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Crochet-Along: Stepping through Block 1 and Block 3

September 24th, 2008

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I hear some of you are finished already! I myself am woefully behind the pack, looking forward to a week of non-stop crocheting! Here’s a little step through of Blocks 1 and 3 to help address some of your comments.

Block 1 : Sc-tbl Stitch
Ch 27.
Row 1 Sc in 2nd ch from hook and each ch across – 26 sc.
Row 2 Ch 1, turn. Sc in back loop only of each st across.
Rep (Row 2) 31 times more. Fasten off.

That Sc-tbl, means work single crochet stitches through the back loop. After you’ve worked your first row of single crochet into your foundation chain, take a look at what you’ve just crocheted. The top of each stitch has 2 loops. We usually work through both. “Through the back loop” means work only through the back loop (the loop furthest from you). Mama Mac, my great grandmother, called this the back porch and the front loop the front porch. This one simple difference of working through one loop opens up a whole different drape and texture for your fabric. It’s one of my absolute favorite ways to add a subtle dash of spice to some simple crochet.

If you work through only the back loop every row, there will be alternating ridges on each side of your work. These ridges are created by the un-worked front loop. Also, working through only one loop loosens up the drape a bit, you’ll notice that back loop gets stretched out a bit and there will be more space between your rows.

If you were to work through only the front loop every row, you’ll find the same result you get with the back loop. If you work through front loop only the one row and back loop only the next, you’ll see that the ridges will all be on one side.

Here’s a very simple change if you want to try another something different: Alternate across a row, working through the front loop of one stitch and the back loop of the next stitch. This creates a subtle waffled sort of texture.

Ch 27.
Row 1 Hdc in 2nd ch from hook and each ch across – 26 hdc.
Row 2 Ch 1, turn. hdc in back loop only of next st, hdc in front loop only of next stitch, repeat across the row.
Repeat Row 2 to the desired size.

Block 3: Cluster Stitch

Ch 26.
Row 1 (RS) Sc in 2nd ch from hook and each ch across – 25 sc.
Row 2 Ch 2, turn (counts as first dc), CL in next sc; *ch 1, skip 1 sc, CL in next sc; rep from * to last dc, dc in last sc.
Row 3 Ch 1, turn. Sc in first dc and in each CL and ch1-space across to t-ch; sc in top of t-ch. Rep (Rows 2 and 3) 8 times more. Fasten off.

Let’s step through Rows 2 and 3:
Row 2 starts with a ch 2 turning chain that will stand in as a double crochet, next you will work your first cluster stitch in the second single crochet from the previous row. This is very important, don’t work the cluster in the first stitch of the row, but the next one (the second stitch of the row.) Chain 1, skip the next stitch (third stitch of the row) and work the next cluster into the fourth stitch of the row. Continue in this combination across the row: chain 1, skip a stitch, cluster in next stitch. If you have an odd number of stitches in your first row of sc this will work out such that you have clusters along the row with a double crochet in the first (remember that turning chain is pretending to be a double crochet) and last stitch of the row. If you adjust your number of stitches in a row to get your blocks the same size make sure to use an odd number of stitches with this one!

For Row 3, work a single crochet in that double crochet from the previous row, then single crochet in the top of the cluster stitch and single crochet into the chain stitch and keep going across the row. Work a single crochet into that turning chain from the beginning of the last row and your sc row is finished! You should have the same number of stitches in Row 3 as you did in Row 1. See the photo for a close up of the single crochet worked into the cluster row.

Little mistakes to look out for:
-Don’t work the first cluster of the row in the first stitch!
-Don’t work a chain between the last cluster of the row and the last double crochet. This will throw off your stitch count. I have to keep an eye on myself because I keep doing this!

Happy Crocheting!

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  • Wendy

    Well I see I have been doing block three “wrong” however after having 4 done I will continue with my version.

    This information would have been so much more helpful if it was actually published with the pattern, perhaps down at the bottom or something. Your detailed photos also helped, and really should be included with your published patterns it would make things so much easier.

    It really makes me think that this pattern was designed and written without anyone actually doing it, which I find annoying. If I wanted to work out the kinks I would write my own pattern!

  • http://www.suchsweethands.com Cecily

    Hi Wendy!

    What have you been doing different for your block 3?

    I’m so glad the photos helped explain things, I’m personally a big fan of photos! Thanks for hanging in there and I hope the project has been a good experience for you.

  • http://craftykeg.wordpress.com craftykeg

    I have to say that I agree with wendy a little bit. I’ve also done my block III wrong, although it’s all done now and I don’t mind how it looks.

    I worked the first cluster of the row into the first sc. I think a lot of people have done this, because I’ve heard people complaining that it is not symmetric, which it should be following when your (new) directions.

  • http://www.earlycreations.com Jackie

    OK, I am pretty sure my blocks are done the right way, or at least to the pattern; but I am finding that there is a rather noticeable gap with that last dc. just going to work with that as is as well considering I have made enough of them this way…I still have a ways to go before I am done having had to put it aside for a bit… I am afraid that if I had to undo and redo you guys in ny would hear me scream argggg all the way from jersey… good crocheting everyone…

  • http://www.earlycreations.com Jackie

    hmmm… I think I am throwing in that last chain on that last cluster before the single dc… I think that might be giving me that gap I mentioned…but I am still getting the right amount of stitches… gosh I must be skipping a stitch on top of it all… now lets hope I do not concern myself to much about what it should be like, and be able to continue making them not quite right the same as I have been…

  • Trish

    Oh dear, oh dear oh dear, hmmm. Well I have been putting the first cluster in too, it’s going to have to stay that way, and the ch 1 to boot. I have yarn for my second one, so after I finish this one, that one will benefit. First one for me anyway to keep the chill off, my feet won’t care.
    But Wendy, I agree, we have been pretty much on our own here, and we have all helped each other, in a way thats a great benefit.

  • Cheryl J

    I agree with Trish I feel we all helped each other and Lion Brand needs to interact with us hookers more often. I also have done the #3 wrong with cluster in the fist SC. I have 12 clusters and I guess if all look alike all is well.

    I did like the Tree of Life Afghan much better than this crochet one. I also like the flick account the girls started. Pictures and comments helped me very much. Thanks to you all who started it and directed us not so internet savy to the site.

    Cheryl J

  • DIANA FIELDS

    HI, I MISSED SOMETHING HERE OR MAYBE I JUST READ IT WRONG. WHAT STITCH DOES THE CLUSTER ENTAIL?

  • http://mydaisysgarden.blogspot.com/ Cheryl

    Like others above, I too have been doing the first cluster in the wrong place and adding in the ch at the end. I’ve only got 2 blocks left to go. To late to frog it now. But I have added the corrections to the instructions so that I can do it right the next time. I also have a gap on the end with the single dc, but that will just have to be the way it looks. I’m having fun doing this.

  • Trish

    Dana, the cluster is on the original Lion Brand Blog, block three.THe cluster is just double crochet’s.

    Cheryl(re:#9 comment) me too on the fun, I have 30 squares done now, all edged, am afraid to line them up,:) I did 8 x 8′s with an I hook, so I am going to do 10 more squares.Will get pics up soon, it’s hot here(FL) and am lazy. Love Flicker too. Tree of Life Afghan, caught the last of that, and remember saying to myself, seems like a lot of people are complaining about the directions, and decided against it. Little did I know. But wonder if Lion Brand just wants us to work together, if so, they were very savvy:)

  • Farrah

    I had only done one of the third blocks as I was working on blocks one and two as they were easier for me to understand. I am glad I had a chance to check in and read your comments and feel much more confident starting the third block. I have completed all of the second block and only have 3 more of the first to complete and then will dig in to complete third block. Thanks for everyone’s helpful tips. This has been a great experience and so much fun.

  • Sally Campagnone

    I have been reading the Lion Brand newsletter faithfully and I didn’t see anywhere about the crochet along project starting. I did buy the yarn and I was already to begin but saw nothing until today. Now I am way behind.
    Where do I find the pattern?

    Zontee says: Hi Sally, don’t worry, the CAL is all about working at your own pace and there are others who have joined a little later too. Don’t forget to check out the other crochet-along posts by clicking “Crochet-Along” under the Categories in the right-hand bar. You can find the pattern by clicking here.

  • Joann

    Thanks for the photo Cecily. I am almost finished with blocks 1 & 2. (Took a little break in between to make a baby blanket as a raffle gift for a fundraiser I am working on.) I’m glad you posted a photo so that I could see what I am doing wrong. We have another major wind & rain storm heading our way again this weekend, so it’s the perfect time for me to sit and work on this 3rd block!

  • Donna

    Well I am more than woefully behind–I haven’t even started! I was waiting till I was done with hats that I had to make for my kids and then I ordered the yarn. According to the tracking service it isn’t even due till the 1st of Oct. (!) So I guess everyone will be done when I’m just starting. So guess I’ll hardly be crocheting along with everyone, but oh well, at least I’ll have these posts and helpful comments to refer to!

  • Trish

    Donna, if I finish the first one(30 blocks and going bigger) I will work the second one with you,you won’t be alone:) We will have the advantage of all the others expertize!
    Have a nice weekend, off to watch the debate.

  • Louise S

    Donna, don’t worry. You won’t be alone. I’m less than half finished with mine and I know there are plenty of others. For once, being slow to get going has been an advantage since we’ll get the benefit of Cecily’s posts and the comments from the other folks who were able to really jump on this.
    Enjoy.
    Louise

  • http://www.ravelry.com/projects/jadewarrior777 Donna S

    i started out doing one of each block for guage/sizing issues…but, i didn’t like the end result for block 1, so started with block 3, then did 2…am working on block 1 now…

    i am done with all 10 of block 3 and muddled through the correct way to stitch it, in the second stitch and dropping the chain at the end…ironically, i did the first block correctly then got hosed up on the second one which was what prompted me to go back and take a hard look at both the pattern and my first block…

    but, if you start your cluster in the first stitch and add the chain at the end of the row, you’ll end up with the right amount of stitches, it’s just not symmetrical. so, for those of you that didn’t get it just right, NO SWEAT!

    i have 9 of block 2 finised (ran out of yarn in a skein and didn’t feel like pulling out a new one until i was done with block 1…)..no problems at all with that one…very simple pattern…

    for block 1, i toyed around with doing regular single crotchets instead of the back loop only…but that was kind of plain…someone on flickr had a block that was alternating single and double crochets, which i tried and loved! i ended up separating the rows with a single crochet to make the block the right size, so it ended up with 28 rows…

    here it is:
    chain 26
    row 1: ch 2 (acts as double), sc in second stitch (like in block 3), dc, sc, dc, repeating until last stitch (ending on dc)
    row 2: ch 1, sc in second stitch, dc, sc (repeating until last stitch, ending with sc)…the easiest way to do this is put a double on top of a single from the previous row, and a single on top of a double from the previous row
    row 3: chain 1, sc in 2nd stitch and across to end
    repeat rows 2, 3 and 4 until you have 28 rows.

    the single crochets are hard to see unless you stretch the yarn out, but they add just enough height to make it match block 3, plus it makes keeping track of the rows easier…you end up with 9 ‘groups’ of rows, just like in block 3

    i just signed up for ravelry and will try to post pics tomorrow…

  • http://www.ravelry.com/projects/jadewarrior777 Donna S

    oops…i just reread my pattern and it’s wrong…

    chain 26,
    row 1 sc in 2nd chain and is all sc (for 25 stitches)
    row 2 ch 2 (acts as double), sc in second stitch (like in block 3), dc, sc, dc, repeating until last stitch (ending on dc)

    row 3 is
    ch 1, dc in second stitch, sc, dc, sc (repeating until last stitch, ending with sc)…the easiest way to do this is put a double on top of a single from the previous row, and a single on top of a double from the previous row

    row 4: chain 1, sc in 2nd stitch and across to end
    repeat rows 2, 3 and 4 until you have 28 rows.

    Sorry, first time writing down a pattern! DOH!

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  • Linda C

    Thanks to the ongoing input from everyone on the blog.Haven’t attempted an afghan before. Decided to do all of one block at a time, and finished all of block 3 while away for afew days in Ottawa. Started block 1, but not sure I like it with block 3. Think I’ll try the alternate that Donna S has posted (thanks for the pattern Donna!). Also using a much smaller hook than the original pattern called for (J-6mm), so decided to make more blocks so the finished size of the afghan will be close to the original. My version takes 16 of blockes 2 and 3, and 17 of block 1. I’ll make up all the blocks and then have decided to wait till my cottage vacation in July ’09 to put the whole thing together. I love to have a project along to do while on vacation.

  • Cathy S

    I teach crochet classes at our Community College. I have looked over the pattern for my intermediate class but have not actually started this afghan. It sounds like the biggest problem with Block 3 is a basic rule which applies to turning chains. I have a chart which I give to my students which explains turning chains and where to start the next stitch. http://www.crochet.org/lessons/lessonr/rchains.html I had to refer back to this chart myself when I started working on the Two for the Road Scarf. My students love my finished scarf and several of them will be starting their own.

    I have really enjoyed reading all the comments and will be checking back periodically.

    Happy crocheting!!!

  • http://www.sweetgreentangerine.blogspot.com Karla

    I am so glad you posted this tutorial. I have been struggling with Block 3. Thanks I think I’ve got it now. Well I hope so anyway. Happy crocheting to you too.

  • Feriel Irwin

    wow. i forgot to write and say I finished my blanket… I had a great time making it for a friends birthday in Virginia, so it got to her in time for winter, which she’s very happy about.
    Looking at the photos, i had no difficulties with any of the stitches, though i did add a few more rows of blocks, to make it that little bit bigger, but that’s ok.
    It took me a little over three weeks from start to finish with this project, much better than my personal worst of over 4 months for another blanket i’ve made!! I thoroughly enjoyed the project, and the pattern is now in my books for use another day and another colour!