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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

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

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!

How To · Tutorial

Half Double Moss Stitch · Tutorial

Who loves Moss Stitch? We ALL love Moss Stitch! It’s one of the most beautiful crochet stitches and, best of all, it’s super-easy to work up and gives a gorgeous knitted look to your project. The other day I was making my umpteenth Moss Stitch blanket and decided to experiment a little using Half Double Crochet (US terms) to see if it was any good. Boy oh boy, was it! I wasn’t sure if I’d seen it around before so I gave it a quick Google around and couldn’t find it anywhere. I looked on Pinterest – natch – and still nothing. I asked my knowledgable friends on Instagram and, well, nothing. “OH EM GEE!” I thought, “have I discovered a new stitch?”.

This stitch looks fabulous when worked up using chunky yarn. Here you can see a swatch using The Wool by We Are Knitters (gifted).

Sadly not, friends. What I have done however is named a stitch that before was languishing in obscurity. There are a couple of patterns over on Ravelry that use this stitch but nobody had thought of giving her a name, the poor babe, so I thought I would. Tempting as it was to give it some sort of funky name (or annoyingly egotistical one like ‘The Knitty Stitch’) I’ve simply called it ‘Half Double Moss Stitch’ to keep things simple and practical.

One of the most beautiful things about this stitch is the latticed effect it gives which lends itself well to cowls, scarves, statement blankets and rugs. It look particularly lush used with chunky or super chunky yarn or worked up teeny using cotton yarn. I can just see some dishcloths looking the bizznizz in this stitch!

Keep your eyes peeled for a wonderful project using the Half Double Moss Stitch very soon, but for now, here’s how to work it up.

Lending itself well to giant chunky accessories and statement homeware, this stitch is quick, easy and beautiful.

The Half Double Moss Stitch

(Instructions using US/American terminology and working flat)

NOTE: This stitch is a hdc stitch separated by a chain stitch, so it’s identical to the regular moss stitch but using hdc instead of single crochet.

1. Chain an even number of stitches.

2. Work a hdc into the fourth chain from your hook.

3. Chain one, skip one chain, work a hdc stitch into the next chain.

4. Chain one, skip one chain, work a half double crochet into the next chain. End with a hdc into the last stitch.

5. Turn your work, chain two and work a hdc into the first chain one space. Chain one, skip the next hdc and work a hdc into the following chain one space. Continute like this (chain 1, skip 1 stitch, hdc in the next chain 1 space) until the end.

Repeat step five for the pattern, making hdc stitches into the chain spaces.

That’s it! I would love to see your makes using this stitch, so tag your creations with #halfdoublemosstitch and I’ll take a look!

How To · Tutorial

Crochet Tutorial · Tiny Houses

There’s been a lot of use of The “C” Word in our house and on my feed over the last few days. No, I’m not talking the word of the Middle English sweary ladies part variety, but the word that cannot be uttered in company until at least the beginning of November. The word that sends people into fits of rage. The word that Shakin’ Stevens owes his life/millions to…

CHRISTMAS. CRIMBO. CRIMBLE. NAVIDAD. JUHL. CRIMBY BADIMBY (I may have made that one up).

I admit that I used to be one of those DON’T MENTION CHRISTMAS UNTIL DECEMBER YOU T**T folks, but since getting heavily into crafting I have started to enjoy the idea of prepping early for the festive season. I say enjoy, I mean bloody love it. So, without further ado, I’d like to share this tutorial with you, heavily based on Christmas but also adaptable for any time of the year or any time you need a cosy decoration or tag.

These little houses are a lovely way of adding an unusual but cosy accent to your home, tree or even as a gift tag. They’re a wonderful half-hour make, with the added bonus of using up scraps. I recommend using glittery or lamé yarn combined with matte for a really modern look, or even yarns with sequins woven into them, or how about yarn held double with glitter thread? The sky – or rather your tree – is the limit!

Fully customizable, these houses can be crocheted to any height or width you choose and have different roof styles.

Tiny Houses

This is a CONFIDENT BEGINNER level crochet tutorial.

You will need: A 3.5mm crochet hook, yarn needle, scissors, a blocking board or similar, rust-free pins, liquid nylon or starch, a small pot, water. Optional: felt and a hot glue gun.

Yarn: Sport weight cotton yarn (I used Rito Hobby’s Infinity Hearts Lotus 8/4) in your chosen colours for roof and house body, plus combinations of Rico Creative Lamé and Drops Alpaca in Coral, plus scraps of DK/Sport weight yarn for embellishments and embroidery.

Skills (US terminology): Chain stitch, single crochet, double crochet, half double crochet, triple crochet, quadruple crochet, simple embroidery, weaving in ends, wet blocking.

Method:

  1. Chain 9 using the cotton sport weight yarn.

2. Chain one (does not count as first stitch) and work a single crochet into each chain stitch. Chain one, turn. Repeat until you have nine rows of single crochet. If you would prefer a taller house, just carry on working as many rows of single crochet as you’d like.

3. When you reach the final single crochet stitch on the last row (when you have two loops on your hook), pull through the new colour that you are using for the roof. You have now changed colour. Chain one and turn.

4. Now we’ll make the roof! Work one single crochet into the first stitch, a half double crochet into the second, a double into the third, a triple into the forth and a quadruple into the fifth. Then work another triple crochet into the sixth, a double crochet into the seventh, a had double crochet into the eighth and finally a sincgle crochet into the ninth. Break yarn and pull the loop up to finish off. Weave in all ends.

5. Now comes the best part – the details! Feel free to copy my embroidery to create windows and the door, but this is a great chance to use your imagination and create some wonderful detailing and give your little house personality!

6. Make a stiffening mixture by combining two parts liquid nylon to one part water. Soak your house in this for five or ten minutes, gently squeeze out the excess and pin to dry on a blocking board. Take special care to ensure that it’s pinned evenly, and pin the top of the roof up so it is a pointy as possible. To do this I find the tallest stitch (the center quadruple crochet stitch) and pull it up as much as I can before pinning securely.

7. Once dry you can create a felt backing by glueing or sewing on a piece of thin felt that fits the back of your house. This is recommended if you plan to use them as decorations. Thread a small amount of glitter thread through the top of the roof and display as desired.

Did you enjoy this tutorial? If so, feel free to use the hashtag #knittyvillage on Instagram so I can check out your work!