Sunday, March 4, 2012

Budding into Spring Square

Although it is March, there is about a 3-inch blanket of snow outside my window and all I can think about is the warmer days of Spring. I fantasize about not having to wear my snow boots just to take out the trash or get the mail, and I think of how free my limbs will feel at the thought of not having to wear a winter coat for long. I can't wait for nature to wake up once more and shake from its limbs the last remnants of snow and frost. I await for the signs of new life as flowers and trees form those little tiny buds that herald the news that Winter is gone. Those little buds are what inspired me to create the "Budding into Spring Square." The little clusters at the end of the circles remind me of the quickening of a flower and the star stitches hint of the what hides beneath the bud:a small blossom.You can transform this square into potholders, washcloths, or parts to a crocheted quilt.
These squares started out as my endeavor to make some unique looking coasters; however, my friends argued that it might look like doily. I still think it is an elegant coaster because I am not a doily-type of person (not there is anything wrong with that). To the right is the original idea I had. What do you think? Is it a coaster or doily?

During this debate of "coaster vs. doily," another friend suggested that I could easily attach them together to make an afghan of some sort. The thought intrigued me, and I experimented on a couple of circles to see what it would look to attach them together. The result was not to my taste. I don't like too many gaps in my afghans because I don't like the feeling of cuddling with a blanket and finding my toes can stick through it. However, the exercise got me to thinking how I could turn those circles into squares, and thus preventing places or holes from which my rebel tootsies can escape. The following pattern was the result:

Sc -- Single crochet
Hdc -- Half double crochet
Dc -- double crochet
Tr -- Treble crochet
CL -- Cluster
Beg -- Begin (Beginning)
Sl St -- Slip Stitch
WS -- Wrong Side
RS -- Right Side
Sp -- Space
St(s) -- Stitch(es)
  •  1 skein of  medium worsted weight yarn.  Pictured is the multi-color from the Loops and Threads Cotton Club Wrangler Color (sadly this is a discontinued color). The solid blue comes from the Lion Brand's Cotton Ease line in the Lake color.
  • Crochet hook size: 4.25 mm (US G/6)
  • Close-up of Star Stitch
  • 1 tapestry needle to weave ends in
Special Stitches:
  • Beg Star of Star Stitch -- Ch 3, put your hook in the second ch from the hook and draw up a loop, put your hook in the same ch (the second chain from the hook) and draw up another loop, put your hook in the third ch from your hook and draw up another loop, put your hook in the same sc that the ch 3 came from and draw up another loop, put your hook in the next sc and draw up a loop, put your hook in the next sc and draw up another loop (now there should be 7 loops on your hook), YO and pull through all 7 loops on your hook and then ch 1.
    This stitch makes the lower half of the star.
  • Star Stitch -- Put your hook in the ch 1 sp of that you made in the previous star and draw up a loop, put your hook in the same ch 1 sp again and draw up another loop, put your hook in the last loop of the last star stitch made and draw up another loop, put your hook into sc the previous star stitch ended and draw up another loop, put your hook into the next sc and draw up a loop, put your hook in the next sc and draw up another loop (there should be 7 loops on your hook), YO, and pull through all 7 loops on your hook and then ch 1. This stitch makes the lower half of the star
  • Close-up of  Budding Cluster
  • Budding CL Stitch: Ch 1, In the next sc, *put your hook in on the RS and pull up a loop, yo and pull through 1 loop ** rep from * to ** 4x (There should be five loops on your hook) YO and pull through all five loops and then sl st into the next sc through the WS.
To start: Using color A, Ch 4 and join with a sl st to make a circle.
  1. sc 15x into the circle and join the circle with a sl st at the top of the first sc (15 sts.).
  2. Ch 3 (counts as 1 dc) dc in the same sc sp, 2 dc in the rest of the sc sps in the circle and join circle with a sl st at the top of the beg ch 3 (30 sts).
  3. Star Stitch row: 1 Beg Star Stitch, then create 14 more Star Stitches around the circle, hdc in the last dc and join round with a sl st into the first loop of the Beg star stitch (Makes 15 stars sts).
  4. NB: This row is actually what completes the star stitches. Basically it creates the tops of the stars. Ch 2; 3 hdc in each eye (the ch 1 space at the end each star stitch) of the stars in the previous row, hdc in the previous row's hdc (the ending stitch of row 3) and sl st into the top of the beg ch 2 to join to complete the round. (46 sts)
  5. Make the budding CL stitch around the whole circle 22x. The last sl st should go into the sc that the ch 1 came from. (makes 22 budding CLs, or 44 sts). Cast off and weave ends in (if you plan on changing colors at this point).

    The previous steps make the circle. This can be used as coaster or doily depending on which side you take on the whole debate. The following rows will show you how to make make the squared off edges to be part of a crocheted quilt or hot pad depending on what you want your square to be.
  6. Bring in Color B by sl st into any st in the circle. Ch. 3(counts as 1dc), 1 dc, 2 tr, 2 ch, 2tr, 2 dc(makes the first corner) in the same stitch that you sl st into to change colors. Hdc in the next 10 st. *(2 dc, 2 tr, 2 ch, 2 tr, 2 dc) in the next st (makes a corner), Hdc in the next 11 st.* rep * to ** 3x to form the square edges. At the end you might have to hdc in the last st. twice in order to get ll hdc on the last side. This is due to an error in the numbering of stitches in previous rounds.  Fortunately I figured a way to fix it without having to unwind the whole squares, so if you ran out of space before you completed your 11 hdc on the last side, just add one more hdc in the last st. Once you are done with your 11 hdc, sl st into the top of the ch 3 that began the round. I will at some point have to relook at this pattern to correct the round error, but it still works and does not effect the look of the square. I have made many squares and no one can tell the difference.
  7. Ch 2 (counts as 1 hdc), put hdc in the next 3 sts, *(2hdc, 2 ch, 2 hdc) in the corner, hdc in the next 18sts** repeat 3x. Sl St in the top of the ch 2 that began the round. Cast off and weave in the ends.
Here's the reverse side. Not to shabby.
You can incorporate these squares into many projects like a granny square project for an afghan (which is what I intend on doing). You can do this square to add a little more texture and beauty to any project involving squares.
Let me know if you are having an trouble I will try to answer your questions. Thanks for taking a gander. Have a great March!

LOOK AT WHAT I CREATED!!!! It's incredible!


  1. Without the edging they look like coasters to me. I like them because they are very different.


  3. I would recommend cutting and pasting the text to a word prcoessing document. Then printing from there.

  4. To me a doily would be more lacy. You know, more holes for fingers and toes to escape from? lol. I think these would make excellent coasters and the squares would make good pot holders, too.

    1. I think that is my philosophy as well Jackie. I never thought of pot holders, but I would double up on it or make two and sew them together. Thanks for your input! :D

  5. what size is this square?

  6. What size of square does it make? I need 6x6.

  7. I would suggest the easiest way to print a pattern is to hold down the CTRL button and hit the letter P.