Solar System CAL: Science-Themed Appliques

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Phew!

This week’s portion of the Solar System CAL took a lot longer to work up than I’d anticipated, so I apologize for the delay in its release! However, the science-themed bonus appliques are finally ready to be published. But before we begin, I have a few notes for you about these appliques.

There are four applique patterns on this page: Earth’s Moon, a space shuttle, the International Space Station, and Voyager 1.

Now, there is a lot of material written here (over 3000 words, actually), so it would be a good idea to read through each pattern before jumping in with your hook.

The easiest of these four patterns is definitely Earth’s Moon. The most difficult of these patterns is definitely the ISS; I’ve found the Space Shuttle and Voyager more complicated than the moon, but not as complicated as the ISS–in fact, they were quite fun to make!

I used a size G/4.00mm crochet hook to make all of these applique patterns, but you can use whichever size hook you’d prefer. Note that these appliques are definitely not to scale, but that’s part of the fun!

Ready to add some science to your blanket? Let’s do this!

neil degrasse tyson GIF


Science-Themed Bonus Appliques

Earth’s Moon – In “PARCHMENT” Color

Rnd 1) In PARCHMENT, make a Magic Circle. Ch 1, then work 6 sc into the center of the Magic Circle. Join to the beginning with a sl st and ch 1. (6)

Rnd 2) *sc inc* x 6. Join to the beginning and fasten off, leaving a long tail for sewing.

Use the tail ends of your yarn and a yarn needle to sew the moon to your blanket. If desired, you can use this same pattern to make the moons of other planets, too!

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Earth and the moon (which is part of Week 11, the science-themed appliques!)

Space Shuttle – In “CREAM” and “GRAPHITE” Colors

Note: This space shuttle applique is worked in four steps: first the main shuttle, then the tail, and then each of the two engines on the back. When working the main shuttle pattern, work your color changes so that you are carrying the yarn on the back (or the wrong side) of the shuttle. (The wrong side is the side that will be sewn against the Solar System Blanket.

Here’s the inspiration:

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Main Shuttle

Row 1) In GRAPHITE, ch 8. Switch to CREAM, then ch 9. Starting in the 2nd chain space from the hook, work 8 sc in CREAM, change to GRAPHITE, then work 8 sc in GRAPHITE. Turn and ch 1. (16)

Row 2) Still in GRAPHITE, work a sc dec, then 3 sc. Change to CREAM, then work 11 sc. Turn and ch 1. (15)

Row 3) Still in CREAM, work 11 sc. Change to GRAPHITE, then work 1 sc, sc dec, sl st. Turn and ch 1. (14)

Row 4) Still in GRAPHITE, work a sc dec. Change to CREAM, then work 12 sc. Turn and ch 1. (13)

At this time, cut the GRAPHITE yarn, leaving a long tail for weaving/sewing.

Row 5) Still in CREAM, work 10 sc, sc dec, sl st. Turn and ch 1. (12)

Row 6) Still in CREAM, sc dec, 10 sc. Turn and ch 1. (11)

Row 7) Still in CREAM, 10 sc, sl st. Fasten off, leaving long tail for weaving/sewing. (11)

 

Shuttle Tail

Note: Your shuttle tail will have some detail work (grey stripes); one stripe will be crocheted on, the other you will need to stitch on after you sew the shuttle to the blanket (see “finishing” below).

Insert your hook into the 4th st of row 7 of the main shuttle (this will be near the back end of the shuttle, on top).

Row 1) With CREAM, ch 1. Work 3 sc, sc inc. Turn and ch 1. (5)

Row 2) sc inc, 2 sc, sc dec. Turn and ch 1. (5)

Row 3) sc dec, 2 sc, sc inc. Turn and ch 1. (5)

Row 4) sc inc, 2 sc dec. Fasten off, leaving a tail long enough for weaving/sewing. (4)

 

Shuttle Tail Stripe

Note: This stripe will be crocheted on–the other smaller stripe will need to be stitched on by hand later (see “finishing” below).

Insert your hook into the 1st st of the shuttle tail row 4.

Row 1) With GRAPHITE, ch 1. Then work 5 sl st across the top of the shuttle tail, then 5 sl st down the slope of the tail (working towards the shuttle’s nose). Fasten off, leaving a tail long enough to weave in. (10)

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Shuttle Engine#1

Note: This is the smaller engine in CREAM, which is worked above the lower, larger engine in GRAPHITE.

Insert your hook into the 1st st of row 7 of the main shuttle (right below the tail).

Row 1) With CREAM, ch 1, then work 2 sc. Turn and ch 1. (2)

Row 2) sc, sc inc. Turn and ch 1. (3)

Row 3) 3 sc. Fasten off, leaving a tail long enough for sewing/weaving. (3)

 

Shuttle Engine #2

Note: This is the larger engine in GRAPHITE, which is worked below the above smaller engine in CREAM.

Insert your hook into the 1st st of row 2 of the main shuttle (just below engine #1).

Row 1) With GRAPHITE, ch 1, then work 3 sc. Turn and ch 1. (3)

Row 2) sc inc, sc, sc inc. Turn and ch 1. (5)

Row 3) 5 sc. Fasten off, leaving a tail long enough for sewing/weaving. (5)

 

Finishing

Use the tail ends of your yarn and a yarn needle to sew the shuttle into position on your blanket–place it wherever you’d like! Use the GRAPHITE tails to sew on the GRAPHITE nose and engine #2 portions of the shuttle, and use the CREAM tails to sew on the CREAM shuttle, tail and engine #1 portions.

If desired, “stuff” your shuttle with your extra tail ends to make your shuttle look a little more 3-D!

Use a strand of GRAPHITE yarn (or an extra long tail, if you have one) and a yarn needle to manually stitch the second, smaller “stripe” onto the tail. See photo.

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International Space Station – In “PARCHMENT”, “GOLD” and “GRAPHITE”

Please note: This space station is by far the most difficult of the bonus appliques that we’ll be making. Take your time with it! Don’t be discouraged by all of the tail ends. I’ll have a few tips for those in the “finishing” section of this pattern below. You’ve got this!

 

“Main Beam” of the ISS

Note: This “beam” is actually made up of several different modules on the real ISS, but I simplified the design for this applique. From this point on, it will be referred to as the “main beam”.

Row 1) In PARCHMENT, ch 23. Starting in the 2nd chain space from the hook, work 10 sc, 2 hdc, 10 sc. Now rotate your work–you will now work in the other side of the chain. Working in the other side of the chain you just made, work 10 sc, 2 hdc, 10 sc. Fasten off, leaving a long tail for sewing/weaving. (44)

 

Solar Panel Arrangement

Note: Below is an image of the ISS and its solar panel arrangement, which is what we’re going to try to emulate! Each solar panel in this written pattern is labeled with a number. Follow the directions for the panels as outlined below.

ISS

Solar Panel #1

Insert your hook into the 1st st of the main beam.

Row 1) With GRAPHITE, ch 11. Starting in the 2nd chain space from the hook, work 10 sc. Join with a sl st into the same stitch you started in at the beginning of this solar panel. Fasten off, leaving a tail long enough for sewing/weaving. (10)

 

Solar Panel #2

Insert your hook into the 3rd st of the main beam.

Row 1) With GRAPHITE, ch 11. Starting in the 2nd chain space from the hook, work 10 sc. Join with a sl st into the same stitch you started in at the beginning of this solar panel. Fasten off, leaving a tail long enough for sewing/weaving. (10)

 

Solar Panel #3

Insert your hook into the 5th st of the main beam.

Row 1) With GRAPHITE, ch 11. Starting in the 2nd chain space from the hook, work 10 sc. Join with a sl st into the same stitch you started in at the beginning of this solar panel. Fasten off, leaving a tail long enough for sewing/weaving. (10)

 

Solar Panel #4

Insert your hook into the 7th st of the main beam.

Row 1) With GRAPHITE, ch 11. Starting in the 2nd chain space from the hook, work 10 sc. Join with a sl st into the same stitch you started in at the beginning of this solar panel. Fasten off, leaving a tail long enough for sewing/weaving. (10)

 

Solar Panel #5

Insert your hook into the 16th st of the main beam.

Row 1) With GRAPHITE, ch 11. Starting in the 2nd chain space from the hook, work 10 sc. Join with a sl st into the same stitch you started in at the beginning of this solar panel. Fasten off, leaving a tail long enough for sewing/weaving. (10)

 

Solar Panel #6

Insert your hook into the 18th st of the main beam.

Row 1) With GRAPHITE, ch 11. Starting in the 2nd chain space from the hook, work 10 sc. Join with a sl st into the same stitch you started in at the beginning of this solar panel. Fasten off, leaving a tail long enough for sewing/weaving. (10)

 

Solar Panel #7

Insert your hook into the 20th st of the main beam.

Row 1) With GRAPHITE, ch 11. Starting in the 2nd chain space from the hook, work 10 sc. Join with a sl st into the same stitch you started in at the beginning of this solar panel. Fasten off, leaving a tail long enough for sewing/weaving. (10)

 

Solar Panel #8

Insert your hook into the 22nd st of the main beam.

Row 1) With GRAPHITE, ch 11. Starting in the 2nd chain space from the hook, work 10 sc. Join with a sl st into the same stitch you started in at the beginning of this solar panel. Fasten off, leaving a tail long enough for sewing/weaving. (10)

 

Solar Panel #9

Insert your hook into the 23rd st of the main beam, working in the OTHER side of the main beam.

Row 1) With GOLD, ch 11. Starting in the 2nd chain space from the hook, work 10 sc. Join with a sl st into the same stitch you started in at the beginning of this solar panel. Fasten off, leaving a tail long enough for sewing/weaving. (10)

 

Solar Panel #10

Insert your hook into the 25th st of the main beam, working in the OTHER side of the main beam.

Row 1) With GOLD, ch 11. Starting in the 2nd chain space from the hook, work 10 sc. Join with a sl st into the same stitch you started in at the beginning of this solar panel. Fasten off, leaving a tail long enough for sewing/weaving. (10)

 

Solar Panel #11

Insert your hook into the 27th st of the main beam, working in the OTHER side of the main beam.

Row 1) With GOLD, ch 11. Starting in the 2nd chain space from the hook, work 10 sc. Join with a sl st into the same stitch you started in at the beginning of this solar panel. Fasten off, leaving a tail long enough for sewing/weaving. (10)

 

Solar Panel #12

Insert your hook into the 29th st of the main beam, working in the OTHER side of the main beam.

Row 1) With GOLD, ch 11. Starting in the 2nd chain space from the hook, work 10 sc. Join with a sl st into the same stitch you started in at the beginning of this solar panel. Fasten off, leaving a tail long enough for sewing/weaving. (10)

 

Solar Panel #13

Insert your hook into the 38th st of the main beam, working in the OTHER side of the main beam.

Row 1) With GOLD, ch 11. Starting in the 2nd chain space from the hook, work 10 sc. Join with a sl st into the same stitch you started in at the beginning of this solar panel. Fasten off, leaving a tail long enough for sewing/weaving. (10)

 

Solar Panel #14

Insert your hook into the 40th st of the main beam, working in the OTHER side of the main beam.

Row 1) With GOLD, ch 11. Starting in the 2nd chain space from the hook, work 10 sc. Join with a sl st into the same stitch you started in at the beginning of this solar panel. Fasten off, leaving a tail long enough for sewing/weaving. (10)

 

Solar Panel #15

Insert your hook into the 42nd st of the main beam, working in the OTHER side of the main beam.

Row 1) With GOLD, ch 11. Starting in the 2nd chain space from the hook, work 10 sc. Join with a sl st into the same stitch you started in at the beginning of this solar panel. Fasten off, leaving a tail long enough for sewing/weaving. (10)

 

Solar Panel #16

Insert your hook into the 44th st of the main beam, working in the OTHER side of the main beam.

Row 1) With GOLD, ch 11. Starting in the 2nd chain space from the hook, work 10 sc. Join with a sl st into the same stitch you started in at the beginning of this solar panel. Fasten off, leaving a tail long enough for sewing/weaving. (10)

 

Russian Modules

Insert your hook into the 11th st of the main beam (on the GRAPHITE side of the solar panels).

Row 1) With PARCHMENT, ch 1, then work 2 sc. Turn and ch 1. (2)

Row 2) 2 sc. Turn and ch 1. (2)

Row 3) sc dec. Fasten off, leaving a tail long enough for sewing/weaving. (1)

 

US/ESA/Canada/Japan Modules

Insert your hook into the 31st st of the main beam (on the GOLD side of the solar panels).

Row 1) With PARCHMENT, ch 1, then work 1 sc, hdc, 2 dc, hdc, sc. Fasten off, leaving a tail long enough for sewing/weaving. (6)

 

Finishing

I’ve got a few tips about sewing this applique to the blanket that I think will help make your life a little bit easier. Ready?

Tip #1: When you’ve figured out where you want your applique to be on the blanket, sort out your tails so that the gold ones are off to one side and the graphite ones are off to the other side. Pull the parchment tails off to either side, away from the applique.

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Tip #2: Start by using the tail ends of your yarn and a yarn needle to sew the main beam firmly to your blanket. Then sew the outer edges of the modules to the blanket.

Tip #3) When you’re ready to start sewing solar panels to your blanket, start with just one cluster of four first. Go slow, and work with good light! Use the tail ends of your yarn and a yarn needle to sew the panels on one at a time. Work up from the main beam and then back to the main beam. Also, you can use your tail ends to “join” the tips of the paired solar panels together, if you like!

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Voyager 1 – In “PARCHMENT”, “GOLD” and “GRAPHITE”

Note: Voyager 1 is made up of several different parts:

  • the high-gain antenna (the disc)
  • the “bus” housing electronics (the gold part on the back)
  • the infrared interferometer spectrometer (the gold bit on the top)
  • the radioisotope thermoelectric generator (the dark grey bit at the bottom)
  • the magnetometer boom (the long thick spiky bit)
  • the low-gain antenna (the tiny spiky bit coming out of the disc)
  • the planetary radio astronomy/plasma wave antennae (pictured here as the long skinny lines coming off of the bottom)

We’ll start first with the high-grain antenna (the disc), then work the “bus” housing electronics and the infrared interferometer spectrometer pieces directly onto the edge of the disc.

It sounds more complicated than it is. You can totally do this!

Here’s the inspiration:

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High-Gain Antenna (the “disc”)

Round 1) In PARCHMENT, make a Magic Circle. Ch 1, then work 4 sc and then 4 dc into the center of the Magic Circle. Join to the beginning with a sl st and ch 1. (8)

Round 2) 4 sc inc, 4 dc inc. Join to the beginning with a sl st and fasten off, leaving a long tail for sewing/weaving.

 

“Bus” Housing Electronics (the gold part on the back)

Insert your hook into the 12th st of rnd 2 of the high-gain antenna.

Row 1) With GOLD, ch 1, then work a sc, 2 hdc inc, sc. Ch 1 and turn. (6)

Row 2) 2 sl st, 2 sc inc, 2 sl st. Fasten off, leaving a tail long enough for sewing/weaving. (8)

 

Infrared Interferometer Spectrometer (the gold part on top)

Insert your hook into the 15th st of rnd 2 of the high-gain antenna.

Row 1) With GOLD, ch 1, then work 2 sc. Ch 1 and turn. (2)

Row 2) sc inc. Note that you will be ignoring the second sc from row 1 here for shaping reasons! Ch 1 and turn. (2)

Row 3) sc inc, sc. Ch 1 and turn. (3)

Row 4) sc dec, sc inc. Fasten off, leaving a tail long enough for sewing/weaving. (3)

 

Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (the dark grey bit at the bottom)

Insert your hook into the 9th st of the high-gain antenna.

Row 1) In GRAPHITE, ch 1, then work 2 sc. Ch 1 and turn. (2)

Row 2) 2 sc. Ch 1 and turn. (2)

Row 3) sc dec. Fasten off, leaving a tail long enough for sewing/weaving. (2)

 

Magnetometer Boom (the long thick spiky bit)

Insert your hook into the 7th st of the high-gain antenna.

Row 1) With PARCHMENT, ch 12. Starting in the 2nd chain space from the hook, work 11 sc. Join with a sl st into the same stitch you started in at the beginning of the boom and fasten off, leaving a tail long enough for sewing/weaving. (11)

 

Low-Gain Antenna (the tiny spiky bit coming out of the disc)

Note: This will be a separate piece that will need to be sewn onto Voyager after you have sewn Voyager to your blanket.

Row 1) With PARCHMENT, ch 6. Fasten off, leaving a tail long enough for sewing/weaving. (6)

 

Finishing

To finish, determine where you’d like to place Voyager on your blanket.

Using the tail ends of your yarn and a yarn needle, begin sewing the applique to your blanket, starting with the high-gain antenna and working your way around all of the other pieces of the applique.

Carefully sew the low-gain antenna piece onto the applique so that it looks like it is poking out of the high-gain antenna.

Make sure you sew down every edge of the applique…you don’t want any piece to curl up on you!

Once your main Voyager applique has been sewn onto the blanket, you’re ready to stitch on the the planetary radio astronomy/plasma wave antennae. To do so, cut a long strand of yarn (probably about 12″ is best). Use a yarn needle to carefully stitch the thin lines of each antenna onto the blanket. I recommend starting at the edge of Voyager, working each line of antenna out and then back in towards where you started–then knot these two tail ends of yarn together (carefully, so your blanket doesn’t pucker!) and weave the ends through to the back of your blanket to be hidden.

Weave in all ends and trim any excess yarn.

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Please Note: week 12 (the science-fiction themed appliques) is available here.

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