Tag Archives: granny square

Yarn Order – Stylecraft Special DK

What excites you? For me it is the planning of a colour combination that I am creating, and making an order of yarn – Stylecraft Special DK has a fabulous selection.

2016-08-02 10.56.36So this is Just a quickie post, as I am sooooo excited… I have just placed a new order for yarn!  Stylecraft Special DK, I love the planning of colours and since creating my Rainbow Granny blanket pattern, I was not as happy as I could be with my colour selection – one particular colour stood out, but only in the photography – Meadow.  I wanted a more vibrant green, but Stylecraft didn’t have one.

A year later, and some limited edition yarns, which due to demand have now become part of the 66 colour range.  I have re- ordered, and changed 3 colours – I now have the (hopefully short) wait for the yarn to arrive.  In the meantime can you guess which other colours have changed and what I might have changed them to?

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I still have a couple of vintage packs in stock, (link to my etsy shop) and I have also ordered some yarns to make a Candy colour pack,  7 colours that are lovely and summery – I will announce them later!!!

Getting parcels – still feels a bit like Christmas!

Missenden Abbey – Crochet for all course

So I have had a bit of a blogging break, but I have been very busy this year so far planning courses and workshops, designing for a range of magazines, and yarn companies!  I have also been doing some supply teaching at a lovely school in Enfield.

I hope to be around quite a bit during the summer, and completing some designs that I have had on the hook for a very long time!

I am also teaching again at Missenden Abbey.  I am currently re-writing my course so that it is even more appropriate for mixed ability!  It will be based on the basics (?!), but I have designed my own squares for the ripple pattern, and 3D flower centre, with extra little hints and tips along the way.Ripple pattern for Crochet for All CourseIf you have never picked up a crochet hook before, if you have some experience, maybe with lots of questions, or want to know some tips to make your crochet look more professional, This is the course for you!

It is running from Wednesday 17th, 9am – 5pm, Thursday 9am – 5pm and Friday 19th August 9am – 3pm, with wonderful lunches, and breaks with homemade biscuits and cake!  (The crochet is great too!)

If you would like to know what goes on at Missenden abbey, have a look at this post from last years Learn to Crochet course.  This is the link for more details about the course.  I look forward to seeing you!

 

Missenden Abbey – the return!

Copy of 2015-08-18 13.59.51Tuesday was a new experience; I was an Artist in Residence at Missenden Abbey.  It was lovely to go back with a different thing to do, I set up a little stand with some of my work, and had a few bits and pieces to sell, and two courses to promote.  Then I sat alongside and started to crochet – I chatted with people as they came up to me and trying to catch people eyes as they came along to coffee (I know MORE coffee!) or lunch.

I was able to work on a new beginners course, I have to shorten my existing course, which was 11 sessions this summer, to 7 sessions for the weekend, I also realised that I was using other peoples patterns, when I could use my own!  So for these last 2 days, I have designed a simpler flower block, and a small ripple block that I can use to teach (the granny square is one of those patterns that if it was a poem would be by anon, most people that crochet know how to make one, so can’t claim it as my own!) I am also in the process of joining and making a border so that there is a project to be completed by the end of the course.

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I am also creating a design your own Amigurumi course where we will be learning how to make some basic shapes and then using these shapes to make our own animals, dolls, monsters or aliens!

 

I had some lovely chats to people, gave out leaflets, crocheted while people were doing their courses, had some lovely mushroom soup for lunch, and had plenty of coffee!

Sneak peek!

So today I was completing the beginners crochet project, and as I want to write this up, I thought you might like a sneak peek – do you like the colours?  There were one of two that I wasn’t sure about, but now I see them altogether, especially in the ripple, I am loving it!

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More details in a future post…

 

Learn how to Crochet – Granny Square – Round 3 and more

So you have completed Round 1 and Round 2, now you can learn how to crochet round 3 and the further rounds of your granny squares.  (if you missed them click on the links above)

granny square round 3

We start a new colour in the same way that we did for round 2. Make a slip knot, remove from hook, insert hook from front of square, on a corner space, place slip knot back on the hook, pull it through to the front of the square (adjust how you are holding the yarn) and chain 3. This is your beginning chain – often called the turning chain, although in this case we are not turning!

Make two more treble stitches which is your first cluster, chain 2, then make three more trebles IN THE SAME SPACE… this is your beginning corner.

Then chain 1, and make  three trebles in the NEXT chain space (in the previous row) chain 1, and make the next corner – that is 3 trebles, 2 chain and 3 trebles all in the same space.

repeat this step (in bold) until you have made all 4 corners and all 4 sides, and slip stitch to the top of the chain you made at the start of the round.  see the video below.  the way this would be written is

(3ch, 2tr, 2ch, 3tr) in corner space, *(1ch, 3tr, 1ch) in next ch sp, (3tr, 2ch, 3tr) in next 2ch sp, repeat from * two more times, (1ch, 3tr, 1ch ) in next ch sp, slst to top of starting chain.

For the fourth and further rounds, you repeat the established pattern, making one more treble cluster on each side.

So for round 4:

Start a new colour in the same way that you did before –  Make a slip knot, remove from hook, insert hook from front of square, on a corner space, place slip knot back on the hook, pull it through to the front of the square and chain 3. This is your beginning chain

Make two more treble stitches which is your first cluster, chain 2, then make three more trebles IN THE SAME SPACE… this is your corner.

Then chain 1, and make  three trebles in the NEXT chain space, chain 1, make three trebles in the next space, and then make the next corner – that is 3 trebles, 2 chain and 3 trebles all in the same space.

repeat this step until you have made all 4 corners and all 4 sides, and slip stitch to the top of the chain you made at the start of the round.  see the video below.  the way this would be written is

(3ch, 2tr, 2ch, 3tr) in corner space, *(1ch, 3tr, 1ch) in next ch sp, (1ch, 3tr, 1ch) in next ch sp, (3tr, 2ch, 3tr) in next 2ch sp, repeat from * two more times, (1ch, 3tr, 1ch ) in next ch sp, (1ch, 3tr, 1ch) in next ch sp, slst to top of starting chain.

See video  below…

 

Follow the link here to a pdf of the pattern –My Granny Square. I would love to see your grannies so post in comments or let me know on Facebook!  This is how to make grannies with lots of different colours, which makes it easier when you are learning to find the right spaces, later I will show you how to make a single colour granny square.

Missenden Abbey – Day 1

Gorgeous view out of my window this morning…

Phew, that was a long day!  I met my lovely ladies at 9.30 this morning, we started by doing a bunch of paperwork, then on to the real business of the day… learning to hold the hook and yarn (which they could all do quite happily!) and making a chain, then on to a sample, making a treble crochet, and working in rows.

We had a coffee break with delicious handmade biscuits, then back to work making holes – deliberate ones!  Which can be the basis of Filet crochet.

Lunch was lovely – shepherds pie or quiche and salad, with a delicious banoffee pie!

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After lunch – Granny squares!!! lots of counting and memorising of the pattern, but also colour changing, and how best to sew in ends – during the afternoon another coffee break and freshly made little doughnuts and then back to the grannies, we concentrated on making 3 round squares, some in the same colours, some in multi colours, we finished at 5pm, and then I stayed and set up the room for tomorrow, with worksheets, and lots more yarn to wind!

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An overall delightful day, and I am looking forward to tomorrow and wrestling with the ripple!

Granny square blankets…

It seems that everywhere you look at the moment people are crocheting and designing blankets, and I am no exception!

So what do you think of when I say Crochet blanket – something like this?  The Multicoloured granny square blanket with a black edging was very popular in the 60’s and 70’s, and remains the image many people have when thinking about this type of blanket.

photo from hellobinturong website, custom made items, click photo for link

Don’t get me wrong, I like granny square blankets very much, I love the rhythm of the crochet, and when I have been making something complicated I love going back to these squares – I just wish they could be called something else!

The next type of granny square blanket had a white border, and sometimes the centre of the squares was changed to make a circle/flower within a square,

picture from Joanne L. Craft Passion – click on image to free pattern and tutorial!

Without a border, or with colourful borders – or random!

picture from beautiful crochet stuff

picture by adaiha on CraftStylish click image for website

Of course the other option is to make one great big granny square, I managed this quite successfully but I did have help – I used Noro Taiyo yarn, which is a gorgeous aran/chunky variegated yarn, so no colour changes, it was probably the quickest blanket I’ve made,

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My Noro Granny blanket, click to see the project in Ravelry

The other reason I love Granny squares, is the variety of colours and designs – just google images of granny square and see what you find – an explosion of colour combinations and styles.

So on the plus side they are great to cut your crochet teeth on; a repetitive pattern which turns meditative, when you are starting out they are great to practice with, to get your tension right, to be able to see if and where you are going wrong, and there are infinite variations.  On the negative side – I do get fed up with people ‘re-inventing’ the granny square – it is what it is, a brilliant versatile pattern!

Learn to crochet – Granny Square – Round 1

Ding ding!  That’s what I think of when hearing Round 1!  Would you really like to learn how to crochet?  Would you love to know how to make a Granny square?  This is the post for you.  If you are starting to crochet for the very first time, check out these two posts, which talk about how to hold your hook and yarn, and how to make a chain.  Then you will be ready to start here.  For those in the know I am using UK terminology (if you are in the US, I will post later about the differences)

The basic treble-crochet granny square is easy to learn how to make and is a great way to use up some of your yarn stash.  You can use grannies for much more than blankets—with just a few you’ve got the start of a bag, or a colourful headband, coasters, placemats, etc.

Firstly, Yarn and hook.  for the video and when I teach, I use a Double Knit acrylic yarn (Stylecraft Special DK) and a 5mm hook.  Any double knit will be ok, but i have found that this has the perfect mix of stretch and firmness.  You may be recommended to use a 4mm hook, but I have found that using a larger one is better for beginners, as there is a tendency to crochet tightly when you start.

Next a little summary of the basic crochet stitches – don’t worry I will use proper english for the explanations, then put the pattern as it would be written at the end of this post
sl st :: slip stitch – insert  hook, yarn over, pull the loop back through the stitch, then through the loop on your hook.
tr :: treble – yarn over, insert hook, yarn over, pull the loop back through the stitch (three loops on hook), yarn over and pull through two loops on hook (two loops left on hook), yarn over and pull through remaining two loops.
ch ::chain – yarn over and pull through loop on hook.
and we will be using a chain to start 🙂

Here is a video to watch, then there are photos and an explanation, and lastly the pattern as it would be written.

(This seems not to be working automatically from WordPress as it has does in other posts… so click anywhere here to go to the video on Youtube 

To get started, make a slip knot in the yarn and chain 4, and join with a slip stitch to form a ring.

DSCF4830   LH Granny pics 1

Once you make the ring, chain 3 —this will count as your first treble stitch This is really important, these 3 chains are the same as a stitch… Make 2 more treble stitches into the ring. This is your first 3 treble shell.

DSCF4831   LH Granny pics 02

Then chain 2 stitches, and make 3 more trebles into the ring – make sure that every stitch you make goes into the first ring that you made. (2nd shell)

Repeat this 2 more times – Chain 2, and make 3 trebles into the ring, Ch 2, and make 3 trebles into the ring,

DSCF4832   LH Granny pics 03

Finally, chain 2 and join yarn with a slip stitch to the 1st treble stitch you made (side note – usual instructions are to slip stitch to the 3rd chain of the starting chain – this is my method, but either will work) Fasten off by making a chain, snipping the yarn and pulling it through the working loop. You’ll have a nice little starter square.

DSCF4833  LH Granny pics 4

This would be written as follows…

With first colour, 4ch, slst to make a ring

Round 1:  3ch, 2tr in ring *2ch, 3tr repeat from * 3 times, 2ch, slst to join, Fasten off.

(when you see a * you repeat just that little bit for however many times specified, then continue with the rest of the line of the pattern)

Wow that’s short isn’t it!  don’t worry, watch the video to get the hang of making this first round, and make loads (you are going to want to make many, many granny squares very soon!  They are ridiculously addictive.  The pattern will gradually make sense we are in no hurry here, and you will learn to read the pattern as we go along.

Please leave comments, I would like to know what you think of the videos especially, as I have chosen to use captions rather than talk!  Now get that yarn, and get hooking your first granny square!

13 Brilliant Crochet Blankets

As I am about to go to see the lovely ladies for our Monday night stitch group, I thought it would be a great time to share their crochet blanket projects, over recent months there has been a bit of a blanket obsession going on (ok, Annes cable blanket was started 2 years ago, but she has been doing other projects inbetween!) – and while I have put some of these in my newsletter, I may have missed some, so here they are – starting with granny squares and their variations…

1 Irene big granny square blanketIrene’s Big Granny square baby blanket

1 Trish granny square blanketTrishes enormous Granny square blanket which inspired us as a group to make a blanket for Jean…

1 Group granny blanket for Jean

Variations using one colour granny squares..

1 trish mario granny blanket  1 Wendy granny blanket

Mario by trish, and a quilt pattern by Wendy,

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A groovyghan by me, starting with granny squares, and morphing into other things…

1 Wendy baby blanket 1 Wndy basket weave

Two baby blankets by Wendy – a two colour combo stitch and a basket weave in post stitches…

1 Denise Teddy blanket   1 Densie crochet lions1 Denise knit with crochet owls  1 densise crochet owl

Three by Denise for her Grandchildren, Teddy bears, and lions based on motif squares, and a knitted blanket with some really cute crochet owls..

1 Anne Lily pad closer1 Anne lily pad blanket 1 Anne Cable blanket close1 anne cable blanket

And finally Annes amazing two blankets, a 3D flower, in Aran yarn, with large and small motifs, and the Cable blanket, every square is a different cable pattern, and there are 63 of them!

Al these ladies I taught to crochet, and they have been doing it for less than 4 years, so some really impressive work by everyone!

I hope you like these crochet blankets and are inspired to make your own, I would love to see what you have made!

 

 

 

Learn to Crochet – Missenden Abbey

The picture above looks lovely doesn’t it!  I am really looking forward to tutoring here in the summer!  If you would like to Learn to crochet and have struggled in the past, the one way to do it really successfully is with a teacher helping you out.  You could be an Absolute Beginner, or you may have started to crochet, but can only make Granny squares, can’t read a pattern, or are disappointed with how your crochet turns out.  This course will ensure that you have great foundations and fall in love with crochet!

When I first created my learn to crochet course, the one thing I wanted to do is to teach over a period of weeks, so that people could go home, practice their skills, and then come back with the pieces they made so that we could talk about them and all learn from any mistakes, but also to celebrate the successes.  Many ladies were really pleased about the progress they made when they compared the first week to the last week.  As a teacher I am also able to change what I’m teaching if we find that you know what to do I can adapt what I teach you – for example different ways of starting a new colour, how to crochet some of the ‘ends’ as you go, different ways of joining squares, or join as you go squares.

As far as pattern reading goes, we start with plain english, and then I have graded the patterns so that you will be learning more terms and other ways patterns work, until you will be confident about reading patterns.

I was at Ally Pally (The Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace) last year, and had a chat with the people from Missenden Abbey, they do residential courses for adults in a really wide range of subjects, many of them creative.

As a result I have adapted my 5 week course to be over 3 days, six sessions.

Session 1: starting with a chain, working trebles on a ready made sample, to make rows with straight edges.

Session 2: Granny squares: working in the round and changing colours.

DSCF4839Session3: Working into the foundation chain, working in rows, intro to a Granny Stripe pattern.

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Session 4:  Increasing and decreasing,ripple patterns

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Session 5: following a commercial block motif pattern with a 3D element (a flower!)

Session 6:  Starting a larger project, good finishing, joining squares, blocking and any other crochet problems solved.

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My aim is to give you all the fundamental skills of crochet, and lots of potential projects for example scarves, blankets and cushions, While the course runs thought the day, since I will be resident too, I would be happy to help people during the evenings too.

If you would like any further information please leave a comment, or go to the Missenden Abbey website – linky, or for a direct link to the course click the linky here