Free knitting pattern: Ladder Stitch Cowl

Ladder Stitch Cowl (or Scarf), free #knitting pattern by Underground CrafterWhen I discovered knitting slip stitches, I became a much happier person.

This post contains affiliate links. Yarn for the sample was generously provided by Spinrite LP.

That may sound like a bold statement, but it’s true! I always liked the look of knitting color work, but have realized over the years that maintaining tension for stranded knitting some times drives me mad and working with bobbins for intarsia doesn’t seem to go over so well with my cats.

I still love to play around with colors, so slip stitches are the perfect solution. I can make vibrant, colorful projects while using just one color on each row.

Ladder Stitch Cowl (or Scarf), free #knitting pattern by Underground CrafterI made this cowl as a sample of the Ladder Stitch pattern for one of my knitting classes, using the yarn I had left over from the Hearts and Kisses Cowl, a pattern that was published in the February, 2016 issue of I Like Crochet.

Hearts and Kisses Cowl, crochet pattern by Marie Segares/Underground Crafter in February, 2016 issue of I Like Crochet.
The Hearts and Kisses Cowl, published in I Like Crochet.

I  have to say that I really liked the way it turned out. The texture is wonderful, and I love the colors, too. I’ve included instructions for making a scarf, too. And, if you’d like a felted version, you can find a tutorial for felting in the washer and dryer here.

Don’t forget to share a picture on Ravelry or with my Facebook page if you make one!

Add to RavelryIf you want an easy print format, you can buy an ad-free PDF version on Craftsy.

Click to buy the ad-free PDF version of this @ucrafter pattern on Craftsy

Creative Crochet Workshop

ILK 300x250b February 2016 BannersLadder Stitch Cowl (or Scarf)

Knitting Pattern by Underground Crafter

02-easy 50US terms 504-medium 50Use slip stitches to easily create a seemingly complex color and texture pattern while using just one yarn in each row.

 

Finished Size

  • Adult: 7” (18 cm) width x 22.5” (57 cm) circumference (unblocked).

Materials

  • Patons Classic Wool Worsted (100% wool, 3.5 oz/100 g, 210 yd/192 m) – 1 skein each in 77308 Wisteria (CA) and 77404 Orchid (CB), or approximately 100 yd (91.5 m) in each of 2 colors in any medium weight yarn.
  • US 7/4.5 mm knitting needles, or any size needed to obtain gauge.
  • Yarn needle.

Shop for Patons Classic Wool Yarn on Craftsy | Amazon

Gauge

  • 21 sts x 29 rows in pattern = 4” (10 cm) unblocked. Exact gauge is not critical for this project.

Abbreviations Used in This Pattern

  • BO – bind off
  • CA – Color A
  • CB – Color B
  • CO – cast on
  • k – knit
  • p – purl
  • rep – repeat
  • RS – right (front) side
  • sl – slip stitch
  • st(s) – stitch(es)
  • wyib – with yarn in back
  • wyif – with yarn in front
  • * Rep instructions after asterisk as indicated.

Pattern Notes

  • Always slip first stitch of each row knitwise with yarn in back.
  • Always slip all other stitches purlwise with yarn positioned as indicated in the pattern.
  • Cowl is knit flat and then seamed. Instructions for making a scarf instead are included in the directions. Yarn requirements will vary.

Pattern Instructions

Cowl

  • With CA, C0 37 sts (or a multiple of 6 sts, +13).
  • Border Row 1: With CA, sl l 1, k to last st, p1.
  • For cowl, continue to Row 1. For scarf, rep Border Row 1 – 3 times.
  • Row 1: (RS) With CA, sl 1, k5, *sl 1 wyib, k5; rep from * across to last 7 sts, sl 1 wyib, k5, p1.
  • Row 2: With CA, sl 1, k3, p2, *sl 1 wyif, p5; rep from * across to last 7 sts, sl 1 wyif, p2, k3, p1.
  • Row 3: With CB, sl 1, k3, *k5, sl 1 wyib; rep from * across to last 9 sts, k8, p1.
  • Row 4: With CB, sl 1, k3, p5, *sl 1 wyif, p5; rep from * across to last 4 sts, k3, p1.
  • Rep Rows 1-4 until cowl measures approximately 22” (56 cm) long, or until desired length is reached. Fasten off CB.
  • Rep Rows 1 & 2 once more.
  • For cowl, BO in pattern for Border Row 1. Fasten off CA with long yarn tail for seaming.
  • For scarf, rep Border Row 1 – 4 times, BO in pattern for Border Row 1. Fasten off CA.

Finishing

  • Spray block if desired.
  • For cowl, thread yarn tail through yarn needle and seam short edges together on wrong side with whipstitch join. (A photo tutorial for a whipstitch join is available here.) Turn cowl right side out.
  • For cowl and scarf, weave in ends with yarn needle.
© 2016 by Marie Segares (Underground Crafter). This pattern is for personal use only. You may use the pattern to make unlimited items for yourself, for charity, or to give as gifts. You may sell items you personally make by hand from this pattern. Do not violate Marie’s copyright by distributing this pattern or the photos in any form, including but not limited to scanning, photocopying, emailing, or posting on a website or internet discussion group. If you want to share the pattern, point your friends to this link:  http://undergroundcrafter.com/blog/2016/03/30/free-knitting-pattern-ladder-stitch-cowl. Thanks for supporting indie designers!

Don’t forget to share a picture on Ravelry or with my Facebook page if you make one!

Add to RavelryIf you want an easy print format, you can buy an ad-free PDF version on Craftsy.

Click to buy the ad-free PDF version of this @ucrafter pattern on Craftsy

2012 Year in Review: Frog Fest!

I’m not the type of crocheter (or knitter) who feels the need to complete every project I start.  Sometimes I start a project for stress relief, other times I make a bad yarn choice, and then there are times when the project just isn’t really something I want to work on anymore.

Today, I’m celebrating all those creations that actually made it as far as into my Ravelry projects but were later unraveled.  While I actually unraveled 12 projects in 2012 (freaky, huh?), I’m just going to talk about the three most significant ones today.

If you followed my second Year of Projects posts, you may remember that I was working on my first pair of knit socks.

I started these during the Ravellenic Games, hoping that would be the push I needed to actually get excited about making knitted socks.  I love looking at other people’s knit socks and I love wearing hand-knit socks, but something about actually knitting socks never seemed all that appealing to me.

I think I’ll stick with crochet socks.  I’m not all that comfortable knitting with small needles or with lightweight yarn and I just don’t feel committed to spending the amount of time needed to knit a single pair of socks.

Another learning experience was the slip stitch scarf I started for the Red Scarf Project.  Vashti Braha‘s newsletters got me very excited about using more slip stitches in my projects.  Unfortunately, I didn’t really think this one through.

Let’s just say that the combination of not so great quality acrylic yarn, watching a movie while crocheting, and slip stitches is not a good one.  I decided to unravel this, along with a Christmas stocking I made last year (in red wool)…

…and give slip stitch crochet another try in wool in 2013.

 

I think the addition of this hook I found at a shop near my job, which looks like a pjoning hook, will also help to make the stitches more even.

And finally, there’s the Pineapple Doily Shawl I started.

Several students in my crochet class were working on it, and I decided to start one, too.  I don’t usually work on projects with my students (besides a little swatch I make in class), and this experience hasn’t encouraged me to make it a habit.

I inherited this yarn from my grandmother and I eventually want to make it into something special for my mom.  So far, the perfect project for this yarn hasn’t revealed itself.

 

Do you unravel projects, do you always finish what you start, or do you abandon projects that aren’t working out?

Good news!

This past week, I’ve gotten great news on several different fronts, and I really wanted to share the excitement with my readers!

This post contains affiliate links.

New Patterns

On Tuesday, two of my designs were released in new pattern books: Quick and Simple Crochet Scarves: 9 Designs from Up-and-Coming Designers! and Quick and Simple Crochet Hats: 8 Designs from Up-and-Coming Designers!  I have one design in each book.  You can buy the books through Jo-ann Fabric and Craft Stores or online.  The interesting thing about this book series is that it features indie designers and the designers retain the rights to sell the patterns individually online.

© F+W Media (Photos by Corrie Shaffeld of 1326 Studios)

The Wide Ripple Scarf is one of my first self-published patterns.  I made this version using just over two skeins of Stitch Nation Bamboo Ewe in Periwinkle.  I love the long length, and you may have noticed that I’m a big fan of ripples.

I designed the Twisted Cable Hat because I love the look of mini cables and twisted stitches.  My version was made with just over one skein of Patons Classic Wool in Leaf Green.  It is super warm and thick because of the way it is crocheted.  I haven’t decided yet when I’ll offer a PDF version of this pattern.

Kollabora also published another one of the secret projects I made for their display at Vogue Knitting Live in Chicago.

(C) Kollabora. The pattern is actually crocheted even though the model is holding knitting needles ;).

The Lattice Shell Tunic is available as a free pattern on their website.  (Side note: The schematic hasn’t been uploaded yet, so if you’re getting started on the project, let me know and I can email it to you.)  The small is a great one skein project using a jumbo skein of Kollabora’s Nora’s Pantry yarn, which is a soft alpaca.

It’s always fun to see your designs published, but there was other great news this week…

 

Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival

I’ll be teaching two classes at the Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival in March, and my mom and I have decided to make it a weekend road trip!  I’m really looking forward to spending a few days out of town with my mom.  I booked the hotel this week and am already thinking about what to pack.  (Can you tell I don’t travel much??)  I’ve been wanting to check out Pittsburgh for a while, so this is a great opportunity.   And, since my mom is driving us up, we’ll have a car to get around town with, too.

Knitting Cables 101 (left) and Bruges Lace Basics (right).

If you’re in the area (or are planning a road trip, like me), I’d love to see you at either of my classes: Knitting Cables 101 on Saturday morning or the Bruges Lace Basics Stitch Sampler on Sunday afternoon.  Also, if you have any Pittsburgh tourist suggestions, let me know!

But wait, there’s more good news!

 

Press Pass

 

I was granted a press pass to Vogue Knitting Live in New York City!  You may remember that I went last year and had a lot of fun.  I later interviewed two vendors I met in the Marketplace: Liz Cooper from Seabury Organizers (here) and Vivian Osborne from Arctic Qiviut (here).  I’m thrilled to be able to spend three days focused on yarn in my home town.  I’m looking forward to blogging and Tweeting from the event!

Awesome Crochet Blog Award

And as if I hadn’t already had enough excitement for the week, yesterday I learned that I won the 2012 Awesome Crochet Blog Award for Best Interviews from Kathryn at Crochet Concupiscence!

When I won the award last year, I was thrilled, but this year I’m even more excited.  It may not be evident, but I put a lot of work into my interviews – probably more time than for any other type of post.  But (even without these two awesome awards!!) it is completely worth it because I learn so much from the interviewees and I’ve been able to “meet” some of my crochet heroes by contacting them for an interview.

When I started blogging, I naively thought interviews would be a good way to have content on days when I didn’t know what to blog about.  You know how they say that ignorance is bliss?  If I would have known then what I know now about interviewing, I might have never started ;).  About half of the people I contact may never respond while others may be interested but aren’t available to answer the questions for months because their schedules are so tight.  Each interview can require hours of research before I even write the questions – everything from reading the interviewee’s books to searching the web for information about their background.  Once the interview answers are returned, taking the time to organize the pictures and links for the posts, as well as editing out typos and adding in my own comments, adds in another hour or two.  I feel so honored that Kathryn would highlight my interviews again this year, and I hope you’ve all enjoyed them.  You can find all my interviews here.  (I’m also planning a recap of my favorite interviews from this year later this month.)

This has been an amazing week for me, and I hope yours has gone just as well!

Year of Projects: Crochet Master Class – Tartans & Plaids Class with Jenny King

This post contains affiliate links.

This post is part of my Year of Projects: Crochet Master Class series.  You can find my other posts in this series here.

Last Sunday, I woke up early instead of sleeping in, packed up my yarn and crochet kit, and headed down to the Lion Brand Yarn Studio to take two classes during Crochet Masters weekend.

There’s a scaffolding in front of the Lion Brand Yarn Studio, just like every other building in New York City.

My first class was Tartans & Plaids with Jenny King.  Jenny’s is the woven crochet master featured in Crochet Master Class: Lessons and Projects from Today’s Top Crocheters and has self-published 15 books on tartan rugs (also known as plaid blankets in the U.S.).  Jenny lives in Queensland, Australia, where she operates a yarn shop in addition to designing crochet patterns.  Although Jenny is a prolific and well established designer, her name only recently came to my attention as the author of Learn to Do Bavarian Crochet.

I read more about Jenny in Crochet Master Class but was dubious about creating my own woven plaid crochet project.  Full disclosure: I was a plaid fanatic in high school (perhaps because I never wore a Catholic school uniform like my cousins? or maybe it was just the grunge years?), but I have never had much success with crocheting plaids – they always come out messy, or skimpy looking.  I am also not down with fringe, so that fringe finish on crocheted plaids never really wowed me.

I was very excited to see that Jenny would be in New York City teaching, but even her pedigree as a designer didn’t completely convince me that she could actually teach me to make attractive and full looking crocheted plaids in three hours.  Let’s be honest – some people are great designers and some people are great teachers, and only a few are both.  Luckily for me, Jenny is one of those few!

Jenny opened the class by sharing some historical details about Scottish tartans.  She has designed about 200 crochet patterns that feature the plaids of various clans.  The project for the class was based on the Fire Department, City of New York (FDNY) Emerald Society Pipe Band plaid, which was a very nice local touch.  Making the mesh base was simple enough, and Jenny provided me (and the rest of the class, of course) with a few tips for joining colors and keeping our ends tidy.

The mesh I made in class.

Jenny also has a great sense of humor.  She kept the class lively by sharing anecdotes and tips.  She also admonished us, “You have to check with Jenny before ripping out!” and “Don’t point out your mistakes!”  She also told us that she has never made a gauge swatch (egads!  It’s like designer sacrilege!).

Finally, with mesh complete, we were ready to start weaving.

The Tartan Weaver.

Jenny introduced us to the Tartan Weaver, a great tool that makes weaving much easier and faster.  Her method uses chains rather than strips of yarn for weaving, and she also shared quite a few tips for sizing and weaving the ends of the woven chains.

Doesn’t this look look great? My first four woven chain strips, completed in class.

I left the class feeling pretty good.  Finally, a plaid project that is neat looking and where the woven strips actually fit into the mesh!  I decided to order two of Jenny’s books, The Tartan Rug and U.S.A. and Canadian Plaid Afghans, from her website.  I’m particularly looking forward to the Black Watch pattern, since that has always been my favorite plaid.

I’ve made a bit of progress since class.  I made another mesh and all of my green chains and my white chains.

I still have to make my black and blue chains.

After the two meshes are woven, I plan to join them and make a small, decorative pillow.  Thanks, Jenny King, for teaching me how to make plaids that don’t suck!

For more Year of Projects posts, check out When Did I Become a Knitter.

Edited to add: Lion Brand Yarn Studio updated their blog with a slide show of pictures from the Crochet Masters weekend.  You can see me in picture 15 from the night of the book signing (I’m crocheting in the second row in the picture with a blue top), in picture 31 (to the left of Margaret Hubert in her Freeform class picture), and in picture 37 (as the last student on the left side).

…and, a little shopping

I didn’t use the recommended Lion Brand yarns for my project.  As I mentioned, I’ve cut back on buying acrylic yarn, and the Lion Brand Yarn Studio was out of Lion Wool when I bought the supplies for the class.  I ended up using an old skein of Bernat Lana I had laying around the house and some Patons Classic Wool in the recommended colors purchased at Michaels.

I felt a bit guilty since I know that the main reason the Lion Brand Yarn Studio offers over 100 classes per month is to sell yarn.  So I decided to go shopping in the store and spend about as much as I would have spent on buying the yarn there.  I bought two skeins of LB Collection Superwash Merino.

Cayenne and Spring Leaf.

And I decided to test out this sweater stone.

Hopefully, this will rescue my beloved scrapghan, which suffered a terrible pilling fate when accidentally washed with a ripped comforter.

To find more blogs participating in Blogtoberfest 2011, visit Tinnie Girl.  For Blogtoberfest 2011 giveaways, visit Curly Pops.

F.O. Friday and I Love Yarn Day!

Happy Friday everyone!  I’ve been thinking for a while about how to celebrate I Love Yarn Day, since I first read about it on the Craft Yarn Council website.  The CYC has several suggestions about what to do to celebrate (and several projects from famous designers, too!).

My post for today is a celebration of my favorite yarns and also about yarncrafting for charity.  If you have been crocheting or knitting for any amount of time, you have probably found that we yarncrafters are a generous lot.  I even have some Finished Objects to share, in the form of charity crochet projects.

My Favorite Yarns

My current favorites are Cascade Eco Duo, Stitch Nation by Debbie Stoller Alpaca Love, Dream in Color Classy, Patons Classic Wool, and Spud and Chloe Sweater.

Top (from left to right): Eco Duo, Alpaca Love. Bottom (from left to right): Classy, Classic Wool (ombre) with Lion Brand Fishermen’s Wool (solid), Sweater.

Cascade Eco Duo

Like most of the yarns on my list, I discovered this super soft yarn in my LYS, Knitty City.  As the name implies, Cascade Eco Duo is an eco-friendly yarn made of undyed baby alpaca (70%) and undyed Merino wool (30%).  Since it is undyed, it is offered in a relatively limited range of colors (mostly browns, blacks, whites – very gender neutral) and it is marled.  The softness is incredible and it is really nice to work with.  There is a kind of self-striping effect with most of the colors.  The one drawback for me is that it isn’t machine washable, and since I hate handwashing, I only use this yarn for small accessories.

Stitch Nation by Debbie Stoller Alpaca Love

This is my favorite big box store yarn. Alpaca Love is also a wool (80%) and alpaca (20%) blend.  I love the feel of the yarn – a great combination of softness with firmness.  It comes in some very fun coordinated colors.  This yarn is very affordable (especially when purchased at Michaels using a coupon!).  The drawbacks for me are the handwashing issue again, and the limited color range.  I usually get around the handwashing issue by felting projects made with this yarn :).

Dream in Color Classy

Dream in Color Classy is another great yarn that I first tried out at Knitty City.  This yarn has recently made several appearances on the blog (in my crocodile stitch project and my yarn haul post).  Classy is a 100% superwash Merino wool yarn that is spun and hand dyed in the U.S.  The colors are variegated and are really fabulous.  The only drawback here for me is the cost, which means that I have to save it for slightly more special occasions.  At least there are 250 yards in each skein, which makes me feel a little less guilty when splurging!

Patons Classic Wool

Patons Classic Wool is another big box store yarn.  It is 100% wool and it is available in a great variety of colors, including both solids and ombres.  (A few colors are also available as tweeds.)  The  solids have 210 yards in each skein and are reasonably priced.  It isn’t the softest wool I’ve felt, but it isn’t scratchy, either.  It is a great, firm, workhorse yarn which doesn’t split.  The only real drawback for me is that it isn’t machine washable.

Spud and Chloe Sweater

Sweater is probably the yarn in this group that I’ve worked with the most.  It is a blend of 55% superwash wool and 45% organic cotton.  I also found it at Knitty City 🙂 about a year ago.  I first picked up a skein of Turtle for a design submission which wasn’t accepted.  I loved the yarn so much that I submitted two more designs with it, which were both accepted.  The first was my Sunshine Blanket, published in the August, 2011 issue of Inside Crochet.  I am also in the middle of a top secret project using these colors for Cooperative Press‘s Fresh Designs Crochet (Kids) book, which should be published in 2012.  I honestly can’t think of any drawbacks to this yarn: the colors are great, it is machine washable, and it feels nice :).

You may have noticed that all of these yarns are worsted weight – yes, I am one of those American yarncrafters that prefers a heavier weight yarn!  You may have also noticed that all of these yarns are made with natural fibers.  I am by no means a “yarn snob” – I work with Red Heart Super Saver, too.  But recently, I have really tried to limit my purchasing of acrylic yarn.  I just don’t feel comfortable buying a yarn made from crude oil anymore.  This is my own personal choice as part of changes I’ve made in my life to be more environmentally conscious.  On the other hand, I can’t just let the existing acrylic yarn in my stash go to waste (that’s  not too eco-friendly either), and so that is where some of my charity crafting and experiments with freeform crochet come into play.

Charity Crafting

One great way to use up your stash while finding a home for some of your creations is through charity crafting.  I especially like to make items for infants and pets (because they are fast and cute, and because my very own special cat was adopted from the Humane Society).

I was inspired by the phrase “Think globally.  Act locally.” and decided to make up a list of local NYC charities that accept handmade donations.  I checked in with all of these organizations, and the list is current as of October, 2011.

Snuggles Project sites:

  • ASPCA, the first humane organization in the Western hemisphere, has a wishlist of donated items for their Manhattan adoption center which includes handmade bedding or toys.  Items can be dropped off during regular adoption hours.
  • Bideawee, the oldest no-kill animal humane organization in the U.S., welcomes Snuggles in any size for cats and dogs in its adoption center.  These can be delivered in person, or mailed to the attention of Lauren Bonanno at the Manhattan location.
  • S.A.V.E., a pet rescue organization in Queens, is looking for small or medium sized bedding.  Email the organization at [email protected] to arrange pick up.

Knits for Infants is looking for hats, booties, sweaters, and blankets in soft, machine washable yarns for newborns and infants being treated at the North Central Bronx Hospital.  Having worked in the health care industry in the Bronx for years, I can say that families served by this hospital would really benefit from the donations.  They also accept yarn donations (no novelty yarns or “scratchy” yarns like Red Heart Super Saver, please).

For those of you who live in the U.S. outside of New York, some great organizations you might consider donating to are one of the organizations listed on the Friends of Pine Ridge Reservation website (Oglala Sioux Tribe families and elders), Knit Your Bit through the National WW II Museum (scarves for veterans) and  The Red Scarf Project through Foster Care to Success (scarves for foster care students in college).  Internationally, you can find a participating animal shelter/pet rescue organization that accepts handmade donations through the Snuggles Project.  Of course, this is just a small sampling of organizations, and there are many more out there!

Finished Objects


Today, I’m showing off some of the projects that I’m donating to charity for I Love Yarn Day.

Six scarves for Lakota Oyate Wakanyeja Owicakiyapi, Inc. (LOWO).
Two scarves, a hat, and mittens for toddlers via Knits for Infants. I have two other hats in the works, too.
This is a close up of my snuggle for Bideawee. I plan to make a few more using scrap yarn (I doubt the doggies are too concerned about the colors).

My post yesterday was a reflection on my craft goals for the year, and I’m thinking that when I update them, I will add some charity crafting goals.  I used to donate a lot of projects to charity, and I would like to make more crocheted donations in the coming months.

For more finished objects, don’t forget to stop by Tami’s Amis!

A Final Word on Awesome Yarn

A few weeks ago, I won a giveaway from Danielle at A Stash Addicts Ramblings for my choice of sock yarn from her Jane & Michael Etsy shop.  This lovely skein arrived yesterday, just in time for I Love Yarn Day!

 

The colorway is called Emerald Forest.

 

(On a side note, I remember being totally confused by The Emerald Forest as a kid, since I was, of course, way too young to have any real sense of what the film was about!)

There’s a good chance that this may eventually transform itself into a gift for my mom.

Thanks, Danielle!

To find more blogs participating in Blogtoberfest 2011, visit Tinnie Girl.  For Blogtoberfest 2011 giveaways, visit Curly Pops.