Wednesday, 14 July 2010

This is just the beginning...

So I don't imagine this is going to be a particularly busy blog, but I wanted someplace separate where I could post patterns. I have been crocheting for most of my life, and I feel that I can make up a lot of things, but I would like to get good enough to actually share some of the things I make with other people.

The name of the blog comes from the idea that crochet isn't really going to change the world. So it is the little things in life that I would like to get right, to try to be a good person, to live true to myself, and spread a little crocheted happiness.

Good things about crochet is that it grows quickly, you can make beautifully intricate lacy things, and it is really quite forgiving, should you screw up and have a extra stitch here or there. Or if you are crocheting something straight which will eventually be seamed up, and you drop a stitch off the end, you can do two things. Rip it back and redo it without losing any other stitches - or  just add a stitch when you realize to get back up to the number you need. Of course, you never admit this, and always sigh heavily when somebody who may not appreciate your creations walks into the room, just to make sure they understand the effort you are putting in.

Here is my first pattern which is really so simple, anybody could do it, and they probably have. I am trying to write it very clearly so it would be good for a beginner crocheter, but since I have been crocheting for years, I may get that wrong. Please comment to let me know.

I just made this pattern up over the weekend, when Baby was wearing a cute little sundress that we had been given, and I thought a shrug would just go perfectly with it.  I looked down, and there was some  pink acrylic on the living room floor, which I think was bought to make amigurumi pigs, and would do just fine. :-) It is in an alternate double crochet which lightens up the fabric a bit, as crochet can be heavy, and this is meant to be a light springtime garment. 

I should point out that I will use UK crochet terms, although I hope to make a page with US term translations, as I learned when I was a kid in Illinois.


This one fits my chunky 9 month old, so I would say this is sized 9 - 12 months.

UK terms!

With DK weight yarn and 4mm hook, chain 31. (For a Shell stitch, chain 6 plus 1)
5 treble in 5th chain from hook, * skip 2 chain, double crochet in next chain, skip 2 chain, 5 treble crochet in next chain * contiue from * to * until end.

You will have 5 treble crochet in the last stitch. When you sew up the sleeves seams, this will match up with the beginning shell to make what looks like a continuous border. around the sleeve.

Ch 1 and turn and turn over. Continue crocheting into the starting chain, at the bottom of the shell stitches you have just done.

This will be the wrong side of the shrug.
Row 1 Dc in same stitch as turning chain, * ch 1,  skip one ch, dc in next ch*  continue to end, ending with a dc. Turn

Row 2  Chain 1(counts as first dc).  Dc in ch 1 space (of previous row,) * ch1, skip 1 stitch, dc in next stitch * to last stitch. Dc in last stitch. Turn.

Row 3  Chain 2 (counts as first dc, ch 1), * dc in ch 1 space, ch 1, skip next stitch,* to last stitch, dc in last stitch (which is the ch 1 from the beg of the previous row.)

 Rows 2 and 3 form the pattern. Continue until shrug is as long as you want it. This will depend on the type of yarn you are using - acrylic is not as stretchy as others. In the photos above, one is acrylic and one is is Sidar denim tweed DK, which is a cotton/ wool/acrylic blend, and the latter is going to fit for much longer. It is also softer. :-)

How long you continue is going to depend on how long you want your sleeves. For a short sleeved shrug, I did about 36 cm, for 3/4 length sleeves about 39-40 cm.

When you are ready to finish, do another row of shell stitch. Make sure you are on the right side of the fabric, so your shells match at the end of each sleeve.

5 treble in 3rd stitch from hook, * skip two stitches, dc in next stitch, skip 2 stitches, 5 treble in next stitch * to end of row, doing one last dc in the last stitch.  secure yarn and break off.

Fold the shrug lengthwise with right sides inside. Sew up the sleeve seams, but only about 6-8 cm. You will probably always want to sew more, thinking it will be too big, but if you are like me, you will always make it too small, and have to undo some sewing!  I had about 26 cm of unsewed space between the seams, before I finished.

Round 1 To finish, attach yarn in the middle of the bottom back on the right side. (Just decide which is going to be the bottom and which the top as they are still the same.) Ch 1, dc  around the body of the shrug, taking care not to skip too many stitches. Often when picking up crocheted stitches along the edge like this, you would skip about 1 in every 3/4 stitches (depending on your gauge) to have a straight matching edge,  but since you are, in effect, crocheting in the round now,  it can turn out too tight if you aren't more generous with your dcs. (You can see this in the photos above of the light pink one. I did the shell stitch all the way around, but it is pulled too tight and the shells are stretched out almost flat.)  

Continue all the way around, from the middle back, to the sleeve seam, across the shoulders to the other sleeve seam, and back to meet where you started. Slip stitch in first ch 1.

Round 2 Ch 1 and  dc in each dc around, ending with a slip stitch to attach to first ch 1.

Round 3 Ch 1 dc in each dc until you pass the first sleeve seam. When you are about 8 dcs past the seam begin the shell stitch collar. After your last dc, *skip 1 stitch, 5 treble in next dc, skip 1 stitch, dc in next dc,* until you are about 8 dc in front of the next sleeve seam. (Note that you are only skipping one stitch instead of the 2 you would normally do on a flat shell stitch.)    (Edit - having made them in different yarn, I think it is worth making the finished border looser if you are using acrylic, but tighter if you are using a yarn that will stretch a bit. So if using a natural fibre - put *skip 2 stitches* back instead of 1 - otherwise the shrug may end up sagging and falling off of shoulders.)      Dc to end of round. Join with slip stitch and fasten off.

Weave in ends and wake up the baby to try it on. :-)