Free Crochet Pattern - Wave Your Flag

Just in time for July4th!
 
A Wave Your Flag Dishcloth in Red, White, and Blue is sure to add some color and festivity to your Independence Day celebrations.
 
Feel free to adjust the dimensions and turn this dishcloth into a hand towel, blanket, or even a table cloth or runner.

Wave Your Flag Dishcloth 

Size: 10" x 10"
 
Red

Row 1:  Foundation Single Crochet 35 stitches. Turn.
 
Row 2:  Ch 1. Sc in the first 5 stitches, *dc in next 5 st, sc in following 5 sts*, repeat *-* across to end of row. Turn. Change colors to White.
 
White
Row 3:  Ch 2, Dc in first 5 scs, *sc in next 5 dc, dc in next 5 sc*, repeat *-* across to end of row. Turn. change colors to Blue.
 
Blue
Row 4: Ch 1. Hdc in each stitch across. Turn. Change colors to Red.
 
 Red
Row 5:  Ch 1. Sc in the first 5 sts, *dc in next 5 sts, sc in following 5 sts*, repeat *-* across to end of row. Turn. Change colors to White.
 
White
Row 6:  Ch 2, Dc in first 5 scs, *sc in next 5 dc, dc in next 5 sc*, repeat *-* across to end of row. Turn. change colors to Blue.
 
Blue
Row 7: Ch 1. Hdc in each stitch across. Turn. Change colors to Red.
 
Rows 8 - 25: Repeat Rows 5-7.
 
Red
Row 26 :  Ch 1. Sc in the first 5 sts, *dc in next 5 sts, sc in following 5 sts*, repeat *-* across to end of row. Turn.
 
Row 27  : Ch 1. Sc in each stitch across. Finish off and weave in ends.

How to Block a Cotton Crochet Project


Blocking a crochet piece gives it shape and helps set the stitches in that shape. It can also help smooth out wrinkles, crooked rows, and other minor imperfections in your project. I don't often block my crochet projects, but this last baby blanket I designed has a beautiful lacy edge that really needed blocking to help it stand out.

There are many ways to block a finished crochet item. Which method you choose may depend on the type of yarn you used and the size and structure of your project.

When using cotton yarn, you have several blocking methods to choose from. An easy blocking method is Steam Blocking. Here are some easy steps.



1. Gather your supplies - you'll need pins, a measuring tape, and an iron that sprays and steams water.



2. Pin your finished crochet item on a sturdy, padded area. You could put some heavy quilts or towels down on the floor or a table. I chose to use a large bed with a few layers of sheets.

If you can, on your pinning surface lightly draw out the dimensions for the finished items. Then start at one corner or edge and start pinning your project along the lines.


If you can't draw on your surface, then start pinning on one side of your project, and measure as you go so that your finished pinned project is the size and shape you'd like it to be.



3. With your hot iron, heavily spray water over the entire project so that it feels wet to the touch but isn't soggy wet.

4. Change your iron to the highest steam setting. Hover your iron over your crochet project fairly close, but not touching the project. Steam the iron as you move the iron across your project. Go over the project several times while steaming the iron.



If your project feels dry to the touch after one pass of the steaming, spray the project again with water and repeat the steaming. You can't over do this step and you want the project to still be damp after a good steaming.

5. Leave your damp/steamed crochet project pinned to your blocking surface until it is completely dry. This may take several days.

6. Unpin your project to a beautifully blocked finished crochet item.

Yarn Review: Appalachian Baby Design Yarn



Once I made the decision to use only natural fiber yarns in my crochet designs, I wanted to start with an organic cotton yarn for the summertime. It's actually been hard to find natural fiber yarns that haven't been "ruined" by being dyed with synthetic dyes.

Through a suggestion at a local yarn store I ordered a few skeins from Appalachian Baby Design yarn store online. Their cotton is organically grown in Texas ( my home state!) and then spun into yarn in West Virginia - so it's 100% USA made as well as 100% organic.


They carry cotton yarn in it's natural color, as well as cotton yarn dyed with earth friendly dyes. Right now they have a gorgeous pink and blue available.


Appalachian Baby Design cotton yarn is a sport weight. I think it is perfect for crocheting summertime baby blankets. I've created several crochet designs using their yarn.


The blankets have turned out very light weight and super soft! This is the Pure and Simple Baby Blanket - crochet design pattern and finished blanket are both available in my shops.


Using Appalachian Baby Design Organic Cotton yarn I designed this Shells Heirloom Baby Blanket. It has a beautiful lacy edging around the entire blanket.

 The finished blanket was easily steam blocked to make the edging stand out.


I've also created a Ribbed Vintage Baby Bonnet crochet design pattern using Appalachian Baby Design organic cotton yarn. It was very easy to work with in this type of project as well. The bonnet is super soft and delicate feeling - just like a baby's skin, but sturdy enough to hold up to use.


With cotton, I was a little worried about shrinkage when washed. I'm impressed that there is very little shrinkage of the finished crocheted items with this yarn. I would recommend planning for a little overage on the size of your project to allow for minimal shrinkage. I label my baby blankets: hand or cool machine washing and air drying, fluffing in a dryer at the end if desired.


In summary, I'm impressed with this lovely organic cotton yarn by Appalachian Baby Design and have many crochet design patterns in the works using this yarn. Now if they would carry the organic cotton yarn in a worsted weight, I could do so much more .... :)

Other Yarn Reviews



Switching to all Natural Yarns

 
We are for the most part what I would call an "All Natural" family.
 
 
We grow a lot of our fruits and vegetables in our garden and orchard from organic and heirloom seeds. We have even grown a lot of our own chicken, lamb and pork. We buy half of a grass-fed cow every year.
 
 
We even make our own Almond Butter.
 

 
 I doctor my family first with essential oils before heading to the pharmacy.
 
On top of that, my husband is working on a Master's in Sustainability from Lipscomb University here in Nashville.
 
So why am I still crocheting with acrylic yarns???
 
I like what Amy Solovay has to say on the subject at:
 
The Federal Trade Commission defines acrylic in the following way:
 
"Acrylic. A manufactured fiber in which the fiber-forming substance is any long chain synthetic polymer composed of at least 85 percent by weight of acrylonitrile units."
 
The "fiber-forming substance" simply means the stuff the fiber is made out of.
A "long-chain synthetic polymer" is just a fancy way of saying "plastic."
 
Acrylonitrile units – Acrylonitrile is a clear, toxic, water-soluble liquid chemical substance. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, acrylonitrile is probably carcinogenic, meaning that it probably causes cancer..
 
So let's recap. Acrylic is, by definition, a man-made, synthetic fiber which is comprised of at least 85% acrylonitrile, which is a toxic chemical that the EPA warns is a probable cancer-causing substance.
 
So I've decided it's time to make the switch to natural fibers - cotton, wool, alpaca, silk, bamboo, hemp, or a blend of several different natural fibers.
 
 
Image courtesy of vitasamb2001 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
I wonder  - Why did I every use acrylic yarns to begin with? I think the answer is mainly because acrylic yarn is cheap, readily available at craft stores, and comes in a large variety of colors.
 
But considering the cost it may have on my health long term, I'm happy to switch to the more expensive, but earth friendly and healthier all natural yarns.