Going Green – a free pattern

I think it is fair to say that we have all got a pretty good idea on how we are polluting our planet and that each and every one of us needs to wise up and do more to help save it. In today’s throwaway society we all need to start thinking about how we can make a difference in our everyday lives to minimise the pollution of our land and seas by cutting down on landfill rubbish. Everyone can do their bit, there are lots of ways to help and no matter how small, everything counts.

One area that has a huge impact on the amount of rubbish ending up in landfill and our waterways is the personal care industry. Most items are sold in plastic containers that are often non-recyclable and most wipes and cleansing pads contain polyester, polypropylene, wood pulp and a cocktail of plastics, making them non-biodegradable.

Swapping your single-use, disposable wipes and cotton pads for a more sustainable alternative will mean you are making a difference, both to your skin and the planet. Isn’t it time that we cared for the planet as much as we do for our skin. 

You can of course purchase some reusable cleansing pads; they are becoming more and more available at a cost. If you are reading this likelihood is you are a crafter, in which case you can easily make some by following my easy instructions for these crochet pads using organically grown cotton. Of course you would want to store them somewhere too, so why not make the storage pouch at the same time.

All you need is some DK cotton yarn, knitting needles for the pouch, crochet hook for the pads and some of your time. A small amount of your time that will make a big difference to the beautiful planet that we call home.

Enjoy 🙂

Materials:

50g Eco Cotton DK for the bag (I used Nurturing Fibres Eco Cotton DK)

Small amount of cotton fabric for the lining

15cm Zip

4mm knitting needles

Matching size cable needle

Small amounts of Eco Cotton DK for each of the crochet pads (UK terms)

4mm crochet hook

Darning needle

Simple Pad

Ch5, ss to form a ring.

Rnd 1: Ch1 (does not count as st), 12dc into ring, ss to join.

Rnd 2: Ch2 (counts as htr), htr in same st, 2htr in each st around, ss to join. (24htr)

Rnd 3: Ch2 (counts as htr), htr in same st, *2htr in next st, 1htr in next st; rep. from * around, ss to join. (36htr)

Rnd 4: Ch2 (counts as htr), 1htr in each st around, ss to join. (36htr)

Rnd 5: Ch1 (counts as dc), 1dc in same st, 1dc in each of next 2sts, *2dc in next st, 1dc in each of next 2sts; rep. from * around, ss to join. (48dc)

Fasten off and weave in ends.

Puff Pad

Ch5, ss to form a ring.

Rnd 1: Ch1 (does not count as st), 12dc into ring, ss to join.

Rnd 2: Ch1 (does not count as st), work 1 3tr-puff in each dc around, ss to join. (12 puffs)

Rnd 3: Ch1 (does not count as st), *1dc on top of puff, 1dc in space between puffs; rep. from * around, ss to join. (24dc)

Rnd 4: Ch1 (does not count as st), work 1 3tr-puff in each dc around, ss to join. (24 puffs)

Rnd 5: as rnd 3 (48dc)

Fasten off and weave in ends.

Note: 3tr Puff = (yarn over hook, insert hook into stitch, yarn over hook, pull up a loop) 3 times into same stitch. You have 7 loops on hook. Yarn over hook again and pull through all 7 loops. Ch1 to secure stitch.

Front Post Pad

Ch5, ss to form a ring.

Rnd 1: Ch3 (counts as tr), work 11tr into ring, ss to join. (12tr)

Rnd 2: Ch3 (counts as tr), 1Fptr in same st, work 1tr and 1Fptr into each st around, ss to join. (12tr +12Fptr)

Rnd 3: Ch3 (counts as tr), 1tr in same st, 1Fptr around Fptr from prev rnd, *2tr in next st, 1Fptr around Fptr from prev rnd; rep. from * around, ss to join. (24tr + 12Fptr)

Rnd 4: Ch1 (counts as dc), 1dc in next st, 2dc in next st, *1dc in each of next 2sts, 2dc in next st; rep. from * around, ss to join.

Fasten off and weave in ends.

The Bag

Cast on 41 stitches and work in Moss stitch for approx. 14cm – incr. 1 stitch in last row.

Next: Work 13sts in moss stitch, 16sts in stocking stitch, 13sts in moss stitch for 8 rows.

Next row cable row (RS): Work 13sts moss stitch, slip 4sts to cable needle (cn) to front, k4, k4 from cn, slip 4sts to cn to back, k4, k4 from cn, work 13sts in moss stitch.

Next row: Work 13sts in moss stitch, P16, work 13sts in moss stitch.

Next: Work 13sts in moss stitch, 16sts in stocking stitch, 13sts in moss stitch for 10 rows.

Next row cable row (RS): Work 13sts in moss stitch, K4, slip 2sts to cn to back, k2, k2 from cn, slip 2sts to cn to front, k2, k2 from cn, k4, work 13sts in moss stitch.

Next row: Work 13sts in moss stitch, P16, work 13sts in moss stitch.

Next: Work 13sts in moss stitch, 16sts in stocking stitch, 13sts in moss stitch for 8 rows.

Next row cable row (RS): Work 13sts in moss stitch, K4, slip 2sts to cn to front, k2, k2 from cn, slip 2sts to cn to back, k2, k2 from cn, k4, work 13sts in moss stitch.

Next row: Work 13sts in moss stitch, P16, work 13sts in moss stitch.

Next: Work 13sts in moss stitch, 16sts in stocking stitch, 13sts in moss stitch for 10 rows.

Next row cable row (RS): Work 13sts in moss stitch, slip 4sts to cn to back, k4, k4 from cn, slip 4sts to cn to front, k4, k4 from cn, work 13sts in moss stitch.

Next row: Work 13sts in moss stitch, P16, work 13sts in moss stitch.

Next: Work 13sts in moss stitch, 16sts in stocking stitch, 13sts in moss stitch for 7 rows.

Next row (WS): Cast off.

Weave in all ends. Sew in the lining and the zip.

If you prefer to print a PDF document containing all these patterns you can do so. For a small fee to cover the cost of my time writing out the pattern it is available in my Ravelry store HERE.

Happy making! xo.

Bandana Cowl – A free pattern

Two weeks ago, when teaching at Emma’s Christmas Market, I discovered that her youngest daughter Polly had started to dye her own yarn. I was immediately taken by Polly’s eye for colour and could not resist purchasing a couple of hanks for a project.

Polly’s yarn can be found as part of The Little Grey Sheep website and is called Fluff & Stuff – Please take a look, I promise you, you will fall in love with her colours.

As soon as I got home from the weekend I wound my yarn and started knitting and here is what I made:

My Bandana Cowl 🙂 A soft and warm cowl which is the perfect last minute Christmas gift for a friend or make one for yourself during the festive days.

  • You will need:
  • 1 x Fluff & Stuff Cambric Wool – 100% British Wool – 60g/240m (I used colour Purple Rain)
  • 1 x Fluff & Stuff Fairy Way – 72% Kid Mohair/28% Silk – 50g/400m (I used colour Baby it’s cold outside)
  • 5mm Circular Needle – 80cm and 2 stitch markers
  • Hold Yarn double throughout

The Pattern:

Cast on 2sts and then knit these sts.

  • Row 1 (RS): Kf+b, sl1wyif
  • Row 2 (WS): K1, p1, sl1wyif
  • Row 3: Kf+b, k1, sl1wyif
  • Row 4: K1, p2, sl1wyif
  • Row 5: Kf+b, k2, sl1wyif (5sts)
  • Row 6: K1, p3, sl1wyif
  • Row 7: Kf+b, k to last st, sl1wyif
  • Row 8: K1, p to last st, sl1wyif
  • Repeat rows 7 and 8 until you have 65sts on your needle
  • Next row (RS): K to last st, place marker, kf+b, rotate work by 90 degrees and pick up + knit in the front loop only of each slipped 62sts (128sts total)
  • Join for knitting in the round, place a marker and continue:
  • Rnd 1: P to first marker, sm, p to end
  • Rnd 2: K2tog, k to 1st before next marker, kf+b, sm, kf+b, k to last 2sts, k2tog
  • Repeat rnds 1 and 2 another 11 times (12 ridges in total)
  • Work I-cord cast off as follows: Cast on 2sts, *k2, k2togtbl, move 3sts back from right needle to left needle; rep. from * until all sts have been cast off.
  • Fasten off and weave in all ends.

Enjoy the pattern and I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas. Thank you for being with me another year, all your support is greatly appreciated and never taken for granted.

Until soon, Heike xo

Crochet Nordic Wrist-Warmers

With Advent season in full swing and Christmas just around the corner, I have been busy getting ready, just like most of you.

Earlier in September my good friend Emma of The Little Grey Sheep invited me to take part in her Christmas open weekend from 6th to 8th December at her Farm in Hampshire. As many of you know, Emma and I have worked on a number of collaborations together and it’s is always a pleasure to visit the farm, so when Emma asked me to teach some crochet, I said yes immediately.

Over the last couple of weeks I have been working on some workshop preparation using Emma’s beautiful Hampshire 4ply yarn and I am looking forward to teaching this weekend, having fun meeting lots of yarn-lovers, eating delicious cake and getting into the festive spirit.

There is the option of learning how to crochet a traditional granny square or my variation on the African Square, as well as hearts and snowflakes.

I have also designed these wrist-warmers ready for the cold season. This is my little Christmas gift to you for being such lovely and loyal followers of my blog and other social media channels.

Keeping your wrists warm gives you warm hands and I hope you enjoy making them 🙂

They take not much yarn and can easily be made during a weekend. You can download the FREE PDF pattern by clicking this link HERE.

Wishing you all a very calm and relaxing advent season.

Until soon, Heike xo

Swatches, swatches, swatches

Hello friends,

Piling up around me are many little “Pröbchen” or Swatches as I find myself in a bit of an inspirational cloud. I have a project in my head but somehow I cannot find the right stitch/pattern, and even though I have done quite a few samples, the right thing has not yet evolved.

Swatching does however prepare me for upcoming and future projects, it’s the sort of process that makes you really stop and remind you that actually, you really love knitting. These little squares of wool might not mean that much at the moment, in time they will almost all grow into something beautiful and swatches really do play a big part in getting not only the stitch right in the design process, they are an absolute must for checking gauge, as that ultimately means a good fit will be achieved.

It can be tempting to skip knitting a tension (gauge) square and rush on into a project, but it is much safer to spend some time knitting the square than having to frog everything later on.

There is not set-in-stone way to do a tension swatch, but here is what I do:

Using the yarn and needles given in the instruction of the pattern you are going to knit, or if not sure yet, the instructions on the ball band, cast on at least 10 stitches more than you need to achieve. Work about 4 rows in moss stitch and then keeping the first and last 5 stitches in moss stitch work the remaining stitches in the stitch pattern you are going to use. Work like this until your little swatch measures about 5-6 inches and then finish off by working 4 rows in moss stitch. Cast off.

Alternatively you can go straight into working the stitch or colour pattern you are going to use, omitting the moss stitch border.

Wash, pin and then dry the swatch. Now measure the sample with the ruler centred on the fabric rather than touching the edges.

  1. Lay the knitting flat, without stretching it. Lay the ruler across the centre stitches and put a pin in the knitting at the start of the ruler and at the 10cm (4in) mark. Now count the number of stitches between the pins (including a half stitch if there is one).

2. Measure 10cm (4in) across the rows in the same way and count the number of rows between the pins.

If you have too few stitches to the 10cm (4in), then you can go down half a needle size to try and fix it, or if you have too many stitches try and go up half a needle size as this might give you the correct number of stitches.

The general rule is that one difference in needle size will create a difference of one stitch in the tension (gauge). If you are out by two stitches, you would need to alter the needles by two sizes up or down. This is an approximate rule and it is best to pay attention to what the designer asks for in the pattern you are knitting.

The most important thing to remember is how vital it is to knit a tension swatch if you are making something that really needs to fit you or the person you are making it for as otherwise the item could turn out too large or too small and all your time knitting could be wasted.

If swatches could talk, I bet they’d tell us all to chill out!

Until soon, Heike xo

Incantation – Colours of Skye

A couple of weeks ago I finally went to the Isle of Skye, a long dream come true. It is a very long way from where I live (11 hours drive) and October might not be the best time to choose for a visit because of the weather, but I did not care about any of this. I was smiling the whole way there, the scenery is breath taking, and I was smiling all the time during our stay. What is not to like when, as a yarn-lover, you are staying at a place where there is “access all hours” to beautiful yarn – Glenview B&b, the home of Shilasdair Yarns.

Glenview is the home of Kirsty, Simon and their two wonderful boys. This is where you can stay in comfortable, beautiful vintage inspired surroundings, have yoga sessions with Simon and sample his delicious food and most importantly, this is where Kirsty dyes up a storm in her dyeing shed and you can purchase her naturally dyed yarn. Be prepared to be dazzled by all the gorgeous shades making it difficult to choose.

During our days out on the Island I had totally fallen in love with the colours of Skye and finally settled on three shades for a shawl design I had been thinking of. Inspired by a photo I took I decided to make the shawl using Shilasdair Coara Sport/DK in shades Indigo & Madder, Madder and Birch.

What a joy it is to knit with this lofty squishy yarn! I found it hard to put down and in no time at all my vision of the design became reality and today I can introduce you to my finished Shawl.

I am calling it Incantation – a series of magic spells that the Isle of Skye bestowed onto me.

The shawl shape is reminiscent of wide open Glen’s and is achieved by working short rows, while simple eyelet detail remind of thousand droplets of the many Waterfalls on the Island. The I-cord finish keeps everything safe and in shape.

The pattern is available as an instant PDF download from my Ravelry store to which you can find a link on the right hand side of this page, or go straight there by clicking HERE. A 15% launch discount is available until midnight on Sunday 10th November (GMT) and will be automatically applied at the check-out.

I hope you like it as much as I have loved creating it.

xo.

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