Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Windy and Rainy and Cold

At least it's not snowing. (That's what we keep telling ourselves.)

Sunday was so very windy and rainy that a bike ride was out of the question. Thus it was that our intrepid blogger set out on foot, woolly hat on head and camera in pocket, to make sure that Spring hadn't changed her mind and left the area.

Singing blackbirds graced cattails and phone wires beside (and above) the marsh-around-the-corner....

A vine at the start of the trail shows promising signs of life:

An old outbuilding which stood here for decades has collapsed over the winter, taking several trees down with it:

But one of them, a box elder, still blooms valiantly (though horizontally):

Silhouette of a blossoming tree against the cloudy sky:

Up the trail, to where the Favourite Tree's outlines are softened by twiggy growth:

Turn left and cross the field, then right again to what I have mentally named the Badger Path:

Why Badger Path? A short way down this trail is a very hummocky bit of ground, where the following badger-sized openings may be observed within a 15-foot radius:

Front door, side door, back door, cellar door? Only the badger knows. (If there is a badger, that is. Some large, tunnelling animal certainly lives here.)

More signs of spring: new growth...

...and robins:

Around the corner to the prairie restoration project, where curly-leaved grasses are streaming sideways in the wind:

Speaking of grass: what a thrill, after months of winter, to see new green life springing up out of last year's dead clumps. (It helps that I don't have to mow it.) :)

Suddenly the sky darkens, and large drops begin to fall. Time to make tracks for home.

As I pass the marsh, thunder growls in the distance, but still the blackbirds sing.

One last photo, of the tree on the corner - a huge old poplar (I think) which sports some rather gorgeous crimson catkins:

Then home, where it feels awfully good to be out of the rain and wind.

At least it's not snowing! :)

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Saturday, April 26, 2014

Mrs. M's Mock Invisible Join ~ A New Crochet Technique, with Callida Sampler Pattern

In my last post, "The Problem of the Telltale Seam in Crochet", we looked at several ways of joining and starting crochet rounds, ending with a glimpse of a brand-new method I call the Mock Invisible Join. As promised, here's a tutorial for this exciting new technique.

Detail of Callida Jar Cosy, including seam area

All crochet terminology is American.

The Mock Invisible Join - How It Works

The Mock Invisible Join mimics the technique of the Invisible Join, using a tall loop drawn up from the final stitch of a round to weave it together with the first stitch. The tail of the tall loop then becomes the working loop for starting the next round. Because the loop tail ends up behind the work, it allows for a standing-stitch type round start, thus eliminating the starting chain.

When to Use It

The Mock Invisible Join is suitable for non-reversible, joined-round projects worked Right Side facing at all times, including:
  • Hats, cowls, mitts, slippers, socks, bowls, baskets, doilies, amigurumi, and more
  • In-the-round projects with repeating stripes or colour changes
  • Rounds worked in the back loop or the back bar
  • Blocks or motifs worked in joined rounds, such as granny squares, circles, and mandala
The Mock Invisible Join is:
  • NOT suitable for projects with turned rounds
  • NOT suitable for very open stitch patterns (such as meshwork)

Key Steps to Making a Successful Mock Inv Join

1. Replace the first stitch of your round with the recommended stitch (see "Replacement Stitches" below)
2. At the end of the round, join the final stitch to the second stitch of the round. (The Mock Inv Join becomes the new "top" of the first stitch.)
3. When join is complete, ch 1 (either with same colour or with new colour yarn), then remove hook from loop, turn, and replace hook in the opposite direction. (This keeps the loops flat behind your work.)
4. Start all new rounds by stitching into the top strands of the Mock Invisible Join you just made.

Replacement Stitches for Starting Rounds
  • Dc rounds - start with sc + ch 1 (equals first dc of round).
  • Hdc rounds - start with sc (equals first hdc of round).
  • Sc rounds - start with sc.

Tip for Working Circular Increase Rounds

Whenever possible, do not place increases in the first stitch of the round, as this will make the join more noticeable. Example: if your pattern reads "Increase in first stitch, 1 dc in each of next 2 stitches around", then instead of increasing in the first stitch, you would shift the increase to the second or third stitch.

The Two Sizes of Mock Inv Joins

1. DC Join: used for double crochet rounds, it takes the weaving loop through one extra strand to the side of the join. This extra step will help close the gap that can form between the first and last dc stitches of the round.
2. Short Join: used for hdc and sc rounds, it eliminates the extra step of the Dc join, as gapping is not a problem with these shorter stitches.
What About Taller Stitches?

The Mock Invisible Join has not yet been tested on any stitch taller than a double-crochet (UK treble). In theory the DC version should be adaptable to any tall stitch, simply by adding extra chains to your sc + ch-1 starting stitch. However, the more chain stitches used, the more your starting stitch will stand out from the stitches around it. (I can think of a few ways to tackle this - one would be to chain to an appropriate height behind the work, then start the round with a very tall standing stitch. Perhaps one of you will discover the key to a subtle replacement for tall starting chains ... if you do, be sure to share it with the rest of us!) :)

Had enough theory? Let's get down to some practice!

Mock Invisible Join Video Tutorial (see also phototutorials below)

Dc Mock Invisible Join Phototutorial

Remember to start dc rounds with sc + ch 1 (counts as first dc).
When round is complete, draw up a tall loop (about 3/4" to 1" tall):

(Drop working yarn and hold behind work until join is complete.)
Drop hook from loop.
Skipping over the sc + ch 1,
insert hook from wrong side to right side of 2nd stitch of round (the first "real" dc of round):

Draw tall loop through to wrong side and drop from hook.

Turn your work over so the wrong side is facing you.
Find the ch-1 from the first stitch of the round, and look for the back ridge of the chain.

Insert your hook from right to left (if you're a leftie, from left to right) through the back ridge,
then up through the back horizontal bar AND the back loop of the final dc:

Pick up the tall loop tail and gently pull it down and through all the strands on your hook.
Next, chain 1 with the working yarn (sorry, no photo of the ch-1 bit).

Turn your work around,
remove hook from loop, and replace it in the opposite direction.
(This step is optional, but it will keep the join from forming a tiny knot on the wrong side of the work.)

And your Dc Mock Invisible Join is complete!

Your hook is now behind and slightly above the work, ready to start the new round with a complete stitch. (No starting chains!)

To start the next round, insert hook under the top strands (all 4) of the join you just made.
This requires a little hook-wiggling:

Start every new round with a single crochet (for dc rounds, sc + ch-1):

That's it!

It sounds rather fiddly, but after a few rounds, it will become second nature. :)

Short Mock Invisible Join

Use the Short Mock Invisible Join for hdc and sc rounds. (Remember to start your hdc and sc rounds with 1 sc.)

To make a Short join, draw up a tall loop,
drop loop from hook.
Skipping over the first sc of round,
insert hook from wrong side to right side of 2nd stitch of round;
draw tall loop through to wrong side, drop loop from hook;
with wrong side facing, insert hook from bottom to top
through back strands ONLY of final stitch of round,
draw tall loop through,
then chain 1 with working yarn (or new colour) before starting next round.

Note: Half-double crochets have 3 back strands, and single crochets have 2. Be sure to draw through the appropriate number of strands.

Starting a New Colour

After drawing the tall loop through the appropriate strands, drop old colour and chain 1 with the new colour:

Be sure to catch the new yarn tail in your first sc:

Change complete!

How about a trial run? Here's a free pattern which makes full use of the Mock Invisible Join.

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Where's that seam? (Hint: left photo)

Callida Crochet Pattern

Callida is an adaptable pattern that makes a lovely crochet bowl, jar cosy, or hat. It can be worked to any size, using any yarn and colours you like. Start your Callida with a flat circular core, and finish with any combination of edging rounds to suit your particular whimsy.

To change the finished project size, simply increase or decrease
the number of core and edging rounds.

Callida Variation 1: Jar Cosy (stretches to fit a 1-pint canning jar)

Finished size: 5-1/4" tall x 8" diameter
Materials used: Planet Penny Cotton Club yarn in Lime, Cornflower, and Aqua, OR any light DK weight yarn, in colours of your choice
Hook: US F/3.75mm

Pattern is worked RS facing at all times. Carry unused colours behind work.

Inside view

Core (Increase Rounds)
Knotless Ch 2 (click here for Knotless Chain tutorial), OR make a Magic Ring and ch 1.
Round 1: Working in second ch from hook (or in ring), sc + ch 1 (always counts as first dc), dc 11, Dc Mock Inv join to second stitch of round, ch 1 behind work. (12 stitches)
Round 2: Starting in join just made, sc + ch 1, dc in same st, 2 dc in next stitch and in each stitch around (24 stitches), Dc Mock Inv join to second stitch of round, ch 1 behind work.
Round 3: Starting in join just made, sc + ch 1, (2 dc in next st, 1 dc in next st) around, ending with 2 dc in final stitch (36 stitches),  Dc Mock Inv join to second stitch of round, ch 1 behind work.
Round 4: Starting in join just made, sc + ch 1, dc in next 10 stitches, 2 dc in next st, (dc in next 11 stitches, 2 dc in next stitch) twice (39 stitches),  Dc Mock Inv join to second stitch of round, ch 1 behind work.

Increase rounds are now complete. Work any combination of Edging Rounds to the desired height, changing colours whenever you like, OR follow the Callida Sample Rounds (next section) for a cosy like mine.

Edging Rounds - may be combined in any order
Sc Round: Starting in join just made, sc in each stitch around, Short Mock Inv join to second stitch of round, ch 1 (in same colour or in new colour) behind work.

Hdc Round: Sc in join just made, hdc in next stitch and in each stitch around, Short Mock Inv join to second stitch of round, ch 1 (in same colour or in new colour) behind work.

Dc Round: Sc + ch 1 in join just made, dc in next stitch and in each stitch around, Dc Mock Inv join to second stitch of round, ch 1 (in same colour or in new colour) behind work.

Granny Cluster Round: Sc + ch 1 in join just made, 2 dc in same stitch, (skip 2 stitches, 3 dc in next stitch) around, Dc Mock Inv join to second stitch of first cluster, ch 1 (in same colour or in new colour) behind work.

Hdc in the Back Bar: Sc in back bar of sc below join just made, then hdc in back bar of next stitch and in each stitch around, Short Mock Inv join to second stitch of round, ch 1 (in same colour or in new colour) behind work.

Callida Sample Rounds
Work Core Rounds 1-4 (above) in Lime.
Round 5: With Lime,  work 1 Dc Round
Round 6: With Aqua, work 1 Hdc Round
Round 7: With Cornflower, work 1 Sc Round
Round 8: With Lime,  work 1 Granny Cluster Round
Round 9: With Aqua, work 1 Hdc Round
Round 10: With Cornflower, work 1 Sc Round
Round 11: With Aqua, work 1 Hdc Round
Round 12: With Cornflower, work 1 Sc Round
Rounds 13: With Lime, work 1 Hdc Round
Rounds 14-15: With Lime,  work 2 Hdc in Back Bar Rounds
Round 14: With Aqua, work 1 Hdc Round
Round 15: With Cornflower, work 1 Sc Round
Round 16: With Lime,  work 1 Granny Cluster Round
Round 17: With Aqua, work 1 Hdc Round
Round 18: With Cornflower, work 1 Sc Round
Round 19: With Lime,  work 1 Dc Round
Round 20: With Lime, work 1 Sc Round

Cut yarn, join last round with standard Invisible Join (click here for Invisible Join tutorial).

Weave in ends, slip your new cosy onto a jar, and admire your new crochet technique!

I like to drink hot tea from jars like this...
no more burnt fingers!
P.S. Those joins really are
almost invisible. :)

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I realize this is an awfully long post - but since Ravelry frowns on posting tutorials (on Ravelry) that don't include a pattern, this combined approach seemed the best way to reach the widest Ravelry audience with what I feel is an important crochet technique. If you've read this far, thanks for your patience! (And Ravelry - how about adding a Tutorials section?)

I hope you find the Mock Invisible Join useful for your own projects. If you have any questions (or find any mistakes), please feel free to mention them in the comments section below, or contact me in Ravelry.

You may do whatever you like with objects made using this technique and pattern, but you may not sell the Callida pattern, or reproduce the text without permission. (Links to this post are welcome.) If you reference this technique, please credit the author. :)

Thanks for viewing, and happy crocheting!

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Problem of the Telltale Seam in Crochet

Few things are more irksome to the Fussy Crocheter than an obvious seam running down a hat or across a cowl. No matter how beautiful the work, the Fussy Crocheter's eye is immediately drawn to that telltale trail of slip stitches and starting chains. It's the fly in her ointment, the bit of shell in her breakfast egg, the burr under her saddle.

Being a Very Fussy Crocheter myself, I've lately been devoting considerable thought to the Problem of the Telltale Seam, and exploring ways to eliminate it (the problem, not the seam, that is). In the past I've tried to get around it by using spiral rounds or travelling joins* - but some patterns simply don't lend themselves to these techniques.

So here's a post dedicated to exploring some common (and uncommon) round-joining and round-starting methods. If you too are frustrated by Telltale Seams in your crochet, read on.

*A travelling join is my name for starting each round in the second stitch of the previous round, and finishing it in the slip stitch of the previous round, to create a slanting seam rather than a vertical one.

~ ~ ~

Note: This discussion features joined-round samples
worked Right Side facing at all times,
but some of the joins can be used for turned rounds as well.

~ ~ ~

1. Standard Method: Slip Stitch + Starting Chain that Counts as Stitch

This is the join/start method we all learned as beginners: slip stitch in the top two strands of the previous round's starting chain, then chain an appropriate number to start the next round. In this method, the starting chain counts as the first stitch of the new round.

This is my least favourite of all round joins, as it leaves the most obvious trail. Slip stitching into the top two strands twists the starting chain sideways, making it look skinnier than the stitches around it. This creates obvious gaps:

Pros: almost none; may be used for both turned rounds and RS-facing only rounds.
Cons: Difficult to execute (the top strands are hard to get your hook into); leaves obvious seam.
Conclusion: There seems to be no reason to use the Standard Method if something better is available.

Which brings us to....

2. Alternate Standard Method

What if we slip stitch in the back loop and back ridge of the starting chain?

This looks much better. The starting chain is left facing outward, and blends more easily into the surrounding stitches:

Pros: Easy to get hook through back loop and bar; more consistent stitch appearance; may be used for both turned rounds and RS-facing only rounds.
Cons: Joining to the back loop and back bar can sometimes stretch out the top of the stitch, creating the potential for a hole. If used for a large motif or project, the slight variation in appearance (of the starting chain compared to the surrounding stitches) will become more noticeable as the number of rounds increases.
Conclusion: The Alternate Standard Method is a tidy, inconspicuous join, well suited to motifs or to in-the-round garments where the join can be placed in a less-noticeable position.

3. Joanne's Method: Starting Chain Not Counted as Stitch

Joanne over at Not So Granny recently posted a very good tutorial on the round-joining method she prefers. Joanne doesn't count the starting chain as a stitch, but merely as a preliminary step to the rest of the round. When joining, she skips over the starting chain and slip stitches to the "real" first stitch of the round.

Joanne's method is another vast improvement over the Standard Method, as you can see:

Pros: Easy to do; any gap is virtually eliminated; may be used for both turned rounds and RS-facing only rounds.
Cons: A tiny bit of bulk is added along the seam line, which may become more noticeable with repeated rounds.
Conclusion: This is another good, tidy join, much less noticeable than the Standard Method; very suitable for motifs, or garments where the seam can be placed inconspicuously.

4. Mamachee's Method: Staggered Round Starts

Tara Murray of Mamachee recently posted an ingenious new technique for disguising double crochet round joins. She slip stitches across the backs of a few stitches at the beginning of each round, then starts the new round in a new spot, thus staggering the starting chains and making them much less noticeable. You can find her technique and more information here.

I haven't tried Tara's technique, but it looks to be a very creative solution to the Problem of the Telltale Seam when used for RS facing only projects.

Next we come to....

5. The Invisible Join + Shorter Starting Chain or Standing Stitch Start

The Invisible Join is, in this crocheter's opinion, the best join of them all (click here for tutorial). It weaves a single strand of yarn back and forth between stitches, forming a seamless, truly undetectable join. (And if you follow the extra steps given in this tutorial, your Invisible Join will link your stitches not only at the top but in the middle too, so that they perfectly mimic the stitches around them.)

Here's a single-round sample (photo from an old post):

Pros: Easy to do; completely undetectable join; adds no bulk to the seam; works best for RS-facing only projects but can probably be adapted to turned-round projects (though I haven't tested that last bit).
Cons: If used on every round, lots of extra ends to weave in. And you still have to get your hook and yarn into position for each new round, which means either a new starting chain, or a Standing Stitch of some sort (click here for a Standing Single Crochet tutorial).
Conclusion: The Invisible Join is perfect for finishing any project worked in the round, for ending rounds within motifs, and for changing colour rounds within a project; not recommended for larger projects with many rounds, unless you're willing to weave in all those extra ends. :)

Which brings us to ... (drumroll please) ....

6. Mrs. M's Mock Invisible Join (for Fussy Crocheters who love Invisible Joins but hate weaving in ends)

The Mock Invisible Join is a technique I worked out while completing a recent magazine commission. It has nearly all the advantages of the Invisible Join, AND it eliminates the problematic starting chain. When the Mock Invisible Join is complete, your hook and yarn are positioned behind the work, ready to swoop in and start a clean new row.

Caveat: This join works only on projects stitched Right Side Facing at all times.

Check it out:

The Mock Invisible Join can be used for multi-colour projects too, and allows you to carry unused colours behind your work. Here's a sample worked in two colours - can you spot the joins?

Best of all, the Mock Invisible Join gives the appearance of perfectly seamless rounds when you're stitching in the back loop or back bar:

Where are those joins hiding?

Pros: Eliminates gap; almost perfectly mimics surrounding stitches; less noticeable in large projects with many rounds; works well with repeating colour changes; allows unused colours to be carried behind work; minimizes cut ends; preserves perfect stitch pattern when working in the back bar or back loop; positions hook and yarn behind and above new round, allowing for a standing stitch-type start and thus eliminating starting chains.
Cons: Works only for projects stitched RS facing at all times; creates a slight thickness at the join; forms a series of small bumps on the wrong side of the work; not suitable for very lacy stitch patterns; fiddly and less straightforward than other methods; requires a bit of tension control.
Conclusion: Though it takes a bit more effort and thought, the Mock Invisible Join offers yet another option for a tidy, inconspicuous join. It works well with large and small projects; especially suited for striped rounds or stitch patterns worked in the back loop or back bar.

In an upcoming post I'll provide a detailed tutorial for the Mock Invisible Join (click here to be taken to tutorial), with a sampler pattern that makes full use of this exciting new technique.

~ ~ ~

As you can see from the examples here, there's no single right way to join and start crochet rounds - but there are definitely better ways and worse ways, depending on the project involved. With so many methods available, we crocheters are free to choose and combine the techniques that work best for our own particular projects.

What are your favourite round-joining and round-starting methods?

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Monday, April 21, 2014

Pleasant Saturday Ride

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Willows waving golden streamers
Water on a wind-parched throat
Leaf buds lacy against the sky

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The week began with this...

...and ended with this:

Spring in Wisconsin. Gotta love it. :)

Saturday is warm and lovely, with temps in the giddy 60s, and a gusty wind blowing from the south. Birds twitter happily from the trees and chase each other over the fields. The song of the frogs is no longer tentative, but loud and confident. It's a perfect day to be out on Iris (my bike) with Tallulah the Turtle (my riding partner).

A windmill peeks from behind this barn:

(See that green stuff on the ground? The grass is growing! Hooray!)

A robin tries (unsuccessfully) to hide in the brush:

What is it about lonely trees in fields? I always want to take their picture, and this one is no exception:

At the favourite willowy curve, the willow-fronds are blown nearly sideways by the wind. They're even brighter than they were last week:

We climb some hills and descend some others. I ponder potential crochet designs, and enjoy the freedom and solitude of the road. Ducks fly up from streams as we pass, and a cardinal flashes across the road. The sun is warm on my back, and water slides like a cool blessing down my dry throat.

Tallulah rides silently, her turtle nose turned upwards.

"Why so quiet, Tallulah?" I ask. "You've hardly said a word the entire ride."

"I'm looking at that blue, blue sky," she says dreamily. "I think I can finally see spring."

A very pleasant ride.

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Friday, April 18, 2014


Jesus, I will ponder now on Your holy passion....

Make me see Your great distress, anguish, and affliction,
Bonds and stripes and wretchedness and Your crucifixion;
Make me see how scourge and rod, spear and nails did wound You,
How You died for those, O God, who with thorns had crowned You.

Yet, O Lord, not thus alone make me see Your Passion;
But its cause to me make known, and its termination.
For I also, and my sin, brought Your deep affliction;
This the shameful cause has been of Your crucifixion.

If my sins give me alarm
And my conscience grieve me,
Let Your cross my fear disarm,
Peace and pardon give me.

~ ~ ~

A blessed Good Friday to you all.

"Jesus, I Will Ponder Now"
Lyric by Sigismund von Birken, 1653
Translated by August Crull, 1889, alt.

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Saturday, April 12, 2014

April Garden Motif and Doily ~ A Free Crochet Pattern

"What happens when a crocheter gets desperate for Spring? She crochets flowers, of course." (Quote from a recent post.)

Though Spring is slowly gaining a foothold here in Wisconsin, the earth is still drab and bare. Not a flower in sight except the geraniums in the dining room window (which are, admittedly, gorgeous)....

Gorgeous geraniums

But after MONTHS of cold and snow, even fuschia-coloured geraniums are Not Enough. This desperate crocheter needs a shot of rainbow colour to cheer the gloom. Just the job for Planet Penny's Cotton Club yarn:

PPCC to the rescue!

Some simple flowery motifs, a bit of lacy edging, and before we know it our desperate crocheter has an indoor April Garden to keep her going until the real flowers can bloom outside.

April Garden Flower Motif

Size: 2"

Yarn used: Planet Penny Cotton Club (and a scrap of Patons Grace - violet flower only)

Hook: D/3 (3.25mm)

Any yarn will work with an appropriate hook size.

Special Stitches Used:
Knotless Chain, optional (click here for tutorial)
Invisible Join (click here for tutorial)
Standing Single Crochet (click here for tutorial)
2-dc Cluster: (Yarn over, insert hook in indicated space, yo and pull up a loop, yo and pull through 2 loops) twice, yarn over and pull through all loops on hook.

Motif (chart may be found below):
Work RS facing at all times.
With center colour, knotless chain 3 (OR make a magic ring and ch 2).
Round 1: Dc 11 in ring, join with invisible join to first dc = 12 sts. (Invisible join counts as a stitch.)
Round 2: With petal colour, join with standing single crochet in any stitch;
(ch 3, skip 1 stitch, sc in next stitch) 5 times,
ch 3, slip stitch in standing single crochet.
Round 3: Ch 1; make petal (sc, hdc, dc, ch 1, dc, hdc, sc) in each ch-3 space around.
Join with invisible join to first sc.

Joining (phototutorial below)
Motifs are joined at ch-1 sp of petals.
To join: Make first half of petal (sc, hdc, dc);
drop working loop from hook,
insert hook RS to WS in ch-1 petal space of other flower, then back into working loop;
pull working loop through other flower's ch-1 petal space,
ch 1 to join,
then (dc, hdc, sc) in ch-3 space to finish petal.

Tip: Flowers can easily twist/flip with this joining method. Be sure to untwist them before joining last flower to first flower. Feel free to substitute any other joining method you prefer.

April Garden Doily

Size: 7" diameter

Make 7 April Garden Flowers and join into a circle (see photo below), leaving 1 petal open between joins at inner edge of circle. (I joined the flowers first, so I could be sure I liked the colour arrangement, before adding the center motif.)

Center Motif (chart may be found below)

Start as for April Garden Flower motif, adding 3 extra dcs to Round 1 = 14 dcs total (ch 2 does not count as dc here). Slip stitch in first dc, do not turn.

Round 2: Ch 2, dc in same st (counts as first 2-dc cluster).
*Ch 4, drop working loop from hook,
insert hook front to back in inner ch-1 petal sp of any flower and back through working loop,
pull loop through flower petal ch-1 space,
ch 4 (catching flower petal with first ch);
skip 1 stitch of center circle; make 2-dc cluster in next stitch.
Repeat from * 5 times (you should now have 7 clusters),
ch 4, join to last flower as before with another ch 4,
invisible join to first ch (do not join to first dc).

Outer Edging

(See also photo below.) With edging colour, join with standing single crochet to outer center ch-1 petal space of any flower, dc in same space (counts as first 2-dc cluster);
ch 5, make 2-dc cluster in same space;
ch 7, make 2-dc cluster in side petal space,
make 2-dc cluster in NEXT flower side petal space,
ch 7.

*In next center petal space: 2-dc cluster, ch 5, 2-dc cluster,
ch 7, make 2-dc cluster in side petal space,
make 2-dc cluster in NEXT flower side petal space,
ch 7.

Repeat from * around doily. Join with invisible join to first dc (join will sit on top of standing sc).

Charts and Photos for the Visual Learner

Motif Joining Phototutorial

After making first half of petal (sc, hdc, dc)...

...drop working loop from hook, then insert hook front to back in ch-1 petal space of other flower...

...then back into working loop. Pull loop through ch-1 space:

And ch 1 to join:

Now (dc, hdc, sc) to finish petal:

Outer Edging:

Some other ways to join the April Garden motifs:

Turn your 7 motifs into a solid flower doily like this:

(You can make it one row or strip at a time; the coloured symbols show suggested joining order.)

Or make longer rows for a table runner or flowery scarf:

You could even join single flowers into a long strand for a cheery April Garden bunting.

In another post, I'll show you an April Garden Cowl I've made using worsted weight yarn and a size H hook. (You can see a glimpse of it in the joining phototutorial above.)

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Have fun stitching an April Garden of your own! You may do whatever you like with the items you make from this pattern, but you may not sell the pattern or reproduce the text without permission. (Links to this post are welcome.)

If you have any questions about this pattern, feel free to ask away in the comments box below, or contact me in Ravelry.

Thanks for viewing, and happy crocheting!

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