06 April 2021

Block Stitch Cowl Scarf - Free Video Tutorial

Hi everyone, it has been forever! I hope you are keeping safe and staying relatively sane in the current circumstances. Hopefully some form of normality will return soon.

It has been very cold in the UK the past couple of days. We’ve even had a snow shower today! 🙃 So I think this is the perfect opportunity to offer you a free pattern for a quick and easy cowl. Even more so if you are in renewed lockdown, as I know this is the case for quite a few countries at the moment. Also, quick confession, this is to celebrate the launch of my YouTube channel, which will be dedicated to free crochet tutorials! Can you tell I’m excited? 😁

Anyway, please click below for the video (or here if video image is not showing). I would love to see pictures of your own versions, so please free to post a link in the comment section. Have fun hooking!

26 March 2020

Baby Blanket

Hello everyone! How are you all in the current madness that is sweeping the world? I thought I'd take this opportunity to update my blog. So here I am, back for a bit of posting after another long absence. Mind you, I have excuses. I moved house not long after my last post but most importantly... I had another baby (who's recently turned one, haha!).

And can you spot that bit of crochet under those ickle tootsies? Yes! It’s a blanket! A blanket I made especially for said baby and that I managed to finish... er, almost in time for his arrival.

Go on, have a peek.

It’s a pixelated style solid granny square blanket, which had been on my list for a very long time. So what better excuse than a new baby to give it a go? But for the first time ever I used the join-as-you-go technique for solid granny squares, following this excellent tutorial. I have to say this technique really helped me carry on with the task, as I found it quite rewarding to see the blanket grow with every square. I’ve lost count of the many granny square projects I once started and never completed because I felt overwhelmed with the sheer amount of pieces. It also gives the joining a neat finish which I quite like.

The edging is made of rows of half trebles (US half double crochets) worked in the back loop with the very last row in clusters of 3 half trebles interspersed with slip stitches to create a subtle shell look. All very simple yet very effective.

It's become a favourite item in the household and has got loads of lovely comments from many people.

I hope everyone is ok and keeping safe in these strange and troubled times. Take good care of yourselves, my lovelies!

15 October 2018

Golden Thread Cowl Scarf - Free Pattern

Hello, everyone! I am reviving my currently sleeping blog to share a pattern for a cowl scarf I have just completed, hoping it will keep you or a loved one warm this coming winter. I have called it the Golden Thread Cowl Scarf due to the recurrent golden thread in the yarn I used (Lang Mille Colori 200g, shade 946.0109), but also because this easy and repetitive pattern has a soothing quality which reminds me of golden thread visualisations you sometimes practice in yoga.

Here's the yarn I used for this project:

And the finished result:

If you look closer, you can see the speckles of gold here and there:

This pattern is all about texture, and I believe it is ideal to showcase variegated yarns with medium to long colour changes, so that the self-striping effect highlights each round. That being said, I think a plain colour yarn would work just as well, giving the texture centre stage.

Scroll down for the pattern!

- Crochet size: 4mm
- Terminology used: UK
- Ch3 always counts as a treble unless otherwise stated.
- Tension is not critical for this project, just make sure your foundation chain is long enough to fit loosely around your neck (number of chains has to be even).
- With 48 rows, the scarf has a height of 38cm (15in). Simply omit or add one or several sets of rows to make it shorter or taller.
- Please note that although this project is worked in the round, you do need to turn your work at the end of each round.

ch = chain
rd = round
st = stitch
sl st = slip stitch
beg = beginning
dc = double crochet (US single crochet)
tr = treble (US double crochet)
bldc = back loop double crochet (worked in the back loop of stitch from previous row)
bltr = back loop treble (worked in the back loop of stitch from previous row)

Foundation: chain 120, slip stitch to 1st chain to form a large ring, taking care not to twist your chain.

Round 1: chain 3, 1 treble in next chain till end, sl st to beginning ch3, turn.

Rd 2: ch3, 1 bltr in next stitch till end, sl st to top of beg ch3, turn.

Rd 3: repeat rd 2.

Rd 4: ch4 (counts as 1 tr, ch1), skip next st, *1 tr in next st, ch1, skip next st, repeat from * till end, sl st to 3rd ch of beg ch4, turn.

Rd 5: ch1 (does not count as a stitch), 2 dc in next ch1 space till end, sl st to 1st dc, turn.

Rd 6: ch1 (does not count as a stitch), 1 bldc in next dc till end, sl st to 1st dc, turn.

Rd 7: ch3, 1 bltr in next st till end, sl st to 1st dc, turn.

Rd 8-48: repeat rds 2-7, finishing on a rd 3. Fasten off, weave in ends.


Of course, do let me know if you find anything that's incorrect or unclear, I will do my best to clarify things. And please feel free to share your work in the comment section below or on Instagram, @little_crochet__ #goldenthreadcowl.

Thanks for reading, folks!

12 March 2018

Geometric Shapes Cowl - Free pattern

Hello, my friends! As spring is tentatively showing signs of possibly wanting to come out here in England, I am emerging from my blogging hibernation with a free pattern for you to try. It's a bit of a winter one, but hey, spring hasn't sprung yet, and worst case scenario, you'll have it all ready for next winter ;-)

So here goes: this is a very simple cowl scarf I recently made, inspired by my love and admiration for Wayuu bags. Here's the finished product:

As you can see, it's an extremely simplified take on the Wayuu geometric shapes, but the technique is roughly similar. It's made using super chunky yarn to ensure maximum warmth on a cold winter's day. Scroll down to learn how to make it!

Materials needed:
- 1 skein of each of the following:
  - Mrs Moon Plump Darjeeling (Colour A),
  - Raspberry Ripple (Colour B)
  or any 2 shades of super chunky yarn
- 1 10mm crochet hook or any size to obtain tension

10x10cm = 9 stitches x 8 rows

- This cowl is worked in the round, based on the tapestry crochet technique. There are a number of ways to change colours using this technique, however the one I find the simplest and the neatest is to hold the thread not in use at the back of the work and to crochet over it. When changing colours, start working a double crochet, but use the other colour to pull the last loop through (see a photo tutorial here).
- Joining rounds: for an inconspicuous joining seam at the end and beginning of rounds, I use this great technique as demonstrated by Deja Detmir of Knit and Crochet Ever After. Just apply it every time the pattern directs you to do a slip stitch, except in the final row.
- Abbreviations: ch=chain dc=double crochet, ss=slip stictch, bldc=back loop double crochet
- Terminology used is UK (so double crochet = US single crochet)

With colour A, chain 60, slip stitch to first chain, taking care not to twist the chain. Note: Check that the resulting circle fits comfortably over your head and around your neck. If not, add chains in multiples of 6 until you get the desired fit.

Rd 1: Chain 1 (does not count as stitch throughout), 1 double crochet in same stitch, change to B, *1 dc in next 5 stitches, change to A, 1 dc in next stitch, change to B, repeat from * 9 times, change to A, slip stich into beg stitch of previous round
Rd 2: Ch1, 1 bldc in same stitch, 1 bldc in next stitch, change to B, *1 bldc in next 4 stitches, change to A, 1 bldc in next 2 stitches, change to B, repeat from * 9 times, change to A, ss to beginning stitch of previous round
Rd 3: Ch1, 1 bldc in same stitch, 2 bldc in next stitch, change to B, *1 bldc in next 3 stitches, change to A, 1 bldc in next 3 stitches, change to B, repeat from * 9 times, change to A, ss to beginning stitch of previous round
Rd 4: Ch1, 1 bldc in same stitch, 3 bldc in next stitch, change to B, *1 bldc in next 2 stitches, change to A, 1 bldc in next 4 stitches, change to B, repeat from * 9 times, change to A, ss to beginning stitch of previous round
Rd 5: Ch1, 1 bldc in same stitch, 4 bldc in next stitch, change to B, *1 bldc in next 5 stitches, change to A, 1 bldc in next 5 stitches, change to B, repeat from * 9 times, change to A, ss to beginning stitch of previous round
Rd 6: Ch1, 1 bldc in same stitch, change to B, *1 bldc in next 5 stitches, change to A, 1 bldc in next stitch, change to B, repeat from * 9 times, change to A, ss into beg stitch of previous round
Rd 7-11: Repeat rounds 2-6.
Rd 12-15: Repeat rounds 2-5, omitting the last change to colour A.
Rd 16: (In colour B) Ch1, 1 bldc in every stitch around, ss to beg of round. Fasten off.

And that's it! If you try your hand at this pattern, please do send me pics of your finished objects, as I would love to see your work. Also, if you spot any mistake or if anything seems unclear in the pattern itself, please let me know and I will try my best to help you.

Happy hooking!

13 November 2017

The Weekender Bag - A Sewing Project

Hello! It has been forever since I last updated the blog, and as I haven't been twiddling my thumbs in the meantime, I have a ton of projects to share with you.

So I'll start with a sewing project from last year. It was a gift for a dear friend which took me a whole year to finish, due to a mixture of life happening and so-so confidence in my sewing skills. So, sometime in 2015, I bought this issue of Simply Sewing and fell in love with the Cath Kidston weekender bag pattern. As nearly always with sewing patterns, I wanted to change a few things, such as using several coordinated fabrics instead of just one, adding inner pockets and insert a top zip, as I am not a fan of bags you can't close securely. I also wanted the bag to be more rigid and to have metal feet.

It wasn't easy or straightforward, but otherwise where would have been the fun in making it? The result I was very proud of, and very nearly kept as a changing bag for my then upcoming baby. But I did manage to part with it and I am so glad I did, since my friend seems to absolutely love it and tells me she gets all manners of praise for it. Yay!

So, let's have a look at the finished object. Here's a left side and front view, respectively with one and three pockets...

The back view and its two pockets...

The top zip, with a peek of the lining contrasting fabric inside the middle front pocket (blue with white dots), and inside the main bag (beige with brown dots). The original pattern does not include a zip, so I used a tutorial from The Bag Making Bible, by Lisa Lam. I highly recommend it to you, though there are excellent free tutorials online as well, like this one.

 Another view of the top zip, with its end tag...

And inside the bag, with one blue-lined patch pocket and one blue-zipped flush pocket (the first ever I made, which got me very nervous indeed)...

A closer view of the zipped flushed pocket with its contrasting fabric. I have a thing for zips in contrasting colours opening onto matching fabric. It's such a lovely pop of colour which never fails to delight me.

 Below is a close-up of the boxed stitch on one of the straps.

And finally, a bottom view of the bag with the inserted metal feet. The bottom of the bag was reinforced with repurposed plastic place mats, and I used a seam ripper to cut small slits for the holding flaps of the bag feet. I also reinforced all panels with heavyweight interfacing and felt.

It was a labour of love, I'm telling you. From time to time, I itch to make another one in a different colour scheme, but I still feel daunted by the mammoth task this was the first time round. That being said, maybe it wouldn't be so bad if I made it again? We'll see...

In any case, thank you very much for reading! :)

05 March 2017

Granny Square Skirt - The Pattern

Hello everyone! This post has been a long time coming (two years, to be exact!) but it's finally here--the pattern of my granny square skirt...

...which can also be worn as a poncho!

Please note that I have used UK crochet terminology throughout.

So here we go...

The skirt is made of a waistband consisting of rows of back loop double crochet (bldc) in black yarn, joined at the ends and edged with a round of double crochets (dc), as shown in the graph below, where the X symbol stands for 'bldc'.

Below is a pic of the finished waistband: as you can see, working in the back loops of the double crochets creates a ribbed piece which has the added advantage of being quite stretchy.

Then the body of the skirt is crocheted from the waist down, creating four corners as you go along...

...and working in the following order: three rounds of treble clusters in various colours, one round of double crochets in black, and repeat...

...until desired length is reached, finishing with a round of crabstitch in black.

A simple crochet chain in black is finally threaded through the base of the waistband.

Materials needed:
1 100g ball of black DK yarn (referred to below as "yarn A")
1 100g ball of DK yarn for each desired colour. I used 9 different colours for my skirt, worked randomly, the only rule being that no colour should be repeated twice in a row (but by all means, do break the rule if you so wish!).
1 4mm crochet hook
1 tapestry needle to weave ends in.

Stitches and abbreviations used (UK terminology):
ch: chain
dc: double crochet
bldc: back loop double crochet
tr: treble
cr-st: crabstitch



Tension: 10x10cm= 20 bldc x 16 rows with a 4mm hook
Size measurements at waist, approx. 70cm. To adjust to your size, increase or decrease number or rows, making sure you always have a multiple of 4.

With yarn A, Ch11, turn.
Row 1: dc in 2nd ch from hook, dc in each ch to end, ch1, turn.
Row 2: bldc to end, ch1, turn.
Rows 3-112: repeat row 2, do NOT fasten off

Fold piece in half, aligning first and last rows together, and join them with a row of slip stitches to make a ring. Fasten off and turn piece inside out. The side now facing you will be the right side of the waistband.

Rejoin yarn A into one edge of ring, ch2, dc in each row end around the edge, closing round with slip stitch. Fasten off. Repeat for other edge.


Round 1:
Change colour, rejoin yarn into any dc in either edge of waistband. Ch3 (counts as 1 tr), 2 tr, ch2, 3tr in same dc (corner made), **skip 3dc, 3tr in next dc, *skip 2dc, 3tr in next dc*, repeat *to* 6 times (if making a different size, divide number of waistband rows by 4, then divide result by 3, and substract 3 to find how many repeats you need. In this case: 112/4=28; 28/3= 9.33; 9-3=6), skip 2dc, 3tr, ch2, 3tr in next dc (corner made)**, repeat **to** twice, repeat **to** once, omitting the corner stitches, slip stitch to beginning. Fasten off.

Round 2:
Change colour, rejoin yarn into ch2 space of any corner of the previous round. Ch3 (counts as 1 tr), 2 tr, ch2, 3tr in ch2 space of corner from previous round, *3tr in next space between tr from previous round*, repeat *to* until next corner, **3tr, ch2, 3tr in corner, repeat *to* until next corner**, repeat **to** twice, slip stitch to beginning. Fasten off.

Round 3:
Change colour, repeat round 2.

Round 4:
Change back to yarn A, rejoin into any corner, ch1 (does not count as a stitch), *1dc, ch2, 1dc in corner, 1dc in each tr till next corner*, repeat *to* 3 times, slip stitch into 1st dc.

Round 5:
Change colour, rejoin yarn into any corner. Ch3 (counts as 1 tr), 2 tr, ch2, 3tr in corner, **skip 4dc, 3tr in next dc, *skip 3dc, 3tr in next dc*, repeat *to* until 3dc before next corner, skip 3dc, work 3tr, ch2, 3tr in next corner**, repeat **to** twice, repeat **to** once more, omitting the corner stitches, slip stitch to beginning. Fasten off.

Rounds 6-7:
Repeat round 2.

Round 8:
Repeat round 4.

Rounds 9-x:
Repeat rounds 5, 2, 2, 4, finishing on a round 4, until desired length is reached. Do not fasten off.

Final round:
Ch1, 1 cr-st in each dc until corner, 3 cr-st in corner, repeat 3 times, slip stitch to beginning. Fasten off. Weave ends in. Block if necessary.

Chain until you have enough length to wrap around your waist and tie a bow knot. Thread through every other dc at base of waistband.

And there you have it. I realise it may look a bit daunting at first, but I think once you've got past round 2, it gets much easier to see what you are doing. If anything is unclear or you spot a mistake, please let me know. Oh, and do share pics of your makes! :)

19 February 2017

Double Pom Pom Baby Hat

Hello everyone! A quick post today to share with you a baby hat I made a couple of months ago, adapted from this free pattern. I used remnants of a most likely now discontinued shade of Lang Yarns Mille Colori.

Yummy scrummy colours! Anyway, it was intended as a gift, but as I was making it, I tried it on Baby L to make sure it was a suitable baby size. Well, Baby L looked so impossibly cute in it that I very nearly decided not to part with the hat :-D 

I mean, look how cute, even without a baby in sight:

Anyway, I managed to give it up eventually... and went on to make another one straight away for Baby L. I'll dedicate a post to it very soon, and will share the pattern as well.

In the meantime, thank you for reading! :-)