Hints for Crocheting Picot Mexico

July 6th, 2015

Crocheted Picot Mexico Flower Tutorial

The colorful Picot Mexico flower looks happy and joyful to me, with its vibrant colors. It is on pages 102-103 of Crochet Garden: Bunches of Flowers, Leaves, and Other Delights. You can also make Picot Mexico in one color of yarn.

First a correction to the book: Rnd 2 of the Small Flower (center column on page 103) refers twice to a “ch-3 sp.” It should read “ch-2 sp.”

And now, some hints for making Picot Mexico successfully. The sample is the Small Flower. but the hints apply to the Large Flower as well.

Crocheted Picot Mexico Flower Tutorial

To begin rnds 3 and 4, the instructions tell you to “join with *(BPdc around next dc…” This is almost the same as joining with a regular dc. Place a slip knot on your hook. Yarn over hook, holding the slip knot in place so the yo won’t twist away. (Photo 1)

Crocheted Picot Mexico Flower Tutorial

For a Back Post dc, still holding the slip knot in place, insert hook from the back to the front of your work, between two dc-sts of the previous rnd. (Photo 2)

Crocheted Picot Mexico Flower Tutorial

Passing hook in front of the next dc, insert hook to back again around that dc. (Photo 3)

Crocheted Picot Mexico Flower Tutorial

Draw up a loop around the post of the previous rnd’s dc. If you’ve successfully held the slip knot in place, you’ll have 3 loops on the hook. Finish as you would finish any dc. (Photo 4) If the yo has twisted away, you may be able to get it back by twisting the slip knot around the hook.

Crocheted Picot Mexico Flower Tutorial

In Rnds 3 and 4, increase by placing two BPdc-sts around one dc-post. Photo 5 shows the wrong side of the work, where the first two “BPdc around next dc and sl st-picot” are complete. The white arrow points to the next BPdc, which is the first of two around the same post.

Crocheted Picot Mexico Flower Tutorial

The increase is complete in Photo 6. The white arrow shows the first BPdc around the post, and the pink arrow shows the second BPdc around the same post.

Crocheted Picot Mexico Flower Tutorial

A friend on Ravelry (www.ravelry.com) asked for a photo of the back of a flower she was working on. That was such a good idea! So here’s what the small Picot Mexico looks like from the back (Photo 7).


Tips for Making Picot Mexico with One Color

  • Don’t fasten off after Rnd 1. Instead, as you begin Rnd 2, ch 3 to replace the first dc of the rnd. At the end of Rnd 2, sl st in the 3rd ch of the ch 3 at the beg of the rnd.
  • You’ll still have to fasten off the yarn after Rnds 2 and 3, so you can get a fresh start with the BPdc on the next round.
  • Don’t fasten off after Rnd 5. You have already sl stitched into the first sc of Rnd 5, so that counts as the first sl st of Rnd 6. Ch 3 and tr in the same st as the sl st. Continue Rnd 6 as written.

Crocheted Picot Mexico Flower Tutorial

National Take Your Dox to Work Day

June 26th, 2015

Today is really National Take Your Dog to Work Day, according to the completely fun website Holiday Insights.

But if you don’t have a doggie of your own, or you truly cannot take pets to work, here’s a sweet doxie for you to crochet and tuck into your pocket or handbag. No dogfood necessary. No walking, only blocking (and you only have to block once).

The pattern is on pages 40-41 of Cute Crochet World: A Little Dictionary of Crochet Critters, Folks, Food & More.

Our word for a certain kind of sausage, wiener, comes from Austria. In German, the city Vienna is Wien (pronounced “VEEN”). So in Germany, a sausage from Vienna is a Wiener. I’m telling you this, because I know how to spell wiener. Just read the book, and you’ll know.

Millefiori from Crochet Bouquet Explained

June 25th, 2015

Crocheted Millefiori Motifs

“Millefiori” on pages 25-26 of Crochet Bouquet: Easy Designs for Dozens of Flowers offers small flowers in five different petal shapes. Four of the petal styles are joined with a technique that gives an attractive and neat finish to warm the cockles of your crochet heart.

“Rounded Petals” is shown in the photos. In the book, patterns for “Pointy Petals,” “Rounded Petals,” “Baby Stars,” and “Heart-Shape Petals” should refer you to page 15 for finishing instructions.

Here’s how joining the petals works.

Crochet Millefiori Motif Tutorial

Following the instructions in Crochet Bouquet, crochet four or five petals in the shape of your choice (Photo A). When you’re done with the last sl st, cut the yarn, and pull the yarn straight up out of the last sl st.

The petals are numbered to keep track of them more easily.

Crochet Millefiori Motif Tutorial

Thread the final yarn end into a tapestry needle. Arrange the petals face-up. Beginning with petal 1, skim the needle under the visible loops of the first ch st of the petal and the final sl st of the petal as in Photo B.

When I say visible loops, I mean the ones you see as you look at right side of the petal. They are just one loop of the chain plus one loop of the sl st.

Crochet Millefiori Motif Tutorial

In Photo C, I have skimmed the needle under the first and last loops of petals 1, 2, and 3.

Crochet Millefiori Motif Tutorial

I pulled the yarn through the first three petals, and in Photo D, I’m skimming it under the loops of petals 4 and 5.

Crochet Millefiori Motif Tutorial

Tighten the yarn end to draw the petals together. Once again, skim the needle under the first loop of petal 1 as shown in Photo E.

Crochet Millefiori Motif Tutorial

Take the needle through the base of petal 1, from front (right side) to back (wrong side).

Crochet Millefiori Motif Tutorial

Tighten the yarn end once more, tack to secure the yarn, and weave in the end (Photo G).

Crochet Millefiori Motif Tutorial

If you haven’t already done so, weave in the end at the start of the flower. Take a moment to stretch the petals from side to side before blocking.

These are truly quick and easy flowers.

Crocheted Millefiori Motifs

Cute Crochet World Umbrella Tutorial

June 6th, 2015

Crocheted Umbrella Motif

You probably heard about the rain we had in Texas over the last month. One big question at our house was, “Where did we put the umbrellas?” We haven’t really needed them for the past couple of years. I’m not convinced they would have kept anyone especially dry, with all the wind we had…

Considering the rain and hail and winds, it was much better to be inside crocheting an umbrella, rather than outside using one. This Umbrella is from Cute Crochet World, pages 78-79. Here are some tips and photos to supplement the instructions in the book.

crocheted leaf from Crochet Bouquet

Cute Crochet World’s Umbrella has a lot in common with the traditional Irish Crochet leaf (find instructions for this modified version in Crochet Bouquet: Easy Designs for Dozens of Flowers). You crochet them using a Turn-and-Twist method (my name for it). At the end of a row, you turn and crochet the first part of the next row. In the middle of the next row you rotate (or twist) the piece, work down the other side of the piece, then turn again to begin the next row. Confused? Here are pictures.

Crochet Umbrella Motif Tutorial

Row 1 is finished in the photo above. It includes the U. S. htr stitch, which is a little taller than a dc and a little shorter than the tr. Read more about it here and here.

I put a safety pin on the right side of Row 1, so you can easily see when we’re turning for a new row as opposed to rotating or twisting in the middle of a row. After Row 1, TURN to begin Row 2.

Crochet Umbrella Motif Tutorial

I am a few sts into Row 2 in this photo. The sts are worked into the Back Loop, which creates the ribbed look of the Umbrella. The arrow points to the ch-2 loop at the top of the umbrella. The dots show where to place the remaining sts of Row 2.

Crochet Umbrella Motif Tutorial

Alright, in Photo 3, I’ve placed 3 sc into the ch-2 loop, ROTATED the piece, and I’m ready to crochet the rest of Row 2 into the foundation chain of Row 1.

Row 1 had 7 sts, and there’s a chain loop at the base of each of these sts. Those chain loops are where the remaining sts of Row 2 are worked. There is an increase still to go, so watch for it in the instructions. Don’t worry about crocheting into the back loop here, because there aren’t any true back loops.

Crochet Umbrella Motif Tutorial

After Row 2, TURN to begin Row 3. The arrows show how the sts will go: across, over the top, ROTATE to work along the other side of the piece. All sts are worked into the Back Loop.

Crochet Umbrella Motif Tutorial

Row 4 begins with a joined tr. You’ve probably noticed how the ch-4 turning ch of a tr row often flops around loosely at the start of the row. The joined tr solves the problem. The ch-4 turning chain is considered a tr-st, so it counts as the stitch in the first st of the row.

Photo 5 shows ch 4 (turning ch), yo, draw up a loop in 3rd ch from hook, draw up a loop in next st. The result is 4 loops on the hook, just like a regular tr. Work off the loops as you would for a tr.

Crochet Umbrella Motif Tutorial

Row 3 is finished. See how crocheting into the Back Loops has created an impression of umbrella ribs? Now TURN to begin Row 4.

Crochet Umbrella Motif Tutorial

In Photo 7, Row 4 is finished, and I have TURNED to begin Row 5. Row 5 starts with a ch-3 turning ch, which counts as the first stitch of the row, which we consider being placed into the first st of the previous row. Place the next dc of Row 5 into the next st.

Crochet Umbrella Motif Tutorial

In Row 5, the ch-2 at the top of the umbrella creates a little bump. In the instructions, we’re at the middle column on page 79, where it says “Rotate piece to work points…” in the direction of the long arrow.

Crochet Umbrella Motif Tutorial

As you finish Row 5, you’ll make the picot points of the umbrella into the sides of the sc-sts indicated by yellow dots. The magenta lines point to the sides of the long sts or turning-chains where you will place sl sts.

Crochet Umbrella Motif Tutorial

Here’s the umbrella’s handle and point. Leave a long end for sewing.

Crochet Umbrella Motif Tutorial

To place the umbrella point, insert your hook from right side to back through the ch 2 space of Row 5, then hook the tip of the umbrella point.

Crochet Umbrella Motif Tutorial

With the point on the hook, pull the hook out of the ch 2 space, stopping just before the ends come through.

Crochet Umbrella Motif Tutorial

Arrange the handle to emerge from under the middle of the umbrella. Use the long sewing end to sew it in place on the wrong side of the umbrella.

Step-by-Step Rafflesita–A Pattern Supplement

May 15th, 2015

Crocheted Rafflesia Flower Tutorial

The Rafflesia is a great, big flower—about 3 feet across. It’s the inspiration for this tiny version, called “Rafflesita.” Because –ita means little. The pattern for “Rafflesita” is on pages 122-123 of Crochet Garden: Bunches of Flowers, Leaves, and Other Delights. These photos and notes are meant to supplement the instructions in the book. Thank you Kathleen, for asking about the instructions.

The samples in Crochet Garden are each crocheted from a single variegated yarn. These photos show a flower made with several colors, so you can see the different parts of the flower better. And besides, it looks pretty good.

Crocheted Rafflesia Flower Tutorial

Rnds 1 and 2 are straightforward rounds of double crochet. Rnd 3 is worked into the Front Loop (FL) Only of Rnd 2. It forms a support for the final round of the flower. Rnd 4 is worked into the Back Loop (BL) Only of Rnd 2. You will work the petals and the final round of the flower into Rnd 4.

Crocheted Rafflesia Flower Tutorial

Here’s the first petal done, and the second petal begun. This is the “ch 6″ of 5A in the pattern. The chain takes you away from the flower center.

Crocheted Rafflesia Flower Tutorial

Continuing 5A, you work back toward the flower center, along the ch, and join to the BL of the next st of Rnd 4.

Crocheted Rafflesia Flower Tutorial

Instruction 5B has you stitching away from the flower again.

Crocheted Rafflesia Flower Tutorial

And 5C has you coming back toward the center, and joining with a sl st in the BL of the next st of Rnd 4.

Crocheted Rafflesia Flower Tutorial

Crochet away from the flower in 5D.

Crocheted Rafflesia Flower Tutorial

Crochet back toward the center for 5E, but pay attention here, because you’re going to skip one st of Rnd 4, before joining with a sl st in the BL of the next st.

Crocheted Rafflesia Flower Tutorial

Back out one more time with 5F.

Crocheted Rafflesia Flower Tutorial

Toward the flower center one last time for 5G, and you’re done with the next petal.

Crocheted Rafflesia Flower Tutorial

When the petals are complete, slip stitch around each petal as described in Rnd 6. If you find that 16 sl sts across the top are too many or too few, please alter the pattern to suit you.

Crocheted Rafflesia Flower Tutorial

To begin Rnd 7 with a dc, place a slip knot on your hook (as if you were starting a new project), yo hook, and draw up a loop in any FL of Rnd 4. Now you have 3 loops on the hook. Finish the dc as usual.

The FLs of Rnd 4 are pretty easy to see in this photo. They are the line of loops just inside the petal row.

Crocheted Rafflesia Flower Tutorial

Rnd 7 is worked from the top of the flower. If you’re a right-handed crocheter (meaning you hold the hook in your right hand—doesn’t matter which hand you write with), proceed in the direction of the arrow in this picture.

Crocheted Rafflesia Flower Tutorial

For me, it was easiest to fold the petals back and hold them with my thumb.

Crocheted Rafflesia Flower Tutorial

When you’re finished with Rnd 7, cut the yarn and pull the final loop out of the top of the last st (A in photo). Thread the yarn into a needle, and take the needle under the top lps of the 2nd st of the rnd (B in photo).

Crocheted Rafflesia Flower Tutorial

Take the needle down into the top of the final stitch, where the arrow is pointing in the photo. Tighten the loop to make it the same tension as the other stitches. Weave in the ends.

Crocheted Rafflesia Flower Tutorial

Rafflesita’s center is like a little bowl, where you can store small things, like these fossils.

Crocheted Rafflesia Flower Tutorial

Tiny Crocheted Prom Dress–A Pattern Supplement

May 5th, 2015

It’s prom season on Cute Crochet World! Oh my–if only the prom dresses of Earth were as easy and inexpensive to make as the prom dresses of Cute Crochet World! Our bank accounts would be a lot fatter.

While humans can’t necessarily wear this dress from Cute Crochet World the book (“Dress-Up Time,” pp. 122-123), you might want to make one or more anyway, using the step-by-step photos below to supplement the instructions in the book.

BUT FIRST—

Some Cute Ideas for Using this Pretty Dress-Up Dress

  • Photograph the dress. Use your digital camera photo software to cut the dress from from the background (I use the magnetic lasso tool on Adobe Photoshop Elements). Paste into a word processing document and create after-prom party invitations.
  • Color photocopy the dress, enlarging or reducing it to the appropriate size for your project. Again, cut the dress from the background, paste onto a printed party invitation. Then you can make multiple color copies from this original.
  • Use the dress itself for a prom memories scrapbook page.
  • Crochet it with very fine thread and use it to decorate a picture frame.
  • Pin to your bulletin board.

Step-by-Step Photos

Start crocheting the dress from the waist down. The photo above shows Row 1 of the Skirt done, and Row 2 started. Row 2 instructs you to “dc in the first dc,” indicated by the yellow line. The turning ch-3 usually counts as the stitch in the first st, but since we’re increasing, this stitch will now have two stitches in it.

Row 4 is all picots, worked in the back loop only. This is what a finished Row 4 looks like. The yellow lines are pointing to the front loops, which haven’t been worked yet. When you turn the piece after Row 4, these front loops will become back loops. Row 5 is worked into the back loops.

Row 8 is finished here, and I am joining color B to the first stitch with a tr. To do this, place a slip knot on the hook (as if you were starting a project), yo twice, draw up a loop in the first st (4 loops on hook), and finish the tr. I like starting a new color this way, because it looks better to me than joining with a sl st and chaining.

The skirt is finished, and I’m starting back at the waist, looking at the right side of the skirt, and joining color A with a hdc.


To make the cap sleeve, chain as instructed (top photo) and make two picots to define the sleeve (lower photo). At this point, you will skip the picots and make the first st in the next ch, which is indicated by the yellow line.

The hdc-decrease pulls the sleeve upward.

After the neck shaping, place a marker as instructed in the pattern.

For the first sleeve, the chain formed the outside edge of the sleeve. For this sleeve, the chain forms the inside or upper edge of the sleeve. The yellow line shows where to place the first st after the picots. The shaping is slightly different, to make it symmetrical with the other sleeve.

And finish the sleeve and the top of the dress with a sl st in the stitch you marked earlier.

The corsage is pretty simple. To reduce bulk, make a ring with the yarn. Work into the ring, then tighten the first yarn end to form the flower.

Whew! You can stop now, if you’re pleased with your dress. It looks sort of summery and informal. Read on if you prefer to add the drapes.

Here’s the drape, with Row 1 complete. Work Row 2 into the original chain, opposite of the stitches of Row 1, as shown by the yellow lines. They will actually mirror each other—hdc across from hdc, dc across from dc, and so on. (Htr how-to here.)

The long sewing length is at the lower end of the drapes. To keep them symmetrical, start the trim at the top of one drape and at the lower end of the other drape.

Arrange the drapes and sew in place.

Even after blocking, my picot rows tended to stand up, so this time, I sewed real pearls of plastic on each picot for an even fancier ball gown.

Crochet Poetray about a Turtle and Pasta

April 24th, 2015

Crocheted turtle and pasta

The Turtle and the Pasta

A work of Crochet Poetray by Suzann Thompson, author of Cute Crochet World, where you can find instructions to make the “turtle of crochet.”

Here are teeny

turtellini

with a turtle

of crochet. Or

pray, are they two

tortellini

with a crochet—

*chortle*—tortle?

April 18th—Create a Piece of TextileFusion All Your Own!

April 2nd, 2015

First I have to tell you this story. When Lark Books contracted with me in 2006 to write Crochet Bouquet, my editor sent me a stack of pictures of crocheted flowers from the internet. “Here’s some inspiration,” she said, more or less.

I looked through the pictures she sent, and saw my very own wall hanging–Shards 2: Sometimes, the one you see in the photo above! One of my mixed-media quilts had crossed over into the realm of inspiration. It was a good day!

And now, back to the present. Since I use lots of fiber techniques in my wall hangings, I call them “TextileFusion,” which combines knitting, crochet, quilting, and embellishment.

Join me on Saturday, April 18, 2015, to learn how the TextileFusion technique has developed over the years. Then make a small piece of TextileFusion of your very own!

The San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles (520 South First Street, San Jose, CA) will host the workshop from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the 18th of this month.

Read more about the TextileFusion workshop and register soon at: https://secure.acceptiva.com/?cst=4c411e

San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles

Mark Your Calendars for Great Crochet!

March 1st, 2015

We have a lot to celebrate on March 17 this year. We’ll wear green or maybe drink green beverages in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. Then we can mosey down to the nearest newsstand for a copy of the Spring 2015 issue of Interweave Crochet.

Interweave Crochet, Spring 2015

One of my career goals has been to publish a design in Interweave Crochet. Well, this is it! My crochet charm lace Dogwood Scarf appears in this issue. And here’s the best part: it’s on the cover.

I hope you’ll buy a copy, because it has lots more great crochet designs in it. Or better yet, subscribe. Find more information here: Interweave Crochet, Spring 2015.

Find a photo-tutorial for the Dogwood flower at http://www.textilefusion.com/bookblog/?p=892

Gambel Oak Leaves—A Photo-Tutorial

November 25th, 2014

Crocheted Gambel Oak Leaf Tutorial

Patricia, a crocheter who contacted me through Ravelry, asked for clarification of the instructions for the Gambel Oak Leaves on pages 21-23 of Crochet Garden. Thank you for asking, Patricia!

We’ll start with the Small Leaf (page 23). You will need the book for complete stitching instructions:

Crocheted Gambel Oak Leaf Tutorial

Both Gambel Oak leaves are made with long rows that comprise the lobes (always odd-numbered rows) and short rows which are the spacers between the lobes.

Here are the first two rows of the Small Leaf. Row 2 has a long turning chain, because Row 3 is a long row. Some of the sts of Row 3 are on the chain, and some are made into the sts of Row 2, as you can see from the marks on the photo.

Crocheted Gambel Oak Leaf Tutorial

Row 3 is finished, and includes a turning ch for Row 4.

Crocheted Gambel Oak Leaf Tutorial

These are the rows through Row 5.

Design Note:

Think about a ripple afghan. To make the bottom of the “V” in a ripple afghan, we decrease stitches to pull up the stitches on each side of the bottom point, to make the V. By decreasing at the center of the leaf, we’re pulling the lobes up from the bottom point of the leaf. We’re making half of a V.

Also, in Rows 1-4, the stitches toward the center of the leaf are long. Rows 5-9 have sc or sl st as the last st toward the center of the leaf. The short stitches curve the lobes around the top of the leaf to start down the other side.

Crocheted Gambel Oak Leaf Tutorial

After the last st of Row 9, we join to the first half of the leaf with a sl st in the base of Row 5. The base of Row 5 is the stitch in which the last st of Row 5 was made.

Then ch 1, sl st into the base of Row 4. The base of Row 4 is as close as you can get to the first ch of the turning chain at the end of Row 3 (which leads up to Row 4). The marks show the base of each row you need to stitch into.

Crocheted Gambel Oak Leaf Tutorial

This is what the leaf should look like at the end of Row 9, just before you turn.

Crocheted Gambel Oak Leaf Tutorial

For Row 10, skip the sl sts that join to the center of the leaf, and work sts as shown.

Crocheted Gambel Oak Leaf Tutorial

Row 11 is done, and this shows where to join in the base of Rows 3 and 2.

Design Note:

Back to the idea of a ripple afghan. To form the peak of a chevron in a ripple afghan, we increase stitches at the top. This pushes down the stitches on either side of the peak to make an upside-down V or arrow point ?.

Hold the leaf, with the top lobe pointing down. The lobes join at the top of the peak. That is why, on this side of the leaf, working from tip to base, we increase sts close to the center of the leaf. We do it to push the lobes down toward the tip of the leaf.

Think about it this way: an increase is an upside down decrease; a decrease is an upside down increase. This is a good thing to know when you’re designing your own patterns.

Crocheted Gambel Oak Leaf Tutorial

Row 13 is finished and joined to the base of Row 1. Now we’re ready to make the stem.

Crocheted Gambel Oak Leaf Tutorial

After crocheting the stem, take the yarn to the wrong side of the leaf. Read the full instructions for making the central vein, page 22.

Crocheted Gambel Oak Leaf Tutorial

Working up the middle of the leaf, insert the hook from front to back, yo at the back, make ch sts where the space is long, if you’re close to a joining stitch, sl st in that st. Work these ch and sl sts until you are at the base of the top lobe. Cut yarn and pull to front.

Crocheted Gambel Oak Leaf Tutorial

Insert the hook from wrong side to right side at the point where the yarn comes out of the leaf, but do not insert the hook in the last ch st. Yo with the cut end and pull it to the back. The last ch st will prevent the stitches from unraveling. Weave in ends.

Crocheted Gambel Oak Leaf Tutorial
Here’s the Large Leaf (instructions begin on page 21), worked through Row 11. The marks show the bases of the rows where the lobes are joined with sl sts.

Crocheted Gambel Oak Leaf Tutorial

Row 11 is joined with a sl st in the base of Row 7.

Crocheted Gambel Oak Leaf Tutorial

This shows where to place the sts of Row 8.

Crocheted Gambel Oak Leaf Tutorial

When you finish crocheting the leaves, the lobes curl into themselves, so as you block, be sure to stretch the end of each lobe to pull them out to their proper shape.

To block small pieces like this, I hold them under the water tap for a few seconds, squeeze out excess water, stretch each lobe, and finally hold a hot iron over them, barely touching the crochet. Sometimes I use a damp press cloth to protect the stitching as well as add more steam.