Thanks for all the comments and words of encouragement for my last crochet post! It’s really spurred me on to learn some more. My quest to master (well, manage) some more advanced stitches than the classic dc is progressing well.
I’m still continuing with Erika Knight’s book, but am also using these two, too!
Both procured from my fabulous local library.
Before starting on these two new books, I thought I would attempt the Catherine Wheel stitch, which was included in Crochet Workshop. After 3 attempts of it, I was almost ready to give up on it altogether!
9. Catherine Wheel Stitch
I found this one really difficult and it’s come out looking a bit lumpy! I’m guessing I need more practice here!
As mentioned in the previous post, I’m trying to restrict myself to doing only one of each stitch, in each colour. I’m using up lots of old balls of wool that I had lying around, and making them into something pretty! However, I’ve reached a stumbling block: I’m nearly out of usable colours – the only others I have are either painfully clashy or weird, novelty yarns that I don’t want to use. I always go to the same shop for my wool – Knit and Stitch in Doncaster – so I took my remaining threads in there to match up extra supplies…..and came back empty handed! I couldn’t find any of the colours I was looking for, and obviously I’m scatterbrained enough to have lost the original labels, which puts me in rather a quandary. I don’t really want to add too many more colours to the blanket, for fear it will start to look a little messy, but that leaves me with the prospect of 40 more squares to do. In cream. Each of a different stitch. How will I cope!?
There are two glimmers of light at the end of this gloomy tunnel. Firstly, I still have a small amount of coloured yarn left, which I will have to use sparingly, only to complete squares that are fairly yarn-efficient (no bobbles or popcorns for me! This yarn’s on a diet!).
Secondly, I am going on holiday in a week’s time, so, as part of my promise to make souvenirs rather than buy them, I will allow myself to buy a new yarn over there, to add to the blanket. Which, I suppose, means I’ve only got 20 new stitches to solve….easy peasy!
So, for the time being, everything is looking a bit monochrome, but I suppose in many ways that is urging me to continue to try new stitches, which is the main reason I embarked on this project in the first place! Here goes….
10. Italian Square. I had really enjoyed making the French Square previously, so thought I would give this one a go. I love it even more! I can’t stop looking at it, it’s so pretty. Hopefully my yarn fortunes will improve so that I can make one or two more of this.
11. Floral Lace Square. Again from the Crochet Motifs book. Again, I couldn’t believe that I had been able to make this, despite the fact it’s a little wobbly around the edges! I enjoy making the set square designs, as they seem to become so ornate in just a few stitches.
12. Flower Square. It wouldn’t take a crochet expert to notice that this one didn’t quite turn out the way it was intended! I must have gone wrong on every third stitch, and really lost my way with it. In an attempt to save it, I just finished it with tc stitches round the final edge and even that didn’t come out right! I ended up having to place a picot in each corner just to give the impression that the massive gaps were deliberate! If you look at it with a squint, after maybe your second glass of cabernet, they look a little bit like hearts. Humour me! Between you, me and the gatepost, if I do manage to get hold of additional yarn, I don’t think this one will be making the final cut!
This isn’t really the end of the story with the motifs – after this one I attempted the Framed Star, which again, I couldn’t make head nor tail of. It certainly didn’t look like a star, that’s for sure. Perhaps the glass of wine wasn’t as helpful as I had originally thought. Maybe I need to hone my stitch skills on something a bit more repetitive, until I build up more confidence. With that in mind…
13. Zig Zag Popcorn Network. This one tried my patience a little. I did quite a lot of unpicking! However, it eventually came together and I am quite pleased with the outcome. I’m still not sure what to do when the final line (or the first line) isn’t straight – it all ends up a bit wobbly! (technical term)
14. Column Stitch. My new favourite stitch ever! Not only is this super economical with yarn, and lightning fast to hook up, and really EASY, it’s also so beautiful! by the time I had finished a single line of it, I had already decided that column stitch would definitely form part of my border on the finished blanket. The stitch is quite tall, so I had to add a line of dc to the top and the bottom to make the cream square the right size. I’m not sure if that’s what one is supposed to do, but that’s what I did. The other remaining yarns I have (yes, I spared a little of them to make more of the column stitch) are finer than the cream aran, so I didn’t need to do this on the other colours as I could fit in more stitches.
15. Well, after the roaring success of column stitch, there was no stopping me. I think I tried another 3 stitches in the space of a day! It’s amazing what a positive outlook can achieve! The next one up was Picot Trellis. Again, this was quite quick and easy to hook up, although I had to bodge the top line a bit to make it square (as the line of stitches ends on a zig zag). Is there a correct technique for this?
16. Carpetbag Stitch. For the life of me, I can’t fathom why it would be called such a thing! They look more like little crowns to me! Anyway, this was also fairly quick and easy to hook up, and looks so pretty when it’s finished too. I could not believe my luck when I had managed to complete (and enjoy) 3 consecutive squares to a standard I was proud of. So pleased!
17. A final one for the day: Open Checkers. This one was pretty straightforward, with only one repeating line, and simply trebles all the way through. I didn’t want to push my luck after successfully completing the previous 3! I really like the finished design of this one too, so was able to make one in red, and will definitely be making more of it if I find more yarn.
I think that takes my total up to 39. I am aiming for 80, so that puts me pretty much half way! How exciting.
I’ve already found this fab blog by Shibaguyz, which is full of tutorials – I am going to try some out for the next installment. If anyone knows of any tutorials online for some stitches that I could try, let me know and I’ll give them a go!