The Diamond Ridges hat

Crochet Diamond Ridges Beanie hat

You gotta try this beanie pattern by Kristy Ashmore!

It’s absolutely beautiful, and I’m going to help you every step of the way … almost. We all want Kristy to get her props for coming up with such a wonderful pattern, so download her free pattern, here, and come back for some tips on how to work it.

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Charts!!

crochet charts pineapple top

(Pattern notes on the above top can be found here)

You know what’s better than spending hours rewinding and skipping through You Tube patterns? CHARTS!

Visual learners, this one’s for us.

I must admit that I am waaaay late on this one. What have I been missing? Only about a million free patterns from all over the world. No translation required, no ginormous sentences explaining a simple shell stitch, no wondering where the pattern writer is taking you. It’s there. All there. For your gorgeous eyes to soak up.

My first experience with charts was the “Virus Shawl” (pattern here). I struggled. It looked super complicated, but once I understood what all those symbols meant … easy (with a few notes). Most charts use the same language, and once you understand it, you can grab a highlighter or pen and chart your way through. The virus is a little different, but the legend at the bottom generally will  steer you in the right direction.

Virus Shawl made by me.jpeg
Not the best of photos. This is a virus shawl I made last year out of Ice Yarns 3 ply lace yarn. I sold it, so I can’t give you a better shot of it. 😦

Think about the basic stitches: chains, single crochet, double crochet, triple crochet, etc. These are all the basic foundation of larger stitches like clusters, shells, decreases, increases.

In charts, you rely on these basic stitches to get you through pineapples, fans, clusters, shells, etc.  Let’s look at the basic granny square chart …

Granny-Square-Chart

Recognize it? The arrow tells you where to start. The numbers tell you what round you are on, and the shading helps you navigate (bigger charts don’t have this, and expect you to be able to follow the stitches up and down).

The circles are chains (1 chain for every circle)

The T’s with one line are double crochets (two lines would be a triple, three lines double triple, etc.)

The black dots are your slip stitches; they show you where you want to slip stitch to. So, for this pattern you sl st to close the round, and then you have to sl st to the next dot to start your next chain.

So, now you’re ready for something much bigger, right? The picture at top is only the third chart pattern I’ve attempted. If I can do it, so can you.

I don’t have a finished piece, yet, but let’s get you started … you can download this free pattern and about a dozen others at this Japanese website: http://www.360doc.cn/article/3243271_575361208.html

The one I used is Pattern 19. You’ll have to do some scrolling, but I promise it is there as of Feb. 23, 2018. There are three jpg’s for this pattern: a front, a back, and an edging and assembly page. I’ll be posting some lessons I learned about this particular pattern in my “Patterns to Try” page, but here are a few pics of my progress so far.

crochet lace chart top Number 5 crochet thread.
Still a ways from finishing, but you get the basic idea. The two front straps are worked separately until they meet at the V. Then the back is worked until it reaches the bottom of the arm pit holes, then the whole thing is joined and is worked in the round (turning at the end to keep the pattern the same). You can go as long as you want. 
02231809231763439379.jpg
Here is the edging I decided on for the neck. This is me winging it. The V was a little long and pointy for my liking, so I shortened it up with three rounds of half double crochet, a little peek-a-boo made with some chains and three triple crochets (to round out the V), and some scallops made with double crochets and slip stitches.
reading and understanding crochet charts
It can get dizzying working with charts … especially when working with shells and pineapples. I use a pen to trace up and down on my last row to keep my eyes from crossing. I also write down a few stitch counts so I don’t have to count all the little circles over and over. BTW, the x’s are single crochets. I also put a line or arrow on the side I’m currently working so I know where I left off.

 

0403180826-011597471573.jpeg
After living with the neckline above, I decided it was a little harsh and needed some softening up. Here’s the final version. Notes on how I finished it can be found on my projects page

The Ridged Granny Square

Granny square ridges front post double crochet

It’s amazing how a little texture can upgrade the simple granny square. Today, I’m going to show you how you can alter this simple pattern with a simple “front post double crochet.” Read More

Join-as-you-go Granny Style

Join as you go granny square crochet joining squares

This is a wonderfully fast way to work up a blanket. It’s perfect for anyone needing a quick way to join their squares. It works for any granny square pattern, and you’re going to love it! Read More

The Starburst Granny Square

I keep seeing this square popping up in my Instagram feed, and I had to give it a try. If you can’t read a pattern, yet, this one is perfect for you! You gotta learn sometime if you want to take advantage of everything crochet has to offer, and this one is simple enough to dive right in to pattern reading.

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The No Seam Solid Granny

solid granny square without holes

The Solid Granny square is as versatile as it is beautiful. There are so many ways to use it that you won’t easily become bored. It is worked in much the same way as the clustered granny, found here, with only a few little changes. Read More

The Magic Circle

Magic circle crochet start to projects in the round

Here’s a little trick I wish I had learned ages ago. I finally mastered it a couple years ago, and it has helped me tremendously. I use it for any project that begins with more than one stitch in the starting chain. I use it for triangular shawls, squares, circles, and triangles. It’s strong, and quite easy once you see it broken down properly. Read More

The crocodile stitch

crocodile stitch tutorial

The crocodile stitch is one of those stitches that you gotta try at least once. It’s a yarn eater that takes some time, but once you do … oh boy, is it pretty! This is a very forgivable stitch, so don’t be afraid to go a little off script. In this video, I show you the basics and give you some tips on altering the stitch for different projects.

You can do this!

Here are a few projects I’ve completed using the crocodile stitch: Read More

Soap savers and washcloths

crochet cotton washcloth and soap saver

Nothing makes for a super quick and easy gift like a soap saver and washcloth. These two projects can be whipped up in a few hours, and make gift giving easy. I like to make these for my children’s teachers around the holidays.

So let’s get to it … both of these projects use Bernat Handicrafter Cotton, but you can easily substitute your favorite cotton yarn.  Read More

Abby’s Dragon Scarf

crocodile stitch, Caron Simply Soft, dragons, scarf

I’ve finally published this scarf I free-handed last fall. I received over 20,000 likes when I posted the picture above, and so …. one year later, it’s all written down and ready for you.  Download this pattern on Ravelry.

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Are you ready for this pattern?

Here are some of the stitches used in this pattern:

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