Friday, 1 May 2009

Shells & Flowers

Hello there!

Well, after a couple of you asked me how I did the shell stitch which Im using to make my current cushion cover (pic above) I offered to share how I did it. Well, Im afraid Im one of those horribly honest people who fear policemen and anyone in charge so I began to wonder if I would be in trouble for writing out how I did it...anyway, I looked about on the internet a bit, and it seems this is the basic shell stitch and there seems to be quite a few tutorials online for it, so I thought if I write in my words exactly how I did it, it would probably be alright.

So, here we go. I am using American stitch descriptions as that is how I learnt. The stitches you will use are Single Crochet (SC) and Double Crochet (DC)

You will need to find a hook that is suitable for your chosen wool. I am using Sirdar Baby Bamboo DK wool and a hook number 4.

Start your chain by making multiples of 6 then add 2 at the end of your chain.

First of all, you need to do a SC into the second stitch from your hook. Then, miss the next 2 stitches out and DC 5 stitches into the next stitch.

Miss the next 2 stitches and SC into the next stitch. Carry on like this until you reach the end - you should be doing a SC into the last stitch to finish the row.

Turn your work and chain 3 - this will turn out to be the middle of a half shell. Into the SAME stitch, do 2 DC's.

Miss 2 stitches, and then do 1 SC into the next stitch ~ this should be the top of the middle shell that you created in your previous row . Miss the next 2 stitches and then do 5 DC's into the next stitch. Miss the next 2 stitches and SC into the following this to the end of the row - if you've done it right you should be doing 3 DC stitches into the last stitch on this row, to make another half shell.

Turn your work and do a single crochet into the top of the last DC stitch (which is the last stitch of the previous half shell), then miss 2 stitches and work 5 DC's into the next stitch...thats it - just keep repeating the pattern til you're done! You will notice that your single crochet stitches sit on the middle stitch of every shell and that your current shell sits between the two on the row below. This is how the lovely flowing pattern starts to emerge.

To add new colours, finish at the end of each row and just knot your new colour as close to the stitch as possible before carrying on.

Oh I do hope this makes sense and your shells turn out alright!! If you're still a bit confused, and I do apologise for the lack of helpful photographs, you can check out this helpful video tutorial I found for you which should sort out any hiccups :)

Talking of crochet...last night I started to crochet my sunny summer garden blocks together - Im working on the granny square pattern that Lucy shared on Attic24 (that lady has alot to answer for and I hold her completely responsible for my current addiction heehee!!)
Here's how its looking so far - I worked out last night (with a rather large sigh of relief) that it needn't be as big as I was thinking, having laid it out on our rug for size, Ive discovered that instead of 31 more of these blocks, I only really need 21 to make a very good sized blanket! Hurrah!!!
Well May is upon us already, and its the bank holiday - we don't have any plans as such for it right now but if the weather is fine I can feel a picnic near a stream coming on, perhaps a wander round a nice garden centre and a country stroll...I seem to repell against joining long traffic queues on motorways these days as the masses throng to the coast, fight for parking spots, get rained on and drive home in a grump - I don't want to sound miserable but that just ain't my idea of fun, no, Id rather have a peaceful weekend closer to home with my nearest and dearest and leave it up to serendipity what happens.

I hope you all have lovely bank holidays, whatever your plans - and I send you sunshine, warm days, and scoops of extra time for things that delight you.

Love J xxx


  1. Hi Julia, I'm thrilled you popped by my blog. Your blog is beautiful my daughter, Abi and I wandered through your blog and photos last night oooohing and ahhhhing - We have a Etsy wish list now!! I have just replenished my supply of yarn to finish my garden block blanket, a la Lucy, I will post some pictures next week - yours is looking great. If I finish I might attempt a ripple and some shells! Have a super weekend, hugs Debs xx

  2. My hubby is a policeman and he is coming round to arrest you for being a serial and prolific crocheter - its a real offence!! Beautiful shells. xxx

  3. Well done on the crochet instructions! Your blanket is gorgeous. I like the colour combinations you have used. Have a wonderful weekend doing the things you love to do.x

  4. that sounds like a nice way to spend monday..I love the blanket...mine is waiting in a basket till I finish everything for the fair....

  5. HI Julia and many thanks for the shell tutorial. Will have a go soon. Am a quarter of the way through my second ripple cushion at the moment and also have a mind to try the hexagon pattern a la Lucy. So will fit this one in somewhere in between. Have a great May holiday and I hope you find a nice stream to picnic by. Dev X

  6. Julia your blanket is looking beautiful! I got a beginner knitting book for my birthday and have been practising different stitches, great fun. Have a lovely rest of the weekend and can't wait to catch up soon xxx

  7. Loving the granny blanket! It looks lovely. I'm not really a bright colour person, except when it comes to crochet - the brighter the better :)

    Love Fi x

  8. Crochet is far too addictive isn't it. I used to like knitting, but haven't touched that for months since I can get a quick colour fix this was. I started on a ripple the other evening and have been getting up early to work on it in bed - how sad is that really. I loved the picture of your shell crochet in last post and have been trying that one out too as yours looks so lovely.

    Your comments were much appreciated by the way. Glad you like Southwold too.

    Lisa x

  9. Thank you for stopping by my blog, your illustrations are gorgeous!

    Micki x

  10. Hi Julia
    Thank you for your very kind comments and good wishes re: Larry. I LOVE the blanket that you have made. I have just started doing some crochet. I have put my nam down for a course and am waiting to hear back. In the meantime I am learning from a book!I hope that eventually, I can get the fantastic results you get. Your choice of colours are so right up my street! I also really like the cushion that you made in shades of blue.
    I hope that you had a good bank holiday weekend!
    Take care
    Isabelle x

  11. Julia...I don't know why I've somehow missed your blog completely, but so glad I popped in today....WOW!!!!!! You summer garden blanket is awesome, and I Love that you've edged in blue....I'd already decided that I'm gonna rip out all my white borders and replace with bluey colours...and now seeing your blanket has just confirmed that!

  12. your color selection is what makes it so stunning. just love it

  13. Julia, I must admit, I don't understand how you change colors that look the way you made it. Do you have to keep stopping and starting with new colors all the time? The only way I know is to stop one color and cut it off and attach the new color. It seems that would give you a lot of ends to weave back in. Your colors are beautiful and you are very talented.

    1. Hi, yes Im afraid you do have to change colour - and yes, that does mean many ends to sew in but the end result is so worth it I think! Good luck with your project xxx


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