The Chevron Scarf (again)

new zig zag scarf imageOver on Instagram this week, crocheters have been sharing their favourite scarf patterns. As always I “had” to post a picture of my Chevron Scarf. I know, you’ve all seen this plenty of times, but I love the simplicity. I often pick up skeins of self patterning yarn, intending to knit socks or try out a new crochet idea. Invariably, I end up making a scarf (or I sew the ends together to make a cowl. Self patterning, colour pooling and variegated yarns can be “problematic” for crocheters. Often they are factory made with knitters in mind, and few indie dyers consider crocheters when coming up with their gorgeous colours and patterns. The nature of crochet stitch construction makes it hard to replicate the repeating patterns that look so great on a pair of knitted socks. But, there are a few “tricks” you can try to get the best out of these yarns.

Try crocheting in the round. Space half treble and woven (sometimes called linen) stitch can be quite effective too. Try alternating two balls of yarn (this is particularly effective with multi coloured yarns such as the ones Noro is famous for) or try striping with two rows on patterned yarn followed by two rows of plain coloured yarn. The best advice I can give you, is try lots of yarns, experiment with different patterns or  techniques and don’t be afraid to rip out your work and try again. Use oddments and left over yarn to test out ideas.

If the worst happens and nothing seems to work, you can always try motifs. Not only can multi coloured motifs look amazing, but you can also cut the yarn to achieve a different colour on each round. This is not “cheating”, it’s simply a great way to get the best out of your yarn and it’s an easy way to produce many coloured motif projects where all the colours “work” together.

So there you are, a few ideas to try. Remember, if all else fails, there’s always the chevron scarf to come back to!

Sorry, the chevron scarf pattern is currently unavailable.

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A Beautiful Scarf

ccth_blue-scarf-02Now that Autumn truly has arrived we have the perfect excuse to start wearing “all” the knitwear! For me, that means pairing every outfit with a scarf, shawl or cowl. On my hook right now is this gorgeous Nubbly Scarf designed by Ali Campbell for my last book. Ali chose a chunky alpaca / merino blend from Bergere de France, but I’m making mine in Eden Cottage Yarns Whitfell Chunky. I can’t share a photo yet as it might become a festive gift, but I can tell you it’s making up very quickly and I may just keep it for myself!

I just love the quirky edging, such a nice change from a basic fringe. Even a beginner to manage this project. You can find more of Ali’s gorgeous designs over on her website, where you can also book for her classes and buy her ebooks. I’ve said it before, but one of the best bits about writing The Woman’s Weekly Guide to Crochet (or Crochet. Learn It Love It, if you’re in the USA / Australia) was the chance to collaborate with some of my favourite designers. I loved seeing their ideas and I loved every one of the designs they contributed. This book really was a team effort.

womans-weekly-guide-to-crochetYou can buy a copy from most online retailers, or ask for it in your local bookshop. It makes the perfect gift (shameless plug) for new and beginner crocheters. It’s filled with advice, techniques and photo tutorials, including joining motifs,  foundation crochet and crocodile stitch. At the moment you can buy it from The Book People for the discount price of £10.39!! I have a soft spot for the cute amigurumi fox by Stephanie Lau, which she wrote about on her blog. I could never have come up something that cute!

learn-it-love-itAmerican readers are treated to a photo of Leonie Morgan’s beautiful motif blanket – another triumph! Leonie has always been a bit of a crochet heroine of mine, you can read all about her work on her website, where you can also find the perfect Autumn Cowl pattern. Whatever you’re making this autumn, do let me know. I’ll be back soon with some great ideas for festive gifts for crafty loved ones, so if you have any suggestions for what I should include do let me know.

Happy making x

 

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Yarndale teaser

img_5764I am so excited today,Vicki from Eden Cottage Yarns has posted a small teaser on her blog featuring her new collection.  “Drift” will be launched at Yarndale later this month  and features designs from some exceptionally talented knitwear designers. I’m proud to say a few of my crochet designs are also included. You can read Vicki’s blog post, introducing the new collection here. If you’re heading off to Yarndale at the end of this month, stop by the Eden Cottage yarns stands and say hello. You might also be able to squish some samples of my new and existing designs for Eden Cottage Yarns.

As soon as I’m “allowed” I shall post photos here along with details of how you can buy the book. Until then, I’ll leave you with a couple of images from last year’s collection to whet your appetite!

Ursula scarf. pattern available on ravelry
Ursula scarf. pattern available on ravelry
Maisy Roper bag. Pattern available on Ravelry
Silsden, Log cabin blanket, pattern available on ravelry.

Free Crochet Patterns

Just “popping in” to let readers know that you can now find lots of my crochet patterns for free here. All previously appeared in let’s Get Crafting magazine and mostly they are homewares and accessories – but do check out the patterns by other designers. There’s a super collection here.  Take a look – you might find something you like here!

All images are (c) Aceville publications and originally appeared in Let’s Get Crafting.

 

 

Just a Granny Square (free pattern)

I love granny squares, there’s so much you can do with them. This simple scarf has been among my free patterns for years and it lends itself to almost any yarn. You can vary the length as you wish.

This  pattern can easily be tackled by someone new to crochet as the skills required are simply Double Crochet and the ability to make a granny square. The yarn and pattern notes can be found at the bottom of this post.  This would make an ideal gift for a loved one and is bound to impress – the secret is in choosing great colours and letting the recipient imagine the hours you spent creating it!

Crochet Scarf pattern:

Yarn: 4 balls Drops Nepal ( 2 in each shade) Photographed in shades 0500 (Light Grey Mix)  and 3608 (Deep Red)

3.75 mm crochet hook (I used a smaller hook than you would expect for this Aran  weight to make a sturdy scarf that holds it’s shape and because my tension is always looser than you would expect).

Tension:

14 DC to 10cm

Finished dimensions (after blocking):

length: 160cm

Width: 10cm

Abbreviations:

DC = Double Crochet (Pattern written using English crochet terms)

Yarn substitution:

Any Aran weight yarn will work for this pattern. The total length I used was 300m. If you make your scarf longer or wider you will need extra yarn. But as Drops Nepal retails at £2.00 a ball it’s possible to make a great scarf for under £10.00

Using yarn A (in these photos, shade 0500) begin by making a 180 chain, to make a longer scarf simply make your chain longer.

Work in Double Crochet throughout, except for granny square

Work 4 rows of DC in yarn A

Fasten off and work 4 rows in yarn B

Fasten off and work 4 rows in yarn A

Work 4 more rows in B and finish with 4 rows in A. 20 rows in all. To make wider scarf, simply work more rows.

Make 2 granny squares, starting with 1 round in A, followed by 1 round in B, work a further row in A and finish with a row in B.

Fasten one square to each end of the scarf using double crochet with right sides facing. Work one row of double crochet in yarn B around the outside of the scarf to give a neat edge.

Weave in all ends and block by soaking in cold water for 10 minutes, squeeze out using towels and lay flat, pinning the granny squares to match the width of the scarf. (Alternative blocking: pin to shape and spray with cold water, easing the granny squares into shape).

Once dry, wear or give with pride

Granny Cool Loves…

House of Holland Granny Square Scarf

Granny squares – they never go out of style! A few years back House of Holland wowed the catwalk with their amazing granny inspired collection, including a granny square scarf  (the kind most of us crocheters have at least one of). Sarah London (another lover of the granny square wrote this piece about the collection and I’ve noticed several “instagrammers” recently sporting their own interpretation of this classic fashion accessory. Even the fabulous shop Tea and Crafting picked up the story this week!

My own favourite interpretation of the Granny Scarf is Claire Montgomerie’s Granny Square Cowl (which pre dates the House of Holland collection), but is ideal if you’re looking for a pattern to make your own. If you’ve never made a granny square, there are dozens of crochet tutorials online, check out Sarah London for a pattern and lots more inspiration.

Granny Cowl by Claire Montgomerie for Inside Crochet