Gypsy Rose is amazing. In truth, I think it’s all because of the yarn I used which although discontinued (Julia yarn), is now available again from Colours by Kristin – the amazing US designer Kristin Nicholas.
I had the wool shipped over when it was on sale as discontinued stock, from Webs. I always use pure yarns, without any synthetic content but I have no idea where you would be able to buy such colours in pure stock in the UK. If you find a stockist then do post a comment so we can all explore!
I used double knitting and a 4 mm crochet hook.
As you can see from the close up of the block below, I changed colour with every round.
If you’re looking from the US then my pattern below is in English crochet (my double crochet dc is like your single crochet etc)
Row 1: knot a loop then chain 5, join into a circle with a slip-stitch
Row 2: 3 ch (as first treble), then treble 11 into the circle, so you have 12 stitches in the circle.
Row 3: slip stitch into a space between trebles, then 3 ch (as first treble) and 1 tr into same space, 1 ch – continue around with 2 tr followed by 1 ch until you’re all the way round and join up with a slip-stitch.
Row 4: slip stitch into a space between trebles, then 3 ch (as first treble) and treble into same space, 1 ch; 2 tr and 1 ch into next gap and then 2 tr, 4 ch, 2 tr into next gap – to make a corner. Continue with 2 tr, 1 ch twice and then make another corner. You can count it out first and mark up the corners with a pin if you’re not sure, but you should end up with it looking like the purple row above.
Row 4: it’s easy, just double crochet into every stitch in a contrasting colour making 2 dc, 4 ch into each corner space. This row spells out the change from circle to square.
Row 5: 3 ch (as first treble) then do 14 trebles down each side – that’s one into every stitch in the previous row and 2 into the corner with 3 ch at the corner space. (I find that 3 ch does well in the final corner, 4 makes it a bit loopy).
Are you done? Let me know if all that made sense. I’ve kept it fairly simple as I’m a firm believer in learning how it feels to make a block, rather than simply following a pattern. I made quite a few sample blocks before settling on this one – I’m sure this pattern has been used before, but I made it up for me. Each square measured about 3.75″.
Constructing your blocks:36 blocks (6 x 6 square) and I joined them with a needle and yarn, by placing right sides together and doing running stitch from the wrong side. I’m not sure I’d do this again, but I’m certainly not unpicking it now! I’ve since become a huge fan of joining as you go and I’ll show you how to do that another time.
This border has attracted SOoooo much interest and is incredibly simple. I used a different colour for every row; 28 rows in total.
Border Row 1: double crochet into every stitch around the edge, making a corner with 4 ch.
Border Row 2 – 28: 3 ch (for 1st dc and 1 ch); then into every alternate stitch do 1 dc followed by 1 ch. It’s that simple. Build the rows by doing every dc into the ch space from the previous row. Don’t forget to slip-stitch together at the end. Read about what I learned about using colours here.
Shell Border: I used the same colour for the final 2 rows of the border and the shells.
Shell Border Row 1: 1 dc into every stitch and space in the final border row. 4 ch at the corners
Shell Border Row 2: 3 ch for first tr then 1 ch; continue all the way round by doing 1 tr into every alternate stitch from the previous row, followed by 1 ch. 4 ch at the corners. Slip-stitch final stitch together.
Shell Border Row 3: 5 ch miss 2 of the ch spaces from the previous row, then dc into every 3rd ch space. You may have to twiddle a bit at the corners, but trust me – nobody will ever notice if you’ve got an extra space. I did a dc into the last ch space before each corner, then 5 ch, dc into the corner ch space, 5 ch then dc into the first ch space of the next side.
Shells Border Row 4: Slip stitch into first 5 ch space then 1 dc, 2 htr, 3 tr, 2htr, 1 dc into each ch space followed by a slip-stitch into the double crochet stitch from the previous row. Make the shells in every 5 ch space all the way around. Be warned – this is a yarn-guzzler of a stitch.
And finally … the last row I worked in a vibrant contrast colour. It’s very simple, just dc into every stitch from the previous row of shells, but here’s the trick: TURN your blanket around so the back is facing you. Then dc with your contrast yarn. Why? Well, if you make dc’s into the shell, the border will turn up at the edges. By turning the blanket around, it actually turns the shells backwards at the edge, so they don’t curl. Read Gypsy Rose ta-dah post here.
Block your blanket by stretching then pinning onto a plump mattress of towels or a quilt maybe. Spray with a houseplant spray filled with water, all over and leave for a couple of days to dry. I’m very bad at blocking and admit that I put 2 towels on the ironing board then lightly steamed it on the wrong side. This works for me, but blocking I’m told is the best way to do it.
PLEASE let me know how you get on and if these instructions are OK for you to follow.
Do send me photos of your projects too.