Las Vegas Crochet
By Lori Baker
In an ordinary town, in and ordinary house, an ordinary woman sat crocheting on what she thought was going to be a masterpiece. I am that ordinary woman....I was working on an afghan for my 7 year old granddaughter and it was a giant picture of a cartoon character comprised of 775 - 1 1/2” blocks all sewn together according to a graph. Now I'm a pretty experienced crocheter and I love crocheting. I spend every free moment doing it, so with a bit of arrogance, I thought this would be no big deal. Well, after three weeks of crocheting and sewing together I was only about half way done with it when I realized—this is not really going to look like this character at all. It was beginning to resemble some pixelated giant cat head. I was pretty distraught. So, miserable and discouraged, I decided I could go no further on this thing. It had completely beaten me. I was wrecked. So, I bagged her up and stuck her in the closet. I was seriously contemplating taking a nice long break from crochet. I know it's quite a shocking revelation, but you just can't imagine how defeated I felt by this afghan. That's when I remembered a technique I had heard about a long time ago and had subsequently forgotten it until I read a comment in a blog post referencing it—Las Vegas Crochet. I thought, “This may be just what I need.” And so I began.....
This is an incredibly fun way to use up scraps. You need 5 different colors of yarn and dice. Now my husband and I are not people who play a lot of board games, so believe it or not, there were no dice anywhere in this house....so, I downloaded an app on my phone! Yes there is an app for that!
Now, you number your yarn 1 through 5. I did this by crocheting one row of each color to start and whatever order they were in, is the number they were assigned. Once your first 5 rows are done—you roll the dice. Whatever number comes up is the color you crochet in. Six is your wild card.
Now I am a very neurotic person and I like things to be done in a certain way. This form of crocheting was very difficult for me. I mean there's no rhyme or reason to the way it's going to go! No symmetry, no order, no way of knowing what's coming next! The first time I rolled the same number twice in a row, I thought I was going to have a breakdown! And God forbid I should roll a 6 and have to make a decision on what should go next on something that has no defined order. I didn't know if I was going to be able to do this or not. I mean it's crazy!
I have to say—I have had so much fun doing this! Once I realized that it wasn't going to look completely ridiculous, I was able to let go and just let it take shape. The results were wonderful as you can see.
This technique can be done with any stitch pattern. I would suggest going with something simple as it is going to be fairly busy anyway. I used a basic alternating shell and double crochet pattern. The double crochet rows are worked on the right side of the afghan. Working the shells on the wrong side is what gives the afghan its lovely texture.
This technique is not for everyone, but if you can let go enough, you just may come up with something amazing! Have fun and no cheating!!!
Saltwater Taffy Afghan
Designed by Lori Baker
Red Heart With Love
2 skeins of Mango
2 skeins of Blue Hawaii
2 skeins of Candy Pink
2 skeins of Lilac
2 skeins of Cornsilk
Size I crochet hook
Yarn needle to weave in ends
Row 1: Ch 201, dc in 4th ch from hk and each ch across. Fasten off. Turn.
Row 2: Ch 1, work (sc, 2dc) in first stitch, skip next 2 sts, *work (sc, 2 dc) in next st, sk next 2 sts, rep from * across. Fasten off. Turn.
Row 3: Ch 3, dc in next st across. Turn.
Rows 4 & 5: Rep rows 2 and 3.
Okay, it’s time to start rolling the dice!!!!!
Work rows 2 & 3 for pattern until it measures about 45”, ending with a right side row.
Turn so that you are working in ends of rows. *Work (Sc, 2 dc) in end of each dc row, and sk the ends of the shell rows to corner. **Work (sc, 2 dc) in next st, sk next 2 sts***, rep from ** across to corner, then rep from * to *** once more. Join with sl st to beginning sc. Fasten off.