Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Day 12: Learning and Quilt Squares: Part 2

Shaping Angles with Half Double Crochet

Who says you always need to make your color change before completing the last stitch in the first color? Well, just every book, instructions, and pattern I have ever been able to find describing how to change colors in crochet. But if you allow yourself to break this apparently hard and fast rule, you will find that you can create much smoother lines and diagonals than you would by conventional means.

Square #5: Diagonal Stripes

Square #5 introduces the idea of using Late Color Changes for Slow Angles. What is a "Late Color Change"? This simply refers to completing the final stitch in the first color, before dropping the old color to the back of your work, and picking up the new color. Once you have completed the first stitch with the new color, you will have a stitch where the top loop is a different color than the bottom two loops.

Square #6: Vertical Chevrons
Another little trick I discovered to create smooth, sharp angles is Using Increases and Decreases to create slightly sharper angles. One of the biggest things that frustrates me with working colorwork patterns from a grid is the stair step lines you always end up with in angles.
Square #7: Slopes

You can also work the increases and decreases on Every Other Stitch for Sharper Angles. Finally, because each decrease is matched with an increase, the stitches look much smoother when your decrease is really an hdc-sc-tog. The extra yarnover in a typical hdc2tog (half double crochet two together) creates a bump, especially when working several in a diagonal. In this square we get even sharper angles by moving over the inc/dec pair one more stitch each row.
Square #8 Pinwheel
This Quilt Square took a little finagling to get the angles just right. I had to alternate the increase/decreases and "late color changes" to get the triangles to meet right in the middle, but every other row was not enough, and every row was too much angle. The Pinwheel is another common quilt block seen in traditional quilts.

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