Monday, 23 March 2009

Ripple blanket: the beginning- tutorial

Wool arrived on Saturday and I made a sample piece on the Sunday: Mother's day during several lovely films which were being shown on ITV3 - such as Polyanna- ooooh I wept BUCKETS!
Having listed about 8 ripple designs from Jan Eaton's RIPPLE STITCH book - crochet and knitting- I set about trying them out on a sample piece.

I didn't like Regatta despite the lovely name as it was too fiddly and complicated.
Provence - conjures up such idyllic scenery and sunshine doesn't it? But the dc's everywhere made it too thick as a ripple....Warm waves: too complicated and crowded...5 trebles in one stitch? and then too many tr2togs... brrrrrr

And then I landed on #77: Fall Hedgerows; not too many holes like you get with trebles sometimes, not too dense as it's not dc either. It's in half trebles and a lovely rythmic repeat: 5 htr, 3 htr in one st, 5 htr, skip 1, 1htr,skip 1 and back to the beginning....LOVELY!

As above , I was still learning how to keep my edges straight and playing with the rythm of the stripes.

My sample was 2 repeats and the distance between points was 8cm. 14 sts to one pattern repeat. The sample had about 30 sts. 1 extra stitch at each edge.
It weighed about 14 grammes for the 13 rows shown. I used a 4mm hook. Wool used: the Merino Sport from Mondial : 100% washable wool available in the UK from Yeoman Yarns.
Initially I thought I'd have 12 pattern repeats but when the chain lay on the ground it looked wrong so I went for 15 groups of 14 sts. I always work my starting chains with a bigger size hook, in this case a 5.5mm. And as I'm quite hopeless at counting as I work a chain I crocheted to my hearts content and then stopped to count the stitches, putting a small end of contrast coloured yarn into each 14th stitch with a 4mm hook and tying an overhand knot.
VOILA above. A quick view of how I hold my hook and yarn as so many people have been asking- apparently I don't hold them in a conventional way? I was self taught in Holland many years ago but my English granny helped me along a bit while we listened to '' listen with mother'' on the radio.... I hold the hook in my right hand- yep sorry folks this is for right handed people I can't do it any other way?-thumb on the flat bit and holding the hook like a knife in an overhand hold...
My right index finger controls the yarn and sits on it, it goes up and down while I stitch.( the finger that is)
My left hand holds the work between left thumb and index finger and maintains tension on the yarn: it feeds from below, over my left index finger , under the next 2 fingers and back out over my smallest finger.uuhm I think....

The fabulous book and a bit of the first row after the starting chain.

For a half treble ( UK TERMS THROUGHOUT: USA peeps read sc for dc and dc for treble)
Start as for a treble with a yarn over.
Then put the hook into the stitch below and yarn over again as below. Pull yarn through one loop: leaving 3 loops on the hook as below. Yarn over and now you pull the yarn through all three loops in one go.
And this is how it looks after you do that.

If you start by working a htr into the 3rd chain from the hook and work the sequence as above then you get to the stitch marked with the coloured thread after working the second lot of 5 htr's

as below. This is a very handy way of checking you're on the right course. The first row is always the hardest and it's easy to lose track of where you are.

The next pictures work a half treble - htr- again ... Yarn over.

Pull through a stitch

Yarn over and

Through all 3 stitches.

This bigger picture below shows the group of 3 htr's into one stitch. This forms the ''peak''.

If you have just mastered this new stitch: have a break!!! AAAh puppy time......Or a cup of tea? Then after you have worked a few rows: it's now a lot easier to just see what to do next, the peaks and troughs are visible after the first few rows and you no longer need to count:
5-3 in1- 5-skip-1-skip-5-3in1-5-skip-1-skip-5 etc etc.
At the end I work 6 htr's and turn by working a 2 chain and the next htr in the stitch away from the base of those chains. Effectively you should work 6 htr's after the 2 chain of a turn to get to the middle stitch of the 3 in 1 below, that's where you work the 3 htr.
Then you can count freely again, after the last peak you should have 7 sts: I work 5 htr and then 2 htr together over the last 2 sts before working the 2 chain for the next row....
This gives me a straighter edge somehow....
2 htr tog: yarn over put hook in stitch, yarn over again and put hook into next stitch- at the end this should be the top of a chain stitch- then pull yarn through all loops at once. then the 2 chain of the next row.
Now when you change colour I work the 2 chain in the NEW colour.
In pictures below I show how you can lay the strands of old colour and new colour across the top of the stitches of the row below and CROCHET the ends in as you work so there'll be no sewing in ends at the end!!!! HIP HIP HOORAY!!!!

I usually work about 5 or 6 htr's over the yarn ends before clipping them neatly so they do not show at all. I have also now varied how I work the ''dips'' : by not skipping any stitches but by working 3 htr's together and will show this on a next post.
Bye for now, it's very late: happy hooking!!!

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At 24 March 2010 at 08:00 , Blogger diane said...

Hello MerrySusan

I would love to e-mail you for some advice

At 24 March 2010 at 08:03 , Blogger diane said...

Hello MerrySusan

Sorry about the unfinished previous comment....I would love to e-mail or otherwise contact you for some advice about crocheting, if you could possibly spare me the time. I have joined your followers on your stitchingandhooking blog, and also I think the google friends thingy. Can you spare a few minutes, please?

At 24 March 2010 at 08:12 , Blogger diane said...

I meant to say that your other blog site does not allow anyone to leave comments, and I really hope that you are still looking at this one.

At 9 October 2013 at 10:15 , Blogger MerrySusan said...

Dear Diane

I feel absolutely GHASTLY that I have only read these posts TODAY 9th October 2013? I only read my other blog now and I did not know that no comments can be left there?

If you still need help please contact
me on Ravelry? Contact Merrystitcher on

I am sorry I cannot give out in public my personal e-mail addresses.


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