Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Owl of Hexes

I was asked to make an owl present- no real stipulation other than 'bright colors' and they needed it fairly quickly, so I did a search to get ideas. I found the picture of THIS BLANKET on a blog that (I think) translates to 'Rosaly Hooks'.  Rosaly has a great collection of lovely projects you will enjoy looking through. The time constraint I had meant I needed to do something fast yet impressive, so this immediately grabbed my attention. I could not tell from the translation of the post if this was an original design or an idea from somewhere else, so if someone knows if credit is owed, please let me know!

So now I just needed a Hex pattern! 

I remembered there were some great tutorials on Attic 24 and sure enough I found her join-as-you-go Hex and it was perfect! Again, this was a rush, so JAYG is the way to go! With Worsted Weight and an I hook this was going to give me a hex a little under 6 inches wide, which would work out perfectly for a throw that was 11 hexes wide. This is a tutorial and not a pattern, so it takes a little concentration if you are like me and are in a hurry to just see the pattern already, but it's very simple and easy and after you make one you totally got that! 

I did mine in a solid color, of course, which was totally going to help with my time constraints. Still... there were a LOT of ends (well, would be TONS worse if they WEREN'T solid, but we are all allowed to complain about ends as much as we like). 

Anyway, I liked Rosaly's colors a lot, so went pretty close to this, only I wanted my owl to look like it were sitting in a tree, so I made the background green and the bottom row brown like a branch. I also decided to do half-hexes up the sides in place of the full hexes that jutted out in order to get straight edges. This was going to save me time, yarn, and the need to add a not-so-simple border.

I looked on Attic 24 and didn't see a half-hex pattern if there is one, so I just made up my own. It's a pretty obvious cutting the hex in half and adding just enough to the ends to make a place for the next row to go sort of pattern-adjusting. If you are already making the hexes then this should make sense without a picture walk-through.

Now these half-hexes go into the bigger-gapped sides of the hexes (for lack of a better term). I didn't do hexes for the 'ripple' edges (the top and bottom edge of my blanket). I LIKED the ripple edge, so I didn't bother. I think if you did NOT like the ripple edge you could use this very same pattern, just change where you put the corners in on the last row. And they would also hang down below some, but you can just join their edges to each other along with everything else.

Half-Hex (Solid Color)
Based on Attic 24's Join-as-you-go Hexagon tutorial
(American Crochet Terms)

MC - Magic Circle. Ch - chain, Dc - double crochet, Dc2tog - double crochet two together, Sc - single crochet, Sp - space, Slst - slip stitch, FO - finish off

1. Ch3 + 6dc in a MC. Do not join, close MC. Turn. (7)

2. Ch4 (counts as dc + ch1). (dc2tog, ch1)in the first dc and in the next 5. Dc in the top of the turning chain. Turn. (6clusters + 2dc + 7ch1)

3. Ch3. 2dc in next ch sp. 3dc in each of the next 5 ch sp. 2dc in the last ch sp. Dc in the top of the turning chain. Turn. (21dc)

4. Ch1. Sc in the first. Ch2, Sk2. (Sc between the next 2 stitches, ch3, sk3) 5 times. Ch2, sk2, sc in the last. Turn. (8sc + 7 ch sp)

5. Ch4* (counts as dc + ch1*). 3dc in the 1st and 2nd ch sp. (3dc, ch2*, 3dc) in the 3rd ch sp. 3dc in the 4th ch sp. (3dc, ch2*, 3dc) in the 5th ch sp. 3dc in the 6th and 7th ch sp. Ch1*, dc in the sc. FO. (3 sides, 2 corners, 2 half-corners)

*substitute a slst for 1 of the chains in these places to join as needed

Half-Hex (Multiple Colors)
Based on Attic 24's Join-as-you-go Hexagon tutorial
(American Crochet Terms)

MC - Magic Circle. Ch - chain, Dc - double crochet, Dc2tog - double crochet two together, Sc - single crochet, Sp - space, Slst - slip stitch, FO - finish off

1. (First color) Ch3 + 6dc in a MC. Do not join, close MC. FO, do not turn. (7)

2. (Second color) Join with a Ch4 (counts as dc + ch1) in the first stitch. (dc2tog, ch1)in the first dc and in the next 5. Dc in the top of the turning chain. FO, do not turn. (6clusters + 2dc + 7ch1)

3. (Third color) Join with a Ch3 in the first stitch. 2dc in next ch sp. 3dc in each of the next 5 ch sp. 2dc in the last ch sp. Dc in the top of the turning chain. FO, turn. (21dc)

4. (Fourth color) Join with a Ch1 in the first stitch. Sc in the same. Ch2, Sk2. (Sc between the next 2 stitches, ch3, sk3) 5 times. Ch2, sk2, sc in the last. Turn. (8sc + 7 ch sp)

5. (Continue with 4th color) Ch4* (counts as dc + ch1*). 3dc in the 1st and 2nd ch sp. (3dc, ch2*, 3dc) in the 3rd ch sp. 3dc in the 4th ch sp. (3dc, ch2*, 3dc) in the 5th ch sp. 3dc in the 6th and 7th ch sp. Ch1*, dc in the sc. FO.  (3 sides, 2 corners, 2 half-corners)

*substitute a slst for 1 of the chains in these places to join as needed

Border
I did a very simple border. First I sc all around, changing colors to work around the branch end with brown. I worked BLO whenever possible and I SKIPPED the ch2's. I then did a second round in hdc (through both loops) placing 2hdc in both stitches on each side of the 'points' and doing a sc3tog in the 'dips'. 

You may not be surprised to know that I have actually never used my iron.


Project Summary
- Hook: I/9 5.5mm
 -Hex measurement: 5.75inches
- Throw Measurement: 60x58 inches
- Yarn: I Love This Yarn #4/Medium weight
Turquoise (belly) 13 hex, 250yds
Peacock (body) 15 hex, 300yds
Mixed Berries (wings and head) 29 hex, 580yds
Brown (branch) 6 hex, plus border, 150yds
Desert Glaze (beak and feet) 7 hex, 140yds
Limelight (background) 22hex, 10 half-hex + border, 650yds
White (eyes) 12 hex, 240yds
Black (pupils) 2 hex, 40yds
Time Spent: Including ends, about 20 hrs total

Baby Blanket possibility: 
With a smaller hook and/or DK yarn, you would probably end up with just the right size for a baby. If somebody tries it, be sure to share your project link and specs with us!

I hope you have found this useful! If you end up making one, let me know! We are looking at trying to come up with more animal blanket ideas using hexes. Do you know of any? Share the links!


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