I was at the very cold and windy beach yesterday when I realised how much I LOVED the crochet cowl I was wearing! Sat securely & snuggly around my neck, it wasn’t going anywhere. The best thing about a cowl is that there are no flappy scarf ends, breeze whipping them about my face! Neither will it slowly work itself free and slide to the ground. A crocheter can also hook up a handmade cowl pretty quickly.
I started counting up how many there were in my crochet collection. A LOT!! And they all get worn at this time of year. The ice cold weather this week isn’t set to rise above 3 degrees. A warm cowl is the first choice crochet accessory that I’m going to reach for.
Whether fancy 4ply or super chunky, there are all sorts of styles you can try. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner crocheter as there are loads of easy cowl patterns to try. It doesn’t have to be fancy stitches or anything, you could smoosh together four largish granny squares (5 inches would do it) and that’s a cowl. When I say smoosh, I mean sew them together in a row and then join ends to create a circle. Voila, a cowl has been made.
This blog post is also a blatant excuse to share loads of my designs to tempt you into getting the yarn and hooks out. Of course it is….
My renewed enthusiasm for keeping warm in the winter means I am about to go rummaging to find yarn to make a new cowl. It will be released as a free pattern when it’s done. Keep your eyes peeled. In the meantime, I will share my latest design. It’s called Companions, which is a cowl and wrist warmers pattern set. There are still a few days where you can get 25% off on Ravelry andEtsy. Last day of the discount is the 13th Feb. I am so so pleased with this stripey set. Ridiculously pleased. Every aspect works: the yarn, the pattern, the style. It’s exactly what I had imagined. This is the cowl I was wearing yesterday at the beach (the wrist warmers were left at home as I didn’t want them getting mucky whilst rooting through pebbles, looking for seashells!).
With that plug out of the way, there are plenty of free crochet patterns and tutorials you can try. I’d say that they were suitable for beginners who fancy a quick project that’s simple yet effective. A corner to corner chevron? It’s all in the colour work. Here’s the YouTube tutorial to show you how. The same pattern can easily be turned into a hat too. It’s good to have options!
I got the idea for a C2C chevron fromthe granny chevron I designed which, in turn came from a big floofy version I did. (I am currently obsessed and delighted with how ideas beget ideas – it’s fascinating).
Have you made any? They don’t have to be small and simple. You can make elegant, double looping infinity scarves, or massive super chunky things that envelope your entire top half. There are loads of variants in between.
A couple of years ago I was asked to design a cowl that looked like a shawl for the front cover of Mollie Makes magazine (yep, still proud of that moment). I wanted it to be a bit different to my other designs so added the triangle shaping. A shawl that’s not a shawl! It turned out to be one of my most popular designs ever. It’s for sale on Ravelry, Etsy and LoveCrafts.
I see triangle cowls popping up more and more in the knitting and crochet community. I’ve got more than one design now too and another one due in a future magazine. That one is cute, perfect for early spring!
Right, rather than a overly detailed breakdown of each and every one I will just add some more pictures and let you peruse at your leisure. There’s also ascarf and cowl bundle on Ravelrywhich is worth looking at. Yes, I know they’re all mine. It’s a starting point.
Do have a favourite crochet cowl out there? Which one? Hopefully there’s something here to inspire you to get crocheting. Let me know how you get on.
Thanks to some very keen crocheters out there, my first version of a crochet JW Anderson cardigan has been super popular. Thanks for that! I’m not sure I need to explain at this point but I will: it’s the one that was made enormously popular by Harry Styles. Pretty sure you’ll know about all the cardigan by now, whether knitted and/or crocheted.
[FYI I recently signed up to the LoveCrafts affiliate program so I have linked to the yarn mentioned in this blog post (further down). I have no idea if it’s worth it yet but it won’t make any difference to your wallet whatsoever – just mine!]
My sister saw it and asked me to make one for her Christmas present. Initially I said “ugh, No”. I couldn’t be bothered to make another! Then my conscience got the better of me and I decided I should go for it. I thought about the changes I could make and it was enough to make me enthusiastic about knocking one out again.
The Second Cardi
The only reason I’ve made it again is because one of my sisters requested it for Christmas. She still hasn’t seen it yet because the rules of Covid have meant that I’ve not seen my family this Christmas. I posted it last week but apparently it takes a long time for parcels to get from one end of the island to the other.
My sister is smaller than me. Let’s say she’s a UK 8. I think. With my lockdown lard, I’m edging back to a 12. Because of the difference I did some maths based off the measurements from my first cardigan (see first post). This new cardi isn’t oversize on me but it probably will be on her. I actually prefer this fit to massively oversized (I do not require additional bulk on top, thank you very much).
Colours: I bought new yarn rather than doing a random stash dive. I chose to use Paintbox wool mix aran. You can get it from Lovecrafts HERE (this link takes you directly to the wool, which is one of my fave yarns to work with). If you purchase by hitting the link, it means I will get paid a small percentage of the sale. There’s also a button somewhere about the place (on this blog) that is linked to my affiliate program, so if you spot that, give it a click to peruse more yarn!
I used one of each in the following colours: Buttercup yellow, Lipstick Pink, Light Caramel, Royal Blue, Bubblegum Pink, Marine Blue, Raspberry Pink, Grass Green, Paper White, Blood Orange, Coffee Bean, Ballet Pink, Dusty Rose, Spearmint Green, Washed Teal and Dolphin Blue.
When using the same colour in two different places it’s easiest to wind off enough so you can work the two squares without more tangle (rather than working both ends of the same ball, which I’ve done in the past). Just make a separate ball that’s big enough to make a square.
You can use other yarn like DK but it will affect the size. How about swatching!? Make a square, measure, multiply by nine (the amount of squares that equal the width around in this garment). Will that fit you? You may wish to add or remove two or three stitches and add or subtract a row or two. Experiment, work it out to find the size that suits you. The ultimate corner cutting is to find a sweater in your wardrobe that fits as you want this to fit and get the tape measure out.
Before I get into the knitty gritty, I am taking a moment to tell you that I have a Ko-Fi account HERE. Perhaps you would like to give me a few quid! I’d be very happy if that happened. Thank you.
And if you fancy joining the Zeens and Roger community on Patreon then you can go HERE. Each month I like to offer one of my“paid for” patterns for free, and give an additional treat too. That’s usually an exclusive video of crochet chat, a crafting tour or something similar. I’m also working myself up to do a few live events across the year too…. Anyway, back to the crochet cardigan! …..
Ch Ch Changes
Hook size: This time I went for a 5.5mm, I like the tension it gave on this yarn.
Measurements: It’s 50cm (just under 20 inches) deep and 50cm wide, a boxy square! Sleeve length is also 50cm. The sleeve circumference is 31cm (12 inches).
Square size: each square is roughly 11x11cm (approx 4.5 inches) depending on the stitch used. Balancing out different stitches throughout means things won’t get too wonky (so don’t layer all your FLO squares on top of each other, they’re not as tall). But this cardigan is not about precision, it’s OK if it looks rough around the edges. To get the squares this size, each square is 15 stitches by 12 rows.
Buttons: Due to it being a smaller garment, I decided to drop a button rather than squeeze on 5. I also bought smaller ones, these are 25mm buttons. In these pics I hadn’t paid too much attention to button placement, my squares misaligned. I cut the buttons off and did them again. Remember to pay attention!
Button Band: It’s chain 8 and work 7htr (that’s US hdc stitches) for the band. Therefore, when it comes to making the button holes you need to do: 3htr, miss 1 st and chain 1, 3htr.
Decreasing at collar: I started the decreases earlier here because they’d have been too high on the neck. Check out the chart below, you can see where the sides come in just after the half way mark of the piece. To decrease each row, literally all I do is to stop one stitch short of the end, or skip one at the beginning of the row. You could do a different decrease if you wanted, whatever floats your boat.
I got bored fiddling with animal print on cardi number one but definitely wanted a few squares that were different to the others. Plaid was the option I chose.
The circled ones (below) are the two I used as my guide. Each square on the grid represents a stitch. You swap yarns depending on what colour is due next, with three in the play at once. I drew a couple of others to show that if your squares have a different amount of rows and/or stitches, you may need to muck about to find a pattern that fits. Note, a half treble (US hdc) stitch is taller than it is wide.
There are few different blocking methods. Here I steam blocked because the yarn has acrylic content (if all wool then I wet block). Not gonna go into the details of differences, that’d take too long. In this instance, pin out on a towel on the carpet, get some hot steam on it. I use the steam function on my iron. Every time I do this I brick it, thinking I’m going to melt hours of work! Never touch the iron to the work!
Some people will block before sewing everything together and others prefer to block the finished article. I’ve not explored which is best but I blocked the separate pieces this time. You can stretch it out as you pin which affects the size and shape of your crochet.
Are you willing to block it to size? I blocked this one but didn’t block the first version. Pretty sure I didn’t block my swatch for the first one either. This means that my first garment is even bigger now after a few months of wear (the weight of it has left it to stretch out on its own). I blocked this one as it was a gift for someone else and I didn’t want any surprises for my sister. Maaaaaybe it’s not an essential requirement but I think it is better to block.
And that’s it! Never making another patchwork cardi again! I am done.
I did get a few questions about the first one so it might be a good idea to read the comments section on both posts to see if there’s good stuff in there. Or, please do ask a question if you think of one. But all the elements should be included within these posts if you want to make your own. You just have to read it all! But that means if you want to make a different size you will be able to work it out with the information I’ve given you. Honest!
Hello, how are you?! I’m fine. Just squeezing it all and getting in a flap as usual. Episode 60! Sixty episodes of my daft crochet podcast! Who would have thought it?! I am still loving every minute of it though and I hope you enjoy it too! Thank you so much for hanging out with me.
All my vids (both podcasts and tutorials) are HERE on YouTube. Links and pics to things I chat about in this episode are below.
Hello! I hope you’re well!? I really enjoyed putting this episode together, I hope you enjoy watching 😀
As usual, click on the image above to go to Episode 59 of the latest crochet chat, or if you fancy going back to previous episodes or checking out some crochet tutorials, go HERE to my YouTube channel. Ta very much!
In this episode I reveal the name of last episode’s Giveaway and there’s a new Giveaway too!!
If you would like to support me further then ways you can do that are: spreading the word (tell others I’m here!), buying a pattern/s for one of my designs or, if you’re hardcore, signing up to Patreon!
Links and pictures for all things Episode 59 are below…
I have rewritten my old owl pattern because it’s terribly done. I’ll write a blog post for the new version soon but I’ll be keeping the old one available HERE. Go forth and be embarrassed on my behalf!
I have a new mug and it’s crochet related!! Huzzah! I also have some other new goodies too. I do hope you want to hear about them because I’m going to tell you how I got them! (yep, I have been gifted them for freeeeee in exchange for this totally open, sincere review… And good vibes).
In June I met Heather from Keep Calm and Carry On UK, a UK based crochet blogger. We were both attending The Crochet Sanctuary and it was fabulous to get to chat to another crochet designer for a whole weekend! (that’s another story, involving ghosts and balloons, if I ever get to writing it down). Not too long ago Heather set up Dear Ewe, an online shop dedicated to the sort of bits and bobs that are perfect gifts for craft enthusiasts. I’d been lusting after a crochet chart mug since Christmas but Father Christmas didn’t bring me one, booo. However, it seems Christmas has come early this year because just before Granny Square Day, I got a message from Heather to say a parcel was in the post with lots of goodies in it! Whaaat?!! I saw the email in the evening and the following morning the postman knocked at my door.
The first thing I did was tear open the box to get to my new granny mug but that wasn’t all that was in the box! I had no idea I was going to get such a treat! I also got lots of quality postcards with beautifully designed quotes written upon them (I got two packs of those so I’m putting one aside as part of a giveaway that I’ll probably do on my next Crochet Podcast.) I also got the best bag! It’s a huuuuge canvas tote with crochet charts printed on it. It’s proper sturdy too and I’ve already been lugging my wips about in it over the last few days. How lucky am I?!?
Let me say more about the mug. Oh, how wonderful it is! Perfectly timed too as within a day or so of it arriving I broke my favourite Pendle witch mug (this might be karma at work, I’m not sure)… I don’t think this one will break quite so easily, Heather sources her mugs from the World Capital of Ceramics!! (that’s Stoke on Trent). And the print is not going to go anywhere either, that chart is not going to come off in the wash. I’m sat here at my desk with my lush new mug, filled to the brim with hot tea. I am a happy woman.
Of course, I popped over to the shop to see what was new and there’s loads of stuff there. There are a couple of smaller project bags that I have my eye on, lovely greetings cards and lots of other mug designs too, all of which go beyond crochet. If you’re a different sort of crafter there is something for you too, so whether you’re a knitter or an embroiderer you are catered for. And the crochet patterns are pretty cute as well.
Buying from a small business means the world to the person that created it. Until Sunday the 8th of September I have a super secret code offering you a 10% discount over on Dear Ewe. The code: ZEENS10. You’ve got just over a week, so you’d better get moving!
This tutorial is based on a granny square bag I made a couple of years ago. The original blog post can be found HERE. There are lots of details in that post that will be super useful. However, it is a slightly different version. I’ve made this new one a bit less fussy.
There are two videos. The one above is how to put the bag together. The one below is how to make the Join As You Go Grannies. I start by making a granny square and then at the time stamp of 5.25 I begin to join them together.
Please see below for some accompanying pictures…
If you fancy supporting my crochet adventures, I would be utterly and completely full of gratitude. You can do this by supporting me on Patreon. I understand that you can make one off payments as well as signing up monthly, whatever floats your boat. Thanks ever so much!
Welcome to Episode 55! I’m pleased to say that I’ve been enjoying my crochet over the last couple of weeks. I do hope you like the episode. As well as WIPs and FOs, I talk about Ravelry and their new policy. Cripes, it was tricky to talk about without getting passionate! I hope I was careful with my words; it really isn’t my area of expertise. I believe it’s important that it’s discussed though, so there was no way I was going to ignore the current issues.
Please go HERE to YouTubefor all my videos or click on the pic above to go directly to the episode.
Hey! I hope all is well? Please click on the pic above to go to Episode 54 of my crochet podcast. This one is mostly me chatting about The Crochet Sanctuary because I went there last weekend! You can also go HERE to YouTube! That’s where you’ll find my channel. Ta very much. x
Hi! How’s it going? This is a bit of a funny episode in that I don’t show any wips or finished objects! But it’s proof that I can talk for half an hour about crochet related things without showing you anything at all…
As always, click on the pic above to go to the episode or go to YouTube HERE for all the vids.