2tog over next 2 sts, [dc in next 5 sts, dc2tog over next 2 sts] around, sl st to join.

Rnd 14: Ch 3, dc in next 3 sts, dc2tog over next 2 sts, [dc in next 4 sts, dc2tog over next 2 sts] around, sl st to join.

Rnd 15: Ch 1, turn, sc in each st around, sl st to join.

Rnd 16: Ch 1, turn, sc in each st around, sl st to join. Fasten off.

Spokes Tam by Linda Dean www.lindadeancrochet.com

Spokes Tam

Enjoy a Celebration of Crochet! Don’t forget to use coupon code NatCroMo2017 and receive 25% off any and all patterns at my Ravelry.com store until April 15, 2017.

Check out all the stops on the Crochetville.com tour for more free patterns, discounts and fabulous ideas!

Knit It! Crochet It! The Dialog Shawl

Creating a design that is both knit and crochet has its own set of challenges, one mainly being that I am not an expert knitter. However I have created a design with the help of a couple of friends that I think is pretty impressive.

Dialog Crochet Shawl by Linda Dean www.lindadeancrochet.com

Dialog Shawl, Crochet version

The Dialog Shawl is created with short rows with alternating panels of a solid and lace fabric. It is a fun pattern to work up as it uses basic stitches but still keeps you mentally engaged, but not so much as to cause stress. The only difference between the knit and crochet version is that the panels of the crochet version are bigger and thus there are only 4 triangles instead of the 6 that are found in the knit version.

I love that this is a one skein project. It is featured in Baby Alpaca Silk Petite Yarn from Lisa Souza Dyeworks, and I definitely draw to the color of Peacock, but I think this design can easily worked up in various colors, and may look distinctly different and fabulous in a variegated yarn. This yarn is really awesome, and I have used it for several projects over the years. It is a light/fine weight yarn that has a beautiful hand and is a pleasure to work. I also feature a shawl pin with this design, it was after all part of the inspiration for the design, and it is actually a Shawl Button from Lickin Flames. Each Shawl Button is handmade, beautiful, and completely unique. The one that inspired me was a Raku button in Bronze with a shiny black accent.

Dialog Knit Shawl by Linda Dean wwww.lindadeancrochet.com

Dialog Shawl, Knit version

I cannot say that I have ever been particularly inspired to create a design from a pin or button before, usually I attempt to create a design that can be worn independently of such items. However, recently I have come to see how this piece of art can really had to the overall effect of my crochet (or in part of this design, knit). It is like a subtle accent point that helps add to the overall effect, bringing everything to a new level.

Overall I am completely thrilled with this design, and I hope you enjoy it too. As is the case with all of my knit/crochet designs one pattern contains both versions, so if you are bi-stitchual you can work both versions, and if you prefer one craft over the other you have it right before you.