Sparkle Shawl

On one of my many trips to Michael’s, I discovered Lion Brand’s Shawl in a Ball yarn and absolutely fell in love with the metallic versions, particularly “Prism.” The blend of colors immediately brought back visions of exploring undersea reefs during some of my snorkeling adventures in the Caribbean.I knew right away that I wanted to use Prism to make a shawl that I could throw around my shoulders in the evening on my next cruise or beach vacation and—lo and behold!—a perfect mesh-style crocheted shawl pattern was featured on the label, so I just looked it up at Lionbrand.com. It was probably one of the easiest patterns I’ve ever worked on and is perfect for a beginner.If you Google “sparkle shawl,” the pattern comes up in several places, as well as in a PDF that you can just immediately download, but I’ve also provided the instructions for you below, since I used a 6 mm hook instead of the recommended 5 mm hook because I wanted a more substantial shawl.

Now… I’ve got my shawl—all I need is a plane ticket south!

SPARKLE SHAWL
-Approx. 19” wide x 58” long (unblocked)
-1 skein of Lion Brand Shawl in a Ball (5.3 oz./150 g/481 yd/440 m) Prism
-6 mm crochet hook
-Yarn needle for weaving in ends

INSTRUCTIONS
Ch 83.

Row 1: Dc in fifth ch from hook (4 skipped chs count as dc + ch 1), *ch 3, skip next 5 chs, (dc, ch 2, dc) in next ch; repeat from * to last 6 chs, ch 3, skip next 5 chs, (dc, ch 1, dc) in last ch.

Row 2: Ch 4 (counts as dc + ch 1), turn, dc in first ch-1 space, *ch 3, skip next ch-3 space, (dc, ch 2, dc) in next ch-2 space; repeat from * to last ch-3 space, ch 3, skip last ch-3 space, (dc, ch 1, dc) in beginning ch-sp.

Repeat Row 2 until you’ve used up most of your yarn. Fasten off.

OPTIONAL: I made 4 tassels to place in each corner of the shawl. I’d never made a tassel before, so I watched this video and it was a big help: https://knitting-crochet.wonderhowto.com/how-to/make-tassel-0129500/In looking for something that was the right size to wind my yarn around, I discovered that using the cardboard cover of a pack of Dentyne Ice gum is a perfect tool for making tassels! (Don’t you just love discovering unconventional uses for household items?)To make my tassels, I wound my Prism yarn around the Dentyne cover (lengthwise) 20 times. Then I followed the exact process in the video example.Then, just to take it a little further, I chose four glass beads that I wanted to incorporate; and threaded each bead to the top of each tassel, then fastened each beaded tassel to each corner of my shawl. It was a bit fiddly, but I like the extra glitter. I tied a lot of knots to make sure each was securely fastened.

Crocheted hat square motifs made into a sweater!

I’ve been a crochet-a-holic for a little over four years and now that I’m in the groove, I like to switch things up a bit. Last year I discovered a hat pattern on the Lion Brand site that incorporates the prettiest square motifs, so I made this hat.hat & scarf_grey beige copy

The motif was so much fun to make that I decided I wanted to do more with it. The image of a sweater popped into my mind, so I chose a larger hook and set about making a bunch of squares that I could lay out into some semblance of a basic sweater. Below, you’ll see the results as well as some step-by-step info in case you want to try making your own version.
Donna’s Hat Motif Sweater
Here’s the link to the original Squares Hat pattern at the Red Heart website, but I’ve also repeated the square pattern below for your convenience: https://www.redheart.com/files/patterns/pdf/WR1621.pdf

yarn

Materials:

✗ Lion Brand’s Vanna’s Choice yarn, 2 balls of 860-400 Oatmeal and 5 balls of 860-403 Barley

✗ P/10.00 mm crochet hook; yarn needle

✗ Each square measures approx. 7 inches x 7 inches

✗ Make 28 squares in total: 9 squares for sweater front, 9 for sweater back, 1 for each shoulder, 4 for each sleeve.

✗Sweater is about a medium size fit. (To enlarge, use rows of four squares for the body instead of rows of three, and use rows of three squares for the sleeves instead of rows of two.)

SQUARE:

Using Oatmeal: Ch 8; join with a sl st to form a ring.

Rnd 1: Ch 1, 16 sc in ring; join with a sl st in first sc.

Rnd 2: Ch 4, [dc in next sc, ch 1] 15 times; join with a sl st in 3rd ch of ch-4. Fasten off and attach Barley yarn.

Rnd 3: Ch 1, sc in same st as joining, * 2 sc in next sp, ch 3, skip next dc, 2 sc in next sp **, sc in next dc; rep from * around, end at **; join in first sc.

Rnd 4: Ch 1, * 9 dc in next ch-3 sp, skip next 2 sc, sl st in next sc, (4 dc, ch 3, 4 dc) all in next ch-3 sp, skip next 2 sc **, sl st in next sc; rep from * around, end at **; join in first ch-1.

Rnd 5: Sl st in first 4 dc, [sl st in 5th dc of 9-dc group, ch 5, (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc, ch 3, 2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) all in next ch-3 sp, ch 5, skip next 9 sts] 4 times, join in 5th sl st. Fasten off.

Once you have made 28 squares, follow the construction layout as shown in photos below.

(1) Working with 18 squares, use a yarn needle to fasten the squares side-by-side into rows of three (see red box). (Make sure you are working on the wrong side of the sweater during construction. Note: To fasten squares I used a plain sewing stitch and just did my best to match up and stitch the chains together.)

(2) A block of nine squares make up the front (see purple box below) and another block of nine makes up the back. So sew together each row of three, one row at a time until you’ve made a block of nine. This is your front. Repeat the same process with your other three rows of three to make another block of nine, which is your back.

(3) You will use your two shoulder squares to attach the front block to the back block (see green boxes below). Still working on the wrong side, sew a shoulder square to either side of the top row of your front block. Then fasten the other end of each shoulder square to the back block. The middle opening is your neckline.sweater sample1

(4) As you can see in the photo below, I finished the neckline with one row of single crochet in oatmeal, then because I found it to be a little bit too wide for me, I gathered it slightly by weaving a length of oatmeal yarn around the stitches and then pulling it and tying a small bow.neckline

(5) Now, it’s time to work on the sleeves. Each sleeve is comprised of a block of four squares fastened together into two rows of two. So using your batch of eight squares, stitch together two squares at a time so you end up with a stack of four rows of two.

(6) Then take two of your rows of two and fasten them together into a block of four squares. This is your first sleeve. Repeat again using your other stack of two rows to make your second sleeve.

(7) The photo below left shows where you will attach the first sleeve (again, always working on the wrong side of the project). Take one of your sleeves (see red box) and line up the center (midpoint between the two sleeve squares) with the center of the shoulder motif (see green line). Use either markers or safety pins to attach securely, then stitch the sleeve to the body. Repeat the exact process by attaching your second sleeve to the other side of your sweater body.sweater sample2

(8) The photo below right is what the sweater will look like after both sleeves have been attached. The red line indicates where you will fold the sweater to match up where the blue lines are shown. The blue lines indicate where you will sew the body and sleeves together to complete the sweater.sweater sample3

(9) The photo below shows the sleeves and sides stitched together. The red lines show the areas that were sewn together. I left an opening on either side where the green lines are. I wanted it to fit tightly to the waist and then have a “tunic” effect at the bottom, with the slits on either side. To finish the edges, I single crocheted in unblocked sweateroatmeal around the entire bottom, including up and down each slit.

(10) I also finished both sleeve edges with one round of single crochet in oatmsleeve edging2eal.sleeve edging1

 

 
(11) I used the steam setting on my iron to gently press it. Here are some photos of the finished sweater. Not great pictures—hubby wasn’t around and it’s not easy taking full-length selfies!!!sweater_brown motifs2 copysweater_brown motifs1 copysweater_brown motifs3 copy

 

 

 

 

Last but not least—my colour inspiration: my best pal, Otis!

my color inspiration otis

The bottom line is that you can make a sweater out of pretty much any motif you like. It’s just a matter of making as many of them as you need to fit a basic layout in your size and then attaching them together. Squares are the easiest but you can also use hexagons and even circles. There are no boundaries to your imagination.

Voila! From diamonds to star

My crochet hook has prodded me into working on yet another Christmas project, all in the spirit of adding more festive touches around my home.

cushion_christmas star2After seeing a picture of a pretty quilt pattern fashioned from diamond shapes, I wanted to try to create a similar design using crocheted diamonds in place of fabric.

I also wanted to work on a project that would come together a lot faster than a quilt or afghan (go figure—Christmas will soon be here yesterday) so I decided that a cushion would be a manageable way of puzzling around with diamond shapes.

I discovered that this project is easy enough for beginners, so do go ahead and give it a try!

Here’s what I used:
Acrylic yarn—one ball each of dark green, cranberry, and cream, and a 5.5 mm hook. I used Lion Brand/Vanna’s Choice yarn, since I loved the rich colour of the Cranberry #180. Since it’s a small project, I had lots of yarn left over from each ball.

Once I’d organized my supplies, I curled up in a comfy chair and used the pattern below to make a bunch of diamonds.

diamond(Abbreviations: ch=chain; sc=single crochet;
hdc=half double crochet; dc=double crochet; tr-treble crochet.)

Ch 4 and slip stitch to into the first chain to close it into a ring.

Round 1: Ch 1; *(1 sc, 1 hdc, 1 dc, 1 tr—ch 3—1 tr, 1 dc, 1 hdc) all into ring. Repeat from * one more time. Slip stitch into the first sc to close.

Round 2: Ch 5; 1 dc in the first sc (or the same space you’re beginning from); *1 dc in each of the next 3 sts; (3 dc—ch 4—3 dc) in the ch-3 space; 1 dc in each of the next 3 sts**; (1 dc—ch 2—1 dc) in the next sc; repeat from * to **; join to the 3rd ch of beginning ch-5.

Round 3: Ch 3; (1 dc—ch 3—1 dc) in the ch-2 space; 1 dc in each of next 2 dc’s; ch 1; skip the next dc; 1 dc in each of next 3 dc’s; ch 1; skip the next dc; (3 dc—ch 5—3 dc) in the ch-4 space; ch 1; skip the next dc, 1 dc in each of next 3 dc’s; ch 1; skip the next dc**; dc in the next 2 dc’s; repeat from * to **; dc in the last dc; join to top of ch-3. Fasten off and weave in end.

Crochet five diamonds in each colour. Then, starting with your cranberry diamonds, use your yarn needle to sew them together exactly as they appear in the photos, using a simple whip-stitch. Once the cranberry diamonds are stitched together, sew the cream to the cranberry, then the green to the cream. When you’ve finished, you’ll have a beautiful circle of diamonds. (cushion_christmas star1If you’re really ambitious, you could carry on from here to create an incredible-looking afghan but you’d need to gather up a whole lot more balls of yarn for such a project.)

For the back of the cushion, I just used the dark green yarn to crochet a plain circle approximately the same size as the front piece, then whip-stitched it to the green diamonds (it all seemed to fit well cushion_christmas star3enough even though I was working a circular piece against the diamond points). Leave enough of an opening to stuff it with fiberfill (or you can use a cushion round; I was too lazy to go out shopping for one). Then continue to stitch closed the open space. As a finishing touch, I sewed a tiny gold bell in the middle and pulled the thread through to the back so it would make an indent.

So there you go. I call it my Christmas star cushion.

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