Yarn: Bernat Maker Home Dec, Bulky/Size 5 in Cream, Black, and Clay
My finished size: 13″ x 17″ – My store-bought placemats range from 11×15 to 12×16 to 14×18 so I think any decent rectangular size will work
Gauge: 5 stitches = 1.75″ wide and 5 rows = 2.25″ high
Number of Rows: In order to be 16-17″ tall when finished, I needed 30 rows – again, need to start and end with same colors in top and bottom (see pictures), therefore I started and ended with two rows cream/clay/cream. Figure out your row colors because it does look strange if you are not framing out the clay/black/clay rows as seen here:
Starting Chain: FSC 45 or Chain 45 (+1 to turn) or any odd multiple of 5 because you’ll want to start and end on the same color. For example, I started with 5 stitches of cream color and ended with 5 stitches of cream color in the first two rows. Turn.
Row 1 Cream/Clay/Cream: With Cream, HDC in first stitch if you used FSC to start. HDC in second chain from hook if you used (45 chains +1 to turn). With Clay, start carry-along inside first stitch at the start of the row (see technique tips below). Chain 1 and Turn.
Technique tips for every row:
- When changing colors, don’t finish the cream stitch with cream. Instead, to finish the stitch, when you have three loops on the hook, yarn over and pull through your NEXT color to finish the stitch. Then use the tapestry technique and “carry along” your next color when working the stitches. You hide the carried yarn by sandwiching it, stitching OVER the yarn as you carry it along.
- Carry your second color along tapestry-style and change colors after every 5 stitches.
- Before switching colors, be sure to snug the yarn you’re carrying by holding the previous same-colored stitch and lightly pulling being sure you don’t distort the stitch.
- There’s a way to keep your skeins untangled. I keep my 3 skeins to my left and have them lined up front to back. For me, the medium clay color is kept in “front” and white is the middle, black is the back skein. At every change in colors, keep the yarn from the “front” skein “forward” and the other stays to the “back” so they stay untangled. When changing from clay to cream, I bring the clay yarn across the top of the cream stitch, laying the yarn toward me, then switch to cream with the last yarn over and pull through to finish the HDC.
- For the last stitch of the row before you change colors, yarn over with the next color and pull through, use the new color to Chain 1 and turn.
Row 2 Cream/Clay/Cream: Continuing same colors, ensure you catch the carried yarn when you turn, HDC across [45 sts]. To finish the last cream stitch of Row 2, when you have 3 loops on the hook, snug the carried clay yarn then use the clay to yarn over and pull through to finish the HDC, chain 1 and turn. The next row will start with Clay.
Rows 3-6 Clay/Black/Clay: Drop the cream yarn and start carrying the black but don’t cut the dropped color, you can carry it up the side and pick it up again in the next color switch. Be sure you catch the carried yarn when you turn, HDC across [45 sts]. To finish the last clay stitch of Row 6, when you have 3 loops on the hook, snug the carried black yarn and drop it, then pick up the Cream yarn (from Row 2) to yarn over and pull through to finish the HDC, chain 1 and turn. The next row will start with Cream.
Continue changing colors every 4 rows, switching in the last stitch and carrying the other yarn along.
Row 7-10 Cream/Clay/Cream
Rows 11-14 Clay/Black/Clay
Row 15-18 Cream/Clay/Cream
Rows 19-22 Clay/Black/Clay
Row 23-24 Cream/Clay/Cream
HDC on only 3 SIDES: Looking at the front side of the placemat, the starting tail will be on the left, the carried yarn up the side is on the right (see picture above). Attach yarn at the bottom right corner, then HDC around three sides only (the starting chain already frames the fourth side). In corners = HDC, sl st, sl st, HDC.
SLIP STITCH ROUND: Continue “in the round” and slip stitch in every HDC, 2 sl st for every corner, join with slip stitch when you get to the last corner to finish the round.
Cut yarn, tie off, weave in ends. And enjoy!
Be Creative and Keep Creating!