It’s been a mostly crochet month for me, with two large projects on the go that have taken up the majority of my crafting time. I had hoped to also do some sketching and begin creating a celtic knot bookmark design but my brain weasels are not interested in anything that does not involve yarn at the moment and I do not have the energy to argue with them.
The first project, which some of you may have seen a few pictures of on twitter or instagram, is my attempt to make a Ruana style poncho. This is basically a large blanket-like square that you wear but instead of just having a hole in the middle for your head it is split from one hem to the centre. This allows more freedom to wear it in different ways and to be put on without ruining your hair style.
I have, so far, worked up one Scheepjes whirl (in Petrol Please Me) and am about to join the second, so the ruana will contain 2000m of yarn in total by the time it’s finished.
This is a pattern of my own creation, albeit an extremely simple one. It only requires the knowledge of the three most basic crochet stitches; chain, single crochet and double crochet*.
It is worked from the centre outwards, using a variant of the granny square, and turning at the “split” each time. After the starting row it is made with a two row repeat that is exceedingly easy to remember. This was entirely deliberate as I wanted to a) know if the basic shape and creation of the split was going to work, b) create a garment that looked blanket-like, and c) focus the attention on the glorious colour change of the yarn rather than create a more complicated pattern that may have detracted from it. I also wanted something simple so that working on it would be relaxing and meditative.
As you can see from these two photos, the centre is a magic circle that is immediately turned into a square. The four sides are formed by four double crochet and the corners by two chains. The split is created by starting and ending in the middle of the first four double crochets (two to each side), the work being turned at that point and then worked backwards and forwards.
The third photo shows how the body of the ruana is made from the two row repeat. The chain row is built from chains of three anchored by a single crochet to the gap between the double crochet blocks in the row below. The double crochet row is built of blocks containing three double crochet, each block worked into a chain three space.
The final photo shows one of the corners. The chain rows have corners made up of a single crochet, two chains and another single crochet, all worked into the corner space of the double crochet row below. For the double crochet row the corner is made by working three double crochets, one chain, then three more double crochets into the chain row corner space below.
I’ve already had thoughts about how I might adjust the pattern, especially around the neck area, in future projects but I want to complete this one as it is to see the size of the finished product using this type of yarn.
The second project is going to be a present for a friend, so I’m only sharing this small black and white photo. So you can see that they’ll be getting … some crochet that has at least one corner, which doesn’t narrow it down much! This is my more challenging project, working from a pattern I’ve not attempted before which builds from five different sections.
Despite the fact that I cannot watch television whilst working on this one and can only just manage my usual listening to audio books as I work I am really enjoying it. This is the first time I’ve worked more from a chart than the written pattern and it’s shown me just how far I’ve come in the three years (almost to the day) since I decided to pick up a hook and fell in love with this craft. I promise to share many colour photos and which pattern I’m using once I’ve finished it and it has reached its new home.
*I learnt to crochet using US terminology (because it makes more sense to my brain than UK terminology**) and thus I will alway use US terminology in my blog posts.
**UK terminology names stitches for how many loops are on your hook, US terminology on how many times you yarnover and pull up through those loops (so a UK double is a US single, a UK treble is a US double etc). US terminology, to me, tallies more correctly with the size of the stitches (a double is twice the height of a single) and therefore I can think about them in terms of building blocks and that helps me picture things when reading a written pattern.