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Huge Polka Dot Granny Square Blanket - Free Crochet Pattern from yay retro!

So here is it, my first properly written crochet pattern!  I have a real addiction to making circles in crochet at present and wanted to make extra large ones into a blanket. I've had a play about and made this Huge Polka Dot Circle lap blanket or throw. Have a try using the free crochet pattern below and let me know how you get on (do let me know of any hiccups as this is my very first pattern)! 


Buy this ready made blanket here.

yay retro! Huge Polka Dot Granny Square Blanket - a free crochet pattern

 

This pattern uses UK Stitch Abbreviations & DK yarn:

st = stitch

ch = chain = yarn over, pull yarn through stitch on needle

sl st = slip stitch = insert hook into stitch, yarn over, pull yarn through both loops on hook

hdc = half double crochet = yarn over, insert hook into stitch, yarn over, pull up a loop (3 loops on hook), yarn over, pull yarn through all 3 loops

tr = treble crochet = yarn over, insert hook into stitch, yarn over, pull up a loop (3 loops on hook), yarn over, pull yarn through 2 loops, yarn over, pull yarn through 2 loops

dtr = double treble crochet = 2 yarn over, insert hook into stitch, yarn over, pull up a loop (4 loops on hook), *yarn over, pull yarn through 2 loops*, repeat * * twice


TO MAKE EACH CIRCLE POLKA DOT in DK yarn


Ch 4 and make into circle /‘sliding loop’ or ‘magical loop’:

ch 3 (counts as 1st dc)

Round 1. 11dc into ring and then you pull the beginning tail - Join with a sl st into the 3rd of initial 3 ch. (12 dc in the ring including ch)

Round 2. ch3 (= 1st dc), 1dc into same st, 2dc into next st, repeat until end, join with sl st into 3rd of initial 3ch (24 st)

Round 3. ch3, 1dc into same st,  1dc into next st, *2dc into next st, 1 dc into next st*, repeat until end. Join with sl st into 3rd of initial 3ch. Break of yarn. (36 st)

Round 4. ch 3, dc into same stitch, dc into next 2 st, *2dc in next st, dc into next 2 st* , repeat until end, join with a sl st into 3rd of initial 3ch. (48 st)

Round 5: ch 3, dc into joining stitch, dc into next 3 st, *2dc in next st, dc into next 3 st*, repeat until end, THEN add 2 more stitches in final space before joining with a sl st into 3rd of initial 3ch.  (62 st)


TO SQUARE THE CIRCLE

Round 6. Make your first corner Ch4 counts as dtr, 2 dtr in same stitch, ch2, 3 dtr in next st. *Miss 2 tr, 3tr in next st, miss 2 tr, 3htr in next st, miss 2 tr, 3 htr in next st, miss 2 tr, 3 tr in next st, miss 2 tr 3 dtr in next stitch, ch 2, 3 dtr in next st*, repeat three times. On final row you need to slightly change the missed stitch count to complete. This does not affect the overall look of the blanket….So after the final corner, Miss 2 tr, 3tr in next st, miss 1 tr, 3htr in next st, miss 2 tr, 3 htr in next st, miss 1 tr, 3 tr in next st, miss 1 tr  join with a sl st into 4th ch of initial 4ch.

Now you can use the join as you go method to add further squares or simply stitch them together. You can see how to join-as-you-go by following Bella Coco’s instructions on YouTube here. Remember I am using a variety of stitches in my pattern, but you should get the idea of how to join-as-you-go from this video.

FOR THE BORDER

Round 1. Evenly dc a round, with 3 dc at each corner and ss to join

Round 2 - 5. htr in each stitch with 3 htr at each corner and ss to join

Round 6. htr in back of loops, 3 htr at each corner and ss to join

Round 7. tr in back of loops, 3 tr at each corner and ss to join

Round 8. htr in back of loops, 3 htr at each corner and ss to join

If you decide to make this blanket show me your makes using the #yayretropolkadotcrochetblanket

If you would like to buy this blanket ready made, click here.

Yarn used: Stylecraft Special DK, Wondersoft Merry-go-round Rainbow and other DK from my stash.


Posted in Crochet by yayretro on 13/12/2018

Introducing yay retro! Crochet!

This year I've added a 60's style crochet section to the yay retro! vintage shop. Items are selling well and I will be adding more crochet homewares in 2019.  With crochet being all the rage in the 1960s and 70s it's no wonder vintage lovers are snapping up my handmade items to go in their modern vintage homes.

I choose and also create my own designs which suit the modern Scandi styled home. Choosing the softest yarns and the best vintage inspired colours.  If you would like to see all the crochet both sold and for sale search 'crochet' on the website.



Posted in Crochet by yayretro on 06/12/2018

Millward Crochet Blocking Board Review by yay retro!

I've just recently invested in a blocking board for my crocheted Granny Squares. It's by Millward and I know a lot of fellow crocheters wonder about blocking so thought I would write a review of it. First I'll talk a bit about Blocking and then about the Blocking board itself.



What is Blocking in Crochet, and how can it be done?

Blocking is a term for when you wish to neaten, shape or 'finish' a piece of crocheted work to a certain size. It doesn't have to be done, but many people like to do it to square off things like granny squares, and it is also used on shawls and blankets. Up until now I have used various other methods of Blocking. Firstly I used a little chopping board with brass pins for my granny squares (below), however this was tricky as I needed to rearrange the pins regularly according to the size of square I was working on. This was cumbersome since I was using a pair of pliers and a hammer! 



Another more traditional method is to pin out the work and hover a steam iron over it and leave to dry. I have done this on my ironing board and for larger pieces on a clean carpet or rug. Other people use foam mats which can be specially made for crocheters or the toy foam mats work just as well. Although this is the way forward for large works, this is not conducive to a relaxing afternoon session of crocheting Granny squares and so a Blocking board was the answer.

Should I invest in a Blocking board for Crochet?


What I love about the Millward Blocking Board is the quality of the board and it's flexibility. It's 30cm square and made of what appears to be a beech ply. Drilled with nearly 200 holes it comes with 12 dowels which enables you to block different sizes of Granny square. Squares can be blocked during their different stages of development, and there's room for several Granny projects to be pinned to the board at any one time. I know a lot of fellow crocheters like to make their squares in batches, maybe making all the centres first and then all then adding subsequent rows again in batches. So the blocking board allows you to stack the squares together in a pile, all being blocked to the same form before the next stage of your make.

 

This is particularly useful with an open pattern like the one above on the bottom right. This open design benefits from blocking after working to get it into the optimum shape before the next rows are added. I did find the dowels to have some rough edges, but these have improved the more I've used it, and I guess you could sandpaper the ends before use if you preferred. I also would have liked more dowels and have used upended crochet hooks on occasion for blocking larger work.


(above a stack of Grannies on the Blocking Board)

The board is a very attractive way thing, which I'm happy to have lying around mid project, and it kind of frames the work enabling you to consider the patterns and colour choices as you work.  

Are there any downsides to Blocking Boards?


There are a few factors I had not considered, which have come to light now I've got a blocking board:

1. I actually use the join-as-you-go method when making my Crochet Blankets and Crochet Hot Water Bottle covers. This means that I would not actually not be able to block a very small square prior to it being joined, and with larger squares they need to be blocked before the final joining row.
2. The board is only just big enough to block the front of a hot water bottle cover and I ran out of dowels and so needed to use upended crochet hooks - you could easily make more dowels I would imagine.
3.If your Granny square has 'closed' corners the dowel won't fit through without quite a bit of poking (and you may not wish to open up the stitches in this way)
4. Larger pieces still need to be blocked on a foam mat or clean carpet as described above

I got my Millward Blocking Board online from Woolwarehouse. Click here if you would like to take a look at my crochet for sale at yay retro!

Posted in Crochet by yayretro on 27/11/2018

Delicious Crochet Hot Water Bottles For Sale at yay retro! now!

yay retro! now sell handmade 60/70s inspired crocheted wares, including blankets, mandalas and hot water bottles.  These hot water bottles are the perfect gift or treat, and are individually & uniquely made to my own design.  



Take for example this cutie which has snowflake patterns in sparkling white wool!  Whether you are wanting to keep your toes warm or wishing to ease away aches and pains, these are the ideal gift or treat for yourself which lasts all year round.



Here are a selection of bottles for sale at yay retro! now. Take a look at the crochet in my shop here.

Posted in Crochet by yayretro on 25/11/2018

Lovely 1960/70s Inspired Crochet for Sale



I have been busy crocheting this month and here are a few of my crocheted items are still currently for sale at yay retro! With the Christmas season coming along I am finding things are selling well, and with each make being unique it's probably just as well to bag the ones you like quickly.

I tend to make what comes to mind, trying out different colour schemes and designs as the whim takes me, so I am unlikely to ever repeat a design. This keeps things interesting and exciting for me.  I adore the colour scheme on the above Flower Power Hot Water Bottle set. Whilst the design Hygge Hot Water Bottle below was fun to make with the the heart patterns in it.



A popular colour scheme right now are ice cream pastels, this is because it makes people think of magical things such as unicorns. This lovely crochet cushion would certainly be a fun addition to a unicorn lovers home! It's securely made with no buttons to worry about and is soft and squidgy!



The delightful blanket below which was made using the Winnies Wonderland pattern has just sold. Many people expressed an interested so I am now working on another in a stunning range of colours, keep an eye on my Facebook and Instagram page for updates on how it is coming along!



Some makes don't quite make it to the shop, this waffle crochet blanket was so admired by my Mum that I posted it off to her yesterday!  Why not pop in to the yay retro! online vintage shop now and search crochet to see what lovelies are available to buy right now?


Posted in Crochet by yayretro on 17/11/2018

Gorgeous 1960/70s Inspired Crochet for sale at yay retro!



yay retro now sell vintage styled handmade crochet items from blankets to pot stands, mandalas to table runners and even hot water bottle sets.  Made with care using brand new yarn, the range can be found in my 60s Inspired Crochet section in my online vintage shop here.



This lovely hot water bottle set features a Scandi styled design featuring deep red hearts. This gives it a Hygge feel and would be a superb gift,



Wanting a stylish throw? This Granny Block stitch blanket features carefully stitched bright orange and sky blue stripes with cream. Ideal as a blanket whilst watching TV!



My cotton yarn pot stands double up as wall hangings when not in use! These new additions to the yay retro! shop are ideal for vintage and Scandi lovers alike! Pop in now and explore the vintage inspired crochet for sale.

Posted in Crochet by yayretro on 07/11/2018

60/70s Inspired Crochet Homewares for sale at yay retro!

yay retro! now has a new section in the vintage online shop for 60s inspired crochet for sale. I've been crocheting on and off since I learnt how 32 years ago. I began by making baby clothes, however because I had two boys, and at the time crochet patterns were limited to pretty tops I resorted to knitting their clothes instead. I really missed the look and feel of crochet as it grew in my hands and happily a couples of years ago I got back into making again. With the amazing array of patterns now available online I've made five or six blankets, 4 tops for myself to wear and no end of granny squares related items. Having got back into full swing of crocheting I've begun to add useful items to the yay retro! shop for you to buy. I've made sure that all the yay retro! crochet items are 60/70s inspired and in some cases I've followed vintage patterns.



Many of the items I've made would make great gifts and they look just as good when not being used as when they are. Take for example these lovely plushie hot water bottles in their 70s Granny Square covers.  Each one is unique with zingy colour schemes and little heart of granny decal ties. They come complete with brand new hot water bottle and are soft, squishy and sure to make someone feel loved. All the yarns used are new, my favourites are Stylecraft as they are so soft and cuddly and the colours are gorgeous. A recent reviewer on the yay retro Facebook page said "My 70’s inspired crocheted cover hot water bottle is amazing and packed so beautifully. Thank you!"



How about a lovely table runner for your Ercol coffee table or sideboard?  This one made from 100% mercerised soft Drops Muskat cotton. Use it on your table to show it off, or as a wall hanging with the bamboo knitting needles (cleverly provided) to ensure you can easily hang it up.



I am also beginning to add mandala styled pot stands, these are of my own design and are double layered with a little hanging loop. Again made from 100% new cotton yarn, each is individual and made with 70s inspired colours. Pop them on the wall as an artwork anywhere in your home or use in the kitchen. Ideal as a pretty gift and very affordable with free UK & NI postage.

Continuing on the Mandala theme, the one below was made following a 1940s doily pattern. By updating the colours it highlights the sunflower motif in the centre, and makes it larger and more usable. A  lovely addition to brighten a corner in your room or as a centrepiece to a table or sideboard. Each mandala added to the yay retro shop will be unique and made from 100% new cotton yarn - I use Drops or Scheepjes as the quality is fantastic.  



Go shopping for crochet at yay retro now, each item is lovely as a treat for yourself or to give as a gift.

Check out my free crochet pattern for a 1970s styled waistcoat here. This is a picture of me wearing it!

Posted in Crochet by yayretro on 26/08/2018

New range of 70s styled Crochet at yay retro!



yay retro! have launched a range of 70s styled crochet items. Each is created using the very best yarns and vintage inspired colours.  The range has begun with Hot Water Bottle sets which include a handmade granny square crochet cover complete with a brand new fleecy hot water bottle. Now I do realise we are currently in a heatwave, but for those of you who like to stock up on Christmas or winter birthday gifts they are just the thing!  Keep an eye on the yay retro! shop for more lovely crochet items coming soon!



Posted in Crochet by yayretro on 08/08/2018

Free Pattern For Crocheted Granny Square Waistcoat 1960/70s

Hi, I'm Sue and I run the yay retro! online vintage shop selling vintage homewares from the 1960/70s. I've massively got into crochet again of late and have been busy making jumpers for myself and grandchildren since January! Crochet is very quick and easy to do and being able to work with lots of lovely yarns and colours is very satisfying and relaxing.  Here is a very simple free pattern for a Granny Squares waistcoat for you to have a go at. I've adapted a vintage 1960s cardigan pattern to come up with this design. This pattern fits a ladies size 12/14 and I used Scheepjes Stone and River washed yarns which are cotton and acrylic and come up around DK in weight. However you can use any yarn you fancy so long as the resulting squares measure 2.5 inches each when complete.



If you wish to make the waistcoat bigger or smaller, simply get one of your favourite fitted cardigans and make enough squares to fit the width across the the chest armpit to armpit to assess your personal measurement. Don't forget men like Paul McCartney were wearing these in the 60/70s, swop the colours for earthy tones and I am sure it would look great on a guy too!

Free Pattern For Crocheted Granny Square Waistcoat 1960/70s

Here are the instructions for each square, I used a 3mm crochet hook. (Don't forget the squares should each measure 2.5 inches when complete. Change your hook size until you have the correct tension to make the squares the right size.)

You will need 114 squares made like this:

Chain 5 and join with a sl.st
Round 1. Chain 3 and work 15 tr into the ring, join with a sl.st into 3rd st of 3 ch. fasten off 
Round 2. Join new colour in a space between any tr. ch 3, 1 tr in same space., *ch1, miss 2 tr., (2 tr., 2 ch., 2 tr) in next space = corner, ch 1, miss 2 tr., 2 tr in next space., rep from * to complete round, sl st in 3rd st of ch 3 fasten off.
Round 3.  Join new colour in space between any space before a corner and complete 2dc in same space., *ch 1., (2dc., 2 ch., 2dc.,) = corner, ch 1, 2dc in next space, ch 1, 2dc in next space, ch1, now complete corner and repeat until round complete, ch 1, sl st to join. fasten off.
Round 4. With main background colour (I used pale grey), join in any dc and complete one round of dc with 2 dc at each corner.
Neatly & firmly knot and tie in your loose ends as you complete each square

Check your square measures 2.5 inches and then make 114 squares.

You may decide to block your squares to ensure they are consistently square. (You can do this with an old chopping board, simply get 4 brass picture hook nails and hammer these into the board to match the 4 internal corners of your square, then pop your square onto these for an hour or so to shape.) Below is a picture of my homemade blocking board with the Scheepjes River and Stone washed yarn I used to make my waistcoat. I ordered 2 more balls of full size yarn for the background/edging grey colour 



Once you've completed, your 114 squares lay them out to form this shape:



The back (as seen on left of photo above) consists of 5 rows of 8 squares, then 3 rows of 6 squares.  
The front consists of 2 parts (as seen on right of photo above) each is made up of 5 rows of 4 squares, 2 rows of 3 squares and 1 row of 2 squares. (You'll notice I made the fronts to match one another, but you don't need to do this).

Stitch your squares together right sides facing in horizontal rows and then join the rows together as per the layout in the photo above. Stitch the shoulders and sides right side facing. Now complete a row of dc in main colour round each armhole. Now complete 2 rows of dc in main colour around all outer edge. Press lightly with a cool iron on wrong side to complete.



I hope you find this pattern easy and useful, if you get stuck or would like to show me your waistcoat do email hello@yayretro.co.uk!  Why not go shopping in the yay retro! vintage shop now?

Posted in Crochet by yayretro on 09/04/2018

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