The Big Acorn Race

A Squirrel Picnic Story with Crochet Patterns and Projects


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Tips on Crocheting the Back of Your Tall ‘n’ Fast Flower Pillow

Pillow Back IMG_2385

Way back in April, I mentioned 3 options for crocheting your pillow back: use the Pillow Front pattern to crochet the back as well or use the Pillow Back pattern to crochet a plain back or one in many colors. If you decide to use the Pillow Front, go on ahead. You know what to do. 🙂

There are several ways to use the Pillow Back pattern to achieve a unique look. Use 1 color, use 2 or 3 or 4 or more. Lay them out in any pattern you like. Here are just a few ideas:

  1. Crochet each round a different color, working in the same sequence or mixing it up. For my back (in the photo at right), I used 5 colors in alternating stripes. Each sequence is varied only slightly (some go blue, pink, purple, green, yellow and some go blue, purple, pink, yellow, green).
  2. Crochet blocks of color. Work 1 round in one color, then work the next 2 rounds in a different color.
  3. Crochet blocks of color that get wider as you work outward. This might look something like this:
    Rnd 1: With A                               Rnds 9-12: With B
    Rnds 2-3: With B                          Rnd 13: With A
    Rnd 4: With A                               Rnds 14-18: With B
    Rnds 5-7: With B                          Rnd 19: With A
    Rnd 8: With A                                Rnd 20: With B

Spiral Back

If you enjoyed making the spiral on the front of the pillow, perhaps you’d like to make a spiral for the back as well.

Special thanks to Sharon Pridmore and Elaine Womack for testing this pattern so that I could share it here with everyone!

Spiral Back

Materials

(A) Approximately 150 yards medium-weight yarn in main color
(B) Approximately 150 yards medium-weight yarn in contrasting color
Size F-5 (3.75 mm) crochet hook
Yarn needle or tapestry needle

Instructions

Note: Unlike the pillow front, the back is worked in multiples of 11 so that we end up with the same final stitch count as the front. Most importantly, as you complete Rnd 1, note that you are only working 7 sts into the magic loop.

Rnd 1: Make a magic loop with A. Into the magic loop, sc, hdc, 2 dc. Attach B. Into the magic loop, sc, hdc, 1 dc. Pull the magic loop tight to close. (7) (See these tips on starting a spiral with a magic loop.)

Rnd 2: Continuing with B, 2 dc in next sc and ea of next 3 sts. Remove your hook. (11)

At end of ea rnd, remove your hook and pick up next color to begin next rnd.

Rnd 3: With A, 2 dc in ea st to the end. (22)

Rnd 4: With B, *dc in next dc, 2 dc in next dc, rep from * to the end. (33)

Rnd 5: With A, *dc in next 2 dc, 2 dc in next dc, rep from * to the end. (44)

Rnd 6: With B, *dc in next 3 dc, 2 dc in next dc, rep from * to the end. (55)

Rnd 7: With A, *dc in next 4 dc, 2 dc in next dc, rep from * to the end. (66)

Rnd 8: With B, *dc in next 5 dc, 2 dc in next dc, rep from * to the end. (77)

Rnd 9: With A, *dc in next 6 dc, 2 dc in next dc, rep from * to the end. (88)

Rnd 10: With B, *dc in next 7 dc, 2 dc in next dc, rep from * to the end. (99)

Rnd 11: With A, *dc in next 8 dc, 2 dc in next dc, rep from * to the end. (110)

Rnd 12: With B, *dc in next 9 dc, 2 dc in next dc, rep from * to the end. (121)

Rnd 13: With A, *dc in next 10 dc, 2 dc in next dc, rep from * to the end. (132)

Rnd 14: With B, *dc in next 11 dc, 2 dc in next dc, rep from * to the end. (143)

Rnd 15: With A, *dc in next 12 dc, 2 dc in next dc, rep from * to the end. (154)

Rnd 16: With B, *dc in next 13 dc, 2 dc in next dc, rep from * to the end. (165)

Rnd 17: With A, *dc in next 14 dc, 2 dc in next dc, rep from * to the end. (176)

Rnd 18: With B, *dc in next 15 dc, 2 dc in next dc, rep from * 7 more times, 5 hdc, 5 sc. FO with alternative join method and weave in end.

Rnd 19: With A, *dc in next 16 dc, 2 dc in next dc, rep from * 2 more times, 5 hdc, 5 sc, join with slst. (187)

 

 

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Tips for Making the Spiral in the Tall ‘n’ Fast Flower Pillow

This week in the crochet along, we made the spiral that begins our Tall ‘n’ Fast Flower Pillows. Crocheting spirals is one of my favorite techniques. It looks a lot more complicated than it really is. Once you start you won’t want to stop!

To get started, grab the yarn you want to use for A and B in the pattern. You’ll need your G-6 (4.00 mm) crochet hook as well. The spiral is also the pattern used for the gauge swatch, which I’ll go over in more detail after we have our spirals made.

Rnd 1: The first step is to make a magic loop with A. You’ll find a step-by-step tutorial of this on page 34 of your book. (I hope to put together a video of this soon!) There are other methods to make a magic loop, but after years of trial and error, I’ve found this one to be the easiest.

Work your first 4 stitches into the magic loop, but don’t close the magic loop just yet.

Remove your hook and pull on the loop where your hook was so that you won’t lose your stitches when you attach and begin working with B.

Magic Loop

Attach B by making a slip knot and placing it on your hook. Hold the magic loop in your left hand. To sc into the magic loop, insert your hook into the loop from front to back, yo, pull through the loop, yo again and pull through both loops on hook.

Once you’ve made your B stitches into the loop, you’ll need to close the magic loop.

1) Here’s what yours should look like so far. (Except maybe for the kinks. My yarn was very kinky for some reason.)

Magic Loop 1

2) Gently hold the A stitches between the thumb and pointer finger of your right hand. With your left hand, pull slightly on the tail end of A while watching which of the A loops gets smaller. See how in the photo below, one loop has shrunk!

Magic Loop 2

3) With your left hand, pull on the shrunken loop until the magic loop magically closes! Except for that one loop that got bigger. No worries. We’ll take care of that next.

Magic Loop 3

4) Pull the tail end of A again until this last loop is snug. And you’re all set!

Magic Loop 4

Rnd 2: Now pick up B again. You’ll be working into each of the A stitches (yellow in this photo).

9 Spiral IMG_2014

For each round in Rnds 3-7 you will be working into all the stitches of the opposite color. So for Rnd 3, pick up A again, and work 2 dc into each of the B stitches. The last stitch will be the one with the long loop of B. See it’s not so hard at all.

But be sure to count your stitches just to make sure you match the pattern throughout. Otherwise things might get complicated and we don’t want that. Here’s what your spiral will look like at the end of each round.

Fasten Off B with the Alternative Join Method (aka Needle Joining)

1. Cut the B yarn leaving a tail of at least 6 inches. Fasten off as you normally would by drawing the tail through the last stitch. Thread the tail onto a yarn needle or tapestry needle.
1 Alternative Join IMG_20672. With right side of fabric facing you, pass the tail under both loops of the next stitch from front to back.

2 Alternative Join IMG_2069

3. Insert the needle into the center of the last stitch of the round, under the back loop only, and out to the wrong side of the fabric.

3 Alternative Join IMG_2074

4. Pull gently to adjust the stitch so that it looks invisible. Weave in the end on the wrong side of the fabric.

4 Alternative Join IMG_2076Gauge

Now is a great time to measure the diameter of your spiral. Your spiral should measure 7” from one side to the other, through the center. (You can give or take up to 3/8” on either side without being too concerned.) But if it is really quite a bit smaller, you’ll need to try again with a larger hook. If it is larger, try the spiral again with a smaller hook.

See you next time for Rounds 10-13!

Rnd 9

Rnd 9