Category Archives: Knitting and Crochet

His ‘n’ Hers Crochet Earflap Beanie Hats – Free Pattern

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Image I crocheted these two hats from pure wool yarn unravelled from a sweater I bought in a charity shop.  Unravelling a sweater is a labour of love that’s for sure, but you are rewarded with a lot of yarn for the money.  The yarn has to be unpicked, skeined, washed, dried and re-skeined or wound into balls before use!  It took a lot longer to “process” the sweater yarn than it did to crochet the two hats!

I wanted to make Mechanic Man a new work hat for Autum/Winter and thought the colours would look good with his colouring (reddy/blonde).  His garage is freezing even in Summer so he wears a hat all day for most of the year.  He was at work when I took these photos so my daughter is modelling.

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I made him a lovely hat last year but unfortunatly it found it’s way into the washing machine with his uniforms and shrunk spectacularly.  Mechanic Man was sad about his old hat but chuffed that he had managed to make a felt bowl all by himself.  I had a lot of yarn left from my sweater, so I thought I’d make a coordinating hat for me – Hence His ‘n’ Hers!

I made HIS in random stripes – most one colour wide – so that it won’t show the dirt/grease/oil too badly.  I made mine with stripes ‘cos I’m a sucker for stripes. The top of my hat has five rounds of the same colour and then each stripe has four rounds.

I very carefully wrote down the pattern for these hats as I was making them and now I can’t find the piece of paper.  Still, here’s the gist.  It’s basically a beanie hat with a few extra rows added for a neck warmer (on 2/3 of the total stitches and then an ear-flap triangle added on each end of the neck warmer).  My instructions do assume you know how to crochet and have had a go at a hat before.

I have a beginner hat pattern with more detailed instructions here.

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Notes:  This hat is worked in rounds, to join each round you can either slip stitch into the first st of the previous round and chain 2, or single crochet into the first stitch of the previous round and chain one.  This chain counts as your first stitch of the next round.  It must also be noted that my tension is tight, so if you crochet loose, you may want to use a slightly smaller hook.

  • 6mm crochet hook and approx. 70g Aran weight yarn for each hat.
  • Use a magic loop or as small a chain loop as you can to start.
  • Round 1: Make 10 single crochet sts (double crochet UK).
  • Round 2: Make 2 SCs in every stitch (20 sts).
  • Round 3: Work one round (20 sts).
  • Round 4: Make 2 SCs in the first and every other sts (30 sts)
  • Round 5: Make 2 SCs in the first and every third st (40 sts)
  • Round 6: Work one round.
  • Round 7: Make 2 SCs in the first and every fourth st (50 sts)
  • Round 8: Make 2 SCs in the first and evry fifth sts (60 sts)
  • HER hat: Continue to work on these 60 sts until the hat is the desired length (without neck flap)  For my hat I worked approx 33 rounds.
  • HIS hat : Work another increase round, increasing 5 sts evenly around the hat (65 sts) and continue without further increase. You can add a couple of extra rounds too if you want a bigger hat but I worked 33 rounds HIS hat too (I have a big head).
  • Neck Flap: To make the back a little longer than the front (built-in neck warmer) work back and forth in rows for FOUR rows on 40 sts HERS (45 sts HIS).
  • Ear Flaps: Work the ear-flaps backwards and forwards on each end of the neck piece.  I worked the ear-flaps on 9 sts for HERS (11 sts HIS) and decreased one st at each end of every other row until there were no sts remaining.
  • To make a edge, work TWO rounds of SC around the whole hat – decreasing one stitch in internal corners and increasing one stitch at external corners.
  • I added tassels to HER hat but not to HIS as I don’t want HIM getting mangled in a machine at work!
  • I hand stitched lining into the inside of HIS hat with some jersey fabric from an old Marks and Spencer’s T-shirt so it will be super comfy and warm.  You can see in the photo below that the back is a few rows longer to keep HIS neck warm (the lining is level with the edge at the front).

If you find this pattern helpful or utterly confusing please let me know!

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Sock Season – Free adult ribbed sock pattern

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florida orange socks

Sorry, I’ve been off my Blog for a while.  I have been busy making and baking honest – In fact I was doing so many things at once I didn’t finish anything and then I had so many things finished I didn’t know which one to write about – so lets catch up.

Over the last six months I have knitted five pairs of socks (all for me!) and now it’s turned decidedly chilly I’m wearing them.  So here’s one pair – modelled by my foot double – ballet girl!  This is a pattern I’ve been working on perfecting for a while and finally I’m happy with it.

I like to do contrast heels and toes (because I can); but, in this case I didn’t have enough of the orange yarn to knit a whole pair of socks anyway.  I had already used some of the wool for several other projects.  Baby socks, an ice pole cozy and an iphone cozy.  Gotta love mechanic man’s permanently grubby hands – he’s a grafter!ribbed new born baby socks

ice pole cosy

So, for these socks I added blue on the top of the cuff and made the cuffs shorter than I usually do in the hope that I would have enough of the orange yarn. ribby contrast heel toe socks As it happened, I ran out of orange yarn, five rows short of the contrast toe on the second sock – you can just see a few extra rows of blue rib on the sock on the right.  Still no-one will ever notice.  ribby contrast heel toe socksWhat I like most about the sock is the ribbing on the heel and the top of the foot, this makes them a really good fit.  I used a wedge toe with Kitchener stitch closure.

ribbed heel socks

If you would like to knit a similar pair here’s my pattern – it’s not tested, I made notes as I went (and didn’t lose them like I usually do).  If you are already a sock knitter you should be able to follow it. Let me know if you have any problems/questions.

ECOZEE’s Free Ribby Sock Pattern with Contrast Ribbed Heels and Contrast Toes!

Important:  This pattern is free for personal use only – please do not redistribute/sell the pattern in any format or sell socks made using it.

Notes:

I used 2.75mm needles, Regia sock wool and 64 sts for my size 6 UK (size 8.5 USA) foot.  I have tight tension, so if you have loose tension use 2.5 mm needles – you will need to use 64 sts for the rib pattern to work.  I used four needles for most of the sock (with the stitches on three needles and knitting with the fourth).  For the toe, however, I put my stitches on four needles and knitted with a fifth.  You will need to do this too for the instructions to work out and to avoid counting too much or using stitch markers.

Cuff:

Cast on loosely (larger needles is a good idea) and work the cuff in knit 3, purl 1 rib for as long as you like – add a contrast top if you like.

Divide for Heel:

  1. You will need to knit your heel on 33 stitches for the ribbing pattern to work.
  2. When you get to the end of the last round of your cuff, knit 16 stitches from the next round and then slip 17 stitches from the previous round on to the same needle.  These 33 sts will form your heel.
  3. Change to contrast colour.

Heel Flap:

row 1: slip 1, *p3, k1* repeat * to * to last 4 sts then purl to end.

row 2: slip 1, *k3, p1* repeat * to * to last 4 sts then knit to end.

Repeat the last two rows until 32 rows have been worked.

Turn the Heel:

  1. sl 1, k17, ssk, k1 turn
  2. sl 1, p5, p2tog, p1, turn
  3. sl 1, k6, ssk, k1 turn
  4. sl 1, p7, p2tog, p1, turn
  5. sl 1, k8, ssk, k1 turn
  6. sl 1, p9, p2tog, p1, turn
  7. sl 1, k10, ssk, k1 turn
  8. etc – until you have 19 sts left on your needle.
  9. Join main colour and knit the 19 sts on the heel flap.

Divide for Foot/Gusset:

  1. Slip the last 10 sts on to a new needle and leave the other 9 sts on the heel needle.
  2. Using the needle with the 10 sts on it, pick up and knit the 17 slipped stitches down the side of the heel flap, plus an extra stitch in the corner to help eliminate the hole that can sometimes form here. You should now have 18 sts on this needle.
  3. With another needle, pattern the 31 sts on top of the foot (keeping to the k3, p1 rib pattern).
  4. With the third needle, pick up a stitch in the corner and the 17 slipped stitches down the other side of the heel flap (18 sts) and then knit the 9 stitches from the second half of the heel flap.  You should now have 86 sts in total.
  5. Knit one round, keeping to the rib pattern on the top of foot but just knitting the other stitches.
  6. Each round will now start in the centre of the heel (well, one stitch off centre!).

Gusset:

Round 1: Work one round, knitting every stitch on the heel/sides of foot but keeping rinb pattern on top of foot.

Round 2: Work to last two sts on needle one (heel/side of foot), then knit these last two sts tog, k3, p1 across top of foot, then ssk the first two sts on the other side of the foot, then knit to end.

Repeat these two rounds until you have 64 sts again (your gusset is now complete).

Keep knitting the foot (knit side stitches and rib pattern on top of foot)  until it is approx 1.5 inch shorter than to the end of your big toe.

Toe Decrease:

Change to contrast colour for toe and proceed in knit stitch only for toe.

Wedge Toe:  with the centre of the heel (the sole) as the start of the round, arrange the 64 sts so you have 16 sts on each of four needles.

Round 2:

  • Knit to 3 stitches before end of Needle 1: K2tog, K1.
  • On Needle 2, K1, SSK, Knit to end.
  • Knit to 3 stitches before the end of Needle 3, K2 tog, K1.
  • On Needle 4, K1, SSK, Knit to end.

Round 2: knit one round.

Repeat these two rounds until you have 24 stitches left in total (6 on each needle).  If you have especially pointy toes you could work a few more rounds until you have 20 or even 16 sts left.
You will then need to arrange the remaining stitches on to two needles and graft/Kitchener stitch the two rows together.

Alternative Round Toe:

If you can’t graft/Kitchener stitch your toes – you can do an alternative round toe – this tends to be a bit more pointy which suits folk with pointy toes.

Again, redistribute the 64 sts until you have 16 on each of four needles (you will need a fifth double pin).

Shape the toe as follows:

  • Dec Round 1: *K6, k2tog; rep from *. Knit 6 rounds.
  • Dec Round 2: *K5, k2tog; rep from *. Knit 5 rounds.
  • Dec Round 3: *K4, k2tog; rep from *. Knit 4 rounds.
  • Dec Round 4: *K3, k2tog; rep from *. Knit 3 rounds.
  • Dec Round 5: *K2, k2tog; rep from *. Knit 2 rounds.
  • Dec Round 6: *K1, k2tog; rep from *. Knit 1 round.
  • Next Round: K2tog to end.

To finish, cut the yarn, leaving a 10″ (25.5 cm) tail. Thread tail on a tapestry needle, draw through remaining sts, pull tight to close hole, and fasten off on Wrong side.

Avoiding Second Sock Syndrome

Finally, before you get a cup of tea and bask in the glory of knitting one whole sock it is very important to immediately cast on for the second sock and work a couple of rows. Otherwise you may very well suffer from Single Sock Syndrome and your sock may never get it’s mate.

Crochet Granny Square Dress for ME

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crochet granny square dressI purchased this fabbo fabric in Australia – I am normally an upcycler of fabric and can’t recall buying any fabric in a shop, other than a charity shop, for at least 20 years.  I couldn’t resist this printed cotton fabric though – it was meant to be.  I was in Australia to teach crochet and was on a trip to the craft store to help my hostess choose yarn.  I only got 1.5 metres and had no idea what I would make.  It was too good for pyjamas and there was too much fabric for just a skirt – a dress?  If they can do it on the Great British Sewing Bee, then I can do it.  Do you like my self portrait? – you can just see the camera remote in my right hand!

Now, I’ve never made a dress, I made a skirt at school, and a couple of skirts when I worked in a posh tea room in Pasadena, California over 20 years ago and needed to look smart and English rose-like on a budget.  I am not a big fan of sewing machines, I prefer hand crafts, but even I am not about to hand sew a dress!  I find it difficult to buy dresses because they never fit – so I thought this would be a way to get a dress no one else would have and that would fit me – short body, big boobs!

My friend lent me this pattern which was her mother’s – it wasn’t my size but I thought I could use the shapes to give me an idea.  I bought some amazing papery material from our local scrap store for 25p/metre.  It is used to make disposable surgical gowns so I thought I could use it to make a prototype “paper” dress.

ntage simpicity dress pattern

I cut out the pieces using the Simplicity pattern I had, pinned it together and tried it on.  Too big.  I did some cutting and snipping and made a smaller version.  I used this version to make a paper pattern from wrapping paper (all I had).

pattern2

I then used some more surgical gown paper to make a new version and sewed it up (including zip) tried it on and it fit.

surgical gown paper dressI made adjustments to my gown prototype and corresponding snip, nips and tucks to my wrapping paper pattern and then cut out the fabric.  I make all this sound easy – it wasn’t – well not for me anyway.  I could have just bought a pattern my size but where’s the challenge/satisfaction in that?  I would have still have had to customize the pattern a to fit me.

bust darts french darts

facings

back of crochet dress

The front is one piece with two darts on each side – a bust dart and a French dart (into the side seam).  The back is two pieces with a zip in the centre back seam and a small dart on each shoulder.  I know I sound like I know what I’m doing but I just learned the technical lingo from a couple of vintage (charity shop) books on dressmaking I just knew would come in useful.  Now I have the pattern it should be easy to make more, well, zips are never easy (I hate them, but buttonholes are even worse). I hand sewed the hem – the most enjoyable part of the whole process.

hand sewn hem stitch

The whole process took me three days (and evenings) but I am so pleased with the result – I may have to make a couple more with different fabric.  I did use a reclaimed zip and upcycled pink linen fabric from an blouse for the facings.  The thread was also from charity shop.  I have a strip of fabric left over – very short skirt? Although, come to think of it, my ironing board does need a snazzy new new cover.  Watch this space.practice paper dress

Sunset Birthday Cushion

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 crochet spots polka dot cushionIn Australia, I finished knitting the back for my sunset crochet cushion.  I wanted it to be finished to give to my Auntie (my Mum’s big sister) for her 80th Birthday last weekend.  We travelled down to the South of England especially to be with her.  She is an amazing women, still working – in an old folks home in the village she has lived in for 75 years, preparing lovely food for the residents, many of whom are younger than her!  We are a family of knitters, crocheters and sewers so I thought it would be fitting.  It was great to see my cousins and to meet the newest member of our family who was born this year on the first anniversary of my Mum’s death.  We stopped off in Cambridge en-route to the family so the lovely garden in the photos belongs to my best-est pal Mary.

cakeMy second-cousin in law made the beautiful cake which was delicious, and my cousin-in-law drew this lovely card.

 hand drawn 80th birthday card

Everyone liked the cushion, I am really pleased with it, I think it looks quite modern and not too granny – even for a great granny!

granny circle cushion

garter stitch striped cushion coverBack: sunny knitted stripes.

I just sewed the front and back together so if it ever needs washing it will need unpicking a bit!

Sunset – Scottish Style

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sunset orange wool yarn

It’s bitterly cold here in Scotland with snow falling even at the end of March – we haven’t felt the sun’s warmth for what seems like weeks, or even caught a glimpse of the sun.  So, I thought I’d cheer everybody up with this photo of an orange ball of yarn on my garden fence.  I took this snap just now to remind me of what a sunset would look like if we were lucky enough to see one.  I hope it makes you feel warm and fuzzy.

I bought the orange ball just as it is for 25p in a Charity shop in Jedburgh about a month ago and thought it would be perfect with the purple yarn I bought from a car boot sale a  year or so ago.  I am crocheting some sunny circles to make a cushion – here’s a sneak preview – more pics to follow when the cushion is complete.  I’ve just started knitting the back in garter stitch so it could be a while.

crochet small sunny circles

purple pure wool yarn old uk 8 knitting needles garter stitch

Mother’s Day Yarn Bomb

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hand carved headstone daisy primula cowslip

Today was the big day to yarn bomb my Mother’s recently installed headstone with the daisy chain I have been crocheting.  It has 43 daisies, one for each Mother’s day my twin and I were luckily enough to have with her.  It is all part of my positive grief therapy program!  The headstone is hand carved red sandstone to match the church and is beautiful see previous blog entry. I’m not going to show all of it to protect our privacy but here’s some photos taken this morning in the biting wind and hail.   Needless to say, I’m very pleased with it; and, do you think anyone will know it was me?  And, to my far away twin – “Wish you were here M.J.”

Crochet Daisy Chain – Free Pattern

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crochet daisy chain on tunisian crochet dishcloth

My Mum’s headstone was installed this week – it is hand carved local salvaged red sandstone see earlier post.  I had the idea of crocheting a daisy chain to wrap around it for Mother’s day which is coming up soon here in the UK.  I searched around the web for a suitable pattern but didn’t like any I found – they were either for big daisies or small white flowers that didn’t look like daisies. So, I made up a pattern, there are probably similar ones out there, but this one I figured out myself.

I am going to make 43 daisies, one for each Mother’s Day my twin and I had the pleasure of sharing with our lovely Mum.  They are a wee bit fiddly but so very cute and versatile. My first daisy (above) is sitting on my second ever piece of Tunisian crochet – a cotton dishcloth but more on that later.

crochet daisy chain free pattern

My crochet daisy uses the magic loop method to start so you don’t get a hole in the centre of your flower. If you don’t know how to do this there are many excellent video tutorials on You tube.  For my daisies I am using…..

  • 4mm crochet hook
  • Double knit yarn (light worsted USA and 8-ply AUS) in green, white and yellow.
  1. Crochet a chain in green yarn as long as you like.
  2. In yellow, work 12 dc (sc USA) into the magic loop and join with a slip stitch.
  3. Tighten the magic loop until the hole has disappeared.
  4. Change to white, join yarn with a slip stitch.
  5. Chain 4, slip stitch in the next dc (sc USA) of the previous yellow round.
  6. Continue around until you have worked 12 petals,join with a ss.
  7. Weave in your loose ends.
  8. I used the tail from my magic loop to sew each daisy to my pre-made chain.
  9. Keep going until you get bored – sit on the grass and pretend you are 6 again!