New Free Pattern

UPDATE JANUARY 2020

This pattern is being updated and will be available again in the Spring.

I can never resist a baby in a cute hat – and this is certainly a cutie – and so easy!

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The Parker baby hat was published in Craftseller in 2013 and proved very popular because it was so quick to make! The original design used Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, which I know lots of knitters and crocheters love because it’s so soft and can be machine washed. I’ve also made versions in 4 ply yarns and you can swap in your own favourite with few problems (just remember to swatch or check your tension). The version below shows the second size (6 – 12 months) and  was made using Debbie Bliss Eco Baby, which is a great alternative if you prefer a non animal fibre. It’s 100% organic cotton and has Fairtrade accreditation, so it is suitable for vegans and ethical makers. Eco Baby has the same meterage and tension as Baby Cashmerino, so it can be substituted for any Baby Cashmerino pattern.

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I love Debbie Bliss, not just her beautiful designs and her gorgeous yarns , but her commitment to promoting knitwear and crochet as wearable and desirable. I have several of her books on my shelf and one of my most exciting yarny memories is meeting her in person. She has a long standing relationship  with Knit For Peace and is involved in several local community projects near her home. She always comes across as a genuinely warm and friendly person, the kind of knitter you would be happy to find yourself sitting next to at knit night!

So, I was very pleased when Love Craft announced that Debbie Bliss yarns would be available on its LoveKnitting and LoveCrochet online stores. Yes, of course I would prefer it to be available in my local yarn store and other outlets. But, when Designer Yarns went into liquidation last year, many of us thought it might mean the end of the Debbie Bliss brand and that would have been a real shame.

Over the years, I have designed several projects using Debbie Bliss yarns and for the next few months they will be made available as free pdf patterns online. The first of these is the Parker Crochet Baby Hat. You can download it from Ravelry or LoveCrochet today.

In other news, 200 More Crochet Stitches is now available for pre – order. Sadly it won’t be available in time for gifting at Christmas, but I do have a special thank you planned for those of you who pre order. Watch out for more details soon.

 

From the Archive: Wallace Washcloths

Wallace Washcloths 1.jpgThis one is a real blast from the past! One of my very first published designs, these appeared in Issue 34 of Inside Crochet magazine. I had completely forgotten about them, until I unearthed the original samples in a box under the bed (never be surprised by what lurks under the bed)! I’ve decided to share the original patterns with you here for free. They are very simple,  and please don’t stress about little things like matching correct yarn,  tension or exact  hook size. Of course these things matter, but in the great scheme of things, a slight difference in tension won’t make a great deal of difference, it might affect the amount of yarn you use or the drape, but as you’ll most likely be diving into your stash and then soaking these in hot soapy water, don’t worry too much.

These are ideal for swatching new projects, trying out new stitch patterns and they make perfect gifts. I like to use an organic 100% cotton for babies or facial use, but for the kitchen I’ll use any 100% cotton. In fact, you can even buy “dishcloth” cotton, sold just for this purpose. The yarn used for these cloths might seem a little over luxurious for a humble washcloth (85% cotton, 10% silk and 5% cashmere), but they have washed and worn so well I’ve been very pleased with them and would use it again. I had the yarn in my stash, left over from a baby blanket and this was the perfect way to use it up.

Today, my pattern writing is a little more sophisticated, but it’s still good enough to reproduce here. I was so proud when it first appeared in print and so excited to see the photos in Inside Crochet. They were taken by my talented friend and “tame photographer” Andrea Ellison.

I often make these as gifts. But, over the years I’ve learned to add a little note, reassuring the recipient they can (and are meant to be used). They do make perfect photo props, draped over the side of a Butlers sink or arranged on a scrubbed pine table, but there’s no fun in things that can’t be used or enjoyed is there!

If you do make a washcloth, perhaps you’d be kind enough to share a photo on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. Or, if you’re on Ravelry, clicking the heart button or adding the project to your queue is much appreciated.

Happy hooking x

Wallace Washcloth Pattern by Tracey Todhunter

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Pattern is written in UK crochet terms.

Approximate finished size: 18cm/7in x 18cm/7in  square

Original yarn used: Debbie Bliss Bella●50g/95m/105yd ●Colours: Pink, shade number 09, Blue, shade number 13, Ecru, shade number 21 (one ball of each)

Tension: Tension is not critical to this project, your work should drape slightly and row count can be adjusted to make a square. Work 30st and 30 rows in  single loop pattern to measure 18x18cm or 7x7in using 4mm hook, or size required to obtain tension. Each washcloth needs approximately 50m of DK cotton, a full ball of recommended yarn will make one washcloth plus trim for a second. Left over yarn can be used to make striped washcloths.

Hooks and notions:  4mm crochet hook. Tapestry needle to weave in ends

Abbreviations:

dc: double crochet

dtr: double treble crochet

dcblo: double crochet into back loop only

dcflo: double crochet into front loop only

rs: right side

ws: wrong side

Special stitches:

Single loop:

Row 1: (rs) 1ch, dc into second ch from hook, 1dcflo into each st to last st, 1dc, turn

Row 2: (ws) 1ch, 1dc, 1dcblo into each stitch to last st, 1dc, turn

Row 3: 1ch, 1dc, 1dcflo into each stitch to last st, 1dc, turn.

Repeat Rows 2 and 3 for pattern.

 Mock Bobble:

Row 1 (ws) 1ch, dc into second ch from hook, *dtr into next st, dc into next, repeat from * to end. Turn

Row 2 (rs): 1ch,  dc to end, turn

Rows 3 and 4: Repeat Row 2

Row 5: 1ch, dc in first dc * 1 dtr in next dc, 1 dc, repeat from * to end. Turn.

Repeat Rows 2 – 5 for pattern.

Single Loop Washcloth (photographed in Pink and Ecru)

With 4mm hook  make 31 ch.

Set up Row: 1dc into second ch from hook, 1dc into each ch to end, turn (30dc)

Work single loop pattern until work is roughly square (about 28 rows), finish with Row 2.

Edging: Work one row of double crochet, at the end of the row, do not turn.  1ch and turn to work 30dc evenly along side of washcloth,1ch at corner, work 30dc evenly across bottom (working into underside of foundation chain), 1ch and work 30dc evenly along second side,. Fasten off.

Weave in all ends

Mock Bobble Washcloth (photographed in blue)

With 4mm hook and Blue, make 32 ch, turn.

Set up row: 1dc into second ch from hook, 1dc into each ch to end, turn (31dc)

Work Mock Bobble pattern until work is roughly square (about 28 rows), finish with Row 4.

Edging: As for Single Loop Washcloth

Weave in all ends.

Refer to ball band for washing and pressing instructions.

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