The Crochet Community has spoken, Moorit magazine is happening! We are getting a crochet magazine for crocheters, like no other that has been seen before.
Yarn lovers have chatted dreamily over the years about what it’d be like to have a high end crochet publication. Imagine, if you will, a cool crochet magazine that is collectible, beautiful, and features artisanal designs that you just have to make. It shouts from the rooftops that crochet is second to none! But here’s the thing, there are whispers about crochet, assumptions and rumours. …ugly stitches, they whisper at yarn shows….. gasp, squeaky acrylic!…. Shh, old ladies!… Pah! It is a reputation that us dreamers fight with fervour to shake. Modern crocheters understand that there’s more to the hook and yarn than the humble Granny square (and I’m saying this as a champion of the Granny). We love it for it’s rhythmic stitches and limitless twists and turns. In recent years, more and more designers are coming through who brilliantly showcase the very best that contemporary crochet has to offer. This is an exciting time.
Many of us have often wondered if a magazine would ever happen. Sadly, we didn’t really think “when,” it was more a wistful “if”. Alyson Chu is going to make sure it happens though. Did you see the huge success of Alyson’s Kickstarter campaign?! That’s how much we need Moorit! The first goal was smashed within two days. After two weeks, it has been totally obliterated. That speaks volumes! If you haven’t already, please go and read about Alyson’s vision on the Kickstarter page, you’ll learn about the detailed plans she’s working hard to bring to life, the designers who’ll be featured in Issue 1, and get a feel for the gorgeous aesthetic.
With a Masters degree in publishing and a passion for crochet, Alyson realised she had the skills and experience to make it a reality. Not just a dreamer but a full on innovator! It’s the right time and the right place. Yessss!
I was listening to her chat with Fay from the Crochet Circle Podcast the other day (you can watch the interview HERE), and it was awesome how she said [paraphrasing a bit] “If not me, then who?” She wasn’t going to sit back and wait for some else to do it. It might never happen. She told herself the same when she approached knitwear designer Jeanette Sloan about Bipoc in Fiber too, a website that highlights the creative work of Black, Indigenous & People of Colour within the yarn world. Alyson’s ambition and enthusiasm is gloriously contagious. Love it!
As well as the interview with Fay, do also check out the interview from Knitsonik. I really enjoyed reading this chat about crochet history and Moorit’s connection to Scotland. And I’ve just started reading the 1847 book, Miss Lambert’s “My Crochet Sampler” because of this interview! (you can find it online as a free digital download).
I am so excited about Moorit. What an amazing opportunity to show crochet design at its very best. I can’t deny that it’s also about absolute privilege to be a part of issue 1 with one of my designs. I am chuffed to bits…. and waiting to get dragged back from my front row seat. Gulp! On a personal level I want to push myself and my skills as a designer for Moorit. For others, I want to challenge how they see crochet. This is crochet enrichment.
Just in time for autumn, Moorit will be here in September. It will focus on crochet garments and accessories for everyone, using beautiful fibres to do it. Issue 1 focuses on women’s wear but there will be designs in there that aren’t exclusively female. Come September we’ll have this plush publication in our hands. I literally cannot wait to leaf through its pages. Crochet is beautiful, it is time to celebrate! Don’t you think?! Yesss!!
I was at the very cold and windy beach yesterday when I realised how much I LOVED the crochet cowl I was wearing! Sat securely & snuggly around my neck, it wasn’t going anywhere. The best thing about a cowl is that there are no flappy scarf ends, breeze whipping them about my face! Neither will it slowly work itself free and slide to the ground. A crocheter can also hook up a handmade cowl pretty quickly.
I started counting up how many there were in my crochet collection. A LOT!! And they all get worn at this time of year. The ice cold weather this week isn’t set to rise above 3 degrees. A warm cowl is the first choice crochet accessory that I’m going to reach for.
Whether fancy 4ply or super chunky, there are all sorts of styles you can try. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner crocheter as there are loads of easy cowl patterns to try. It doesn’t have to be fancy stitches or anything, you could smoosh together four largish granny squares (5 inches would do it) and that’s a cowl. When I say smoosh, I mean sew them together in a row and then join ends to create a circle. Voila, a cowl has been made.
This blog post is also a blatant excuse to share loads of my designs to tempt you into getting the yarn and hooks out. Of course it is….
My renewed enthusiasm for keeping warm in the winter means I am about to go rummaging to find yarn to make a new cowl. It will be released as a free pattern when it’s done. Keep your eyes peeled. In the meantime, I will share my latest design. It’s called Companions, which is a cowl and wrist warmers pattern set. There are still a few days where you can get 25% off on Ravelry andEtsy. Last day of the discount is the 13th Feb. I am so so pleased with this stripey set. Ridiculously pleased. Every aspect works: the yarn, the pattern, the style. It’s exactly what I had imagined. This is the cowl I was wearing yesterday at the beach (the wrist warmers were left at home as I didn’t want them getting mucky whilst rooting through pebbles, looking for seashells!).
With that plug out of the way, there are plenty of free crochet patterns and tutorials you can try. I’d say that they were suitable for beginners who fancy a quick project that’s simple yet effective. A corner to corner chevron? It’s all in the colour work. Here’s the YouTube tutorial to show you how. The same pattern can easily be turned into a hat too. It’s good to have options!
I got the idea for a C2C chevron fromthe granny chevron I designed which, in turn came from a big floofy version I did. (I am currently obsessed and delighted with how ideas beget ideas – it’s fascinating).
Have you made any? They don’t have to be small and simple. You can make elegant, double looping infinity scarves, or massive super chunky things that envelope your entire top half. There are loads of variants in between.
A couple of years ago I was asked to design a cowl that looked like a shawl for the front cover of Mollie Makes magazine (yep, still proud of that moment). I wanted it to be a bit different to my other designs so added the triangle shaping. A shawl that’s not a shawl! It turned out to be one of my most popular designs ever. It’s for sale on Ravelry, Etsy and LoveCrafts.
I see triangle cowls popping up more and more in the knitting and crochet community. I’ve got more than one design now too and another one due in a future magazine. That one is cute, perfect for early spring!
Right, rather than a overly detailed breakdown of each and every one I will just add some more pictures and let you peruse at your leisure. There’s also ascarf and cowl bundle on Ravelrywhich is worth looking at. Yes, I know they’re all mine. It’s a starting point.
Do have a favourite crochet cowl out there? Which one? Hopefully there’s something here to inspire you to get crocheting. Let me know how you get on.
John Arbon Textiles’ Yarnadelic comes in 25g and 100g skeins. Here’s the birthday podcast. I’m not an affiliate but with the lengths I go to to plug it, you’d be fooled into thinking I am!
Paintbox wool mix– This is an affiliate link, I recently set it up to see if it would be a viable finger in a pie. From each sale generated through the link I get a minimum 5% of the sale. The wool mix is my current fave aran weight yarn. It’s often on sale.
Instead of saying Happy New Year (it’s been a few weeks; feels a bit stale now), I will say Happy New Yarn!! Much more cheery to focus on the woolly yarn! Think of all the crochet we can do over the next twelve months!
I think this is episode 85 of the crochet podcast but it’s not numbered. It’s been a while since the last episode so I have lots & lots to talk about. Therefore I decided to split the subjects up into more manageable sections. This episode is all about the Yarn! Funnily enough, this is one of my favourite subjects, I bet it’s yours too!
Please click on the picture above to go directly to the episode or go HERE to my YouTube channel for more episodes and tutorials. Thanks ever so much.
Flyy Dyed Yarn. A one woman business selling One of a Kind hand dyed yarns. Oh my, this is lovely yarn! It smells sooooo good! (I will stop banging on about that one day). I fancy making something for the autumn, don’t know what yet. As well as yarn, Rachel also sells other good stuff that’s related: crochet hooks, cute pins, stitch markers etc. Find her on Instagram.
Yarn Worx, a lovely yarn subscriptionfor those wishing to support a small business and get themselves a little treat at the same time. I was sent one parcel as a free gift so I could show it to you. Do check out their website as there’s lots of different things on there including other crochet & yarn related products/accessories. With the subscription you are invited to join a Facebook community. They’re also on Instagram.
I briefly flashed Hinterland. You can find it on all the place I sell my patterns:Etsy, Ravelry and LoveCrafts
I created a Foundation Start tutorial for three different stitches (Sc/ dc, hdc/htr, dc/tr), plus I explain how I start my ribbing for cuffs. This is an alternative to making a chain and working into that. It’s now my “go to” method for starting projects.
Your support makes me do that happy dance everyone always talks about. One way to support my small business is topop over to Ko-fi. Thanks!
Join the Patreon community HERE. Tiers are coming soon as I think it makes it clearer. I try and offer one free pattern and one other “reward” per month. This is a minimum. There’s often a bit more too 🙂
Oh and keep your eyes peeled for my latest design, which is called Companions. I will share more very soon. In the first instance it’ll probably be onInstagramthat I show it off! Thanks you so much! xxx
Thanks to some very keen crocheters out there, my first version of a crochet JW Anderson cardigan has been super popular. Thanks for that! I’m not sure I need to explain at this point but I will: it’s the one that was made enormously popular by Harry Styles. Pretty sure you’ll know about all the cardigan by now, whether knitted and/or crocheted.
[FYI I recently signed up to the LoveCrafts affiliate program so I have linked to the yarn mentioned in this blog post (further down). I have no idea if it’s worth it yet but it won’t make any difference to your wallet whatsoever – just mine!]
My sister saw it and asked me to make one for her Christmas present. Initially I said “ugh, No”. I couldn’t be bothered to make another! Then my conscience got the better of me and I decided I should go for it. I thought about the changes I could make and it was enough to make me enthusiastic about knocking one out again.
The Second Cardi
The only reason I’ve made it again is because one of my sisters requested it for Christmas. She still hasn’t seen it yet because the rules of Covid have meant that I’ve not seen my family this Christmas. I posted it last week but apparently it takes a long time for parcels to get from one end of the island to the other.
My sister is smaller than me. Let’s say she’s a UK 8. I think. With my lockdown lard, I’m edging back to a 12. Because of the difference I did some maths based off the measurements from my first cardigan (see first post). This new cardi isn’t oversize on me but it probably will be on her. I actually prefer this fit to massively oversized (I do not require additional bulk on top, thank you very much).
Colours: I bought new yarn rather than doing a random stash dive. I chose to use Paintbox wool mix aran. You can get it from Lovecrafts HERE (this link takes you directly to the wool, which is one of my fave yarns to work with). If you purchase by hitting the link, it means I will get paid a small percentage of the sale. There’s also a button somewhere about the place (on this blog) that is linked to my affiliate program, so if you spot that, give it a click to peruse more yarn!
I used one of each in the following colours: Buttercup yellow, Lipstick Pink, Light Caramel, Royal Blue, Bubblegum Pink, Marine Blue, Raspberry Pink, Grass Green, Paper White, Blood Orange, Coffee Bean, Ballet Pink, Dusty Rose, Spearmint Green, Washed Teal and Dolphin Blue.
When using the same colour in two different places it’s easiest to wind off enough so you can work the two squares without more tangle (rather than working both ends of the same ball, which I’ve done in the past). Just make a separate ball that’s big enough to make a square.
You can use other yarn like DK but it will affect the size. How about swatching!? Make a square, measure, multiply by nine (the amount of squares that equal the width around in this garment). Will that fit you? You may wish to add or remove two or three stitches and add or subtract a row or two. Experiment, work it out to find the size that suits you. The ultimate corner cutting is to find a sweater in your wardrobe that fits as you want this to fit and get the tape measure out.
Before I get into the knitty gritty, I am taking a moment to tell you that I have a Ko-Fi account HERE. Perhaps you would like to give me a few quid! I’d be very happy if that happened. Thank you.
And if you fancy joining the Zeens and Roger community on Patreon then you can go HERE. Each month I like to offer one of my“paid for” patterns for free, and give an additional treat too. That’s usually an exclusive video of crochet chat, a crafting tour or something similar. I’m also working myself up to do a few live events across the year too…. Anyway, back to the crochet cardigan! …..
Ch Ch Changes
Hook size: This time I went for a 5.5mm, I like the tension it gave on this yarn.
Measurements: It’s 50cm (just under 20 inches) deep and 50cm wide, a boxy square! Sleeve length is also 50cm. The sleeve circumference is 31cm (12 inches).
Square size: each square is roughly 11x11cm (approx 4.5 inches) depending on the stitch used. Balancing out different stitches throughout means things won’t get too wonky (so don’t layer all your FLO squares on top of each other, they’re not as tall). But this cardigan is not about precision, it’s OK if it looks rough around the edges. To get the squares this size, each square is 15 stitches by 12 rows.
Buttons: Due to it being a smaller garment, I decided to drop a button rather than squeeze on 5. I also bought smaller ones, these are 25mm buttons. In these pics I hadn’t paid too much attention to button placement, my squares misaligned. I cut the buttons off and did them again. Remember to pay attention!
Button Band: It’s chain 8 and work 7htr (that’s US hdc stitches) for the band. Therefore, when it comes to making the button holes you need to do: 3htr, miss 1 st and chain 1, 3htr.
Decreasing at collar: I started the decreases earlier here because they’d have been too high on the neck. Check out the chart below, you can see where the sides come in just after the half way mark of the piece. To decrease each row, literally all I do is to stop one stitch short of the end, or skip one at the beginning of the row. You could do a different decrease if you wanted, whatever floats your boat.
I got bored fiddling with animal print on cardi number one but definitely wanted a few squares that were different to the others. Plaid was the option I chose.
The circled ones (below) are the two I used as my guide. Each square on the grid represents a stitch. You swap yarns depending on what colour is due next, with three in the play at once. I drew a couple of others to show that if your squares have a different amount of rows and/or stitches, you may need to muck about to find a pattern that fits. Note, a half treble (US hdc) stitch is taller than it is wide.
There are few different blocking methods. Here I steam blocked because the yarn has acrylic content (if all wool then I wet block). Not gonna go into the details of differences, that’d take too long. In this instance, pin out on a towel on the carpet, get some hot steam on it. I use the steam function on my iron. Every time I do this I brick it, thinking I’m going to melt hours of work! Never touch the iron to the work!
Some people will block before sewing everything together and others prefer to block the finished article. I’ve not explored which is best but I blocked the separate pieces this time. You can stretch it out as you pin which affects the size and shape of your crochet.
Are you willing to block it to size? I blocked this one but didn’t block the first version. Pretty sure I didn’t block my swatch for the first one either. This means that my first garment is even bigger now after a few months of wear (the weight of it has left it to stretch out on its own). I blocked this one as it was a gift for someone else and I didn’t want any surprises for my sister. Maaaaaybe it’s not an essential requirement but I think it is better to block.
And that’s it! Never making another patchwork cardi again! I am done.
I did get a few questions about the first one so it might be a good idea to read the comments section on both posts to see if there’s good stuff in there. Or, please do ask a question if you think of one. But all the elements should be included within these posts if you want to make your own. You just have to read it all! But that means if you want to make a different size you will be able to work it out with the information I’ve given you. Honest!
Welcome to Zeens and Roger!! We have managed to stumble close to the finish line of 2020! To take the edge off the final few weeks, how about a crochet podcast?! This one is mostly garments in progress (GIPs?) but there’s some other bits and bobs too. As always please click on the picture above to go directly to the episode or pop over to my YouTube channel HERE. Thank yooooooo! xxx
The Patreon communityis growing and more content appears each month. There are no tiers so it’s pay what you can (until I decided on tiers and set them up!).
If you don’t fancy the commitment of Patreon you can always Buy me a Ko fi. This will support the crochet podcast by letting me continue to improve the quality of it!
Somehow it is November already! I honestly don’t understand. Do you think you’ve managed to get more or less crochet done this year?! To be honest, I haven’t got a clue what’s been going on over the last few months. If you fancy doing some crochet with your feet up, please may I join you? All you have to do is pop over to my YouTube channel and we can have a catch up! If you want you can hit the pic about which is linked to the episode. Cheers!
Before you explore all the fabulous links, don’t forget to enter all the crazy GIVEAWAYS on this episode! I will be drawing winners on the 6th of December so you need to watch before then to be in with a chance. The early bird n all that…
Behold! Feast your eyes upon my new favourite design!! How long will they be my favourite? who can say?! But for now I am ever so pleased with this new pattern for crochet mittens. Please say hello to the Dreckly mittens.
Read on for the story about how the mittens were born but fear not, I’m not going to make you scroll to access the pattern so I’ll do that bit now.
Regulars will notice the small hike in price. All of my patterns are being reformatted and updated and then going up in price over the next few weeks so please do bear that in mind. Cheers.
Some back story then….
I wanted to come up with a pattern that was both classic and simple. It’s all too easy to get over excited and make things overly complicated. Basically, you want the yarn to do all the talking. And this yarn is lovely (even when you’ve frogged it three times because the pattern wasn’t quite how you wanted it to be!).
At the beginning of the year Sonja from John Arbon Textiles got in touch to offer yarn support. I was pretty much given free rein to have a play with their new range of yarn; Yarnadelic. It is a massive honour to be in a position where I get this kind of freedom. However, this is about trust too. A design should do the yarn justice, I can’t just chuck any stitches at it and expect it to look good. It doesn’t work like that. More than ever I want crochet to be the best it can be and that takes time. I’m also good at fannying about and not getting stuff done so yeah, this project has been a long time coming.
A design ought to have a fitting name. Seeing as I am in Devon and the yarn is produced by a Devon company I thought it would be good to pay tribute to that. These woolly warm mittens were supposed to have been released a long time ago. I was meant to have brought them to you directly. Or if you’re in the Southwest… Dreckly, an unspecified time, later. Dreckly is something that you will get around to at some point in the future, or possibly never. [This last line was taken off the internet but I can’t remember where- soz].
So much dithering took place that actually, these are not the first Dreckly digit coverings. A different pair of wrist warmers were given the title. (They may or may not see the light of day but for now, consider them shelved). Therefore, for a long time Dreckly were the Ansum mittens instead, as in “Alright, me ansum?!” which is another South West saying. (I’m avoiding causing trouble by saying South West rather than Devon because I have a feeling that Cornwall could claim these sayings as theirs also, I dunno…). Dreckly is better and it works with their story.
I’m working on another pair at the moment, they’re really addictive. I want to see them in lots of different colour combination and I’m finding it hard to stop. I think that’s a sign of a good design, yes?!
Do you know what was really good fun? Taking them on a photo shoot! So good, it happened twice!! This is due to there being only one rainbow striped mitten ready at the first shoot. I thought I’d be able to get away with it but it just looked stupid having only one begloved hand. Artfully place the other paw in a pocket? No, it’s just stupid (see below).
Anyway, I want to stop writing now. It’s tea time and I want food over blogging. I’ll just whack up a huge amount of pictures for your perusal. Some arguably artful, some daft, all self indulgent. And it sort of became a crap story too…
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If you got this far, let me know by writing in the comments! Cheers. x
It has been more than a month since the last crochet podcast! A Month! I’m still undecided about whether this is a good idea to go monthly because this episode is a whopper! What do you reckon? Less often but bigger episodes? Or shorter, more regular editions…? I’m open to experimentation if you’ll let me!
Right, anyway, please click on the image above to go directly to episode 82 of the Zeens and Roger Crochet vlogcast, or rummage through all of myYouTube content, HERE. Ta very much
If you would like to support me further, here is a lovely list pf the places you can do that. Whether it’s buying a pattern:RAVELRY, ETSY, LOVECRAFTS, or buying me a KO-FIor perhaps, getting more good stuff more on PATREON, you make my day on every single interaction. Thank you. xxxx
I can’t say why I decided to jump on the Harry Styles cardigan bandwagon, I feel way too old for this sort of game. Am I woollen spun mutton dressed as soft worsted lamb? I can’t help it, sometimes I am filled with creative urges and can’t rest until I have rummaged through the yarn stash to find what will satisfy them.
Let me first state a disclaimer: I have not intended to create a step-by-step pattern/tutorial. Think of it more as a chat with detail. If you have crochet experience and you want make yourself a chunky-ish crochet cardigan then there is enough information written here, and discussed in the YouTube video(click on the pic above to go to the episode), to ensure that you can make it happily. You’ll be tangled in yarn, but hopefully, you’ll also be happy. I assume you know crochet and are not brand new to my absolute favourite of crafts.
EDIT:: I madea second cardigan HERE, go check it out! Many changes have been made and you might be interested to see. Thanks
Right, I’m not going to fuss. Let’s just get straight on it. Please read on for all the good stuff.
You Will Need:
Loads of aran weight yarn in the colours of your choice. Whether working as individual squares or all in one piece, you’ll want 12 grams per square (I weighed a couple of swatch squares and they weighed 11 point something).
I used a 6mm hook. Normally I’d use a 5 or 5.5mm hook for aran weight as I have a loose tension but I wanted this cardi to have a drapier finish.
5 buttons. (Mine are 3cm diameter).
Needle for seaming together and weaving in a bajillion ends.
Fun Cardi Facts:
My finished cardigan measures: Length: 55cm / 21.5 inches. Width of body: 63cm / 25 inches. Sleeve length: 58cm / 23 inches. Sleeve circumference: 36cm / 14 inches. I am a UK size 10 and this would still have lots of positive ease if you’re a UK 14. After that I reckon the fit would change and you should consider adjusting your square sizes. Any smaller than a size 10 and you might find it’s too big so make each square smaller.
Each square is 18 stitches by 13 rows. To size up or down, it’s about 1 row and 2 stitches per cm (just under half an inch) so add or subtract that amount to change the sizes.
My squares are 5×5 inches.
The stitches I used were mostly UK half trebles (US hdc). Where I write “HT” on the chart below, that stands for Hounds Tooth stitch (must make a tutorial for this myself but there are loads on YouTube already), “FLO” stands for front loop only. I am linking to ascarf tutorial of mine HERE. It uses the same technique.
For the animal print squares I went to Lottie & Albert for inspiration. Lindsay has afree chartthat creates a much larger piece of crochet with tr stitches rather than htr. I made up my own chart for the cardi (below).
I began my pieces with afoundation half treble (US hdc). This was a good base to then begin the colour work of the squares. Using the same colour as the ribbing helps to ensure it looks like a cohesive join too. Multiply the number of stitches per square by the amount of squares. Working on one giant piece like I did? Then it’s a foundation of 162. The sleeves were 54.
The ribbing is made in a similar way to the FLO stitch I use. Again, use the scarf tute HERE. I chained 13 for the waist band and 10 for the cuffs. Cuffs are 26 rows, no idea what the waist band is and there’s no way I’m counting them all (soz!) but it’s about 4 inches shorter than the main body piece. This brings it in to make it a better shape. It’s a technique I’ve robbed from my mate Heather of HG Designs Crochet.
The button band is a starter of 9ch and is worked onto the cardigan directly using an interesting technique that should be part of every crocheter’s repertoire. Rather than me type out an explanation, I suggest you watch the vid, it’s all there.
Attach sleeves. Use plenty of stitch markers to help with easing them in. Double check you’re not going to sew them on inside out like I did the first time!
Sew on buttons.
You don’t have to shape at the neck like I did. But if you find it terribly flattering and can’t live without it, once you hit the last/top squares at the neck (the triangley ones indicated above), it’s a simple matter of one decrease per row. I say “simple”, I actually made it much harder for myself by having both squares be patterny. If you don’t fancy a decrease on the animal print colour work, or the hounds tooth square. Change them to a plain htr. It might save your last semblance of sanity.
Last Few Bits:
OK, I think that’s it. Please do let me know if you have any questions. I’ll try and help if I can but as I said before, this is aimed at those with at least the basics of crochet under their belt.
You wouldn’t believe the amount of work that goes into even doing this kind of casual outline of a pattern. Come and join me onPatreon and/or buy me Ko-fi !! Thank you!!