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How to Square Off a Circular Crochet Motif


If you love making crocheted motif blankets, you probably know that it is difficult to join circular motifs together without leaving gaps. In this tutorial, we're going to show you how to square off a circular crochet motif.

First, count the number of stitches around your circle.

If this number isn't divisible by 4, then single crochet around the circle while evenly increasing  the number of stitches necessary to reach a stitch count that is divisible by 4.

If this number is divisible by 4, then work 1 round of single crochet around around the circle.

Why do we need a stitch count that is divisible by 4? We will be treating the circle as a square, dividing it into four "sides."

Example: 
A circle with 42 stitches will need two more stitches to reach a stitch count that is divisible by four.

To do this, *work single crochet for 20 stitches, increase in the next stitch, ** then repeat from * to ** to the end of the round. You will now have 44 stitches, which is 4 sections of 11 stitches.


Before we move on to the next step, it may be helpful for you to look at this image of the finished shape you are trying to accomplish, as compared to the current shape of your piece:


You'll be creating the edges of the square by adding taller stitches to the areas on the circle which correspond to the corners of the square shown above. As you might have guessed, the sides will need less fabric to complete the transition.

To make the squaring off round easier, the beginning of the round will be in the center of the square side, as seen in the illustration above.

In the sample shown below, the following pattern was used:
sc2, hdc, dc, dc2 in next st, ch2, *dc2 in next st, dc, hdc, sc5, hdc, dc, dc2 in the next st, ch2, repeat from * 2 more times, dc2, in next st, dc, hdc, sc3. Slst into first st to join round.

When you work this round, notice that the hdc and dc stitches create wedges which build the corners when paired with the other wedges.


For larger or smaller circles, you will need to adjust the pattern by either adding a sc, hdc, or dc to the pattern. This may require a little experimentation one your part as you try out different types of stitches to get your ideal shape.


Below are two free patterns to modify and turn into square motifs using this technique!

The Little Spring Mandala



Roller Coasters


We'd love to see what you make with this tutorial; share your results with us on Instagram using the hashtag #knitterspride in your post.

Giveaway & Free Knitted Wash Cloth Pattern

There’s still plenty of time to join our Spring Home Decor KAL/CAL here on Ravelry! Today, we share a free knitted wash cloth pattern you can knit up in a jiffy using your favorite cotton yarn for your chance to win one of our fabulous KAL prizes. We also have a special bonus giveaway just for our blog readers (keep reading for more on that!).

If you prefer not to work two strands of a fingering weight yarn together in your project, you can substitute in a single strand of worsted weight cotton to make an equally lovely wash cloth.


Spa-Riffic Wash Cloth
By Stefanie Goodwin-Ritter
Finished measurements: approx. 10.5” square

Gauge: 18 sts & 24 rows = 4 inches St St

Supplies:
  • US 8 Needles (single point or fixed circular; cloth is worked flat)
  • 1 skein Kraemer Patti Yarn (100% US Organic Combed Cotton, fingering weight, 350 yards/100g), split into two balls and held double throughout
  • Darning needle
  • Blocking Mats
  • Knit Blockers

To make cloth:
CO 46 sts.

Work 6 rows garter stitch (knit every row).

Begin Patt Stitch:

Row 1 (RS): K3, *K5, P5, repeat from * to last 3 sts, K3.
Row 2 (WS): K7, *P5, K5, repeat from * to last 9 sts, P5, K4.
Row 3: K3, P2, *K5, P5, repeat from * to last 11 sts, K5, P3, K3.
Row 4: K5, *P5, K5, repeat from * to last 11 sts, P5, K6.
Row 5: K3, P4, *K5, P5, repeat from * to last 9 sts, K5, P1, K3.
Row 6: K3, *P5, K5, repeat from * to last 3 sts, K3.

Repeat Rows 1-6 a total of 10 times, or until cloth has reached desired length.

Work 6 rows garter stitch (knit every row). Bind off.

Weave in ends and wash with your favorite fiber wash. We recommend using Knitter’s Pride Blocking Mats and Knit Blockers to block to finished measurements like so:


Allow to dry, then enjoy during your next spa day!

Giveaway
We have a special BONUS giveaway, just for our blog readers! Leave a comment on this post telling us what project you plan to knit or crochet for our Spring Home Decor KAL/CAL for your chance to win the yarn & needles to knit this wash cloth pattern! Be sure to also mention your Ravelry ID or email address so that we can notify you if you’ve won.

We’ll randomly select 1 lucky winner to announce in this Ravelry thread on Friday, June 2. Good luck!  

ETA: We have a winner, congratulations to Raveler knit-frog-knit!

Join Our Spring Home Decor KAL/CAL!

With Spring and Summer comes warmer weather, and the desire to knit or crochet cozy woolens is gone. You don’t need to put down your hooks or needles though, it’s time to make home decor!

From now until June 30th, we’re hosting a home decor CAL/KAL - just knit or crochet something for your home and share it with us in this Ravelry thread for your chance to win great prizes (more on that in a bit).

During the month of May, we’ll be sharing pattern ideas on our Facebook page, so be sure to check those out. In the meantime, here are 3 of our favorite home decor patterns to inspire you:

This blanket is amazing because it allows to create any size of blanket all the while only having 10 stitches on your needles at a time. This is a variation on the rectangular blanket, made famous by Staci Perry’s tutorials on her Very Pink Knits YouTube Channel.

This is a trend that continues to be popular, this crochet pattern by Nadia Fuad is so fun. It would look especially great in a semi-solid yarn.

We love this basket pattern with the chunky braids and handles! Now you can have a knitting basket that you knit yourself!

As previously mentioned, there are some great prizes up for grabs for anyone participating in our CAL/KAL:
Winners will be selected from the Ravelry group thread and from Instagram, using the event hashtag #KPSpringKAL. You can make as many projects as you like for multiple entries in the contest drawing; double dipping with other KAL/CALs is ok, too!

Once the KAL/CAL closes, we'll announce the winners here on our blog at the beginning of July.

Be sure to share your projects on Instagram with the hashtags #knitterspride and #KPSpringKAL. We can't wait to see what you make, and don't forget to add our blog to your reading list because in our next post, we’ll share a free knitted wash cloth pattern!

Winner + Designer Spotlight: Pia Thadani

As part of our ongoing Designer Spotlight series, we take a look at what makes designers tick.

This week we have Pia Thadani, crochet designer and Crochet Guild of America Member! Pia calls the beautiful state of Illinois home.

Pia designed the Sargassum Shawl featured in the Crochet Guild of America Crochet Along this month! Be sure to participate for a chance to win a set of our Crochet Hooks that we donated to the CAL.


When did you learn to crochet? Do you do any other crafts?
My mom taught me to crochet when I was very young – maybe around 5. I started with chaining by hand, without a hook, to make bracelets. When I got tired of that, I still remember spending days making mile long chains and then braiding them together to form jump ropes (which only worked marginally well, but was still fun)! Mom taught me lots of other fiber arts too – knitting, tatting, embroidery, needlepoint, rug hooking, macramé, sewing, and probably more that I’ve forgotten. I can’t remember any part of my life that didn’t involve making things, and I’ll try pretty much any new craft. Sometimes they work out, and other times I’m just horrible at them (like sewing). I tend to go in spurts – for a while, I was obsessed with scrapbooking, and more recently it’s been spinning. Crochet has more or less stuck as my main passion through all of them though.
How did you get started designing?
I actually started blogging first, as sort of a crafting diary, and would write about modifications I was making to patterns. I almost never follow a pattern exactly as written, and I’ve always been that way. I usually read through it, get the gist, and then start making bits up as I go. My blogging friends soon started encouraging me to make up whole patterns from scratch, and everything just grew from there. Joining the CGOA was a big step for me in taking crochet from a hobby to a business. The local chapter activities, online projects, and national conferences have all provided invaluable networking and learning opportunities. On top of that, the new friendships and sense of community I’ve found through the CGOA have been amazing.
What is your design process typically like? - or - What are your favorite projects to design?
Growing up, crochet to me was always about gift giving on a budget. I still love to make things for other people, so I often end up designing to fit specific gift giving opportunities. If someone wants a sweater for Christmas, I make a sweater. If someone’s having a baby, it’s going to be all things baby for a while. There always has to be a reason to make something. I have a much harder time just sitting down and coming up with a design without any context. Recently I’ve started designing more for myself, but it still is usually when there’s something I need (or want). If you want a very detailed look at my design process, check out my series on “How a Pattern Happens”.


Tell us about your design for the CGOA CAL. Are there any special techniques that crocheters will need to master to complete the project?
Sargassum is a perfect example of designing to fit a need. I was going on vacation in Florida, and needed something light and pretty for the chillier evenings. I’ve had a gorgeous skein of discontinued cotton yarn in my stash that I had been wanting to use, and the color reminded me of the Sargassum seaweed that you find on the beach. The lace stitch for the bottom border was something I had played with months earlier (coincidentally, in the same yarn). The pattern does incorporate a lot of different techniques, which is one reason why I thought it would be best introduced as a CAL. The techniques appear one at a time, so you can master one before having to deal with another, and the pattern includes links to tutorials for all of them. Some of them are also optional, and easier alternatives are provided. The first is foundation stitches, then chainless starting double crochets, a few rows later there are puff stitches worked so they lie sideways, then color changes, beads, linked double crochet in the top border, and finally a shell and picot edge. Fun fact – that’s my mom in those pictures!


What is your absolute favorite Knitter's Pride product, the one you would HAVE to have if you were stranded on a desert island?
If you had asked me that last year, I would have said my sock blockers. These things are magic for socks, and I think they even help them to dry faster. Also, when you tie them together, they work really well as a weight on hand-spun skeins! But, I recently got a set of Nova Cubics Platina Interchangeables, and those are now my new favorite Knitters Pride product. I swatched with them right away and they are absolute heaven. The unique ergonomically shaped shafts are surprisingly comfortable to hold and help with getting the needle into tighter stitches, and they’re just the right amount of slippery for my taste too. Just my luck though - since I got them I’ve been buried in lighter weight projects that need smaller needles. As soon as I have a chance, I’m dying to work up a nice big project on them.
Do you have any crocheting horror stories or mishaps?
I tried to make a swimsuit cover-up once, with a big fillet crochet butterfly on the back. It came out really nice…until I wore it over a wet swimsuit. I had used a kitchen cotton, and I learned the hard way just how much that type of yarn can stretch when it’s wet. Think saggy butterfly butt. Yeah, not attractive.

Winner
Congratulations to BinaBKnits,  this month's giveaway winner! We will contact you to arrange for the delivery of your prize. Thanks to everyone who entered this month's giveaway, we got some awesome ideas for - click here to check out the comments & get inspired to reuse and recycle

Keep it Green by Upcycling for Earth Day + Giveaway

Do you want to help keep as much as you can out of the landfill? Do you hate to see things going to waste? Here are a few tips to help upcycle materials this spring!


Unravel a sweater to reclaim yarn
We all have those sweaters in our closet that are destined to go to the thrift store after the Spring cleaning purge, but what if that sweater could become your next new project?



Start by examining the sweater, if it is still in good condition, you can reclaim the yarn. Start by unseaming the sweater. Once the sweater is in parts, find an end and start unraveling! This can be a fun project to do with kids. Using a swift makes the process go a little faster, and prepares you for the next step. Wash the yarn in a yarn soak to relax the fiber, then hang it up to dry with a weight to get out any of the pesky kinks.


If you don’t like the original color of the yarn, this is the ideal time to dye it.


If you don’t have any old sweaters, head to your local thrift store and there are sure to be plenty of them there to turn into a pretty sizeable stash. For a more detailed explanation of this process, check out this great blog post.


Turn fabric into yarn
Whether it’s a worn out t-shirt, or old sheets, any fabric can become your new rug yarn! Cut up t-shirts and sheets to create long strips of fabric that you can either crochet, knit, or weave long-lasting durable rugs. This gives those old garments a second life, and gives you an excuse to use your Jumbo Birch needles and hooks!



Crochet Rug Tutorial from 1 Dog Woof


Upcycle your worn-out clothes
If you have a t-shirt that is a little worn out or just don't love it anymore, adorn it with yarn!



The Jelly Bean Tee Edging pattern teaches you how to add a knit yoke around a shirt, which can add new life to your favorite sweatshirt! Or, try adding some lace around the worn out cuff of your jeans.



Spruce up your boring outfits by adding appliques, as seen here in the Sweater Makeover pattern from Meredith Crawford.

Giveaway
What is your favorite upcycling tip? How do you celebrate Earth day? Let us know in the comments below for your chance to win 1 of two prizes: a set of our Naturalz DPNs or a pair of our Fixed Circular Needles

We'll announce our winners in our next blog post on Friday, April 28. Good luck!

If you liked this blog, please share it with your friends and knit group! If you try any of these projects, let us know over on Instagram and use the hashtag #knitterspride.

Winner + Designer Spotlight: Boo Knits

Our ongoing Designer Spotlight feature allows us to get a glimpse of what drives them to create.

Today, we interview Boo Knits. Bev is a knitter of shawls predominantly, and she has an avid obsession for beautiful yarns, beads and knitting needles. She lives in mildly moist but beautifully green England.

When did you learn to knit/crochet?
My aunt tried to teach me when I was a child but gave it up as a bad job when I just couldn’t hold my yarn properly. I still don’t! Many, many years later I taught myself with the aid of books, YouTube and a fair bit of trial and error to find the easiest way that worked for me.

What are your favorite projects to design?
I love to design shawls and have designed a couple of scarves/stoles but that doesn’t mean that that is all I will ever design. I have something different on the needles at the moment and we will have to wait and see whether it will become a pattern or not. I love the fun of designing and knitting lace – the playing with pattern and texture is mesmerizing.
Diamond Fizz by Boo Knits

A lot of knitters are intimidated by lace knitting. What are some of your fool proof tips for success with lace projects?

The most important thing is as simple as read the pattern. Read it again. Make a cup of coffee. Read the pattern. The answers to many of the questions I get asked are already in the pattern. Another useful tip - Stitch Markers! Stitch Markers are your friends, they are not a sign that you are new, less than able, cannot count, they are there to help keep track of your stitches and pattern and to help to make sure you don’t get to the end of the row only to have to tink back to put something right at the beginning. The finer your stitch markers the better, especially with lace knitting as some of the thicker markers can leave a mark in your knitting that looks like a ladder. These often disappear after blocking but not always and prevention is better than cure.

Many of your designs use beads; do you have any tips or tutorials to help knitters who are new to this technique?
Using beads is much easier than anyone would think. I would definitely recommend the better-quality beads on the market and particularly like Miyuki, Toho and Matubo – they have nice, smooth, large holes to get your yarn through. I almost always use their Size 6 Seed Beads and Size 5 Triangles on lace as the smaller beads simply get lost on anything heavier than cobweb. All of my patterns have the beads placed on the stitch individually. This ensures that the bead sits nice and straight on the stitch rather than sitting on a slant which happens when the beads are pre-strung.

There are many ways to apply a bead; with a tiny crochet hook, dental floss, a specially designed beader or, my favourite way, using a cro-tat hook. I load beads onto about six cro-tats at a time and stand them up in either a small vase or a jar of beads so that I don’t have to keep reloading. This means it is much quicker to finish a row with beads on and is less fiddly than only having one bead at a time.

Somehow it is smoother to apply beads when you have several on your hook. Just pop your stitch onto the loaded cro-tat, hold your hook at about 45 degrees with your stitch taut (at about 90 degrees from the hook) and push the bottom bead gently. The top bead should just pop onto your stitch and you are then ready to work the stitch as directed in the pattern.

What is your absolute favorite Knitter's Pride product, the one you would HAVE to have if you were stranded on a desert island?
As a lace knitter, it would have to be blocking wires and t-pins – an absolute must for anyone knitting shawls! I am sure, if stranded too long, they would become really good multi-purpose tools too.
Moonflower by Boo Knits

I have a MKAL starting 1st May called Just Be You. The shawl has been designed in conjunction with Lichtfaden for Sabine’s Meridian Pure Silk yarn. Just Be You is a crescent shaped, beaded and worked from the top down in a heavy lace weight yarn 660m/110g.
Sabine’s love for colour is evident to all and we talked at length about a style and influence for the design. Wave-Gotik-Treffen (WGT) is a gothic music and fashion festival held every year, for the past twenty-five years, in Leipzig, Germany.
With a Victorian picnic in the park, readings, theatre performances and medieval markets as well as the huge number of music events it is the biggest festival of its kind anywhere and is considered the ‘Mecca’ for cybergoths, metal heads, steampunks, neo-Victorians, dark romantics, dark electro, industrial and medieval fans.
Thousands of people descend on the city wearing the most amazing outfits – people attend alone, with friends or with their entire family and travel the world over to take part and experience this week-long event that is always a friendly, tolerant and trouble-free festival. So, whether your style is Victorian Lady, Gothic, Steampunk, or Jeans and T-shirt – Just Be You!
This shawl is a celebration of all of us, whoever we are, whatever we are and wherever we are – that we accept ourselves and others without judgement. Choose your colour and wear your shawl with pride and love and be true to yourself.
If you cannot wait until 1st May to cast on, then there are lots of other patterns available to try. Rum and Cola and Spritzer are brilliant for those new to lace, Voodoo and Spellbound would be great for anyone wanting something with more detail and Wintersweet, Danse Macabre and Temptress would be perfect for those with more experience. There really is something for everyone.

Winner
Congratulations to Connie K., this month's giveaway winner! We will contact you to arrange for the delivery of your prize. Thanks to everyone who entered this month's giveaway! 

2 Tips for Crocheting in the Round + Giveaway

Happy National Craft Month! Since March is also National Crochet Month, we're sharing two great crochet tips for jogless stripes and better joins for in-the-round crocheting. Stay tuned for a special giveaway, too!
in the round.JPG

Many beginning crocheters are disappointed when they see jogs in their striped projects (such as hats) or when they have a bumpy seam going up their in-the-round projects. 

The Problem: Color Jogs & Messy Joins
First, let's look at the traditional joining method to see why color jogs happen:


In color A, single crochet all the way around, slip stitch to join. Chain 2, insert your crochet hook into first stitch and join color B.
traditional joining.JPG


This technique creates a spike or a jog in the stripe. While it isn’t that apparent in large stripes, with 1-3 row stripes these jogs are unsightly.


The Solution:
In Color A, single crochet around until you get to the final stitch of the round. Insert your hook into the last stitch, yarn over with Color A and pull a loop through. With Color B, yarn over and pull the final loop through, and slip stitch to join. This gives you a jogless join!

jogless step 1.JPG
jogless step 2.JPG
jogless step 3.JPG


What about those funny bumps when joining in the round?
For solid color pieces in the round, your best option is to use the spiral method.


When you reach the end of your round, instead of slip-stitching to the beginning of the round, single crochet into the first stitch and continue. Use a removable stitch marker to keep track of the number of rows you’ve crocheted. Slip stitch on the final row to finish off the piece.
spiral step 1.JPG
spiral step 2.JPG

We hope these tips help you with your crocheting in the round!


Giveaway
One lucky blog reader will win a Waves Crochet Set! To enter, leave a comment on this post telling us what projects you're looking forward to making this spring. Be sure to also mention your Ravelry ID or email address so that we can contact you if you win.

We will pick our winner at random to announce on our next blog post on Friday, March 24. Good luck!

Winner
Congratulations to Margo B., our winner for the bonus giveaway we announced on our last blog post! We'll get in touch with your shortly to arrange the delivery of your prize. Thank you to everyone who entered our contest!