Posts in Patterns and Tutorials
New Pattern: Hello, Sunshine!
Hello, Sunshine Cardigan by Kat Goldin

My design process goes something like:

  1. think up a new design
  2. fall in love with it, dream about it, get super excited to start
  3. plan it out, do the maths, write the pattern
  4. start making it
  5. realise I have made some epic error some where and the have to rip back
  6. message Joanne telling her that I am quitting designing
  7. yell at Kevin whenever he mentions it looks nice and/or that I am making progress. Tell him he knows nothing and that I am the worst designer EVER.
  8. Finish the design roughly 30seconds before its due
  9. Realise that I actually do love the design and that maybe I am not the worst designer in the world.
Hello, Sunshine Cardigan by Kat Goldin

Funnily enough, I never hit 6 and 7 with this sweet little cropped cardigan. Though quite different than what I would normally design, the puff sleeves and deeply ribbed waistband flew off the hook with little accompanying sturm und drang.

Hello, Sunshine Cardigan by Kat Goldin

About the Design

This retro-inspired top has all the elements you need to make a statement. The lace panels are echoed at the collar, cuffs and the waist, which is gathered to create an elegant shape.

Materials:

Sublime Cashmere Merino Silk DK (75% Merino,20% Silk, 5% Cashmere 50g/116m) 
9 (10, 10, 11, 11, 12, 12, 13) balls of Duckie (0383) 
A 4mm (US G/6) crochet hook 
A 3.75 (US F/5) crochet hook 
Tapestry Needle 
8 Safety Pins 
2 Stitch Markers 
28 (28, 29, 29, 30, 30, 30, 31) buttons 1cm/0.5in diameter.

Sizes:

To fit bust/chest: 81(8691, 95, 100, 104, 112, 116)cm /32 (34, 36, 38, 40, 42, 44, 46)in

Actual Bust (a): 86 (91, 95, 100, 104, 112, 116, 122)cm / 34 (36, 37.5, 39.5, 41, 44, 45.5, 48)in

Finished Length (b): 63 (64, 65.5, 66, 66.5, 66.5, 66.5, 67.5)cm/24.75 (25.25, 25.75, 26, 26.25, 26.25, 26.25, 26.5)in

Note on Fit: This cardigan is designed with 5cm/2in positive ease


Notes 
Back and fronts of cardigan are worked seamlessly down from beg chain at shoulders then joined under the arms and worked in rows back and forth to the hemline. Neck edging is worked separately and sewn on.




Stitches I Love: Cable and Shell (or Puff) Wave

Today I wanted to feature another stitch that I love.  I found this stitch in a Japanese crochet stitch dictionary and played around with where I could use it for some time. I originally planned it as a big puffy wrap, and it still may become that one day, but the more I worked with it the more I loved the idea of using it as an edging for a wedding shawl with the way the stitches reminded me of wedding bells.

Wedding bells from Hook, Stitch and Give
wedding bells shawl from Slugs on the Refrigerator

I am calling it the cable and shell wave, but I have seen a different variation referred to as the wheat stitch.  Either way, its a wavy cable with puff or shell stitches in the middle.

I have used it in the Wedding Bells Shawl from Hook, Stitch & Give, but I've seen it (or a variation of it) in a number of other projects, including Sassy SSS' Wheat Stitch Baby Blanket and Joanne's Gnarled Bark Hat for The Crochet Project. 

Once you get the basic idea of the travelling cables, its a great stitch to play around with, as the central stitches are easy to switch out for something else and you can add or subtract cables. For the version I have outlined below, you'd need a starting chain of a multiple of 12, but if you would need to add or subtract stitches if you were adding more cables to the design.

Shell and Cable Wave on Slugs on the Refrigerator

 

 

New Pattern: Acer

Hello!  We made it back late last night from the most incredible week in Orkney.  Its a good thing I love where we live or else I wouldn't have come back. Exactly what we needed.  However, its back to the grindstone today before I jet off to the South Coast of England for work. Only its not a grindstone at all, really, as we have very exciting things happening! 

Joanne and I are thrilled to announce a new Crochet Project design in partnership with Love Crochet.com.

Joanne designed the Acer Shawl to work in 2 weights of yarn. In her words:

 Inspired by the beautiful tumbling waves of leaves on a mature Acer tree this pretty patterned shawl is deceptively simple to make. Worked in ever increasing rows so there is no long foundation chain, the size is easily adaptable – just work more or fewer rows.

Written for both 4ply and DK yarn weights but easily adapted to any weight.

Love Crochet will be hosting a crochet along in September, but if you are desperate to get started, you can find the pattern here.

 

Free Pattern: Lake's Edge Hat
Lake's Edge Hat with photo tutorials

One of the things I am most passionate about in my work is helping people get the skills they need to crochet the things they want to make. Continually, I hear from crocheters online or in classes is how frustrating they find pattern reading. I find my self nodding my head in agreement. It can be very confusing and does take time.

When I wrote about this issue a LONG time ago, Stacy Trock of Fresh Stitches suggested writing a pattern that explained what the normal pattern directions meant, as she had done with her fantastic free beginner's guide to amigurumi. Well, its only taken almost a year, but today I bring you Lake's Edge.  Its a free pattern, full of tutorials for making some of my most-used stitches and with a handy "how to read the pattern" guide. 


The pattern itself is a fun wee make, sized from baby to adult.  Its great for using up bits of yarn and works up very quickly.  The samples are made out of my beloved Libby Summers' Fine Aran, which is a great yarn if you haven't tried it with a beautiful colour palette. 

You can download the UK pattern here and the US version here.

Materials 

  • 1 (1, 1, 1, 2, 2) x 50g balls of Libby Summers’ Fine Aran in Larama (MC)
  • 1 (1, 1, 1, 2, 2) x 50g balls of Libby Summers’ Fine Aran in Azul (CC)
  • 5mm/ H8 Hook
  • Tapestry Needle

Skill Level: Advanced Beginner

Tension: Work 13dc and 9.5 rows in Ric Rac pattern (see special stitches) to measure 10x10cm or 4x4in using 5mm/ H8 hook, or size required to obtain tension.

New Pattern: Little Ripples
Little Ripples Children's Cardigan Pattern from Kat Goldin Designs

Inspiration for designs comes in many forms. Sometimes, its a garment I've seen in real life or on TV, sometimes its a construction method or stitch pattern. For my latest pattern, the inspiration came from the yarn itself.

Little Ripples Cardigan from Kat Goldin Designs

If you have Hook, Stitch & Give, you will know that I am a huge fan of Ripples Crafts yarn. It features in at least 2 projects - the shell scape shawl and the thrummed mittens. Helen, who also lives in rural Scotland, creates colours that really speak to me on gorgeous bases. I simply can't get enough. And when I saw her Stormy Seas colourway in 4ply BFL at Woolfest, it had to come home with me.

Originally intended for a shawl, the yarn sat on my desk for a few weeks convincing me it needed to be a ripple cardigan. 

Little Ripples Cardigan by Kat Goldin Designs

Now, ripples are beautiful things - one of the elements that crochet does so well- but shaping in ripples is...ah...difficult. And grading across a large number of sizes like that is a nightmare. So simple ripple panels are added to this to give the sense and texture of ripples, but with the ease of shaping in UK trebles and doubles. 

The pattern is sized from 0-6months to 10 years. It has seamless set in sleeves that are created by using short rows - which are easy to do once you get the hang of it, promise.

Little Ripples Cardigan by Kat Goldin

This cardigan would work well in any 4ply or sock yarn.  In fact, sock yarns are great for kid's clothes as they are very hard wearing and washable.  You will get up to a size 4y in 2x100g hanks of sock yarn (and you won't be far off a 6y if you shorten the hem to underarm length).

You can find the pattern on Ravelry in both UK and US terms.

***I have had a lot of questions about an adult sized version and the answer is, yes, its on its way***

Georgia wanted me to make sure that "the people on the computer" know that this is her cardigan and her name is Georgia. 

Free Pattern: Iced Gem Crochet Wrap
iced gem crochet pattern by Slugs on the Refrigerator

This sweet little wrap originally appeared in Simply Crochet Issue 13. Its a take on a basic ripple pattern, but uses varying heights of stitches to create the wrap shape of narrower at the top and wider around the shoulders. Its designed for a 4ply yarn, but you could really make it in any yarn and adjust the number of row repeats for a wider wrap.  Its also easily made longer, but simply chaining additional stitches in multiples of 17. 

Iced Gem by Kat Goldin on Slugs on the Refrigerator

The design is worked out in 2 parts from the beginning chain at the centre of the back, which creates a gorgeous ripple effect running down the back of the wrap. Its easily one of my favourite designs of last year.

The only tricky stitch is the Front Post Single Crochet (raised double crochet front). I'll have a tutorial on the blog on monday to help anyone who may struggle with this awesome little stitch. 

Its currently free to download here for the US version and here for the UK version exclusively on Slugs for the next wee while!! 

Happy Crocheting! 

Weekend Makes: Puff Stitch Hexy

Its no secret that I love puff stitches. They and their slightly more structured cousin bobble stitches feature heavily in my books and designs. They are just so fat and cozy, don't you think? They add weight and substance to crochet fabric that can sometimes be a bit too lacy. 

This weekend, upon finishing a deadline garment with little puff stitches at the collar, I was itching to continue the theme.  With a lot of Libby Summer's Fine Aran to use, I decided a throw for our bed would be the perfect mindless between deadlines project.

Each Hexy was designed to use almost exactly 25g of worsted/DK weight yarn (the libby summers is a fine- aran, so not terribly far off a thickish DK). The alpaca in the wool gives it a glorious drape that is going to be perfect for snuggling under. 

If I haven't already converted you to the glory of puff stitches, let me try now. 

 

1. Yarn over

2. Insert hook into stitch (or in this case space), yarn over and pull through.

3. Work steps 1 &2 a total of 5 times. 11 loops on hook.

4. Yarn over and pull through. 

Notes:

Can be worked in any yarn with appropriate hook, but size of hexagons will be affected.

Ch5. Join in the round with a slst.

Round 1: 3 ch, [1 PS, 2 ch] six times. Join into the top of the beg-ch. [6 PS sts]

Round 2: Slst to 2 ch-sp, 3 ch, [(1 PS, 2 ch, 1 PS) in 2 ch-sp, 1 ch, miss 1 PS] six times.  Join into the top of the beg-ch. [ 12 PS sts]

Round 3: Slst to 2 ch-sp, 3 ch, *(1 PS, 2 ch, 1 PS) in 2 ch-sp, 1 ch, miss 1 PS, 1 PS in 1 ch-sp, 1 ch, miss 1 PS; rep from * around.  Join into the top of the beg-ch. [ 18 PS sts]

Round 4: Slst to 2 ch-sp, 3 ch, *(1 PS, 2 ch, 1 PS) in 2 ch-sp, 1 ch, miss 1 PS, [1 PS in 1 ch-sp, 1 ch, miss 1 PS] twice; rep from * around.  Join into the top of the beg-ch. [ 24 PS sts]

Round 5: Slst to 2 ch-sp, 3 ch, *(1 PS, 2 ch, 1 PS) in 2 ch-sp, 1 ch, miss 1 PS, [1 PS in 1 ch-sp, 1 ch, miss 1 PS] 3 times; rep from * around.  Join into the top of the beg-ch. [ 30 PS sts]

Round 6: Slst to 2 ch-sp, 3 ch, *(1 PS, 2 ch, 1 PS) in 2 ch-sp, 1 ch, miss 1 PS, [1 PS in 1 ch-sp, 1 ch, miss 1 PS] 4 times; rep from * around.  Join into the top of the beg-ch. [ 36 PS sts]

Click to enlarge and print

Your hexies don't have to be a blanket - make them in bulky cotton yarn for a trivet or pot holder or join in one long strip for a scarf. 

Patterned Hottie
knit camp-016-Edit
knit camp-016-Edit

Today's pattern is by the very talented Libby Summers.

Materials:

1 litre sized hot water bottle (18 litre bottle measures 15.5cm/6 in wide x 25cm/10 in high)

50g Libby Summers’ Fine Aran in 101 Lima

Tension:

18 sts and 24 rows in stocking stitch to 10 cm/4in using 5mm needles (or size needed to achieve tension)

Abbreviations:

RS- Right Side

K- Knit

P- Purl

M1- Make one st by picking up loop in row below and knitting into the back of  it

St(s)- Stitch(es)

K2tog- Knit two stitches together, insert needle as to knit through the next two sts on the needle, knit them as one stitch.

Kfb- Knit into front and back of st (thus making one extra stitch)

Pattern:

Front (make 1)

Cast on 24 sts.

DSC_0980
DSC_0980

Pattern 1:

Row 1: Kfb, k to last 2 sts, kfb, k1.  26 sts

Row 2: Knit.

Row 3: As row 1.  28 sts

Row 4: Knit.

Row 5: Knit.

Purl 5 rows.

Knit 5 rows.

Purl 5 rows.

DSC_0989
DSC_0989

Pattern 2:

DSC_0996
DSC_0996

Row 21 (RS): *P4, k4; rep from * to last 4 sts, p4.

Row 22: *K4, p4; rep from * to last 4 sts, k4.

Rows 23-24: As Rows 21- 22.

Row 25: *K4, p4; rep from * to last 4 sts, k4.

Row 26: *P4, k4; rep from * to last 4 sts, p4.

Rows 27-28: As Rows 25-26.

Rows 29-44: As Rows 21-28.

Knit 5 rows.

Pattern 3:

DSC_1011
DSC_1011

Row 50 (WS): P1, *k1, p4; rep from * to last 2 sts, k1, p1.

Row 51: Knit.

Row 52: As Row 1.

Row 53: K2tog, k to last 2 sts, k2togtbl. 26 sts

Row 54: *K1, p4; to last st, k1.

Row 55: As Row 53. 24 sts

Row 56: *P4, k1; rep from * to last 4 sts, p4.

Row 57: As Row 53. 22 sts

Row 58: P3, *k1, p4; rep from * to last 4 sts, k1, p3.

Row 59: As Row 53. 20 sts

Row 60: P2, *k1, p4; rep from * to last 3 sts, k1, p2.

Row 61: Knit.

Rep last 2 rows until work measures 18cm from beginning of Pattern 3, ending with a WS row (as row 60).

DSC_1015
DSC_1015

Increase section:

DSC_1020
DSC_1020

Row 1 (RS): K1, M1, k to last st, M1, k1. 22 sts

Row 2: P3, *k1, p4; rep from * to last 4 sts, k1, p3.

Row 3: As Row 1. 24 sts

Row 4: *P4, k1; rep from * to last 4 sts, p4.

Row 5: As Row 1. 26 sts

Row 6: *K1, p4; rep from * to last st, k1.

Row 7: As Row 1. 28 sts

Row 8: P1, *k1, p4; rep from * to last 2 sts, k1, p1.

Knit 5 rows.

Cast off.

DSC_1023
DSC_1023

Back

Work as for Front until end of Pattern 2.  Knit one extra row, then cast off.

Making Up

With right side facing you, fold top section (pattern 3) of front over so that right sides are together and five rows of garter stitch just before the beginning of top section match up with six rows of garter stitch at the end of front.

DSC_0002 2
DSC_0002 2

With wrong side facing you, place back piece on top of front piece, making sure that cast off edge of back piece comes above the six rows of garter stitch at end of front piece.  Pin in place.

DSC_0005
DSC_0005

Sew pieces together using back stitch, leaving flap opening.  Turn right side out.

DSC_0008
DSC_0008
DSC_0020
DSC_0020
Knit Flat Hat

Welcome to Week 2 of Knit Camp. This week, we are woking through this stripey hat, designed by Joanne Scrace.  We will also be covering: How to Read Knitting Patterns, Tension, Decreasing and Casting Off. Don't feel like you have to *get* everything in this pattern from the beginning. We will be working through the sections as we go this week. Remember, the tutorials will be online forever more, so you can work through them at your own pace.

knit camp-017-Edit-2
knit camp-017-Edit-2

Materials:

50g Libby Summers’ Fine Aran in 660 Larama (Main Colour)

24g Libby Summers’ Fine Aran in 890 Kulli (Contrast Colour)

Tension:

18 sts and 24 rows in stocking stitch to 10 cm/4in using 5mm needles (or size needed to achieve tension)

Abbreviations:

MC – Main Colour

CC – Contrast Colour

RS – Right side

WS – Wrong side

K – Knit

P – Purl

K2tog – Knit two stitches together. Insert needle as to knit through the next two sts on the needle, knit them as one stitch.

SSK – slip, slip, knit. Insert needle into next stitch as if to knit it, slip it onto the other needle without knitting it, do the same to the next stitch, insert your needle through the back of the two sts just slipped and knit them together as one stitch.

St(s) – Stitch(es).

Pattern:

Starting at the brim:

Using the MC, cast on 90 sts.

Row 1(RS): *K2, p2; repeat from * to last 2, k2.

Row 2: K1, p1, *k2, p2; rep from * to last 4 sts, k2, p1, k1.

Rows 3-10: As rows 1 and 2.

Row 11(RS): Knit.

Row 12: K1, purl to last st, k1.

Row 13 - 16: Change to CC, work as rows 11 and 12.

Rows 17 – 18: Change to MC, work as rows 11 and 12.

Rows 19 – 20: Change to CC, work as rows 11 and 12.

Rows 21-22: Change to MC, work as rows 11 and 12.

Rows 23 – 24: Change to CC, work as rows 11 and 12.

Break CC yarn leaving tail long enough to weave in.

Rows 25 – 36: Change to MC, work as rows 11 and 12.

Begin Decreasing:

Row 37(RS): K1, *k2tog, k7, ssk; repeat from * to last st, k1. (74 sts)

Row 38 and all even rows: As Row 12.

Row 39: K1, *k2tog, k5, ssk; repeat from * to last st, k1. (58 sts)

Row 41: K1, *k2tog, k3, ssk; repeat from * to last st, k1. (42 sts)

Row 43: K1, *k2tog, k1, ssk; repeat from * to last st, k1. (26 sts)

Row 45: K1, *k2tog; rep from * to last st, k1. (14 sts)

Break yarn, leaving a long tail (almost as long as your arm). Thread the tail with a darning needle, and weave it through the remaining sts then pull them off the needle. Pull tight and fasten with a stitch. With wrong sides together and using 1 st on each side as a selvedge seam the hat. Weave in all ends. Wash and leave to dry flat.

Garter Cuff Mitts
knit camp-019-Edit-Edit
knit camp-019-Edit-Edit

About the Pattern: Let the swatch became the design!  Worked sideways, these mitts use only knit and purl to create a warm and easy-to-make set.

Materials:

  • 5mm Knitting Needles
  • Tapestry Needle
  • 50g Libby Summers’ Fine Aran in 660 Larama
  • 1g of Libby Summers’ Fine Aran in 890 Kulli for 2 pom poms

Tension:

18 sts and 24 rows in stocking stitch to 10 cm/4in using 5mm needles (or size needed to achieve tension)

Abbreviations:

CO - Cast On

K - Knit

P- Purl

WS - Wrong Side

Pattern (Make 2):

Cast on 30 sts, leaving a 30cm/12in tail.

Row 1-3: Knit.

Row 4(WS): K8, p18, k4.

Row 5: Knit.

Row 6: K8, p18, k4.

Work rows 5 & 6 a total of 21 times.

20140106-IMG_0378
20140106-IMG_0378

Row 47-48: Knit.

Cast off all stitches. Break yarn, leaving a 30cm/12in tail.

Finishing Instructions:

knit camp-019-Edit-2
knit camp-019-Edit-2

Fold mitts in half width-wise with right sides together. Using tail, sew up the seam 5cm/2in down from top cuff. Break yarn, weave in ends.  Sew up 6 cm/ 2.5in from the bottom cuff. Break yarn, weave in ends.

 Tips and Tricks:

You may want to place stitch markers to mark off the purl section you need to do on the even rows 6 - 46. Want to know all about stitch markers? Lion Brand has a great post here.

Confused about pattern reading? Think of it like a code.

  • Where the row instruction says "Knit" that means knit all of the stitches all the way across.  
  • As this pattern is written for rows, you will turn your knitting at the end of each row.
  • Where the instruction says K8, p18, k4 - this means you knit 8 stitches, then purl 18 stitches, then knit 4 stitches

We won't be going into Finishing and Sewing up on this course (we will be covering casting off though!). Knitty.com has a thorough tutorial on sewing in your ends. A basic whip stitch will be fine for sewing up your mitts, but if you want a more invisible seam, Knitty also has a great tutorial on invisible seams.

Bobble Stitch Snowflake
snoe-022
snoe-022

Materials:

1 x 25g ball of DK Yarn)  in white.

4 mm  hook.

Gauge:

1 motif measures 17 cm wide (for a smaller snowflake, use thinner wool and a smaller hook)

Difficulty rating: Intermediate

Special Stitches:

Bobble 1
Bobble 1
bobble 2
bobble 2

Bobble Stitch (BS)

[yarn over, insert hook into stitch, yarn over and pull through stitch, yarn over and pull through 2 loops] 3 times, yarn over and pull through all the loops on your hook.

picot
picot

Treble Picot (tr pic)

5 ch, slst into the 1st ch, [5 ch, slst into the same ch as the 1st slst] twice.

Pattern:

Round 1:

20131213-IMG_0077
20131213-IMG_0077

Working into a magic loop, 1 ch, 6 dc. Join.

Round 2:

20131213-IMG_0078
20131213-IMG_0078

3ch (do not count as a stitch throughout), 1 BS, 2 ch, [1 BS, 2 ch] five times. Join. 6 sts

Round 3:

Slst
Slst

2 slst to next ch-sp,

20131213-IMG_0087
20131213-IMG_0087

(3 ch, 2 BS,  3 ch, 2 BS, 1 ch) into the ch-sp, miss 1 BS,

20131213-IMG_0088
20131213-IMG_0088

[2 BS, 3 ch, 2 BS, 1 ch) into the 3 ch-sp, miss 1 BS] five times. Join. 24 sts

Round 4:

20131213-IMG_0092
20131213-IMG_0092

1 ch, miss 2 BS, [(2 BS, 1 tr pic, 2 BS) into the 3 ch-sp, miss 2 BS, 1 dc into 1 ch-sp] six times. 30 sts

20131213-IMG_0093
20131213-IMG_0093

Finishing Instructions:

Block lightly, for best results, pin each of the picot points to let dry into shape.

For making bunting, 20 ch, [1 dc into the central picot point on one snowflake, 25 ch] repeat for as many snowflakes as you have made.

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Need help?  Head over to the awesome Crochet Camp Facebook Group!

christmas-Crochet-Camp
christmas-Crochet-Camp

Want to learn to knit in the new year? Check out Knit Camp!

Teeny/Weeny Stars
star workshop-040
star workshop-040

In the last few months, I have designed no less than 7 different star patterns. While I am known to go on crazy pattern binges where I design the same thing over and over, this star obsession sort of takes the cake.  I will be publishing 2 different patterns this week and I have a different pattern in my Crochet A Star Garland kit, plus the star rug in my book as well.  I think 4 star patterns in a life time is probably enough. Today's pattern is for the most basic of stars.  Tomorrow we will tackle the tricky ones!

Skills needed:

Materials:

Yarn + appropriate hook.  Mine is in DK, but try crochet cotton for lovely dainty stars or thick yarn for ones that pack a punch.

Round 1:

star workshop-013
star workshop-013

Step 1: Starting with a slip knot on your hook, chain 2.

PicMonkey Collage
PicMonkey Collage

Step 2:  Insert your hook back  into the very first chain you made, make 1 double crochet (dc), chain (ch) 2.

star workshop-021
star workshop-021

Step 3: Repeat step 2 a total of 5 times, working into that very same chain you worked your first double crochet into.

star workshop-024
star workshop-024

Step 4: Join with a slip stitch (slst) into the top of the 1st dc [ you should have 5 double crochet stitches in total].

Round 2:

star workshop-025
star workshop-025

Step 5: Missing the next double crochet, work 2 double crochet, 3 chains and 2 double crochet into the next chain space

star workshop-026
star workshop-026

Step 6: Repeat step 6 until you have worked into each of the 3 chain spaces from the round below. Join with a slip stitch into the 1st chain at the beginning of the round.  [20 double crochet stitches in total]

For teeny stars, stop here, break yarn and weave in ends. For weeny stars, continue on to round 3. 

Round 3:

Step 7: Make 1 chain.

star workshop-028
star workshop-028

Step 8:  Miss 2 double crochet stitches. Work 2 double crochet, 3 chain, 2 double crochet into the next chain space. Miss 2 double crochet and slip stitch into the space between the stitches.

star workshop-030
star workshop-030

Step 9: Repeat step 9 for each chain space around. You will have 5 points.  Your last slst is worked into the 1st chain of the round [20 double crochet stitches and 5 slip stitches in total]. Break yarn, weave in ends.

To get nice pointy finishes on your star, lightly wet and pin each of the corners out to dry.

To hang your stars:

  • String a piece of ribbon into the corner of one star and tie them onto the tree.
  • star workshop-031
  • String them together for bunting by chaining a length and working a double crochet into a point to secure them to the chain.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Need help?  Head over to the awesome Crochet Camp Facebook Group!

christmas-Crochet-Camp
christmas-Crochet-Camp

Want to learn to knit in the new year? Check out Knit Camp!

Pattern: Christmas Wreath
20130724-IMG_1662
20130724-IMG_1662

Today, we continue Crochet Camp: Christmas Edition with a wee wreath.  This is super easy and like all of the patterns this week, can be made with any yarn you have - lighter weight yarn will produce a lacier effect and something like T-shirt yarn will make a real statement piece. The only consideration here is that you should be using a hook a few sizes smaller than you normally would for the yarn to get a tighter gauge. This will ensure your wreath keeps its shape.

I use embroidery hoops for these, but there is no reason you can't use any hoop-like object - from a bracelet to a hoola hoop- the basic principle is the same.

Materials:

2x 25g bulky weight wool in required colours.

1/2 of an 8” embroidery frame

5mm crochet hook

Abbreviations:

ch: chain

dc: UK double crochet

slst: slip stitch

yo: yarn over

Round 1:

Christmas Wreath-007
Christmas Wreath-007

Start with a slip knot on your hook. Insert hook through the hoop, yarn over hook and pull through hool and the loop on hook to secure the yarn to the hoop.

Working around the hoop, double crochet around until all of the space around the hoop is covered. End with a stitch count that is a multiple of 3.

The double crochet can be slightly tricky to get the hang of, but it really is no more difficult than a normal dc.

Christmas Wreath-014
Christmas Wreath-014

1.  Holding your yarn over the back and behind your hoop,insert your hook through the hoop. Yarn over your hook and pull through the hoop.

Christmas Wreath-015
Christmas Wreath-015

2. You will have 2 loops on your hook.

Christmas Wreath-016
Christmas Wreath-016

3. Yarn over again and pull through both loops on hook

Christmas Wreath-019
Christmas Wreath-019

After you have double crocheted around, join into the first dc with a slip stitch.

Round 2:

1 chain

Christmas Wreath-033
Christmas Wreath-033

Make *1dc, 3ch, miss 2 dc; repeat from * around.  Do not join. (this doesn't need to be exact, but you should you want to be exact, your chain space loops should equal the number of double crochet stitches you did in round 1 divided by 3)

Christmas Wreath-035
Christmas Wreath-035

Round 3:

Christmas Wreath-040
Christmas Wreath-040

Dc into the 1st chain space, 4ch. *1dc into next chain space, 4ch; repeat from * around. Do not join.

When a pattern says to work into the chain space, this means to insert your hook into the hole underneath the chains and work your stitch around the line of chains.

Christmas Wreath-041
Christmas Wreath-041

Round 4:

Christmas Wreath-044
Christmas Wreath-044

Dc into the 1st chsp, 5ch. *1dc into the next chsp, 5ch; repeat from * around.

Break yarn.  Weave in ends.

(if you want to add more rounds, just increase the number of chains between the dcs)

Lightly block the wreath, by gently wetting your wool and pinning it out to dry. Sew your bow onto your wreath. Hang by threading a loop of yarn around the frame.

Need help?  Head over to the awesome Crochet Camp Facebook Group!

christmas-Crochet-Camp
christmas-Crochet-Camp

Want to learn to knit in the new year? Check out Knit Camp!

Pattern: Mermaid Tail

The mermaid tail was the very first pattern I wrote for Crochet at Play.  As they do, a couple of errata snuck into the final version of the pattern, added to which folks have had some problems with the increases.  Here is a version that is all nice and polished up and includes a crochet chart for the increases to help you along.

IMG_2019

Inspiration

New babies spend so very much of their time asleep, a sweet little mermaid tail not only keeps them warm, but makes for some adorable new baby photos.

Skill Level

Intermediate

Size

Newborn

Finished Waist

16 – 18 inches(41- 46 cm)

Finished Length

26 inches(66cm)

Yarn Requirements

327yds(299m)

Materials:

1x 250g hank of Cascade Eco +, (100% wool) 478yd/437m, Pacific (2433)

5mm/H8 Hook

5.5mm/I9 Hook

Tapestry Needle

2 x buttons 1in(2.5cm) diameter

Yarn Review:

This is a warm, chunky yarn which makes this a quick project. The colour has hints of silver, making it sparkle like the sea.

Yarn Alternatives:

Wendy Mode Chunky.

Tension:

Work 14st and 13 rows in double crochet ribbing to measure 10x10cm/4x4in using 5mm hook, or size required to obtain tension.

Work 2.5sts and 7rows in shell stitch to measure 10x10cm/4x4in using 5.5mm hook, or size required to obtain tension.

Special Stitches:

Shell Stitch (Sh)

Set Up Row: miss 2 stitches, 5tr in same stitch, miss 2 stitches, 1dc in next stitch.

Subsequent Rows: 1dc in 3rd tr of shell, 5tr in dc

Shell Decrease (sh dec)

5tr into dc from previous round. Insert your hook into the 3rd tr of the shell from the previous round , yo and draw up a loop. Insert your hook into the next dc, yo, draw up a loop, insert your hook into the 3rd tr of the next shell , yo and draw up a loop. yo and pull through all 4 loop on the hook.

IMG_2079
IMG_2079

Pattern Notes/Tips:

This sleep sack is as cute as can be, but also practical. The waist band is worked first in ribbing, then then the scallop stitch is worked directly onto the ribbing, first in rows then joined in the round from the top down. A series of increases and decreases are made for the tail, before stitching it closed and constructing the fins.

Instructions:

Waistband:

Using smaller hook, make 10ch.

Row 1(RS): Starting in the 2nd chain from the hook, 9dc.Turn. (9)dc

Row 2- 3: 1ch, 9dc in BLO. Turn. (9)dc

Row 4: 1ch, 1dc, 2ch, miss 2 sts, 3dc in BLO, miss 2 sts, 2ch 1dc. Turn. (5)dc

Row 5-6: 1ch,  working into both the dc and the ch stitches, 9dc in BLO. Turn. (9)dc

Row 7: 1ch, 1dc in BLO, 2ch, miss 2 sts, 3dc in BLO, 2ch, miss 2 sts, 1dc in BLO. Turn. (5)dc

Row 8-64: 1ch, working into both the dc and the ch stitches, 9dc in BLO. Turn. (9)dc

Tail Set up row: Without breaking the yarn, turn your work so you can work across the ribbing, RS facing. 55dc, working one stitch into the end of each row for 55 rows. Turn. (55)dc

mermaid-chart
mermaid-chart

Tail:

Row 1: Using the larger hook 1ch, 1dc, 9Sh. Turn. (9)Sh

Row 2: 3ch (counts as 1tr), 2tr in first dc, 8Sh, 3tr in last dc. Turn. (9)Sh

Row 3: 1ch, 1dc 9Sh. Turn. (9)Sh

Row 4: As Row 2. Do Not Turn.

You will now start working in rounds, mark the start of the round with a stitch marker.

Round1: Fold work in half and dc into the top of the first CH3 in the previous row. This will connect the work into the round. *2Sh, [3tr, 1ch, 1dc, 1ch, 3tr] into same stitch* repeat around. (9)Sh

Round 2: *3Sh, place the dc from the 3rd Sh in the 2nd (centre)tr of the 1st tr cluster you created, 5tr into the next dc, dc into the 2nd tr of the next tr cluster* repeat from * around (12)Sh

Round 3 – 21: Work even in established shell pattern, making 1dc in the 3rd tr of the shell stitch from the previous round, 5tr into the next dc of the previous round.

Round 22: (1Sh dec, 4Sh)twice. (10)Sh

Round 23-24: Work even in established shell pattern.

Round 25: (3Sh,1sh dec)twice. (8)Sh

Round 26-27: Work even in established shell pattern.

Round 28: (1sh dec, 1Sh)twice (6)Sh

Round 29-30: Work even in established shell pattern.

Round 31: (1Sh,1sh dec)twice (4)Sh

Round 32: Work even in established shell pattern.

Finishing: Line up the tail so that the slit at the waistband is just slightly off to one side. Flatten. Dc the tail closed at the bottom. Do not break yarn.

IMG_2091
IMG_2091

Fin:

Work all double crochet stitches in the fin into BLO. Using larger hook, 21ch.

Row1: Starting with the 2nd chain from hook, 20dc back up to tail. Join into the same stitch that the Ch starts from. Turn. (20)dc

Row 2: slst into the next dc of the tail (counts as t-ch), 18dc. Turn. (18)dc

Row 3: 1ch, 11dc, dc2tog, 5dc back up to tail. Join into the same stitch as slst. Turn. (17)dc

Row 4: slst into the next dc of the tail (counts as t-ch). 5dc, dc2tog, 9dc. Turn. (15)dc

Row 5: 1ch, 9dc, dc2tog, 3dc back up to tail. Join into the same stitch as slst. Turn.(13)dc

Row 6: slst into the next dc of the tail (counts as t-ch). 3dc, dc2tog, 8dc. Turn. (12)dc

Row 7: 1ch, 7dc, dc2tog, 3dc back up to tail. Join into the same stitch as slst. Break yarn. (11)dc

Join wool at opposite side of end of tail. Repeat Fin rows 1-7. Do not break yarn.

Slst the 2 halves of the fin together. Break yarn and weave in tails.

IMG_2029
IMG_2029

Buttons:

The 2 buttons are sewn on aprox ½ inch (1cm) away from the edge on the end of the ribbing that does not have button holes. Use the buttonholes for a guide on the placement. The 2 sets of buttonholes, allow you to expand the waist of the sleep sack as the baby grows.

Cherry Delicious Pot Holders
IMG_0645
IMG_0645

Inspired by a photo of a vintage pattern that fell out of a stack of old knitting and crochet magazines, I couldn't help but fall in love with making a cute little cherry potholder.  Finished size is 5.5"/14cm squared - intentionally small to make it a rewarding beginner pattern. This pattern uses:

Chain

UK Double/US Single Crochet

Slip stitch

Working Flat

Working in Rounds

The PDF patterns have step by step instructions for the stitches used at the back of the pattern.

Download them here:

Crochet Camp UK Pattern
Crochet Camp UK Pattern
Crochet Camp US Pattern
Crochet Camp US Pattern

This pattern is part of Crochet Camp, a month long crochet extravaganza here on the blog! Head here to find out all about it and join in!

Granny Squares A Gogo
IMG_0751
IMG_0751

Welcome to week 2 of Crochet Camp!  This week is all about granny squares!  Today, I am publishing the first of 2 patterns this week. This is the most basic of granny square patterns - showing you how to do single colour and multi-colour squares and then string them into bunting. Tomorrow, I will cover the basics of UK treble/ US double crochet and joining colours.

Later in the week, we have another pattern that shows you another option for using your granny squares, plus we will be looking at some of the techniques and stitches you need to make a granny successfully.

Crochet Camp US Pattern
Crochet Camp US Pattern
Crochet Camp UK Pattern
Crochet Camp UK Pattern

Don't forget to enter the giveaway for a year's subscription to Simply Crochet.  Also, for those of you who had asked, the kits are back in stock.

Guest Pattern: Granny Square Bag

What to do with granny squares?  The possibilities are endless, hey? Blankets, bunting, garments... How about a bag to get you started?

20130715-IMG_1444
20130715-IMG_1444

Ali Campbell from  Hooked!! A Crochet Addicts Blog and Get Hooked on Crochet has graciously agreed to share a lovely bag pattern with us.  Ali is a crochet teacher extraordinaire. Ali started to teach crochet to friends a few years ago. When she moved to Dorset, she was fortunate enough to have enough space in the aptly named  “Old School House” to dedicate a room in her home to being a full time Crochet Classroom, so she progressed from only teaching One to One classes to holding regular monthly workshops for up to 6 students to both beginners, improvers & intermediates, all of which have been well attended & 4 week workshops were regularly turning into 6 or 7 weeks!

Ali runs the Crochet eLearning course, available as  Course 1 – The Basics, Course 2 – The Next Step & Course 3 – The Finishing Touches . She is about as passionate about crochet as they come.  She is also having a major operation today, so a massive good luck from me!!

20130715-IMG_1438
20130715-IMG_1438

Download the pattern here:

Crochet Camp UK Pattern
Crochet Camp UK Pattern
Crochet Camp US Pattern
Crochet Camp US Pattern

This post is part of a series for Crochet Camp 2013.  Just joining in? See the FAQ here and the full list of posts here.

Pattern: Beginner Flower
IMG_2354
IMG_2354

Long time readers will recognise this little pattern.  It has been around for awhile, and has gone through a couple of adjustments over time.  I still think it is a great beginner pattern to learn from.  With its magic loop start, varying stitches, working into 2 sides of the chain and 3d construction, it teaches a number of skills that will be extremely useful for other projects in the future.

Plus, its cute, quick - the best kind of crochet!

Crochet Camp UK Pattern
Crochet Camp UK Pattern
Crochet Camp US Pattern
Crochet Camp US Pattern

Did you see the Simply Crochet giveaway has closed?  Well, if you didn't win, Simply Crochet has given us a great discount on subscriptions, offering 3 Issues for £1, look here for more details.  Also, check out the yarn giveaway here.

(this post is part of Crochet Camp 2013.  Just joining us? Check out what is going on here and see all the previous posts here)

Pattern: Cold at Night Hand Warmers
IMG_1105
IMG_1105

*sniff* here we are in our final week of Crochet Camp. Hasn't it flown by?

This week's main pattern is this set of fingerless mitts. This is the first pattern that we have done that is written in a more standard crochet pattern format.  There are 4 sizes to choose from, and you will work through the instructions for your size by following the relevant set of instructions in brackets (re read the How to Read a Crochet Pattern post as a first step if you get confused).  I really wanted to end with a pattern like this so that if you have ANY questions about this kind of pattern, myself and more experienced crochet campers can help you through if you get stuck.

Puff Stitches

Most of the pattern is worked in puff stitch clusters.  This is my favourite little stitch.  I use it at least 3 times in my book and it is already in one pattern of book 2.  Yes, "obsessed" IS the word you are looking for, but I don't care.  In my mind, this is what I love about crochet - little round stitches that create a gorgeous texture and warmth.

To make a puff stitch, place your yarn over your hook.

IMG_1099
IMG_1099
IMG_1101
IMG_1101

Insert your hook into the specified stitch, yarn over again and pull through the stitch.

IMG_1102
IMG_1102

Yarn over again, insert your hook back into the same stitch, yarn over hook and pull through the stitch.  You will have 5 loops on your hook. 

IMG_1103
IMG_1103

Yarn over again, and pull through all of the loops on your hook.  1 Puff Stitch made. 

If you find you are snagging your hook and catching strands of wool as you work the Puff Stitch, try working a bit looser and try keeping your hook pointed down and the back of the hook pushing the top of the loops and yarn overs up as you go through.

IMG_1104
IMG_1104

To make the puff stitch cluster, you will make 1 Puff Stitch, chain 2 and 1 Puff Stitch all in the same stitch.  On your second and subsequent rounds, you will work your Puff Stitch cluster into  the 2ch space in the middle of the cluster. 

Crochet Camp UK Pattern
Crochet Camp UK Pattern
Crochet Camp US Pattern
Crochet Camp US Pattern

Click to download the pattern now.  Good luck and you know where to find me if you need me.

How to Read a Crochet Pattern

One of the things I hear most often from students and customers is "I know the basic stitches, but have no idea how to read a crochet pattern".  In fact, it wasn't so long ago that I was in the same boat, struggling to understand what all of the letters, numbers and abbreviations meant!  Most searches on the internet throw up only a list of abbreviations for the terms used in crochet in either US or UK crochet.  Of course this is crucial information, but it isn't the whole story. When you get to the basic instructions of a crochet pattern, there are a number of things you need to know in addition to the common abbreviations.  In many ways, its like a code or another language that tells you how and where to make stitches. Unfortunately, each designer and publication will do things a little differently, which can add to the confusion. While I don't believe that there should be any sort of dogma in pattern writing, people do need to understand what you are telling them to do.  And while testers and tech editors can really help with pattern clarity, the reader still needs some basic pattern information.

Let's look at an imaginary line of pattern:

round
round

At the beginning of the line, you should have some indication whether you are working in rounds or in rows.

round numbers
round numbers

Immediately following this, you will have an indication of what row/round you are currently on.  Numbers in brackets (parentheses) refer to the corresponding instructions for different sizes, working from left to right, smallest to largest. If there is a "-" in the instruction, this means that this particular instruction doesn't apply to that size.

beg chain copy copy
beg chain copy copy

Next up, you should have some indication of what the beginning chain will be.  You should also have an instruction, either in the pattern or in the beginning instructions of the pattern, of how this stitch will be counted in your stitch count.  This is done because the first stitch at the beginning of a row or round in crochet needs to be raised up to the correct height of the rest of the following stitches, otherwise the work will be sloped. A designer needs to make a decision whether or not this is counted as a stitch and what works best with the pattern.

hdc in dc
hdc in dc

In this example, the next section of instruction means to make 2 half double crochet stitches into the next stitch of the previous round (the pattern tells us the previous round was a double crochet) and then make 1 half double crochet in each of the next 2 stitches.  This is often when there variation occurs in crochet patterns.  When I first started writing patterns, I would have written "HDC2, 2HDC" for the same line...not terribly clear.  If you do come across problems in any designers patterns - ASK!  Don't get in a muddle.  Its not worth the frustration.

number after brackets
number after brackets

In this case, that line of pattern is in square brackets (some designers may use normal parenthesis/brackets) .  This tells us that bit of pattern is repeated the number of times directly after the second bracket.  In this case, 4 times.  There may be variation in relation to sizes, following the same left to right, smallest to largest order.

astrix
astrix

When instructions are preceded by a *, this means to repeat that sequence of stitches as many times as indicated, usually to the end of the round or row.

join
join

'Join' means to join the round with a slip stitch. This is usually used at the end when working in rounds.

turn
turn

'Turn' means to turn your work. This may not be in the line if there is a general instruction at the beginning of the pattern for how to deal with turning.

stitch count
stitch count

The stitch counts at the end of the row tell you how many stitches you should have worked in that row or round. This may be followed with the specific stitch that is used in the round/row, the word "stitches" or nothing.

Does that help anyone? I certainly hope so!! Experienced crocheters, have I forgotten anything?

(I could not have ever written this post without the stellar tech editing skillz of Ms Joanne Scrace, she taught me most everything I know.)