To celebrate #grannysquareday2019 AND support my #sashikohappycoat pattern, I designed a little granny square with textured edging rounds framing a central square of fabric that is embellished with slip stitch embroidery. The fabric square in the middle is crocheted with the same technique as my Sashiko Happy Coat to form a square grid, and I have included stitch charts and a video demonstration of how to work the surface crochet technique.
My Granny Square pattern gives a bite-sized taste of the slip stitch technique, and by the time you have made a blanket, you would have practiced the technique enough to be ready for attempting the coat (or you decide you hate slip stitch embroidery, but hey - you'll have a snuggly blanket/scarf/cushion)...
I chose to split it into 2 blogs as there is a fair bit of content to cover. Thank you to Scheepjes for yarn support!
For this week's blog: Granny Square Part 1, I will show making the fabric square and Edging Round 1, then work the slip stitch embroidery using light plain colours for ease of demonstration (as seen in the photo immediately below).
Next week, in Part 2, I will show Edging Rounds 2-4 and discuss variations and colours used in my multicoloured squares.
Materials & Yardage per Square
Scheepjes Our Tribe 70% Merino Superwash, 30% Polyamide (100g/420m)
Yarn A: 983 Motivate
approx 12g per square for Main Fabric and Edging Round 1
Yarn B: 878 Pistachio Branch
approx 2g per square for Embroidery
approx 2g per square for Edging Round 2
approx 6g per square for Edging Round 3
approx 3g per square for Edging Round 4
each seam joining 2 squares uses approx 2g
At least 8 stitch markers
Completed square with Edging Round 1 measures 13cm x 13cm, after blocking.
Completed square with all 4 Edging Rounds measures 18cm x 18cm, before seamed together.
Abbreviations (UK crochet terms)
blo back loop only: insert hook under back lp only
dc double crochet
dtr double treble crochet
htr half treble crochet
PM(s) place markers
RS right side
ss slip stitch(es)
standing with the starting loop on the hook, work the designated stitch normally as a means of joining new yarn to the piece of crochet where indicated
tr treble crochet
yoh yarn over hook
puff 3htr cluster with dc finish: (yoh, insert hook into designated st, yoh, pull up lp) 3 times (7 lps on hook), yoh, draw through first 6 lps, yoh, draw through 2 rem lps on hook.
(Note: this is not a regular puff – I do this variation as I like how the dc finish makes the stitch taller.)
With 2 strands of Yarn A and 6mm hook,
Foundation chain Ch19 turn.
Change to 5mm hook,
Row 1 (WS) Ch1 (counts as dc), dc in third ch from hook and each ch across to end, turn. [19 dc]
Row 2 (RS) Ch1 (counts as dc flo), dc flo in third st from hook and in each st across, turn [19 dc flo]
Rep prev row 16 more times, do NOT fasten off.
STITCH CHART: MAIN FABRIC
You now have a “square” of 19 stitches wide, and (18 rows plus foundation chain row) tall.
Ch 1 to change direction (does not count as st),
Edging Round 1 2Dc in side of dc just made, 1dc/row across to last foundation ch (Insert hook under 2 loops when edging across rows of the Main Fabric), 3dc in unworked loop of this cnr st, dc across to beginning foundation ch, 3dc in unworked loop of this cnr st, 1dc/row across to beginning dc of final Main Fabric row, 3dc in unworked loop of this cnr st, dc across remaining 18 dc of final Main Fabric row,
“Secret Sew Finish” to mimic a third dc in the beg corner stitch: cut 15 cm tail, gently pull thread up through top of last stitch made, thread onto tapestry needle, sew front to back under top 2 loops of beg dc of Edging Round 1, then sew back down through top of last dc made, sew tail back and forth through WS of edging round to secure tail.
STITCH CHART: EDGING ROUND 1
PMs in each corner stitch. Counting corner to corner, you should have 21 sts on each side of the square. Wet block and lay flat to dry. Each square should measure approx 13 x 13 cm at this stage. The fabric is now soft and flatter, with bigger holes to see where to work the embroidery more clearly.
Once squares are dry, proceed: PMs in central (11th) dc on each side as guidelines for the slip stitch embroidery (see photo below).
SLIP STITCH EMBROIDERY
The Main Fabric square is essentially a square grid. By working the dc into the flo, the stitch becomes taller, and a hole is created at the TOP of each stretched stitch that can be exploited with slip stitch embroidery (also known as “surface crochet”). The stitches shown bold in the graphic below indicate which stitches will be used to form the embroidery pattern. The row and stitch counts must be correct for the embroidery motif to work.
With 2 strands of Yarn B and 5mm hook, complete slip stitch embroidery as per charts and video instructions seen below:
Okay - this is my first ever instructional video and I can see it could do with some improving with regards to formatting and a few other things, though I am still thrilled I figured out how to edit it a bit and actually insert it into my blog post (happy days...)!! With all its amateur faults, I think it shows you what you need to know - so bust out the popcorn and err.... enjoy :)
Tips that worked for me (particularly in regards to embroidering the coat):
1. Always stitch away from you – you see me rotate the square whenever I change direction, so the action for my hooking wrist and hand is consistent. This really helped a lot and made consistent tension MUCH easier.
2. Hold the tensioning hand with the working yarn close to the back. Sometimes it was necessary to see doing that first, then flip the work to cover your tensioning hand and start from there.
3. It’s one thing to pull the loop up through the work, but often you then see me pull it a tiny bit to adjust tension before moving on to the next stitch. The slip stitch size will determine the ability of the fabric to drape and move. When the fabric is hanging as a coat, the distance between the stitches is hanging vertically with gravity so will be slightly bigger than when lying flat - its important to not make it too tight.
4. The yarn needs to feed up easily to the tensioning hand which is behind the work, so make sure there is a good length of loose yarn underneath your tensioning hand.
5. Having space underneath your tensioning hand is useful. Particularly with the larger sections of slip stitch worked on my coat bodice, I sat on a firm couch with a deep bucket holding the yarn between my feet, so the yarn fed up straight to the back of my tensioning hand and didn’t get caught on the fabric or my jeans/couch or whatever.
6. If the beginning tail is getting in your way and accidentally getting trapped when you yarn over behind the work, loosely sew the tail (temporarily) though the baseline stitches using an in-out running stitch just to keep it out the way until you want to fasten off, then pull it back out and sew it in neatly.
7. This is an intermediate to advanced crochet skill, and like anything new, it does take a little practice to settle into it. Starting with this granny square is a small taste, and making a blanket will be more practice while keeping it bite size. My Sashiko Happy Coat pattern includes instructions for a bigger swatch to practice the technique before moving on to embroidering the coat. I expect most people will need to work through 1-2 swatches as included in the pattern instructions before successfully being able to complete the entire coat. Then eventually, it’s you know, ...fabulous!!
Next blog (Part 2), I will cover up the tails with Edging Rounds 2-4, and I will have another video showing how to join squares together.
Where can you find this gorgeous squishy yarn I hear you ask?
Our Tribe is available from Scheepjes retailers worldwide, including:
Jimmy Beans Wool (US)
Wool Warehouse (UK)
Caros Atelier (Netherlands)
KnitPurl Boutique and Yarns for All if you are in my home town of Perth, Western Australia.
Happy stitching!! And if you make some granny squares from my pattern, please tag them #peppergoosegranny2019 so I can see them!
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