We get a lot of queries about how to start off Northmoor Lock from The Shawl Project Book One. It isn't intrinsically hard, but because it is aimed at beginners it can cause a little head scratching. If you are not used to reading patterns and you are still having to remember which stitch is which, everything feels a little harder. Also, because we start this pattern at the smallest point, the first few rows can look a little strange; this tutorial should reassure you that they just do!
But without further ado, lets get you started!
To begin with you need to chain 8.
SET-UP ROW 1:
You are going to slip stitch into the sixth chain from the hook. As a refresher, to slip stitch you insert your hook into the chain, yarn over and draw through both the chain and the loop on the hook. Slip stitches don't get counted as a stitch and they are never worked into in this pattern.
You can see now that you have a picot like loop of chains to the right of the hook and two chains left unworked. You are going to work a half treble crochet into each of these two chains. To make a half treble you yarn over, put your hook into the chain, yarn over and draw a loop through the chain, yarn over and pull it through all three loops on the hook.
You can see no that you have a picot like loop of chains and two half trebles. This row is now complete and you turn you work ready for the next row.
SET-UP ROW 2:
On this row you are going to make a turning chain of 4. This is longer than the normal two you would expect with a half treble stitch because it gives a pretty looped edging on the neck edge. The turning chain doesn't count as a stitch so you will make a half treble in the first stitch and another in the next stitch. This row is now completed and looks like this.
Turn your work and prepare to work the third and last row of the set-up section.
SET-UP ROW 3:
You will make a turning chain of 2. Again this doesn't count as a stitch. You will then make a half treble into each of the two half trebles of the row below. It looks like this when completed to this point.
You are now ready to turn you r work and start on the first row of the increase pattern. This increase pattern will be worked again and again until you have reached half the desired length. So once you have mastered this you are good to go!
On this row you will chain four, because you are working on the neck edge. You are being asked to put one half treble into each half treble stitch on the row below. For this first repeat you will have two stitches to make, on the next repeat of Row 1 you will have four stitches to make, on the following repeat six and so on. You may find it helpful to write this out to keep track. Once you have finished this row it will look like this:
You are now ready to turn and start Row 2.
This is the row where you will make the picot like loop and increase by two stitches. You start the row by chaining 8.
In the same way we did on Set-up Row 1, we are going to slip stitch into the sixth chain from the hook to create a picot like loop and you will have two chain unworked, each of these two chains needs a half treble worked into it like this:
You then need to work a half treble into each of the half trebles from the previous row. In this case there are two, the next time you work the repeat there will be four and so on. The finished row looks like this.
You are now ready to turn your work and work Row 3.
You will make a turning chain of four (because you are on a neck edge) and work one half treble into each stitch across. You will have four stitches to work this time, the next time you work a Row 3 you will have six, the next time eight and so on (Again, making a not of this may be helpful.) The completed row looks like this:
Turn you work and get ready to work Row 4:
On this row you will start with a turning chain of 4 then work one half treble into each halft treble of the previous row. This time you will have four half trebles to work, next time you work a row four it will be six, the following time eight and so on. The first completed Row 4 looks like this.
You can see that on the left hand side you have a looped edge, this is your straight neck edge and on the right hand side of the picture you have the increasing edge with the distinctive picot increases.
You will now turn your work and repeat Rows 1 through to 4 again and again and again until you have used up half your yarn or reached half the desired length.
We are confident that by the time you have got this far you won't have any problem with the decrease pattern provided you take it step by step and read the pattern carefully.
You might find this article on how to read a crochet pattern useful.
While Northmoor Lock is designed to showcase variegated yarns, these yarns can be tricky for beginners as it makes it harder to read your stitches. If you are struggling consider switching to a plain coloured, smooth yarn until you are used to the pattern. You can then try again in a beautiful variegated yarn.
We hope you have enjoyed this tutorial and found it useful. What other patterns could you do with a helping hand on?