Tidbits Linen Stitch

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I hate throwing craft supplies away. Take, for example, the two dollar bag of scratchy vintage tapestry wool in the absolute nastiest colors in the universe that I purchased from a garage sale three years ago. Oh, and tapestry wool apparently means “chopped into little pieces for you already.”  Useless. Still, have I yet unburdened myself of this fibrous disaster? Of course not. I have an illness.

Ew.

Ew.

And eventually every crocheter or knitter ends up with a basket or bag or drawer or whatever filled with little yarny leftovers – and there are multitudes of patterns online for 100 yards or less. Honestly, though, most of them aren’t to my taste. That, and most of my scraps are MUCH less than 100 yards, further limiting my options for them.

ENTER THE RUSSIAN JOIN! (Tutorial here)

As soon as I learned about the Russian join the gears started turning with plans for my little leftover yarn-ball buddies. Scary plans involving Human Centipede style freak surgery, ending in this Frankenball.

Frankenball

Technically speaking, Russian join isn’t really any more time-saving than weaving in the ends on a finished piece, and it certainly isn’t prettier – you end up with small tufts and lumps during the color changes, but I had a specific plan for this Frankenball where that wouldn’t matter much. I needed a stitch that would create a soft transition from color to color, a gentle gradation that would camouflage the disparity in weight between the different yarns. I needed the Linen Stitch.

Linen stitch is a knit stitch with a right side and wrong side (it can be done in the round as well) that alternates between working a new stitch and slipping a stitch purlwise while simultaneously weaving your yarn from back to front. Slipping every other stitch carries color UP from your previous row, “mixing” it in with the current color and creating color blends as well as a firm woven-looking texture (without all that pain-in-the-ass loom warping).

It’s a lot easier than I just made it sound. Click here for a great tutorial on this stitch!

For those of you who just need a quick reminder, the linen stitch goes like this:

(Over an even number of stitches)

Row 1: Knit 1, yarn forward, slip one, yarn back. Repeat.

Row 2: Purl 1, yarn back, slip one, yarn forward. Repeat.

The slip ones in linen stitch are all done purlwise. And so you just repeat that, ad nauseam.

Color strategy is fairly important if you want the palette to come out looking streamlined. I recommend lining up your variegated yarn bits first, and then finding solids that match those tones to fit in between, using the variegated yarns as sort of a bridge between colors. Once you’ve got your tidbits lined up, start splicing! Lightning storm not required.

Linen Stitch

-MF

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Lotus Throw Pattern

An unusually warm spell in the past week has nudged my thoughts toward all things lacy and airy in anticipation of sunnier skies – although my native Midwest instincts recognize this mild front for the cruel annual joke that it is. Still, the promise of thaw is hovering nearer and I am hurrying my bulky winter projects to completion so I can start working on pieces that remind me of long days and strolls in nature. You know, instead of things you’d wear while, say, being eaten by a yeti.

Like this free vintage pattern by Australian Women's Weekly on Ravelry. Watch out for sharknados.

Like this free vintage pattern by Australian Women’s Weekly on Ravelry. Watch out for sharknados.

AND SO more to the point, enjoy this free crochet pattern that I designed in Spring/Summer 2014. The specs for this piece are very loose – it’s intermediate level, designed as an elegant way to use up lonely skeins in your stash. Color changes are variable and there’s tons of room for adaptation: As a worsted weight piece it makes a pretty throw, add arm holes and work in sport weight to make a circular vest, or use heavier cordage to create a doily rug.

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Click here to get the FREE PDF download from my Ravelry store!

Lotus Circular Throw

5.5 mm hook

Worsted weight yarns of various colors

Skill Level: Intermediate

Gauge is not critical

Make ‘Magic Ring’

  1. 8 sc into the ring, tighten. Join with a slip stitch in first sc of the round.
  1. Ch 2 (counts as first dc), ch 1. (Dc, ch 1) in each of the next 7 sc. Join with a slip stitch.
  1. Slip stitch into first ch 1 space. Ch 2 (counts as first dc). Dc into ch-1 space 3 more times, keeping last loops on the hook. YO, draw through all four loops on the hook (first cluster made). Ch 3. (4 dc cluster, ch 3) in each of next 7 ch-1 spaces. Join with a sl st in top of first cluster.

4.Sl st in first ch-3 space. Ch 2 (counts as first dc), dc into ch-3 space 3 more times keeping last loops on the hook. YO, draw through all four loops on the hook (first cluster made),. Ch 2, 4 dc cluster in same ch-3 space, ch 2. (4 dc cluster, ch 2, 4 dc cluster, ch 2) in each of the ch-3 spaces around. Join with a sl st in top of first cluster.

  1. Sl st in first ch-2 space. Ch 2 (counts as first dc), dc into ch-2 space 3 more times keeping last lps on hk. YO, draw through all four lps on hk (first cluster made), Ch 3. (4 dc cluster into ch-2 space, ch 3) 15 more times. Join with a slip stitch in top of the first cluster.
  1. Sl st in first ch-3 space. Ch 3 (counts as first dc), 2 more dc in same space, Ch 3. (Dc, ch 3) in each ch-3 space around. Join with a sl st in first dc.
  1. Sl st in the top of the next dc. (Hdc into the next Ch-3 space, 1 dc, 1 tr, 1 dc, 1 hdc. Sk next dc, sl st in the next dc) shell made. Repeat 15 times around.Join with a sl st in first sl st.
  1. Ch 3, dc in same st, ch 3, sc in the top of next triple (top of fan), ch 3. (dc in last hdc of fan, ch 3, sc in next treble, ch 3) rpt 15 times around. Join with a sl st in first dc (not beg ch)
  1. Ch 3. Treble in next sc, leaving last lp on the hk, treble in next dc, leaving last lp on the hk (3 lps on hk) YO, draw through all three lps. Ch 7. (In same dc as previous treble, treble crochet leaving last lp on hk, treble in next sc leaving last lp on hk, treble in next dc leaving last lp on hk. YO, draw through all four lps on hk, ch 7) 15 more times. Join with a sl st in top of first treble.
  1. Ch 3 (counts as first dc), ch 1. ([Work 4 dcs in a cluster in ch 7 space, ch 2] twice. 4 dc cluster, ch 1*, dc in top of joined trebles, ch 1) rpt 15 times around, ending last repeat at *. Sl st into beg chain.
  1. (Ch 3. 4-dc cluster in next ch-2 space, ch 2, 4-dc cluster*, ch 3, sl st in next dc) 15 times. On 15th rpt, end at *, tr in 1st st of beg ch-3.
  1. Ch 3, tr in top of next cluster, ch 4, 4 dc in next ch-2 space, leaving last lps on the hk. YO, pull through all 5 lps on the hook. Ch 4. ([Tr in top of next cluster leaving last lp on the hk] twice, YO and pull through all 3 lps. Ch4, cluster in next ch-2 space, ch 4) rpt 14 times. Join with a sl st in top of beg chain.
  1. Sl st in next ch-4 space. Ch3 (counts as first dc), 4 dc in same space. (1 dc in top of cluster, 5 dc in next ch-4 space, dc in top of joined trebles, 5 dc in next ch-4 space) 14 times. 5 dc in next ch-5 space, join with a slip stitch to top of first dc.
  1. Ch 3, dc in same stitch, ch 1, sk 1 dc (dc in next dc, ch 1, sk next dc) around. Join with a sl stitch in top of first dc.
  1. (Sk next ch-1 space, [1 hdc, 1 dc, 1 edc, 1 dc, 1 hdc] in next dc, skip next ch-1 space, sl stitch in next dc) 45 times.

16.Join new color. Ch 3, dc in same stitch. Sk next st, 1 hd in next st, 1 sc in next st. (1 hdc, sk next st, 1 dc, sk next st, 1 hdc, 1 sc) rpt around. On last rpt, hdc in next stitch before joining with a sl st to first st in round.

  1. Ch 2, dc in same stitch, ch 2. (Sk next st, dc in next stitch, ch 2) rpt around. Join with a sl stitch to first dc in the round.
  1. Sl st into the first ch-2 space. (Sc in ch-2 space, ch 2) rpt around. Join with a sl st in first sc of the round.
  1. Rpt rnd 18.
  1. Rpt rnd 18.
  1. Sl st into the first chain space. Ch 3 (counts as first dc in V-stitch pattern). *(1 dc, ch1, 1 dc) in the next chain space. Rpt from * until last ch space is worked. In first chain space of round, 1 dc, ch 1, join with a sl stitch to first dc of rnd.
  1. Rpt rnd 21.
  1. Rpt rnd 21.
  1. Sc in first space. Ch 5, (sc in next ch-1 space, Ch 5) rpt around until last ch-1 space. Ch 2, dc into the first sc of round.

25-31. rpt rnd 24.

  1. Sc in first ch-5 sp, 5 dc in next sc (sc in next ch-5 sp, 5 dc in next sc) around, join with a sl st in first sc.
  1. Ch 3 (counts as first dc), ch 2, sc in top of fan, ch 2 (dc in next sc, ch 2, sc in top of next fan, ch 2) around. Join with a sl st to top of first dc.
  1. Ch 3 (counts as first dc), *(ch 1, dc in the next ch-2 sp) rpt from * around. Join with a sl st in top of first dc.
  1. Sl st into the next ch space, ch 3 (counts as first dc) *(ch 1, dc in the next ch-1 sp) rpt from * around. Joint with a sl st in top of first dc.
  1. Sl st into the next ch 1 space, ch 3 (counts as first dc), *(dc, ch 1, dc) in the next ch-1 sp, rpt from * around. in first ch 1 sp of round, dc, ch 1, join with a sl st to first dc of the rnd.
  1. Sl st to the next ch sp, ch 2 (counts as first dc in cluster), work 2 more dc in same space, leaving last lps on the hk. YO, pull through all lps on hk (3 dc cluster made), ch 1. *(3 dc cluster, ch1) in next ch-1 sp, rpt from * around. Join with a sl st in first dc of the round.
  1. Sc in same space, Ch 3 *(Sc in next ch-1 space, ch 3) rpt around from *. Join with a sl stitch in first sc of rnd.
  1. Sl st into the next ch-3 sp, sc in same space, ch 4, (Sc in next ch-3 space, ch 4, sc in next ch-3 space) repeat around. Join with a sl st into the first sc of round.
  1. *(4 dc, ch 2, 4 dc) into the next ch-4 space, sl st in between next pair of sc stitches, repeat from * around. Cut yarn and tie off.

Weave in ends with a tapestry needle.

If you liked my pattern you should check me out on Ravelry or on Pinterest!

-MF