The Six Square Method

Hey lovelies,

I hope you’re all keeping safe and well!

With the upcoming release of the Gigi Jumper 2.0 and the Sylvia Jumper, my granny obsessed brain has been in overdrive trying to make grannies as quickly as physically possible. So, both my partner and I developed this magic technique to make 6 unique 3-round squares from 3 different colours in only 7 steps.

This all sounds a bit strange and complicated, but allow me to explain why The Six Square Method is now my absolute go-to whenever I make grannies. This method has surfaced in many of my tester chats, so I thought it would be great to share with you guys too! It’s essentially the most efficient version of the production line method to create 6 unique combinations from the same 3 colours. This works especially well when sticking to a set colour scheme or just to help save time when scrap-busting.

When making the Gigi Jumper 2.0, my size (XL) required over 140 3-round granny squares to be made, which is a pretty scary number! From experience of making the very first Gigi in 2020, I remember that picking the colours for each square was the most time consuming part and as a designer I need my makes to be as quick as possible. So, for Gigi #2, I asked my very maths-orientated partner to help me streamline the process. Bless his heart, I received a verbal essay on mathematical permutations resulting in a small headache on my behalf and the conclusion that 6 unique squares could be made when there are 3 rounds to the granny square and where 3 colours are being used.

Essentially, the squares being made in The Six Square Method will end up looking like this with you only having to change yarns 7 times: (A, B and C all stand for a different colour)

ABC
ACB
BCA
BAC
CAB
CBA

I used Stylecraft Special DK In A: Cloud, B: Citron, C: Pomegranate

So gather the 3 colours of your choice and we’ll get started!

From the picture above, you can see that I used post-it notes to mark the different colour piles out. This is where we will be placing the squares that need either A, B or C working as the following round. You might find that doing the same will help, but as long as you keep the 3 colours separate you’ll be fine!

The technique of moving the squares into different piles may seem complicated, but just remember not to place an existing square on a pile if that square already has that colour worked into it. For example: You wouldn’t place a Rnd2-YarnA&YarnB on the Yarn A or B pile, it only belongs on the Yarn C pile as that is the only different colour left to work.

THE GRANNY SQUARE

This is the pattern we will be following for the 3-round granny squares, as worked in the Sylvia and Gigi Jumper patterns (UK terms)

Rnd 1: (RS) Ch 3 (counts as 1 tr), 2 tr, ch 1. Work (3 tr, ch 1) three times. Sl st into 3rd ch at beg of row. Cut yarn and knot to secure.

Rnd 2: (RS) Join new yarn in any 1-ch space. Ch 3, (counts as 1 tr) work 2 tr, ch 1, 3 tr in same 1-ch space. (3 tr, ch 1, 3 tr) in each 1-ch space. Sl st into 3rd ch at beg of row. Cut yarn and knot to secure.

Rnd 3:
(RS) Join new yarn in any space between 3 tr groups (not the corner 1-ch space). 3ch (counts as 1tr) 2tr in same space. Work (3 tr, 1 ch, 3 tr) in next ch-1 space. *Work 3 tr in next space, Work (3 tr, 1 ch, 3 tr) in ch-1 space of previous row. Repeat from * twice more until end of rnd. Sl st into 3rd ch at beg of row. Cut yarn and knot to secure.

STEP ONE

With Yarn A, work 2 Rnd 1 only.

Place one in the Yarn B pile and place the other in the Yarn C pile.

STEP TWO

With Yarn B, work 2 Rnd 1 only. Work Rnd 2 on the Rnd1-Yarn A in the Yarn B pile.

Place one Rnd1-Yarn B in the Yarn A pile. Place the other Rnd1-Yarn B in the Yarn C pile. Place the Rnd2-Yarn B in the Yarn C pile.

STEP THREE

With Yarn C, work 2 Rnd 1 only. Work Rnd 2 on the Rnd1-Yarn A and Rnd1-Yarn B in the Yarn C pile. Work Rnd 3 on the Rnd2-YarnA&YarnB in the Yarn C pile.

Place one Rnd1-Yarn C in the Yarn A pile, and place the other Rnd1-Yarn C in the Yarn B pile. Place Rnd2-YarnB&YarnC in the Yarn A pile. Place Rnd2-YarnA&C in the Yarn B pile.

You’ve just finished your first square! (ABC from centre outwards)

STEP FOUR

With Yarn A, work Rnd 2 on the Rnd1-Yarn B and Rnd1-Yarn C. Work Rnd 3 on Rnd2-YarnB&YarnC square.

Place Rnd2-YarnB&A on Yarn C pile. Place Rnd2-YarnC&YarnB on Yarn B pile.

You’ve just finished your second square: BCA (from centre outwards)

STEP FIVE

With Yarn B, work Rnd 2 on Rnd1-Yarn C. Work Rnd 3 on Rnd2-YarnB&YarnC and Rnd2-YarnC&YarnB.

Place Rnd2-YarnC&YarnB in the Yarn A pile.

You’ve just finished two more squares: ACB and CAB (from centre outwards)

STEP SIX

With Yarn A, work Rnd 3 on the Rnd2-YarnC&YarnB square.

You’ve now finished your 5th square: CBA (from centre outwards)

STEP SEVEN

With Yarn C, work Rnd 3 on the Rnd2-YarnB&YarnA square.

Congrats – that’s the six squares totally completed! You’ve now finished your final square: BAC (from centre outwards)

You’ve now got 6 unique colour-ordered squares using the same 3 colours in only 7 steps!

I hope you’ve found this technique useful and I’d love to hear if you now use it. Please feel free to email or message me on Instagram with any questions you may have.

Happy hooking and lots of granny loving,

Holly x

Free Isla Baby Blanket Pattern

Hello lovelies! Thanks so much for reading my first blog and free pattern of 2021. This is just a quick and easy baby blanket pattern, but there’s nothing stopping you from scaling it up to make it adult sized.

The Isla Blanket is a gorgeously squishy blanket that has the most beautiful drape and super cute pompom edging! I used Paris stitch, which reminds me of C2C a little, but it just produces the most lovely texture which I am a little obsessed with! I’m desperately trying to see if I can sneak it into a garment design.

I hope you enjoy making the Isla Blanket, it’s a nice and mindful make with lots of soothing repetitive motions!

Pattern Notes

This pattern is written in UK crochet terminology.

I used Stylecraft Special DK in Pale Rose and White, but any DK that meets the gauge will work.

This pattern produces an 80cm x 110cm blanket, but if you wish to make a larger blanket simply chain a larger number, ensuring that it’s a multiple of 3 + 1.

A Paris Stitch cluster refers to: (2 tr, 2 ch, 1 dc)

Full disclosure: the border is not my design, but an original method from Daisy Farm Crafts! (tutorial linked below)

Materials Needed

4.5mm crochet hook
Yarn A (blanket colour) DK yarn (approx 1220m)
Yarn B (border colour) DK yarn (approx 250m)
Scissors
Darning needle

Gauge

6 paris stitch clusters x 10 rows = 10x10cm 

Follow the instructions for the blanket pattern, starting with a chain of 19 instead.

Abbreviations – UK terms

dc: double crochet
htr: half treble
tr: treble
ch: chain
st/sts: stitch/stitches
RS: right side
WS: wrong side

The Blanket

With Yarn A and 4.5mm hook (or size needed to obtain tension) ch 151.

Row 1: Skip 3 ch sts and work 1 tr in next st. Ch 2 and work 1 dc in same st as tr. **Skip 2 sts and work (2 tr, 2 ch, 1 dc) in the next st**. Repeat from ** to ** until the end of the row. (50 paris stitch clusters)

Row 2: Ch 3 and turn. Skip first dc. Work (1 tr, 2 ch, 1 dc) in first ch 2 space. **Work (2 tr, 2 ch, 1 dc) in next 2 ch space**. Repeat from ** to ** until the end of the row. (50 paris stitch clusters)

Repeat Row 2 until you have 110 rows in total, including the first Row 1 and Row 2 in that count OR  until your blanket is approx 110cm in length. 

The paris stitch leaves almost a scalloped edge, but to match the flat edge of the starting chain, we need to work a special row to flatten the end.

Final row: Ch 1 and turn. Work (1 dc, 1 htr, 1 ch) in each ch-space of the previous row.  Do not cut yarn.

The final row worked to produce a straight edge

Border

With Yarn A still attached and 4.5mm hook (or size needed to obtain tension)

Row 1 : (RS) With blanket yarn still attached, work a row of DC around the entire perimeter of the blanket. I worked 2 dc in each scalloped edge down the sides, but just experiment to see what gets you a nice flat finish. Cut yarn and knot to secure.

Pom Pom Edging

With Yarn B and 4.5mm hook (or size needed to obtain tension)

For the edging, I followed Daisy Farm Craft’s Crochet Dot Border tutorial and I’m not ashamed to say I will be bedazzling everything with these cute little poms! They have a fabulous step-by-step video tutorial for you to follow. I used the border colour (white) to really make the edging pop.

Congratulations! You’re all finished and ready to weave in your ends.

I really hope you enjoy this little make, I thought it was so simple but so effective AND I learnt a new stitch! Please share your HWD makes on Instagram, tagging me (@hollywoodwarddesigns) and using the hashtag #IslaBlanket so I can see your lovely makes.

Make sure to subscribe to new updates on my site, so you’ll never miss out on a HWD freebie!

Warm hugs, 

Christmas Tree and Gingerbread Garland

Hello lovelies, I hope you’re all doing okay on this chilly December evening!

I just thought I’d put together a little collection of (non HWD) patterns to show you how I made my Christmas Garland, which was featured on my social media this week.

I actually made the individual pieces last year and found them in a drawer last week, so you can imagine how excited I was to find them? All I had to do was assemble the garland as the ends were sewn in!

Before I go any further, I just want to reiterate that neither the pattern for the Christmas Tree nor the Gingerbread person are mine to distribute or share. I will be linking to the patterns for you to find, purchase and make yourself, but this is just a little post about how I put the two different patterns together to form my own little garland!

So I first started making the Christmas Tree Garland Pattern by Lilleliss. I made 2 in Stylecraft Special DK ‘Pistachio’ and 2 in Stylecraft Special DK ‘Meadow’. I couldn’t decide between the colours at the time, but I’m actually quite glad I went with 2 shades.

The Christmas Tree Garland – pattern and picture by Lilleliss

At this point I think I was only intending on making a Christmas Tree Garland, but I remember wanting something to spruce it up a little.

That’s when I came across  the Crochet Gingerbread Man Cookie Pattern by Repeat Crafter Me. It was such a cute, fun and easy pattern to make, AND IT’S FREEEEEE! It was absolutely perfect for what I wanted, especially as I chose to leave the Gingerbread person bare. I made three Gingerbread people with Stylecraft Special DK in ‘Camel’

The Crochet Gingerbread Man Cookie Pattern – pattern and photo by Repeat Crafter Me

So I laid the 7 pieces out and it looked SO CUTEEEE.

Because I’d used 100% acrylic yarn, the lovely little fellas needed to be blocked and stiffened. So I dunked them all in a 60/40 water/PVA mix, gave them a gentle squeeze and pinned them out on an old towel. They took a couple of days to properly dry but it worked fabulously – they’re stiff without being crispy (ew).

4 Christmas Trees and 3 Gingerbread people

I really liked how the garland was looking so far, but I needed to add more pieces to make it a good length. So, being the little lazy thing I am, I opted for pom poms!

The colours I chose for this project were fairly neutral, so I stuck to using Stylecraft Special DK in ‘White’ and ‘Dark Brown’ to make my poms. I made four of each colour and alternated the colours between each crocheted piece.

Now, it was time for joining. I used garden twine, which is hard on the fingers but looks so rustic and lovely.

To begin, I created a slip knot and chained 16.

I then worked a UK dc into the strand of yarn around the pom pom (it’s a bit fiddly and tends to dislodge other strands so your pom pom might need another trim later)

**Chain 9, work 1 dc into the top of the crocheted piece. Chain 9 and work 1 dc into the pom pom. **

Repeat from ** to ** until you’ve worked 1 dc into your last pom pom. Chain 16, cut and knot to secure!

Finished garland

Done! It’s as simple as that.

I hope you enjoyed this little read, and I look forward to seeing your Christmassy makes!

Stay warm and stay safe,

Holly x

#MeetTheMaker

Hello and welcome to Holly Woodward Design’s new website and first ever blog! It’s so nice to have you here.

I’m a content writer and digital marketing executive by day (pre-Covid redundancy) so I’ve written literally hundreds of blogs in my professional life. I haven’t, however, been able to pluck up the courage to begin writing my very own blog. It seems really daft that as a professional blog writer I would be intimidated to start my own personal site. It is really daft, so I am leaving that daftness behind and taking the plunge into blogging all things yarny and nice!

So, time for a proper introduction I think. This is a long one, so grab a cuppa and get comfy.

I’m Holly Woodward, a 20-something vegan living in Yorkshire. I learnt how to knit pretty young after receiving a “Knit Your Own Scarf” kit and I was instantly hooked. My knit skills were completely self taught from early YouTube videos and just gradually progressed, whereas I took up crochet via a class at my LYS. At this class I couldn’t get my head around how to hold the bloody hook and got very huffy with the instructor. (Lovely crochet teacher: if you’re reading this, I’m very sorry!) From then on, I don’t think I’ve ever had a significant amount of time in my life where I wasn’t knitting or crocheting.

I’m quite an anxious and nervous person, so the benefits of crafts have not been lost on me. I sometimes dabble in other mediums such as painting, calligraphy and card making, but if anything those hobbies induce more stress than they relieve. I think the crochet bug really kicked in whilst I was in my first year of university. I was away from home, really quite shy and introverted and just really struggled with the very out-going life of a typical uni student. On days I was feeling particularly pants, I hid under the duvet, watched Once Upon a Time and started hooking up the Happy Colours Blanket by Dorien Hollewijn.

The Happy Colours Blanket on my bed at my mum and dad’s house (2016)

This blanket brought me a lot of joy at a difficult time, so I’m really grateful to have spent that time and energy making it. It was the first (and biggest) useful item I ever crocheted and I’m still really proud of it. I grab it from the spare bed when I’m cold and even had to perform a bit of yarn surgery after it got caught on a coat hanger.

After making this blanket I seemed to be on a bit of a lull and didn’t know what to make. In uni halls, I only had one bed and more than one blanket seemed a bit overkill. I now understand that as a maker, you can never have too many handmade blankets, hats, scarves or jumpers, but I didn’t know that back then and for that you’ll have to forgive me. I think I’m not alone when I say I struggle to find a purpose for my crochet – I need an end goal or a finished item to work towards otherwise I get a bit restless.

So I remember coming across Attic 24’s Winter Wreath and I knew I had to give it a go. It was made up of tiny bits and bobs so I could pick up and put down at will. I freestyled, sourcing different leaf and flower patterns from other places but Lucy’s pattern was the main source of info and ideas. It was so fun to make, so I made two!

My version of Attic 24’s Winter Wreath

After a couple of years of not really having much crojo or a need for a finished item, last year (2019) I found out a couple of close family friends were expecting. I went a bit wild on Daisy Farm Crafts Pinterest page and made 2 or 3 of their designs, changing most of the colours to grey. There’s too many to post here, but you’ll see at the very beginning of my Instagram page that it’s baby blanket central.

2019 was the year I first made my own clothing too! I followed the wonderful A Good Vintage Cardigan by Fran Morgan and I was SO happy to have my own handmade cardigan. It’s way too big because I didn’t check my gauge (never ever again) but I really love it, especially as my mum helped me pick out the colours at my LYS.

I also made the Day Date Cardigan by Make and Do Crew, which I would 100% recommend to beginners.

It wasn’t until the March lockdown and my first bout of furlough that I actually gave any thought to designing my own clothes. I had bought a load of Lilac (Wisteria) Stylecraft Special Aran previously to make the Chainette Turtleneck by Knits N Knots, but I was still undecided on what to do. I first started knitting it up (to a pattern I can’t remember) and realised my knitting skills were very rusty, so that idea was soon frogged.

So, I began drafting up the designs for a balloon-sleeved, longline, drop shoulder, oversized cardigan. I had a very clear image in my mind of how I wanted it to look and I knew I only needed simple shapes to achieve it, so I just went for it.

A sketch of the Lilith Cardigan, using simple shapes

Countless stitches and rows got frogged in the process of designing and making Lilith, and I very nearly gave up. I am a very persistent person, so after a good cuppa I started again and eventually got there! Honestly, designing your first pattern is ROUGH, but the sense of achievement you have when it’s finished is absolutely marvellous.

The Lilith Cardigan designed, made and modelled by me!

And then you lovely, lovely people went and bought it! I genuinely couldn’t (and still can’t) believe how many people made and loved Lilith. I didn’t even bribe any of them! And that’s when the design obsession really set in: people were willing to spend their hard earned pennies making something I designed. That last sentence is still a shock to me, and every time I am notified of another pattern sale I am so thankful, honoured and relieved.

I started this my designing journey in the middle of July, now it’s December and I’m working on my 11th pattern! I can’t believe how many designs have come tumbling off my hook in such a short amount of time.

In November, I was notified that Maya Mandala Jumper was nominated for LoveCraft’s Pattern of the month, and I needed to gain the most “likes” on the listing to win against nine other designs. Well, I shared and shared and my lovely friends and fellow makers really turned out to vote… and I won!

Maya Mandala Jumper is the current LoveCrafts pattern of the month (eeeeek!)

I am soooooo absolutely overwhelmed that over 70 people took the time to vote for my pattern, so I want to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who did. This is a very exciting and important step for HWD and it’s really spurred me onto to create even more!

So this #MeetTheMaker turned out to be my designer origin story? I’m okay with that! I hope you’ve enjoyed having a read and getting to know HWD a little better, I definitely enjoyed writing it.

Please do leave a comment below, I’d love to get to know more of you too!

Stay warm, stay safe and squish all the yarn,

Holly x