Article

Crochet Tutorial · Slip Stitch Rainbow Wall Hanging

Can you remember what daily, boring, routine-based life was like before Covid-19 hit us all? Can you remember the school run? Can you remember having ‘normal’ problems, like the supermarket being sold out of your dog’s usual food, or your daughter refusing to get out of the bath? I do, and it all seems small fry compared to the devastaing panic and worry that millions of people are around the world are suffering these days.
My family and I live in Spain and we are just ending our second week in isolation. We are young(ish), healthy and are privileged. We have a large detached house and garden. We can work(ish) online. We have a car with a full tank and can access the supermarket, albeit individually. Privilege matters at times like this and we are counting our blessings even though the worry can be overwhelming. It makes you want to go to bed early and sleep for a week, but we can at least go out in the garden and breathe the fresh air.

Police are everywhere and people in hazmat suits are disinfecting the streets where we used to stroll about. The other month my husband and I went for a random lunch just as this was starting to kick off. We chatted about how this would probably all be over in the next few days and the tabloids would get tired of it and things wouldn’t escalate. My goodness, how wrong we were.

I apologise if you’re here just for the craft tutorial, but I can’t get on with telling about that without giving you a bit of context. The quarantine situation has become the new normal and it would be insensitive not to address it and pretend that everything is okay. That’s not my style as a maker and, well, person.

So, let me tell you about this project. For many, rainbows represent hope, positivity and a brighter future. My feed has been chock-full of beautiful rainbow crafts recently, people doing gorgeous, rainbow-themed activites with their family and putting them up in their windows to spread good vibes. I’m not a rainbowy person, but I thought I’d jump on the bandwagon and create a sweet crochet tutorial for those of you who need a quick, relaxing and pretty project.

Slip Stitch Rainbow Wall Hanging

This little rainbow hanging is a lovely way of showing solidarity and hope during difficult times and uses up scraps – always a bonus! For this design you will crochet a small circle in super chunky wool yarn, create some fluffy clouds using silky bouclé yarn and finish off by slip stitching an adorable rainbow in the shades you choose. This project also has a lovely ‘punch’ needle’ effect which adds a touch of texture and bulk to any interior.

Level: Confident Beginner.

You will need: A ball of We Are Knitters The Wool in ‘Natural’ (or other super chunky 100% wool yarn), a small amount of bulky/chunky yarn in three colours (I used Deramores Studio Chunky in ‘Seashell’, ‘Salmon’ and ‘Mustard’), small amount of white super chunky/bulky bouclé yarn (I used Rico Design Fashion Inuit in Creme), a small amount of Rico Lamé in gold (or dk weight lamé yarn) a 15mm & 6.5mm crochet hook, a clip stitch marker, scissors, a yarn needle.

Skills (US terminology): Chain stitch, slip stitch, single crochet, basic embroidery skills.

Method:

Using the super chunky/bulky wool yarn, Chain four and slip stitch into the first chain to join and form a circle. Chain one (mark this stitch with a clip stitch marker to avoid confusion later) and make seven single crochets into the center of the circle. Slip stitch into the first chain one to join (eight stitches).

Chain one, remembering to mark the stitch as before, and work a single crochet into the same stitch. Work two single crochets into every stitch around. Slip stitch into the first chain stitch as before (16 sts). Now you’ve completed the circle that you’ll decorate.

Break your yarn and fasten off, weaving in your ends on the right side. For this project the wrong side will be visible to give a different, more bumpy effect.

Making sure that the ‘wrong side’ of your circle is facing up, thread your bouclé yarn onto your yarn needle and sew on some small clouds next to each other, making sure to keep them even and with a gap between (see photos).

Using long stitch, carefully embroider the clouds, making sure to fill up any gaps that may appear. When you’re happy, break your yarn and weave in the ends on the reverse side.

Now we’ll make the rainbow. On top of one of the clouds, insert your hook from front to back and pull up a loop of yarn, using one of the three shades of chunky yarn you have chosen. Insert the hook again into a space near this stitch, yarn over and pull through your work. Pull though the loop on your hook to complete the stitch. Careful with your tension! Try and keep your stitches not too tight and not too loose to avoid puckering your work. If you make a mistake just pull the working yarn to undo your stitches and start afresh.

Continue in this way until you have formed the first arc of your rainbow. Break yarn. Repeat with the two other contrasting colours and fasten off, weaving in or knitting the ends on the back of your work as neatly as possible.

Now for the hanging thread, thread the gold lamé yarn through the outer v of one of the top stitches from front to back. Thread through the next stitch, leaving the two free ends on the back of your work and knot firmly together, making sure that your hanging loop is big enough and hasn’t puckered in.

If you like you can sew a backing onto your project, especially if giving it as a gift.

Display your rainbow hanging in a window, in a bedroom, or anywhere you need a touch of positivity and love! If you’ve enjoyed this tutorial, please feel free to share in on social media, tagging me @emmaknitty so I can share your work!

This tutorial is dedicated to the tireless work of healthcare workers the world over and those who have lost their lives to Covid-19.

Article

The Goldfish Scarf · Free Crochet Pattern

Maybe I’ve been looking in the wrong places, but I’ve always found it difficult to find decent mid-season scarves for kids! They’re either super thick and heavy duty for deep winter, staticky (spelling?) and nasty, or, well, they don’t exist. I’ve been after something soft and squishy and light enough for early Spring for my daughter to wear (but also sturdy enough to deal with very cold days), so I decided to design one myself! Wow. Knitting and crochet designer in designing a pattern shocker!

Crocheted using two strands of yarn held double – one variegated cotton and the other baby acrylic – makes for a really squidgeable tact, and combined with the beauty of moss stitch and adorable pompoms, this will be a scarf your little one won’t want to take off in a hurry. As the name suggests, the glorious mustards and blues of this beautiful Katia Candy baby cotton combined with the softness of the muted blue Stylecraft Bambino yarn makes for a very Goldfishy look!

This scarf is an ideal make for those chilly pre-Spring days.

The Goldfish Scarf

You will need: A 5.5mm crochet hook, 50g of variegated cotton yarn (I used Katia Candy in 673), 50g of baby acrylic yarn (I used Stylecraft Bambino in Vintage Blue), around 20g of Paintbox Yarns Simply Chunky (or similar) in Mustard Yellow, a yarn needle, an XS pompom maker and scissors.

Skills & abbreviations (US terms): Chain stitch (ch st), single crochet, weaving in ends, making a pompom.

Measurements: 113cm/44″ by 12cm/4″.

Method:

Ch 20.

Row 1: Sc in the 4th chain from hook, *ch one, skip next ch, sc in next ch, repeat from * to the end of the row.

Row 2: Chain two, turn, sc in ch one space from previous row, *ch one, skip one sc, sc in next ch one space, repeat from * to end.

Continue repeating row two until your piece measures 113cm/44″.

Break yarn, pull through the remaining st to secure and weave in all ends. Make four pompoms for the corners. I made two using the chunky mustard acrylic yarn, one using a strand of mustard yarn and Stylecraft Bambino in Vintage Blue held double, and one using just Stylecraft Bambino in Vintage Blue. You can of course use any colours your prefer.

Did you enjoy this pattern? Don’t forget to share your makes by tagging me @emmaknitty on Instagram. I love to share your projects!

Alex Knitty can always be relied upon for some quality posing and facial expressions!

Article

Tutorial · Crocheted Drawer Knob Covers

Every new season I try and change up my studio and refresh it a little with colours and items that I’m planning on using for my designs – it just helps with inspiration! I find that upcycling and making subtle changes to things I already have saves money and, above all, gives me an excuse to knit or crochet some accessories that I can also share with you all!

So, let me tell you the story behind this tutorial. last year I rescued a plain pine chest of drawers from IKEA that got attacked by mould and damp (the perils of living in the wettest region in Spain!) and would probably have been chucked into a skip. I really needed that chest of drawers to stuff WIPs and finished objects in, so I had the bright idea of treating it and repainting it white, but it looked far too sterile and I’m not painter and don’t have the skills to paint beautifully trendy patterns or motifs – I destroy everything I touch with a paintbrush – so I thought it needed something else. Then I thought, “knobs!” but not in a bad way. How about crocheting some teeny cosies for the drawer knobs? It was such a simple idea but it worked a treat!

I don’t think you need to do anything particularly epic or mind-blowing or magazine-worthy to make an old item look 100% Mollie Makes (as in, cool as heck), it’d the simpe things that can really make your upcycle pop and look amazing! If you have some yarn in the shade you want, a spare ten minutes and can crochet a circle you can get on board with this fun project.

Level: Beginner

You will need:

· Depending on the amount of knobs you’d like to crochet, a varying amount of yarn in the weight of your choice. I used DMC 100% Baby Cotton in the colours 771, 752, 764 and 763 and the recommended 4mm hook. I think DK is best, but you can achieve a finer look with Sport weight, or go statement with chunky yarn which is also very quick to work up, a crochet hook in the correct size for your chosen yarn, a pair of scissors, a yarn needle and an item or furniture or object with knobs to crochet over.

Skills:

US TERMS USED.

· Chain stitch (ch st) , slip stitch (sl st), magic loop (optional), double crochet stitch (dc), weaving in ends.

Notes:

The amount of rounds you crochet will vary depending on the size of the knob you want to cover. As you work each round, place you work over the knob to check the size and, when it fits comfortably over it with a little extra (I’d say about half an inch extra at the edge), you can stop crocheting. For example, if the knob is 3″ in size, you’ll crochet a circle that is 3.5″ in diameter. Easy, no? This means that the cover will have enough give when you attach it and won’t look too stretched out.

Method:

Take your yarn (for this tutorial I used the shade 764) and hook and ch 4 (or make a magic loop). If you worked a ch 4, sl st into the first ch to join. Ch 3 and work nine dc into the center of the circle, working over the tail end of the yarn to minimise weaving in ends later on. Sl st into the top of the first ch three to join and finish this round (10 sts). Pull the tail end of the yarn tightly to close the hole in the middle of your work.

Ch three again and work two dc into every stitch, including into the same st where you worked the ch three (see photo). Work two dc into every st around until the end. Sl st into the top of the first ch 3 as before to join (20 sts).

Ch three once more and work another into this stitch, making two dcs into the same st. Work one dc into the next st, then work two dc into the following (third) st. Continue this way working an increase st followed by one dc until, the end. Sl st to join into the top of the first ch three to join (30 sts).

I only needed to work three rounds to make the circle big enough for my knobs so this is where I stopped. If you need to make yours bigger or smaller, simply stop after one or two rounds or work more for to make it larger. To do this you should work your increases by simply working more individual dc sts between each increase (two dc) st. For example, work two dcs in the same st followed by two individual dcs, then on the next round work two dcs in the same st folllowed by three individual dcs, etc.

Now comes the fun part – putting the cover on! First we need to do a bit of prep, so break your yarn, leaving a tail of around 30cm and pull through the st to secure. Whilst you’re at it, check that the tail of yarn in the center of your circle has been pulled tight then snip this off.

Thread your yarn tail onto your yarn needle and weave it in and out of the inner ‘v’ of the outer sts.

Place over your chosen knob and pull the yarn tight to pull it in and cover it. Magic! If need be, feel free to weave the tail around once more, or simply weave it into a nearby stitch and tie a double knot. You’re all done!

At the moment the only way to remove these covers is to cut them off – sad face – but I’m working on a way of making them removable so you don’t have to destroy them! If you have any ideas about how to do this why not drop me a line?

I love to see your makes, so if you whip up your own #emmakknitty projects remember to tag me on Instagram so I can share your work!

Article

Rito Hobby Infinity Hearts 2X Lace · Review

The yarn reviewed here was gifted as part of a paid partnership with Ritohobby.co.uk.

Winter is almost over and Spring has nearly sprung, so it’s starting to look a lot brighter outside. I always find the transition between Winter and Spring super inspiring, especially with regards to colour, so it’s right about time to kick off the new season with some gorgeous new yarn in Springtime shades!

It’s been a while since I last reviewed any yarn, but I’m so glad to be getting back on it! I was lucky enough to be chosen as a creative influencer for the wonderful company Rito Hobby the other month, and it’s been an absolute pleasure to get involved with this Danish brand and work with them on some cute collaborations and projects.

As part of this exciting new partnership I had the chance to choose some yarn and try it out. After having a peek at their website, I came across this incredibly tactile-looking yarn called 2x Lace by Infinity Hearts, which is a splendid combination of cotton and polyester, ideal for homeware (my fave) and especially blankets and cushions. I decided on three pastel colours, Powder, Yellow and Old Pink which complemented each other perfectly.

The texture of this yarn is a dream for crafters who love modern, tactile looks.

I really love this yarn’s chainette construction which is sturdy but also soft. It’s well suited to all kind of home decor projects, especially ones that need a little weight to them, as well as play mats or rugs and even wall art like macramé or for weaving. The possibilities are endless! It would probably be a bit too heavy for a garment, but I could see it working for an interesting infinity scarf.

I chose to crochet this yarn up using a 15mm hook as I work quite tightly, but for a super-sturdy effect you could use a 6 or 7mm hook, ideal for poufs or anything that you need to be a little more durable. In fact, the recommended hook size for this yarn is 6-10 mm, so there’s a big window in terms of the textures and thickness of the fabric you can make.

Knitting with this yarn is also a joy, as it looks absolutely fantastic used with simple stitch combinations for a really modern effect. It would look stuning knitted up as an XL throw or afghan. Plus, with it’s great-value 250g/90m size, one bobbin of this yarn with go a long way.

All in all, I absolutely adored working with this yarn. For designers who love sturdy, squishy, statement pieces and are looking for a yarn that is all three this should be your new go-to… Fabulous! If you’re a designer who loves touchy-feely textures this will tick all your maker boxes.

Keep your eyes peeled for a fun homeware project usig this yarn very soon, and don’t forget to follow me over on Instagram to keep up with my antics!

Article

Tutorial · The Invisible Chain Granny Square

Today I wanted to share a gorgeous technique with you that’ll help make your granny squares look flawless, neat and just brilliant! I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that I really cannot stand chain stitches: they look thin and weird and stick out like a sore thumb! Thankfully there’s a really quick and easy technique you can use to minimise the look of chains (by still chaining) and keep your granny’s looking like a snack.

What’s the secret? Well, by chaining two instead of three at the beginning of the round we eliminate that skinny starting chain and create a shorter, firmer but still working chain. It really is as simple as that. Plus, but flipping the square over (but not reversing it – sorry, I couldn’t resist) you are able to work into the nearest chain space to you, again making the starting chain even less visible! I’m all over this technique and I hope you will be too…

What you’ll need:

Your yarn of choice and a crochet hook in the corresponding size. I used Rosa’s Crafts Merino Molón 6 in shade 102.

Now turn your work over… You’re almost done!

Repeat this technique at the beginning of every round and you’ll soon see that your square looks a lot better. I hope you enjoyed this quick photo tutorial. Hit me up if you’ve tried it yourself!

Article

The Mindful Granny Blanket CAL

In Spanish, ‘cal’ means limescale – there’s a fun fact for you! I doubt that’ll help you when you’re next on your holibobs in Magaluf. In crochet circles however ‘CAL’ (in caps) means Crochet-a-long which is far more fun and doesn’t need Calgon or Cillit Bang. I fear I may be rambling, but what I’m trying to say in a very backward way is…

I’m starting a CAL, guys!

I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of CALs (and KALs for knitting). It’s such a wonderful way to bond with other crafters, get that crojo/knitjo moving and create something special that you can look back on with great memories. For my own I wanted my first CAL to represent what ‘Emmaknitty’ stands for; mindfulness and caring for your mental health, simplicity of design, sustainability and – I’m being brutally honest – projects that you don’t need to engage your brain too much with!

So, here’s the Mindful Granny Blanket CAL! I have to say that I wracked my brains for a decent name, especially one that lends itself well to that all important hashtag, but this was the best I could do. Oops. I must work on my succintness.

If you’re reading this you’ve probably come over from Instagram (Hai!) and would like to know all the details, things you’ll need, etc…

The idea

The primary purpose of this CAL is to have a project to work on that is something to look forward to, is relaxing, makes you feel calm, joyful and happy. I want everyone who takes part to love every moment that you spend creating your blanket, every colour you choose to give you a flutter of excitement, every colour transition to fill you with love and remind you of the reasons why you crochet.

I chose a simple granny square blanket because it’s something most crocheters know how to make and it’s a classic design that’s easy to adjust to any size you like.

How to make it

Working from the center out, you’ll make a standard granny square, increasing at each corner, until the blanket is as large as you want. You won’t need to weave in any ends or sew anything/crochet 2000 squares together, just crochet for as long as you like until you’re happy with the size! We’ll be using yarn scraps/yarn that you’d like to destash, working from a large ball that we’ll make by connecting all the yarn together.

The rules

· You’ll need to know how to make a simple granny square.

· You won’t need to buy any yarn or purchase any pattern to take part.

· You’ll need to use several balls of yarn in the same weight in colours you love. Spend time choosing shades that make you go “wow”, combining them in a way that really makes you happy!

· You’ll need to use yarn that’s already in your stash and of the same weight. Avoid buying yarn especially for this blanket, as it’s supposed to be a destash/sustainable project. You can use any composition you like.

· You’ll need to connect all the balls of yarn you choose using the magic knot method, then wind them all together into one large ball that you will work from.

…That’s all!

Feel free to start as soon as you like, and there’s no deadline or finishing date for this. The emphasis is on bringing people together, getting inspired, being happy and calming your mind. Oh, and using up those pesky yarn scraps.

If tou take part, please tag me @emmaknitty on Instagram and use the hashtag #MINDFULBLANKETCAL!

I really hope you love this CAL!

How To · Tutorial

The Violeta Scarf · Free Crochet Tutorial

(The yarn used in this pattern was gifted by Rico Design)

What a long winter it’s been – is it just me? It really feels like it’s been colder than a snowman’s boobs for far too long, and even though I love the cooler weather, I am gagging to see those Spring flowers come out and enjoy some evenings in the garden.

Knitters and crocheters have an advantage though, as winter means more reasons to make things with squishy, chunky yarn! Working XXL is a fave of mine, and I was so thrilled when my friends at Rico Design reached out to me once again and asked if I’d like to try some of their yarns! I’m a big fan of Rico Design and their modern creative goods, so it was tough choosing just a few of their perfect yarns, but I decided on their statement yarn Creative XXL in ‘Natur’ and a few balls of their Essentials Big (review coming soon).

My initial idea was to make a rug, but on touching this yarn I knew it was crying out to be used as a cute oversized accessory! Rico Creative XXL is such a soft, dreamy yarn that it’s the ideal choice for scarves, cowls and blankets. I can just see a giant sweater being knitted up in this too – stunning!

Thia fab yarn comes in a huge 1kg ball, which is more than enough to make a chunky scarf, hat, blanket or pouf. In fact, the ball band has a free pattern for a cushion cover which is a bonus. I must admit that I did spend a couple of days displaying this beautiful ball in my craft studio just staring at it!

So, I’m excited to share a free pattern with you for my newest design, The Violeta Scarf, using this incredible yarn! This project is made using only Rico Design yarns, and I used a few balls of their wonderful Creative Ricorumi and Lamé yarn that I had in my stash alongside their Creative XXL.

Tiny embroidered cotton details add a delicate, pretty touch to this chunky scarf.

This scarf is the perfect combination between a modern statement scarf and delicate prettiness! Crocheted using Half Double Moss Stitch on a 25mm hook, you can work up this quick and beautiful project in a few hours. You can leave the scarf plain or embroider onto it to add a really feminine touch. Whichever you choose, you’ll have a warm and snuggly piece ready to keep you cosy through the chilly months!

You will need: One ball Rico Creative XXL in Natur, a small amount each of Rico Design Creative Ricorumi in Lilac, Mint and Rose, a small amount of Ricorumi Neon DK in Fuchsia, and a small amount of Rico Creative Lamé in Gold, a 25mm crochet hook, large-eyed yarn or tapestry needle.

You’ll Need to Know: Half Double Moss Stitch, chain stitch, weaving in ends, basic embroidery skills.

Sizing: The scarf measures 1.88m/188cm/74″ in length and is 16cm/6.5″ wide.

Notes: You can, of course, make the scarf longer or shorter if you wish. The scarf length that I chose uses 3/4 of the ball of Creative XXL which would allow for an even longer scarf! This stitch works on any even number of stitches so you can also change how wide it is.

Method:

· Ch (chain) 10 and work one hdc (half double crochet) into the fourth chain from your hook. Ch one, skip one st (stitch) and work another hdc into the following st. Continue like this until the end of the row, ending on a hdc. Chain two.

· Work one hdc into the first ch sp (chain space) and chain one, skipping the following hdc stitch. Work another hdc into the next ch sp. Continue making hdc into the spaces and chaining, skipping the hdc you made in the previous row to work this pattern. Make sure you are always ending the row by working one hdc into the final ch sp, and always ch two two start the next row.

· Follow the steps above for 52 rows (or until the scarf measures 1.88m/188cm/74″). Break yarn and pull through the final st to secure. Weave in any ends.

You can leave the scarf plain, or you can follow the tutorial below and add some delicate embroidered touches…

Thread your chosen shade through one of the stitches near the edge of your scarf.
Wrap the yarn over the stitch once…
…Twice, three times around the stitch.
Break the yarn and tie a double knot. Trim the ends as short as you can. Repeat as desired using different shades.

Here’s the finished embroidery on my scarf. I chose to only decorate the edge of one end of my scarf but it would look wonderful fully embroidered. The choice is yours!

I really hope that you enjoyed this tutorial! If you did let me know over on Instagram by tagging me @emmaknitty – I’d love to see your gorgeous creations!