So yesterday I showed you my finished Garden State afghan and I noted that the only real change I made was on the 12″ Happy Flower pattern. I always feel guilty when changing patterns up, even though I do it a lot. I know that patterns are like designers’ babies in a sense; then again, creativity is driven by trying new things out. And so it goes. Anyway, when I got the pattern for this one, I was already having a little conversation with my children, and we were talking about things that made us happy. My younger son, sweet tooth that he has, piped up and said that a “big, swirly, lollipop” was one thing that made him happy. And so when I saw that the pattern called for a swirl up the center, just like a lollipop, I had a vision in my head of various colors swirling around each other.
Except that it wasn’t so easy to do.
So then I thought that I’d just do regular circles in the back loop only (BLO) extending outwards. And I did all four centers this way, but it just looked a little… weak, I don’t know. The stitches showed through, as they do, and it just wasn’t what I had envisioned. I wanted something stronger; something bolder. And so I went back and re-did all four.
Here’s what I came up with, and here’s how to crochet strong circles by using crochet rounds with a slip stitch. What you’re doing is making BLO (back loop only) circles as you normally would, but then going over that same round in the front loop with a slip stitch. The back loops are then hidden by the slip stitch round and then you move onto the next color. Here’s the basic setup:
Start: Magic loop or chain 4 and then connect to make a circle
Round 1: sc into the loop 8 or 10 stitches.
Round 2: (using the same color) 2 sc in each stitch around.
Round 3: (using the same color) slip stitch into each front loop around. Fasten off.
Round 4: Join next color in the back loop and (sc in stitch, 2 sc in next) around. Do this behind the slip stitch round.
Round 5: (using the same color) slip stitch into each front loop around. Fasten off.
Round 6: Join next color in the back loop and (sc in next 2 stitches, 2 sc in next) around (again, behind the slip stitch round).
Round 7: Repeat Round 3.
Round 8: Join next color in the back loop and (sc in next 3 stitches, 2 sc in next) around (again, behind the slip stitch round).
Round 9: Repeat Round 3.
You can make this as big as you want to by just continuing the pattern. Rounds 10 and 12 would be (sc in next 3 stitches, 2 sc in next) and (sc in next 4 stitches, 2 sc in next), with that first number going up by 1 each time. And basically you keep this pattern up, doing the stitches in the back loop and slip stitching around the front loop. It hides the sides of the stitches wonderfully. The one thing I noticed is that with the addition of the extra slip stitches, the circle turns out to be a tiny bit larger than the ones I made without, so plan accordingly if you’re going to be using in a pattern. But figuring out how it all fits together is part of the fun in crochet, isn’t it?
It all worked out just lovely in the end and my Happy Flower truly did turn out happy. Have a great Tuesday!