Reading crochet charts

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Many crocheters find the thought of reading a crochet chart a little intimidating. When faced with pages of symbols the thought of navigating your own way around can be a daunting task.

For the last few years I have found the ability to ready charts has helped to progress my level of crochet. When you start to work on garments that are often constructed by joining multiple motifs and then working in a neckline and sleeves, so being able to visual how these are constructed by looking at the symbol charts really helps.

I recently came across one of the best articles on how to progress to chart / symbol reading and I definitely recommend it for anyone wanting to move to that level.

The main benefit for me is that the language of crochet symbols is universal regardless of country. So if you’ve spent hours on Pinterest pinning beautiful crochet with only Greek or Russian patterns, you can simply use the charts to recreate them yourself.

Give it a go, start small with a motif and you’ll be surprised how much you’ll favour charts over traditional patterns full of rows and rows of text.

You can read the full article here.

The force is strong with this one!

Secret Santa, a bunch of designers, handmade only rule! Sounds epic.

Well that’s what I thought when my friend started a new job at a design agency. She’s in her first 3 months (probation period uh oh) so needless to say she went all out on her project. Not only did she learn to crochet in about 4 weeks, she managed to pull off a pretty complicated pattern for both an R2d2 and a death star, and that’s coming from me!

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If you fancy a go at your own Star Wars crochet, links to both patterns can be found below.

FREE crochet R2D2 pattern here

FREE crochet death star pattern here

Lils and Raph – Crochet ninja turtle pattern

Isn’t a ninja turtle just the best present for a 4 year old.

Meet Lils and Raph. When she’s not fashioning her own nunchucks from key-rings she’s busy driving Raphael around in the turtle van!

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Having been distracted by the unfathomable Russian garment patterns proliferating Pinterest recently; I forgot how much fun amigurumi is.

If you fancy a bash the pattern can be found here.

Yarn: Acrylic DK

Hook: 4mm.

Time: 8-10 hours

Crochet Moustache Pattern – Version 2

Following on from the popularity of my first crochet moustache pattern, I’ve been working on a second design, which is a little more bulkier and reminiscent of a sheriff’s moustache.

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I chose to design this one using the symbols method, which I found was a lot easier when working out the shape.

After 5 versions to fine tune the shape I’m happy with the final result.

moustache-layout

I’ve included both long hand instructions and symbol diagram below.

pattern

Crochet Moustache Pattern

Working in DK cotton with a 4mm hook using US terminology.

Chain 16

Work the bottom of the moustache first

Sc in 2nd chain from hook

Sc in next 2 ch

Hdc

(Dc, tr, dc) in next ch

Dc

Hdc

Sl st in next – this is the centre point

Hdc

Dc

(dc, tr, dc) in next ch

Hdc

Sc in next 3 ch

Ch 1

Sl st into 1st chain on opposite side

Sc in next 2 ch

Hdc

3hdc in next chain (this should be the same chain the (dc,tr,dc) are in on the opposite side

Hdc in next 2 ch

2hdc in next ch (This is the top of the centre point)

Hdc in next 2 ch

3 hdc in next ch (this should be the same chain the (dc,tr,dc) are in on the opposite side

Hdc

Sc in next 2 ch

Sl st in chain at beginning of row

Fasten off and weave ends in

The moustache will need blocking into shape with a water spray or for a stiffer finish use a starch spray.

Triangle Cowl by Linda Skuja

To make this triangle cowl scarf you will need a 7mm crochet hook along with 2 skeins x (100 gr/3,53 oz = 170 meters/ 186 yards) of chunky wool.  For the one in the photo I used Drops Big Merino – Anthracite (03) available from Wool Warehouse.

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The pattern is designed by Eleven Handmade and can be purchased for £2.84. This is possibly the most used pattern I have ever bought and I’m now starting my 6th scarf.  They make really great gifts and can easily be worked up over a weekend or a couple of evenings.  The pattern is well detailed and includes plenty of diagrams and photos.

Crochet slouchy hat – FREE Pattern

I’ve been Googling crochet slouchy hat patterns for a while and never managed to find quite the right one for me.

The key was that the hat should be made from a thick chunky yarn and would wash and age well. It also had to have a relatively quick build and easy stitch sequence.

I’ve developed the following slouchy hat pattern and after 5 pull down and re-works I’m pretty happy with the end result.

The hat should take around 3 hours to complete.  You will need 100 metres of super chunky wool and hook sizes: L (8mm) and Q (15.75mm).

I used Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick n Quick – Charcoal (149) – 170 from Wool Warehouse.

FREE Pattern - crochet slouchy hat

Pattern Abbreviations

sc: single crochet – Insert hook under both loops, yarn over, pull yarn
through stitch, yarn over, pull yarn through both loops on hook.

sc2tog: single crochet two stitches together – Insert hook into front loop of stitch then insert hook into front loop of next stitch yarn over then draw through all 3 loops on hook.

ch: Chain

Ribbed band

Row 1: ch 9. sc in 2nd chain from hook and in each chain across (8 sc). If you are more experienced you can try the foundation single crochet (fsc), which I absolutely love. Details of this can be found here.,

Row 2: ch 1, turn. sc in both loops in first stitch, SC in back loop only next 6 stitches, sc in both loops in the last stitch.

By only crocheting into the back loops of each row you create a natural rib effect which gives the hat some stretch; ensuring a nice comfy fit.

Row 3-40 same at row 2.

Assembling the band 

Join the ends of the band together to form a ring and sc through the stitches on each edge to join the piece together.

Turn the band inside out so the joining row sits on the inside [which will then be hidden when you wear the hat]

You will see that at the top of each rib [20] there forms a natural hole, it is this hole that we will be using to build the body of the hat.

Building the Hat

Please note that rows are not joined, keep crocheting around continuously. Use a stitch marker to keep track of your rows.

Using your larger hook [15.75mm] ch 1.

Round 1: 2 sc in each of the holes discussed earlier at the end of each rib, you will end up with 40 sc.

Round 2: sc2tog, 2sc, repeat another 9 times until you have 30 stitches.

Rounds 3 – 10: [2sc in first stitch, skip next stitch] repeat.

Round 11: Decrease 30 -20 [sc2tog, sc] repeat x10.

Round 12: Decrease 20-10 [sc2tog ] repeat x 10.

Leave yourself a 6 inch piece of yarn to draw up through the 10 stitches and pull together in a drawstring effect, fasten off.

Enjoy and wear!

Crochet cheat sheets

To help you keep track of all the different crochet symbols i’ve pulled together 3 of my top crochet reference sheets.

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The great thing about working with symbols is you can work from patterns in different languages.

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You can find all of these sheets along with the sources at: http://www.u-createcrafts.com/cheat-sheets-for-crocheter/

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Say Hello to my Neighbour Totoro

Ever since I first watched this amazing Studio Ghibli film, I’ve envisaged crafted a crochet Totoro. He’s possibly one of the cutest animated characters around. Who wouldn’t want this lovely creature to snuggle up with at night.

totoro

This one was made for a who had recently moved into his own flat. As a hardcore Ghibli fan I knew it would take pride of place in his new abode.

Made from hard wearing synthetic yarn he’s guaranteed to keep his shape and also scrub up well, in case of any rogue drooling after you’ve fallen asleep…!

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If you fancy your hand at making your own you can find the pattern here.

The next mission has to be making his adorable blue and white friends.

Who’s HAPPY NOW…Minion Dave deffo is…

Following the current trend of cute crocheted film characters I couldn’t resist bringing one of Grew’s minions to life. One of my old colleagues had a seriously big minion obsession and I’d planned to make her this little fella long before I got around to hooking him up!

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He was pretty easy to crochet and his dungarees and goggles are fully detachable making him a real treat for any little ones in your life. I cheated a little on some of the parts assembly, and relied a little more than normal on the glue gun rather than stitching. How shameful I hear you cry, however if it means I get to start on the next project a bit quicker then I sleep happy.

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The pattern I used can be found here and I’m sure you’ll have him whipped up in no time and then you can ‘whip’ him into doing your bidding like only a minion knows how.