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25 June 2013

Lacy Blanket Join





★ - Tricky
Although I try to explain as much as possible and keep my tutorials as simple as I can, I'm calling this tricky because I've had to assume you can read a crochet pattern and know your crochet stitches for this one.

How to make a Lacy Join for Blanket Squares

The aim of this tutorial is to show you how I made the lacy join on my Vintage Sampler Blanket.
The squares, although the same size, ended with different stitch numbers,  and so this was my solution to join them all together.


What you'll need:

Lots of lovely crochet squares to join.
(I used the squares made using Jan Eaton's 200 Crochet Blocks)
The same weight of yarn you used for your squares
The same hook you used for your squares
Stitch markers or pins

* Please also see the written pattern at the end of this tutorial*
Download a PDF of the written directions


Crochet Terms:

This pattern is written in UK terms. 
American terms are given below in green.

British (American)
sp - Space
ss - Slip Stitch (Slip Stitch)
ch - Chain (Chain)
dc - Double (Single)
htr - Half Treble (Half Double)
tr - Treble (Double)
dtr - Double Treble (Treble)



Although you could use this join on any type of granny squares, I'm using the same blocks that I used in my Sampler Blanket.  So, if you have a load of squares waiting to be joined.  Let's get started.

In order to work 'Round 1' (see end of tutorial for written directions), we need to determine how many stitches we need to skip between the dc's and clusters.  This is the 'skip ?' as mentioned in the written pattern.  

To do that I placed a marker in each of the corner squares and counted the stitches in between the markers.  You don't need to count the corner stitches.  (The picture shows my pin in the corner stitch and the arrow indicates the first stitch I'll be counting.)   


On this particular square, there were 27 stitches along the sides.
If you are a clever stick, you'll probably be able to work out quite nicely how to evenly space the 7 stitches that need to be made down each side.  But, if you're like me and seemingly easy things like that make your head explode, then this is what I did...

To work out where the middle stitch goes, I deduct 1 stitch from my total, which leaves me with 26.  (That 1 will be used for the middle stitch.)  Then divide the remaining figure by 2.
So, in this case it works out nicely, as 13 stitches either side.
Count out the right number and place your next marker in the middle.


Once the middle marker is in place, I used the same method to divide the the square side into quarters.
There were 13 stitches in each half.  So again, I take off 1 which will be taken up by a stitch of round 1, which leaves me with 12.  I then divide that number by 2 to decide the middle point.  I placed the marker with 6 stitches either side.

Once I have found out this quarter point, I just need to repeat the process one more time.  So between the quarter marker and the corner there were 6 stitches.  Again I take off 1, which will be used by the stitch, leaving 5.  Then divide that number by 2.  This time it doesn't work out evenly so I just place the eighth marker with 3 stitches one side and 2 the other.


Now that I've worked out the smallest gaps that I will need, I can just repeat that information for the other side of the quarter marker.  So between the half maker and the quarter maker, I place the second of my eighth markers, with 3 stitches one side and 2 on the other.

So the markers are now in place to show where the Round 1 stitches will go for the first half of this side.


Now all we need to do to finish is place the three remaining markers on the other side of the middle point, mirroring the counts that we've already worked out.

Now we have a sequence of numbers that will determine how many stitches we need to skip between the dc's and clusters that we'll be making in Round 1 of our edging.
You might want to note these "skip numbers" down so that you can either refer to them, or use them to place markers on each side of the square, as you work around it.

I've just going to include a couple of other examples to show a couple of differences that you might come across.  On the blue square above for example, the edge is made up of tr stitches and chains.  You'll need to count the stitches and the chain spaces to place your markers correctly.  

This square happens to have 35 stitches between corner markers, so the middle marker has 17 stitches either side.


On the left you can see that some of the markers are in chains, rather than tr stitches.  In this case, when you work Round 1, you'll work into the chain space for some of your stitches.

And here's the square with all the markers in.


In cases where the corners have a chain space, I simply put the marker into the space and then count from the first stitch on the side, ignoring the corner chains.

Again, here is this square with all the markers in.


Just one last example to show that in some of the squares, where the middle marker didn't work out with a nice even number of stitches either side, I placed it between the two middle stitches.  This square has 24 stitches between the corner markers, so I placed my middle marker so I had 12 stitches either side and just worked into the gap between the two stitches.

I only bothered to do this for the middle marker though, because I found that some patterns worked out with an obvious middle point and it caught my eye if that one was off.  For all the quarter and eighth markers, I just placed as on the next closest stitch as I described above.  (Maybe that's just my peculiarity though!)

Here's the square with the rest of the markers in.

A LITTLE ASIDE...
I know this seems like a bit of a tedious and time consuming process, but I promise it's really not that bad once you've done a couple.  You'll find it only takes a matter of seconds to quickly pop your markers in place.  That's why I ended up using pins rather than proper markers, because they were easy to whip in and out.  Plus, a some squares do have the same number of stitches on the sides, so once you've worked it out for one, you know what it is for the others!

Right, now we've done that we can actually start crocheting some edging - yippee!


ROUND ONE

This is where you'll need to refer to the written pattern below.  I'm not going to take you through each part of the pattern step by step, otherwise we'll be here all week, but I am going to show you how I worked  the stitches around the square.

The first part of the pattern reads as follows...

Round 1:  Join yarn to corner of block, ch2 and than make a 2tr cluster into the same st/sp.  *4ch, skip ? stitches...

This is where I am on the left hand picture, I've done the first cluster into the corner and I've chained 4, now I'm at the point where I have to skip.  At this point you replace that first ? with the first number in your sequence.  Or, if you have your markers in place, you can see where the next stich is going to go.

So, work the first dc into the stitch the marker is in. (Right hand pic)



Once you've done that first dc, you'll need to chain 4 and again the pattern says to "skip ?".  So again, you'll replace this ? with whatever your next skip number is and make the cluster into the next stitch.  Or, if you're using markers, make the cluster into the stich with the marker in.

Continue on in this way, working along the square, referring to your 'skip numbers' or using your stitch markers to see where each dc or cluster should be placed.


Carry on until you reach the corner and then work the last cluster into the corner.

Once you've done that you're ready to work along the next side.  


So, you can either just remember/refer to your 'skip numbers' to work out where the stitches should go.  Or, you can just count out the spacing and pop your markers back in.

Work along the second side in the same way.


Keep going right around the square until you have worked all the sides.  You should end up the last side, having worked a dc into the last marker and making a chain of 4.

To complete the round, just make a slip stich into the top of the first cluster.


ROUND TWO

Now that the first round is done we can work round two.  For the first square you'll need to work the written directions for 'Round 2 (First square)'.  This is because we don't need to worry about joining on this first square, we just work the pattern as written.

Round 2 turns our lacy edge back into a nice straight edge (left pic) so that the squares will sit together nicely.  Here's the first square done. (right pic)


Okay, for all the other squares, we'll need to be  using the Join As You Go (JAYG) technique to put the blanket together.

So, for your second square, first complete round 1 as described above (left pic), then you'll need to follow directions for 'Round 2 (Joining along one side)'.  The first part of the pattern says...

Round 2 (Joining along one side):  Follow 'Round 2' as written for first square on three sides of the block, finishing the third side with 2ch and 1dc into corner cluster, then work as follows...

That's where I'm up to in the right-hand picture.  I've worked Round 2 along three sides of the square and I've made 1dc into the corner cluster. 


So, now we're ready to join this second square to the first one.

First we chain 1 and then begin to join by making a slip stitch into the corner space of the square we are joining to.  To do that you insert your hook into the corner space, from the front as show in the right-hand picture...


Grab the yarn with your hook and pull it through the corner space and through the loop on your hook.  (I like to pull these joining stitches up a little once they are done to keep them nice and snug.)

Then you'll need to make a second dc into the corner cluster to finish the corner stitches.


Now we're going to work down the side of the square.  So, ch1 and make the first dc into the first 4 ch sp of the square you are working on.

Chain 1 and then we are ready to make the next JAYG stitch, by slip stitching into the first 3 chain space of the joining square.  
(PLEASE NOTE:  You need to ignore the first chain space of the joining square, which is only a 2 chain space, not a 3 chain space.  See the arrow on the right-hand picture.) 


So, make the slip stitch into the 3ch space as before, by inserting your hook into the space (from the front) and pulling the yarn through the space and the loop on your hook.

Pull it slightly to tighten and then chain 1.  Now we need to make a dc into the next 4 ch space of the square we are working on.  (See arrow on right-hand pic)


Make a dc into the chain space as indicated.

No all we need to do is repeat this same process along the edge of the squares. 
So, we chain 1, make a slip stitch into the next chain space of the square we're joining to, chain 1 again and make a dc into the next chain space of the square we're working on.


Keep going along the edge of the square until you have made a dc into the last chain space of the square you are working on.  If all has worked out to plan that should leave you with just the 2chain space left on the square we're joining too, which we will leave unworked.

To finish, we need to complete the last corner, so chain 2 and make a dc into the corner cluster...


Then make a slip stitch into the corner space of the square we're joining to.

Then chain 1 ...


... and make a slip stitch into the top of the first dc of the round on the square we're working on.

This is how the two squares should look joined together. (Right pic)

Now you need to repeat this joining technique to make a row of squares.  Each time joining a new square to the right of the last square until your row is as long as you would like.


To join the next row of squares, first we start in the same way, using the 'Round 2 (Joining along one side)' instructions.  To start the second row we simply need to join a square to the bottom of the first square in the first row. 

Once the first square of the new row is in place, we're ready to add square two.  This will be slightly different as we'll need to join along two sides, to join the square to the row above and the square on the left.


To do that, you'll work Round 1 as normal but then follow instructions for 'Round 2 (Joining along two sides)'  It's basically the same as we've done before but this time we only work around two sides of the square before we start JAYG.  

So again, you should have finished with a dc into the corner cluster, then we're ready to start joining.  We're going to start by joining to the square above. (left pic)

Make 1 chain and then make a slip stitch into the corner space of the square we're joining to.
Make a dc into the corner cluster of the square we're working on to finish the corner.


Then chain 2 and make a dc into the first 4 chain space of the square we're working on.
Then chain 1 and make a slip stitch into the first 3 chain space (ignoring the 2 chain space) on the square we're joining to (left pic)

Once the slip stitch is made, chain 1 and make a dc into the next chain space of the square we're working on.


As you can see, so far everything is the same as for joining along one side, so carry on as you have done before, working the dc's into the square we're working on and slip stitches into the joining square until to reach the end of the side.

You'll finish with a dc in the last chain space of the square we're working on and only the 2ch space on the joining square unworked. (left pic)

Now we need to work the corner, so chain 2 and make a dc into the corner cluster. (right pic)


Now make a slip stitch into the corner space of the joining square. That's the last JAYG stitch into the square above the one we're working on.  (left pic)

Then make a slip stitch into the corner space of the next square we're going to join to. This is our first JAYG stitch into the square to the side of the one we're working on.  (right pic)


To finish the working the corner you need to make a dc into the corner cluster of the square we're working on.

Now you're ready to work along the second joining side of the square, so chain 2 and make a dc into the first 4 chain space.  Chain 1 then, as before, skip the 2ch space of the joining square and make a slip stitch into the first 3 chain space.


Chain 1 and make a dc into the next 4 chain space of the square we're working on and then continue working along the edge of the square using the JAYG stitches to join to the squares together.
As before, you'll finish with a dc into the last ch space of the square we're working on and with the 2 chain space on the joining square unworked.

Finish the square be working the corner as before, chain 2, 1dc into the corner cluster, slip stitch into the corner space of the joining square, chain 1, slip stitch into the top of the first dc of the round on the square we're working on.

All you need to do now is carry on along the second row adding squares using 'Round 2 (join along two sides)' to join the rest of the squares to the row above and the square next to them.  And of course, repeat the whole process for all the rows you want, until the blanket is as big as you want it to be!



Written Pattern:

Round 1:  Join yarn to corner of block, ch2 and than make a 2tr cluster into the same st/sp.  *4ch, skip ? stitches and make a dc into next stitch, ch4, skip ? stitches and make a 3tr cluster into next stitch, repeat from * round to the beginning of the block, ch4, ss to top of 1st cluster to finnish round.

You will need to replace the "skip ?" with the number of stitches you need to skip for each block, as explained in the tutorial above.  
Each block should end up with a 3tr cluster in each corner stitch/space and 3 3tr clusters and 4dc's along each side.

Round 2 (First square):  1ch, 1dc into same sp, **2ch, 1dc into 1st 4ch sp, *3ch, 1dc into next 4ch sp, repeat from * to end of side, 2ch, 1dc into corner cluster, 2ch, 1dc into same stitch, repeat from ** round to the beginning of the block, finishing with 1 dc into corner cluster, 2ch, ss into first dc of the round.

Round 2 (Joining along one side):  Follow 'Round 2' as written for first square on three sides of the block, finishing the third side with 2ch and 1dc into corner cluster, then work as follows: 1ch, 1ss into corner sp of joining square, 1dc into same corner cluster, 2ch, *1dc into next 4ch sp, 1ch, 1ss into 3ch sp of joining block, 1ch, repeat from * along side, ending with a dc into the last 4ch sp, then 2ch, 1dc into corner cluster, 1 ss into corner sp of joining square, 1ch, ss into top of 1st dc of the round.

Round 2 (Joining along two sides):  Follow 'Round 2' as written for first square on two sides of the block, finishing the second side with 2ch and 1dc into corner cluster, then work as follows: 1ch, 1ss into corner sp of joining square, 1dc into same corner cluster, 2ch, *1dc into next 4ch sp, 1ch, 1ss into 3ch sp of joining block, 1ch, repeat from * along third side, ending with a dc into the last 4ch sp, then 2ch, 1dc into corner cluster, 1 ss into corner sp of joining square, 1ss into corner sp of next joining square, 1dc into same corner cluster, 2ch, repeat from * along fourth side, ending with a dc into the last 4ch sp, then 2ch, 1dc into corner cluster, 1 ss into corner sp of joining square, 1 ch, ss into top of 1st dc of the round.

Download a PDF of the written directions


I hope you enjoy this tutorial and I very much hope it is clear and easy to follow.

I always I try to make my tutorials as clear and as accurate as I possibly can.  I do re-read them many times to try and spot any errors, but your eyes, coming to it nice and fresh, may well find something that I did not.

So, if you are struggling over anything or notice anything amiss, do leave me a comment and let me know so I can correct it for all those that follow you!

S x





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22 comments:

  1. I am so so excited to see this tutorial, Sandra! Thanks for posting it :) I have some squares that I am working on now and will be using this to join them.

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  2. Thank you so much for sharing, it looks like a great tutorial. I sure will try.

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  3. I love the pastel colours of those Jan Eaton squares and your tutorial for joining them with a lacy stitch is very well explained. The end result looks lovely and rather vintage. Well done for such lovely work!

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  4. Sandra, it is wonderful quilt and great pattern. Thank you for sharing it :) Jolana

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  5. What a beautiful delicate way to join squares. Thank you for this great tutorial.

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  6. Thanks Sandra for posting this - I know you will make many people happy with this tutorial. It's a lovely joining method, I hope to be able to use it myself one day :-)

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  7. Very pretty squares, and such a beautiful delicate joining pattern! Fantastic tutorial, so clear, thank you! Chrissie x

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  8. Thank you so much for posting these lovely directions. I have been working on an old pattern with a 3-dimensional rose in the center. This connection will transform it from clunky 1980's (when it was begun, I believe) to romantic.

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  9. You always stun me with your superb tutorials, with fantastic step by step instructions. I will definitely be trying this out some time soon. I see a book in your future Sandra, I really do *fingers and toes crossed*!! :) x

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  10. That's so beautiful! Thanks for sharing :D

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  11. I love this blanket, I'm so glad you did this tutorial.
    Thank you for sharing :)
    Sally x

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  12. Thank the Force you included pictures! I'm pretty sure I can do this! This is easily one of the prettiest methods of joining I've ever seen! Thank you Sandra!

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  13. Thank you so much for this great tutorial, I was dreaming ! Sandra, always you do a very good job and make me (us) happy ! Many, many thanks !

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  14. Haven't read tutorial yet, looks interesting. Please don't use light type color on a light background. My eyes are not improving--have some macular degeneration that normally doesn't bother me, except with gray type color on pastel background and very small print. Yes, I will make it bigger so I can read it.

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  15. Fantastic tutorial. I have been struggling with this for a long time. Thank you.

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  16. Dear Sandra, you are a ray of sunshine especially in these often overcast 'summer' days!
    Absolutely gorgeous! I love your post and discovered I already actually have the books you have used to created this - bonus!
    I am always looking for new and wonderful ways to join squares so I am really looking forward to having a go using this method - so thank you for taking the time to share - wish I had the patience to ...
    A quick question - I am also drawn to the crochet hook you used in your tutorial as it looks extremely comfortable - would you mind sharing the make. I'm currently using a Prym Soft Touch, but like to try others.
    Many thanks, Lorraine x

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  17. I would love to have you come by and link up some of your projects on my new Feature Your Fibers link Party! You always have such lovely things to share!

    ~ Sarah

    http://sarahndipities.indiemade.com/content/feature-your-fibers

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  18. Hi, this is beautiful and I am attempting to make something similar for a christening present in a months time! Quick question, are the treble clusters actually meant to be clusters, but into one stitch, or did you just mean a typical shell?. :-) thanks, Nicole

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  19. What a fantastic tutorial. Its just what I have been looking for to join some lace Grannie Squares that I need to join together.
    Thank you so much.
    Your work is so beautiful. :)

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  20. This is just what I needed, to finish my mother's scarf made from grannies. What a great idea, the way you did it!
    Thank you so much for sharing!

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  21. Hi Sandra. Your sampler blanket is just beautiful. I was ecstatic to find that I have the Jan Eaton book. Can you please, if possible, tell me which blocks you have used from the book. Just the number of the block would do. There are so many and since your blocks are in a single colour and the ones in the book have several colours, I cannot tell which ones would look as pretty as yours!! Would love to hear from you.

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