Instructions for Crocheting Love Across the USA Billboard/Wall Designs

1. Use a 4.0mm (G) size hook. If you tend to crochet more loosely, use a 3.5 (E) or 3.75 (F) crochet hook. Please check your gauge with Olek or assistants.

2. Create foundation row, following the pattern from left to right. Each square represents two chain stitches, for a total of 80 stitches. Change colors when necessary. For Olek’s projects, do not include extra chains at the end of the row.

  • Changing colors on chain row: Chain two chain stitches per square. After completing all chains for a color, pull up a loop of the next color and, with the loop still on your hook, tie off the ends. For example, if you have 2 pink square and then one black square, chain 4 pink, then pull up a black loop. With the first black loop still on the hook, tie the end of the pink to the end of the black in a double knot.

3. Starting from the right side of the pattern, crochet row 1. Each square represents 2 double crochet stitches, for a total of 80 double crochet stitches across per row. Change colors when necessary. Do not chain 2 at the ends.

  • Changing colors on double crochet row: On the last double crochet before changing colors, stop before pulling through the last two loops on your hook. With the last two loops till on your hook, yarn over with your next color and pull through the last two loops. Keeping this next loop on your hook, tie ends together in a double knot and snip. Continue to double crochet with next color. All knots should be tied on the back side of the work.

4. After completing each row, cross it off with a pen/pencil to keep track of where you are.

5. Each row is one double crochet high. You should finish with a total of 50 rows + foundation chain row.

6. Each square will end up being about 2’ x 2’. Do not stretch your work, as we will do this later when we go to connect the pieces. However, if your rows seem much shorter, make sure you’re doing 80 stitches across.

Video 1: Slip Knot

Start by making a slip knot, leaving a tail of a few inches. Insert your hook into the loop. Pull the end of the tail to tighten the loop on your hook, making sure it’s not too tight and can still easily move up and down the hook.

Video 2: Chain Row

Create foundation row using chain stitches. To create a chain stitch, wrap the working end of your yarn around your hook and pull up a loop through the loop on your hook.

Video 3: Double Crochet on Chain Row

To double crochet:
1.    Wrap your yarn around your hook once.
2.    Insert your hook into the last chain stitch from your hook.  Each chain stitch looks like a V or a braid.
3.    Wrap your yarn around your hook.
4.    Pull the yarn through the first two loops on your hook, so you’re left with two loops on your hook.
5.    Wrap your yarn around your hook.
6.    Pull the yarn through the last two loops on your hook, so you’re left with one loop on your hook.

Video 4: Turning Your Work

At the end of your row, count your double crochet stitches to make sure you have the correct number.  Each stitch looks like a vertical post.  Unlike other crochet patterns, do not add any chains at the end of your row.  Instead, after the last double crochet, turn your work.  Then, double crochet into the last double crochet of the previous row.

Video 5:  Double Crochet on Prior DC Rows

For your second row and beyond, you will be working into the double crochet stitches from the previous row.  When you insert your hook, make sure you are going under both front and back loops of each double crochet stitch.  At the end of the row, count your stitches to make sure you have the right number.

Video 6: Turning to Start Next Row

Turn the work around so that the loop on your hook is now on the right side. Pull the loop to be a little looser than usual. Insert the hook into the very first stitch of the row to start the double crochet stitch.

Video 7:  Changing Colors

Each square has a color or symbol to denote the color yarn to be used.  When the pattern denotes a color change, you’ll need to tie in your next color to continue working. On the last double crochet before changing colors, stop before pulling through the last two loops on your hook (after step 4, above).  With the last two loops till on your hook, clip the end of the yarn you’ve been working with to about 2 inches.  Take the end of your next color, and tie it to the tail of your last color, using a double knot.  All knots and ends should be moved to the back side of your work. Yarn over with your next color and pull through the last two loops.  Continue to double crochet with next color.