Easy Crocheted Checkerboard Cowl Scarf

I was aiming for a checkerboard look with this pattern. It was pure experimentation that turned out looking better than expected, with its interesting texture. It’s as easy as crocheting 5 single crochets, then chaining 5, and alternating your 5 sc and ch-5 back and forth for the entire length of your piece, turning, and then repeating the same steps for another 4 rows (to make 5 rows). Then you simply reverse the process over the next 5 rows by starting with ch-5 followed by 5 sc and continuing across the length of your piece. Switching back and forth for 5 rows gives you the checkerboard effect.

You can make the piece larger by using multiples of five. It’s crocheted in one piece, with the ends later seamed together to form the cowl.

So, here we go:

CHECKERBOARD COWL SCARF

MATERIALS
Worsted weight yarn (14 oz / 400g / 867 yds / 792m) one ball Burgundy
6.5 mm crochet hook
Yarn needle for weaving in ends

ABBREVIATIONS: sc (single crochet); sp (space); sk (skip); rep (repeat); ch-sp (chain space)

INSTRUCTIONS:
Chain (ch) 115 + 2.

Row 1: Ch 1, sc in same sp and in each ch across. (115 sc) Turn.

THE FIRST 5 ROWS

Row 2: Ch 1, sc in same sp and in each of next 4 sc, ch 5 and sk next 5 sc, *sc in next 5 sc, ch 5, sk next 5 sc, rep from * across and end row with sc in each of last 5 sc. Turn.

Row 3 to Row 5: Rep Row 2.

Row 6: Ch 6 (5 + 1 extra), sk next 4 sc, *sc in first ch-sp of ch-5 (from Row 5) and in each of the next 4 ch-sps, ch 5, sk next 5 sc, rep from * across to last remaining ch-5, sc in each of the 5 ch-sps, ch 5, sk last 4 sc and sl st in last (5th) sc to join. Turn.

Row 7 to Row 10: Ch 6, *sc in each of next 5 sc, ch 5, rep from * across, ch 5, sk last 4 sc and sl st in last (5th) sc.

Row 11: Ch 1, sc in same sp and in next 4 ch-sps, ch 5, sk 5 sc, *sc in each of next 5 ch-sps, ch 5, sk 5 sc, rep from * across and end row with sc in each of last 5 ch-sps. Turn.

Row 12 to Row 15: Ch 1, sc in same sp and in next 4 sc, ch 5, *sc in each of next 5 sc, ch 5, rep from * across to last 5 sc, sc in each of last 5 sc. Turn.

Row 16: Ch 6, sk next 4 sc, *sc in first ch-sp of ch-5 (from Row 15) and in each of the next 4 ch-sps, ch 5, sk next 5 sc, rep from * across to last remaining ch-5, sc in each of the 5 ch-sps, ch 5, sk last 4 sc and sl st in last sc to join. Turn.

Row 17 to Row 20: Ch 6, *sc in each of next 5 sc, ch 5; rep from * across, ch 5, sk last 4 sc and sl st in last (5th) sc.

Continue alternating pattern every 5 rows until your piece is desired length. Mine measured approx. 27″ wide x 10″ deep. Once finished, seam ends together by slip stitching on the wrong side. I also did a final row of sc around both top and bottom openings for a nice, clean finish. I never bothered blocking, but you may want to.

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L’il grab-n-go crocheted envelope purses

bag_brown & cream envelope & otis

Otis loves the colours I used for this purse! 🙂

These little bags are ideal for those times when you need to run an errand and just want to grab your debit card or cash, car keys and phone, without having to lug your entire purse along.
pursesSo simple to make, you just (1) crochet a granny square, (2) fold the corners to make an “envelope” shape, and (3) stitch up the seams. To finish, you just crochet your desired length of shoulder or around-the-neck strap, and then attach a button on the front for fastening.
bag_brown & cream envelope3Depending on the tightness of your stitches, you may want to line the square, in which case you will simply cut a fabric square in a complimentary colour, the same size as the granny square, and sew it onto the wrong side before you do your folding and seaming.
bag_envelope taupe & cream2Use a small crochet hook to make a tiny purse, or increase your hook size to increase the size of your square. No matter the size, it’s a make-it-in-an-evening kind of project.
bag_navy envelope2There are countless designs online for crochet square patterns, so the endless choices mean that you can have a lot of fun making these purses in just about every colour imaginable. I just used a basic granny square to make most of the bags here.
bag_rainbow envelope2My mom and I are both major Toronto Blue Jays baseball fans, so I just had to make a Blue Jays bag using their signature colours for my mom to carry to games down at the Rogers Center. For the logo embellishment, I traced the Jays logo onto a piece of white fabric, coloured it in using Sharpie markers, and then stitched it onto the bag. I was so pleased with the results that I plan to make another one for myself. I’m sure that no matter what team you’re cheering for, you can use their team colours to make a cute bag for yourself.
bag_blue jays2If you want to use the same design that I used to crochet my Blue Jays bag, you’ll find the pattern called Half-n-Half 12” Square, by Melinda Miller at this Ravelry link: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/half-n-half—12-square (Thanks for sharing, Melinda!) It’s a really flexible pattern—she’s used it to make a variety of different-looking squares just by changing up the colour sequences.
bag_blue jays1

Colorful and cute, fast and easy—Crocheted Pincushions

pincushion_rosie & tiny squares1If you want a really quick, easy and fun project to work on when you need a break away from a large project, try your hand at one of these little pincushions. They’re a great way to use up scrap yarn, and they also make sweet gifts for your stitching pals!

So simple…

PRETTY PINCUSHIONS
Materials for both versions
Yarn: various colours of Bernat Handicrafter cotton
Crochet hook: 5 mm
Bit of Fiberfill stuffing
Yarn needle for weaving in ends

pincushion_rosieROSIE PINCUSHION
Pincushion front:
Chain (ch) 14

Row 1: single crochet (sc) in second ch from hook and in each ch across. Turn.

Row 2: ch 1; sc in same space; sc in each sc across. Turn

Repeat Row 2 five more times, or until you’ve got an even square. Fasten off and weave in ends.

Pincushion back: Repeat above (I used a different color for the back, just to change things up.)

Take your two squares and place the wrong sides together (right sides facing out). Use a contrasting color of yarn and sc to seam the squares together (this kills two birds with one stone—seams the squares together plus adds a pretty border around the edges). Once three sides have been seamed, stuff with a bit of Fiberfill, then continue to seam the last side closed.

Crochet a couple of little roses and leaves (lots of patterns available online!) and sew them to the top to decorate your pincushion.

pincushion_tiny squaresTINY SQUARES PINCUSHION
Using different colors of the same yarn, make four two-round granny squares. Mine were about 1-1/2” squares.

Then seam two strips of two squares together using the same border/seaming instructions as above. Next, seam the two strips together along the non-bordered sides.

Set your square of tiny grannies aside, and make a backing square in a contrasting color.

Then, place the wrong sides of your squares together (right sides facing out), and seam edges together/stuff with fiberfill as per the instructions for the first pincushion.

All done! Have fun making them in all the colors of the rainbow. For those of you with kids or grandkids, they would also make adorable cushions for Barbie dolls!
pincushion_rosie & tiny squares2

Crocheted hats, hats and more hats!

hat_cocoa mocha1I had an obsession with making hats this winter, thanks to a gorgeous pattern I discovered at the awesome Cre8tion Crochet site. The link below will take you to the pattern:

http://cre8tioncrochet.com/2014/12/crochet-slouch-hat-ombre/

hat_pastel mint cream & peach1It’s called the Grayscale Ombre Slouch, and I so loved working on the pattern, I decided to make it in a variety of different colours. The colour combinations you can use are endless, and the hat is easy enough to whip up in an evening.
The pattern at Cre8tion Crochet offers instructions for toddler, child and adult. The ones I made are all adult sized.

I also made an infinity scarf to match one of my hats (pictured), and the pattern is below if you’d like to make one.

hat & infinity_neopolitan lace1Blush Pink Infinity Scarf

Materials:
Ball of worsted weight yarn
5.5 mm hook

Shell stitch: (dc, ch 1, dc, ch 1, dc) in same stitch

Pattern:
Ch 44.

Row 1: Dc in 3rd ch from hook; *ch 4, skip 4 chs, dc in next ch; repeat from * across.

Row 2: Ch 2; (dc, ch 1, dc) in same st; shell stitch in each dc across; (dc, ch 1, dc) in last dc.

Row 3: Ch 2; dc in same st; *ch 4; dc in next center dc of next shell; repeat from * to last dc; dc in last dc.

Repeat Rows 2 and 3 until desired length.

Bring two ends together and seam closed on wrong side to make infinity. Edge either side of scarf with two rows of sc, for a finished look.

Y’all check out my new crocheted shawl!

shawl1

I found the pattern at the awesome Elk Studio site http://www.elkstudiohandcraftedcrochetdesigns.com/2014/06/23/dixie-charm-a-free-summer-crochet-shawl-pattern/, where they share a ton of beautiful free patterns for crocheters. This shawl is called “Dixie Charm” and it was an easy pattern to follow, fun to work on, with great results.

I found the yarn at Hobby Lobby when I was in Florida. It’s appropriately called “I Love This Yarn!” in Autumn Stripe. The shawl used two 252-yard balls. It’s a soft easy-to-work-with yarn that’s reasonably priced. I sure wish we had Hobby Lobby stores here in Ontario. I love that store!

The shawl looks really great paired with an olive-green sweater.
shawl2

Crocheted hat square motifs made into a sweater!

I’ve been a crochet-a-holic for a little over four years and now that I’m in the groove, I like to switch things up a bit. Last year I discovered a hat pattern on the Lion Brand site that incorporates the prettiest square motifs, so I made this hat.hat & scarf_grey beige copy

The motif was so much fun to make that I decided I wanted to do more with it. The image of a sweater popped into my mind, so I chose a larger hook and set about making a bunch of squares that I could lay out into some semblance of a basic sweater. Below, you’ll see the results as well as some step-by-step info in case you want to try making your own version.
Donna’s Hat Motif Sweater
Here’s the link to the original Squares Hat pattern at the Red Heart website, but I’ve also repeated the square pattern below for your convenience: https://www.redheart.com/files/patterns/pdf/WR1621.pdf

yarn

Materials:

✗ Lion Brand’s Vanna’s Choice yarn, 2 balls of 860-400 Oatmeal and 5 balls of 860-403 Barley

âś— P/10.00 mm crochet hook; yarn needle

âś— Each square measures approx. 7 inches x 7 inches

âś— Make 28 squares in total: 9 squares for sweater front, 9 for sweater back, 1 for each shoulder, 4 for each sleeve.

âś—Sweater is about a medium size fit. (To enlarge, use rows of four squares for the body instead of rows of three, and use rows of three squares for the sleeves instead of rows of two.)

SQUARE:

Using Oatmeal: Ch 8; join with a sl st to form a ring.

Rnd 1: Ch 1, 16 sc in ring; join with a sl st in first sc.

Rnd 2: Ch 4, [dc in next sc, ch 1] 15 times; join with a sl st in 3rd ch of ch-4. Fasten off and attach Barley yarn.

Rnd 3: Ch 1, sc in same st as joining, * 2 sc in next sp, ch 3, skip next dc, 2 sc in next sp **, sc in next dc; rep from * around, end at **; join in first sc.

Rnd 4: Ch 1, * 9 dc in next ch-3 sp, skip next 2 sc, sl st in next sc, (4 dc, ch 3, 4 dc) all in next ch-3 sp, skip next 2 sc **, sl st in next sc; rep from * around, end at **; join in first ch-1.

Rnd 5: Sl st in first 4 dc, [sl st in 5th dc of 9-dc group, ch 5, (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc, ch 3, 2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) all in next ch-3 sp, ch 5, skip next 9 sts] 4 times, join in 5th sl st. Fasten off.

Once you have made 28 squares, follow the construction layout as shown in photos below.

(1) Working with 18 squares, use a yarn needle to fasten the squares side-by-side into rows of three (see red box). (Make sure you are working on the wrong side of the sweater during construction. Note: To fasten squares I used a plain sewing stitch and just did my best to match up and stitch the chains together.)

(2) A block of nine squares make up the front (see purple box below) and another block of nine makes up the back. So sew together each row of three, one row at a time until you’ve made a block of nine. This is your front. Repeat the same process with your other three rows of three to make another block of nine, which is your back.

(3) You will use your two shoulder squares to attach the front block to the back block (see green boxes below). Still working on the wrong side, sew a shoulder square to either side of the top row of your front block. Then fasten the other end of each shoulder square to the back block. The middle opening is your neckline.sweater sample1

(4) As you can see in the photo below, I finished the neckline with one row of single crochet in oatmeal, then because I found it to be a little bit too wide for me, I gathered it slightly by weaving a length of oatmeal yarn around the stitches and then pulling it and tying a small bow.neckline

(5) Now, it’s time to work on the sleeves. Each sleeve is comprised of a block of four squares fastened together into two rows of two. So using your batch of eight squares, stitch together two squares at a time so you end up with a stack of four rows of two.

(6) Then take two of your rows of two and fasten them together into a block of four squares. This is your first sleeve. Repeat again using your other stack of two rows to make your second sleeve.

(7) The photo below left shows where you will attach the first sleeve (again, always working on the wrong side of the project). Take one of your sleeves (see red box) and line up the center (midpoint between the two sleeve squares) with the center of the shoulder motif (see green line). Use either markers or safety pins to attach securely, then stitch the sleeve to the body. Repeat the exact process by attaching your second sleeve to the other side of your sweater body.sweater sample2

(8) The photo below right is what the sweater will look like after both sleeves have been attached. The red line indicates where you will fold the sweater to match up where the blue lines are shown. The blue lines indicate where you will sew the body and sleeves together to complete the sweater.sweater sample3

(9) The photo below shows the sleeves and sides stitched together. The red lines show the areas that were sewn together. I left an opening on either side where the green lines are. I wanted it to fit tightly to the waist and then have a “tunic” effect at the bottom, with the slits on either side. To finish the edges, I single crocheted in unblocked sweateroatmeal around the entire bottom, including up and down each slit.

(10) I also finished both sleeve edges with one round of single crochet in oatmsleeve edging2eal.sleeve edging1

 

 
(11) I used the steam setting on my iron to gently press it. Here are some photos of the finished sweater. Not great pictures—hubby wasn’t around and it’s not easy taking full-length selfies!!!sweater_brown motifs2 copysweater_brown motifs1 copysweater_brown motifs3 copy

 

 

 

 

Last but not least—my colour inspiration: my best pal, Otis!

my color inspiration otis

The bottom line is that you can make a sweater out of pretty much any motif you like. It’s just a matter of making as many of them as you need to fit a basic layout in your size and then attaching them together. Squares are the easiest but you can also use hexagons and even circles. There are no boundaries to your imagination.

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