Z&R Crochet Podcast 101. The Curse of the Creative

Fancy Watching a Crochet Podcast?

It has been a while but here is Episode 101, the latest crochet podcast which, you can watch over on YouTube now! I hope it’s worth the wait. It’s chock full of lots of different yarny projects so I think (I hope), you will enjoy spending some time with me.

To watch the episode, you can find it by clicking on the picture above, or popping across my YouTube channel HERE.

The list below is representative of the topics discussed in this latest crafty chat but if there is anything missing please do give me a shout…

Perpetual Dawn for The Fibre Company

Notes & Links to the Crochet Good Stuff:

A couple of blog posts that might interest you are: Working with Mohair Yarn which has a few tips on working with the fluffy stuff. And another, which is an easy guide to How to get Gauge for crochet clothes.

The cotton bucket hat is my latest free pattern. You can find it on the blog right HERE. There’s lots more detail on that blog post about the yarn I used and the pattern itself.

More is to follow about the Farmer’s Field cowl so no actual links yet. I’m feeling self conscious about it. Is it good enough? I like it, I am pleased with the eyelet details. Having a few wholes makes the yarn go further and is a bit different from my usual Corner to Corner crochet patterns.

I did mention about the John Arbon Knit By Numbers yarn though, that is now a C2C cowl but was once an early version of Harvest Moon. Check out crochet podcast episode 36 with that old edging!

The Granny Square Market features in issue 149 of Inside Crochet magazine. Since recording I have already started working on a V stitch version. The release date for it on my own online sales platforms will be at the end of October.

Have you seen Perpetual Dawn yet? It’s a granny square shawl designed by yours truly for The Fibre Company’s “By Hook” Collection. There’s nothing quite like a giant granny project is there?! And I like how this one looks very grown up. I don’t know if you remember but I used their yarn before in the Foragers’ Shawl.

Happy Crocheting. Cheers! X

Granny Market Bag for Inside Crochet magazine
An easy Crochet cotton bucket hat
A cardigan with no name. Yet
A new crochet design in progress
Farmer’s Field
Summer ripe figs.
Destined to be crochet socks
Cotton Crochet Bucket Hat
Blocking swatches

Mixtape Medley Crochet Blanket Pattern – US terms!

Mixtape Medley Crochet Blanket. A great crochet pattern to learn new stitches.
Mixtape Medley Crochet Blanket

The Mixtape Medley Crochet Along has been such an exciting CAL and I cannot tell you how thrilling it is that so many of you have taken part in making this crazy crochet blanket pattern. There have been some brilliant brilliant brilliant versions made and it is such a lovely thing to see. Check out the Instagram hashtag #MixtapeMedleyCAL to see a variety of colour combinations that will make you swoon.

It’s about time I shared the pattern here on the blog so you can get it direct from the designer. I thought it would be a good idea to publish my biggest crochet project to date, right here, using US crochet terminology.

You can find the original UK pattern on the Hobbycraft website HERE. There are links to the video tutorials there too (I use UK terms in the videos).

If you’d like a glimpse into how I designed Mixtape Medley, I talk about it HERE in a Youtube video about designing crochet and getting your work published.

Yarn and Other Things you Need to Know

You need any DK (or similar) yarn. That’s in the number 3 category. I used Knitcraft Everyday DK 50 gram balls (100% Acrylic, 137m/150yds) in the following colours:

Purple (YA) x 3 balls, Mint (YB) x 4, Hot Pink (YC)  x 2
Beige (YD) x 5, Orange (YE) x 2, Teal (YF) x 2
Light Blue (YG) x 4, Brown (YH) x 2, Peach (YI) x 3
Barbie Pink (YJ) x 2, Red (YK) x 2, Blue (YL) x 2

I used a 3.75mm hook as my tension is quite loose. A 4mm (G/6) works great too. 

Blanket Measurements

This blanket measures 125cm x 195cm / 49 x 77 inches

Stitch Tension/ Crochet Gauge

Whilst tension isn’t a major issue it does have an affect on the amount of yarn used. The shade Peach for example, uses nearly every scrap of yarn of the three 50g balls listed. You would run out if your tension is looser.

If you’ve got the energy, make this small swatch to check you gauge.
Row 1: Using a Foundation Start (see Special Stitches), work 25fdc sts, turn – 25 sts
Row 2: 1ch, hdc to end, turn.
Rows 3 – 17: Rep Row 2.
10cm should equal 14 rows /19 sts

Notes for Mixtape Medley

  • Changing colour: change yarn on the last pull through of the st before the new colour is needed.
  • For colour block/plaid rows, carry non working yarn along the row, working over the yarn as you go. Remember to regularly untwist your yarn to prevent tangles!
  • C2C rows can sometimes pull in slightly. You can adjust the tension by going up a hook for these sections. Although, I didn’t bother.
  • It’s a lovely big blanket and is a generous single bed size.
  • To adjust the size of your blanket, use multiples of 36. This blanket uses 6 multiples of 36 (plus 1) to get to 217 stitches. Add or subtract 36 stitches to make adjustments to the size.
  • The Hobbycraft video tutorials use UK terms but provide a really good visual so they’re still valid and helpful.
  • At the bottom of this page you’ll find a printable PDF to download for free!! ….
  • If you have enjoyed all the Mixtape Medley delights thus far and appreciate the work that has gone into the project, then I would totally do that happy dance if you bought me a Ko-fi!

Crochet Abbreviations

ch = chain, ch-sp = chain space, dc = double crochet, folls = follows/following, 
fdc = foundation double crochet, hk = hook, hdc = half double crochet, 
lp/s = loop(s), rem = remain/ing, rep = repeat, sc = single crochet 
sl st = slip stitch, st/s = stitches, tr = treble crochet, yrh = yarn around hook, 
YA/YB etc = yarn A/yarn B etc, JAYG = join as you go, 
C2C = corner to corner crochet, RS/WS = right side/wrong side

Special Crochet Stitches

Foundation Start (fdc): ch4 (counts as a st), yrh, insert hook in 4th ch from hook, yrh, draw through, yrh, draw through 1 lp (to create 1 ch into which the next st will be worked), yrh, draw through 2 lps, yrh, draw through 2 lps. Work next fdc (foundation double) into the 1ch created and the lp behind it.  

Bobble stitch: (made on the wrong side of blanket):
[yrh, insert hook into st, yrh, pull through, yrh, pull through 2 lps] five times in same st, yrh, pull through all 6 lps.

Puff stitch: [yrh, insert hook into st, yrh and pull up yarn] three times in same st, yrh, draw through all 7 lps on hook. 

hdc join:  (joining a round with a hdc means you finish in the very centre of a corner):
yrh, insert hook into 1st st of round, yrh, pull through, yrh, pull through all 3 lps. 

Mixtape Medley CAL Crochet Blanket
Mixtape Medley is a Hobbycraft collaboration for a 2021 Crochet Along

Mixtape Medley Blanket Pattern

Week 1

Row 1 (ws): With YA and 4mm hook, 217 fdc, turn – 217 sts. 
Alternatively work 219ch and work 1 dc in 4th ch from hk and 1dc in each ch to end.
Row 2: 1ch (does not count as a st here and throughout), dc to end, turn. Change to YB.

BLOCKS

Row 3: 1ch, 9hdc in YB, *9hdc in YC, 9hdc in YB; rep from * to last 10 sts, hdc in YC to end, turn.
Row 4: 1ch, 10hdc in YC, 9 hdc in YB, *9hdc in YC, 9hdc in YB; rep from * to end, turn.
Row 5: rep Row 3.
Row 6: rep Row 4.
Row 7: rep Row 3.
Row 8: rep Row 4 changing to YC on last st, turn.
Row 9 -14: continue in pattern, repeat the last 6 rows but switch colours around to begin with YC followed by YB.

BOBBLE ROWS

Rows 15 & 16: with YD, 1ch, hdc to end, turn.
Row 17 (ws): with YE, 1ch, 4sc, 1bobble, *8sc, 1 bobble; rep from * to last 5 sts, 5sc, turn.
Rows 18 & 19: with YD 1ch, hdc to end, turn.

Week 2 

JAYG C2C

This C2C section represents the next 6 rows of the blanket: Rows 20-25. 
Working on the diagonal, each row is anchored with a slip stitch to the main body of the blanket.
You may wish to use a 4.5mm hook for this section.
Increases
Row 1 (rs): with YF, 6ch, 1dc in 4th ch from hk, 1dc in each of rem 2 ch (1 block made), miss 2 sts of main blanket, 1sl st, 3ch, miss 2 sts, 1sl st, turn – 1 block
Row 2: 3ch, 3dc in 3ch-sp, 1sl st in ch-sp of first block, 3ch, 3dc in same sp, turn – 2 blocks.
Row 3: 6ch, 1dc in 4th ch from hk, 1dc in each of next 2 ch, *1sl st in 3ch-sp, 3ch, 3dc in same ch-sp; rep from * once, miss 2 sts, 1sl st in next st, 3ch, miss 2 sts, 1sl st, turn – 3 blocks
Row 4: 3ch, 3dc in ch-sp, *1sl st in next 3ch-sp, 3ch, 3dc; rep from * to end, turn – 4 blocks. 
Row 5: with YG, 6ch, 1dc in 4th ch from hk, 1dc in each of next 2 ch, *1sl st in 3ch-sp, 3ch, 3dc in same ch-sp; rep from * to end, miss 2sts, 1sl st, in next st, 3ch, miss 2 sts, 1sl st, turn – 5 blocks.
Row 6: rep row 4 – 6 blocks.

Work even as folls:
Row 7: 3 sl sts across dc sts and into 3ch-sp, 3ch, 3dc in 3ch-sp, *1sl st into next 3ch-sp, 3ch, 3dc in same 3ch-sp; rep from * to end, miss 2 sts, 1sl st, in next st, 3ch, miss 2 sts, 1sl st, turn – 6 blocks.
Row 8: *3ch, 3dc in ch-sp, 1sl st in next 3ch-sp; rep from * to end, turn – 6 blocks. 
Row 9: Rep Row 7, changing to YF on fourth sl st into first ch-sp.
Rows 10 – 71: rep Rows 8 & 9 to last st, alternating between YF & YG every four rows.
Row 72: Rep row 8.

Decreases
Row 73: 3sl st across dc sts and into 3ch-sp, *3ch, 3dc in 3ch-sp, 1sl st into next 3ch-sp; rep from * to end, turn – 5 blocks.
Rows 74 – 77: rep row 73. 
Fasten off and sew in C2C ends (and all other ends so far)!

Row 26: with RS facing, attach YG in corner, work 217sc across main blanket: 1sc in top of the 3 vertical dc sts and 3sc around the bar of horizontal sts, plus an additional 1sc st at the beginning.

HOUNDSTOOTH

Row 27: with YH 1ch, hdc to end, turn.
Row 28: 1ch, 1dc, *1sc, 1dc; rep from * to end, turn. 
Row 29: with YI, 1ch, 1sc, *1dc, 1sc; rep from * to end, turn.
Row 30 – 33: Rep Rows 28 & 29 alternating colours.
Row 34: with YH rep Row 28 once more.
Row 35: rep Row 27.

BOBBLES x 3

Rows 36- 38: with YB 1ch, hdc to end, turn. 
Row 39 (ws): with YJ, 1ch, 4sc, 1bobble, *8sc, 1 bobble; rep from * to last 5 sts, 5sc, turn.
Rows 40 – 42: rep row 36.
Row 43: with YE, 1ch, *8sc, 1 bobble; rep from * to last 10 sts, 10sc, turn.
Rows 44 – 46: rep row 36.
Row 47: with YK, rep row 39.
Row 48 – 50: rep row 36.

Week 3 

PLAID

Row 51: with YL 1ch, 4hdc, *change to YG, 4hdc, change to YL, 4hdc; rep from * to last 5 sts, 5hdc in YG, turn.
Row 52: 1ch, 5hdc, change to YL, 4hdc, *change to YG, 4hdc, change to YL, 4hdc; rep from to end, turn.
Row 53: rep row 51.
Row 54: With YL 1ch, 5hdc, change to YD, 4hdc, *change to YL, 4hdc, change to YD, 4hdc; rep from to end, turn.
Row 55: 1ch, 4hdc, *change to YL, 4hdc, change to YD, 4hdc; rep from * to last 5 sts, 5hdc in YL, turn.
Row 56: rep Row 54.
Rows 57 – 59: rep rows 51- 53.
Rows 60 – 62: rep rows 54 – 56.
Rows 63 – 65: rep rows 51 – 53.

CLOSED SHELLS

Row 66: with YJ, 1ch, dc to end, turn.
Row 67: with YH, 1ch, 3dc in first st, miss 2 sts, 1sc, miss 2 sts, *5dc in next st, miss 2 sts, 1sc, miss 2 sts; rep from * to last st, 3dc in last st, turn. 
Row 68: with YE,1ch, 1sc in first st, *miss 2 sts, 5dc in sc, miss 2 sts, 1sc in next st; rep from * to end, turn.
Row 69: with YK rep row 67.
Row 70: with YA rep row 68. 
Row 71: with YB rep row 67.
Row 72: with YJ, 1ch, dc to end, turn. 

Week 4

PUFF WAVES

Row 73: with YF, 1ch, hdc to end, turn. Row 74: 1ch, 3sc, 3hdc, 2dc, 3ddc, 2dc, 3hdc, *5sc, 3hdc, 2dc, 3ddc, 2dc, 3hdc; rep from * to last 3 sts, 3sc, turn. 
Rows 75 & 76: with YI, 1ch, sc to end, turn.
Row 77: 1ch, 4dc, 3hdc, 5sc, 3hdc, *2dc, 3ddc, 2dc, 3hdc, 5sc, 3hdc; rep from * to last 4 sts, 4dc, turn.
Row 78: 1ch, 4dc, 3hdc, 5sc, 3hdc, *miss 3 sts, 1ch, (1puff, 1ch) three times in next ddc, miss 3 sts, 3hdc, 5sc, 3hdc; rep from * to last 4 sts, 4dc, turn.
Row 79: 1ch, 1sc in each st and 1ch-sp to end, turn. 
Row 80: 1ch, sc to end, turn.
Row 81: 1ch, 3sc, 3hdc, 2dc, 3ddc, 2dc, 3hdc, *5sc, 3hdc, 2dc, 3ddc, 2dc, 3hdc; rep from * to last 3 sts, 3sc, turn. 
Row 82: 1ch, 3sc, 3hdc, miss 3 sts, 1ch, (1puff, 1ch) three times in next st, miss 3 sts, 3hdc, *5sc, 3hdc, miss 3 sts, 1ch, (1puff, 1ch) three times in next st, miss 3 sts, 3hdc; rep from * to last 3 sts, 3sc, turn.
Row 83: rep row 79.
Row 84: rep row 80.
Row 85: rep row 77.
Row 86: rep row 78.
Row 87: rep row 79.
Row 88: rep row 80.
Row 89: With YF, rep row 81.
Row 90: 1ch, hdc to end, turn.

GRANNY BLOCKS

Row 91: with YD, 1ch, sc to end, turn.
Row 92: 1ch, 4dc, *miss 1 st, 1ch, 3dc; rep from * to last st, 1dc in last st, turn.
Row 93: With YK, 1ch, 1sc, 3ch, miss 3 dc, *1sc in ch-sp, 3ch, miss 3 dc; rep from * to last st, 1sc, turn. 
Row 94: with YD, 1ch, 1dc in first st, 3dc in ch-sp, *1ch, miss sc, 3dc in ch-sp; rep from * to last st, 1dc in last st, turn.
Row 95: with YC, rep row 93.
Row 96: with YD, rep row 94.
Row 97: with YL, rep row 93.
Row 98: with YD, rep row 94.
Row 99: 1ch, 1sc in each st and ch-sp to end, turn.

Week 5

BLOCKS

Row 100: with YB, 1ch, dc to end, turn.
Row 101: 1ch, 9hdc in YA, *9hdc in YG, 9hdc in YA; rep from * to last 10 sts, hdc in YG to end, turn.
Row 102: 1ch, 10hdc in YG, 9hdc in YA, *9hdc in YG, 9hdc in YA; rep from * to end, turn.
Row 103: rep Row 101.
Row 104: rep Row 102.
Row 105: rep Row 101.
Row 106: rep Row 102 changing to YG on last st, turn.
Rows 107 – 112: continue in pattern by repeating the last 6 rows but switch colours around to begin with YG followed by YA

BOBBLE

Rows 113 & 114: with YD, 1ch, hdc to end, turn
Row 115 (ws): with YH, 1ch, 4sc, 1bobble, *8sc, 1 bobble; rep from * to last 5 sts, 5sc, turn.
Rows 116 & 117: with YD 1ch, hdc to end, turn.

JAYG C2C

This C2C section represents the next 6 rows of the blanket: Rows 118-123. 
Increases
Row 1: with YK, 6ch, 1dc in 4th ch from hk, 1dc in each of next 2 ch (1 block made), miss 2 sts of main blanket, 1sl st, 3ch, miss 2 sts, 1sl st, turn – 1 block.
Row 2: 3ch, 3dc in 3ch-sp, 1sl st in ch-sp of first block, 3ch, 3dc in same sp, turn – 2 blocks.
Row 3: 6ch, 1dc in 4th ch from hk, 1dc in each of next 2 ch, *1sl st in 3ch-sp, 3ch, 3dc in same ch-sp; rep from * once, miss 2 sts, 1sl st in next st, 3ch, miss 2 sts, 1sl st, turn – 3 blocks
Row 4: 3ch, 3dc in ch-sp, *1sl st in next 3ch-sp, 3ch, 3dc; rep from * to end, turn – 4 blocks. 
Row 5: with YJ, 6ch, 1dc in 4th ch from hk, 1dc in each of next 2 ch, *1sl st in 3ch-sp, 3ch, 3dc in same ch-sp; rep from * to end, miss 2 sts, 1sl st, in next st, 3ch, miss 2 sts, 1sl st, turn. – 5 blocks.
Row 6: rep row 4 – 6 blocks.

Work even as folls:
Row 7: 3sl sts across dc sts and into 3ch-sp, 3ch, 3dc in 3ch-sp, *1sl st into next 3ch-sp, 3ch, 3dc in same 3ch-sp; rep from * to end, miss 2 sts, 1sl st, in next st, 3ch, miss 2 sts, 1sl st, turn – 6 blocks.
Row 8: *3ch, 3dc in ch-sp, 1sl st in next 3ch-sp; rep from * to end, turn – 6 blocks. 
Row 9: rep Row 7, changing to YK on fourth sl st into first ch-sp.
Row 10 – 71: rep Rows 8 & 9 to last st, alternating between YJ & YK every four rows.
Row 72: rep row 8.

Decreases
Row 73: 3sl sts across dc sts and into 3ch-sp, *3ch, 3dc in 3ch-sp, 1sl st into next 3ch-sp; rep from * to end, turn. – 5 blocks.
Rows 74 – 77: rep row 73. 
Sl st to corner, fasten off and sew in ends!
Row 124: With RS facing, attach YJ in corner, 217sc across main blanket: 1sc in top of the 3 vertical dc sts and 3sc around the bar of horizontal sts, plus an additional 1sc st at the beginning.

Week 6

HOUNDSTOOTH

Row 125: with YE 1ch, hdc to end, turn.
Row 126: 1ch, 1dc, *1sc, 1dc; rep from * to end, turn. 
Row 127: with YB 1ch, 1sc, *1dc, 1sc; rep from * to end, turn.
Rows 128 – 131: Rep Rows 126 & 127 alternating colours.
Row 132: with YE rep Row 126.
Row 133: rep Row 125.

BOBBLES x 3

Rows 134 – 136: with YI, 1ch, hdc to end, turn. 
Row 137 (ws): with YF, 1ch, 4sc, 1bobble, *8sc, 1 bobble; rep from * to last 5 sts, 5sc, turn.
Rows 138 – 140: rep Row 134.
Row 141: with YL, 1ch, *8sc, 1 bobble; rep from * to last 10 sts, 10sc, turn.
Rows 142 – 144: rep Row 134.
Row 145: with YG, rep row 137.
Row 146 – 148: rep Row 134.

PLAID

Row 149: with YK 1ch, 4hdc, *change to YC, 4hdc, change to YK, 4hdc; rep from * to last 5 sts, 5hdc in YC, turn.
Row 150: 1ch, 5hdc, change to YK, 4hdc, *change to YC, 4hdc, change to YK, 4hdc; rep from to end, turn.
Row 151: rep row 149.
Row 152: with YK 1ch, 5hdc, change to YD, 4hdc, *change to YK, 4hdc, change to YD, 4hdc; rep from to end, turn.
Row 153: with YD 1ch, 4hdc, *change to YK, 4hdc, change to YD, 4hdc; rep from * to last 5 sts, 5hdc in YK, turn.
Row 154: rep Row 152.
Rows 155 – 157: rep rows 149 – 151.
Rows 158 – 160: rep rows 152 – 154.
Rows 161 – 163: rep rows 149 – 151.

Week 7

CLOSED SHELLS

Row 164: with YH, 1ch, dc to end, turn.
Row 165: with YB, 1ch, 3dc in first st, miss 2 sts, 1sc, miss 2 sts, *5dc in next st, miss 2 sts, 1sc, miss 2 sts; rep from * to last st, 3dc in last st, turn. 
Row 166: with YL, 1ch, 1sc in first st, *miss 2 sts, 5dc in sc, miss 2 sts, 1sc in next st; rep from * to end, turn.
Row 167: with YG rep row 165.
Row 168: with YE rep row 166. 
Row 169: with YI rep 165.
Row 170: with YH, 1ch, dc to end, turn. 

PUFF WAVES

Row 171: with YA, 1ch, hdc to end, turn. 
Row 172: 1ch, 3sc, 3hdc, 2dc, 3ddc, 2dc, 3hdc, *5sc, 3hdc, 2dc, 3ddc, 2dc, 3hdc; rep from * to last 3 sts, 3sc, turn. 
Rows 173 & 174: with YG, 1ch, sc to end, turn.
Row 175: 1ch, 4dc, 3hdc, 5sc, 3hdc, *2dc, 3ddc, 2dc, 3hdc, 5sc, 3hdc; rep from * to last 4 sts, 4dc, turn.
Row 176: 1ch, 4dc, 3hdc, 5sc, 3hdc, *miss 3 sts, 1ch, (1puff, 1ch) three times in next st, miss 3 sts, 3hdc, 5sc, 3hdc; rep from * to last 4 sts, 4dc, turn.
Row 177: 1ch, sc in each st and 1ch-sp to end, turn. 
Row 178: 1ch, sc to end, turn.
Row 179: 1ch, 3sc, 3hdc, 2dc, 3ddc, 2dc, 3hdc, *5sc, 3hdc, 2dc, 3ddc, 2dc, 3hdc; rep from * to last 3 sts, 3sc, turn. 
Row 180: 1ch, 3sc, 3hdc, miss 3 sts, 1ch, (1puff, 1ch) three times in next st, miss 3 sts, 3hdc, *5sc, 3hdc, miss 3 sts, 1ch, (1puff, 1ch) three times in next st, miss 3 sts, 3hdc; rep from * to last 3 sts, 3sc, turn.
Row 181: rep row 177.
Row 182: rep row 178.
Row 183: rep row 175.
Row 184: rep row 176.
Row 185: rep row 177.
Row 186: rep row 178.
Row 187: With YA, rep row 179.
Row 188: 1ch, hdc to end, turn.

GRANNY BLOCKS

Row 189: with YD, 1ch, sc to end, turn.
Row 190: 1ch, 4dc, *miss 1st, 1ch, 3dc; rep from * to last st, 1dc in last st, turn.
Row 191: With YF, 1ch, 1sc, 3ch, miss 3dc, *1sc in ch-sp, 3ch, miss 3dc; rep from * to last st, 1sc, turn. 
Row 192: with YD, 1ch, 1dc in first st, 3dc in ch-sp, *1ch, miss sc, 3dc in ch-sp; rep from * to last st, 1dc in last st, turn. 
Row 193: with YJ, rep row 191.
Row 194: with YD, rep row 192.
Row 195: with YK, rep row 191.
Row 196: with YD, rep row 192.
Row 197: 1ch, 1sc in each st and ch-sp to end, turn.

Week 8

JAYG C2C

This C2C section represents the next 6 rows of the blanket: Rows 198- 203. 
Increases
Row 1: with YH, 6ch, 1dc in 4th ch from hk, 1dc in each of next 2 ch (1 block made), miss 2 sts, of main blanket, 1sl st, 3ch, miss 2 sts, 1sl st, turn – 1 block
Row 2: 3ch, 3dc in 3ch sp, 1sl st in ch-sp of first block, 3ch, 3dc in the same sp, turn – 2 blocks.
Row 3: 6ch, 1dc in 4th ch from hk, 1dc in each of next 2 ch, *1sl st in 3ch-sp, 3ch, 3dc in same ch-sp; rep from * once, miss 2sts, 1sl st in next st, 3ch, miss 2 sts, 1sl st, turn – 3 blocks
Row 4: 3ch, 3dc in ch-sp, *1sl st in next 3ch-sp, 3ch, 3dc; rep from * to end, turn – 4 blocks. 
Row 5: with YB, 6ch, 1dc in 4th ch from hk, 1dc in each of next 2 ch, *1sl st in 3ch-sp, 3ch, 3dc in same ch-sp; rep from * to end, miss 2sts, 1sl st, in next st, 3ch, miss 2 sts, 1sl st, turn – 5 blocks.
Row 6: rep row 4 – 6 blocks.


Work even as folls:
Row 7: 3sl sts across dc sts and into 3ch-sp, 3ch, 3dc in 3ch-sp, *1sl st into next 3ch-sp, 3ch, 3dc in same 3ch-sp; rep from * to end, miss 2 sts, 1sl st, in next st, 3ch, miss 2 sts, 1sl st, turn – 6 blocks.
Row 8: *3ch, 3dc in ch-sp, 1sl st in next 3ch-sp; rep from * to end, turn – 6 blocks. 
Row 9: rep Row 7, changing to YH on fourth sl st into first ch-sp.
Row 10 – 71: rep Rows 8 & 9 to last st, alternating between YB & YH every four rows.
Row 72: rep row 8.

Decreases
Row 73: 3sl sts across dc sts and into 3ch-sp, *3ch, 3dc in 3ch-sp, 1sl st into next 3ch-sp; rep from * to end, turn – 5 blocks.
Rows 74 – 77: rep row 73. 
Sl st to corner, fasten off and sew in ends now.
Row 204: With RS facing, attach YB in corner, 217sc across main blanket: sc in top of 3 vertical dc sts and 3sc around the bar of horizontal sts, plus additional 1sc st at beginning.

BOBBLE ROWS

Rows 205 & 206: with YD, 1ch, hdc to end, turn.
Row 207 (ws): with YF, 1ch, 4sc, 1bobble, *8sc, 1 bobble; rep from * to last 5 sts, 5sc, turn.
Rows 208 & 209: with YD 1ch, hdc to end, turn.

BLOCKS

Row 210: 1ch, 9hdc in YE, *9hdc in YJ, 9hdc in YE; rep from * to last 10 sts, hdc in YJ to end, turn.
Row 211: 1ch, 10hdc in YJ, 9hdc in YE, *9hdc in YJ, 9hdc in YE; rep from * to end, turn.
Row 212: rep 210
Row 213: rep 211
Row 214: rep 210
Row 215: rep 211 changing to yarn J on last st, turn.
Rows 216 -221: continue in pattern, repeat the last 6 rows but switch colours around to begin with YJ followed by YE
Rows 222 & 223: with YA, 1ch, dc to end, turn.

THE MIXTAPE MEDLEY BORDER

Continue around the rest of the blanket and join with a sl st to the first st, do not turn. 
If you are just a few stitches out on the sides, don’t worry, it won’t have an effect on the overall look.

Rnd 1: With YD, 1ch, sc to end – 217 sts, work along the side of the blanket as folls: 1sc in first dc, 2sc in 2nd dc (& further dc sts), work 3sc for every two rows in hdc, 1sc in each sc row. For C2C sections, work 3dc across vertical dc sts and 2sc in horizontal posts. – 334 sts.

Rnd 2: 1ch, 2dc in first st, dc to next corner st, *(2dc, 1ch, 2dc) in corner st, dc to next corner; rep from * twice more, 2dc, join by working 1hdc into the first st, do not turn.

Rnd 3: 1ch, 2dc in corner sp, dc to next corner, *5dc in corner sp, dc to end; rep from * three more times, 3dc in first corner sp, join with sl st to first st . 

Fasten off and sew in the many many ends!

Mixtape Medley Blanket
Mixtape Medley lounging at home.

Wahoo, you are done! How does it feel? Honestly, I was so pleased when this one came off the hook. It was many months of planning and swatching. What a relief and a joy to see it finished.

You’re probably down at the botom of this page to find a totally free PDF that you can download and print. Well, you can find that just below. It’s one document with the pattern fully laid out week by week (obvs you can ignore the weeks and work it up as quickly as you like but they’re useful markers).

You are also most welcome to pop HERE to my Ko fi account. That’s if you fancied buying me a lil treat! Or check out my other patterns on the Free Pattern Page here on my blog, as well as Ravelry, Etsy and Lovecrafts.

Cheers! xxx

The downloadable PDF is here:

Mixtape Medley
Mixtape Medley Crochet Blanket. Blocks, bobbles and C2C, oh my!

Easy C2C Crochet Cowl. Free Pattern

Corner to Corner Cowl

This c2c crochet cowl pattern featured in a Mindful Makes supplement from Mollie Makes magazine a few years ago. I had forgotten about it entirely. The other day, however, I was chatting with a couple of fellow designer friends and both of them said they intended on revisiting past patterns this year. It’s a really good New Year intention and I fancy jumping on that bandwagon! (Most designers have a backlog of projects they sit on that aren’t quite ready for whatever reason).

With the feeling of the January doldrums rolling in, I have found the perfect pattern to revisit. It’s a gentle introduction to the crochet c2c stitch, which is ideal for a beginner crocheter, or it’s also a really nice pattern if you’re just looking for something easy and calming to work on for a few hours.

Please pop down to the bottom of the post for a quick C2C guide.

What you need to Crochet a Cowl

I used a variegated, colour changing yarn: King Cole Cotswold Chunky (80% acrylic/20% wool, 100g/130m per ball). You will need four balls in Broadway (2381), which should leave some leftovers, I used the leftover to make pom poms. I wish I had a photo of them against the cowl to show how lovely they looked!

A 5.5 mm (US I/9) crochet hook. If you find your fabric is a bit stiff try a 6mm.

Don’t forget a darning needle to sew in any ends and sew the ends of the cowl together.

Additional Info

Finished size: 43 x 40 cm (17 x 16 inches). 

Abbreviations (UK terms – see notes below on swapping to US terminology):
beg beginning, ch chain, ch-sp chain space, dc double crochet (US SC), prev previous, rep repeat,  ss slip stitch, st(s) stitch(es), tr treble (US DC), yrh yarn round hook.  

Tension
Tension is not particularly important for this project. If after a few rows, the fabric works up a bit stiff, try going up a hook size to create looser stitches.

Special Stitches: The Crab stitch
This is used to snaz up the edging a bit. Essentially it’s a double crochet stitch worked in reverse. Crocheting from left to right can feel slightly skewy at first but once you have a consistent rhythm it’s actually quite good fun to do. And it’s quick!
Here’s how to do it: Insert hook in the st to the right, yrh and pull through st, yrh and pull through both loops.

Notes

  • Make your cowl by crocheting a long rectangle and sewing ends together.
  • Once the main piece is complete, the crab stitch is added to both lengths before pinning out and steam blocking the fabric. (I like blocking as I think it improves most crochet but you can probably get away without doing it here).
  • 1 block = 3ch and 3tr.
  • C2C is incredibly versatile and keeping the stitch plain showcases its beautiful texture. But there’s nothing stopping you from adding stripes of different colours, or how about adding a fancier border to give it a whole new personality?!
  • You can make it as long or as deep as you like by adding more rows before reaching the second corner. In addition, chuck in more rows before starting to decrease to the final corner.
  • The pattern is written in UK terms but, I promise, c2c is the easiest of stitch patterns to swap to US terms. Just remember that the main pattern is US double crochet stitches and not trebles. When you work row 1 of the edging, that’s a foundation of SC stitches you’re working, not dc.
A cosy corner to corner crochet cowl

C2C Crochet Cowl Pattern

Row 1: Ch6, 1tr in 4th ch from hook, 1tr in next 2 sts, turn. [1 block]

Row 2: Ch6, 1tr in 4th ch from hook, 1tr in next 2 sts, ss into the 3ch-sp of prev row, ch3, 3tr into same 3ch-sp, turn. [2 blocks]

Row 3: Ch6, 1tr into 4th ch from hook, 1tr in next 2 sts, *ss into next 3ch-sp of prev row, ch3, 3tr in same 3ch-sp; rep from * to end, turn. [3 blocks etc]

Row 4 -18: Rep Row 3. [18 blocks at Row 18]

Row 19: Ss along the first 3 sts and into the first 3ch-sp, 3ch, 3tr in 3ch-sp, continue making blocks in each 3ch-sp to the end, turn. [18]

Row 20: Repeat Row 3, ending with 1ss in the last 3ch-sp (ie. do not make the last block), turn. [17 blocks & dec by 1 block each row]

Rep Rows 19 & 20 six more times

Row 33: Ss along the first 3 sts and into the first 3ch-sp, 3ch, 3tr in 3ch-sp, continue making blocks ending with 1ss into the last 3ch-sp, turn. [17 blocks].

Row 34 – 49: Rep Row 33 (decreasing by 1 block per row).

Ss into each of the last 3 sts and into the corner.

Edging
Work along the length of the piece.
Row 1 (a foundation row to work the crab stitch into): Ch1 (does not count as a st), 2dc in horizontal bars of each tr, 1dc in each of the 3 vertical tr, do not turn. [80]

Row 2: Ch1(does not count as a st), crab stitch along to end. 

Fasten off and reattach yarn to the other side. Rep Rows 1 & 2. Fasten off.

crocheting the crab stitch
crocheting the crab stitch

Blocking and Finishing

For extra drape it’s good to block your work. Pin the crochet onto foam blocking boards, (I used to lay a towel down on the carpet to pin on that but please don’t do this because you might ruin your carpet or poshest towels). Then, using an iron or steamer, carefully steam block ensuring not to melt any acrylic fibres. Hold an iron too close to acrylic and you’ll have ruined all your hard work. Once it’s dry, fold it in half with the right sides facing. Then, using a mattress stitch or whip stitch, sew the short ends together. Turn right side out.

Voila! You now have a finished corner to corner crochet cowl to snuggle into! Wahey!

If you enjoyed this free crochet pattern, please feel free to check out some of my other free patterns HERE.

How to Crochet the C2C Stitch: A Guide

This is just a quick glance at the Corner to Corner stitch. I hope you can see that the C2C stitch is just about building blocks. As the name suggests, start in one corner, make loads of lovely blocks and then decrease to finish at the opposite corner.

Although it might look tricky, it is actually one of the easiest and quickest crochet stitches to work up. The down side though is that it is the very first few stitches that can discombobulate. I know cos I remember learning!

Basically, each block is made up of three chains and 3 UK tr (US dc) stitches. When building blocks row by row, the first block of the row is in an increase and worked into a chain of 6. Each subsequent block is then anchored to the work by slip stitching into a 3ch-sp of the previous row.

Once you have the width you need, you can either decrease from this point to create a square, or carry on working rows without adding a new block every row. Continue the increases but balance them out by ending one block early on the other end of the row (a decrease). This keeps the block count to the same number of blocks per row for as many rows as you need.

Decrease to the other corner by chaining 3 at the beginning rather than 6. Finish with the row with a decrease too, and make 3 slip stitches across and slip st into the neighbouring block’s 3 ch-sp to get to the start of a new row.

Clear as mud?!

If time allows I would love to record a tutorial for this one day. A super simple beginner’s vid. But in the meantime, I do have a video tutorial for a different c2c cowl (the Apres Ski hat & cowl set) I made a few years ago. It has colour work and I assume you know the basics when talking through how to make it.

8 Top Tips for Working with Mohair Yarn.

Lots of different mohair yarns

Mohair Yarn is the Fluffiest!

Over the last couple of years the popularity of mohair yarn has grown monumentally. Creating the very best of halos, it is the ultimate in warm and fluffy yarn.

Yarny projects can be expensive due the mix of fibres used (mohair is angora goat, with a blend of silk), costs can go stratospheric when holding the yarn double. Therefore, spending money on, and using, mohair can take quite the leap of faith, especially when it’s not always the easiest to work with (hello frogging!). But it’s brilliant and totally worth the risk. Soft, warm and fluffy, the comfort levels are to the extreme!

My fave, holding mohair with a non fluffy yarn.

Alternative Yarns to Mohair

Mohair isn’t compatible with everyone. Affordability aside, it can cause allergies and itching, which is no fun at all. Fluffy yarn is fluffy yarn and the tips below apply to yarns that are others fibres too. Over the last few months I’ve tried a few alternatives and you definitely can get the floof without using mohair. Alpaca is great and easily available. The yarns similar to mohair are often brushed alpaca. You can also get brushed acrylic too but I’ve not tried that yet. The options are quite plentiful. Would a blog post about the ones I’ve used be helpful?

Anyway, if you have decided on a fluffy crochet or knitting project then check out these useful tips…

Crocheting with mohair yarn

Fluffy Yarn Top Tips

Frogging Yarn

Let’s start with a painful one because if you make a mistake in your project then frogging (undoing all your beautiful stitches) is a frustrating and sometimes impossible process. If you find that you have to rip back your work, do it slowly. Really really slowly. Never rip/yank/tug. Doing so will tighten the grip of all those flyaway fibres and you will end up with a horrible knot. Or it will break because you’ve pulled too hard. Instead, slowly coax each stitch apart at a snail’s pace. It seems ridiculous but it’s worth being super patient over.

Lace-weight on its own is hardest to undo. Chunky yarn is a bit easier. When held double with a non-fluff yarn, it’s almost tolerable! It’s best done “fresh,” the longer you leave it, the more likely it is that the fibres will felt together.

I’ve heard that putting it in a freezer before frogging helps but I haven’t tried it.

Choose Simple Patterns

This tip helps to avoid any fractious frogging. Complicated stitches are easy to mess up and difficult to undo. The main star of the show when using fluff is the fluff itself, therefore a simple garment or shawl shows off the yarn without any distractions.

Go Up a Hook/Needle Size

With all that crazy halo, stitches can be hard to see. So, for example, try a 5.5mm instead of a 5mm. A larger hook/needle is often required for mohair patterns anyway but do play around to see what you prefer. I found it also creates a nice lacy look too. Plus the flyaway fibres sort of fill in gaps.

Hold the Yarn Double

After trying a few different ways of using mohair and brushed alpaca, I have discovered that this is my favourite way of using it. A gossamer lace-weight held with a merino 4ply or DK produces a beautifully soft fabric that feels super luxurious.

I used this method in the Wheatfields shawl and I love it!

a crochet shawl made with mohair yarn and 4ply merino
The Wheatfields shawl is Austermann lace-weight mohair held with a hand-dyed 4ply merino from Flyy Dyed Yarns.

Use Stitch Markers

If I can get away with not using stitch markers then I will. I am lazy, life is too way short for undoing, moving, and rejoining a stitch marker. Or worse, multiple stitch markers! However, they are really useful for when stitches are hard to see. Use the stitch markers!

Try Budget Yarn First

If cost is an issue, try a cheaper yarn to experiment with (and a smaller project ). If you like it and you’re happy, move on to bigger goals. The Drops brand have both mohair and alpaca yarns that are budget friendly. I recently made hair scrunchies with a yarn from Flying Tiger that was perfect for a cute hair accessory. It was about £2.25 for a ball of 25 grams (the standard sized ball for mohair yarns). I used a scrunchie pattern from Lottie & Albert’s new crochet book.

crochet hair scrunchies made with different types of mohair yarn
Trying different types of fluffy yarn. Going clockwise from the top: Mustard (“curry”) is Drops mohair, the green is chunky kid silk from MYPZ, lilac and peach both Flying Tiger, the Coral is brushed alpaca silk, the teal (“verdigris”) is Rowan Alpaca classic

Buy an Extra Ball of Yarn

If budget allows, it might be useful to buy an extra ball for swatching. When designing, I will buy an extra ball so I have the freedom to work up a few swatches without the fear of using up yarn that will go into the final sample. I can play around with hook sizes and stitch patterns to see what works and what doesn’t before getting stuck into the actual sweater or shawl.

Or, buy one ball first, swatch it and see if you actually want to use it before buying a sweater quantity! It might save a few quid if you learn that it’s a bit too scratchy against your skin.

Try Simpler Stitches

This one is for those of you who might want to design with mohair and is personal preference rather than a hard and fast rule. With a larger hook size than normal the stitches work up looser and drapier. A loose single crochet stitch or perhaps an extended SC look really effective, much more than you might think. By all means, go for different stitches if that’s your aesthetic but the nature of the yarn is that it does the talking and overly intricate stitches confuse things too much. Think small, dainty stitches as opposed to treble heavy. Whatever floats your boat.

And those are some tips I’ve come up with from my adventures of working with mohair yarn. Oh, and alpaca fluff too! I hope you find them useful. Have you got any tips you’ve like to share? Perhaps I’ve missed something that would be super useful to add. Let me know in the comments below!

Cheers. x

I used a chunky mohair from MYPZ to make this version of the Perfect Cardigan.

Alright me Ansome?

Ansome, a crochet hat

Well, hello and good day! Or, if you’re from the West Country, alright me ‘ansome?!

There are unsubstantiated rumours that the Ottery St Mary born poet, Samuel Taylor Coleridge would often greet people with “Alright, me ‘ansome” as a way of saying hello. Whether he actually addressed people with this local greeting is a mystery; it’s fun to think that he might have but my money says it’s a made up lie!

Ansome is a crochet hat pattern that is essentially two hats in one. Having made a hat with my new obsession, the puff stitch, I had plenty of yarn left to make a second hat. Both hats start with the same pattern but end up as two different styles.

The written pattern for Ansome is available on Ravelry HERE and Etsy HERE. There is 25% off until the last day of November.

Crochet Puff stitches

Ansome is now available on Ravelry & Etsy but it has been a couple of months in the making. For a while I have been sketching lots of designs using different sorts of crochet puff stitches. The first idea came to me at the beginning of the year. That one turned into the Wheatfields shawl, which is now a fully fledged pattern in its own right. You can find it HERE and HERE. It’s a fabulous combo of hand dyed 4 ply merino and lace weight mohair.

Working up puff stitches is really calming and rhythmic and they are awesome in all kinds of projects. They look fancy but are relatively fun and easy to do. However, do make sure you have a good crochet hook. I used a Knitpro hook, which is not normally my first choice as my hands are too big for the short handle, but it does have a good hooky bit! It helps when pulling through all the loops so try some out before you begin your project.

Potentially there are more puff stitch designs waiting in the wings for me but I think I will revisit those next year. For now I’m happy to focus on these crochet hats, which have come together in a way that felt like a breeze. They’re just meant to be!

The Wheatfields shawl also uses the crochet puff stitch

Devonia Yarn

We’re in November now and headed towards chillier weather in the northern hemisphere. When is a better time to release a hat pattern!? It has worked out quite nicely; I don’t think I had any intention of coming up a hat design. It wasn’t on my list of things to do but sometimes things just work out that way.

The catalyst was a single picture shared on Instagram. I saw a collection of Devonia mini skeins from John Arbon Textiles and fell a little bit in love with the colours. Instantly I knew they should be a crochet hat. So I made one!

Devonia is what I call a proper woolly wool. Warm, comforting and with the essential sheepy smell that I could breathe in all day. It’s a combination of Bluefaced Leicester (an all time fave) and Blueface Exmoor (from Devon, proper job). It also has Wendsleydale & Romney lustre breeds, which, if I’m right, add the shiney sheen that I always think looks super pretty and works really well with crochet.

I am very lucky in that, when I left a comment on the IG pic, to say it was a stunning combo of shades, the super smashin team from JAT asked if I would like to try them. This doesn’t happen everyday. I have no idea why they are willing to support my crochet adventures, I just know that I am very grateful to get the yarn support. Thanks Sonja!!

Maybe it is because it isn’t the first time. Remember the Grainbow shawl from a couple of years ago? And the infamous Dreckly mittens? That’s a triple whammy of JAT yarns: Knit By Numbers, Yarnadelic, and now Devonia! How about Harvest Hues next!?

Devonia comes in DK and 4 ply weights, and 25g minis and 100g skeins. That is one of the best things about JAT yarns, lots of options and versatility. For Ansome, you need 100g of DK for the main colour plus your colourful minis for the contrasts. Oh and I almost forgot! One of the reasons that the guys were sharing Devonia pics is because there are news shades that have just been released. I used Wood Smoke as my main colour, which is one of the new ones.

Dreckly mittens
The Grainbow Shawl

Crochet Hats

Having that much yarn meant there was too much left over to do my usual trick (hide it in the cupboard and struggle for stashbusting ideas). There was only one thing for it, if JAT can have all the options, so can I! Ansome mainly refers to the star of the show, which is the puff stitch hat but the remaining yarn was calling out too. It wanted to be striped up as a “plain” crochet hat. So there are two patterns here and you can make both!

The pattern has three size options and there’s freedom to add more rows if you want extra slouch. I made the medium size for both hats and the puff hat has just a little bit of slouch as there are more rows. A few subtle changes like that and you have two different styles of crochet hat! How good is that?!

The puff stitch hat was blocked too, and that added to the drape. Unsure about blocking crochet hats? I certainly was. So I did what I normally do and guessed. I blew up a balloon inside Ansome to what seemed like my head size and then gave the hat a light spray of water. Once it had dried, boom, perfect hat!

Crochet Hats

The End

And that is pretty much all you need to know about these new crochet hat designs! Can you think of anything you’d like to know? If so, please do get in touch. In the meantime check them out of Ravelry HERE and Etsy HERE.

Ta very much. I would end by using a Devon way of saying goodbye but I can’t remember any phrases.

The striped crochet hat
Ansome ‘at

Stashtober 21. Stash Busting Crochet!

Bust that stash with a cosy cardi

Stashtober 21

Do you know what will never not be popular? Stash busting! The art of using up yarn scraps and leftovers so nothing is wasted. We all have stash hidden somewhere in the house and rather than keeping it tucked away, how about getting the whole lot out and using it!?

Busting your stash can be a real feel good experience. It can also lead to an absolute dog’s dinner of a disaster but let’s just say that we all learn from those situations and move on. Using up every last scrap is hugely satisfying and there are a number of crochet patterns out there to aid you in your exciting mission.

I was watching Claudia Carpenter’s crochet vlogcast on You Tube the other day (I’m sure you know Crochet Luna). I am pretty sure she said “No CALs”. It made me laugh when, just a couple of days later, she got in touch with a handful of designer friends to ask, how about a stash busting Crochet Along? We’ll call it Stashtober!

C2C bag

Crochet Along

For a general overview on what a CAL is go HERE .

Crochet Alongs are extremely popular these days, in fact, I’m taking part in another one right now. Have you seen the Mixtape Medley? It’s a crochet blanket I designed with Knitcraft and I see it as the ultimate stash buster. We’re currently on Week 2 and I’m mentioning it as it fits in perfectly with Stashtober 21.

But I’m not going to talk about that CAL because this post is about Stashtober 21! So, should you wish to partake, Claudia’s idea is for crocheters to choose a pattern or many patterns from the selection of designers she has invited to take part. One of them is me! To make life a bit easier I’ve put together a bundle on Ravelry especially for this event. You can find it HERE. I added patterns (both free and paid) that I thought would be great for using up lots of lovely stash. Especially for Stashtober, during the month of October, you can get 25% off any of my patterns on either Ravelry or Etsy. At the checkout please use the code: STASH21

If you don’t fancy making one of my designs, there are other contributing designers with the perfect pattern waiting for you.

Mixtape Medley, a blanket perfect for stash busting

The CAL Designers

Other crochet designers taking part are some of my absolute favourite people in the crochet community. A lot of us have known each other for a long time and are firm friends.

Claudia is the brains behind it all and has a couple of designs that would work brilliantly for Stashtober. I really enjoyed making Encanto, a scarf with lots of lovely twiddly stitches. Pop over to her Etsy shop to peruse the good things.

Fay of the Crochet Circle Podcast is a champion of artisanal crochet design. I wouldn’t mind working up Loft in a collection of colourful yarn. Crochet and stripes are a brilliant match.

Hannah from the Cozy Cottage Crochet is so lovely. Lovely Hannah! Pop over to the Cozy Cottage crochet for a Ravelry chatter thread for the CAL. And check out her designs while you’re at it.

Caleisha of the Quirky Monday Craftcast designed my favourite scarf of last year (or was it the year before?), the Just Feel Festive shawl. I used loads of DK acrylic scraps. It was totally worth all the ends.

Clarisabeth from Crochet Cakes has fab designs to choose from. If I have the time, I absolutely have to make some of Clarisa’s Vintage Wave socks. Check them out.

Michelle aka Dora Explored/Dora Does, has garment making savvy by the bucketful. I might find myself making her latest design dedicated to busting stash, the Waste Not, Want Not sweater. There a couple of other designs that are perfect for stash busting too.

Heather from HG Designs is all about the granny square. The granny square is the most famous stash buster of all time and Heather has some awesome granny designs out there. Making Revival was an absolute joy!

We are an eclectic bunch, it’s guaranteed that you will find a huge variety of crochet styles between us and therefore, you are bound to find the perfect pattern.

Stash Bust Rules

Fear not, there aren’t really any rules other than the projects you make must be made from yarn you already have. Do not buy new yarn! That is it! Also please ensure that your project is not already over 50% complete before the 1st October. So WIPs do count as long as it’s not close to being finished. And don’t forget to choose designs from the crochet champs above.

On the 23rd of October Claudia is also hosting a live Zoom chat. It’s 8pm BST. I have something else in my diary that day but I would love to be there so I’m going to see if I can pull some strings!

Double whammy. My Dreckly mittens with Heather’s Revival jumper.

Crochet Community

There are no prizes for this CAL, that’s not the point. But there are loads of other great reasons to dive right in.

This is an opportunity to create the satisfying feeling of putting old yarn to good use. It’s about community. And also, perhaps it’s introducing you to a designer who you were previously unfamiliar with. There are so many good reasons to take part that prizes aren’t needed! These aspects are rewarding enough, don’t you think? What’s usually used as a CAL prize? It’s new yarn! That’s the total opposite of stash busting!! Not gonna happen for Stashtober!!

I love that Crochet Alongs are community led, it’s better than any other prize I know. You can be as active or as quiet as you choose. Perhaps you’re happy to just loiter and see what others are making. Or, you might fancy chatting on Ravelry or Instagram, or wherever else! It’s entirely up to you. This should be the ultimate No Pressure CAL.

Hopefully we will see you and your makes throughout October! Let us know what you’re making, what stash you’re using etc. We would all love to hear from you. #Stashtober21

Cheers. x

Mixtape Medley CAL. A New Crochet Blanket Pattern

Mixtape Medley Crochet Along

Hallooooo! Happy autumn!! What better way to celebrate a new season than to crochet yourself a new cosy blanket? Fancy it?! The Mixtape Medley blanket is ideal for mixing up classic stitches that you probably already have in your crochet repertoire. The only thing that’s really different is that they’re all brought together as one, with a jazzy, stash busting colour palette.

When I was asked by Knitcraft back in April to come up with ideas for an 8 week Crochet Along I knew exactly what I wanted to do. The brief was to create a design that would introduce beginners to new stitch combinations with a palette that used a variety of different shades (not too rainbow bright, not too autumnal). Much like the rest of my design work, I wanted this to be a bit different!

When you think of classic crochet, what stitches do you come up with? Granny is there, isn’t it? Bobbles too? And I bet those who know me will immediately say Corner to Corner!! It’s all in the Mixtape Medley! And recent favourites such bold colour blocking and plaid feature as well (I’ve been calling it plaid but perhaps it’s gingham?). I desperately wanted a ripple stitch in it but that wasn’t to be. The inevitable concertina effect would have been a nightmare. Instead, I invented a new puff wave stitch. The undulating waves are most welcome, plus there’s the added bonus of delightful texture with some plump puffs!

How to find the Blanket Pattern

You’re probably here to find out more than just the back story so let me tell you what’s what. Aaaages a go I wrote a blog post to explain what a CAL actually is, it’s HERE if you’d like to find out more about crochet alongs (bear in mind it is an ancient blog post though).

[EDIT:: You can get get your hands on a Free PDF with US Crochet terminology, it’s HERE.]

This Mixtape Medley Crochet Along is hosted by Knitcraft on the Hobbycraft website in their Ideas section. Knitcraft is the yarny arm of Hobbycraft. Over the next few weeks the written pattern will be released bit by bit so that you can enjoy a few hours of crochet each week. And the best bit is that this is a free crochet pattern!! FREE! Fully tech edited and tested as well, which I love. Everything has been extremely well thought out.

Don’t forget to share your makes on Instagram with the hashtags #MixtapeMedleyCAL and #MixtapeMedleyComp

Now with US terminology! Go HERE to find the written pattern in all one place!

Crochet video tutorials

At the beginning of August I travelled along the coast to a studio in Southampton to record video tutorials. We recorded videos for each stitch and included other helpful bits of information too. It was a really interesting and exciting day! Not something I’ve done before. A few weeks later, once the videos had been put together, I watched them through so I could write a script. Then, it was back to the studio to record the sound.

Anyway, this is a long-winded way of saying the video tutorials are HERE! You might notice that I look a bit like deer in headlights and that’s OK. I may seem super chilled out in my podcasts (usually amateurishly filmed at home in me jammies) but that’s a completely different kettle of fish. No hot studio lights, clapper boards or people you’ve never met wiring you up with a mic n stuff. The experience of working in a studio was awesome and nerves should never stop anyone from doing something new.

In the studio!

Crocheting Together

Seeing everyone getting their boxes of yarn is so exciting! As well as being able to buy the yarn kits from Hobbycraft in super special Mixtape Medley boxes (OMG they are totally gorgeous!), you could also bust your stash and go your own way with colours. This isn’t the kind of blanket where rules apply….well some rules do (count your stitches folks!)

Multiples are given so you could easily make adjustments to make it smaller, or bigger if this isn’t big enough (it’s a single bed sized blanket). I fancy a scarf version myself and hope to make one during the CAL. Hey, you could even get your nails done to match if you wanted to!

Well blow me down! Look at these nails from @the_squirrel_collective

I think that’s it for now. If you have any questions then ask away. I’ll try and get to them as soon as I can but the idea is that you can find all the info you need on the Hobbycraft website so do go there first as details about yarn and sizing etc is all there.

Don’t forget that you can now find the pattern with US terms on my blog HERE.

Right, I’m off to work on some crochet. And maybe do my nails. Cheers. x

Drape it over your legs as you work. That’s what this pic is!

Z&R Crochet Podcast 91. Finished Objects

Hallooooo! Welcome to the Zeens and Roger crochet podcast. This is episode 91. Hopefully all the good stuff is here but I did have recording issues. I lost some video but most of it was safe. I think I will need to find an alternative method because the camera I bought especially for podcasting is not good enough!! Bah.

Aaaaanyway, it’s lovely to have you here,I hope you’re well? To watch this fabulous crochet podcast, please click on the picture above, or go here to my YouTube channel.

Links to the crochet latest:

Moorit magazine. I will talk about the name next time. It’s a fun story! How excited are you for Moorit magazine!!!?

The Granny Go Round jumper is finally complete and I LOVE it!!! It’s a pattern by Claudine of Iron Lamb.

The Decked Out shawl is in the latest issue of Inside Crochet mag. Issue 138. I used a really nice sport weight merino from Milla Mia. I have used this before in Seven Summits and One Way or Another.

The Perfect Cardigan! I am super proud of my very first garment release. It was A LOT of hard work and even more learning new skills!! You can read about it HERE. I’ve written up the Ravelry notes HERE for my crazy mohair version, which to be honest, is my new favourite thing! I have added the notes because I made adjustments. I could probably have just made a size smaller than in the pattern and it would have been fine.

I used MYPZ chunky mohair to make the floofy mohair version of the Perfect Cardigan. Super nice yarn and I want more! Not sure if I can justify the stash build but I’m sure I will find a reason.

The cobalt mohair is Drops Kid Silk, a budget lace weight yarn. This brand is perfect if you’re on a budget. I bought mine from Wool Warehouse.

Another yarn discussed are Kingcole Cottonsoft It’s pretty much the only cotton (so far) that I like using!

What I didn’t talk about and wanted to bring up was Patreon. If you would like to support my crochet adventures and join a really fun community, check it out. I am sporadic with my postings but I share behind the scenes stuff and the different tiers all have different treats n stuff.

FYI there are a couple of affiliate links used in this post. It’s no extra cost to you, it just means I get a small percentage of the cost of any yarn you buy through the links.

How to Choose Colour in Crochet!

Bright cakes of colourful
 yarn

Colourful Crochet

Playing with colourful cakes or balls of wool is up there as one of the most satisfying things about yarn crafts. I’m sure you’d agree that colourful crochet can put a smile on anyone’s face! But having to decide which shades to add to a new crochet project can be mega stressful too. How on earth do you choose the best hues to have?! It can be a bit of a head scratcher, especially if the doubt creeps in. But, please! Don’t be afraid of the big beautiful wool, learn how to play with it instead!!

I wrote a fairly decent blog post about how to choose colour in crochet back in 2016 and I’ve just read it. It still stands and I’m pretty pleased about that. However, since 2016 my palette has definitely evolved. In that post I mention about going for random selections of colour and yep, you can definitely see that that was what I was doing. I was clearly going through an Ugly Granny phase too. Not a bad thing.

I have learned an enormous amount from playing with random colour palettes, which has been, hands down, the best part of my crochet adventure!

So how has it evolved from there? The short answer is I dunno, it just happened! Hmm, what about a longer answer that might actually be helpful?

striped crochet mittens

Colour Evolution

My crochet adventures started in 2010 without much of a clue. Colour consideration wasn’t top of the list. I was too busy darting into yarn shops; grabbing balls in a panic! I didn’t belong and didn’t want to outstay my welcome. What a way to start a mindful hobby! It’s obviously absolute nonsense but I know others feel the same. That’s just anxiety talking, stamp that sucker down and be proud.

[OMG! Side moment: the penny has just dropped about why I was making Ugly Grannies! It was all the panic bought yarn being used up! Not quite the same mentality as my Nanna’s make do & mend approach, but kind of similar… Aaannyway…]

After a lot of years mucking about with different yarns I realized that I have two very definite colour personalities and I am so happy about that. My ultimate goal is to tinker and play to see where a mash up of both might lead. I love modern brights, love em! They are great in smooth merinos and fluffy mohair, and let’s not forget; perfect for top quality acrylics but I am also head over heels for natural tones and yarns too. I need toothy wool with bits of straw, and it’s exciting to use yarn when I know it has been spun just up the road from me. Just because I love crazy brights doesn’t mean I can’t also love an undyed alpaca. Natural, earthy colours aren’t boring, they are classics to be revered. They are the cool kids; the brights are kawaii cute.

What I will say is don’t expect to have it down pat right from the start. Using colour in your craft means having a certain amount an expressive freedom and you need to explore that to discover what works for you. I have always been guided by my mood, by the seasons and by what everyone else is up to. Who isn’t?! Trends have a role to play in this whether you like it or not. We absorb fashions like osmosis, we’re all influenced whether we know it, or not.

Essentially, it’s about getting knee deep in a lifelong experiment of matching colour with crochet. If you want.

a crochet shawl
The Grainbow Shawl

The Basic Principles of Colour in Crochet

The nutshell version: it’s all about balance.

You want to know more? Um, I’m not sure how to expand on the original blog post where I say balance warm with cool, and light with dark. Balance out your brights with a neutral, plop in a navy amongst your pastels. If you don’t want to bung them anywhere, think about their placement, even distribution is a safe bet.

If you use these principles as a basic starting point you won’t go far wrong. In 2016 I hadn’t refined the colour palettes I was using, instead, I just chucked all the balls in the air to see what landed where. Sometimes literally. Now I like to think my choices are more deliberate.

Whilst (arguably) using more polished palettes in 2021 I am not a fan of too many rules. Therefore, please don’t feel like you have to dutifully follow some strict formula. Ultimately, go with your gut. If it works for you and it makes you happy, then that’s a winner!

And just to contradict myself with another side note, I do have one rule when working with colour for crochet. The stitches of crochet don’t always look their best in colour-pooling yarns. Where this might create brilliant stripes in knitting, it creates a blocky pixel in crochet and I’m not keen. I will always bear that in mind if purchasing a non solid colour base.

colourful crochet blanket
Havana Nights C2C blanket.

Put it into Practice

I like big stripes of crazy colour combos but also a whole hotchpotch of them fighting each other too. If in doubt, try this: use your go to shades but swap out just one samey ball of colour for one that you’d not normally go for. Nothing bad will happen, honest! If you’re feeling queasy about diving straight in make a swatch first. Then perhaps make a smaller project like a bag or hat. Big blankets and garments can follow later.

This is part of a process, a journey if you like (ugh, I hate that word!). It’s not an overnight change.

Obviously Instagram is a great source of inspiration and I love to mindlessly scroll through Pinterest too but you’ll find it in nature, architecture and places you hadn’t even thought of.

Teh Perfect Crochet Cardigan
The Perfect Cardigan

As long as you remember that it’s all about balance then you won’t go far wrong. Also, use of colour in crochet is totally subjective! What I think looks awesome isn’t going to work for everyone. There are times when I’m not fussed about that thing other people say is the bees knees. It really doesn’t matter. Conversely, someone else will put together a crochet colour palette that will blow my mind! I wish that I’d come up with it! Wistful envy pops up to say hello but I try to remind myself that others feel that way about my dodgy choices sometimes too! A full circle of different ideas.

Each time you put a load of shades together you’ve learned more about what works and what doesn’t. And if nothing else it’s a very good excuse to buy more yarn. Keep going.

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Revival, a jumper design by HGDC. All the crazy colours in lots of neutral grey.
The best crochet cardigan. A JW Anderson inspired crochet cardigan.
A cardigan inspired by the Harry Styles / JW Anderson number
A colourful crochet purse
https://zeensandroger.com/2018/08/20/hotchpotch-c2c-crochet-bag/
Colourful crochet.
The Making of ZZ Block. My C2C baby blanket
How to Choose Colour in Crochet

Crochet Bucket Hat – A Free Pattern & Tutorial

How to Crochet a Bucket Hat: click the pic for the YouTube tutorial

A Crochet Bucket Hat

The promise of summer is here! To celebrate, how about a crochet hat pattern!? Using just one roll of raffia, you can make a straw hat that’s perfect for protecting yourself from summer sun.

An impulse purchase has led to me having a roll of Wool and the Gang’s Ra Ra Raffia sat in my stash for about two years. I thought that one day inspiration might strike for it to become a cute clutch or little tote. Nope, it was a hat that won out in the end. This was due to some fine weather that was forecast for last weekend. A beachy time in Cornwall beckoned and I needed a hat! Alas, the hat wasn’t finished in time for Cornwall; such a shame because photos against a backdrop of sandy beaches would have looked awesome (although I did get some fab photos of my Perfect Cardigan)! Actually one version of the hat did get finished in time but I ended up frogging it half way down the A30. It was too big.

The tangled ball of papery yarn did not look quite so fancy anymore. Thankfully, it worked just as well after being ripped back. With some tweaks and adjustments, the second hat was completed yesterday and it fits like a dream!

Frogging on the A30

Seeing as I’m off work this week I have found some time to film a crochet hat tutorial and write up the crochet pattern. It’s called the Bucket hat because that is exactly what it is! Other name suggestions were “Kick the Bucket” and “Bargain Bucket.” Not sure either of those are the best names though…. What about the Blossom Bucket? Did you watch Blossom on telly back in the 90’s?! That’s a blast from the past!

Yesterday was a beautifully sunny day so me and the boys took a stroll down to the river for a few snap shots. The eldest was paid a few quid to be a photographer for me. Unfortunately, there aren’t many river pics included here because the river’s beaches were busy with loads of people. There was lots of joyous laughter and cheerful frolics going on. Those guys were definitely making the most of the first day of June.

The boy did a great job as chief photographer; he didn’t seem to mind when more shots and more angles were demanded. But I guess you don’t want a massively long story and to be honest, it doesn’t need one. So here follows the pattern….

Next book on the reading list. Haven’t started it yet.

To make a bucket hat, you need:

  • 1 roll of Ra Ra Raffia in Desert Palm (affiliate link).
  • 4mm hook
  • Stitch marker or 2.

Notes & tips

  • The pattern is written in UK terms but, honestly, it’s dead easy to convert: UK htr stitch = US hdc. UK dc = US sc.
  • My head measures 57cm – about average I guess…
  • Every two stitches measures approx 1cm.
  • You can make a hat smaller by missing out the last increase round, this will reduce the size by 4 sts.
  • You can make your hat bigger by working an extra (4 st) increase round.
  • Raffia has a bit of stretch to it. If it feels slightly tight at first, worry not, it will give after wear.
  • Made top down, the hat is worked as a spiral, increasing as you go.
  • Use the stitch marker to note the first st of each round, move after each round.
  • Watch the YouTube tutorial HERE.
Channeling the 90’s with a Blossom style hat!

Crochet Bucket Hat Pattern

  • Rnd 1: 8htr into a magic ring.
  • Rnd 2: inc around – 16 sts.
  • Rnd 3: *1 inc, 1htr; work from * 8 times – 24 sts.
  • Rnd 4: *1 inc, 2htr; work from * 8 times – 32 sts.
  • Rnd 5: *1 inc, 3htr; work from * 8 times – 40 sts.
  • Rnd 6: *1 inc, 4htr; work from * 8 times – 48 sts.
  • Rnd 7: *1 inc, 5htr; work from * 8 times – 56 sts.
  • Rnd 8: *1 inc, 6htr; work from * 8 times – 64 sts.
  • Rnd 9: *1 inc, 15htr; work from * 4 times – 68 sts.
  • Rnd 10: *1 inc, 16htr; work from * 4 times – 72 sts.
  • Rnd 11: *1 inc, 17htr; work from * 4 times – 76 sts.
  • Rnd 12: *1 inc, 18htr; work from * 4 times – 80 sts.
  • Rnd 13 – 22: htr around with no increases.
  • Rnd 23: Repeat rnd 3 – 120 sts.
  • Rnd 24- 27: htr around with no increases. (Any more rounds than this and the brim will curl in on itself).
  • Finish by making 3dc stitches followed by 3 slip stitches. Fasten off and weave in ends.
Half way hat. Before the brim was started. Finger indicates last increase round.
Crochet Bucket Hat
Side view of a crochet bucket hat.

And That’s it!

Such a quick and easy hat to crochet! You can wear it with the brim turned up or turned down. I added four rounds to the brim in the end. However, it did look good with just three rounds. Try playing around with different rounds to see which you prefer. This sort of hat is very forgiving (I am a big fan of forgiving crochet, it hides a multitude of sins!).

OK, I think that’s it for now. I will let the photographs below do the talking. But before you scroll on, if you enjoyed this fabulous pattern, please support my crochet work by buying me a Ko-fi or, join the Patreon community. You would be very welcome! Thanks ever so much! x

Don’t forget to share your makes on Instagram #zeensandroger

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Crochet a hat for summer
Not quite Blossom
Crochet Bucket Hat
Tiny dot of a buzzard
Making hay whilst the sun shines
A crochet hat ready for summer sun
Zeens and Roger crochet bucket hat

Made it this far? Haha, well done!! But also, thank you. xxx