Dec 222017
 

Dear Artsy Craftsy Friends ,

I admit that I only began writing instructions for my crochet projects recently , after resuming my hand made hobby last year , in March . Putting these instructions together is a great adventure for me , since I still am unable to see , which means that I have to write down the steps using a lot of my imagination and visual memory . This is a marvelous thing happening to me since visualizing things is a recommended exercise for people who have lost their sight . So let’s see how this is going to go . Please address notes to me about any mistakes you may find throughout the instructions for a Christmas crocheted beret using the crocodile stitch as the main technique .

How to crochet a Crocodile Stitch Beret

Crocodile Stitch Beret

Materials and other information :

I used three skeins of yarn , one white and two reds and a 5.5 mm and a 4.5 mm European size crochet hooks , as seen in the image bellow . The yarn is 100% acrylic yarn , 75 grams per skein , 210 meters long , from a Romanian brand called ‘Adina’ . I recommend that you use similar materials , including the hook sizes for the instructions to work the best . If you prefer crocheting the crocodile beret in one color , I still suggest that you get three skeins of your preferred color . Better be safe than sorry . Besides that , you are going to need the remaining yarn to make the pompon . This is a pattern for beginner-intermediate crocheters . It took me three days to finish the beret , but then again things take me a little longer to complete . But if you are going to start like NOW , you may be over in time for Christmas with a beautiful beret that you can wear yourself or give away as a gift to someone dear .

The beret will fit a medium adult size. Unstretched, the headband is 51cm in circumference.

How to crochet a Crocodile Stitch Beret

Imag.1

Abbreviations and how-to’s :

ch – chain ;

ch-1 sp – chain 1 space ;

sl st – slip stitch ;

YO – yarn over

hdc – half double crochet ;

dc – double crochet ;

hdc V-st– half double crochet V stitch ( insert hook in next space recommended and work a set of 1hdc , ch1 , 1hdc ) ;

dc V-st – double crochet V stitch ( insert hook in next space recommended and work a set of 1dc , ch1 , 1dc ) ;

fpdc – front post double crochet ( insert hook behind the next recommended stitch from right to left, as seen in the image bellow , making sure you YO once before this step ; twirl the hook and YO again , just like you would crochet a normal dc ; now you have three loops on your hook ; YO again and pull through first two loops on your hook ; YO one last time and pull through last two loops on your hook ; the dc should look as if pushed in front – see images bellow )

crocodile scale – working from top to bottom work 5 dc around post of first dc of next V-st, ch 1, turn work so V-st is sideways, working from bottom to top around post of second dc of V-st, work 5 dc (see image bellow).

How to crochet the headband :

Begin with white and the 5.5 mm hook . Chain 13 .

Row 1 : Skip first 2ch ( they count as 1hdc here and throughout ) ; 1dc in each of next 10 chains ; 1hdc in last ch ; ch 2 ; turn .

Row 2 : 1fpdc in second dc from previous row ; 1fpdc in each of the next 9dc ; 1hdc in top of beg ch2 from previous row ; ch2 ; turn .

Rows 3-56 : Begin in the second fpdc , 1fpdc in each fpdc across the row ; 1hdc in top of beg ch2 from previous row ; ch 2 ( skip this last step when you get to row 56 ) ; turn .

Your headband should look like mine , as seen in the image bellow . Each row of the crocheted headband has 12 stitches , 10 of which are fpdc and 2 hdc on the sides.

How to crochet a Crocodile Stitch Beret

Imag.11

If you are going to switch the color into the red one , then please cut the yarn , leaving about a 10 cm long tail for sewing , . If you continue working the beret using the same color , then please use sl st to join the two sides together, as shown in image bellow.

How to crochet a Crocodile Stitch Beret

Imag.12

How to crochet the main part of the beret:

Turn the headband on one side. You will work in rounds from now on.

Round 1 : Attach the red color in any ch2 on side of the beret you chose with a sl st ; ch 4 ( counts as 1dc and a ch-1 sp here and throughout ) ; 1dc in same ch2 as the previous ch4 ; * skip next hdc on the side ; dc V-st in next ch2 * ; repeat from * to * around ; skip last hdc on the side ; join in the 3rd ch of the beg ch4 with sl st . ( 28 dc V-st in total , see image bellow ); do not turn.

How to crochet a Crocodile Stitch Beret

Imag.13

Round 2 : Ch3 ( counts as 1dc here and throughout ) ; working from top to bottom around post of first dc of first V-st , work 4dc ; ch 1, turn work so V-st is sideways and post of second dc of V-st is upside down (V point of V-st will be facing right); working from bottom to top around post of second dc of V-st, work 5 dc ; * skip next dc V-st ; 1 scale around the next dc V-st * ; repeat from * to * around ; skip last dc V-st ; join with top of beg ch3 with a sl st ; do not turn . (14 scales in total)

How to crochet a Crocodile Stitch Beret

Imag.14

Round 3 : Insert hook in the ch-1 sp between the two scales from previous row and work 1sc , making sure you crochet around both the ch-1 sp and the sp between the scales ; ch4 ; 1dc in same sp as ch4 ; * dc V-st in next ch-1 sp in the middle of the next scale ; dc V-st in the next ch-1 sp , making sure you crochet around the sp between the the two scales from previous row as well * ; repeat from * to * around ; dc V-st in last ch-1 sp in the middle of last scale ; join in the 3rd ch of ch4 with a sl st ; do not turn . (28 dc V-st in total)

Round 4 : repeat round 2 .

Rounds 5-22 : Repeat rounds 3 and 4 , alternating between them .

Rounds 23-24 : Repeat rounds 3 and 4 , but using the 4.5 mm crochet hook .

Round 25 : Repeat row 3 with the following notes : change beg ch4 with a ch3 ; change dc V-st with hdc V-st ; join in the second ch from the beg ch3 with a sl st ; use the same 4.5 mm crochet hook . (28 hdc V-sts in total)

Round 26 : Ch 2 (counts as a hdc); working from top to bottom around post of first hdc of first V-st, work 3 fphdc, ch 1, turn work so V-st is sideways and post of second dc of V-st is upside down, working from bottom to top around post of second hdc of V-st, work 4 fphdc; * skip next hdc V-st; 1 hdc scale around next hdc V-st, making sure you crochet 4hdc around each hdc post instead of 5, like you did so far*; repeat from * to *; skip last hdc V-st; join with top of beg ch-2 with a sl st; do not turn. (14 smaller scales in total)

Round 27 : Repeat round 25 . Leave a long thread to use for sewing top of beret.

How to crochet a Crocodile Stitch Beret

Imag.15

Closing hat top: With yarn needle, thread tail through spaces of hdc V-sts of last round twice, pull gently to gather top tightly, and knot securely. (See following image)

How to crochet a Crocodile Stitch Beret

Imag.16

How to make the pompon :
Wind yarn around a piece of hard cardboard 13cm long approx 150 times ( we used a plastic cover); tie tightly in the middle and leave a long end for attaching to hat; cut loops at both ends and trim to smooth round shape; sew securely to top of hat. See images below:

I hope you like it. Happy crocheting and
Merry Christmas,
The Coolorburbians.

Sep 262016
 

Dear Artsy Craftsy Friends,

Today, we are going to teach you how to crochet a square around a circle.
There are many ways to crochet a circle. Also, there are lots of variations in the number of rounds you can crochet for a circle, for instance, a circle with two rounds, a circle with three rounds, or more. Crocheting a circle with 2 rounds is different from crocheting a circle with 3 rounds. This is based on the number of double crochet stitches you are using on the first round. There are video tutorials showing both types of circles on my YouTube channel, which you can find by following the links below:
How to crochet a circle with 2 rounds: part 1 and part 2.
How to crochet a circle with 3 rounds: part 1, part 2 and part 3.
We had to reconfigure the number of stitches on each round so as to have an even number of stitches to match a square.

How to crochet a square around a circle

Let’s get started!

Abbreviations:
beg ch – beginning chain
ch – chain
ch-x-sp – chain x space
dc – double crochet
hdc – half double crochet
sc – single crochet
sl st – slip stitch
st – stitch

Level: beginner.

Part 1: How to crochet a circle with 3 rounds

Ch 4. Join with first ch with sl st to make a ring.

Round 1: ch3 (counts as a dc here and throughout); 11dc in the ring; join with top beg ch3 with sl st. (12dc in total)

Round 2: ch3; 1dc in same st as ch3; (2dc in next dc from previous round) X 11 times; join with top of beg ch 3 with sl st. (24dc in total)

Round 3: ch3; 1dc in same st as ch3; 1 dc in next dc; [2dc in next dc, 1dc in next dc] X 11 times; join with top of beg ch3 with sl st; (36dc in total)

If you want to continue with a different color, fasten off and attach the new color in any of the dc from previous round. We continued where we left off.

Part 2: How to crochet a square around a circle

Round 4: ch3; 1dc in same st as ch3; ch2; 2dc in next dc from previous round; * 2hdc in next 2 dc; 3sc in next 3 dc; 2hdc in next 2dc; 2dc in next dc; ch2; 2dc in next dc*; repeat from * to * two more times; finish the round: 2hdc in next 2 dc, 3sc in next 3dc, 2hdc in next 2dc; join with top of beg ch3 with sl st; (44dc and 4ch-2-sp in total).

Round 5: ch3; 1dc in next dc; (2dc, ch2, 2dc) in next ch-2-sp; * 1dc in each of next 11dc from previous round; (2dc, ch2, 2dc in next ch-2-sp)*; repeat from * to * two more times; finish the round: 1 dc in each of next 9dc from previous round; join with top of beg ch3 with sl st; ( 60 dc and 4ch-2-sp in total).

Cut the yarn and fasten off.

If you want to make the square larger, you can crochet an extra round following the same instructions showed in row 5, making sure you enlarge the square size in corners.

If you prefer video instructions, here is the link showing you how to crochet a square around a circle.

Part 1: Hot to crochet a circle with 3 rounds

Part 2: How to crochet a square around a circle with 3 rounds

When you are done crocheting your project using our instructions, please share your photos on our Facebook page, in the sidebar.

Happy squaring circles,
The Coolorburbians.

Jul 062016
 

Dear Artsy Craftsy Friends,

I thought I should tell you that I’ve finally managed to overcome the lethargy after the stroke. In fact, even my sister, Ana-Maria, is feeling much better. We were both struck with apathy and with this sense of futility. But for the past few months I’ve started crocheting again and my sister started to learn how to crochet. I feel this overwhelming joy that I can hold the crochet hook without feeling frustrated that I can’t crochet double crochet stitches like I used to. I’m still limited to a few techniques and stitches, because of my blindness, but it’s better than nothing. Ever since I started crocheting I’ve been making shawl after shawl. Seven, to be more precise. Some of them I offered to friends as gifts, and the rest I intend to sell. But, even if I want to sell the complete project, that doesn’t mean that you do not have the right to know “the secret” behind the project. So, we decided to teach you how to crochet a shawl in a triangle shape, like the one in the image below.

How to crochet a shawl in a triangle

You can also watch the video tutorials below on how to crochet a shawl in a triangle shape:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Let’s get started!

Abbreviations:

() – work instructions within parentheses as may time as instructed

[] – work instructions within parentheses as may time as instructed

beg ch – beginning chain

ch – chain

ch-x-sp – chain-x-space

dc – double crochet

sl st – slip stitch

Level: beginner.

Tips: Read my next article on tips and recommendations about how to crochet a shawl in a triangle shape.

Work a loose ch of 5. Join 1st ch with last ch with a sl st to make a ring. (Tip: work around the ring and the loose end to avoid sewing).

Row 1: work 4ch (this represents 1dc and ch-1-sp here and across); 3dc inside the ring; 3ch to work the tip of the shawl; 3dc inside the ring; 1ch; 1dc inside the ring; 4ch to turn.

Row 2: work 3ch in first ch-1-sp which separates the last set of 3dc and the last 1dc; 1ch; (3dc,3ch,3dc) in next ch-3-sp; 1ch; (3dc, 1ch,1dc) in beg ch from previous row; 4ch to turn.

Row 3: work 3dc in first ch-1-sp which separates the last set of 3dc and the last 1dc; 1ch; 3dc in next ch-1-sp; 1ch; (3dc,3ch,3dc) in next ch-3-sp; 1ch; 3dc in next ch-1-sp; 1ch; (3dc, 1ch, 1dc) in beg ch from previous row; 4ch to turn.

Row 4: work 3dc in first ch-1-sp which separates the last set of 3dc and the last 1dc; 1ch; [3dc in next ch-1-sp, 1ch] X 2; (3dc, 3ch, 3dc) in next ch-3-sp; 1ch; [ 3dc in next ch-1-sp, 1ch] X 2; (3dc, 1ch, 1dc) in beg ch from previous row; 4ch to turn.

Row 5: work 3dc in first ch-1-sp which separates the last set of 3dc and the last 1dc; 1ch; [ 3dc in next ch-1-sp] X 3; (3dc, 3ch, 3dc) in next ch-3-sp; 1ch; [ 3dc in next ch-1-sp, 1ch] X 3; (3dc, 1ch, 1dc) in beg ch from previous row; 4ch to turn.

Row 6: work 3dc in first ch-1-sp which separates the last set of 3dc and the last 1dc; 1ch; [ 3dc in next ch-1-sp] X 4; (3dc, 3ch, 3dc) in next ch-3-sp; 1ch; [ 3dc in next ch-1-sp, 1ch] X 4; (3dc, 1ch, 1dc) in beg ch from previous row; 4ch to turn.

Rows 7-40/50: repeat row 6 following the same steps as shown in this row.

That’s it. Seriously. We are not going to write instructions for the next rows because it would be redundant. All you have to do is follow the instructions for rows 4-6. The only difference is that each side of the row will have an additional set of 3dc. This is how the shawl increases: on the sides and not on the tip, as you might think.

Don’t forget to read the article about tips and recommendations about how to crochet shawls in a triangle shape. We will also post an article to show you how to attach the tassels to a shawl. And lastly, feel free to post photos of your finished projects on our Facebook page.

Happy crocheting,
The Coolorburbians

May 032016
 

Dear Artsy Craftsy Friends,

After nearly 2 years and a half break from crocheting, I began practicing the art once again on a beginners level. I started crocheting a blanket using the Granny on the Straight Stitch. It will be given as a gift to my bioenergy therapist, who is treating me free of charge.

This article won’t teach you how to crochet the Granny on the Straight Stitch, but it will show the adventure of crocheting a first blanket being a blind person. However, if you want to learn how to crochet the Granny on the Straight Stitch, you can watch my old tutorials that teach you to do just that. Follow the links bellow:
The Granny on the Straight Stitch video tutorial: Part 1; Part 2; Part 3; Part 4.

This is how a Granny on the Straight Blanket looks like. I made it a few years back and I do not remember the materials that I used. It is smaller in size. The one that I plan to make now should be at least twice in size.

Crochet contrasting Colors Granny on the Straight Blanket

Mom got me 10 skeins of yarn, but I am sure I’m going to need a double quantity. Each skein is 75g. The yarn is 100% Acrylic. Length = 210 m. The label recommends using a 3.5mm European size crochet hook, but I’m going to use a 6mm one. It is easier for me to hold it.

Crochet contrasting Colors Granny on the Straight Blanket

Black and White Skeins of Yarn

The Granny on the Straight Stitch is made of multiples of 4. I made a foundation chain of 300 chains (image 1), since I plan to make the blanket for a Queen size bed. By the way, I decided to crochet the blanket on the long. If you like to crochet your blanket on the wide, you will need to make a smaller foundation chain. You could,for example, chain approx. 200 chains. However, since I tend to pull and stretch the chains, I decided to work a first row of single crochet stitches to make my foundation stronger and more secure. (images2-4) My video tutorial on the Granny on the Straight Stitch does not show you this first row of single crochet stitches. I admit that mom gave me a hand. I tend to skip and miss a lot of the chains, or make more stitches in the same chain.

Then I began crocheting the first real, real row of the Granny on the Straight Stitch. If you remember, this stitch is done in sets of 3 double crochet stitches, also called shells. When a shell is done, you need to chain 1, than skip the next 3 chains of the foundation chain. In the 4th chain, you will work another shell. (Image 5)

Crochet contrasting Colors Granny on the Straight Blanket

Image 5

The first row of double crochet stitches using white is completed. There are 225 double crochet stitches (75 shells) and 75 chain one spaces. (image 6) Once again mom helped me , but starting with the next row, the work will be a lot easier for me because of all the chain one spaces. They will give me a lot of freedom when touching.

Crochet contrasting Colors Granny on the Straight Blanket

Image 6

The black and white colors will be changed every two rows. Image 7 shows you how I attached the black color to the end of second row and how I worked a few shells of double crochet stitches. The first row using the black color is completed.(Image 8) Six rows of double crochet are completed. This is how the colors look in contrast. (Image 9) This will be more noticeable as the project advances.

A few technicalities: a skein of yarn of 75g is enough to crochet 4 rows on the long. A small ball of yarn will be left (approx. 10g). I will use it to make the tassels. I’ve used 2 skeins so far. The blanket is 250cm long, and 15cm wide so far. (Image 10)

Crochet contrasting Colors Granny on the Straight Blanket

Image 10

I placed the blanket on the bed so you can have a guess about it’s length and width so far. Four skeins are over. 17 rows completed. 25cm wide now. (Image 11) By the way, it takes me approx. 30 to 40 minutes to complete a row. I make between 4 and 8 rows per day.

Crochet contrasting Granny on the Straight Blanket

image 11

I asked mom to buy me 20 skeins of yarn. She bought me the last 18 skeins that the shop-assistant had, 10 black and 8 white. Lucky me!!!By the way a skein costed us nearly 1,5$. The total cost for the materials for the blanket reached about 45$. (Image 12)

Crochet contrasting Colors Granny on the Straight Blanket

Image 12

I finished my first 10 skeins of yarn. They were enough for finishing a 1/3 of the blanket. This means a total of 40 rows (approx. 60cm width). (Images 13-14)

1/2 of the blanket is done. 14 out of 28 skeins of yarn were used to crochet 58 rows. The blanket is 93cm in width at the moment. Take a guess how short I am.!? The blanket is growing bigger and bigger It is becoming more and more difficult to turn it around when I end a row and begin a new one. (Images 15-17)

It’s been three weeks since I began working on the blanket. The blanket is nearly done. Got to 3/4. The blanket is 256 cm long and 140 cm wide. I used 22,5 skeins of yarn to complete 96 rows. (Image 18) Sadly, I caught a nasty cold after my dance class. It put my crochet work behind by a few days. I dropped to 2-4 rows a day. It took me 2 weeks to recover.

Crochet contrasting Colors Granny on the Straight Blanket

Image 18

5th week and working on the last row of double crochet stitches. I’m finishing the blanket in white to match the first row. I asked mom to help me finish the blanket. A last row of single crochet stitches was needed. I was afraid I was going to miss some stitches, so mom made it for me instead. She did one single crochet stitch( scs) on top of each double crochet stitch (dcs) and 1scs in each chain one space across the last row. (Images 19-20)

This is all the yarn that was left from the 28 skeins. Approx. 300g in total. The balls of yarn will be used to make the tassels. (Image 21) We decided that the tassels should be about 10cm long. Mom cut a 110cm long thread as a swatch. (Image 22) We wanted to make more tassels at the same time. Based on the swatch that mom made, we measured ten more threads, then ten more and so on. (Image 23) Each thread was then folded and inserted in each chain one space using a bigger crochet hook. My sister then cut all the ends to make the tassels even and finish them.(Images 24 – 25) Mom made 200 of them, switching between colors. Tassels were added on three sides of the blanket. (Image 26)

Image 27 shows how the blanket looks before the tassels were added. Image 28 shows the final blanket, including tassels, covering the Queen size bed in the bedroom.
Final sizes:
200cm wide, including tassels, 180cm without them;
260cm long with tassels, 250cm without them.
24 skeins of yarn were used to complete 110 rows and 4 skeins were used to make 200 tassels. Some of the yarn was left over.
I used a 6mm crochet hook.

More photos of the crocheted black & white Granny on the Straight blanket:

It took 5 weeks to make the blanket. It was given as a gift to my bioenergy therapist 2 weeks ago. It took him by surprise:

” How much does it cost me?”, he asked me.

“It is art for art”, I answered and received five hugs in a row.

It made me very happy to know that he liked it, and, also, it makes me very happy to know that you, my dear friends, like my very first blanket after the stroke as well. Until the next time.

The Coolorburbians.