Fotor Spring Crochet Collage_Fotor

Five Things to Crochet in the Spring: Free Pattern Roundup

What to Crochet in the Spring: Five Free Crochet Patterns

When spring and summer roll around, many yarn-crafters get the blues.  No more Outlander cowls with super-bulky wool.  Bye-bye heavy mittens.  The urgency of making Christmas gifts has long gone, and we’re left wondering: “Now what?”

If you’re like me, you like to knit and crochet what you can use or give in the relatively near future (if not the immediate present).  So, while it is always fine to start a months-long journey into a fair isle cardigan, it might be more fun to work on quick projects that can be used right now, in the spring.

These are five of my favorite milder-weather crochet patterns.  The links to the free patterns are included, along with photos of some of my finished versions.  I am also providing some notes about yarn choice and pattern tips.

Five Free Spring Crochet Patterns:

1.  Crochet Baby Mary Janes

Free Pattern from Whistle & Ivy: Little Dot Mary Janes

Pictured Yarn: Caron Simply Soft Brites in Grape

Baby Mary Janes 1
Crochet Mary Janes Baby Shoes

These little cuties come from the amazing Whistle & Ivy blog.  I opted to make mine without the “dot” detail in the pattern, instead using a vibrant grape color and a basic white button.  Once you get the hang of the teeny tiny shoe pattern, you will be able to whip up pairs of these in no time.  I will say, for me, they ran small.  I went up a hook size to achieve the correct measurement.

Finished product also available in my Etsy shop: Baby Mary Janes

2.  Whale Tissue Box Cover

Free pattern from Moogly: Get Whale Soon Tissue Box Cover

Pictured Yarn: Sensations Everyday Solids in Turquoise (Discontinued)

Alternative Yarn Suggestion: I Love This Yarn in Turquoise

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Whale Tissue Box Cover to Crochet

This is such a fun project.  This whale is whimsical and fun for any place in the house, but works especially well in a kids’ bedroom or bathroom.  I thoroughly enjoy many of Moogly’s fabulous patterns, but this is one of my favorites.  I use a tiny bit of black yarn to make the smile, and simple plastic black buttons for the eyes.  The tail was the only slightly challenging aspect of this pattern.  Otherwise, it is simple and fun.

Purchase a finished product here: Whale Tissue Box Cover

3.  Toddler Tutu with Crochet Bodice

Free pattern by Patricia Klonoski available for download on Ravelry: Empire Waist Crochet Tutu Dress

Pictured Yarn: Caron Simply Soft in Country Blue

Olivia Tutu 1
Crochet Bodice Toddler Tutu Dress

This tutu dress is great.  I chose not to add the flower, because I opted for wild, multi-colored tulle in the skirt.  It has a tie-back closure, so it can work for a variety of sizes, really.  I thought this would make a perfect first birthday outfit, especially for a photo session.  It would also be really adorable as a flower girl dress, which could be done in all white or the wedding colors.

Purchase a finished tutu here: Crochet and Tulle Tutu Dress

4. Boho Headband

Free pattern from DROPS design: Twined Ivy

Pictured Yarn: Bernat Vickie Howell Cotton-ish in Crimson Twine

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Crochet Boho Headband

I didn’t follow the yarn and hook recommendations within the pattern.  I used a light-weight yarn in a cotton blend.  I also used an E or F hook.  Gauge isn’t really important to this headband.  The tie-back closure is cute, and it makes it work for any size.  I think this headband is so fun, especially with the boho trend going on.  It works with an everyday look, and updo, as a festival accessory, or even as a headpiece for a casual boho wedding.

Finished headbands for purchase here: Boho Crochet Headband

5.  Emma Ruffle Washcloth Set

Free Pattern (by yours truly): Emma Washcloth 

Pictured Yarn: Lily Sugar ‘N Cream in Rose Pink, Mod Green, Hot Purple, and Sunshine

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Crochet Dishcloths with Ruffles

I like girly, frilly, feminine things.  Pink and purple are my favorite colors, and I am a sucker for a ruffle.  So, I created this pattern to fit those criteria and brighten up my house a bit.  I like to choose three or four colors and make a set that coordinates.  This makes a really nice gift for a bridal shower, hostess, birthday, mother’s day, etc.  They work up larger, but because they are made with cotton, they’ll shrink once they go through the washer and dryer.

Purchase a complete set here: Emma Washcloth Set

I hope you enjoy making some of these things this Spring.  If you do, I’d love to see your work in the comments.  Also, feel free to share any of your favorite go-to patterns for the Spring season.

-Jeris

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Charlie Hat – Free Knitting Pattern

Charlie Hat – Free Knitting Pattern in Four Sizes

The Charlie hat came about after my son, Charlie, requested a hat with “lots of colors.”  He wanted blue, green, black, red, pink, and so on.  Well, I didn’t have a yarn that had every color requested in my stash, and I didn’t feel like switching colors a million times on this project, so I decided to use the multi-colored Peruvian variety of Red Heart Super Saver.

Now, I know what some knitters will be thinking.  Red Heart?  Really?  That itchy, stiff, cheap yarn?  I hear you.  I really do.  I love a nice, soft, luxury wool, preferably hand-dyed locally.  However, that is not always the best choice for every project.  I have two small boys, and they are messy.  They outgrow things, drag them through the mud, and grind them under wet boots.  So, sometimes I need a yarn that is washable and inexpensive.  So, Red Heart it is.  What I discovered is that it really isn’t too stiff, and it doesn’t itch.  If you want to soften it up, run it through the wash.  It helps immensely.  Also, the Peruvian print is really striking knit up.

If you don’t want to use Red Heart, that is no problem.  You can substitute your favorite worsted-weight yarn and have at it.  This is a very classic hat, simple ribbing, standard fit (a break from the slouchy hats), and it looks great in so many different yarns.  Personally, I have a skein of gorgeous Malabrigo in a vibrant pink that I plan to use for this little baby.

The pattern is available in four sizes.  I have tested each of them, and they fit great.  Really, the ribbing allows a lot of give.  It is also easy to customize, so if you do want a slouchier style, just add 1-2 inches to the stated length before the decrease.

I really hope you enjoy this hat as much as I do.  It is my new go-to beanie.

Charlie Hat – Free Knitting Pattern

Materials:

Worsted weight yarn (1 236-yard skein made a toddler, child, and adult hat)

Size 8 Circular Knitting Needles (16″)

Size 8 Double-Pointed Knitting Needles (Set of 4)

Yarn needle

Gauge:

Approximately 17 rows and 19 stitches (un-stretched ribbing)=4″

Sizes:

Baby-0-12 months

Toddler-1-3 years

Child-3-10 years

Adult

Instructions:

Baby:

Using the long-tail cast-on method, cast on 60 sts. with the circular needles.

Join to work in the round, being careful not to twist the stitches.

Round 1: Work (K1, P2) around.

Repeat Round 1 until your piece measures 5.5″ from the beginning.

Begin decreasing:

Decrease Round 1: (K1, P2tog) around. (40 sts)

Decrease Round 2: (K1, P1) around. (40 sts)

Switch to double-pointed knitting needles.

Decrease Round 3: (K2, K2tog) around. (30 sts)

Decrease Round 4: Knit around. (30 sts)

Decrease Round 5: (K1, K2 tog) around. (20 sts)

Decrease Round 6: (K2tog) around. (10 sts)

Decrease Round 7: (K2tog) around. (5 sts)

Finishing:

Cut yarn, leaving a long tail.

Using the yarn needle, draw the tail through the remaining stitches, pull tight, and secure.

Weave in the loose ends with the yarn needle.

Toddler:

Using the long-tail cast-on method, cast on 66 sts. with the circular needles.

Join to work in the round, being careful not to twist the stitches.

Round 1: Work (K1, P2) around.

Repeat Round 1 until your piece measures 7″ from the beginning.

Begin decreasing:

Decrease Round 1: (K1, P2tog) around. (44 sts)

Decrease Round 2: (K1, P1) around. (44 sts)

Switch to double-pointed knitting needles.

Decrease Round 3: (K2, K2tog) around. (33 sts)

Decrease Round 4: Knit around. (33 sts)

Decrease Round 5: (K1, K2 tog) around. (22 sts)

Decrease Round 6: Knit around. (22 sts)

Decrease Round 7: (K2tog) around. (11 sts)

Finishing:

Cut yarn, leaving a long tail.

Using the yarn needle, draw the tail through the remaining stitches, pull tight, and secure.

Weave in the loose ends with the yarn needle.

Child:

Using the long-tail cast-on method, cast on 72 sts. with the circular needles.

Join to work in the round, being careful not to twist the stitches.

Round 1: Work (K1, P2) around.

Repeat Round 1 until your piece measures 8″ from the beginning.

Begin decreasing:

Decrease Round 1: (K1, P2tog) around. (48 sts)

Decrease Round 2: (K1, P1) around. (48 sts)

Decrease Round 3: (K2, K2tog) around. (36 sts)

Decrease Round 4: Knit around. (36 sts)

Switch to double-pointed knitting needles.

Decrease Round 5: (K1, K2 tog) around. (24 sts)

Decrease Round 6: Knit around. (24 sts)

Decrease Round 7: (K2tog) around. (12 sts)

Finishing:

Cut the yarn, leaving a long tail.

Using the yarn needle, draw the tail through the remaining stitches, pull tight, and secure.

Weave in the loose ends with the yarn needle.

Adult:

Using the long-tail cast-on method, cast on 78 sts. with the circular needles.

Join to work in the round, being careful not to twist the stitches.

Round 1: Work (K1, P2) around.

Repeat Round 1 until your piece measures 9″ from the beginning.

Begin decreasing:

Decrease Round 1: (K1, P2tog) around. (52 sts)

Decrease Round 2: (K1, P1) around. (52 sts)

Decrease Round 3: (K2, K2tog) around. (39 sts)

Decrease Round 4: Knit around. (39 sts)

Switch to double-pointed knitting needles.

Decrease Round 5: (K1, K2 tog) around. (26 sts)

Decrease Round 6: Knit around. (26 sts)

Decrease Round 7: (K2tog) around. (13 sts)

Finishing:

Cut the yarn, leaving a long tail.

Using the yarn needle, draw the tail through the remaining stitches, pull tight, and secure.

Weave in the loose ends with the yarn needle.

If you have any questions about the pattern, please feel free to ask!  Again, I hope you enjoy!

 

 

 

Mary Shelley

The Writers Collection: A Series of Knitting and Crochet Patterns

Mary Shelley
Mary Shelley

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is one of my all-time favorite novels.  It is a Gothic masterpiece, and the story of how it came about is equally intriguing.  Mary Shelley, at age 19, wrote the novel during a ghost story writing challenge with Percy Shelley and Lord Byron.  The story came to her in a dream one night at Villa Diodati in Switzerland.  The backstory of the novel’s origin and the novel itself have always captivated me, and I thought I’d use them as inspiration to launch my Writers collection of knitting and crochet patterns.

The Writers Collection is a series of designs I’ve created inspired by some of my favorite authors, spanning many genres and time periods.  The collection is not meant to replicate the styles worn by those writers or that of characters from their work.  Instead, they are inspired by those authors.  The colors, stitches, and yarns are selected to capture the essence of that author’s work, as I perceive it.  This collection is important to me because it combines two of my favorite things: Literature and Fiber Arts.

The Writers Collection will include designs inspired by the following seven writers:

1.  Mary Shelley

2.  Louise Erdrich

3.  Walt Whitman

4.  Edgar Allan Poe

5.  Jane Austen

6.  Ernest Hemingway

7.  J.K. Rowling

This list is not, of course, a complete list of all writers that inspire me.  It is a snippet of some that have left a major impact.  I will share a bit about a favorite work from each Writer when I publish the pattern that writer has inspired.  That way, you can choose to read that work before you start knitting or crocheting.  Or, better yet, you can listen to the audiobook while you knit.  I hope you enjoy the patterns.

First up: The Shelley Cowl Knitting Pattern, found here.

Walt Whitman
Walt Whitman
Jane Austen
Jane Austen
Free baby knitting pattern.

Newborn Baby Hat to Knit – Free Knitting Pattern

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Looking for a quick, classic handmade baby shower gift?  Want an easy knitting pattern to donate to charity?  Look no further.

The following pattern is one I designed years ago, originally published on Suite101.com.  I have decided to add it here, as well, where I can update some of the information and give further suggestions for customization.
This teeny tiny newborn hat is made with soft acrylic yarn and size US 7 knitting needles. It is a great beginner’s baby knitting project because it is relatively easy but also requires the use of a few more complicated techniques that beginners should learn, such as decreasing stitches.

This pattern is written for flat needles, but it can easily be adapted to knitting in the round.

IMG_5653Materials:

  • 1 Skein Light Weight Yarn
  • Size US 7 Knitting Needles
  • Yarn Needle

Gauge:

Approximately 18 stitches and 24 st st rows = 4 inches.

Abbreviations Used in This Pattern:

  • R – Row
  • K – Knit
  • P – Purl
  • tog – together
  • sts – stitches

Instructions:

  • Cast on 60 sts
  • R1-R10: (K1, P1) across for brim
  • R11: Knit
  • R12: Purl
  • Repeat rows 11 and 12 6 more times. (24 rows completed)
  • R25: (K4, K2 tog) across
  • R26: Purl
  • R 27: (K3, K2 tog) across
  • R 28: Purl
  • R29: (K2, K2 tog) across
  • R30: Purl
  • R31: (K1, K2 tog) across
  • R32: Purl
  • R33: (K2 tog) across

Instructions for Finishing

  • Cut the yarn, leaving a long tail.
  • Using the yarn needle, draw the yarn through the remaining stitches on the needle.
  • Pull tightly and secure the yarn.
  • Sew the back seam of the hat with the right sides facing.  This is called mattress stitch, which you can learn here.
  • Sew in the loose ends.

Variations on Newborn Baby Hat and Instructions for Larger Sizes

For a neat variation on the newborn hat, consider making the brim in a different color than the rest of the hat. To do so, simply change to a new color of yarn after row 10. Try making the cuff a contrasting color to the rest of the hat for a funky look, or simply make the cuff a neutral color, such as white or grey, and then make the rest of the hat in a more vibrant color.  Another option is to add a pom-pom to the top.

For a larger hat, use size 8 knitting needles. The number of cast on stitches may also be increased to fit a larger baby’s head. Keep in mind, however, that the number of stitches cast on are a multiple of 6. Likewise, if increasing the width of the hat, it may also be necessary to increase the length. If so, simply add a few additional rows of stockinette stitch after row 24 before the decreasing begins.

Donate this Hat to Charity

One of the coolest things about providing free patterns is seeing how they are used by others.  This pattern, in particular, has been adapted in numerous ways.  One Ravelry user, along with her knitting group, knit heaps of these hats to donate to hospitals.  That just makes me so happy!  I have donated finished products, as well, to the organization Bundles of Love here in Minnesota.  So, if you decide to knit some of these for a charity, be sure to let me know how it goes.🙂

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Yarn Skeins

Understanding Yarn Weight: Selecting the Correct Yarn for Knitting and Crochet Projects

When I was new to knitting, I was so excited to get started on a project that I just jumped right in.  I didn’t bother to make sure I had the “proper” materials.  I had needles.  I had yarn.  I was good to go.  So, why did my first hat turn out WAY too big?  Why did some of the stitches seem way too tight?  Way too loose?

I began digging a little deeper into the details of the patterns.  First, I saw that I was to use a certain needle size.  Okay.  That is easy enough.  Then, I noticed that there was a specific yarn suggested, along with a number and a weight name (something bizarre, called “worsted weight”).  Then, there was a “gauge” I was supposed to check once I had the right needle size and yarn weight.  My gauge should be roughly the same as the gauge listed on the pattern, and that will ensure the right size and shape of the finished product.

Ah.  Now I knew I needed to slow down and gather all of the right tools in order to successfully create the finished product.  That meant I had to figure out what all of the symbols and numbers on the yarn wrapper meant.  In an effort to make this process easier for any beginning knitters and crocheters, I have provided the following quick “cheat sheet” of sorts.  For now, I am focusing on yarn weight, which is (in my opinion) the first thing to look for on a yarn label.

Yarn Weight

Whenever I begin a project, the first step in selecting the right yarn is looking at the weight.  When working from a pattern, a yarn weight is specified in order for you to obtain the correct gauge, and therefore a correctly-sized project.

There are, as of now, eight yarn weight categories.  They range in number from 0-7, 0 being the smallest, lightest yarn, and 7 being the thickest, bulkiest.  If your pattern indicates a “4” yarn weight, you can almost always choose any yarn, as long as it has a “4” on the yarn wrapper.  The type of yarn will impact that to some degree, as well, but it is important to start with the right weight.

Here are the eight yarn categories, by number and name.  I have also included some of my favorite yarns in some of those weights, just for fun.🙂

  • 0-Lace
  • 1-Super Fine
  • 2-Fine
  • 3-Light: I like Bernat Softee Baby Ombre
  • 4-Medium: I like Lion Brand Heartland
  • 5-Bulky: I like Lion Brand Homespun
  • 6-Super Bulky: I like Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick and Quick
  • 7-Jumbo

Typically, the larger the yarn weight, the larger the knitting needles or crochet hook used.  Larger yarn and needles/hooks work up faster, creating bigger, chunkier stitches.  Smaller needles/hooks and yarn weight create more delicate, tighter stitches.  All the details about each yarn weight, including the yarns that fall into each category type, can be found at the Craft Yarn Council’s Standard Yarn Weight System page.

Keep in mind that other factors will impact the gauge of your project, including how tightly or loosely you stitch and the material of yarn (such as wool, cotton, etc.).  Once you have a handle on selecting the right yarn weight for your project, you will have more things to consider, including the care instructions and yardage of the yarn, but this will be a good place to start.

How to crochet a dishcloth

Emma Washcloth – Free Crochet Pattern

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Emma washcloth free crochet pattern

Ready for an easy, cute, and functional free crochet pattern?  I am pleased to introduce the Emma Washcloth!

IMG_5388 How to crochet a dishcloth

I wanted to begin my free pattern series with something quick and fun, something that you can keep for yourself or give as a gift.  Easily customizable, this washcloth design will quickly become one of your go-to projects (it has for me). I couldn’t settle on one color combination, so I made several.  I love the idea of mixing and matching colors, and I opted for a set of spring and summer-friendly shades to brighten up any home.

What makes this design really special is the feminine detail of the scalloped border, adding a decorative twist to a classic washcloth.  Using a contrasting color for the border provides a whimsical, modern feel to a vintage-inspired design. This pattern is appropriate for beginners of crochet, and it can be completed quickly by those more experienced.  I recommend using Lily Sugar ‘n Cream yarn, though any cotton, worsted weight yarn will do.  The colors pictured are: Mod Green, Hot Purple, Rose Pink, and Yellow.  One 120-Yard skein will create a center of one washcloth and the border of another (with a little to spare).

And now, the pattern:

Emma Washcloth – Free Crochet Pattern Materials:

  • 100% Cotton Yarn, Worsted Weight in Two Different Colors
  • H-8 Crochet Hook
  • Scissors
  • Yarn Needle

Gauge: While gauge isn’t important for this project, I’ll let you know mine anyway. 12 HDC = 4 inches 8 HDC Rows = 4 inches

Finished Dimensions: Approximately 11.5 inch square

Difficulty: Easy

Instructions:

With First Color, ch 31.

Row 1: HDC in 3rd ch from hook and in each ch across. (29 HDC)

Row 2: Ch 2.  Turn.  Work 1 HDC in each HDC across. (29 HDC)

Repeat Row 2 until the piece measures 10.5 inches.  Turn, joining Second Color in the last loop of the last stitch.

Border: Chain 1.  Turn the work so you are working along the side.  3 SC in the corner.  SC evenly along the side to the next corner.  You will have approximately 28 SC stitches along each side.  3 SC in the corner.  Continue working around the piece, spacing SC around evenly and 3 SC in each corner.  Join with a ss to the first SC stitch.  You will have roughly 116 SC stitches, though it is okay to have a few more or less, as long as you have a multiple of 4. Ch 1.  (1 SC, skip 1, 4 DC in next st, skip 1) around.  Join with ss.

Cut yarn and fasten off.

Weave in all loose ends.

I hope you enjoy!  Post pictures if you decide to complete this project.  I’d love to see what you come up with.🙂

Also, if you don’t want to make your own, you can purchase the entire set from SwanJay shop.

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