Monday, December 12, 2016

Snowflake Hexagon

SnowFlake Hexagon
Picture Tutorial to make an Overlay Crochet Snowflake Hexagon with bonus diagram and tips to complete the Christmas Stocking shown.

I made this stocking for my grandson's first Christmas this year (at 11.5 months old... he gave me plenty of time to think on it!). I had done one for his older sister Clementine on the same concept using African Violet hexes in poinsettia colors. I decided to do Snowflakes on a Night Sky theme so that it would grow with Sullivan for many years, with no complaints about baby colors when he's seven. I think it would be really pretty with a light blue background, though!

My Project:
The yarn I used was RedHeart Holiday for the snowflake and I Love This Cotton for the background. These are both thinner #4 or Aran weight yarns. With an F hook this gave me a 4 inch wide Hex, which was just the size I wanted.

The 'leg' of the stocking is going to be 1.5 hexes wide, if that helps you decide on size. My finished stocking is 6 inches across and 16 inches tall. It can stretch to hold a nice amount of goodies, but not so huge that you are scrambling to fill it!

I thought the Snowflake looked neater with a smaller hook than is usually recommended for the yarn, but if I were going to make an entire afghan out of these, I would probably want each hex to be as big as possible just so I wasn't doing it forever. The sample Hex I made is the 6inch one.



Yarn and Hook: 
For this pattern, you can use any size yarn and hook combo that you like to achieve the size hex you like. Here are a few combos that I tried to get you started:

Sport Weight and C hook: 3 inches across
DK Weight and D hook: 3.5 inches across
Aran Weight and F hook: 4 inches across
Worsted Weight and G hook:  4.5 inches across
Worsted Weight and I hook: 6 inches across



To Make the Hex:
Stitches Used:
MR - Magic Ring or Circle
Ch - Chain
Hdc - Half double crochet
Slst - slip stitch
Dc - double crochet
Fpdc - front post double crochet
Sc - single crochet
FO - finish off

Ch1's do not count as a stitch.
1. (Flake color) In a MR, Ch1 + 12hdc. Join with a slst to the first hdc.  (12hdc)

Remove the hook and place a stitch marker there so it doesn't unravel.

Close the circle as tight as you can. I find it easier to close completely once you've made more of the Hex and have more fabric to grab.



2. (Hex color) Join in stitch after join and ch3 to count as the first dc. Dc again in the same stitch. 2 dc in each stitch around.  (24dc)

Before you join to the top of the ch3, make sure the (Snow) working yarn and the loop are in FRONT of your work.

Remove hook from loop and move your stitch holder there.



3. (Flake color) Ch6 to count as a dc + 3 chains. Working around the hdc's from round 1, (fpdc, ch3) 11 times. Join with a slst to the 3rd chain of the beginning ch6.  (12dc + 12ch-3)

Insert your hook through behind the hdc to make the post stitch.


It's easy to miss one, so keep a count as you go. 
Double-check you have 12 before continuing.


Remove hook from loop and move your stitch holder there.



4. (Hex color) Ch1. Working into the last round of the hex color and behind the Flake, Hdc in the next stitch. Pull up the nearest Flake loop (the ch3) and sc around it. Working behind the Flake again, hdc in the next. 


Repeat this 11 more times around, catching all of the loops with the sc. 
Slst into the 1st hdc to join. 
You will continue with this color, so no need to move the stitch marker yet.
(24hdc + 12sc = 36 stitches)



5. (Hex color) Ch1, (2hdc in the next, hdc in the next 2) around. (48hdc)

Remove hook from loop and move your stitch holder there.



6. (Flake color) Ch9 to count as 1hdc + 7 chains. Skipping the next dc, hdc into the top of the next dc. Ch 7. Continue around. Join with a slst to the 2nd chain of the ch9 and FO. (6hdc + 6ch-7)



You are working only into Round 5 this time- into the Hex stitches - part of the time behind the Flake loops and part of the time in front of them. See the pictures to understand better.

7. (Hex color) Ch1. Working behind the Snowflake, hdc in the first 3 stitches.

Pull the Flake loop back behind the edge of the Hex, so that you can work in front of the loop.
Hdc in the next, (3hdc) in the next (corner made), hdc in the next.
Your Corner should line up with the short spoke of the Snowflake (see note below if it doesn't).


A completed Corner, lining up with the short spoke of the Flake


NEXT: Pull the Loop forward again so that you can work behind it and hdc in the next 5 stitches.

Repeat this 5 more times, moving the Flake loop back to make the corners and then forward to do the straight sides. Be careful not to skip any hiding stitches. Keeping an eye on where your Corners and middle of the sides line up (with the Short or Long Spokes, respectively) will help.

There should be 2 stitches left to hdc into when you get back to the first side again to make a total of 5 hdc. Join with a slst to the first hdc and FO, leaving a long tail to sew the Hexes together later. Sew in the other ends on the WS. 

Recap: 
Hdc in 5 stitches behind the loops to make the sides
Hdc, (3hdc), hdc in front of the loops to make the corners.

(60hdc that make 6 sides and 6 corners)


If your corners are off: 
Your stitches can get off if you joined in the wrong place at any time. Instead of ripping it all out and starting again, you can just adjust how many stitches you begin with for the first side: 
Remember:
You will want your Corners to line up with the short spokes of the Snowflake and the middle hdc of the 5hdc of each side to line up with the long spokes. 
If they are not lining up, then adjust how many hdc you begin with and just fill in the leftovers at the end to equal 5.


To make the Stocking:

Make 17 Hexes.


Arrange them like this, with all RIGHT SIDES of Hexes facing UP:



Fold along the red lines indicated and sew up any seams left on the back or edges. Side A and Side B will now look exactly the same. DO NOT sew the (blue) edge at the tip of the toe yet.
Once everything is sewn up and it's looking like a sock with an oddly jagged toe, weave your yarn through all the stitches at the toe opening and gather to close it together. While sewing in the end, close any little gaps neatly.

Top Trim:

1. With your Hex Color and hook, join at the side and sc all the way around the top. When you get back to the beginning, ch12 and slst back into the same sc.

2. Sc completely around again, this time working over chain with some loose slst's to make it stronger. Join back to the beginning, FO, and sew in any ends left.


Added Touch

The tiny snowflakes in between the big ones were all embroidered. I placed one everywhere the corners joined - make 3 longer stitches along the seams and then a short stitch in between the long ones. Very simple and you can tie and trim the ends on the wrong side to save sewing them.

I embroidered as many of them as I could while the stocking was still a flat piece. They were a little trickier to do once it was fully assembled. I had to turn the stocking wrong-side-out in order to secure the ends.

Some other ideas for added touches:
Sparkly fabric paint
Small snowflake sequins
Beads
Holiday-themed buttons

Fireworks?
After I finished this stocking, I had the idea that this Hex might work great as fireworks. Bright fire colors on a black background? Ahhhh.... way more ideas than time, right?


I hope that you enjoyed this Tutorial and make something you are proud of! Share your project with us on Ravelry



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