Can you remember what daily, boring, routine-based life was like before Covid-19 hit us all? Can you remember the school run? Can you remember having ‘normal’ problems, like the supermarket being sold out of your dog’s usual food, or your daughter refusing to get out of the bath? I do, and it all seems small fry compared to the devastaing panic and worry that millions of people are around the world are suffering these days.
My family and I live in Spain and we are just ending our second week in isolation. We are young(ish), healthy and are privileged. We have a large detached house and garden. We can work(ish) online. We have a car with a full tank and can access the supermarket, albeit individually. Privilege matters at times like this and we are counting our blessings even though the worry can be overwhelming. It makes you want to go to bed early and sleep for a week, but we can at least go out in the garden and breathe the fresh air.
Police are everywhere and people in hazmat suits are disinfecting the streets where we used to stroll about. The other month my husband and I went for a random lunch just as this was starting to kick off. We chatted about how this would probably all be over in the next few days and the tabloids would get tired of it and things wouldn’t escalate. My goodness, how wrong we were.
I apologise if you’re here just for the craft tutorial, but I can’t get on with telling about that without giving you a bit of context. The quarantine situation has become the new normal and it would be insensitive not to address it and pretend that everything is okay. That’s not my style as a maker and, well, person.
So, let me tell you about this project. For many, rainbows represent hope, positivity and a brighter future. My feed has been chock-full of beautiful rainbow crafts recently, people doing gorgeous, rainbow-themed activites with their family and putting them up in their windows to spread good vibes. I’m not a rainbowy person, but I thought I’d jump on the bandwagon and create a sweet crochet tutorial for those of you who need a quick, relaxing and pretty project.
Slip Stitch Rainbow Wall Hanging
This little rainbow hanging is a lovely way of showing solidarity and hope during difficult times and uses up scraps – always a bonus! For this design you will crochet a small circle in super chunky wool yarn, create some fluffy clouds using silky bouclé yarn and finish off by slip stitching an adorable rainbow in the shades you choose. This project also has a lovely ‘punch’ needle’ effect which adds a touch of texture and bulk to any interior.
Level: Confident Beginner.
You will need: A ball of We Are Knitters The Wool in ‘Natural’ (or other super chunky 100% wool yarn), a small amount of bulky/chunky yarn in three colours (I used Deramores Studio Chunky in ‘Seashell’, ‘Salmon’ and ‘Mustard’), small amount of white super chunky/bulky bouclé yarn (I used Rico Design Fashion Inuit in Creme), a small amount of Rico Lamé in gold (or dk weight lamé yarn) a 15mm & 6.5mm crochet hook, a clip stitch marker, scissors, a yarn needle.
Skills (US terminology): Chain stitch, slip stitch, single crochet, basic embroidery skills.
Using the super chunky/bulky wool yarn, Chain four and slip stitch into the first chain to join and form a circle. Chain one (mark this stitch with a clip stitch marker to avoid confusion later) and make seven single crochets into the center of the circle. Slip stitch into the first chain one to join (eight stitches).
Chain one, remembering to mark the stitch as before, and work a single crochet into the same stitch. Work two single crochets into every stitch around. Slip stitch into the first chain stitch as before (16 sts). Now you’ve completed the circle that you’ll decorate.
Break your yarn and fasten off, weaving in your ends on the right side. For this project the wrong side will be visible to give a different, more bumpy effect.
Making sure that the ‘wrong side’ of your circle is facing up, thread your bouclé yarn onto your yarn needle and sew on some small clouds next to each other, making sure to keep them even and with a gap between (see photos).
Using long stitch, carefully embroider the clouds, making sure to fill up any gaps that may appear. When you’re happy, break your yarn and weave in the ends on the reverse side.
Now we’ll make the rainbow. On top of one of the clouds, insert your hook from front to back and pull up a loop of yarn, using one of the three shades of chunky yarn you have chosen. Insert the hook again into a space near this stitch, yarn over and pull through your work. Pull though the loop on your hook to complete the stitch. Careful with your tension! Try and keep your stitches not too tight and not too loose to avoid puckering your work. If you make a mistake just pull the working yarn to undo your stitches and start afresh.
Continue in this way until you have formed the first arc of your rainbow. Break yarn. Repeat with the two other contrasting colours and fasten off, weaving in or knitting the ends on the back of your work as neatly as possible.
Now for the hanging thread, thread the gold lamé yarn through the outer v of one of the top stitches from front to back. Thread through the next stitch, leaving the two free ends on the back of your work and knot firmly together, making sure that your hanging loop is big enough and hasn’t puckered in.
If you like you can sew a backing onto your project, especially if giving it as a gift.
Display your rainbow hanging in a window, in a bedroom, or anywhere you need a touch of positivity and love! If you’ve enjoyed this tutorial, please feel free to share in on social media, tagging me @emmaknitty so I can share your work!
This tutorial is dedicated to the tireless work of healthcare workers the world over and those who have lost their lives to Covid-19.