The Pennies & Lace block is just the ticket. Super simple (only 2 rounds), these join-as-you-go blocks work up very quickly - and, when combined, make a wonderful secondary pattern. Construction has been streamlined to include invisible joins and eliminate starting slipknots. It's also easy to work in your ends as you go.
|Penny ... with Lace|
The Pennies & Lace pattern was inspired by a piece of decorator fabric from my stash...
...which I've used on the back of this cheerful throw pillow:
In this post you'll find the basic block pattern and tutorial; the next post will show how to join them. (Click here to be taken to the next post.) Instructions for making a pillow will follow in a later post.
The written pattern looks rather wordy - those invisible joins and knotless starts take a bit of explaining - but don't let it put you off. This block really is super simple.
Note: Although I used a DK yarn for the pillow, Pennies & Lace can be made with any yarn and the appropriate size hook. Here's a 4-block sample made with worsted weight yarn:
|I may expand this into a lampshade cover....|
Block Size: Differs according to yarn used
DK yarn, 2" square
Worsted Weight, 2 3/4" square
Yarn Requirements per Block:
About 1 2/3 yards for each penny (center of block)
2 - 2 1/2 yards for outer round of each block
Yarns I Used:
Pillow ~ Planet Penny Cotton Club, 100% mercerised cotton
(Sample block ~ Stitch Nation Washable Ewe and Stitch Nation Full O'Sheep, 100% wool)
Hook Size: E, or whatever fits your yarn
Additional hook (optional but helpful): something several sizes smaller for making invisible joins
All crochet terminology is American.
Crochet Shorthand Pattern:
Round 1 (penny): Ch 4 without slip knot (see photo tuturial below). Join w/sl st to form ring. Ch 2 (does not count as stitch). Stitching over free end of yarn, dc 11 in ring. Cut yarn, leaving 2" tail.
Invisible join (see photos below): Pull yarn up and out of stitch. Insert smaller hook from front to back through first dc (not ch 2). Pull yarn tail through. Turn penny over and insert hook bottom to top through top two horizontal bars of final dc. Pull yarn tail through. Insert hook right to left through second vertical bar to the right of final dc. Pull yarn through. Invisible join complete. Weave in yarn end. 12 stitches around.
Round 2 (lace): Insert hook from back to front through any loop. Leaving 2" tail, pull through a loop of new colour (do not make a slip knot). Ch 1 with both strands together. Drop tail and ch 1 with working yarn only. Holding tail at base of st, dc 1 in same st (cluster made). Ch 7; dc2tog in same st. Corner made. Ch 3; dc in top 2 strands of previous cluster. Side cluster made. Skip 2 stitches. Repeat corner (dc2tog, chain 7, dc2tog in same st) and side cluster (ch 3, dc in top of previous cluster) [3 times] around, always skipping 2 stitches between corners. Cut yarn, leaving 2" tail.
Invisible join (see photos below): Pull yarn up and out of stitch. Insert smaller hook from front to back through top 2 strands of first cluster. Pull yarn tail through. Turn block over and insert hook bottom to top through two horizontal bars of final side cluster. Pull yarn through. Insert hook right to left through two middle vertical bars of first cluster. Pull yarn tail through. Invisible join complete. Weave in yarn tail.
Blocks are joined at outside corners and side clusters. Inside corners are joined 4 at a time while stitching the 4th block of each group. Click here to be taken to the next post, which explains joining techniques.
Phototutorial with Instructions in Plain English:
Round 1 (penny):
Start with a knotless chain 4. Loop the yarn from front to back around the hook, and bring the tail back over the working yarn.
Holding the tail, chain 4. (See how nice and smooth this is? No lumpy knot.)
Join with slip stitch to form ring.
Chain 2 (does NOT count as a stitch). Double crochet 11 in ring. Stitch over the yarn tail so you don't have to weave it in later. (Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of this part.)
Cut yarn, leaving a 2" tail.
|Chain 2 and 11 double crochets made in ring.|
Pull the tail up and out of the last stitch. It's time to make a cool invisible join.
|Here comes the little hook...|
Insert hook from front to back through the first double crochet (not the chain 2)...
...and pull the yarn tail through.
Turn the penny over. Using the smaller hook, insert hook from bottom to top through the two horizontal bars at the top of the final double crochet...
...and pull yarn tail through. Don't pull too tightly - you want the join to look just like the other stitches around the edge.
One more step. Still with the reverse side facing you, look at the stitch to the right of the final double crochet. Find the second vertical bar just under the top of the stitch (it's marked with a dot in the photo below).
Insert hook right to left through this vertical bar, and pull yarn tail through. Your invisible join is complete!
As long as you've got the hook in your hand, take a few seconds to weave in the yarn end - I like to run mine under a few of those center loops.
Trim the yarn ends, and turn your penny over. Wow - that join really IS invisible.
Your penny is 12 stitches around, yet you only made 11 double crochets. Kind of mind-blowing, isn't it? (That invisible join acts as the 12th stitch.)
Make a few more pennies, if you like...
Note: Remember, this is the only time you will stitch an entire Round 2 without joining to another block. All your future blocks will be joined as you go.
Round 2 (lace):
Again, no slip knot will be used. Insert your regular hook, front to back, through any of the penny stitches.
Leaving a 2" tail, pull yarn through to the back.
Chain 1 with both strands, then drop yarn tail...
...and chain 1 more with the working yarn.
Holding the yarn tail at the base of the stitch, make 1 double crochet in the same stitch, right over the yarn tail. This is your first cluster.
|Look, Ma! No slip knot!|
Chain 7, then double crochet 2 together to make another cluster in the same stitch. (Yarn over, insert hook into stitch, pull up a loop, pull through 2 loops; repeat. Pull through all loops on hook.)
Your first corner is made!
|First corner made. Now chain 3.|
...then make a double crochet in the top of the second corner cluster you just made, inserting hook from front to back through the top two strands of the cluster.
First side cluster made.
|Side cluster is made with a chain 3, then a double crochet|
stitched into the top of the previous cluster.
*Skip 2 stitches of the penny, and start the next corner in the 3rd stitch over. Double crochet 2 together, chain 7, and double crochet 2 together again in the same stitch. Second corner made.
Chain 3, and double crochet in the top of previous cluster. Second side cluster made.*
Repeat from * to * 2 more times around. Don't forget to skip 2 stitches in between each corner.
Your block should look like this, with 4 corners and 4 side clusters.
Ready for another invisible join? Cut your yarn, leaving a 2" tail. Pull the tail up and out of the stitch.
Switch to the smaller hook. Insert hook back to front through the top of the first cluster...
...and pull the yarn tail through.
TURN THE BLOCK OVER. Insert hook from bottom to top through the two horizontal bars at the edge of the final side cluster...
...and pull the yarn tail through. Almost done now.
Insert hook from right to left through the two vertical bars just under the top of the first cluster (we're still looking at the back side of the work, remember), and pull the yarn tail through.
Invisible join complete! Take a few seconds more to weave in both yarn tails. The long tail can go under the base of the first cluster and down through a few of the penny loops. The short tail just needs to go down through one penny loop. (At least that's how I did it.)
Trim the tails, turn the block over...
...and there it is! Can you tell where the starting and ending stitches are? I can't.
In the next post, we'll work on joining the blocks. (Click here to be taken to the next post.)
You may do whatever you like with the items you make from this pattern, but you may not sell the pattern.
Thanks for viewing, and happy crocheting!
P.S. Here are some quick links for the rest of the posts on this project:
Part 2: Joining the Blocks
Part 3: The Border
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~