Friday Freebie: Crochet Mittens

This week I’ve been looking through my “back catalogue”, the many and varied knitting and crochet designs which really need a revamp.

First up, these gorgeous mittens. I first blogged about them way back in 2011, I like to think my pattern writing and my photography have  come on a bit since then. But, the pattern still works and makes a great first project for a beginner.

I remember taking them on their first outing to Sugar Junction in Manchester, where fellow designer Emma Varnam declared them “Genius” and subsequently wrote a lovely post about them which you can read here. There’s a rather lovely photo of them on flickr too.

The pattern may be an old one, but that doesn’t mean it should be forgotten. I have plans to ” revamp” it. Those back loop only ridges lend themselves so well to frills and ruffles. What would you do to “revamp” them or make them truly your own? I’d love to know.


On the Hook: A New Blanket

granny ripple blanketA new year means a new blanket, and looking at instagram, facebook etc it seems like every knitter and crocheter has started a new project to brighten up a gloomy January.

This is a truly “upcycled” blanket, it began life as a ripple blanket and was meant for the teen to take away with her, but instead she chose a rather grubby, but much loved fluffy “blankie” and this one lay unloved across her bed at home.

I had in mind a granny square throw, but not being a lover of all that sewing up and weaving in of pesky ends I sought inspiration in Sarah Hazell’s new stitch dictionary. As soon as I saw her Granny Chevron pattern (number 184), I knew this was the answer.

Once you have made your initial chain and worked the set up row it’s very simple and very relaxing. The addition of some soft bobbles on the decreases makes for a pretty blanket and means that you do need to pay a bit of attention to your work.

There are lots of examples and free Granny Chevron / Ripple blankets available if you would prefer to follow a pattern. A favourite among my crochet pupils is this one from Very Pink Knits (which comes with a handy youtube video) and one you’ll see “pinned” a great deal is this one from The LazyHobbyhopper blog, which has very clear photo tutorials.

In true “stashbuster” fashion, I have vowed not to buy any yarn for this project. I know that won’t last, but for now I’m making do. Most of the yarns are “heavy” arans or chunky wool, but I’ve also used some 4 ply (held double) and a bit of dk.

It’s going to take a while to get this one finished as I’ve so much else on, I’ve popped all the yarn  into a basket so it will probably be my knit group project for a couple of weeks until it gets too big to carry easily. Then, ever the optimist, I shall sit outside with the growing blanket over my lap and watch for signs of spring!

Published Patterns: Baubles

Andrea crochet photos 056Just a little “Heads Up” that the new issue of Homemade with Love is in the shops right now. As always it’s full of fabulous crafting inspiration. This month I contributed my felted crochet baubles pattern. (Also pictured in the magazine is my tiny mistletoe, you can find the free pattern for that by clicking here).

Now that Bonfire Night is over, we can begin the festive countdown in earnest. It’s not too late to start making gifts for Christmas, not huge jumpers or men’s socks, but little gifts that show your appreciation. I’ll be back tomorrow with my round up of what’s inspiring me this year and if you’re interested in where to find my published work this month, all magazines are listed here.

Photo Credit: Andrea Ellison Photography

Free Pattern: The Variable Cowl

variable cowl 2

Sorry, this pattern has been moved (and updated), you can find it here. Also don’t forget to follow my Free Crochet Patterns board on Pinterest to keep up to date with all my latest free paterns.


When “The Teen” was at primary school we were always being asked to make items that could be sold at summer  fetes and Christmas fairs, my default setting was to make dozens of tiny  pom poms, attach sticky feet, googly eyes and a small paper banner with something appropriate written on it (you know the kind of thing I mean – they were very poular at one time). This little piece of frippery reminds me of those days.

I made him this morning, when I had what Mr T laughingly refers to as a “design and development morning” AKA me, sitting in the sunshine with hook and yarn when I am supposed to be hard at work on the current commissions.

I think he’d be ideal for any fund raising events you might have coming up.

Here’s how to make him:

You will need:

small scraps of dk yarn, a 3mm crochet hook, some toy stuffing and assorted buttons. A small piece of sticky back felt (sold cheaply in craft stores such as Hobbycraft), fabric glue.

Method (written in UK crochet terms)

With your chosen yarn and 3mm hook, make an adjustable ring

Round 1: 6 dc into ring (6 dc)

Round 2: *2 dc in each dc, rep from * to end (12 dc)

Round 3: *  1 dc  in each of first 2 dc, 2 dc in next dc, rep from * to end (18 dc)

Round 4: * 1 dc in each of first 3 dc, 2 dc in next dc, rep from * to end (24 dc)

Rounds 5 – 10: work 1 dc in each dc

Stuff firmly

Round 11: 1 dc in each dc (24 dc)

Add more stuffing if desired

Round 12: * 1 dc in each first 2 dc, dc2tog, rep from * to end (18 dc)

Round 13: 1 dc in each dc

Round 13: * 1 dc in each of first 2 dc, dc2tog, rep from * to end (12 dc)

Add more stuffing if needed, fasten off yarn and weave in ends. There will be a small gap in the bottom, to close this simply weave the yarn through the stitches to fasten off and draw tight.

Ears: With 3mm hook, rejoin yarn to any stitch on round 2, work 3 htr into same stitch, sl st into same st and fasten off yarn. repeat on the other side. make sure the  ears are level and the same size.

Wings (make 2): With a co-ordinating colour and 3 mm hook make an adjustable ring, work 6 dc into the ring. On the next round work 2 dc in each dc to last st, work 1 htr, 1 tr, 1 htr into last st, sl st into next st and fasten off yarn leaving a long tail for attaching to body.

Making up: Sew wings onto sides of body, sew buttons for eyes and beak. Cut a small heart shape from your sticky back felt and glue the felt side to the base of your owl. If you like, a small banner can be glued on at the same time (I used a small piece of ribbon). His sticky feet make him ideal for attaching to any surface, as you can see, he’s already found a home on the corner of my laptop!

There you go, I honestly think it took me longer to write this up than it did to make him!

Happy making.

Tracey x

ps I typed this up whilst sitting in the sunshine, so if you spot an error do tell me!

A Bowl of Eggs for Easter


While out shopping I came across a huge bag of the tiniest, cutest polystyrene eggs in a discount store. Normally I don’t go in for teeny tiny crochet, but I was inspired to create a colourful table display. Each egg uses up a tiny amount of yarn. I used scraps of dk and 4 ply mercerised cotton and a 3mm hook.

Make 4ch, join to form a ring and work in spirals as follows:

6 dc into ring

2 dc in each dc (12dc)

Work in a spiral until the cover fits 2/3 of the way down the egg (working from pointy end downwards). Increase on next round. (1 dc, 2dc) to end of round. Work 2 rounds. Slip the cosy on the egg. Fasten off yarn and draw the tail through the last round of stitches. You can easily adapt this to any size egg. I also discovered that if you use pure wool and pop finished eggs in the washing machine they felt very successfuly!

Happy making xxx

Ps my eggs are displayed in a pretty yarn bowl from Little Wren Pottery. You’ll be hearing more about my love for this talented lady’s work soon.

Spring Flower Pin Cushion

crochet flower pin cushionFinally, a little bit of cheer in a drab week! I know I’ve neglected the blog recently, and thank you to everyone who has been stopping by, clicking the like button and leaving comments here and on facebook. You know how much I appreciate it.

The trouble with publishing is it works so far in advance that often I am hooking away on secret projects which just don’t leave time for fun. I won’t be able to share the fruits of my current  labours with you until next year, when hopefully I’ll have fallen back in love with my latest creation!  I’ll just hint that after using up 36 balls of yarn all in one neutral shade on a 4mm hook I really felt I needed a bit of colour in my life!

So, inspired by the beautiful little tea cup bulbs I mentioned last week (which you can find on Emma’s blog) here’s a little bit of a “Spring Fling” for you all.

The tea cup was a freebie from Hendrick’s Gin – do take a peek at their website if you’ve not come across them before – it’s just the epitome of good humoured kitsch.  It does taste delicious too.

The pattern for the flower is very similar to the one I used for the Tatton Corsage (click the link to download a copy) a few years ago, I stuffed the tea cup with florist oasis, sewed the flowers to a piece of double crochet worked in brown wool. I wrapped the crochet around the oasis ( a bit of judicious tweaking will be needed to keep it all looking neat). The leaves are very simple too – scroll to the bottom for details. The yarns are scraps of double knitting yarn and I used a 4mm hook.

Now I finally have somewhere to pop all my pins when I’m working.

Well, it made me smile even though Mr T and the teen declared it a “bit icky” for their liking! Maybe one day I’ll write the pattern up properly, but meanwhile go find your favourite crochet flower pattern and indulge in a bit of crochet frippery.

* Super quick and simple leaf:

ch8, dc in 2nd ch from hook, *htr, tr, 3 tr,tr,  htr,dc, do not turn, dc into other side of foundation chain, work from * and fasten with a slip stitch. fasten off and weave in ends.

Crochet: A Summer Garland

This is an updated version of the garland I made last summer. With a new super easy flower decoration and a slight twist to the top edging which I think is nicer. I’ve popped full instructions and some photos to help those who are new to crochet into a pdf file (How to Crochet a Flower Garland )which you can download from here or from Craftsy.

I’d love to see photos if you make your own version.

*This pattern has restricted copyright so you can make garlands to sell, but restrictions on copying the pattern and distribution remain under creative commons.

Free Pattern: Crochet Mittens

Mittens: Drops Nepal version

This pattern is no longer available.


Craft and Be Happy

For months now I’ve been intrigued by many fellow bloggers making reference to the “Being Creative” project. Finally, today I took a look at Julia Crossland’s website and discovered what it’s all about – and you know what – I’m in! It might be a bit late in the year  , but what the heck it looks like fun and I might even learn something.

Do go and take a look for yourselves, it’s a beautiful site and full of inspiration. I’ve already decided on my “autumn”  project. It’s blocking at the moment, but as soon as it’s unpinned I’ll share the snuggly goodness (hint – this will make a great present – and it’s very “on trend”). it’s also a great crochet project for someone new to the craft and bound to make you look super craftsy!

Until then I’ll leave you with a peek at what’s just come off my hook – these super cute and cosy fingerless mittens –  pattern in the process of being written up and a sample is on display at Fibre and Clay in Knutsford. This is also suitable for a beginner and I promise the pattern will be available by the end of the month, just in time for Christmas gift making.

Craft and be happy.

Tracey x

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