October 29, 2015: Hello dear readers and new visitors just a little update to this post.
My Whirlwind Afghan Square is block #22 in the 2015 Moogly Afghan CAL.
If you hadn’t heard about the Moogly Afghan CAL it’s not too late to join the fun. You can hop on over to Mooglyblog.com to get all the details and see Tamara’s interpretation of my Whirlwind.
Thank you so much to Elke Wellens for providing a Dutch Translation of this pattern on her blog you can find her blog here.
Het Nederlandse patroon, vertaald door HET HAAKBEEST, kun je hier vinden.
Check back on the blog next Tuesday, November 3, 2015. I’ll have the link to my YouTube video that will demonstrate how to crochet the first 12 rounds of this square.
Yesterday was my 52nd birthday and I celebrated by spending most of my day goofing off, especially in the evening with my boys. We built a fire in our outdoor fire pit and roasted hotdogs and marshmallows like we were camping out. Then I opened my cards and presents by firelight.
Today I’m continuing the celebration by sharing a new design here on the blog for all my lovely readers. This one is a little more complex than I usually share. In fact, one might call it a skill building pattern.
After all, we are celebrating my birthday so this pattern is going to be about many of the things I love in crochet. It uses a center-out construction, one of my favorite styles of design as the outside edges are all the tops of your stitches. It is also constructed round-to-square, which I find visually interesting. And of course, Spirals.
I love Spirals. You might be able to tell that just looking at my logo. I find them fun and intriguing. When I was in massage school I was very happy when I learnt that spirals are an common symbol for healing. Which is why I choose to use them in my logo.
Back in 2008, when I first became interested in free form crochet, I started exploring creating spirals in my crochet. Suddenly I was seeing spirals in so many of the crochet designs being published at that time.
Some of the instructions I found for working spirals were a bit wishy washy, which is more than fine for freeform work, but not so great for writing a pattern that others would want to replicate and get the same result. Thus my mathematical brain decided to enter the party.
Spirals are related to circles and circular geometries are always fun for me. Fortunately for those of you that might be a little math-adverse, you don’t have to understand all the numbers behind this design in order to crochet it.
One of the things I wanted to do was come up with a way to make working spirals easy for anyone to do. Especially when you are working with multi-arm spirals. For this pattern I started with a 4 armed spiral in the center this creates that round-to-square progression that I also like. I used the half-double crochet (hdc) stitch for my spirals because it takes 8 hdc to create a flat full circle which helps me take the circular spiral to a 4 cornered square.
When working spirals you need to work in continuous rounds. This is generally the method of construction used for amigurumi and hats because it allows for a seamless appearance. That does mean that it can be easy to lose track of which round you are working on and if you have reached the end of your round. The solution for this is to use stitch markers.
For the construction of the first 8 rounds of this design I used 8 stitch markers. Having the 3 colors is really helpful. I love my Clover Locking Stitch Markers, but if you don’t happen to have any like that on hand you can use paper clips or coil less safety pins. Some folks like to use a spare bit of yarn for a stitch marker, but I find those tend to get pulled out of my work too easily.
This photo shows the first 5 rounds of my square completed and the placement of the stitch markers. The large yellow marker is marking the last stitch of the full round, as well as the last stitch of that section of color and the increase point. The other orange markers are marking the last stitch of that section of color and the increase point. The green markers are marking the first increase point in the various color sections. Whatever type of stitch markers you use you need ones that allow you to distinguish between the end of round/increase (1), end of color section/increase (3) and the first increase in each color section(4).
Whirlwind Afghan Square
Designed by Andee Graves
Skill level: Intermediate
Worsted wt (Sample uses Lion Brand Yarns “Heartland” 100% Acrylic (5 oz/142g, 251 yd/230 m)
I picked the colors of October up here on my mountain, but you can choose any 5 colors that you like together. Alternating light and dark will make the spiral in the center stand out more.
Color A: #169 Shenandoah (sample used approximately 8 yards)
Color B: #180 Kings Canyon (sample used approximately 12 yards)
Color C: #158 Yellowstone (sample used approximately 10 yards)
Color D: #173 Everglades (sample used approximately 10 yards)
Color E: #124 Big Bend (sample used approximately 9 yards)
I / 5.5mm
8 Stitch markers in 3 colors (1 in first color, 3 in next color, 4 in last color)
First 5 rounds of pattern = 4” in diameter
PM – Place stitch marker
Standing Single Crochet – make slip knot in yarn and place loop snugly on shaft of hook, insert hook into indicated st, yo, pull up a loop, yo, pull thru both loops on hook.
Standing Double Crochet – make slip knot in yarn and place loop snugly on shaft of hook, yo and insert hook into indicated st, yo, pull up a loop, (yo, pull thru 2 loops on hook) twice.
Start square with an adjustable slip knot. Beginning tail tightens the loop on the hook. If you don’t know how to do an adjustable slip knot you can see a tutorial on my blog here, or watch this video on my YouTube channel.
First 9 rounds use 4 colors. Each color is 1/4 of the total stitches in the round, you will need to insert your hook back into the dropped loop as you come to the new color, snug that loop up to the shaft of your hook and begin working the stitches as instructed in the new color. Follow instructions for using stitch markers so you don’t lose your place.
Color 1 of stitch markers is used to mark last stitch of entire round as well as last stitch/increase point of that color section.
Color 2 of stitch markers is used to mark the other 3 last stitch/increase point of color sections.
Color 3 of stitch markers is used to mark the first increase point in each color section.
When working the first 9 rounds move stitch markers up to 2nd stitch worked in each increase point.
When ending Round 9, the 2nd sl st is a tight one for final “step-down” of spirals, you will not be working into this stitch in Round 10.
For concentric rounds where changing colors attach yarn with a standing stitch.
If you have an easier time understanding a video then reading a pattern, visit my YouTube Channel to watch:
Whirlwind How-to Part 1 and Whirlwind How-to Part 2
Rnd 1: Starting with color A make an adjustable slip knot, ch 2, (sc, hdc) in 2nd ch from hook, pull up a long loop and remove hook, with color B *insert hook in center/first ch of round, pull up a loop on hook, ch 1, (sc, hdc) in same center/ch, pull up a long loop and remove hook,* ; Repeat from * to * with Color C and D. PM in each hdc w/end of color/round markers (placing single color marker in hdc of Color D), PM in each sc with first increase markers. [4 sc, 4 hdc]
Rnd 2: *2 hdc in next 2 sts, move st marker to 2nd st worked in each st, pull up long loop and remove hook**, insert hook in next color*; Repeat from * to * 2 times; Repeat from * to ** once. [16 hdc]
Rnd 3: *(Hdc in next st, 2 hdc in marked st, move st marker to 2nd st worked) 2 times, pull up long loop and remove hook, insert hook in next color*; Repeat from * to * 2 times; Repeat from * to ** once. [24 hdc]
Rnds 4 – 8: *(1 hdc in each unmarked st, 2 hdc in marked st, move st marker to 2nd st worked in marked st) 2 times, pull up long loop and remove hook,** insert hook in next color*; Repeat from * to * 2 times; Repeat from * to ** once. Stitch count for end of Rnd 8 [64 hdc]
Rnd 9: *hdc in next 7 sts, 2 hdc in next marked st, move st marker to 2nd st worked in marked st, hdc next 6 sts, sc next st, sl st next st, ** insert hook in next color*; Repeat from * to * 2 times; Repeat from * to ** once. Make 1 additional sl st in next st for each color, fasten off yarn, remove end of round markers. [8 sl st, 4 sc, 60 hdc]
Rnd 10: Attach color E with a standing sc along any side in same st as the second slip st of any color section from Rnd 9, sc next st, *Hdc next 3 sts, dc next 2 sts, 2 dc next st, (Tr, ch 1, Tr) in marked st, 2 dc next st, dc next 2 sts, hdc next 3 sts**, sc next 4 sts*; Repeat from * to * 2 times; Repeat from * to ** once, sc next 2 sts, sl st to first sc of round. Fasten off current color. Move increase st markers to ch-1 sp. [16 sc, 24 hdc, 32 dc, 8 tr, 4 ch-1 sps]
Rnd 11: Attach new color along any side in 11th st from marked ch-1 sp in direction of work, with a standing sc, sc next 2 sts,*hdc next 3 sts, dc next 3 sts, 2 dc next st, (Tr, ch 2, Tr) in marked ch-1 sp, 2 dc next st, dc next 3 sts, hdc next 3 sts**, sc next 6 sts*; Repeat from * to * 2 times; Repeat from * to ** once, sc next 3 sts, sl st to first sc of round. Fasten off current color. Move up increase st markers to ch-2 sps at corners. [24 sc, 24 hdc, 40 dc, 8 tr, 4 ch-2 sps]
Rnd 12: Attach new color along any side in 11th st from marked ch-2 sp in direction of work, with a standing dc, *dc in each st until reach next marked ch-2 sp, (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in marked ch-2 sp*; Repeat from * to * 3 times, dc in each st until reach beginning of Round, sl st to first dc. Fasten off current color. Move increase st markers to ch-2 sps at corners. [112 dc, 4 ch-2 sps]
Rnds 13 – 16: Repeat instructions from Rnd 12. Fasten off. Stitch count at end of Rnd 16 [176 dc, 4 ch-2 sps]
Weave in tails and block.
A big Thank You to the folks at Lion Brand Yarn for supplying the yarn for this design. I really love the colors that their Heartland yarn comes in. Hop on over to their website to check it our for yourself.