Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Prize Draw - Crochet Club 2013

I am so excited to be able to tell you about the new prize draw to raise funds for Knit For Peace - an amazing charity that works to improve the lives of the needy and vulnerable all over the world via knit and crochet campaings and initiatives.

You may remember that we ran a prize draw over the course of a few months last year and (by asking you to donate a small monetary amount to be in with a chance to win a fabulous knit or crochet project) we managed to raise some vital funds for the charity.


A few months ago we were contacted by a lady called Jayne Bailey whose sister Sally Smith sadly recently passed away. While sorting through Sally's things Jayne came across a complete yarn and bead kit for the 2013 Crochet Club project (pictured above) which Sally had purchased, but not started. Jayne has returned the complete kit to us and has very kindly agreed that we can feature it as the prize in a new giveaway that we are running in Sally's memory in aid of Knit For Peace.




The kit includes 31 balls of Rowan Cotton Glace, 3 bags of Debbie Abrahams beads and all the exclusive download patterns. This kit was only available to club members in 2013 and neither the patterns nor kit are now available, so it is incredibly rare for a complete kit to become avialable, especially as it is much sought after .*

To be in with a chance of winning this project pack, which originally sold for £195, all you need to do is follow this link to make a minimum donation of £2 to Knit For Peace. Each donation equals one entry to the prize draw and you can enter as many times as you like. The prize draw is open to everyone regardless of where you are in the world and runs between now and the 4th of September. The winner will be picked at random and the kit will be sent out to the winner towards the end of September.


We are hoping that this giveaway will raise a really fabulous amount of money for Knit For Peace to continue with their amazing work. You can find out more about the charity and how you can do other things to support them by following this link.

With many thanks to Jayne Bailey and in fond rememberance of Sally.

Jane x

* Please note: Club members paid a premium price for this exclusivity and so patterns and kits will remain archived - please don't email us to ask for patterns or kits!

Sunshine and Showers - Part 4

When my children were small I always looked forward to the summer holidays and in particular the fact that they had the whole month of August off. When they were really little the summer holidays seemed a little long and at times it was hard work trying to keep them occupied for weeks on end, but as they got older and were a little more independent the summer holidays were a time when we would do fun things together, relax and really recharge our batteries! Now that my children are both grown up I do miss the school holidays, but still have that feeling that August is a time for fun and recuperation before the hard work of the Autumn.


If you're in the UK then (like me) you are probably wishing for better weather - it has been so dreary the last few weeks and particularly autumnal feeling here in North London, but looking at the bright and cheery edging on the Sunshine and Showers blanket has gone some way to make me feel a little more cheery and summery, so hopefully it will help you feel this way too!

This month you are going to make the top and bottom edging of the blanket. The edging is made from repeated flower motifs in summer shades – it is not particularly complicated, but it does involve a lot of yarn ends so you will get good practice at sewing them in.


If you want to purchase a download copy of the patterns for just 95p you can access the Stylecraft Special DK version by following this link and the Yarn Stories version by following this link - please note that step by step images in all patterns are from the Special DK version.
Yarns used this month:

Stylecraft Special DK 100g balls
1065 Meadow
1712 Lime
1027 Khaki
1241 Fondant
1080 Pale Rose
1023 Raspberry
1722 Storm Blue
1068 Turquoise

Yarn Stories Fine Merino DK 50g balls
2510 Leaf
2516 Spring Green
2510 Bottle
2514 Raspberry
2536 English Rose
2509 Fuchsia
2535 Bluebell
3534 Iced Teal

Equipment Special DK:
4.5mm hook
Sewing needle

Equipment Fine Merino DK:
4mm hook
Sewing needle

Dealing with yarn ends: Sewing yarn ends in as you go along makes the finishing process much easier and means that you are less likely to loose stitches or make errors with your tension. There are a lot (and I mean A LOT) of yarn ends this month, so I urge you to sew yarn ends in as you go along even if this is something you do not normally do.

Hook Changes:
Please take note of changes in hook size.

Pattern Repeat:

If you have decided to make the blanket in a different size you will need to calculate your stitch count accordingly.

One crochet flower takes up the space of 9sts, so the stitch repeat is 9 + 1.

To make this edging work I had to decrease the stitch count once the flowers were completed to get back to my original stitch count of 171.

You will see that on Row 3 there are 190 sts (21 flowers taking up the space of 9sts each + 1 edging stitch) and this is reduced to 170 sts on the following row. 

Note: The pattern in written in UK terminology
Method

The majority of the Sunshine and Showers Blanket is made by working rows of crochet stitches, however crochet can also be worked in the round and so I felt it was important that the blanket incorporated this method at some point.

You need to make a total of 21 flowers in order to create the edging for each end of the blanket. The flower centres are made first – use 3 of the green shades for this and make 7 of each shade.

Flowers (make 2 strips of 21 flowers)

Flower Centre:
Using Meadow (Leaf) & 4.5mm (4mm) hook make 4ch, join with a ss to form a ring

Round 1: 1ch (does not count as a st) 10dc into ring, ss to join fasten off.


Make 13 more flower centres using Meadow (Leaf), then make 14 using Lime (Spring Green) and 14 using Khaki (Bottle) so that a total of 42 pieces have been made.

Flower Petals:

Although each flower has a total of 5 petals when complete, you are going to work 4 petals onto each flower centre first, leaving a gap of 2 stitches on each flower centre – the fifth petal of each flower will be worked into these stitches later on.

Flower One:

Row 1: Using Fondant (Raspberry) & 4.5mm (4mm) hook join yarn into any dc made on a Khaki (Bottle) Flower Centre by working 1ch + 2ch, tr2tog over same st & next st, 3ch, ss into st at base of 3ch, ss into next st [3ch, tr2tog over same st & next st, 3ch, ss into st at base of 3ch, ss into next st] twice, 3ch, tr3tog working 1 st into same st & 2 sts into next st changing yarn shade to Pale Rose (English Rose) on the final step of the last st (as you pull yarn through tr3tog) (4 petals made)







Using Pale Rose (English Rose) 2ch


Flower Two:

Using Pale Rose (English Rose) tr3tog over 2sts of Lime (Spring Green) Flower Centre working 2sts into 1 st & 1 st into next st, 3ch, ss into st at base of 3ch, ss into next st, [3ch, tr2tog over same st & next st, 3ch, ss into st at base of 3ch, ss into next st] twice, 3ch, tr3tog working 1 st into same st & 2 sts into next st changing yarn shade to Raspberry (Fuchsia) on the last step of the st (as you pull yarn through tr3tog)


Using Raspberry (Fuchsia) 2ch

Flower Three:

Using Raspberry (Fuchsia) tr3tog over 2sts of Meadow (Leaf) Flower Centre working 2sts into 1 st & 1 st into next st, 3ch, ss into st at base of 3ch, ss into next st, [3ch, tr2tog over same st & next st, 3ch, ss into st at base of 3ch, ss into next st] twice, 3ch, tr3tog working 1 st into same st & 2 sts into next st changing yarn shade to Pale Rose (English Rose) on the last step of the stitch (as you pull yarn through tr3tog)


Using Pale Rose (English Rose) 2ch

Flower Four: 
Work as Flower Two


The last 4 flowers set the yarn shade repeat for the ‘petal’ part of the flowers, work as set using the flower centres in a 3 shade repeat – Khaki (Bottle), Lime (Spring Green), Meadow (Leaf) - and using the pink shades in the correct order. Work as set until a total of 21 flowers have been made, do not change yarn shade on the final flower, draw yarn through the last st using Fondant (Raspberry).

The string of 21 crochet flowers ends with a Fondant (Raspberry) Flower worked into a Meadow (Leaf) centre. Place last st on a holder.


Sew in all yarn ends except the attached Fondant (Raspberry) yarn.


Row 2: (RS facing) Remove st holder and place st on hook, Using Fondant (Raspberry) 1ch, (does not count as a st) skip 1ch, 1dc into next ch, 4ch, tr4tog over remaining 2sts of same Flower Centre, changing yarn shade to Pale Rose (English Rose) on the final step of the st (as you pull yarn through tr4tog)



Using Pale Rose (English Rose) 8ch, tr4tog over remaining 2sts of next Flower Centre, changing yarn shade to Raspberry (Fuchsia) on the final step of the st (as you pull yarn through tr4tog)


Using Raspberry (Fuchsia) 8ch, tr4tog over remaining 2sts of next Flower Centre, changing yarn shade to Pale Rose (English Rose) on the final step of the st (as you pull yarn through tr4tog)

Work as set, changing yarn shade as you work along the row (do not change yarn shade on final flower) draw yarn through last st using Fondant (Raspberry), 4ch, 1dc into top of tr2tog made on next petal, fasten off.



Sew in yarn ends attached to all petals – leave tail ends that sit at beginning of 8ch to be sewn in later on. You can choose to weave these ends in whilst working the next row if you wish, but they may still need a little sewing to make them secure.

Row 3: With RS facing, using Lime (Spring Green) & 4.5mm (4mm) hook join yarn into 1st dc made at beginning of last row by working 1ch (does not count as a st), 1dc into same st, 4dc into next ch sp, * 4dc into next ch sp, working around 8ch made on previous row and 2ch made on Row 1 tr3tog, 4ch into next (same) ch sp; repeat from * 18 times, 4dc into final ch sp, 1dc into next st changing yarn shade to Meadow (Leaf) on the final step of the last st, turn (190sts)






Row 4: Using Meadow (Leaf), 1ch (does not count as a st) 1dc into next 8sts, * dc2tog over next 2sts, 1dc into each next 7sts; repeat from * to last 2sts, 1dc into each next 2sts changing yarn shade to Storm Blue (Bluebell) on the final step of the last st, turn. (170sts)

Row 5: Using Storm Blue (Bluebell), 1ch (does not count as a st), 1dc into each st to end, turn. (170sts)

Row 6: 1ch (does not count as a st), 1dc into each st to end, fasten off  (170sts)


You will find that the edging strip you have made is approx. 4/5cm wider than last row of the main blanket piece. The edge strip will ease in to size as you join the pieces together.

Joining Row: 

Hold main piece of blanket and edging strip together with wrong side facing you so that the right sides of the work are facing into each other.

Using Turquoise (Iced Teal) and 4.5mm (4mm) hook insert hook into first st on edging and the first st at top of main blanket piece so that 2 sts are on the hook, yarn round hook and draw through, 1dc into each matching pair of sts until 85sts have been joined, skip 1 st on blanket piece, continue to match pairs of sts to the end of the row, fasten off.





Sew in yarn ends

Each piece should measure approximately 25cm x 92cm (10 x 36in)



So, before we know it we will be in September and you can see a preview image of the pattern above. You will be starting 2 new (identical) strips, so you can put your 2 strips already completed (May through to August) away somewhere safe for a while.

 The next set of patterns will be posted here on the 5th September.

With thanks to the team at Crochet Now magazine.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Sunshine and Showers - Part 3

I love the month of July! It’s a month full of hope and promise for a lovely summer. It’s a time when the evenings are long and when (with a bit of luck) we can all relax in the sunshine and have a few special days out at the beach or drive out into the countryside to spend a few hours in a pub garden or special cafĂ©. 



When I was designing the pattern for this month I wanted to capture the feeling of the warm days and the longer evenings and so felt that a design styled on the sun itself would be very fitting. Techniques include fan stitches and decrease stitches.

We have received a few emails about the construction of the blanket - it is made in a total of 4 pieces (2 x 2). You need to make 2 pieces (named below as 'part one') which are patterns 1 - 5) and 2 pieces (named below as 'part two') which are patterns 6 - 12. So then, for each piece that you make you will need to make another to match. I have placed a layout diagramme below to help you visualise what you are doing:

If you want to download the PDF copies of the pattern - available for juts 95p each then you can follow the links below:

Stylecraft Special DK version
Yarn Stories Fine Merino DK version

Yarns used this month:

Stylecraft Special DK 100g balls
1080 Pale Rose
1722 Storm Blue
1065 Meadow
1241 Fondant
1820 Duck Egg
1709 Gold
1005 Cream

Yarn Stories Fine Merino DK 50g balls
2536 English Rose
2535 Bluebell
2510 Leaf
2514 Raspberry
2507 Duck Egg
2502 Burnt Sienna
2504 Cream

Equipment Special DK:
4mm & 4.5mm hook
Sewing needle

Equipment Fine Merino DK:
3.5mm & 4mm hook
Sewing needle 

Dealing with yarn ends: Sewing yarn ends in as you go along makes the finishing process much easier and means that you are less likely to loose stitches or make errors with your tension.

Hook Changes:
Please take note of changes in hook size.

Pattern Repeat:

If you have chosen to make the blanket in a different size you will need to calculate your pattern repeats accordingly.

Sunshine pattern (Row 26 & 27) is worked over a repeat of 12sts

To make the repeat work with 171sts the pattern has a shorter repeat over the first 10sts (not 12) at the beginning of the row (so I have started with 5dc and not 7dc) and then has a remainder of 5dc (instead of 7dc) at the end of the row.

Note: The pattern is written using UK terminology.

Method:

Undo last st and rework to the point where you can change yarn shade to Pale Rose (English Rose) on the final step of the st, turn.

You can choose to weave in one of your yarn ends over the next row if you wish – this is a technique that was shown in last month’s blog post.

Row 20: (RS facing) Using Pale Rose (English Rose) & 4.5mm (4mm) hook, 1ch (does not count as a st), 1dc into each st to end, changing yarn shade to Spice (Rouge) on the final step of the last st, turn (171sts)


Row 21: (WS facing) Using Spice (Rouge) 1ch (does not count as a st), 1dc into each next 2sts, * 2ch, skip 2sts, 1dc into each next 2sts; repeat from * to last st, 1dc into next st, changing yarn shade to Storm Blue (Bluebell) on the final step of the last st, turn

Row 22: (RS facing) Using Storm Blue (Bluebell) 1ch (does not count as a st), 1dc into each next 3sts, 2dc into next ch sp, 1dc into each next 2sts; repeat from * to end, changing yarn shade to Fondant (Raspberry) on the final step of the last st, turn (171sts)



Row 23: Using Fondant (Raspberry) work as Row 21, changing yarn shade to Duck Egg (Duck Egg) on the final step of the last st, turn

Row 24: Using Duck Egg (Duck Egg) work as Row 22, changing yarn shade to Meadow (Leaf) on the final step of the last st, turn (171sts)

Row 25: Using Meadow (Leaf) 1ch (does not count as a st), 1dc into each st to end, changing yarn shade to Gold (Burnt Sienna) on the last st, turn (171sts)


Row 26: (RS facing) Using Gold (Burnt Sienna) & 4mm (3.5mm) hook 1ch (does not count as a st) 1dc into each next 5sts, * skip 2sts, 7tr into next st to make fan, skip 2sts, 1dc into each next 7sts; repeat from * to end, omitting 2dc on final pattern repeat, turn (14 fans made)




Row 27: 1ch (does not count as a st) 1dc into each next 3sts, * 1ch, skip 2sts, [1tr into top of next tr, 1ch] 7 times, skip 2sts, 1dc into each next 3sts; repeat from * to end, changing yarn shade to Cream (Cream) on the final step of the last st, turn (14 fans made)


Row 28: (RS facing) Using Cream (Cream) & 4.5mm (4mm) hook 1ch (does not count as a st), * 1dc into each next 2sts, skip next st,  [1dc into next ch sp, 2dc into next ch sp] twice, [2dc into next ch sp, 1dc into next ch sp] twice; repeat from * to last 3sts, 1dc into each next 3sts, changing yarn shade to Duck Egg (Duck Egg) on the final step of the last st, turn (199sts)



The following row includes the instruction dc3tog (double crochet 3 stitches together) and dc2tog (double crochet 2 stitches together). These stitches are worked as a way of decreasing the stitch count. It is common to find the instruction dc2tog or dc3tog within everyday crochet patterns, but decreases like these can sometimes be worked over more stitches.

To work dc3tog insert your hook into the next st, wrap the yarn around the hook and draw through the stitch, repeat this action twice more so that 4 loops are on your hook (one loop was already there before you started the decrease) wrap the yarn around the hook again and draw through all 4 loops.

To work dc2tog work as for dc3tog but pick 2 loops up over 2 stitches instead of 3 loops over 3 stitches.



Row 29: Using Duck Egg (Duck Egg) 1ch (does not count as a st), 1dc into next st, dc3tog over next 3sts, 1dc into each next 11sts, dc2tog over next 2sts, * 1dc into each next 12 sts, dc2tog over next 2sts; repeat from * to end, turn (183sts)


The following row includes the instruction dtr2tog (double treble crochet 2 stitches together)

To work dtr2tog wrap yarn around the hook twice, insert your hook into the next st, wrap the yarn around the hook and draw through the stitch, work the dtr stitch until one loop of yarn (plus the original loop) is left on the hook, thus stopping one step before completing of the stitch, repeat this action into the next stitch so that 3 loops are on your hook (one loop was already there before you started the decrease) wrap the yarn around the hook again and draw through all 3 loops.




Row 30: (RS facing) Using 4mm (3.5mm) hook 4ch (counts as 1dtr), skip st at base of 4ch, 1dtr into next st, * 1tr into each next 2sts, 1htr into each next 2sts, 1dc into each next 2sts, 1htr into each next 2sts, 1tr into each next 2sts, 1dtr into next st, dtr2tog over next 2sts; repeat from * 12 more times, 1tr into each next 2sts, 1htr into each next 2sts, 1dc into each next 2sts, 1htr into each next 2sts, 1tr into each next 2sts, 1dtr into each next 2sts, turn. (170sts)

Row 31: staying on 4mm (3.5mm) hook, 1ch (does not count as a st) 1dc into each next 84sts, 2dc into next st, 1dc into each st to end, working last st into tch made at beginning of last row fasten off. (171sts)



Work other piece to match.
Each piece should measure 19cm. (7 1/2in)

Next month you will be given the patterns for a lovely flower edging - its a little bit complicated but so worth the hard work!

The next patterns will be available 8th August.




With thanks to the team at Crochet Now Magazine