Wayward Sisters. An easy Crochet Shawl Pattern

Wayward Sisters, a Granny Stripe Crochet Shawl.

Wayward Sisters, a Crochet Shawl Pattern

We three met on the cusp of autumn. No thunder, lightning or rain, just glorious September sunshine and lots of crochet goss. It was the perfect weather for a weekend in the Cotswolds for three people obsessed with the same thing. Crochet!

The crochet shawl pattern I’m sharing here was borne from our weekend. Practically whipped up the whole thing whilst we were there, it’s that easy! Crocheting granny stripes is a doddle and just the thing needed to relax the brain.

The free pattern is below. Or, if you’d prefer, you can buy a downloadable PDF that isn’t littered with waffle and ads. The PDF can be found on Ravelry, Etsy and Lovecrafts.

Try my other Free Patterns here.

(Btw this post contains one affiliate link for the yarn if you want to directly check out the yarn I used)

One Wayward Sister

Wayward Sisters

We all convened on a Friday afternoon when the sun was at its warmest. I can’t speak for the others but driving through picturesque English towns and country lanes to find an old barn to stay in felt proper exciting. The idea of a weekend away to literally focus on crochet, work on projects, and generally have a good time was much needed.

The last time I met up with Fay (of Fay H Designs and the Provenance Craft Co.) was in the early summer. She was vending at the John Arbon Textiles Mill Open Weekend and I was teaching a crochet class. Over the years, we’ve always managed to have quick chats at yarn festivals but I don’t think we’d ever sat down to have a proper chinwag. As we caught up she proposed the idea of a weekend away with crochet and friends. She and Michelle (of Dora Explored) had already been brewing plans for this so it was an easy Yes from me. Hovering over Google Maps, we poked a finger on the map, somewhere equidistant for all three of us, it landed on the Cotswolds. That’ll do nicely, thank you.

I met Michelle (of Dora Does and Dora Explored) for the first time three years ago. Rather fortuitously, she was in Devon for a family holiday and I recognised her IG pics so knew she was literally ten minutes from my house. We met up for tea and cake, with me being v late, dragging two kids who just wouldn’t get dressed that morning. We chatted for ages and I knew I’d found someone just as obsessed with crochet as me!

Yarn Everywhere

The funniest bit upon arriving was discovering that we had all brought a car full of yarn. Bags and bags, stacks of boxes, WIPs and secret projects! Yarn everywhere!

Despite bringing half my yarn stash I didn’t want to work on anything already begun. My new granny stripe crochet shawl has been on the agenda for the longest time but it has never been a priority. Ultimately it was the right balance of fun, relaxing and new. It fit in really well with the chilled atmosphere where there was zero pressure. Sometimes that’s just what everyone needs.

So the weekend went thusly: wake up, do a bit of crochet, wander round the garden picking pears, apples and sloes. Find some walnut trees (good for yarn dyeing), go back inside for a spot more crochet. Have a cup of tea. Go for a walk, go into town, have a pub lunch sat alongside the river Thames. Sniff out any yarn shops (hmm, half a one). Do a bit more crochet. Have some wine, do some crochet at a different tension…

I’ve shared a few photos here. There was a creepy old shed that I loved. It had great angles and light but my photography skills aren’t up for taking advantage of such a backdrop. The town of Lechlade was a great host. Amongst the interesting shops there was an antique place stuffed full of crazy taxidermy. What a fab weekend.

The Chosen WIP

After all that, you will want the pattern for a crochet shawl, right? I’m so happy to share this as I want you to enjoy the fun of relaxing crochet.

I made this crochet shawl because it was repetitive, methodical and I could trust it to do as it was told without me using too much brain power. In my holiday yarn stash were several (already wound) cakes of Cascade 220 Fingering yarn. Quite honestly, there were a few different projects I could have started with it . There’s still plenty left so, no doubt, you’ll see designs with related colour palettes at some point. But because a granny stripe crochet shawl had been on the To Do list for a while, it easily won as the thing to make.

Soothing Granny Stripes

Oky doky, before you begin, please know that this is a very easy single row pattern repeat. Once the first couple of starter rows are out the way, every row is the same. This is Easy Crochet at its finest! Adding stripes of colour in the mix stops too much monotony and really lifts the shawl. But ultimately, we’re just talking stripes of wonderful granny clusters.

When I started working on the shawl I felt almost embarrassed. I felt like I should be working on something impressive and fancy. I was with professionals who take this art very seriously!! But this was when it dawned on me why I like the granny stitch so much. It’s because it is the ultimate in comfort crochet. This shawl is the very definition of comfort crochet! It’s not out to impress, it only wants to make you feel good.

Do you often return to your favourite stitches? This could be why. Our favourite stitches make us feel safe and relaxed. That’s perfectly OK. I don’t always want or need crochet that soothes me but when I do, Hello Granny!

Colourful crochet shawl

Crochet Shawl Pattern

Here we go! Things you will need are: a 4mm hook, 3x50g skeins of Cascade 220 Fingering for the Main Colour, and 6 contrasting colours. I used approximately 20g of each.

Pattern Notes

  • The pattern is written in UK terms. The main stitch is a UK treble, which is a US double crochet. 
  • Contrast colours (CCs) are used three times each with 18 stripes of colour in total.
  • In established pattern, the CCs are placed every fourth row.
  • Rather than sewing in ends, I attached tassels to hide colour changes. Knot the loose ends together first before attaching tassels.
  • The PDF contains a chart with crochet symbols to follow.
  • The PDF also has a table charting where the colour chances are and where they are.
  • The PDF written pattern is available on Ravelry, Etsy, and Lovecrafts.

The Instructions

Work the first 4 rows in the MC, then change colour to a CC for the first time on the last st of Row 4. Then work a CC every 4th row. 

Chain 4 and join with a slip stitch, or make a magic circle.
Row 1: ch4 (counts as 1tr and 1ch here & throughout), 3tr, 1ch, 1tr, turn. [1 cluster of 3 tr + 1 st at either side]
Row 2: ch4, 3tr in first ch-sp, 1ch, (3tr, 1ch, 1tr) in last ch-sp, turn. [2 clusters + 1 st at either side]
Row 3: ch4, 3tr in first ch-sp, 1ch, 3tr in next ch-sp, 1ch, (3tr, 1ch, 1tr) in last ch-sp, turn. [3 clusters + 1 st at either side, increasing by 1 cluster each row]
Row 4: ch4, 3tr in first ch-sp, 1ch, *3tr in next ch-sp, 1ch; rep from * to last ch-sp, (3tr, 1ch, 1tr) in last ch-sp, turn. 
Rows 5 – 76: Rep Row 4.

Comforting Crochet Shawl

To Tassel or Not or Tassel?

Are you a fan of tassels? The jury is still out for me. The tassels are there because I couldn’t be bothered to sew in the ends. That’s all. As much as they add lots of mood lifting colour, I am tempted to undo them and add a less jazzy border. It’ll be simple to do, and if it happens and I shall come and report what I did.

And there you have it. Did you get beyond the tangenty gas-bagging?!

To give you a crochet shawl pattern I have to tell a story behind its construction. I enjoy telling the tale of how a design comes about. I just hope people enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy writing them!

Anyway, with that, the Wayward Sisters came together, worked some magic, and then bid each other farewell. Until next time…

Cheers. x

Fay’s fruits. Nuts, innit?!

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

Crochet Cowls, The Ultimate Winter Accessories

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 and Etsy. 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 from the 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).

https://zeensandroger.com/2018/09/27/c2c-cowl-hat-a-free-crochet-pattern/

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 a scarf and cowl bundle on Ravelry which 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.

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https://zeensandroger.com/2019/06/22/asymmetric-granny-cowl-free-crochet-pattern-and-tutorial/

xxx

Fabulous Fig Recipes (for the non fig lover).

picked figs

Last year I was moaning on here about how much I really didn’t like figs. I don’t want to say this out loud, but there’s a chance that I’m slowly becoming accustomed to their strangeness. I’m still not a big fan but I’ve found ways to make figs work for me and mostly I think that involves taking away a lot of the figginess. I’ve struggled to find different fig recipes over the last couple of years. I like to take away the texture and disguise some of the flavour but most recipes celebrate the unique qualities of this funny fruit and it was tricky finding a selection that suited my tastes.

When properly ripe, figs are quite soggy, they have what I can only describe as a pappy texture. They also taste mega sweet and leave behind that sugary after taste that real ribena has (or old chewing gum), I’m guessing that’s fructose! As much as I am not keen, I still can’t leave them on the tree so, as well as giving them away, I’ve found some recipes that work for me: a non lover of figs…

ripening fig

(I spend every other day wobbling on a giant step ladder, reaching dangerously high to grab at all the ripe fruit I can find. I have no idea why I go to such lengths, I guess I don’t like to see them go to waste).

Homemade fig chutney

Fig Recipes:

Nigel Slater’s Fig Chutney.

This one is by far my favourite fig recipe. It takes quite a bit of bubbling but I’ve been highly rewarded. Especially yesterday when I had some with cheese and crackers. It’s even better this year. The only change I made to this recipe was swap raisins for apple. I had cox growing in the garden too and thought to use those rather than buying more ingredients. I’m not a very tidy chutney potter/canner, so it seems.

fig tree

Dried Figs.

A weird one this and they do have a medicinal quality. But I kept going back for more so that must mean something. Very easy to do and I was surprisingly impressed by such a simple thing.

Fig and Lime Sorbet.

I was dubious about this one but honestly there are so few ingredients that I think I was just being stupid and lazy. I haven’t made this for a couple of years so this year will see its return (today is probably a fig picking day actually and by chance I have limes in the fruit bowl – they were for mojitos but I’ll make the sacrifice). I love the citrus in it. I love lime!

Sticky Toffee Fig Rolls.

I’m cheating with this one, I’ve not made this recipe yet! But the kids have asked for fig rolls and these have got toffee in them so they can’t be that bad!

fig

If anyone has any other fig recipes they’d like to suggest, do let me know. I’m trying to think of boozy things but I’ve got nothing at the moment.

Garden fig tree.

I’ll be saying goodbye to figs next year. This tree is far too big for its boots and we’re going to chop it. It needs a good pruning. I think you’re supposed to do that in January. As figs grow from the previous year’s twigs that means no figs for at least a year. However, I think it’s safe to assume that I won’t really mind!