I have a couple of things that I want to record and sort out in my head in the process, so I am going to try to do it here :-)
Thing number one is how to make a flat crochet circle. I came across some gorgeous potholders in a second hand shop, simple double woollen circles crocheted together round the edge in lovely colours and I decided I would like to make some like them. This required working out how to make flat crochet circles, and this is what I now know: to make a flat crochet circle you need to increase on each round by the same number stitches as are in the first round.
For example, if your original circle has 12 stitches, the next round will have 24, the one after 36, then 48 etc. This works with 16 stitches too, but is a bit inclined to wave. That said, I have just made a water bottle cover using 16 sts in the first round and it has turned out very nicely, firm enough to soak up condensation and keep my desk dry :-) (Picture later I hope)
The second thing I have learned is Feather and Fan or Old Shale Stitch. I have been fascinated by this stitch for several years and have looked at different ways to make it.
The typical pattern you will find will read like this:
(K2 tog) x3, (YO K1) x 6, (K2 tog) x 3
(K2tog) x2, (YO K1) x 4, (K2 tog) x2
now these look lovely, and you can see that their repeat is a multiple of 3 times the number of YO's (or holes), so 18 for 6 holes, 12 for 4 holes or if you were to get really expansive, 24 for 8 holes.
But - there's always a but, isn't there - when you look at these patterns carefully, they are slightly lopsided as there is a K stitch at the end but not at the beginning of the YO's. So to make it symmetrical, you can add a K before the first YO or remove the K stitch at the end, it's up to you, but I take the K out, leaving 17, 11 or 23 stitces in the repeat. I also make sloping decreases to open out the fan and make the feather more feathery.
Thus: (K2tog) x 3 (YO K1) x 5, YO, (SSK) x 3 and similarly on the 4 hole or 8 hole versions.
You can also work this pattern entirely in garter stitch, in stocking stitch with a garter ridge by knitting on the wrong side in the row after the pattern row. or you can work it in stocking stitch all the way for a beautiful smooth lacy look.
I googled for feather and fan stitch, and found heaps!!
Here's the link: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=feather+and+fan+stitch&btnG=Google+Search&aq=f&oq=