Hello my crafting friends!! I want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for your orders of my new book Crochet Animal Blankets and Blocks. I’m extremely grateful for all of your support, kind feedback, and so many requests for different languages. I’m happy to announce that the German edition of this book is coming out in spring 2023 and I hope to see more languages available in the future.
I thought it would be good to write a post about special stitches and techniques that I used for making my crochet animal blocks. In the videos below I am working on a floral wall hanging, so if you wish to practice and get comfortable with a few new techniques, you can download the Daisies Block pattern for free at Bookmarked Hub and crochet along with me.
Intarsia colorwork technique allows you to change colors without carrying yarn horizontally through the stitches, so each section of color has its own working yarn that moves from row to row as you crochet, creating vertical floats on the back of the work. Since each section of color is worked from individual yarn sources, you will need to prepare some butterfly-bobbins that you will use in different color sections along with the original skein of yarn for larger sections. The patterns in my book specify which source of yarn to use when you are setting up the first row of colorwork.
So before you start, make some butterfly-bobbins using colors as indicated in the pattern. If you happen to run out of yarn on your bobbin before finishing your block, you can always wind an additional bobbin using the yarn end from the outside of the main skein (without breaking off your working yarn from the inside). Here is how I wind my bobbins for intarsia colorwork.
Intarsia With Increases & Decreases
In the video below I am changing colors for the flower center. Using this technique, you can easily change colors while decreasing (dc2tog) or increasing (2 dc in same st), and achieve a neat and clean finish on both sides (RS and WS). If you are a left-handed crocheter, I also have a mirrored video for you.
Weaving In The Ends
In the end, you will have a few yarn ends from each color section to weave in. My favorite tool for this part is a latch hook from my grandma’s knitting machine, but you can also use a regular tapestry needle.
After finishing your block with intarsia color changes there will be a few applique pieces or 3-D elements to sew. For instance, in the Daisies Block I am whipstitching the petals onto the block to finish it. When sewing, it’s important to take extra care pulling the needle along the top layer of the fabric (not all the way through) to prevent contrasting color yarn from showing on the back of the work.
Finishing Wall Hanging
To turn your finished block into a wall hanging, you will need a wooden dowel and some yarn scraps. The dowel rod should be at least 3″ longer than the width of your block. Thread the tapestry needle with a long piece of the main color of yarn and whipstitch across the top edge of the block, attaching it to the rod. Finish the bottom edge of the block with a row of tassels.
Using colorful yarn scraps, make a twisted cord for your wall hanging (you can check out my cord tutorial HERE). Tie the ends of the cord on each side of the rod and add some embellishments. I made a few leaves from the Sheep Block in the book, or you can modify the petals from the Daisies Block into several pairs of leaves.
As you see, these techniques are very simple and fun. I hope you will enjoy using them while making projects from my Crochet Animal Blankets and Blocks book. If you don’t have the book yet, here are a few sources where you can order it:
- Our Website (USA & Canada)
- Amazon (Paperback & Kindle eBook)
- Chapters / Indigo (Paperback pick up in store or mail delivery)
- Barnes & Noble (Paperback & NOOK Book)
- Books a Million (Paperback buy online and pick up at store)
- Angus & Robertson Australia (Paperback ships from Sydney warehouse)
- Walmart USA (Paperback)
- Apple Books (eBook)
- Google Play (eBook)
- Kobo (eBook)