See My Vest. Modern Crochet Fashion.

Crochet Vest

It is a relief and a delight to get to the stage where I release my second official crochet garment pattern. Wahoo! (My first official garment pattern is the Perfect Cardigan published last year). This new design is See My Vest, a granny stitch crochet vest pattern. It’s also known in the UK as a tank top.

Buy the Vest Pattern

It’s important that you have choice here. I know certain platforms aren’t for everyone so the answer to that is that you can purchase the pattern from Ravelry, Etsy and Lovecrafts.

Size Inclusive

See My Vest comes in 9 different sizes. It has been graded and tested and I can confirm that it looks great in each size. Please check out Ravelry or the Instagram hashtag #SeeMyVest to check it out for yourself.

See My Vest Features

I have really enjoyed working on this crochet vest pattern. It’s a project I have worked on to continue learning about designing crochet clothes. A couple of months ago I signed up for an online class run by Nomad Stitches about garment construction and grading. I needed a project for “homework” and thought this vest would be quick and easy. In many respects it has been but a sleeveless garment is far from being a breeze to grade and write up. I did it though! Another goal achieved! Feeling quite chuffed about that. The course really helped and added to the grading information I had already gathered from the Workbook written by Heather of HGDC.

Made using acrylic DK yarn this is a great top for stash busting yarn you already have in your collection. I didn’t enjoy sewing in the many many ends for the Hotchpotch version but it looks so good! I’ve made a couple of stash busters during the design process and also a crochet vest all in blue. The bonus of making it in one colour is the lack of ends. Just a couple of them to sew in, yay!

I really hope you like it. It has some good features that I reckon are very pleasing indeed. The most common comments from testing was how fab it was that this is a seamless garment. You don’t have to sew any thing other than a couple of inches at each shoulder. Not bad, hey? The second most popular comment was that it was just so easy to adjust. In the pattern I have included some different, easy to follow options for making tweaks. Thus, you get to create your own unique garment. And there are charts! Another winner!

Crochet to Fit You

Whilst working on the grading I applied zero ease, meaning that I based the measurements on standard sizing without adding or taking away any room. So it’s not completely fitted but is not boxy either.

During the testing phase, myself and the See My Vest testing gang chatted about fit quite a lot. Shock, horror, guess what? We are all different shapes and sizes, with our own individual preferences for how we like to wear our handmade clothes. I was very lucky that in the testing group there were makers who loved the vest so much that they made two vests! They experimented with adding additional rows at the neck or back, they added or removed rows to the straps. To create different looks some made a smaller size to get negative ease (this creates a fitted look). The versatility is my favourite thing. As I have already mentioned, there are options within the pattern that tell you how to make alterations. I am a firm believer in tweaking, adjusting, and playing around to get a handmade garment that is unique and perfect for the wearer.

One of the things that helps with crochet fit is to make sure you have done a gauge swatch. Conveniently, I’ve got a blog post for that! The idea behind this post is that it’s an overview of the important bits without any major deep-dive. More of a tldr solution for people like me who are too lazy to read for more than a couple of minutes! I hope this isn’t revealing too much about my bone idle nature…

Getting the Vest Just Right.

There are four See My Vests in my house right now and potential for them to multiply. The first one was the ultimate in stash busting. Rather than sewing in ends, I knotted the ends and snipped them short having used the magic knot method. I don’t have a tutorial for this but it’s on my list of things to do.

Sample number one was made differently to the pattern so don’t zoom in on the pic below! The ribbing was added after as I suppose I wasn’t certain how the vest would be constructed at first. I also abandoned the idea of including this image in the final pattern. Not only is it not accurate, I also don’t have a clue how to instruct people to “chuck as much colour at it as possible. But not too much. Balance it by eyeballing. Add less in this bit, add more here…”. How do you write that professionally, in a document that people will pay money for?

Dithering over the placement of the shoulder straps was a bit of a thing. In the second sample I moved the positions of the straps but they fell off my shoulders. (I still have to rip the shoulders back and redo them because the yarn used in that top are my faves and to be treasured for a long time).

The yarn came in the form of Christmas presents from two fabulous people. Amanda, who is Queen Ambrosia on Insta sent me a beautiful, soft bundle of Polwarth DK minis all the way from Australia. The vibrancy of those shades are gorgeous and brought to life by the contrast of the creamy yarn that my long time podcasting pal, Claudia, sent to me from sunny California. Claudia has been on a mission to create yarn especially for crocheters. It’s a Z twist yarn with a textural quality I’ve never seen before. OMG it’s like butta! It works really well in the ribbing for this vest and I can’t help squidge it for comfort whenever I wear it.

Then I made the blue one, which is basically what the final pattern is. A low scoop neck crochet vest. But the pattern has options to make adjustments too! So I made a fourth sample. I added additional rows so make the scoop a little higher and returned to colour city with lots of different yarns thrown in to make a crazy rainbow.

This is the first sample. It went through a couple of changes after this.
Sample 2. Playing around with shoulder placement. Bit too wide and they dropped off my shoulders.

Crochet Community

When making something like this, I am not sure that I could do it entirely on my own and to claim as much would be dishonest. We all learn from each other and it would be remiss not to thank the amazing group of testers who made sure my first and second drafts got turned into a very clear third draft, with charts to boot. Thanks guys!

Same goes for the tech edit. This bit is essential for each and every designer. It’s best done by someone else as you can’t spot all the inevitable mistakes when it’s your own work. It’s not so bad for simpler patterns and you can sometimes edit your own work for those. But garments are a different kettle of fish and I think it’s an extremely valuable step in the process. So thank you Michelle for being brilliant, and reading me like book. She knows when I’m trying to cut corners and tells me so!

So that’s it. I really hope you enjoy making a crochet vest for yourself. Please let me know what you make and share pics on instagram or Ravelry etc. After all it isn’t much of a crochet community without you too!

Cheers. x

The blue one
Match with flouncy fabrics

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, check out my Free Patterns page. Cheers 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

My First Garment Design! The Perfect Cardigan.

A Crochet Cardigan

For the longest time I have been too chicken to venture into designing crochet clothes despite having loads of brilliant ideas. Honestly, there are so many sketches and swatches stashed around the house that have been waiting for me to bite the bullet. Past me has made way too many excuses about why it was never a good time to get those garment ideas down on paper. After a drawn out period of procrastination though, voila! My very first, fully formed, crochet cardigan pattern!!

It turns out that garment designing is a wee bit trickier than a shawl or scarf pattern. This is one of the reasons that it was on the back burner for ages. But, with a bit of research and a lot of hard work, I have fulfilled a huuuuge ambition to up the ante with my crochet skills… I bring you the Perfect Cardigan!

The Pattern & Yarn

OK, here I’m putting the good stuff here because I know you don’t want to scroll through the life story of a crochet cardigan to get to the pattern.

For the foreseeable future the Perfect Cardigan is available exclusively on Lovecrafts. This is because they gave me yarn support to make the design. I used Paintbox Yarns 100% Wool Worsted Superwash, which was lovely to work with (this is an affiliate link by the way). The colours are similar to, if not the same as, the usual vibrantly colourful Paintbox colour palettes. They are modern, bright and beautiful shades of yarn that I use all the time.

Go HERE for the Perfect Cardigan crochet pattern.

The Perfect Crochet Cardigan!

The Perfect Cardigan

Over the last couple of years I have been on a mission to perfect my garment making skills. I want crochet to be the very best it can be. First, there’s learning the basics of construction. It’s essential to just crochet crochet crochet; I have made other designer’s patterns, been involved in pattern tests, and eventually made up garments from scratch using simple stitches and some basic number crunching. (I’ve begrudgingly learned to respect maths but it’s still not my friend). It took a while but now is the time to go for it.

Last year I made up my first crochet cardigan based on the infamous JW Anderson cardigan (it is all over Pinterest, I’ve seen loads of people make their own versions and even Mollie Makes magazine interviewed me about its popularity (issue 128 if you’re interested) . Then I made a new (better) version for my sister’s Christmas present. The first version was oversize and not quite right in terms of decent construction but it set things in motion. Whilst too overwhelmed to write up more than a basic cardigan recipe, it gave me the kick up the bum to do what scared me: write my first crochet garment design!

Basically this stripey crochet cardigan is an evolved and much improved version of the first incarnation. It’s a comprehensive written pattern, with links to videos to help you make it. Everything you need is there to make your own size with advice to adapt it a bit too, should you want to.

Garment Grading

A big stumbling block was the maths. I am not a numbers person! How on earth do you grade a pattern so that it is inclusive of lots of sizes?! There are loads of free resources online but they are mostly for knitting and sewing. There has never been much out there for those wanting advise for crochet design. Quite frankly, I didn’t have the time or inclination to Google everything and piece it all together.

Coming in at just the right time was Heather from HG Crochet Design. I tested Heather’s first garment design, Revival, which led to an opportunity to beta test her grading workbook, aimed specifically at crochet designers. You can check that out HERE (this is an affiliate link to Heather’s products). I won’t give a naff sales pitch but I will say that I found it very helpful for spreadsheet formulae, which you need for pattern grading and calculating yarn amounts).

Not So Perfect

Behind the scenes things weren’t totally perfect. The making of the cardigan was a breeze, the grading took plenty of concentration, but pattern writing is a bane in the otherwise brilliant job of a crochet designer.

It is an understatement to say that this pattern was a struggle to write! Oh lordy, how often I would stare into space thinking it was beyond me! Actual (fleeting) terror was experienced…. about crochet! Yes, it’s daft but I really wanted it to be good. Perfect, even. Writing a pattern for a one size item is OK, just boring, and sometimes slightly taxing on the brain. Bring in all the different sizes and then it’s a juggling nightmare! The first draft was ugly and made no sense. Luckily it was only seen by my tech editor who quickly, and kindly, pointed out the atrocities (thanks, Michelle!).

Panic was to blame for not seeing wood for the trees. I wanted to call it the Cardigan of Nightmares, or, My Worsted Nightmare but no, who wants to buy a pattern with negative connotations like that? So it’s called the Perfect Cardigan because, briefly, it felt like it was anything but. However, it is also called the Perfect Cardigan because after that perceived drama, it is actually a blinkin’ good crochet cardi!

An Easy Crochet Cardigan

An excellent crochet pattern should be tech edited and tested by a variety of makers. Not all patterns require both but one or the other is good. All sizes of this stripey crochet cardigan have been tested by crocheters with different skill levels, (apart from the size 9, there were no takers for size 9). There has been some brilliant feedback and I cannot thank testers enough. THANK YOU!!! I won’t mention the grab and run people but know that you will be remembered!

Because of the gang of awesome testers, I know that the Perfect cardigan is easy to make for crocheters who have never made a garment before. Hearing that feedback was music to my ears!! A crochet pattern that is easy to follow, well, need I say more?! The aim of the design is to have a wearable wardrobe item that looks great but is also fun to make.

Most techniques in the pattern link to a video tutorial. Those techniques have been carefully considered so the cardi is seamless (figuratively as well as literally!). None are difficult but maybe some of them are different to what’s seen in other patterns. Those who are new to crochet and/or garment making shouldn’t be short changed on the good stuff! Also, I will help you! Ask me questions and I can explain or point you in the right direction.

Crochet Construction

Talking about techniques, employing methods that are easy to do but look good is the aim of the game. I can’t stand a single crochet rib so it’s not here, instead it’s a stitch that is a firm favourite and based on the half double crochet (that’s htr for UK peeps). Oh, by the way, the pattern is written in UK terms but don’t let put you off, it is dead easy to switch terms, I promise!

This is a bottom up cardigan, worked in once piece so there is no seam down the sides. Don’t worry it is all explained in the pattern. It adds to shaping on the cardigan too in a kind of bomber jacket way. Before you make your version, check out the measurements, you might decide to try a longer version. No problem! Playing around and experimenting is one of my favourite things about crochet. I quite fancy a version with really deep cuffs…. perhaps all in one main colour with contrast colour ribbing. You don’t have to make yours stripey either. There are lots of possibilities and you could make them all!

There are lots of other ways for adapting the design too: make it long, super crop it, have stripes, don’t have stripes, make wider ribbing etc. I love that a maker has so much freedom to explore options. Crochet is fabulous for this sort of thing. But you know, make the actual pattern, that’s fine too!

And there you have it, the Perfect Cardigan! I hope you like it. I reckon I’ve probably mentioned most things about it but if you do have any questions, please feel free to ask. One of the things you’re paying for in a pattern is support.

Although I’ve mentioned where to find the pattern up the top, HERE is the link again.

Have you made crochet garments before? Are you a crochet designer wanting to give garments a go? Hopefully I’ve reassured you rather than scared you away! Let me know! Cheers. x

Are you on Instagram? Use #ThePerfectCardigan

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JW Anderson Crochet Cardigan. Version 2!

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!]

Anyway, here’s a pic of my first one….

The First Cardi

I wrote about the first version HERE back in October. There is a lot more detail on that post and it includes the recipe so that you can make one too. I made a video for YouTube too, that’s HERE.

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).

After I saw this picture I took off the buttons and re-positioned them. I hadn’t noticed they were wonky at first! Oops!

Yarn

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. Or, hop across to check out my free patterns page. Thank you.

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.

Plaid

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.

Blocking

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.

Sleeve after blocking
In the rush to get it finished, I made mistakes throughout. It all adds to the look!

The End

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!

If you make one, please let me know on Instagram @zeensandroger #zeensandroger

Cheers x

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The Grainbow Shawl. A Crochet Pattern

This is the Grainbow shawl! If I may I’d like to tell you a bit about it…

Firstly, it is now available to buy on → Ravelry← and Etsy!!

Secondly, I am a little bit proud of the fact that it’s a pattern partnership with one of my favourite independent yarn brands, John Arbon Textiles! They very generously supplied me with some of their Knit By Number double knit to make the first shawl. Knit By Numbers (KBN) is 100% merino and comes in both 100g skeins and 25g minis. You can get it in 4ply too (I used it for Harvest Moon). They also sent some of their gorgeous Exmoor Zwartbles to try. The Zwartbles is earthy and sheepy (oh my, the smell is beautiful!). The KBN is super soft, and saturated in gorgeous colour. Two different wools make two (almost!) different shawls, thus showcasing the awesome ability yarn has to create completely unique looks. I hope to take both shawls up to Edinburgh next weekend for EYF 19.

Knit by Numbers 25g mini skeins

In the pattern there are two options for the shawl edging because I did my usual trick of not wanting to make the choice between two different ones. I don’t see the point in only offering one if two will work equally well, albeit in different ways. The main body of the shawl uses simple stitches, eyelets and touches of colour; creating a modern crochet accessory. You can turn it from contemporary to classic crochet by adding the pretty lacy border.

Another thing I had fun doing was pretending to be a model for half a day. The Grainbow Shawl had to look its absolute best so I asked my friend to take the pics (the modelled ones. The others are mine). It worked well for us both because he got to work with someone who didn’t know how to model (this is a good thing apparently because he’ll learn how to direct others by having bossed me about), and I got to see how a real photographer works! If you’re in the south west of the UK and need a snapper, he’s Paul Courtney Photography.

I couldn’t decide what to call this shawl, no ideas came. Instead of plumping for something half arsed, I put it out to my friends online . Over on Instagram I asked for names and the one that put the biggest smile on my face was “Grainbow”, which was suggested by My Chaotic Bliss (I’ll link as soon as I can but shock, horror! Instagram is down right now!). The name works for both versions, don’t you think? I was delighted when Kat also volunteered to test the shawl too. Maybe I should have called it Chaotic Grainbow?!

Kat wasn’t the only tester. Everyone who volunteered has made or is making some fabulous versions of Grainbow. I have so loved seeing the enthusiasm these guys have shown for what might be my new favourite shawl design (I think I said that about the last design too!). I’ve been a tester on many occasions myself, I know the effort that is put in and I’m forever grateful to those who want to do it for me. Thank you!!

You’ll be able to buy the pattern from the John Arbon website in the near future too. I’m thrilled that  quality yarn companies are embracing crochet design more and more, it’s very exciting to see it being taken seriously. Getting to be a little part of that and see others joining the party makes me very happy indeed!

If you make Grainbow please be sure to let me know. You can tag me on Instagram @zeensandroger and add your project to Ravelry. #grainbowshawl  Cheers! x

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Picture overload below…

  ;p

Zeens & Roger Crochet Podcast 47.

Hi! Welcome to Episode 47 of the Zeens and Roger Crochet Vlogcast/Podcast! Please click on the image above to go directly to the episode or go to my YouTube channel HERE to see all the videos. Cheers!

By the way, please look down below for lots of pics of what I’ve made over the last couple of weeks. x

Links to Stuff:

Pob. Remember him?!

The Granny CAL post for 2019 is HERE.

Waking Winter. For sale on Ravelry. There’s 20% off all my patterns until the end of Feb!  The discount is added at the check out, you don’t need a code. I wrote a quick blog post about Waking Winter HERE too if you fancy it.

In a Flap. Pretty and delicate, I love this scarf.

One Way or Another. Click HERE! (thanks to a very early wake up this morning [Saturday], this pattern is now LIVE!)

Ravelry

The ZigZag Jumper by Yarnfamily

The Slope Style hat from Ironlamb

Wool and the Gang crochet kit

John Arbon Textiles. The Grainbow shawl is coming soon!

The Making Things App.

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Harvest Moon. New Crochet Shawl Pattern

Harvest Moon, a crochet shawl for the autumn is now live!! Huzzah!

available on Ravelry HERE. Get 20% off until November 1st 2018.

It is the second shawl design for what I plan on being a four parter to celebrate the seasons. The first was a filet wrap called Emergence of Spring, and the next will probably be called Waking Winter (which I’m desperate to get started on but it’s about five down on my list of things to do). Thematically they will be linked through my tinkerings with filet crochet.  I haven’t thought of a design for the summer yet but I have bought yarn!

Harvest Moon is a pretty, crescent shaped shawl with lacy edging. The edging is similar to (but not the same as) its spring cousin. When I first started talking about it on my crochet podcast there was mixed feedback about the two colour striping. The answer was to make one with three stripes too…

Fancy a better look at the shawls? You might be interested in watching Episode 37 (from the ten minute mark. Skip to 16.15 for the three colour version).

For the first time ever I have UK and US versions of the pattern (Find & Replace is my new best friend). The pattern includes instructions for both the two and three stripe shawls. And you can choose to make it in large or small. That’s four choices in one pattern! (My blue one is a small and reaches half way down my back. The other one is the large and skims my bum).

I bought John Arbon Knit by Numbers for my shawls, it’s a fluffy, warm, 4ply merino that is beautifully warm. Having seen what the awesome pattern testers have used [thank you, guys!], I’d say that there are many alternative yarns that would work really well too.  Check out the hashtag #harvestmoonshawl on Insta to see some examples.

For now, I think I’m crescented out! Between these two and Rapture, I’m going back to triangle shawls,  rectangular blankets and randomly shaped accessories. Keep your eyes peeled ;p

Loads of pictures below, keep scrolling. x

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miaow

 

Emergence of Spring. A Pretty Crochet Wrap

A few months ago this pretty wrap was in Inside Crochet magazine (issue 99). In the same issue I got the back page interview!! I was ridiculously excited about both the pattern and the interview (see below). And I still am. Anyway, enough time has passed that I can release Emergence of Spring as an independent pattern.

Fancy 20% off the pattern price? Click on the following text:

To celebrate there is 20% off until midnight (GMT) July 4th!! Run to Ravelry to get your copy!

Photo taken by Lucy Williams for Inside Crochet. Issue 99.

I loved making this shawl. It was actually my Christmas Day 2017 make (and Boxing Day, and a couple of the following days!). The design was inspired by last summer’s holiday to Lancashire and Yorkshire, which you can read about HERE and HERE. I wonder if you see the same inspirations as me. There are lots of moments as a crocheter that push themselves to the front and this shawl (and all the stuff behind it) is one of them. I can’t explain why exactly because it’s a combination of things. But essentially what you need to know is this, I’m very proud of it and myself!

Cheers. X

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I’m learning to hate this headshot!

My dogeared copy of Issue 99 of Inside Crochet magazine.

xxx

Easy One Skein Crochet Market Bag. Free Pattern

On Monday I began recording a video tutorial for an old version of this crochet net bag. Crochet market bags are massive at the minute and, jumping on the band wagon, I hit record and started making. I got a few rounds in when I started to question its construction. It became quite clear that I was trying to be way too fancy with the pattern; there are some truly unnecessary instructions in there and two years ago, I didn’t ask myself if there was an easier way! I’ve updated it. This is a much simpler version of that market bag yet it pretty much looks the same.

Here it is…

Pop to YouTube HERE or continue reading for the written crochet pattern. Cheers.

If you would like to support my crochet adventures, please consider supporting me on Patreon. It would mean the world. Thank you. x

Notes for Your Crochet Shopping Bag

  • 3mm hook
  • 1x50g ball cotton dk such as DMC Natura Just Cotton (155m/170yds) (or Rico Essentials dk works well but it’s slightly less meterage so you might want to knock off a round of the main body, just in case).
  • The 3ch at the beginning of the first 4 rounds count as a UK tr/ US dc
  • If you have loose tension, it would be better to go down to a 2.5mm hook
  • The pattern is written in UK terms – where it says “dc”, that’s a US sc and a “tr” is a US dc. So htr is hdc! Easy peasy.
  • No turns are made when making the main body of the bag.

Crochet Market Bag Pattern

Start with a magic ring (or ch4 and join with a slip stitch).

Round 1: 3ch, 11tr into ring. Join to third ch of initial 3ch with a slip stitch, pull the magic ring to close. [12st]

Round 2: 3ch, 1tr into same stitch, 2tr into each stitch, join to third ch of initial 3 ch with a slip stitch. [24st]

Round 3: 3ch, 1tr in same st, 1 tr in next st, *2tr in next stitch, 1 tr in next; rep from * around, join with sl st. [36st]

Round 4: 3ch, 1 tr in same st, 1tr in next 2st, *2tr in next st, 1tr in next 2st; rep from * around, join with sl st. [48st]

Round 5: 1ch, 1dc in same st. *ch3, miss 1 stitch, 1dc in next; rep from * around until the second to last stitch. At this point, ch1 and make a half tr into beginning dc. (Have a look at the chart above to see how to join rounds.  Placing a stitch marker on the last stitch of each row from here will help enormously) [24 chain spaces].

Round 6: *4ch, 1dc in next ch sp; rep from * around until second to last ch sp, 2ch, 1htr into the top of the last st of the previous round (ie, into the top of the htr of previous round).

Round 7: *5ch, 1dc in next ch sp; rep from * around until second to last ch sp, 2ch, 1tr into the top of the last st of the previous round.

Round 8: *6ch, 1dc in next ch sp; rep from * around until second to last ch sp, 3ch, tr into the top of the last st of the previous round.

Round 9: *7ch, 1dc in next ch sp; rep from * around until second to last ch sp, 3ch, 1double tr into the top of the last st of the previous round.

Round 10 -25:  Repeat Round 9

Round 26: Repeat round 8

Round 27: Repeat round 7

Round 28: 1ch, 1dc in same stitch, 2dc in space, 1dc in dc, *4dc in each ch sp, 1 dc in top of each dc of previous round; rep from *,  2dc in last sp, ss to join to 1st dc [120]

Round 29-30: 1ch, 1 dc in same space, dc around, ss to join.

Handle Stage

Row 1: 1ch, 1dc in same space, 1 dc in next 6st, turn [7]

Row 2: 1ch, 1dc along the next 7 stitches, turn [7]

Repeat Row 2 until desired handle length or when nearing the end of the yarn (I made my handle approx 18″).

Turn your bag inside out. To attach the handle to the other side of the bag, count how many stitches are around the top of the bag. I had 120 stitches. You want your handles evenly spaced, I counted 53 stitches along from the right side of my handle and the next stitch (see pic below) was where I started to attach the other end of the handle. Make sure there are no twists!

The hook should be on the right hand side. If it isn’t, make another row or take one away. Insert hook through first stitch on handle and the chosen stitch on the other side of the bag, yarn over and pull through all loops/stitches. Repeat for the last 6 stitches. Fasten off and sew ends in securely.

This pattern has been designed by me and is for your personal use only. Please visit my Ravelry store for more crochet patterns! Thank you.

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Show me your makes on Instagram  #zeensandroger

xxx

Granny Rocks. A Crochet Jumper

Right, I’m gonna go way over the top with granny jumper pics and guess who doesn’t care?! Meeee, haha! I took them yesterday so I could put one up on Instagram and I got carried away. I thought my love affair with the crochet granny would have worn off by now. Nope! Still there. And this jumper is the bees blimmin knees. I won’t go on and on, I just want to show it off for a bit.

It is called the Granny Rocks jumper and it’s by Claudine, of Iron_Lamb. Claudine’s crochet garments are stupendous. She has a real knack for knowing what looks good; her designs are current, colourful and amazing. The pattern is available to buy on Ravelry. I’d been eyeing it up for ages but kept telling myself that I already had granny jumpers and didn’t need another. Eh, I wanted it so I bought it. The shaping is completely different from other patterns I’ve followed and I was curious as to why.  It also turns out I really like to see how other designers write out their patterns too (and thus, that was my justification for buying it!).

Open your eyes, woman!

I used a different yarn from the one recommended and therefore needed a different amount. Remember, always check the label for yardage/meterage! I didn’t until after I’d ordered and I needed nearly twice as much! This is Drops Merino Extra Fine DK and it’s pretty heavy stuff. But it makes a smashin’ jumper and I am super toasty right now (I’m never taking this thing off).

Something else you ought to know. I sort of didn’t obey every step of the instructions. I’ve made jumpers before and I felt confident enough to give the pattern a semi skim read, which gave me a good understanding of what was what. I mainly went by the measurements of the schematic. I cut a big corner doing that; risky but it paid off. I missed a repeat off the arms and maybe off the length of the jumper too (I haven’t double checked).  I relied on measurements rather than the pattern because my gauge was different. I know that my grannies are tall and thin; therefore, if I stuck rigidly to the pattern, it  wouldn’t look like it was supposed to.

I’ll be entering this into the Different Designer CAL and the Fortune Cookie CAL. Find out more about that on the next episode of the vlogcast, which I’ll be recording on Thursday. x

Right, I’m sharing some pictures…Honestly, it’s so much more fun to muck about when you’re not fussed about your face. I was having a good day! I wouldn’t ever attempt self portraits on Ugly Day.

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;p xxx