Triangle Shawl Crochet Design

by Alison Stapleton

Shapes

Wraps are rectangles and shawls are triangles. This is the general consensus. You can get semi-circle wraps as well. But in this post I’m discussing the structure of crocheted triangles.

Triangles

A triangle has three sides and three corners. Typically there is one long side and two shorter sides both the same length. This is known as a scalene triangle and is the most popular shape for triangle shawls.

Crochet Designs for Triangle Shawls

If you are making a shawl in a solid piece as opposed to granny squares or other motive shapes then it will be made in one piece.

The starting point sets the stage for the design and there are only a few ways to construct a triangle shawl in crochet.

Any type of stripe or pattern stitch can be used but the way the shawl grows will be the same.


Point Up – Horizontal

This is a popular method where you work from the bottom point and go up in rows which increase each row. In this design you can stop or keep going once the size is suitable.

An example of this design is the Lancashire Shawl.


Wide Top Down – Horizontal

In this design the full-width of the top side is set, typically as a chain length, and cannot be adjusted later. Here you work rows down towards the point. Each row is shorter than the previous as you decrease at the start and end of each row.

Here you work rows down towards the point. Each row is shorter than the previous as you decrease at the start and end of each row.

 


Center Top to Sides – Both Diagonal

In this design you start at the center top and make a triangle immediately. This can be seen in the half granny style. Each row adds to the sides and the point grows downwards.

 

The center top to sides design can be adjusted when the size is reached or you can continue to add more rows.

The Cumbria Shawl is a good example of this design.

 


Left to Right – Vertical

In this design you start at the left side and work vertical rows towards the right side. Which increases on one side only and the top side remains the same. At the

At the point you start to decrease on the lower side again and the rows get shorter.

The image below is the first half of the shawl as the rows grow vertically towards the point. When I’ve finished it I’ll get the completed image in here for you.


Centre to Sides – Vertical

Here the base chain is from the top center to the point. You work first the left side to the side point and then the right side to the side point. Care needs to be taken to get both sides the same.

Each row is vertically from the center chain and reduces at the bottom whilst keeping the top edge straight.

In this design the depth of the shawl is determined at the start but you can make the width wider if you do a shallower decrease.

Your Choice

All shawl designs have their pros and cons. Personally, I like the point up and the center top to side methods as the triangle shape it set from the start.

It is a personal choice and the stitch pattern and the colour choices used will help determine the type of design you should choose.

Alison

 


 

 

5 Basic Crochet Stitches You Need to Know

by Alison Stapleton

The Five Basic Crochet Stitches

You can start crocheting very quickly with a few basic stitches.

You may already know how to do the stitches but not know their name.

Or you may know how to do them and their name but not know their abbreviation which is used in crochet patterns.

The third possibility is that you don’t know how to do the stitches and didn’t even know that they had and name let alone a code in patterns.

The five basic crochet stitches are like the crochet alphabet. They are the letters that make up the words (the pattern), and the words when brought together in a certain way can make poetry. Crochet poetry.

There are other advanced crochet stitches as well and we will cover them later.

These stitches are in USA/Canadian crochet terminology which is different to UK/RSA crochet terminology.

There are five simple stitches in crochet; chain, single crochet, double crochet, triple (or treble) crochet and slip stitch.

I will explain each one in turn with pictures.


Chain Stitch

Put a starting loop on you hook and, hold the hook like a pencil (and not a shovel), with your thumb on top and fingers below.

IMG_2380 (1)

Put the yarn over the hook,

IMG_2381 (1)

and pull through.

IMG_2382 (1)

Repeat.

IMG_2383 (1)

This forms a chain and is often used as a base for items in crochet.

If you can get your chain to be even and not too tight this will be the basis for your tension or gauge in later projects.

Practice making a chain in varying thicknesses of wool and with bigger and smaller hooks until you get a smooth rhythm.

This may take a day or two.

In a crochet pattern the code for a chain is ch.


Single Crochet

On the chain you just made (in yellow) you can start making rows of different stitches.

First is the single crochet. This is the smallest crochet stitch and the simplest one to do. I have shown the single crochet in green yarn.

Insert your hook into the chain making sure you go through two threads of the chain (there are three threads for each chain).

IMG_2387

Yarn over your hook and pull through (two loops on hook),

IMG_2388

yarn over and pull through the two loops on your hook (one loop on hook). This image looks a bit mess as it is the first single crochet stitch on the chain but it will get better as you can see below.

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Continue making single crochets across the chain.

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Remember you have completed the stitch when you have only one loop left on your hook. Do not start the next single crochet stitch if you have more than one loop on your hook.

In a crochet pattern the code for a single crochet is sc.


Double Crochet

On a chain we can make double crochet stitches.

Yarn over and then insert the hook into the chain (the two top threads),

IMG_2401

Yarn over and pull through two loops (three loops on hook),

IMG_2404 (2)

Yarn over and pull through two loops on your hook (two loops on hook),

IMG_2406 (1)

yarn over and pull through the last two loops on your hook. Only one loop remains on you hook and the double crochet stitch is complete.

IMG_2407 (1)

In a crochet pattern the code for a double crochet is dc.


Triple Crochet

You can make a triple crochet into the chain you formed or the top of other stitches.

Yarn over twice (three loops on hook), insert your hook into the chain making sure to go through the two threads of the chain, yarn over and pull through (four loops on hook),

IMG_2411 (1)

Yarn over pull through two loops (three loops on hook)

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yarn over and pull through two loops (two loops on hook),

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yarn over and pull through last two loops on your hook leaving one loop on your hook and the double crochet stitch is complete.

IMG_2414

IMG_2415 (1)

In a crochet pattern the code for a triple crochet is tc.


Slip Stitch

On a base chain or, other row of stitches as we have triple crochets in the image below, insert hook into top two threads of stitches shown below.

IMG_2417 (1)

Make sure to pull the thread a bit more than usual (for ease as it can get tight) and pull through the two threads and the loop on the hook in one go (one loop on hook). The slip stitch is in white.

IMG_2418 (1)

A row of slip stitches when finished is low and flat. A slip stitch can be used to join rows when you work in a circle or to move the hook to a new position in a pattern. It can be used for edging as well.

IMG_2419 (1)

The slip stitch is similar a single crochet but you pull through all the loops at once to keep it low.

In a crochet pattern the code for a slip stitch is ss.

Basic stitches

These form the five basic stitches used in crochet and by combining them in many ways you get patterns of stitches.


Trellis Pattern – Crochet Stitches

by Alison Stapleton

A Trellis

images-1A trellis is a wooden frame found in a garden on which plants can grow. Typically climbers and roses grow well on a trellis.

it is usually squares turned on their side to look like diamond shapes.

Trellises are also used to separate sections of a garden and to add interest in the ‘garden room’ designs so used nowadays.

Back and forth to make the diamond

The trellis crochet pattern is an interesting stitch combination which is worked back and forth during the row.IMG_2295

This means the work is turned during the creation of each block or diamond.

Trellis pattern

Crochet stitches used in the trellis pattern

  • Chain
  • Single crochet
  • double crochet

First you make a foundation chain then there are two rows to the trellis pattern.IMG_2296 (1)

This pattern is based on a foundation chain in multiples or eight, so chain 80 (or 16, 32, 64 etc.).

Foundation chain: Chain 80.

Row 1: Chain 4 (as edge treble), * chain 4 (as block chain), 1 single crochet in 12th chain from hook, turn, 3 chain (as first double crochet), 4 double crochet (in 4 chain just formed), turn, 3 chain (as first double crochet), 4 double crochet in top of 4 double crochets from below, 1 triple crochet in 4th chain from foundation row *. Repeat from * to * [9 times]. 10 blocks in total.

Row 2: Chain 4 (as edge stitch), ** chain 4, 1 sc into top of block, chain 4, 1 double crochet in top of double crochet in row below to form square **, repeat from ** to ** [9 times].

These two rows form the trellis pattern.

When to use the trellis pattern

This pattern can be used in any square, flat garment like a scarf, poncho, wrap or blanket.

I like this pattern because it works up quickly but has only two rows to remember. That it is based on a square grid makes it easy to see where you are supposed to be and you can chat or watch TV and do this pattern with ease.

 





Granny Squares – Basic Pattern

by Alison Stapleton
Crochet Stitch Diagram – Basic Granny Square

This is a basic Granny square

A Granny square is the building block of crochet work. Every crocheter can learn to make a Granny square and it is lots of fun.

Each row is made with a different color yarn and there are four rows in total. You can add as many rows as you like.

Pattern tips for Granny squares

Turn your work

I make my Granny squares but I turn the work from the front to the back each row change.

This means that row 2 (and all even rows) are done with the wrong side facing (WSF) me as I start the row, and row 3 (and all odd rows) are done with the right side facing (RSF) me as I start the row.

I do this because if you continue on the right side all the time the square can easily become slightly out of shape as you are always going one way.

But, if you turn the work each row it creates a balance for the square as the stitches are worked first one way and then the other way.

It is like knitting on two needles where you knit one way and then the other way, but when you do circular knitting (all the same way) the work starts to creep in one direction.

Over time I have found that Granny squares made right-side-facing then wrong-side-facing keep their shape even after being washed for years.

How to Make Corners

Every corner is a 3 chain (3ch or ch3) corner. If you have 3 chains in the corner you have one on each side when you are sewing up. This helps to keep the squares well, square as you sew.

Sometimes I add add a 1 ch between the groups of 3dc on the sides.

Joining Granny Squares

I recommend sewing your squares together. I am not keen on crocheting them together as that can make a bulky seam and it is not always regular in tension.

When you sew your squares together the seam lies flat which is nice. In this particular Granny square pattern I will use the same black yarn that I used for row 4.

If every Granny has the same color on the last row it is easier to sew them together so it looks neat.

Crochet Terminology

Please note: This pattern used US/Canadian crochet stitch notation not UK or RSA. You can learn more about the difference between USA and UK crochet terminology and follow along.

Materials

  • 5mm crochet hook
  • I used Vanna’s Choice yarns in three colours. It is like a double knitting weight yarn and smooth when running over the hook. Weight [4]. See more on yarn weights.
  • Tapestry sewing needle to sew in the ends.

Basic Granny Square Pattern

First row

The first row is in a yellow.

Foundation chain: With yellow, ch 5, join with slip stitch (sl st).

Row1: Ch 2 (as 1st stitch), 2 dc, ch 3 (corner), 3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc, ch 3, join with ss. Sew in ends as you go.

First row in yellow.

Second Row

The second row is white.

Row 2: With white, wrong side facing, in a corner gap 3dc ch3 3dc, in next corner gap 3dc ch3 3dc, in next corner gap 3dc ch3 3dc, in next corner gap 3dc ch3 3dc, join with a sl st. Sew in ends.

Second row in white.

Third Row

The third row is pink. Row 3: With pink and right side facing, start in a middle gap, 3dc, in first corner gap 3dc ch3 3dc, 3dc, in second corner gap 3dc ch3 3dc, 3dc, in third corner gap 3dc ch3 3dc, 3dc, in last corner gap 3dc ch3 3dc, join with sl st. Sew in ends.

Third row in pink.

Finished Granny Square

This particular Granny square is an example.

You can make this Granny square in any combination of color and the color choices depend on what you will be using the squares for.

See more about choosing colors for your crochet projects and make sure to select the best combinations for the projects you make.




https://mailchi.mp/247ca867b970/basicgrannysquare

Selecting Colours for Soft Home Furnishings

by Alison Stapleton

imagesColours for soft furnishings

Soft furnishings are cushions, afghans, throws, rugs, exposed tapestries and things like that.

At a stretch you can add table cloths, place mats and napkins in fact all table wear (napery).

Furthermore you can consider beautiful bed sheets, embroidered pillowcases and lacy trimmed lampshades as soft furnishings and in the bathroom, all the mats and towels with trims can be seen as soft furnishings.

Crochet is very good for all soft furnishing items for your home. either as the main component or as a trim.

50 Shades of Beige

Using brightimgres colours on soft furnishing like afghans, blankets and cushions should be done with care. This is why neutrals and beige are popular home furnishing colours.

Think IKEA and 50 shades of beige.

You want your home to be relaxing and not jangly all the time.

Managing your style and lifestyle is about managing color

Selecting colours for soft furnishings

Neutrals are best and white, cream, taupe, beige, grey and brown always look good.

Although you can make a statement cushion in red to add a pop of colour to a room, the best rooms are decorated in soft neutrals like dove grey, soft blues, pale pinks and light greens.

Do not use primary or secondary colours for your soft furnishings. Stay away from orange, purple and turquoise.

Instead use soft heather, sea foam and light apricots. Soft hues work best and will be attractive to many people.

If you make soft furnishing to sell in your store or at craft fairs you are likely to sell more if the colour is appealing.

Consider your colour choices and enjoy crafting.

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Colour Magic – Using Colour in Crochet

 by Alison Stapleton

Using colour in crochet work is part of the fun

Finding new combinations of colour can change the feel of an item or garment.

It takes a bit of practice to be able to combine colours effectively. You want them to have a designer feel and not a homemade feel.

It is best to strive for hand-crafted and not homemade.

Choosing colour for your crocheted items

If you are making items like hats or scarves to sell then consider your colour choices well.

Most people will be attracted to the brights as a matter of course, but they won’t buy a yellow hat for themselves and moms don’t dress their babies in black either.

Know who is your customer and choose your shades accordingly.

Smart colour choices start at home before you get to the wool shop . You need to be prepared.

Take a colour chip or photo of the colour you want with you and have it before you get to the store where you can quickly become overwhelmed by the week’s “special promotions” from the retailers.

If you want to sell more hand crafted items then colour selection is the first step because it adds a built-in positive feature towards reaching your sales goals.

Colours for your age

If you wear colours that don’t suit your age you either look childish or old fashioned. Take care to select colours carefully.

imgres-2Colours for babies

Babies look good in white and pastels. Lemon, lilac, mint green, baby pink and baby blue are all pastels.

These are good colours for infants up to the age of twelve months.

imgres-4Colours for kids

Kids aged from one to twelve years look good in primary colours like red, yellow and blue.

Shocking pink, magenta and purple for girls and denim blue and green for boys.

Colours for teens

Teens can start to tone down the childlike brights and go for dusky shades like grey blue, maroon and olive.

imgres-3Colours for adults

Adults look good in darker shades like black navy and maroon and olive.

Jewel colors always look good on adults.

Grown-ups should stay away from pastels.

Colours for seniors

Seniors are the older group which favours pastels again like lilac, lemon and pale baby blues.

imgres-2Soft tones compliment a fading complexion and whiter hair.

Pastels are non-confrontational colours.

Hues

Do not mix colours from different hues. A hue is the same shade of mixture with black as the other.

The Colour Wheel

Primary colours

The three primary colours are:imgres-4

  • Red
  • Yellow
  • Blue

Secondary colours

Secondary colours are the three colors that result when you mix two of the three primary colours and they are:

  • Green (from mixing yellow and blue)
  • Orange (from mixing red and yellow)
  • Purple (from mixing blue and red)

imgresNeutrals

Neutrals is a broad palette comprising all the softer colours with white or black added.

They are sometimes referred to as non colours.

Typically neutrals are shades of:

  • Cream
  • Beige
  • Grey
  • Off white

Neutrals look good on teens, adults and seniors. They are not good for babies and kids.

Fun colours

When you go into the wool shop it is tempting to choose bright colours as they are related to having fun and you subconsciously think your crochet will be more fun in bright colours.

Save the bright yarns for granny squares and blankets.

Its like the ubiquitous Christmas jersey., full of charms hanging off it and twinkle and bells. Save the dangle for the tree and not on your body.

This is why many home made items look home made.

If you are making bags don’t make them in orange and purple. But in black, beige, taupe and dark grey as these are the colours people want.


 

Primary

Red, yellow and blue.

Secondary

Orange, green and purple.

Tertiary

Turquoise, salmon, guava, sandalwood, lime and fuchsia.


 

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The Meaning of Colour

by Alison Stapleton

Each colour has a meaning

You can use colour to boost your mood.

Wear the colour you like or choose a colour whose meaning is how you want your day to go.

imagesPastel, primary, jewel or darks?

Pastels (lemon, lavender, mint green, baby pink and baby blue) are calming, soothing and non-confrontational. Pastels look good on babies and the elderly.

Primaries (red, yellow and blue) all stimulate the brain but in different ways.

Jewel colours (purple, teal, amber and ruby) are grown up and indicate confidence, up beat and positive vibes.

Dark colours suggest control and power. They can imply seriousness and subdued danger.

Red

Red is the colour of challenge, courage and sex. It says “Look at me” and that danger is near.

Red is stimulating and that is why it is the colour favoured in restaurants and good for your dining room because it stimulates conversation.

Orange

Orange is rude. It is a colour that suggests caution and be careful. If you wear orange you are sending the message that you are unpredictable and others should watch out. But that you are fun loving and unique.

Yellow

Yellow is the colour of sunshine and creativity it is a difficult colour to wear near your face as it reflects a yellow glow that is not always flattering.

Yellow’s message is one of inspiration and lateral thinking. Wearing yellow aids creative solutions to problems. It is a good color to wear when you want some fresh ideas to pop into your head.

Green

Green is the colour for peace and tranquility. It should be worn to calm and rejuvenate your psyche.

Mint green is calming but chartreuse suggests some spiky ideas running through your head.

Blue

Blue in its purest sense is what used to be called French blue and it is like a sapphire blue.

This is a strong color and the wearer is confident and fair. The darker the blue the stronger the person.

Pale blue is for young children or men’s formal shirts which are covered by grey or charcoal suits.

Indigo

Indigo is a colour for getting things done it works well for men and women. It is confident and casual at the same time. Think dark denim jeans which are both smart and casual.

Violet

Violet is the colour of originality. If you wear violet you are stating that you are your own man or woman and will do your own thing in life. Violet in home furnishing can be wild flowers and heathery creamy violets work well.

White

White looks good on just about anyone. A sharp white blouse is a wardrobe staple. White next to your face in blouses or shirts is flattering to all complexions.

Black

Black is a serious city color. Most people can wear black and be taken seriously. Black pants are a woman’s wardrobe staple.

Brown

Brown is a color to wear when you are feeling down and want to hide from life. It is a colour for doing nothing in. It indicates you may be forlorn or pining for days gone by. It can be a sign of depression and if you wear brown it will make you feel browned off and life weary.

Grey

Grey is a colour that wants to blend into the background. It is a non confrontational colour and suggests the wearer is passive and will conform to the will of others. It is a colour that wants peace and quiet.


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  • Colour magic
  • Selecting colour for soft home furnishings




Crochet Techniques – Chain-less Cast-On Method

by Alison Stapleton

Most crochet items have a base chain

Typically the pattern will call for a chain of say, 40 or 100 chains, and the first row is built on the base chain.

In the chain-less cast-on method there is no chain.

I have also heard of this being called the chain less starting (crochet stitch) method CShdc, CSdc etc. which I may incorporate soon if that is the general term.

The chain-less cast on technique is used without a base chain so it provides some give in the item as a base chain can pull if not loose enough. Any tightness is only noticeable when you have worked up more of the item.

The first row is actually the base row and indicated as Row 1: on all patterns.

IMG_2061

Row 1: 3 ch,IMG_2062

yarn over, insert hook in first ch (but both loops),

pull through (3 loops on hook),

IMG_2063yarn over, insert hook into bottom stitch two “V” and pull through (3 loops on hook),

IMG_2072

make 1 dc as normal inserting hook into both loops of previous loop pulled through.IMG_2069 (1)IMG_2065

Each new double crochet is started in the one loop pulled through from the two on the base.IMG_2071

Continue for as many double crochets as required.

Where to use the chain-less cast-on

This is great for waistbands on skirts and shorts. It also goes well for bag handles and straps for summer tops.

I don’t use it all the time but it does result in a really nice edge that has give and does not pull. In a way it is forgiving and I like that.





Types of Crochet

 

by Alison Stapleton

Entrelac crochet

Entrelac crochet is a method of working on the side of previously crocheted pieces. The rows go in different directions and not just straight up. It creates an interesting piece and is strong. This method is usually done with color as the defining result.

Fair Isle crochet

Fair isle crochet is similar to Fair Isle knitting. Each row is worked with two colors and they change throughout the row to make designs in color. Each row has two different colors and the colors change every few rows.

For example:

Row 1: Red and blue

Row 2: Red and green

Row 3: Green and blue

But because each row only has two colors that sets the thickness of the finished item. The Fair Isles are in Scotland and women shepherdesses would tend their flocks of sheep with crochet hooks and balls of wool in their pockets. They would walk the highlands on foot working their crochet as they went.

Filet crochet

Filet crochet is a French type of crochet created in squares. The finished piece looks like a grid with open and closed spaces. The combination of open and closed results in flat pictures of roses or swans or whatever.

Filet designs were originally used to make lace curtains to cover cottage windows. These days filet crochet is used for table cloths, place mats and can be hung as art.

Filet crochet can be done in the round and resultss in beautifully intricate designs.

Tapestry crochet

Tapestry crochet is used to make thick baskets and rugs. It is a sturdy technique and the items are very firm.

You use several colored threads at once, working with one color and carrying the rest along the top of the row being worked. This makes each row very thick.

Color is changed on a stitch by stitch basis. Bowls are a good example of tapestry crochet.

Tunisian crochet

Tunisian crochet is also referred to as afghan crochet. For Tunisian crochet you use a special hook (called a Tunisian crochet hook), which typically has a crochet hook at one end and is as long as a knitting needle and has a knitting needle stop end at the other. So really it is like a knitting needle but with a hook and not a point.

Below are my two favourite Tunisian crochet hooks, (in my size 5mm as usual), and these have hooks at both ends opening up the possibilities for advanced Tunisan crochet work.

IMG_2052Tunisian crochet hooks come in all the same sizes as regular crochet hooks. With Tunisian crochet you carry many stitches at once on forward rows and hook them off on the backward rows.

Tunisian crochet makes a very thick fabric and is normally used for blankets, cushions, bags and soft furnishings.

Tunisian crochet is like a combination of crochet and knitting all in one. It is an advanced technique. Tunisian crochet can be combined with entrecôte crochet.





Tension and Gauge Swatches

Make your garment the same size as the pattern intended

c1b3b9b0Gauge swatches are usually made 4” or 10cm square. They are used to check your tension.

The pattern will tell you which hook and yarn to use, but in the real world we often reach for some wool that we have to hand and this may work up either too big or too small than the pattern intended.

What you do is make a gauge swatch or a tension square.

Too small or too big?

  • If the swatch is too small then you should use a larger hook.
  • If the swatch is too big then you should use a smaller hook.

The idea is to use the hook that results in the same measurements as the original pattern.

When to do a gauge swatch

Size and tension matters more in garments that have to fit like clothes rather than blankets or throws which are still ok if they are a little bigger or smaller.

When you start a new pattern always do a test swatch  to make sure you will have the correct size at the end.