Changing Color, Changing the Look

We are going to have some more fun with my “Fans & Lace Afghan Square” today.


When I first designed this square I picked out 3 colors that I thought looked nice together and began to crochet. But you don’t have to stick to just 3 colors. I thought I would show you some other fun things you can do with this square by using more colors or even changing when you change colors.


For this version of my square I used only 2 colors changing color where indicated in the pattern.


In this square I used the same 2 colors, but started with the silver instead of the blue. I also changed colors every round after working the first 2 rounds. Notice the fun zig-zag effect created with the V-stitch rounds.


I was inspired by Tamara’s square ( she worked from my pattern. She used 6 colors working with the changes where I wrote them except in Round 12. I loved the orange zig-zag around her square and decided to play with that in some of my squares.


I also played with using 4 colors. Not sure how happy I am with how this square came out, but I do like the autumn colors in it.


In the pattern I have you fasten off your yarn and join with a new yarn color 7 times. If you wanted, you could use 8 different colors, like I did in the square shown above. This is a great way to use up scraps of leftover yarn in your work-basket.

To help you decide if you have enough yarn I have listed the 8 sections and the yardage each needs. I broke out the yardage for the individual rounds in the last 3 sections, in case you want to use a different color in each round. These were the yardages I used with Lion Brand Yarns “Vanna’s Choice” and a size I (5.5mm) hook. I’ve rounded the yardage up from the fractions so that you should have a little wiggle room.

If your gauge is very different from mine listed in the pattern you may have to adjust accordingly.

Rounds 1 & 2:  4 yards

Round 3:  2 yards

Round 4:  12 yards

Round 5:  4 yards

Round 6:  14 yards

Rounds 7 & 8: 26 yards  (Round 7: 10 yards, Round 8: 16 yards)

Rounds 9 & 10: 34 yards   (Round 9: 14 yards, Round 10: 20 yards)

Rounds 11 & 12: 42 yards   (Round 11: 18 yards, Round 12: 24 yards)

Now it is your turn to dive in and play with color. Be sure to stop by the blog this Saturday as it will be “I Love Yarn” day and I’ll be celebrating with a fun give-away and a video tutorial for the Fans & Lace Afghan Square.


Working the Standing DC Stitch


In my Fans & Lace Afghan Square I started a number of the rounds with the “Standing Double Crochet Stitch”. Some of you may not know this stitch, so I wanted to share a little photo tutorial with tips on working it.

I like the standing dc for starting a new color instead of fastening on the new yarn color with a slip stitch, then chaining 3 to be the first dc. I have used the chain 3 method in the Fans & Lace square too, but only for when I am not changing the color in the next round.


To start a standing double crochet, make a slip knot in your new yarn color and place the loop over the shaft of your hook.


Yarn over on the shaft of the hook like you would do for working any double crochet in a project. Use you thumb or forefinger to keep the yarn over from twisting away.


Insert your hook into the stitch or space where you want to make your first double crochet.


Yarn over and pull up a loop. 3 loops on the shaft of your hook.


Yarn over, pull thru 2 of the loops on your hook. 2 loops left on hook.


Yarn over, pull thru the last 2 loops on your hook. You’ve made your double crochet stitch and attached your new color of yarn in one go. Continue crocheting as normal.

When you are working rounds that end with a slip stitch join there is a little trick that I like to use for working into the standing dc.


Insert your hook into the standing dc and pull the tail to get the slip knot (yellow arrow) below your hook, complete your slip stitch.


The completed slip stitch (purple arrow) should sit in front of the knot (yellow arrow) of your standing dc.


In Round 4 of the Fans & Lace Square I started the round with a standing dc as part of a cluster stitch. You could call this a “Standing Cluster”.  In a cluster stitch the base of the double crochets being used are worked first, then the last step pulls thru all the top loops of those stitches to bind them together.


I start the cluster with my slip knot loop  and a yarn-over on the shaft of my hook, then insert the hook into the space where I will work the cluster (just like I did for the standing dc).


Yarn over and pull up a loop (3 loops on hook).


Yarn over and pull thru 2 loops on hook (2 loops on hook).


Yarn over, insert into space again (3 loops on hook).


Yarn over, pull up a loop (4 loops on hook).


Yarn over, pull thru 2 loops on hook (3 loops on hook).


Yarn over, insert into space a 3rd time (4 loops on hook).


Yarn over, pull up a loop (5 loops on hook).


Yarn over, pull thru 2 loops on hook (4 loops on hook).


Yarn over, pull thru all 4 remaining loops.


Cluster stitch completed.

If you haven’t seen the pattern for my Fans & Lace Afghan Square you can find it by clicking here.

Modifying a Pattern

Daisies in Val’s Garden

My friend Val and I get together most Tuesday mornings to crochet and visit. This Tuesday she was determined to finish up some small projects that she had in her basket. One of those projects was a headband she was making from my “Springtime Headband” pattern.


She wanted the headband to be adjustable, so I came up with a modification to add a button band and buttons to it. We were both pleased with how the finished headband looked and Val was really happy to have one of her projects completed.

Blog Headband alone


I thought some of my readers might enjoy using this modification as well. I’m posting the changes we made. The original pattern can be found on my “Crochet and Springtime” post from March 2015. The post also includes a photo tutorial on making cluster and puff stitches.



modifications and design by Andee Graves 

SKILL LEVEL: Intermediate


Headband is approximately 3.25”/8.125cm wide x 23”/55cm long.


Worsted weight yarn – approximately 35g or 82 yards

Val was using Lion Brand Yarns, Vanna’s Choice, I used Lion Brand Yarns, Wool-ease for my original project.


Size US 7 / (4.5mm)


2 – buttons 3/4 inch diameter

Stitch markers

Yarn needle


6 rows & 9 sts in hdc = 2” 


3 DC Cluster Stitch (Cl): (Yo, insert hook into indicated st or sp, yo, pull up a loop, yo, pull thru 2 loops on hook) 3 times, yo, pull thru 4 loops remaining on hook.

Puff Stitch (Puff): (Yo, insert hook into indicated st or sp, yo, pull up a loop to desired height) 5 times, 11 loops on hook, yo, pull thru 10 loops on hook, 2 loops left on hook, yo, pull thru remaining 2 loops on hook.

Half Double Crochet 2 Together (hdc2tog): Yo, insert hook into indicated st or sp, yo pull up a loop, insert hook in next st, yo pull up a loop, yo pull thru all 4 loops on hook.

V-Stitch (V-st): (dc, ch 1, dc) in indicated st or sp.


The Cluster stitches and Puff stitches in this project have more texture because they are “squished” between 2 shorter stitches. The texture is created on the back of the rows. The finished project will have the textured side as the right side of the fabric.

Once the first 65 rows of the headband are crocheted button band row is added and edging is worked all the way around with the right side of fabric facing you.


For the buttoned version of this headband work Rows 1 – 65 in original pattern.



Button Band:


Row 66: Turn, DO NOT CHAIN, sc in first st, ch 2 (counts as first dc), *sk 1 st, V-st next st, sk 1 st, dc next st, Repeat from * once. [3 dc, 2 V-st]



Ch 1, with RS facing turn band to work along first long edge, *work sc spaced evenly along edge in ends of rows (3 sc in the ends of the every 2 rows), ch 2, turn to work along end of headband, sc in next 9 sts, ch 2*, turn to work along second long edge, Repeat from * to *, sl st to first sc in round.


Weave in ends. Block lightly, if desired.  Sew buttons to right side (textured side) to align with openings in V-sts.

With the colder weather we are beginning to have up here on the mountain it is time to have some extra layers of warmth handy when I’m walking the dog or taking the boys to school. I may be putting an ear warming headband in the glovebox of my car, just in case.

They are also great quick gift projects for those of you thinking about your holiday gift-giving lists.


Pretty and Easy Foundation


A foundation that I have been playing with a lot lately uses a “stack” of alternating single and double crochet rows. I don’t really have a name for it other than Stacked Foundation.

Update May 16, 2017: I’ve decided to refer to this foundation as the Stacked Rows Foundation. I now have a video on my YouTube Channel demonstrating both the single crochet rows version and the scalloped version that alternates single crochet and double crochet rows.


As I’ve said before, I love “small start” crochet projects. You can’t get much smaller than this start, typically I start with chaining 2, then working in the second chain from the hook. The fun part is I can use it for a long foundation, like the long top edge of a shawl or wrap, it could even work for an afghan. The stitch spacing of the first row in the project is the deciding factor for using this foundation.

A few of my testers have had a hard time understanding the foundation. So I thought it would be helpful to do a blog post especially about this foundation.

Right Angle Wrap Photo courtesy of Annie's Publishing/Crochet! Magazine
Right Angle Wrap
Photo courtesy of Annie’s Publishing/Crochet! Magazine

If you have crocheted my design “Right Angle Wrap”, that first appeared in the “Crochet! Magazine” July 2011 issue, you may see some similarity to that foundation. For that design I used stacked rows of single crochet stitches. I came up with this foundation because so many folks had complained to me about the foundation single crochet (fsc) that I liked to use. I found that working rows of 1 stitch could create a flexible foundation that was rather prettier along the “raw” edge than the typical fsc.


For this latest foundation I am using stacked rows that alternate single and double crochet stitches. Again these are just very short rows of 1 stitch. Because you need a chain 3 to get to the correct height of your double crochet stitch, there is a lovely subtle scalloped look to one side of the foundation.


The first row of the project is worked off the opposite side from the chain 3s, into the single crochets. The bright blue dots indicate where your hook is inserted to work the first row of the project once the foundation is finished.


To start, make a regular slip knot and chain 2. Insert hook under the top leg and back bump of the second chain from the hook.


Make a single crochet stitch.


Chain 3, turn to work a double crochet stitch into the top of the previous single crochet. If you are having a difficult time locating the top of the single crochet stitch, count to the 4th V from your hook, that is the top of your stitch.


The Vs should be pointing away from your hook before you insert the hook. You always want to insert the hook from front to back (or right to left when looking at the Vs pointing downward) for your stitches in this foundation. Finish your double crochet stitch.


Next you’ll chain 1 for your single crochet row. Again look at the Vs to locate the top of your double crochet stitch on the previous row. You will work into the second V.

I’ll continue alternating single and double crochet rows until I reach the length I want for my foundation. Typically I begin and end this foundation with a single crochet row.


This is a great foundation to use for my favorite stitch pattern: V-stitches. I skip the double crochets and work a V-stitch in each of the single crochets. This sample is a simple swatch of rows, usually when I incorporate this foundation I am working an increase at each end, but it works this way as well.

I’ll be re-visiting this foundation in a number of my patterns over the next year. Hopefully this will help everyone understand how to crochet it.

Loopy De Loop Necklace

Loopy de Loop Necklace

Right before I left for the CGOA conference in Charleston I posted about this necklace and said I would get the pattern up soon. It didn’t happen as soon as I had hoped, but here it is. This post contains the written pattern and I have a new video on my YouTube channel that walks you thru the pattern and the techniques you need to complete this fun necklace. It also has some animated stitch charts for those of you that like charts (like me).  Click here to watch the video: “Loopy de Loop Necklace”.

I used Classic Elite’s “Santorini” yarn for this project because of the mixture of textures and colors in each ball. You can use other yarns, just remember to adjust your hook size if you need to. I choose a size F (3.75mm) hook for my necklace because I wanted the “knot” part of my love knots to be snug, since they provide the structure of this piece.

Loopy de Loop Necklace blocked - Andee Graves M2H Designs

One thing to note, my love knots collapsed in the heat and humidity of Charleston, basically it was “blocked”. The necklace is still pretty but looks different now from my original photos.

This is a simple project, but I am using some techniques in slightly different ways. Hopefully between the pattern below and the video you will be crocheting along without any hiccups.

Loopy De Loop Necklace

designed by Andee Graves

Finished size: Approximately 32″ around

designed by Andee Graves

Finished size: Approximately 30 inches around

Materials list

Yarn: Classic Elite “Santorini” (58% Vicose/42% Cotton), 50g /125 yards.

Hook: F (3.75mm)


1 Love Knot = 1″ in length

Foundation Motif Rnd 1 = 1″ in diameter

Pattern Notes:

This necklace is worked by crocheting long Love Knot strands off a foundation motif. Each strand is attached at its beginning and end as it is worked.


Foundation Motif (dc yo-yo with chain loops)

Rnd 1: Starting with adjustable slip knot, ch 4 (counts as a dc and center), 11 dc in 4th ch from hook, sl st to top of beginning ch-4. [12 dc]

Rnd 2: (Ch 4, sk 1 dc, sl st next dc) 5 times, ch 1, sl st next st, ch 1, sl st in first ch-4 sp, sl st above ch-4 space.

Do not Fasten Off

Note: You may find it helpful to weave in the beginning tail at this point to get it out of your way. I show my favorite way of weaving in the beginning tail in my “Loopy de Loop” video.

Love Knot Strands

LdL Attaching Strands - Andee Graves M2H Designs

Note: Ends of strands are connected to the Foundation Motif in the ch-4 loops created in Rnd 2.

Strand 1: Chain extending the loop on your hook to approximately 1 inch in length, sc in back loop of ch just made, first Love Knot created, continue making love knots until strand is 27 inches long (unstretched) or 32 inches long (stretched), sl st in center of third ch-4 space along motif.

Note: My love knots are consistently an inch long, so it takes 27 of them to reach the length of strand that I used. If your love knots are consistent in size you can count  how many you have in your first strand, then crochet that number of love knots for the rest of your strands instead of measuring.

Strand 2: Sl st tightly above ch-sp to lock end of previous strand, work love knots until strand is desired length, sl st in first ch-4 space to right of previous strand starting point.

Loopy de Loop - joining to motif

Strands 3 – 28: Work similar to Strand 2, slip stitching into ch-4 spaces along the foundation motif working back and forth to fill in the ch-4 spaces.

Fasten off and weave in all ends.

I hope you have fun with this project. You can vary the length and number of your strands to make a longer necklace or even a bracelet. Add beads, play with yarn, most of all…have fun crocheting.



Getting the Most from a Pattern

As a designer and particularly as an indie-designer, I spend a lot of time thinking about what information a pattern needs to include. Clarity is vital for a pattern to be easy to follow and for stitchers to be able to replicate the original design.  After all, that is the main purpose of a pattern. To provide all the information that a crafter will need to get the same result that the designer did.

Interestingly enough, a lot of folks have a hard time being able to follow a pattern. So today’s post is all about the anatomy of a pattern and how changes can make or break your final project.

Patterns can be broken into 4 parts: Materials, Metrics, Pre-Instructions, Instructions. Changes in any of these areas can change the resulting finished project significantly from the sample the designer created for photography. Which can be exactly the result you want, it’s just good to be aware of how your changes will affect the finished object.



This is where the pattern lists the yarn, hook size and any other materials or tools that you will need to have on hand to complete the project.

If you decide at this point in the pattern to use a different yarn than was used in the design this is where things can change a great deal. Yarn substitution is tricky. Sometimes the listed yarn is no longer available or difficult for you to get hold of. So when looking at substitution it is a good idea to look at not only the weight, but fiber content and even the amount of twist in the yarn originally used as well as in the yarn you wish to substitute.



This is where the pattern tells you the sizes the pattern can be used to make as well as the gauge measurements.

If you change the hook size that was listed in the Materials you will very likely have some changes in this area. Gauge swatches can be your friend if you have made changes. Working that swatch will give you an idea of how close you will be to the measurements given.

If your pattern is for something like an afghan or scarf, where gauge isn’t that critical, you still want to have an idea of what the size of your finished project is going to be. If nothing else, to be sure you have enough yarn.


This area is one of the most often skipped areas in pattern reading and can lead to the biggest tangles when working a pattern. It generally includes things like the “Special Stitches” and “Pattern Notes”.

This area of a pattern often gets ignored by stitchers until they run into a snag while working the pattern. This is often very important information for working the pattern smoothly.  Special Stitches will explain non-standard abbreviations for stitches. Pattern Notes will give you a heads up about things in the pattern to pay particular attention to.


This is the “meat” of the pattern. In the instructions you will get the exact directions on the order and placement of stitches to create the finished object. Sometimes the instructions will include stitch charts, schematics and photo tutorials.

If the pattern is for a complex project, like a garment made from multiple pieces, it will often have the instructions broken out for the various pieces. Sleeves, collars, ribbing, etc.

With longer or more complex patterns it can also be helpful to use post-it notes or some other movable marker to help you keep track of your place in the pattern as you are working. If you miss a repeat or line of the pattern the result can be a bit frustrating.

For crochet patterns that have written text using standard abbreviations you need to be sure if they are using US or UK terminology. If the pattern also includes a stitch chart that can often help you decipher whether the pattern is written in US or UK terms.

Another way to spot if a pattern is US or UK terminology is if it uses the half double crochet stitch (and calls it that). US terminology says Half Double Crochet where UK terminology says Half Treble Crochet. UK doesn’t have any stitches called the Half Double Crochet stitch and US doesn’t have any stitches called Half Treble Crochet.

Now it’s time to grab one of those patterns that have been intimidating you and make a try at it. Hopefully some of the tips in this post will help you triumph.

Playing with Corner to Corner

Last Wednesday was the “Causal Crochet” meet-up at the Longmont Yarn Shoppe. The 3rd Wednesday of every month crocheters can get together from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. to crochet and learn new crochet tips and tricks.

C2C projects M2H Designs

At last week’s meeting we started our CAL. We are making a corner to corner scarf to practice the corner-to-corner (C2C) technique.  If you have never tried making corner-to-corner project this is a good starting project that works up fairly quickly. All the crochet skills you need are Chain, Slip Stitch, and Double Crochet.

Corner to corner projects are about the direction the stitches are worked. Projects begin with a single square, following rows of squares are worked on the diagonal with increases until the desired width is reached. Then rows of squares are worked along the diagonal with an increase at one end and decrease at the opposite end until the desired length is reached. Once the desired length is obtained, decreases are worked to square off the final corner.

The C2C Basics Scarf uses 3 different squares made with a ch-3 and 3 dc. Increase, Regular and Decrease Squares.

The first square of the C2C project is basically an Increase square.

Beginning Chain 6
Beginning Chain 6

You start by chaining 6, you will want to keep all your chain stitches relaxed as you will be working back into the actual chains.

First Square completed
First Square completed

The first square is counted as your Row 1 for this pattern.

Beginning Row 2
Beginning Row 2, Ch 6 work in 4th, 5th, & 6th chain stitches from hook.

To begin Row 2 you start with an Increase Square again.

Finished 1st block of Row 2, flip up Row 1 block
Finished 1st square of Row 2, flip up Row 1 square

Once you have made that square, you flip up the first square to work in it’s begining chain 3. Marked in the photo above with yellow dots.

Row 2, Regular Square completed.
Row 2, Regular Square completed.

The second square for Row 2 is a Regular Square. This involves working a slip stitch, ch 3, dc all in the first chain stitch (first yellow dot on the right), then working a dc in each of the next 2 chains of that same square.

I prefer to crochet all my C2C squares by working into the chains. You can also work the Regular and Decrease squares by working into the space below the Ch-3, but this does give you a very different look to the overall fabric and the edges.

Once you have worked the number of increase rows you want for the size of your project, you will need to start decreasing along one side to keep your rows the same length (working “even”). Sometimes you will create your increase by working on top of the last square in the row and your decrease by not working on top of the last square in the row.

10 - Dec Sq part 1

When you need an actual Decrease square will be when your last square in the previous row ends next to the completed fabric. You will use a ch-3 to get your hook back to the right spot. The solitary yellow dot in the photo above is where you work the connecting slip stitch at the end of the previous row.

Sl st & Ch 3 in first ch of next ch-3.
Sl st & Ch 3 in first ch of next ch-3.

Your ch-3 will be connected to the first chain of the next ch-3 (marked with 3 yellow dots) with a slip stitch followed by a chain 3.

12 - Dec Sq part 3

You then work the same as you would for a Regular Square. Continue working regular squares in the chain-3s marked with yellow dots.

Your next “even” row will begin like Row 2, with an Increase square, but will end with a square worked into the ch-3 of the next to last square of the previous row.

Beginning Decreases for 2nd Corner
Beginning Decreases for 2nd Corner

Once you’ve crocheted the “even” rows to the length you want your project you need to make your second corner by decreasing at both ends of  each row. The red square in the above photo is where the last square is worked for that row.

14- Corner Dec R2

Next to last row of corner decrease.

15 - Corner Dec Final Sq

Final square for corner decrease, the last sl st is worked into the chain indicated with a blue dot in the above photo.

Now you are ready to make your own C2C project. Be sure to read thru the pattern thoroughly before starting, and refer to the tutorial above if you get stuck.

C2C Basics Scarf

Designed by Andee Graves

Skill level:       Easy

Finished Size:

Approximately 6”wide x 48” long



Ella Rae Seasons (76% Acrylic, 14% Wool, 10% Polymide; 3.52 oz/100g, 219 yds/200m) 1 ball


J-10 / 6mm


Yarn/tapestry needle

Stitch markers


5 squares = 4 inches

Abbreviations/Special Stitches

Increase Square: Ch 6, dc in 4th ch from hook, dc in next 2 chs

Decrease Square: Ch 3, (sl st, ch 3, dc) in top of ch-3 of next square, dc in next 2 chs of same ch-3.

Regular Square: (Sl st, ch 3, dc) in top of ch-3 of next square, dc in next 2 chs of same ch-3.

Pattern Notes:

When working into chain stitches go under 2 strands of yarn.

Your beginning tail will help you identify the bottom right hand (or left hand) corner of your scarf when you begin working even rows. It is also helpful to mark the bottom (first) end of your scarf with a stitch marker.



Row 1/First Square: Ch 6, dc in 4th ch from hook, dc in next 2 chs. [1 ch-3, 3 dc]

Row 2: Ch 6, dc in 4th ch from hook, dc in next 2 chs, flip work up to (sl st, ch 3, dc) in top of ch-3 of 1st square, dc in next 2 chs of same ch-3. [2 ch-3, 6 dc {2 squares}]

Row 3: Ch 6, dc in 4th ch from hook, dc in next 2 chs, flip work up to* (sl st, ch 3, dc) in top of ch-3 of next square, dc in next 2 chs of same ch-3*; Repeat from * to * once. [3 ch-3, 9 dc {3 squares}]

Row 4: Ch 6, dc in 4th ch from hook, dc in next 2 chs, flip work up to* (sl st, ch 3, dc) in top of ch-3 of next square, dc in next 2 chs of same ch-3*; Repeat from * to * until work in ch-3 sp of last square in previous row. [4 ch-3, 12 dc {4 squares}]

Rows 5-7: Repeat Row 4. Count at end of Row 7  [7 ch-3 sp, 21 dc {7 squares}]


Row 8: Ch 3, flip work up, *(sl st, ch 3, dc) in top of ch-3 of first square, dc in next 2 chs of same ch-3*; Repeat from * to * until work in ch-3 of last square in previous row.

Row 9: Ch 6, dc in 4th ch from hook, dc in next 2 chs, turn work to* (sl st, ch 3, dc) in top of ch-3 of next square, dc in next 2 chs of same ch-3*; Repeat from * to * until work in ch-3 of next to last square in previous row, sl st in top of ch-3 of last square in previous row. [7 ch-3 sp, 21 dc {7 squares}]

Rows 10 – 60: Alternate repeating Row 8 and Row 9.


Row 61: Ch 3, turn, (sl st, ch 3, dc) in top of ch-3 of first square, dc in next 2 chs of same ch-3*; Repeat from * to * until work in ch-3 of next to last square in previous row, sl st in top of ch-3 of last square in previous row. [7 ch-3 sp, 18 dc {6 squares}]

Rows 62 – 66: Repeat Row 61.


Fasten off, Weave in tails and block if desired.