Saturday, December 30, 2017

New Year crochet along, one whirl freestyle!

Like many crochet fanatics I like to buy yarn, I accumulate it, stockpile it for ‘later’. I’m like a ‘yarn squirrel’. When I first saw a project made from a Scheepjes whirl (a Lost in Time Shawl by mijo crochet) I knew I had to have some. 

I completed the beautiful pattern, and was in love with the colours and not having to weave in ends! So of course, I bought some more whirls in different colours and started another project. 

I began work on the Secret Paths shawl (also by mijo) when I was tired and had sore eyes from hay fever, and I just kept stuffing it up. There’s nothing wrong with the pattern - just search #SecretPaths on Instagram to see the many amazing examples - it was just my inability to read a pattern at the time. 

So, after frogging a few times, I just decided to ‘freestyle’ and see how I went. Now, I’m no crochet guru, I’ve been at it for a little over six months, but I surprised myself at how easy it was to just make it up as I went along. By simply following a few ‘rules’ and using a bunch of simple stitches I created this completely one-of-a-kind shawl for my friend. 

We travelled from Helsinki to Beijing together on the train several years ago so I called it Tundra Candy – made from the poppin canny colourway! If you’d like to freestyle along with me I’ll be starting another in the new year in a frosted whirl. 

Here’s a few things you’ll need to know, and to have for the CAL. 

To have: 
  • One whirl – each whirl is 1000m in length, so you’ll get a nice, big triangular shawl.
  • I use a 3.5mm hook – for more ‘drape’ use a 3.75mm or 4mm, and for a tighter shawl use a 3mm or 3.25mm. 
 To know: 
  • Some basic stitches – for this shawl I used chain (ch), single crochet (sc), half double crochet (hdc), double crochet (dc) and treble crochet (tr) – these terms are all US. 
  • I used the above stitches to create shells, popcorns, front loop, back loop, front post and back post stitches. All these stitches are very simple and it easy to find and follow YouTube tutorials to learn these stitches or use the ‘learn’ section of the Scheepjes website

To start:
  • Like me you can start making the Secret Paths shawl and just go to row five and then start you own freestyle creation – OR – just simply start with a magic ring and begin with (row 1) ch3, 2dc, ch2 (this forms the 'point' of your triangle) 3dc an then turn your work to continue. 
  • Rows 2 and beyond
  • Always turn your work! 
  • At the beginning of each row, chain the required amount of chains for the stitch you’ll be using in that row – e.g;  for sc - chain one, hdc - chain two, dc – chain three, and tr - chain four. 
  • After your chain/s, add a stitch to the first stitch in the previous row *see image A* - this equals two stitches at the beginning of the row to increase the stitch count, as it’s expanding triangle.
  • Each time you get to the end of the row on the ‘up’ side of the triangle, add one stitch in the two-chain space and add two chains - *see image B*.
My tiny model and the garden hose!

The finished freestyle shawl.

If you have any questions find me over on Facebook! If you'd like to start a New Year CAL with me use #NYfreestyleCAL on Instagram, I'd love to see your work!

Image A

Image B - stitch - two chains - stitch in the two chain space. 

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