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Tips & Tricks

Difficulty

Even though this is an advanced pattern, it has been written with adventurous beginners in mind. There are plenty of hints and notes to help you along the way.

Materials

Small – Cotton 8
Cotton 8 (100% cotton), 50g/170m/186yds

  • MC – 700 (Light Grey) x 8 balls
  • CC1 – 714 (Yellow) x 2 balls
  • CC2 – 654 (Pink) x 2 balls
  • CC3 – 642 (Green) x 2 balls
  • CC4 – 639 (Orange) x 2 balls
  • CC5 – 622 (Light Blue) x 2 balls
  • CC6 – 726 (Purple) x 2 balls

Hook A - 3 mm hook for motifs and border
Hook B - 3.25 mm hook for joining only
Optional: 3cm Button and Label

Medium - Stone Washed
Stone Washed (80% cotton/20% acrylic), 50g/130m/142yds

  • MC – Moon Stone 801 (Cream) x 13 balls
  • CC1 – Beryl 833 (Yellow) x 3 balls
  • CC2 – Tourmaline 836 (Pink) x 3 balls
  • CC3 – Peridot 827 (Green) x 3 balls
  • CC4 – Red Jasper 807 (Red) x 3 balls
  • CC5 – Turquoise 824 (Blue) x 3 balls
  • CC6 – Deep Amethyst 811 (Purple) x 3 balls

Hook A - 3.5 mm hook for motifs and border
Hook B - 4 mm hook for joining only
Optional: 3cm Button and Label

Large – Stone Washed XL + River Washed XL
Stone Washed XL (70% cotton/30% acrylic), 50g/75m/82yds

  • MC – Crystal Quartz 854 (Light Grey) x 28 balls

River Washed XL (70% cotton/30% acrylic), 50g/75m/82yds

  • CC1 – Nile 984 (Orange) x 6 balls
  • CC2 – Mississippi 986 (Pink/Orange) x 5 balls
  • CC3 – Amazon 991 (Green) x 5 balls
  • CC4 – Steenbras 982 (Pink/Purple) x 5 balls
  • CC5 – Yarra 989 (Dark Purple) x 6 balls
  • CC6 – Colorado 981 (Blue/Red) x 5 balls

Hook A - 5 mm hook for motifs and border
Hook B - 5.5 mm hook for joining only
Optional: 3cm Button and Label

Gauge

Due to the shape of the first six motifs, the gauge instructions are a bit more complex than usual. Each motif will have three measurements: Long Axis, Short Axis, and Sides. Below, you will find gauge measurements for all three ‘sizes’.

(UK)-Tips-and-tricks-1

At the end of Round 6, your diamonds should measure:

(UK)-Tips-and-tricks-2

At the end of Part 3, your diamonds should measure:

(UK)-Tips-and-tricks-3

Size

Due to the shape of the finished blanket, I have provided 3 measurements: Sides, Short Diagonal, and Long Diagonal. Below, you will find the measurements for all three ‘sizes’.

(UK)-Tips-and-tricks-4

Understanding the pattern

Abbreviations (UK Terminology)

  • Beg – Beginning
  • BP – Back post
  • CC – Contrasting colour
  • Ch – Chain
  • Dc – Double crochet
  • Dtr – Double-treble crochet
  • FP – Front post
  • Htr – Half-treble crochet
  • MC – Main colour
  • Rem – Remaining
  • RS – Right side
  • Sl st – Slip stitch
  • SM – Stitch marker
  • Sp/sps – Space/spaces
  • St/sts – Stitch/stitches
  • Tr – Treble crochet
  • Ttr – Triple treble crochet
  • WS – Wrong side

Punctuation

* An asterisk indicates pattern repeats. You will need to repeat all the instructions between asterisks the number of times specified. This is a hard-core repeat and will consist of multiple instructions. Due to the complex nature of the instructions for the Diamonds, these instructions will be highlighted in grey in the first 3 parts of the pattern.

Parentheses ( ) indicate repeats. You will need to repeat the instructions between parentheses the amount of times specified. This is a lower level repeat. Parentheses are also used to indicate a group of sts to be worked into the same st/sp.

Square Brackets [ ] are used to indicate a group of sts to be worked in the same st/sp when using parentheses would be too confusing.

Curly Brackets { } are used to indicate additional information and photo references.

Special Stitches

If you need help with any of the stitches or techniques below, you can find photo tutorials here.

2-tr Bobble
Yarn over and insert your hook into the indicated st/sp. Yarn over and draw up a loop {3 loops on hook}. Yarn over and pull through 2 loops {2 loops on hook}. Yarn over and insert your hook into the same st/sp. Yarn over and draw up a loop {4 loops on hook}. Yarn over and pull through 2 loops {3 loops on hook}. Yarn over and pull through all 3 loops on your hook.

3-tr Bobble
Yarn over and insert your hook into the indicated st/sp. Yarn over and pull up a loop. Yarn over and pull through 2 loops – 2 loops on hook. Yarn over and insert your hook into the same st/sp. Yarn over and pull up a loop – 4 loops on hook. Yarn over and pull through 2 loops – 3 loops on hook. Yarn over and insert your hook into the same st/sp. Yarn over and pull up a loop – 5 loops on hook. Yarn over and pull through 2 loops – 4 loops on hook. Yarn over and pull through all 4 loops.

Cluster Stitch
This stitch is also known as a tr3tog (treble crochet 3 together).
Yarn over and insert your hook into the indicated st. Yarn over and draw up a loop {3 loops on hook}. Yarn over and pull through 2 loops {2 loops on hook}. Yarn over and insert your hook into the next st. Yarn over and draw up a loop {4 loops on hook}. Yarn over and pull through 2 loops {3 loops on hook}. Yarn over and insert your hook into the next st. Yarn over and draw up a loop {5 loops on hook}. Yarn over and pull through 2 loops {4 loops on hook}. Yarn over and pull through all 4 loops on your hook.

Dtr Bobble
Yarn over twice and insert your hook into the indicated st. Yarn over and pull up a loop. (Yarn over and pull through 2 loops) twice {2 loops on hook}. Yarn over twice and insert your hook into the same st. Yarn over and pull up a loop {5 loops on hook}. (Yarn over and pull through 2 loops) twice {3 loops on hook}. Yarn over twice and insert your hook into the same st. Yarn over and pull up a loop {6 loops on hook}. (Yarn over and pull through 2 loops) twice {4 loops on hook}. Yarn over and pull through all 4 loops.

Popcorn Stitch
Make 5 tr in the same st/sp. Remove your hook from the last st and insert it into the first tr of the 5-tr group. Grab the last st with your hook and pull it through the first st.

tr2tog
Yarn over and insert your hook into the indicated st/sp. Yarn over and draw up a loop {3 loops on hook}. Yarn over and pull through 2 loops {2 loops on hook}. Yarn over and insert your hook into the next st/sp. Yarn over and draw up a loop {4 loops on hook}. Yarn over and pull through 2 loops {3 loops on hook}. Yarn over and pull through all 3 loops on your hook.

Ttr Bobble
Yarn over three times and insert your hook into the indicated st. Yarn over and pull up a loop. (Yarn over and pull through 2 loops) three times {2 loops on hook}. Yarn over three times and insert your hook into the same st. Yarn over and pull up a loop {6 loops on hook}. (Yarn over and pull through 2 loops) three times {3 loops on hook}. Yarn over three times and insert your hook into the same st. Yarn over and pull up a loop {7 loops on hook}. (Yarn over and pull through 2 loops) three times {4 loops on hook}. Yarn over and pull through all 4 loops.

V-Stitch
(tr, ch 1, tr) in the same st

Techniques

Magic Ring
Magic rings are great, because they do not leave a hole in the middle of your project. When using this method, it is extremely important that you work your initial yarn end away very well. If it comes undone, your whole project might unravel (see Working Away Yarn Ends below).

Place the end of the yarn in your left palm (right if you are left-handed) and hold it in place with your pinkie and ring finger. Wrap the yarn clockwise around your forefinger so that the working yarn crosses over the yarn end and forms a loop. Remove the loop from your finger and hold it by pinching the point where the two strands of yarn overlap.

Insert your hook into the loop, catch the working yarn with your hook and pull it through the loop. Yarn over and make a chain stitch. This chain secures your working yarn. Following the pattern, work the remainder of the round into the magic ring, remembering to work over the initial yarn end as well. When the round is complete, close the hole by pulling on the initial yarn end!

Stitch Anatomy
Stitches consist of posts (the bits that go into the stitches of the previous round) and loops (the horizontal ‘V’s formed by the tops of the stitches). Before you start with this pattern, it is vitally important that you know which ‘loops’ belong to which stitch or ‘post’, and vice versa.

When working with the right side (RS) of the last round facing you, the loops for each stitch can be found to the right of the post for that stitch (left if you are left handed).

When working with the wrong side (WS) of the last round facing you, the loops for each stitch can be found to the left of the post for that stitch (right if you are left handed).

Stitch Counts for The First Six Motifs
The first six motifs are made with the RS always facing you. To prevent ‘twisting’ of the motifs, some of the later rounds will have asymmetrical stitch counts for the side after a pointy corner (Side A) and the side before a pointy corner (Side B). In those instances, stitch counts have been provided per Side A and B.

(UK)-Tips-and-tricks-5

Corners and the Elusive Hidden Stitch
When working in the round, your corners will be formed by working a number of stitches into the corner stitch/space of the previous round. When you’ve made more than one stitch into that corner space (or any other chain space), the loops for the first stitch after the corner (or chain space) can sometimes be hidden.

If you miss this first stitch, your stitch count will be out every single time, no matter how many times you frog and re-do. Sometimes the first stitch after a chain space is NOT hidden, but clearly visible. Even so, I will refer to it as a ‘hidden stitch’, just to remind you to pause and check that you are not accidentally skipping it.

Sometimes you will need to push the stitches out of the way to get into that first stitch. It is worth noting that an htr directly after any chain space is the most tricky stitch to get into.

Using Stitch Markers
Occasionally, I will tell you to mark specific stitches with a SM. This will either be to help you count (in which case you can remove the marker after you have counted your stitches), or to help you identify a stitch in later rounds (in which case you should leave the SM until it has served its purpose). To mark a stitch, insert your SM through both loops of the indicated stitch (or into the indicated space). If you need help identifying which loops belong to which stitch, see Stitch Anatomy above.

If you do not have stitch markers, you can use a piece of scrap yarn to mark your work. I often do!

Standing Stitches
Standing stitches are used to start the round when using a new colour (or starting in a different place from where you finished the previous round). They are exactly the same as regular stitches, except that they are made ‘in air’, without being attached to a previous stitch. With a sl knot already on your hook, and holding the knot in place with your index finger, make your stitch as normal.

Omitting
At the end of most rounds, you will see an instruction telling you to omit the last corner/stitch(es) of the last repeat. This means that your last repeat should stop before the indicated corner/stitch(es), because you will already have made that corner/stitch(es) before the repeat started.

Changing Colours
You can use this method to join a new colour, or a new ball of yarn, in the middle of a round. If you want to make certain elements of the pattern in a different colour, for example, this is how you would switch between colours in a round.

You will need to change your colour on the last yarn-over of the last stitch before the colour change. In other words, stop when you have 2 loops left on your hook. Let go of the old colour/yarn and pick up the new colour/yarn. Draw the new colour/yarn through both loops to complete the stitch and continue as normal.

Joining at the End of a Round/Row
To join your round with a sl st, insert your hook into the indicated stitch/space and make a sl st. If you are instructed to join to the top of the beg chain, make sure that you don’t accidentally insert your hook into the top of the first stitch after the beg chain.

Making a sl st join like this adds an extra ‘loop’, so when you count your sts, it will appear as if you have one too many. When making the next round, work into the stitch/chain that contains the sl st (in other words, the first st of the round). Do NOT work into the back end of the sl st join. It does not count as a st.

Fastening Off
If you are using a sl st join, cut your yarn about 10cm/4” away from your work (after completing the sl st) and pull the yarn all the way through the st. Work away your yarn ends (see Working Away Yarn Ends below).

Working Away Yarn Ends
Unfortunately, your project is never complete until you have gotten rid of all the “loose ends”. A pattern will usually tell you to work away your yarn ends when you are done, but I suggest working away your ends after every part. To do that you will need a blunt tapestry needle and a pair of scissors.

Thread the tapestry needle with the yarn end. Working on the wrong side of the fabric, thread your needle through at least 2.5cm/1” of stitches. If you are working away your initial tail of yarn, thread it through at least half the stitches made into the magic ring.

Pull the yarn through all the way. Working in the opposite direction, and skipping the first stitch, insert your needle back into the same stitches again. Skipping the first stitch is essential, because it gives the yarn something to grip on to. Pull the yarn through again. You can repeat this one more time if you want to make absolutely sure that your yarn ends won’t work themselves loose.

Cut the yarn close to your work, being careful not to accidentally cut one of your stitches. If you have done thisneatly, your tails won’t be visible on the front of your work.

Blocking
You don’t HAVE to block your motifs and/or blanket if you don’t want to, but I always find that a good blocking makes for a great presentation.

I prefer to block my motifs before joining, so that I can gauge whether or not my join is too tight. This pattern allows for that by suggesting that you use a larger hook for your joining, so if you don’t want to block, don’t block.

If you ARE going to block, immerse your motifs/blanket in water for a couple of minutes. Gently wring out most of the excess water. Place your work between two large towels and roll up like a big cigar so that the towels absorb more of the water. Unroll again and place your work on your blocking surface. Applying gentle pressure, stretch your work out and use pins to pin it to your blocking surface. Try to avoid creating ‘pointy bits’ when you pin it down. I use a pin every inch or so.

When everything is completely dry, unpin, and marvel at your wonderful work!

Timeline

This pattern is constructed as follows:

  • Weeks 1 – 3: We will be making the diamonds that form the central star. You will need to make 6 of these diamonds, each in a different Contrasting Colour (CC), using Hook A.
  • Weeks 4 – 6: We will be making the half-diamonds that will turn the central star into a hexagon. You will need to make 6 of these half-diamonds, using the specified colours and Hook A.
  • Week 7: We will be joining the motifs using the Main Colour (MC) and Hook B. We will also be starting the border, using MC and Hook A.
  • Weeks 8 – 12: We will be completing the border, using the specified colours and Hook A.
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