Star Within a Square

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The star part of this was incredibly easy – of course, it is just a simple ripple in the round, but I fought with the squaring of it for longer than I care to retell, lol.  Hopefully I have explained it fairly adequately.  It ended up being a tad smaller than the Square Within a Square block, but I think I will add an edging to each block, of sc, hdc or dc; whatever is necessary to make them all the same size.

I am using a worsted weight yarn and a size F hook.

Abbreviations & Definitions
beg: beginning
ss: slip stitch
sc: single crochet
hdc: half double crochet
dc: double crochet
trc: triple crochet
bpsc, bphdc, bpdc, bptc: back post single, half-double, double or triple crochet (work the stitch behind the last round)
sk: skip
rnd: round
std: standing
picot: chain 3, slip stitch into top of stitch below
v st: v stitch – 2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc in a ch 2 space
beg v st: beginning v stitch – ch 3, dc, ch 2, 2 dc in 1st ch 2 space

To learn basic crochet stitches, you can go here.   You can read about post stitches here.

NOTES:

  1. All single crochet rounds begin with either a standing sc or a ch 1 in a magic circle, half double crochet rounds begin with a standing hdc or ch 2, all double crochet rounds begin with a standing dc or ch 3, all triple crochet rounds begin with a standing tc or ch 4.
  2. All rounds end by joining to the beginning stitch with a slip stitch.
  3. Don’t forget that hard to find first stitch after the corner, sometimes called the ‘hidden stitch’.  See more about that at Diedre Ulys’ blog.
  4. All instructions in () parenthesis will be followed with X & a number, meaning repeat these instructions that many times.
  5. Anything in [] square parenthesis and italics are notes from pattern writer.
  6. There are many links in this post, to crochet stitches, and tips.  Simply click on the underlined words, which will take you to a new page.
  • Round 1:  In a magic circle, std dc,dc, ch 2, (2 dc, ch 2) X 5, join with ss to beg dc. [12 dc and 6 ch 2 sp]

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  • Round 2:  Beg V st, (V st) X 5, join with ss to first st, finish off. [24 dc & 6 ch 2 sp =  6 v stitches]

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  • Round 3:  With new color, beg V st, dc in next st, sk 2 st, (dc in next st, V st, dc in next st, sk 2 st) X 5, join with ss to beg dc [36 dc & 6 ch 2 sp = 6 v stitches & 12 dc]

IMG_0020[1]

  • Round 4:  Beg V st, dc in next 2 sts, sk 2 st, (dc in next 2 sts, v st, dc in next 2 sts, sk 2 st) X 5, join with ss to beg dc [6 v stitches & 24 dc] 

IMG_0022[1]

  • Round 5: With new color, beg V st, dc in next 3 sts, sk 2 st, (dc in next 3 sts, V st, dc in next 3 sts, sk 2 st) X 5, join with ss to beg dc [6 V stitches & 36 dc]

IMG_0023[1]

  • Round 6: With new color, beg V st, (dc in next 4 sts, sk 1 st, (working BETWEEN that st and the next, sc, ch 7, sc), sk 1 st (dc in next 4 sts, V st, X 5, dc in next 4 sts, sk 1 st, (working BETWEEN that st and the next, sc, ch 7, sc) dc in next 4 sts, join with ss to beg dc [6 V stitches, 6 ch 7 loops, 72 dc, 12 sc]

IMG_0051[1]

This next part is what threw me so much.  Turn the block to the wrong side, and hold it as in the picture (there is a point in the center, begin to the right side of that point.  Work with new color grouping). 

  • Round 7, the Square:
  1. Side 1:  Working on wrong side, ss to back of 3rd st from beg of rnd 6, ch 3, ss under loop, ch 3, ss to rdn 4 [directly under the center of the  point],  IMG_0053[1] ch 3, ss under loop on rnd 6, ch 3, ss to 3rd st from end on rnd 6, ch 3, turn to side, ss in same st [corner made]
  2. Side 2:  ch 3, ss to 2nd st of round 5, ch 3, ss into the 5th and 6th st of rnd 5 [this puts the stitch directly under the loop]  IMG_0052[1], ch 3, ss to 2nd st from end of round 5 [the first half of the point, ch 3, ss to the side of  2nd st from the end of round 6, ch 3, turn, ss in same st [corner made]
  3. Working on wrong side, ss to back of 3rd st from beg of rnd 6, ch 3, ss under loop, ch 3, ss to rnd 4 [directly under the center of the  point], ch 3, ss under loop on rnd 6, ch 3, ss to 3rd st from end on rnd 6, ch 3, turn to side, ss in same st [corner made]
  4. Side 4:  ch 3, ss to 2nd st of round 5, ch 3, ss into the 5th and 6th st of rnd 5 [this puts the stitch directly under the loop] , ch 3, ss to 2nd st from end of round 5 [the first half of the point], ch 3, ss to the side of  2nd st from the end of round 6, ch 3, turn, join to beg ss  [corner made] 

Square up your outline as best you can, sliding the slip stitches up or down as needed to create a straight line.  16 ss & 64 ch]

IMG_0054[1]

  • Round 8:
  1. Side 1:  Still working on wrong side, dc in beg ch 3 sp, (ch 1, sk 1 st, dc in next st) X 8, ch 1, dc in corner ch 3 sp, ch 3, dc [corner made].
  2. Side 2: (ch 1, sk 1 st, dc in next st) X 8, ch 1, dc in corner ch 2 sp, ch 3, dc [corner made].
  3. Side 3: (ch 1, sk 1 st, dc in next st) X 8, ch 1, dc in corner ch 2 sp, ch 3, dc [corner made].
  4. Side 4: (ch 1, sk 1 st, dc in next st) X 8, ch 1, dc in corner ch 2 sp, ch 3, join to beg dc with ss [corner made]. [40 dc, 36 ch 1 sp & 4 ch 3 sp]

Your work may feel tight at this point; not to worry, it should ease up.

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  • Round 9:  [Turn the work to the right side now. ] 
  1. Side 1:  [Start on the side with a large point in the center, with loops to either side] ss to center of ch 3 sp [corner] 2 hdc,  (hdc in dc, hdc in ch) X 9, hdc in dc. In ch 3 sp work: 2 hdc, ch 3, 2 hdc [corner made]
  2.  (hdc in dc, hdc in ch) X 9, hdc in dc. In ch 3 sp work: 2 hdc, ch 3, 2 hdc [corner made]
  3.  (hdc in dc, hdc in ch) X 9, hdc in dc. In ch 3 sp work: 2 hdc, ch 3, 2 hdc [corner made]
  4.  (hdc in dc, hdc in ch) X 9, hdc in dc. In ch 3 sp work: 2 hdc, ch 3, join with ss to beg hdc [corner made] [92 hdc, 4 ch 3 sp]

Back Side                                                                                   Front Side

IMG_0056[1]                IMG_0057[1]

  • Round 10: [In this round, make the dc’s that go through the loop and the hdc rather loosely]
  1. Side One:  [Start on the side with a large point in the center, with loops to either side] With new color, work 2 dc in  ch 3 corner, dc in next 4 hdc, dc through the loop on rnd 6 of the star AND the hdc behind it,  IMG_0065[1] dc in next 13 hdc,  dc through the loop on rnd 6 of the star AND the hdc behind it, dc in next 4 hdc.  In the ch 3 loop work: 2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc [corner made]
  2. dc in next 23 dc’s, In the ch 3 corner work: dc, ch 2, dc. [corner made]
  3. dc in next 4 hdc, dc through the loop on rnd 6 of the star AND the hdc behind it, dc in next 13 hdc,  dc through the loop on rnd 6 of the star AND the hdc behind it, dc in next 4 hdc.  In the ch 3 corner work: dc, ch 2, dc. [corner made]
  4. dc in next 23 dc’s, In the ch 3 corner work: dc, ch 3, join to beg dc with ss. [corner made] [108 dc & 4 ch 2 corners]

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  • Round 11:   [Working in the back posts except on corners and loops!]
  1. Side one: [Start on the side with a large point in the center, with loops to either side]  2 hdc in ch 2 corner, bphdc in next 27 st, in the ch 2 corner work: dc, ch 2, dc. [corner made]
  2.  Side two:  bphdc in next 13 dc, dc through the loop on rnd 6 of the star AND the hdc behind it, bphdc in next 13 dc, 2 hdc in ch 2 corner, bphdc in next 27 st, in the ch 2 corner work: dc, ch 2, dc. [corner made]
  3. Side three:  bphdc in next 27 st, in the ch 2 corner work: dc, ch 2, dc. [corner made]
  4. Side 4:   bphdc in next 13 dc, dc through the loop on rnd 6 of the star AND the hdc behind it, bphdc in next 13 dc, 2 hdc in ch 2 corner, bphdc in next 27 st, in the ch 2 corner work: dc, ch 2, dc. [corner made]

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  • Round 11:
  1. Side one: [Start on the side with a large point in the center, with loops to either side] 2 dc in ch 2 corner, ch 1, sk 1 st, dc) X 7, ch 1, dc through the ch 2 sp of the point on rnd 6 of the star AND the hdc behind it, ch 1, sk 1 st, dc) X  7, ch 1,  in the ch 2 corner work: dc, ch 2, dc. [corner made]
  2.  Side two:  (ch 1, dc) X 3, ch 1, trc through the loop on rnd 6 of the star AND the hdc behind it, (ch 1, dc) X 7, ch 1, trc through the loop on rnd 6 of the star AND the hdc behind it, (ch 1, dc) X 3, ch 1, in the ch 2 corner work: dc, ch 2, dc. [corner made]
  3. Side three:  (ch 1, sk 1 st, dc) X 7, ch 1, dc through the ch 2 sp of the point on rnd 6 of the star AND the hdc behind it, ch 1, sk 1 st, dc) X  7, ch 1,  in the ch 2 corner work: dc, ch 2, dc. [corner made]
  4. Side 4:  (ch 1, dc) X 3, ch 1, trc through the loop on rnd 6 of the star AND the hdc behind it, (ch 1, dc) X 7, ch 1, trc through the loop on rnd 6 of the star AND the hdc behind it, (ch 1, dc) X 3, ch 1, in the ch 2 corner work: dc, ch 2, join to beg dc with ss. [corner made]

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Square Within a Square

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Abbreviations & Definitions
beg: beginning
ss: slip stitch
sc: single crochet
dc: double crochet
hdc: half double crochet
bpsc, bphdc, bpdc, bptc: back post single, half-double, double or triple crochet (work the stitch behind the last round)
sk: skip
rnd: round
std: standing
picot: chain 3, slip stitch into top of stitch below

NOTES:

  1. All single crochet rounds begin with either a standing sc or a ch 1 in a magic circle, half double crochet rounds begin with a standing hdc or ch 2, all double crochet rounds begin with a standing dc or ch 3, all triple crochet rounds begin with a standing tc or ch 4.
  2. All rounds end by joining to the beginning stitch with a slip stitch.
  3. All instructions in () parenthesis will be followed with X & a number, meaning repeat these instructions that many times.
  4. Anything in [] square parenthesis and italics are notes from pattern writer.
  • Round 1:  In a magic circle, work either a ch 3 as a dc, or make a std dc, then dc, ch 2, (2 dc, ch 2) X 3, join with ss to the beg st. [8 dc & 4 ch 2 spaces]
  • Round 2:  Into join, work std hdc [or ch 2 as a hdc], then 1 hdc into ch 2 space, (hdc in next 2 st, 2 hdc in ch 2 sp, ch 2, 2 hdc in same ch 2 sp) X3, hdc in next 2 st, 2 hdc in 1st ch 2 sp, ch 2, join with ss to the beg st. [24 dc & 4 ch 2 spaces]

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  • Round 3: Into join, work std dc [or ch 3 as a dc], ch 1, (dc in next st, ch 2, sk 1 st, dc in next st, ch 2, sk 1 st, dc in next st, ch 2,  dc in ch 2 sp, ch 2, dc in same ch 2 sp) X3, dc in next st, ch 2, sk 1 st, dc in next st, ch 2, sk 1 st, dc in next st, ch 2,  dc in ch 1st 2 sp, ch 2, join with ss to the top of beg st.  [20 dc &  20 ch 2 sp]

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  • Round 4: Into join, work std sc [or ch 1 as a sc], (sc in each st & ch 1 sp across [9 sc], in ch 2 sp (2sc, ch 3, 2sc)) X 3, sc in each st & ch 1 sp across, 2 sc in ch 2 sp, ch 2, join with ss to beg st.  [44 sc & 4 ch 2 sp]

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  • Round 5: Into join, work std hdc [or ch 2 as a hdc], (hdc in 7 st, ch 7, hdc in same sp, hdc in next 6 st, (2 hdc, ch 3, 2 hdc)) X 3, hdc in 7 st, ch 7, hdc in same sp, hdc in next 6 st, 2 hdc in 1st ch 2 sp, ch 2, join with ss to beg st. [72 hdc, 4 ch 2 sp, & 4 ch 7 sp]

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  • Round 6: Into join, work std hdc [or ch 2 as a hdc], (hdc in 7 st, sk 2 st, (in ch 7 sp: 4 dc, 1 picot, 4 dc, sk 2 st), hdc in 7 st, (in ch 2 sp: 2 hdc, ch 2, 2 hdc)) X 3, hdc in 7 st, sk 2 st, (in ch 7 sp: 4 dc, 1 picot, 4 dc, sk 2 st), hdc in 7 st, 2 hdc in 1st ch 2 sp, ch 2, join with ss to 1st hdc.

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  • Round 7: Work std hdc [or ch 2 as a hdc] into the space before a picot [You will be working behind the picots, so you might want to bend them forward slightly],(hdc in the 1st 4 st ch 4 and sc through the 2 middle st of the 5th round – see picture       Ch 4, hdc in the last 4 st of the row, 2 hdc in space of picot, ch 2 behind picot, and bending picot forward, 2 hdc in same sp,) X 3, hdc in the 1st 4 st ch 4 and sc through the 2 middle st of the 5th round, hdc in 1st picot sp, ch 2 behind picot and join with ss to beg st. [48 hdc, 4 sc, 8 ch 4 sp, 4 ch 2 sp]

IMG_0011[1]  IMG_0012[1]  IMG_0013[1]

  • Round 8: Into join, work std sc [or ch 1 as a sc], sc,  (sc in next 5 st, sc in next 5 ch, sc in sc, sc in next 5 ch, sc in next 5 sc (in ch 2 sp: 2 sc, ch 2, 2 sc)) X 3, sc in next 5 st, sc in next 5 ch, sc in sc, sc in next 5 ch, sc in next 5 sc, 2 sc in 1st ch 2 sp.  Join with ss to beg st[96 sc, 4 ch 2 sp]

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  • Round 9: Into join, work std dc [or ch 3 as a dc], dc in ch 2 sp, dc across, (in ch 2 sp: 2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc)) X 3, dc across, in 1st ch 2 sp, 2 dc, ch 2 & join with ss to beg st [116 dc & 4 ch 2 sp]

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  • Round 10: Into join, work std hdc [or ch 2 as a hdc], hdc in ch 2 sp, bphdc in next 25 st, (in ch 2 sp: 2 hdc, ch 2, 2 hdc) X 3, bphdc in next 25 st, 2 hdc in 1st ch 2 sp, ch 2 and join with ss to beg st. [132 hdc & 4 ch 2 sp]

Forgot picture😦

  • Round 11: Into join, work std dc [or ch 3 as a dc], dc in ch 2 sp, ((ch 1, sk 1 st, dc in next) X 7, dc through picot from rnd 6 and hdc from rnd 10, (ch 1, sk 1 st, dc in next) X 7, (in ch 2 sp: 2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc))  X 3, ch 1, sk 1 st, dc in next) X 7, dc through picot from rnd 6 and hdc from rnd 10, (ch 1, sk 1 st, dc in next) X 7, 2 dc in 1st ch 2 sp, ch 2 and join with ss to beg st.  [100 dc, 68 ch 1 sp, and 4 ch 2 sp]
  • IMG_0016[1]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CAL (Crochet Along) – What and Where is That?!

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Picture is from ‘Frida’s Flowers’ by Jane Crow

There was a time, if you had a town of 500 women, about 490 of those women would be stay-at-home mothers, and about 450 of those women would practice a craft, like sewing, quilting, knitting or crocheting.  They would get together in ‘bees’ or ‘circles’ to share coffee, gossip and patterns.  Today, the inverse is more likely true.  With so many people holding full time jobs, and dealing with hectic family schedules, the few who still crochet have a hard time finding others who share their craft, and the time with which to meet them.  With the advent of the internet, those problems are solved.

Across the internet, you can find email groups, facebook groups, and websites devoted to bringing crafters together.  You can find links to some of these in my blog roll.  To further still the camaraderie, we now have Crochet Alongs (CALs), where thousands of people across the world all use the same pattern to create something beautiful.  Often these are mystery CALs, with just a bit of the pattern revealed at intervals.  This is a list of some of the CALS from April and May.  They are in no particular order, except I am participating in the 1st 4.

  • Frida’s Flowers by Jane Crow “The new project is called Frida’s Flowers Blanket is inspired by Mexican Folk Art and the colourful dresses worn by the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.”
  • Mandala Madness by Helen Shrimpton “When Kimberly Slifer of the Official CCC Social Group on face book asked me to design a blanket/afghan for a CAL (crochet a-long) project for next year, I was, honoured, excited, chuffed to bits…. you get the idea! The ideas that went spinning through my head were crazy.  But I knew it had to be something very special, and so the idea of a HUGE Mandala started to form in my mind. As I started to work on the design I kept saying to myself “this is madness”… and so the name… Mandala Madness”
  • The Hekel Mandala by Annamarie Joubert-Esterhuizen  You need to request to join the facebook group, and the patterns are all available (in many languages) in the files of that group.
  • A Designers Potpourri by Sheri from The Country Willow, Cylinda from Crochet Memories, Cheryl from Homemade Hats by Cheryl, Donna from Articles of a Domestic Goddess and Rebeckah from Rebeckah’s Treasures.  Of these, thus far I am only doing the doily by Cylinda, Spring Pineapple Floral Lace.
  • Everything is Cool and Groovyghan by Heather Gibbs of KCACO-UK (Keep Calm and Crochet Along) “This is a mystery crochet-along for a rectangular mixed motif blanket where either blocks or rows will be introduced every two weeks. Lots of different shapes and stitches will be incorporated so it won’t get boring and there will be plenty of opportunity to play with colour!”
  • 2016 BAM CAL “Starting in January and ending in December we will have 3 squares each month, a main square , a filler square for those who want to do an extra 12” square each month  and a 6” square.”
  • Fran the Manghan Mystery CAL “The FRAN Mystery CAL will make what I hope you’ll agree is a manly/unisex blanket or throw. There are no flowers, circles or curves at all in the patterns – just straight lines and texture.”
  • Ali Crafts CAL “Mystery crochet along to make a granny square based blanket.”
  • DROPS Mystery Cal “The blanket will consist of a centre of granny squares surrounded by several types of edges with different patterns and stitches”
  • Garden Party Jacket   “If you’ve never made a garment before, this pattern is a great one to start with! You’ll no doubt be the sweetest flower in the bunch wearing this pretty.”
  • My Under the Sea Crochet Playbook  “3 x pages or 6 single pages (your choice) Appliques & crochet pieces to create 6 fun under the sea themed pages 1 x an adorable mermaid doll & accessories”
  • Mix and Match Crochet Along   (Note: The site for this blanket is in dutch, but there are translations for the pattern in English.)
  • Crochet Along to the Garden State by Julie Yeager  The pattern will be free and released over a period of about eight weeks here on the blog and also on Ravelry. (Note :  this becomes a paid pattern after the CAL)
  • Crochet Along 2016  “So I thought after less than a year of crochet under my belt whilst I love all these patterns other fabulous designers do I’d like to do my own and see whether I have learnt enough to design a simple crochet along.” (Note: blanket is a simple circle within a block)
  • 2016 Afghan Sampler   “What’s the best part about this blanket? It’s TOTALLY up to you how to crochet it! Crochet every block for a blanket that is perfect to snuggle under while watching your favorite television programs, crochet a few and make a blanket for your pets or kids, or crochet *two a week for the entire 52 weeks of the year* and create a beauty to adorn your king sized bed!”
  • Blanket of Secrets  (Note:  Variations on the granny block)  
  • Last Dance On the Beach  “As many of you know, this CAL was designed by the late Marinke Slump ( aka : Wink) from http://www.acreativebeing.com and was the final design she was working on at the time of her passing. In accordance with the wishes of Marinke’s family, 12 of her online friends and bloggers have completed her unfinished design to present this beautiful and sensitive CAL in Marinke’s memory and as a tribute to her work.”

I’ve not included CALs which aren’t in English, because I can’t read them sadly (I think I must move to The Netherlands – so much gorgeous Dutch work being done!), and I haven’t included paid patterns because I am not going to pay for something sight unseen.  I’ve started too many CALs and quit in the 3rd week because I just didn’t like them.  (Not that I mind – I just frog and move on to the next one!)

Next time I think I will give you links to some of the magnificent CALs from previous years.

Mandala Madness Part 5

There was no description on part 5 as to what this portion of the mandala signifies, but it sure is beautiful!  You can find the instructions here.

I didn’t need any tweaking on this part for thread, but do remember to keep your sc’s slightly looser, for easier access on those back loops and back posts.

I did decide to add a circle of russets slip stitches around the yellow circles, to define them better, and make them stand out.  One is complete in the picture.

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Spring Pineapple Floral Lace Doily

Yes, I’m doing another CAL (Crochet Along), in thread.  A CAL is a group of people who are all working on the same crochet project over a period of time. Often the patterns are a mystery, with only a portion revealed over the course of the CAL.  This can be a problem if you invest 4 or 5 weeks and a goodly amount of material into something  and then find you don’t like the result – and oh yea, it has happened to me.  That is why I generally wait until the CAL is over to begin, or at least far enough along to get an idea of the pattern.  With the internet comes a means for hookers across the world to participate in these CALs, sharing their knowledge and helping each other over the trickier bits.

For this one, 5 designers got together and created 15 patterns to be crocheted over the course of 2016.  April’s is the first one I’ve chosen to participate in, and I’m loving it.

You can find links to the patterns here.

The April project that I am doing now is called Spring Pineapple Floral Lace Doily, designed by Cylinda Mathews (she is excellent!).  The link to download it is on her website, Crochet Memories.

If you read the pattern, the first part is pretty darn easy.  (I misread and portion and frogged twice!)  Here is a picture of my completed part 1.  Cylinda gives you the option of stopping at row 8 for a coaster, though I think I would have chosen row 7) or at row 9 for a jar topper.

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Mandala Madness Part 4

About this part, Helen says:  “This week we change shape again, this time into an octagon. The octagon symbolises balance between the material, and the spiritual, between heart and mind. It is also thought to represent a vehicle for the advent of good health and good fortune.”

You can find the instructions here:

And my version – no tweaking this time, but a bit difficult for me to do in thread, as the sc’s are so very small.

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Easy Flowers

I have a doctor’s appointment in the morning and a great new blouse I want to wear – but no shoes that will match the outfit in any way.  No time to shop, but I do have a lovely yarn just the same color.  My favorite shoes happen to have 4 holes in the toes, so they are perfect to run a piece of yarn through a crochet flower and tie on.

IMG_1353[1]

They couldn’t be easier to make.

For the center, wrap yarn around your finger 15 times.  Carefully slip it off, and sc into the center 24 times.  Join with ss to beginning sc.  Turn it over, so the back is now the front.

Round 1: ch 4 [this is one sc and 3 chs], (sc, ch3, sk 2 stitches) 7 times, join to 1st ch

Round 2: In ch 3 sp: hdc, dc, hdc, ss into sc) 7 times, in last ch 3 sp: hdc, dc, hdc, join with ss to beginning ss.

Round 3: Working in the back, around the sc posts of round 1, sc into back post, ch 5, (sc around back post, ch5,) 7 times, join to 1st sc.

Round 4: [I changed color here) In ch 5 sp: hdc, 3 dc, hdc, ss into sc) 7 times, in last ch 5 sp: hdc, 3dc, hdc, join with ss to beginning sc.

Round 5: Working in the back, around the sc posts of round 1, sc into back post, ch 7, (sc around back post, ch7) 7 times, join to 1st sc.

Round 6: [I changed back to 1st color here] In ch 7 sp: sc, hdc, 3 dc, hdc,sc, ss into sc) 7 times, in last ch 7 sp: sc, hdc, 3 dc, hdc,sc, join with ss to beginning sc.  Finish off.