Posted on Leave a comment

Simple Fingerless Mitts

Today at the Sock Sessions, Charlie a very new knitter, finished her first project a large garter stitch square for a cushion. She had some Patons Super Quick left so I suggested she make some simple mitts. With her 10mm needles and Patons Super Quick, Charlie casted on 12 sts and made herself a pair of mitts in less than 2 hours! Not bad for a new knitter. This is my ‘recipe’ for these super quick and easy first project for the new knitter.

I wrote this recipe/pattern up in 2013 and it is available on Ravelry as a PDF download HERE 

The basic shape of these mitts is a rectangle. The design could be knit in many weights of yarn by recalculating the cast on stitches and rows knitted and changing the needle size to match.

The simplicity of this design makes the most of hand spun yarn. 

The perfect first knitting project, a pair of mitts takes less than 50 gms of 8ply yarn to complete.

An experienced knitter can make many pairs in a day. They are a great fundraising item. I used to sell these, knitted in my hand spun, at the craft shop in Wirrabarra.

Jazz them up by using lots of scraps of yarn or knit them plain and simple. 


50 grams of DK or worsted weight wool yarn. 

4mm straight knitting needles

Wool needle for seaming


My gauge was 20 stitches X 26 rows to 10cm over stocking stitch.

The mitts are small enough to be their own gauge swatch.  A firm fabric will take the wear that mitts get. If fabric is too loose, decrease needle size; too firm, increase needle size.


Knit a mitt, then examine it for fit. The mitt needs some negative ease for a firm fit.

If the fit is too tight add rows to the pattern or too big decrease the number of rows.  

If the mitt is too short – add stitches, too long – decrease stitches.

Pattern – make 2

Size Cast on sts Width to knit
Extra Small (Toddler) 20 12 cm
Small (child) 25 14 cm
Medium (women) 30 16 cm
Large (men) 40 18 cm
Extra Large  45 20 cm

Cast on the number of stitches for size required. (The length of the mitt)

Knit in garter stitch for the size required.(The width of the mitt)

Bind off.


Fold fabric matching cast on edge to bind off edge.

Using a whip stitch sew up from the bottom until where the base of the thumb hole will be. Sew from the top to where the top of the thumb hole will be. Sew in ends and trim.

Posted on Leave a comment

Crochet Market Bag – a recipe

Australian crochet terms used in this pattern.

I tend to make up the pattern as I go with these bags.  Cotton yarns work well as they don’t stretch out as much as wool or acrylic yarns do. I use various weights of yarn, with an 8ply, I use a 3.5mm hook, with a 10ply a 4.5mm hook. Experiment to find what works for you.

Approximately 100gms of yarn is used, but this will depend on the size of the bag you make. I used Scheepjes Soft Fun available in my webstore HERE

Once you understand the construction they are fast and fun to work up.


Start with  5 chains and join into the staring chain with a slip stitch to form a loop.

Round 1  Work 3 chains and 12 trebles into the loop, join with a slip stitch into third chain.

Round 2   Work 3 chains, then work 2 trebles into each treble to make 24 trebles, join with a slip stitch into third chain.

Round 3   Work 3 chains, then work (1 treble then 2 trebles) repeating (around, increasing by another 12 stitches to make 36 stitches, join with a slip stitch into third chain.

Continue increasing 12 stitches in each round until the base is as large as required. 

So round 4 would be ( 1 treble, 1 treble, then 2 trebles) repeated. Round 5 would be (1,1,1,2)

I make my bag bottoms 5 rounds.

Hint: to help keep track of the increases, always V stitch in the centre of a V stitch.  

Work the base

Sides of bag

Are made with chain loops which are slip stitched into every second stitch to anchor them.

The length of the chain loops can be varied. Less stitches smaller holes, more stitches bigger holes and a bigger bag. I like 7 chains, I do like prime numbers!

Work the chain loops in a spiral until the bag is the desired length. 

Work the sides

Top of Bag

Can be left without a top border, as in a produce bag and a long chain made and threaded through the top loops to double as the handles and closure.

Or can be crocheted around to give a firm edge. I work two or more double crochet stitches into each loop and one into the slip stitch. The number of stitches worked determines how wide the opening of the bag will be. Work in a spiral until the edge is as wide as you would like.

Double crochet around the top


Built in Handles..

Can be incorporated into the edge by twice making a large chain and skipping a section of the double crochets before anchoring down and completing the round. Try to make sure the chain loops are balanced opposite each other. On the next round add double crochets into each of chains in the chain loops from the previous round. Work a few more rounds to make a wider handle. 

Work 2 built in handles opposite each other

Long handles

On the final round add the handle by working back and forth over a few stitches until the handle is long enough. Work out where the opposite point is and attach the handle by crocheting it together with the opposite edge. More stitches wider handle, less narrower. Handles and bags stretch a lot when carrying items so ensure handle is not too long. 

One long Handle

PLAY …. string bags are fast to make and very easy to experiment with. 

Posted on Leave a comment

Temperature Wrap CAL

For the last few years I have been seeing Temperature blankets popping up in my social media feeds. Although I have been tempted, I also know I’m not the greatest at sticking to long term projects. As the many UnFinished Objects hidden around the shop in the boxes under the shelves attest too. (and you thought they were just for hiding all the extra stock from Peter.)

This year is the year I am committing to a Temperature project. I was inspired by the Scheepjes Instagram post of It’s All In a Nutshell’s Temperature wrap for 2019. 

Having committed publicly and now having a group of us working on it, in the Knit Spin Weave Brains Trust Group. I am pretty confident this year I will keep to the plan.

I ordered in Scheepjes Cotton 8 in the colours suggested by Esther and put starter kits together, available in the webstore here. If the colours aren’t to your taste I am happy to order in other colours of Cotton 8, it would take less than a month to come into stock. The other colours of Cotton 8 can be viewed on the Scheepjes Website. Send me a message on Facebook or leaving a comment here, with the colours you would prefer.

I have started my wrap. I started by making each row a different day and wasn’t happy with the result, as the ends being sewn in on such short rows was bulky and unattractive. I made a second start and did 10 rows in the Day 1 colour (orange for me) to start. I will now be working one row for each day.

If you would like to join along it’s not too late and past temperatures can be found on the BOM Website. I am using the temperatures for Clare on the BOM website. 

Posted on 2 Comments

String Bags – Saturday February 2nd from 1pm

I’m trying another approach to the workshops and classes this year. Starting in February, every first Saturday of the month from 1pm, will be a crochet afternoon. For beginners to those with advanced skills. More of a social come & play and learn from each other, rather than a formal class. I’m hoping to develop a once a month crochet gathering, with the sharing of skills around a common project.

After a conversation at Knit Night a decision was made to make the first Crochet gathering to be market bags. 

I make my bags, out of my head. I make a circle for the base, then I work the sides of the bag with chain loops and slip stitches. I finish the top of the bag with a few rounds of double crochet. Sometimes I work the handle into the top rounds and other times I add the handles separate. I will write down my recipe (or is that pattern) for the group. The lovely thing about crochet is it is very fudgeable. Those of us who have a hard time keeping to a pattern can very easily get away with a few extra or less stitches. If you have a way youwould like to share bring along your samples and ideas, I’d love to learn how you make yours.

If my fast and loose methods are not to your taste here are a few FREE patterns I have found that you may want to try:

Mavis String Bag – You Tube Tutorial

The Old Fashion String Bag – By Leslie Lewis

Zero Waste Kitchen: Crochet Produce Bag

Crochet Shopping bag – From Your Family, this one is very much like the recipe I use

The beginners crochet market bag – Ravelry download

The String Tote Pattern – has a clever pocket created to fold it into for storage.

The Tuck away Tote from Crochet World also features a pocket to fold the bag into

The Mum market bag by Traditionally Emily features a rather gorgoreous flower motif for the base. Very tempted to try this one myself.

The Crochet afternoons will start at 1pm which is an hour before Zest closes, if you would like to grab a coffee. I offer these groups for free on the understanding that you have purchased something from the shop, yarn or a hook. I’m not going to set a minimum, I do know how hard it is for many of us. Support your local yarn shop and I will support you back.

If you have a pattern to share, please post it to the comments below or over in the FACEBOOK Group

Posted on 1 Comment

And just like that…

And just like that, it is finished. The goal reached and there is exhilaration, but also a vacuum. I tend to feel a little lost after finishing a big goal. I was like that when I ran. I’d finish my goal race, generally a half-marathon, and for a couple of weeks after wander around a little lost and low.

I love the challenge of working on larger projects. The Ubuntu Blanket was a 12 week Crochet-A-Long by the talented Dedri Uys from the blog Look at What I Made designed in collaboration with Scheepjes. I did the small blanket which was worked in Cotton 8. The videos which go along with the Ubuntu Cal, made by Esther from It’s all in a Nutshell, were excellent. Watching the videos made it easy to follow the pattern, which was well written.


I have avoided Mystery Knit-a-long and CALs after a not so successful one a few years ago, when the resultant project wasn’t to my taste. I had the same experience with mystery yarn club purchases, opening the parcels to find I don’t like the yarn. Fortunately I found someone to gift the yarn too. Maybe I am overly picky. I prefer these days to know what I’m buying.

I really enjoyed the Ubuntu as I knew from the outset what I would be making. The Cotton 8 is lovely to touch. I did find it splitty to work and if I had had another brand hook in the 2.25mm I used to get gauge I would have tired that..

My Ubuntu will be in the shop for awhile before making it’s way home. At present I am out of kits. If you do want one let me know and I will order one in for you.

My WIP (work in progress) pile is huge and if coming into the shop, you may find a few half worked socks littering the shelves. I justify their unfinished state by claiming I need samples.

I’ve had a lovely quiet Christmas spent with my family and I’m back into the shop tomorrow. I’m looking forward to my reduced hours in the shop in January. I should be writing more blog posts, sharing my new adventures in the dye kitchen, which is now back home in Jamestown.

Warm Wishes,