1 for Me, 1 for You- Shells in a Row 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.

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.

Shells in a Row

These simple 5 double crochet shells are just off-set from one another, but a simple contrasting row of color gives it a different feel, allowing the for a real stand out.

Working with three colors has the added benefit of having less ends to weave in, by carrying the color along the edge. To learn more about this technique, check it out here.

Gauge: 7”x9” rectangle

Materials

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

K/10 ½/ 6.5mm hook

Block Pattern

With MC Ch 26

Row 1: Sc in 2nd ch from hook, [sk 2 chs, 5 dc in next ch, sk 2 chs, sc in next ch] 4 times, turn. -4 (5dc shells), 5 sc sts

Row 2: Change to CC1, ch 1, sc in same st, sc in each st across, turn. -25 sts

Row 3: Change to CC2, ch 3, 2 dc in same st, sk 2 sts, sc in next st, [sk 2 sts, 5 dc in next st, sk 2, sc in next st] 3 times, sk 2 sts, 3 dc in last st, turn. -3 (5 dc shells) 4 sc sts, 2 (3 dc half shells)

Row 4: Change to MC, ch 1, sc in same st, sc in each st across, turn.

Row 5: Change to CC1, ch 1, sc in same st, [sk 2, 5 dc in next st, sk 2, sc in next st] 4 times, turn. -4 (5dc shells), 5 sc sts

Row 6: Change to CC2, ch 1, sc in same st, sc in each st across, turn.

Row 7: Change to MC, ch 3, 2 dc in same st, sk 2 sts, sc in next st, [sk 2 sts, 5 dc in next st, sk 2, sc in next st] 3 times, sk 2 sts, 3 dc in last st, turn. -3 (5 dc shells) 4 sc sts, 2 (3 dc half shells)

Row 8: Change to CC1, ch 1, sc in same st, sc in each st across, turn.

Row 9: Change to CC2, ch 1, sc in same st, [sk 2, 5 dc in next st, sk 2, sc in next st] 4 times, turn. -4 (5dc shells), 5 sc sts

Row 10: Change to MC, ch 1, sc in same st, sc in each st across, turn.

Row 11: Change to CC1,  ch 3, 2 dc in same st, sk 2 sts, sc in next st, [sk 2 sts, 5 dc in next st, sk 2, sc in next st] 3 times, sk 2 sts, 3 dc in last st, turn. -3 (5 dc shells) 4 sc sts, 2 (3 dc half shells)

Row 12: Change to CC2, ch 1, sc in same st, sc in each st across, turn.

Row 13: Change to MC, ch 1, sc in same st, [sk 2, 5 dc in next st, sk 2, sc in next st] 4 times, turn, do not fasten off. -4 (5dc shells), 5 sc sts

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.

Staggered Shells-Crochet for a Difference

Some crochet stitches appear more difficult then they may actually be, Staggered Shells I believe is one of these. This stitch is essentially comprised of single crochets worked between shells that are made up of five double crochets.

New crocheters sometimes do not realize that what creates a different look may simply be where you place a stitch, and that you can work more than one stitch in a location. However like all crochet stitches the name “shell” doesn’t tell you the entire story. “Shell” essentially means that there are a number of stitches worked in the same location, without looking at the Special Stitches section of a pattern there is no way to fully understand how this stitch is worked, what number of stitches, or which stitch for that matter is worked. For this shell pattern I have used five double crochets worked in the same stitch.

Staggered Shells www.lindadeancrochet.com

Staggered Shells, changing color every row.

I have written this stitch pattern out in an untraditional method to attempt to help in understand how to better read your stitches. In my teaching I have found that crochet can be very forgiving if you have learned how to read your work and not worry so much about counts. Seeing the pattern can free up your work (at the end of this post the stitch pattern is written in a traditional format).

Row 1: To begin you create a chain that is a multiple of 5, then add 2 more chains. Single crochet in the second chain from the hook, [skip the next 2 chains, work a shell (5 double crochets) in the next chain, skip the next 2 chains, single crochet in the next chain] repeating everything in the [ ] across, turn.

Row 2: Chain 3, 2 double crochet in the same stitch as the beginning chain, this creates a half shell at the edge of the fabric, work a single crochet in the center double crochet of the next shell, [then work a shell in the next single crochet (between shells), work a single crochet in the center double crochet of next shell] repeat everything in the [ ] until you reach the top of the last shell, after working the single crochet in the top of the last shell, work 3 double crochets in the last single crochet stitch (this is another half shell at the other edge of the work, turn.

Row 3: Chain 1, single crochet in the same stitch, [shell in the next single crochet, single crochet in the center double crochet of the next shell] repeat in the [ ] across, turn.

Repeat Rows 2 & 3 until it is the desired length.

I always like to practice new stitches and feel like I am accomplishing something at the same time, so I find places that may be interested in receiving a handmade blanket donation, you may want to consider reaching out to your local fire station and see if they maybe interested in receiving small afgahns that they can give to children or others that may be in the need of some extra comfort during a time of trauma. Not all trauma is physical and sometimes wrapping yourself in a blanket, or even having one draped over your shoulders can add comfort during difficult times.

The traditional pattern:

Shell: 5 dc in same st

Ch a multilple of 5 +2

Row 1: sc in 2nd ch from hook, [sk 2 chs, shell, sk 2 chs, sc] repeat across, turn.

Row 2: Ch 3, 2 dc in same st, sk 2 dc, sc in next dc, [shell in next sc, sk 2 dc, sc in next dc] repeat across, 3 dc in last sc, turn.

Row 3: Ch 1, sc in same st, [shell in next sc, sk 2 dc, sc in next dc] repeat across, turn.

Repeat Row 2 & 3 until desired length.

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.

image-1

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.

Double Limpets

Double Limpet Ascot 2

Photo Courtesy of Annie’s

ScannedImageThe Double Limpet is another stitch that I have been playing with. I enjoy the technique to this stitch, probably because I like the “casting on” of loops and working them off to create this unique texture. It reminds me of little shells or fins that stand up and ask to be taken notice of on a fabric.

Double Limpet Ascot 1

Photo courtesy of Annie’s

The ascot scarf grew out of this whimsical approach. The double limpets create a fun texture at either end and also allow for the scarf to be slipped through a “bridge” of stitches to secure to itself.You can find a full description of the stitch technique, in three variations, as well as the ascot pattern in the Summer 2014 issue of Crochet! Magazine (currently available on news stands).  Sm2014 C!