Saturday, May 22, 2010

FF a day late.

This week just really got away from me. I cannot believe how late in May it already is. I've been filling my days with lots and lots of crochet.

This Fanatic Friday (on a Saturday) is devoted to books full of crochet stitches. As I get further along in my crochet I'm finding it easier and easier to not only adapt crochet patterns to what I need them for, but to write my own patterns as well. Having books full of crochet stitches around has been more than helpful in both endeavors.

The first one I'd like to showcase is The Complete Book of Crochet Stitch Designs by Linda P. Schapper. It contains 500 classic and original patterns. There have been a few places where I've noticed the wording is weird, or they've used the wrong term. It's easy enough to figure it out if you've got a little crochet experience. Plus, the variety of beautiful, interesting patterns makes up for it and then some. I've already made a few shrugs out of the patterns.

Leisure Arts has a lot of good resources in this aspect. I currently own #75071, #75009, and #75033. These have 30, 19, and 19 crochet stitch patterns respectively. The latter 2 have extra patterns using the stitches too. Some of the patterns look a little dated, but there are some baby blankets, rugs, scarves, and dishcloths that are decent. The best thing about these? They're all $3.50! They're also available in most craft stores. I got mine at JoAnn's, but I've seen them in Hobby Lobby and Wal-mart. Definitely worth a look, if not a purchase.

The stitch I used for this pattern is located in Leisure Arts #75033. It's called "Shells & Lace". I've adapted it to make a shrug. The one in this pattern is for a little girl, probably sized around 2T. It's so easy to turn it into a grown person's sized shrug. The instructions to make a bigger shrug will follow the pattern.

Girl's Shrug

-around 3 oz of worsted weight yarn
-H hook
-Yarn needle
-measuring tape
-2 stitch markers

Abbreviations used:
sc= single crochet
sk= skip
ch= chain
dc= double crochet

Pattern note: This pattern is essentially just a rectangle. I tend to crochet very tightly, so with the listed materials I made a size 2T shrug. It's a rectangle about 8in wide and approximately 16in long. Also, the pattern will tell you to work a st in the next dc and sometimes that will mean into the third ch of the beginning ch 5 or ch 6.

-Shell stitch is 5 dc in stitch indicated.-

Ch 44

Row 1: (right side) sc in second ch from hook. *sk next 2 chs, work Shell in next ch, sk next 2 chs, sc in next ch. Repeat from * across.

Row 2: Ch 5 (counts as first dc plus ch 2), turn. sc in center dc of next shell, ch 2, dc in next sc. *ch 2, sc in center dc of next shell, ch 2, dc in next sc. Repeat from * across.

Row 3: Ch 6 (counts as first dc plus ch 3) turn. sc in next sc, ch 3, dc in next dc, *ch 3, sc in next sc, ch 3, dc in next dc. Repeat from * across.

Row 4: ch 1, turn, sc in first dc, *ch 2, dc in next sc, ch 2, sc in next dc. Repeat from * across.

Row 5: Ch 1, turn, sc in first sc, *work shell in next dc, sc in next sc. Repeat from * across.

Repeat Rows 2-5 until piece is at least 16 inches long. You should end on Row 4. Don't fasten off. Fold the rectangle in half, length-wise. About 3 inches from your hook, use a stitch marker to hold the sides of the rectangle together. About 10 inches from your stitch marker, place another stitch marker holding the 2 sides together. Now pick up your hook again.

Working in the edges of the rows, sc the sides together until you reach the stitch marker. Remove the stitch marker and continue working sc in the edges of just the side closest to you. Once you reach the second stitch marker, remove it and start single crocheting both sides together again. Once you reach the end, fasten off, and you've got yourself a shrug.

Adult sizes:
You just have to make a rectangle wide enough to go around your arm at it's widest point, and across your back. Add length to the rectangle if you want longer sleeves. (Obviously this will take more yarn too.)

Using this rectangle, there are so many options of stitches that open up. Using these books you should be able to make a wide variety of shrugs, rugs, blankets, and scarves. If you're really crafty you can adapt these to hats as well. These patterns aren't only for use in a rectangular or square application. All it takes is some math and some knowledge of decreases and increases and things start getting circular or 3-D.

Does this cover the Saturday stitch portion too? :D

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