Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Wednesday's Workbox - Cluster Stitch Crochet Blanket

We're staying with crochet again for this week's Wednesday's Workbox. I've really taken a break from knitting just recently - I finished the wee cardigan I shared about a few weeks back, but I didn't photograph it before I took it to Church to give it to the family whose new baby I'd knitted it for. It came out fine, but I think I need some new knitting patterns as sinse I finished that small project, none of my usual well-loved patterns really seem to be begging me to be knitted - I've used them all so many times! So instead I'm concentrating on using up all those spare bits of wool that accumulate (particularly when knitting baby items) and creating a new crocheted blanket.

The new piece of crochet I started just a couple of days ago is pictured above. It uses a cluster stitch which creates a thick but soft fabric that is ideal for blankets and shawls. This one I think will go to Little Bear when it is done. She's not so keen on crochet as her mama, but she enjoys knitting and has created some very colourful scarves and shawls for herself and her friends. I was so glad to have this new piece of crochet to work on when we all attended a dental appointment on Monday! It kept me busy whilse I was waiting my turn! I appreciate how portable crochet (and knitting) is when I have anything like an appointment to attend. It is easier to keep occupied with this, than it is to read a book in a busy waiting area, or where you need to keep an eye on small children - and it packs up nice and small (well, at the moment it does! I wouldn't want to haul it to the dentist's when it's nearly finished and big enough to cover a bed!) which makes it great to carry with me when we need to go out. I can't reccommnend it highly enough!

Here is the pattern for this cluster stitch motif. It assumes a basic level of prior knowledge of crochet and the ability to read crochet pattern instructions - but if you are a total beginner, don't be put off. Just keep working at it and you will soon be able to enjoy making your own shawls and blankets too! You can either work this as one big square as I am, or you can create many smaller squares and graft these together, which makes a beautiful design. I tend not to attempt this because as I am using up scraps of wool I am never absolutely sure how large my finished item will be! I just keep adding to it until all the wool is used up! Anyway, here is the pattern ...

8 chains and join in a ring with a slipstitch

Round one - 1 large cluster in ring (yarn round hook, insert hook, draw up a loop) 4 times, yarn round hook, draw through all 9 loops. (2 chains, 2 large cluster 7 times), 2 chains, slipstitch in first stitch.

Round two - slipstitch into next two chain space, 1 large cluster in this space, *2 chains, 1 large cluster in next space, 2 chains, (1 treble, 2 chains, 1 treble) in next large cluster to form corner, 2 chains, 1 large cluster in next space*, after treble group at end of round, 2 chains, slipstitch into first large cluster.

Round three - slipstitch into next 2 chain space, 1 large cluster in this space, *2 chains, 1 large cluster) in each space up to the corner, (1 treble, 2 chains, 1 treble) between treble groups at corner*, 2 chains, slipstitch into first stitch.

Repeat from Round 3, working 1 more large cluster on each side for each round until there are 6 large clusters on each side, or the motif is the desired size, fasten off.