This was a little project I did while I was in Hawaii.
This was my first attempt at a Catherine Wheel stitch and I'm pretty pleased with the results. I would say that it is a pattern for an intermediate crocheter, but once you get the pattern, it's not bad at all. You need to know a chain stitch, single crochet and triple crochet. I used two colors because it creates a little more contrast. I would not suggest using more than two colors to begin, because it can be a little hard to keep track of the rows. With two colors, it's pretty easy.
You will need 12 chains for each wheel you want to make, plus two extra for the first stitch. In this example, I have 10 wheels across each row (12x10=120), plus 2 for the base chain (=122). Each wheel has a bottom half in one row and a top half in the next row. The only exception is row 1, which looks like the top of a wheel. The pattern also refers to the "joining stitches". This is the stitch which is worked with multiple triple crochet stitches, or a single crochet between wheels. Both are referred to as joining stitches. I used the pattern from Crochet Geek which is reprinted below. I also highly recommend the tutorial video, also from Crochet Geek:
Here's how I made this blanket:
SC=single crochet; TC=triple crochet CH=chain YO=yarn over (wrap around hook) (In my afghan, Color A was the cream and Color B was the rose)
Row 1 (top half of wheel in Color A): 1 SC in the 2nd chain from the hook *skip 5 chains, 9 TC in the next chain, skip 5 chains, SC in the next chain, repeat from * across for each wheel.
Don't worry that the hole might get big or look loose. It all looks right in the end. I'm giving the directions below with pictures, but if you want just the directions without the pictures, you can find it here.
Row 2: (Color B)(Bottom of Wheel) - CH 5, work a TC in each of the next 4 TC from the first row, leaving the last loop on the hook for each TC. (In a normal TC, you will pull through 2 loops 3 times. In this row you will pull through 2 loops 2 times and only 1 loop the last time) You will have 5 loops on the hook.
Yo over and pull through all 5 loops at once.
YO again and pull through to secure. You now have a 1/4 wheel for the right edge.
CH 5, SC in the next SC (5th TC).
*CH 5.Work a TC in each of the next 4 TC, then 1 SC, and 4 TC, leaving the last loop on the hook for each stitch (including the SC). You should have a total of 10 loops on the hook.
YO and pull through all the loops in a single motion. YO and pull through to secure. You've now created 1/2 of a wheel (the other 1/2 will be on the next row).
CH 5, SC in the next SC (5th TC). Repeat across from * across for each wheel. At the left edge of the row, CH 5, work a TC in each of the last 5 TC, leaving the last loop on the hook. You will have 6 loops on the hook. YO and pull through the 6 loops in a single motion. YO and pull through to secure.
Row 3 (Color B): Right edge: CH 5, work 4 TC in the joining space. (The joining space is the "hole" in the middle of the wheel. In the picture, I'm pointing at the joining space where you will work 4 TC. (You are NOT leaving the last loop, just doing regular TCs.)
SC in the next SC. (I'm pointing at the next SC and yes, it's a stretch from the last stitch.) *9 TC in the next joining space to complete the top 1/2 of the wheel. SC in the next SC. Repeat from * for each wheel. On the left side 5 TC in the last chain joining space
Row 4 (Color A) - CH 1, turn, SC in the same stitch * CH 5. Work a TC in each of the next 4 TC, 1 SC, 4 TC, leaving the last loop on the hook. You will have 10 loops on the hook. YO and pull through all loops. YO and pull through to secure. CH 5, SC in the next SC (5th TC on previous row). Repeat across from * for each wheel.
Row 5: (Color A) CH 1, turn, SC in the same SC. * 9 TC in the joining space of the next stitch. This will complete the top portion of the wheel. SC in the next SC. Repeat across from * for each wheel.
Repeat rows 2-5 for the remainder of the length of the pattern. To finish, create an edge using Row 5 around the afghan, matching up the wheels on the edge.
This afghan is about 44" square. I did 10 wheels across (plus the half wheels on the pink rows) and seventeen wheels high. That's not rows, because it takes 2 rows to make one wheel.
Remember, if you want to see the complete instructions without the pictures, you can find them here. If anyone tries this, I would love to see pictures!