Monday, May 15, 2017

Starlight Baby Blanket Pattern



Pattern: Made in K-Town by Barbara

The stitch-pattern is based on the Fantasy Shawl, a free vintage pattern.
The adaption as a multi-colored baby blanket including border is my original design.
Please respect my rights as designer:
do not sell, share, translate, or publish any parts of this pattern (including pictures)
online or elsewhere without my permission.
Do not claim this pattern as your own.
Feel free to sell the finished items you’ve made from my pattern!
If you do, a link-back to my blog www.made-in-k-town.blogspot.de would be great.
Thank you!

Material and Size:
I’ve worked with Stylecraft Special DK in the following colors: Cream, Lemon, Apricot, Clematis, Sherbet, and Spring Green. Using a 4.0mm hook, my blanket measures 85cmx70cm (33.5”x27.5”). The pattern is easily adjustable to any desired size, so you can use your favorite yarn and hook without problems.

Pattern Notes and Special Stitches:
For this pattern I use US crochet terms. From the basic stitches we’ll only need the chain stitch (ch), slip stitch (sl st) and the double crochet (dc), plus some Special Stitches:
Star Stitch: will be explained in the pattern
Double crochet 2 together (dc-2-tog): yarn over (yo), insert hook into first indicated stitch, yo and pull up a loop, yo and pull through 2 loops on hook, yo and insert hook into the next indicated stitch, yo and pull up a loop, yo and pull through 2 loops on hook, yo and pull through the remaining loops on hook.
Double crochet 3 together (dc-3-tog): yo and insert hook into first indicated stitch, yo and pull up a loop, yo and pull through 2 loops on hook, *yo and insert hook into the next indicated stitch, yo and pull up a loop, yo and pull through 2 loops on hook*, repeat from * one more time, yo and pull through the remaining loops on hook.
crossed double crochet (crossed dc): will be explained in the pattern
double single crochet (dsc), sometimes also known as “mini bean stitch”: insert hook into indicated stitch or space, yo, pull up a loop (2 loops on hook), yo, insert hook into the same space again, yo, pull up a loop (4 loops on hook), yo, pull through all 4 loops on your hook.

How to use and change colors:
I’ve worked the first two rows, every following star-stitch row (repetitions of row 2), and the last row (the last repetition of row 3) in Cream (the main color) and every dc-row (repetitions of row 3), except for the last row, in a different color. You could also do it the other way round, i.e. working the star-stitch rows in different colors, and the dc-rows in the main color. When changing colors at the end of the row, you already use the new color to finish the stitch, i.e. at the end of the star-stitch row, you already pull through the five loops on your hook with the new color and work the following ch in the new color as well. At the end of a dc row, you finish the dc (pull through two loops) with the new color. When you drop a color, cut the thread and leave a tail – we’ll work over the tails when we come to the border. (Tip: before I work over the tails, I knot the tails together that are right next to each other)


Note:
Although the pattern is pretty easy to do, I had some troubles explaining it in words (especially the border), so I made an extra swatch and took pictures of the progress to help you with my instructions. You can click on the pictures to enlarge them.

Pattern:
Row 1
Ch-131 (or any odd number of chains as needed for desired width), dc in 5th ch from hook, *ch-1, skip 1 ch, dc in the next ch*, repeat from * across, working the last dc into the first ch from beginning, ch-2 and turn.
Row 2
Note: the expression “pull up loop (pull up lp)” means: insert your hook into indicated stitch or space, yarn over (yo), and pull through the stitch/space.
Pull up lp in second ch from hook, pull up lp in first dc, pull up loop in first ch-1 space, pull up loop in next dc, yarn over (yo) and pull through all 5 loops on hook, ch-1 (The chain is often referred to as the “eye of the star”). *Pull up lp in the ch just made, pull up lp in the same dc, pull up lp in the next ch-1 space, pull up lp in the next dc, yo and pull through all 5 lps on hook, ch-1 (star-stitch made)*, repeat from * across, working your last star-stitch like this: pull up lp in the ch just made, pull up lp in the same dc (that’s the last regular dc in the row), pull up lp under the next ch (= turning chains from the start of the last row), pull up lp in the next ch (that’s the next of the turning chains, see picture), yo with a new color and pull through all 5 lps on hook, ch-1 to close the star stitch, ch-3 and turn.

Row 3
Dc into the eye of the next star-stitch, *ch-1, dc into the eye of the next star-stitch*, repeat from * across, working your last dc into the turning chain (the one, where you’ve already pulled up a loop in the previous row, see picture). Finish the last dc (i.e. pull through 2 lps) with the main color, ch-2, and turn.

Row 4 - end:
Repeat rows 2 and 3 until your blanket has the desired height. For the last repetition of row 3, use your main color.

A word about turning chains: experienced crocheters might wonder, why I started row 1 with a dc in the 5th chain from the hook instead of the 6th, and why I use 3 turning chains instead of 4 at the end of row 2. Actually, you would expect 4 turning chains, to count as the dc and ch-1 we need, and the original pattern for the Fantasy Shawl does indeed suggest 4 turning chains. However, I’ve tried it like this, and found that after a few rows the edges started to widen and make a bend. Working with 3 turning chains like I do here, we end up with nice, straight edges. I guess you just have to trust me here :)

Border:

Before we start with the border, you might want to pick your favorite side of the blanket. The sides look a bit different, so you start the border with your favorite side facing you. I’ve picked the side with the right side of the star-stitches facing (right picture)


Rnd 1:
The first row of the border is a round of dc with 3 dc into the corner-stitches. Make it like this:

Top Edge:
Continue with (or attach) your main color in the right corner, ch-3 (counts as dc) and 2 more dc into the same stitch (that’s your first corner), then make a dc in every ch-1 space and in every dc across. For the next round to work out, it’s important that we have an even number of dc on the edges (not counting the 3 corner dc on both ends), so you have two options: either you squeeze in an additional dc somewhere, or you work a dc-2-tog over a ch-1 space and the following dc (that is what I did, see picture). Make 3 dc into the corner-stitch.
Side Edge 1:
While working down the sides, work your stitches over the tails of the color changes. Place your stitches into the spaces of the dc-rows and into the side of the star-stitches. This is either the eye of the star, or the first turning chain that marked the beginning of the star-stitch row, depending on which side you’re working down first. It will be the other way round, when you’re working the second side.


Work 2 dc into the first gap, then a dc-3-tog over the same gap, the next star stitch-row and the next gap. *2 dc into the same gap, dc-3-tog over the same gap, the star stitch, and the next gap*, repeat from * across, until the last gap and make your 2 dc in there. Now count your stitches (without the 3 corner dc): if you’ve got an odd number of stitches, make one more dc into the same gap and finish the edge with 3dc into the corner stitch. If you’ve got an even number of stitches, you can work your 3 corner dc right away. (note: with an even number of star-stitch rows, the stitch-count should work out without adjustments: in my example I had four star-stitch rows and an even number of stitches on the edge, see picture)
Bottom Edge:
Make a dc in every ch-1 space and in every dc across (actually you’re working your stitches not into the dc, but into the chain where you’ve made your first-row dc of course). Adjust your stitch-count like you did for the top edge (i.e. by working a dc-increase or a dc-2-tog), and work your 3 dc into the corner stitch.

Side Edge 2:
Same as Side Edge 1, close the round with a slip stitch to beginning ch-3 of the first corner. Don’t turn.


(In case you wonder, why I’m working all those dc-3-togs along the sides: I wanted to make a nice dense edge to cover the loose tails completely, but without increasing the stitch count. Alternatively, you could just make 2 dc into each gap and 1 dc into the side of the star-stitch row, if it doesn’t bother you that the tails might be showing.)

Rnd 2: 
The second border round is worked with crossed dc. If you’ve followed the pattern exactly as described so far, you should be at the ch-3 that counted as your first of 3 corner dc, so we can start with the new corner right away:

Ch-4 (counts as dc and ch-1), and - working behind these turning chains – make a dc into the dc before. That’s your first crossed dc. Dc into the next “free” dc (=the second corner dc), ch-1, crossed dc – working behind the stitch just made – into the the stitch before (=first corner stitch =top of 3 turning chains). Dc into the next free dc (=the third corner dc), ch-1, crossed dc into the stitch before (=second corner dc). Dc into next free dc (= first dc of the top edge), ch-1, crossed dc into the stitch before (=third corner dc). Now that we’ve made our first corner with 2 dc (regular or crossed) coming out of each corner dc of the previous round (see picture), we can go on with the edge: *skip the next free dc, dc into the next dc, ch-1, crossed dc into the skipped dc*, repeat across until you reach the next corner, then continue as described for the first corner, i.e. not skipping stitches between the dc, but working two dc (regular or crossed) into each of the 3 corner dc. Then go on with the crossed dc along the straight edge again. Continue this way until the end of the round and join with a sl st to third ch of turning chains. Do not turn.


Maybe this sketch can help, too:


Rnd 3:
We’re almost there! Sl st into next ch-1-space, ch-1 (doesn’t count as a stitch), dsc into same space, ch-1. For the dsc – or “mini-bean-stitch” – see pattern notes above. (Dsc, ch-1) into the next space, (dsc, ch-2, dsc) into the next space – this is your corner, see the following sketch:


Unfortunately the sketch looks pretty crooked (sorry, I’m not that good at drawing graphic patterns), but in reality the corner ch-1-space (marked light green in the sketch), is right in the corner, right above the middle corner dc of the first border round, you can see it better in the next picture:


Continue with (dsc, ch-1) in every ch-1 space around, with (dsc, ch-2, dsc) in the according spaces of the remaining corners. Join with a sl st to first dc, fasten off, and weave in all the ends. And that's it! :)



I hope that the instructions were not too confusing
and that you’ve enjoyed this pattern!

As usual, you can share your finished project and notes on Ravelry.

 

 



Tuesday, May 9, 2017

A Tale of Five Blankets: Chapter 10

Hello there!

Thank you all so much for your interest in my Starlight Baby Blanket that I had introduced in my last post! I'm not quite finished with writing down the pattern yet, but I'm working on it! :)
Meanwhile I can show you another blanket that I've finished recently. It's a c2c (corner-to-corner) graphic blanket with a cute little lion:


I have to admit that I'm very pleased with how it turned out, considering that it was my very first try at c2c-crochet. For the past few years I haven't been following the crochet trends, so c2c was something I had missed completely.

When I discovered some c2c graphghans on Pinterest a while ago, I knew immediately that I had to try this awesome technique! The only problem I had with the available graphic patterns was, that they're not easily adjustable to the size of the blanket you want. Using these patterns, I would have ended up with a much smaller or much bigger blanket than I had planned. But luckily - and that's the nice thing about c2c - it's pretty easy to make your own pattern.

So I just browsed the free cliparts on the internet, found a cute picture of a baby lion, and turned it into a pixel graphic, using the online tool Stitch Fiddle.


This is an amazing tool that allows you to enter the desired number of rows and columns before it transforms your picture into a pixel graphic. Of course there was some fine-tuning and editing necessary, because the original output had like ten different shades of yellow that I had to combine somehow. I also removed some details that looked blurry in the pixel graphic, and adjusted some blocks so that the face and the body of the lion looked symmetrical.

 

For my blanket I used Stylecraft Special DK in Cream, Lemon, Saffron, Spice, Walnut, and Sherbet. The pattern has 44x45 blocks and with the border (some rounds of dc's and a bobble edging) the blanket measures 75x75cm.


I love the endless possibilities that this technique offers and can't wait to make another one (with a different picture of course). This one is for sale now (only in Germany) in my new DaWanda-Shop.


Thanks for visiting today, hope next time I'll be back with the promised Starlight pattern!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

A Tale of Five Blankets: Chapter 9

Hello there,

I'm back today with a new episode of my Tale of Five Blankets.


This is a special blanket, because it's the first baby blanket that I've designed myself. It's a star-stitch variation, so I thought "Starlight Baby Blanket" would be a nice name for it.


Before I started with this one, I had already posted a test-swatch on Facebook, that looked like this:


As you can see, I've made a few changes to the original idea: Some of the colors seemed a little bit too strong, so I changed to lighter, softer pastell colors. For the test-swatch I've also worked the star-stitch-rows with colors, and the dc-rows in between with cream. For the final blanket I did it the other way round, and worked the star-stitch-rows in cream and the dc-rows with colors, but basically you could do it either way :) Once again, I've used Stylecraft Special DK in Cream, Lemon, Apricot, Clematis, Sherbet, and Spring Green.


What I really like about this pattern (other than the fact, that it's easy to do), is that the two sides look slightly different, but both of them are beautiful :) The blanket is for sale now in my new Dawanda-Shop (shipping to Germany only).


Hope you like this new blanket as much as I do, if you're interested I could write down the pattern and share it here, just let me know! :)



Thursday, April 20, 2017

Yarnsicles

Hello World!

Hope you've all had a great Easter week-end with lots of time for family and crafting! I did. :)

What I want to show you today is a little something I had already posted on Facebook a while ago: Yarnsicles! :)


These are popsicle sticks wrapped in yarn, so the name yarnsicles seemed good to me. I had been wanting to make some samples of my Stylecraft Special DK yarn for a while, and I had seen something similar before on Lucy's Attic 24 and was also inspired by Sarah-Jayne's "Yarnspirations" on Bella Coco.


Both Lucy and Sarah-Jayne use wooden clothespins for their yarn-samples, so I wanted to do the same. But in a half-hearted search for some clothespins (already knowing that even if I found them, I wouldn't have enough for all the different colors in my stash), I found something that would do the job as well: popsicle sticks!


I had bought them a few years back for a craft project I've never even started, so I had plenty!


I've wrapped the yarn around one end of the stick in two tight layers and tied the ends to a knot. On the other end I've written the Stylecraft name for the according color. On the back (which is not shown) I've also written the color number.


Working on this fun little project made me realize two things: 1) I've gathered quite a lot of different colors over the years and 2) there are still so many colors missing in my collection, I need MORE yarn!!! (sounds familiar? *gg*)


Anyway, these yarnsicles work great when your trying to come up with a new color-combo for your next big project. And they're also nice to look at, aren't they? :)


And since I've also stocked up on my favorite cotton yarn (Catania by Schachenmayr), I thought about making some yarnsicles with Catania, too. Probably have to order some more colors first... :)



Wednesday, April 12, 2017

A Tale of Five Blankets - Chapters 6-8

Hey there,

you're probably confused that the Tale of Five Blankets continues now, although we had already reached the last chapter with Chapter 5. But - just like in real life - sometimes the story continues, even when it seems that you've already written the final chapter, isn't that true?
So, enough with philosophy - meanwhile I've finished several more baby blankets, and instead of coming up with a new creative title every time, I just thought I'd continue this tale, so all my new baby blankets can be found under the same tag. And since I'm hyper-productive right now, I'm gonna show you three new blankets in one post today (with three more still waiting in line *gg*).
Let's start with my favorite one:


For this modern girlie-blanket I've used a great pattern that I had tried once before (click here). It's the Dot'n'Dashes pattern by Darla J. Fanton and it's available for free on Red Heart. The pattern is for three different colors, and since I had been quite pleased with the result of using four colors in my first blanket, I thought this time I'd go with five colors.


As usual, I was working with Stylecraft Special DK and used the following colors: Creme, Grey, Silver, Clematis, and Plum. I really do love this pattern, because it's so easy to do (actually a no-brainer that allows you to watch TV while the blanket is growing almost all by itself), but the result with the interesting structure is just amazing! Definitely under my personal Top 3 of my favorite blanket patterns!


Another favorite pattern - and you know that already if you're a regular reader of my blog - is the double ended crochet pattern (also by Darla J. Fanton) which I used for the next blanket:


The pattern actually creates a stunning two-sided effect, but in this blanket the effect is more subtle, because of the light colors I've worked with. (The effect is better when working with two high contrast colors).


For the front side I've worked with Calista Color by Schachenmayr, a beautiful color gradient yarn, and for the back side I've used white Rico Acryl Soft yarn.


And last but not least, I've made another traditional Granny Square blanket :)


As much a I like this pattern, it's also a sign that I had to frog another blanket, because that's what I usually do: if I have to frog another project that leaves me with bits and pieces, I end up using them for granny squares.


The yarn is Stylecraft again, and the colors are Silver, Cream, Clematis, Sherbet, Spring Green, and Apricot.


All these blankets are for sale now in my brand-new (german) Dawanda-Shop. Yes, that's right - I decided to tackle this adventure, with all the necessary inconveniences: registering an official business, filling out tax forms, setting up professional terms and conditions, getting a packaging license, and so on and so on. Since I'm just getting started, I'm only shipping to Germany right now.

And to make this post complete, let me also mention that I set up a new (german) Facebook-Page Babydecken made in k-town to accompany my shop and - mainly - to make my new business known in the area where I live. But any likes are welcome :) Of course my regular Facebook-Page that runs with this blog is still active, too!

I'll be back here soon with some more blankets, one of them with a free pattern for you! :)



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