Category Archives: Crochet

crochet sweater without a pattern

Crochet Sweater Crib Sheet

May I present, as promised, the Crochet Sweater Crib Sheet…ta DAH!

There will be a printable PDF as soon as my ‘pooter and I have sorted out our differences and it does as it told!

 Making garments using basic squares and rectangles is how we first clothed ourselves, and crochet is particularly suited to being a bit experimental.  With knitting, you have everything bunched up on the needles and have to wait till casting off to see exactly what is going on.  With crochet however, you can stop at anytime to make decisions and adjustments.

I’ve made little garments for little people this way before, but this is the first time I’ve made something my size, and it worked well.  (I’m wearing my sweater as I type!)

So this isn’t a pattern, it’s a crib sheet.  I hope it sets you off experimenting with different yarns, and shapes and sizes.  This particular crochet sweater was made using Aran weight yarn, a 5.5mm hook using a treble crochet stitch (US double crochet) but as long as you stick to the basic rules with your tension square and some basic arithmetic you could use any yarn, any stitch for any size.

Be prepared to buy enough yarn to finish the project.  I admit you have to guess, my version took 16 and a half balls.  It all depends on the yarn.  Be on the generous side and you can always make a matching hat!

It all hangs on the tension: match the yarn to the hook, choose your stitch and work a tension sample , not too small, about 30 stitches (I know, I hate tension squares too but it must be done!)The most important measurement is the width – the length is decided by the number of rows worked.  From this you can see how many stitches there are per inch/cm.

tension - crochet sweater crib sheet - no need for a patten

Draw a plan.  The garment is based on rectangles so draw a simple design as shown:-

crochet sweater crib sheet - no need for a pattern

Take some measurements:  The simplest way is to use a garment you feel comfortable in around the hip and shoulders, lay it flat and measure this across its widest part; this will give you the width of the garment.  Don’t forget, it’s meant to be loose, casual and slouchy! Write this on your plan.

Do a sum!: For example…If your sample shows you have 12 stitches per 4”/10cm and your required width is 24”/61cm then 24 ÷ 4 = 6 and 6 x 12st = 72st.

Back: Make a chain of your number of stitches plus 2. Miss 2 ch and work in treble crochet (US double crochet) to end, turn.

Starting with 2ch on each row and working the last st into the top of the 2 ch continue to crochet until the back is your desire length.  Fasten off.

Front: Work as back until 4 rows short.  Work 22 tr, turn and work the last 3 rows on these stitches, decreasing at the neck edge twice.  Rejoin the yarn on the other side and repeat.  Fasten off.

Stitch together the front and back at the shoulders and slip over your head.  Ignore the comments about Clint Eastwood.

Decide how deep you would like the armholes to be and mark with a pin.  Remove the sweater, then stitch together from the armhole to the bottom edge, leaving a slit of a few rows if you like.crochet sweater without a pattern

Sleeves: With right sides facing and starting at the under arm with 2ch, crochet round the armhole as before and join with a slip stitch. (with treble crochet it works out about 2 stitches in the side of each stitch)  Turn for next and subsequent rows as this forms the texture to match the body of the sweater (working in rounds looks very different) Keep on working until the sleeve is the desired length (just keep trying it on till you are happy with it) work a bit more if you like a turn back cuff. If your armhole is quite deep as mine was, work a couple of decreases in alternate rows at the start just to narrow the sleeve slightly.

Then make the other sleeve just the same way.

Neck: Pick up and crochet a couple of rows round the neck edge and try on.  You might like it wide and slouchy in which case 2 rows may be enough. I went for 6 rows and then finished with Crab Stitch.  This is double crochet (US sc) worked from left to right rather than right to left. It’s a little awkward to start with but not difficult.  It’s one of my favourite edging stitches.  There’s a useful You Tube video here:

crochet sweater crib sheet - crochet a sweater without a pattern

I hope you enjoy being a bit experimental with your crochet sweater or whatever else you choose to make…

Have fun…!

Crochet sweater - Planet Penny

A crochet sweater for Autumn

The autumn equinox, the first day of autumn…It seems a really good day to unveil my hunky, chunky crochet sweater!

As mentioned in my last post, this crochet sweater was inspired by a Frank & Olive Crochet pattern. However I had different yarn, I was making a different size, I wanted a different neck and longer sleeves and so I had to basically make it up as I went along!

The yarn is  Merino Blend Aran superwash wool (anti tickle too!) by King Cole in a gorgeous shade of Aubergine, bought from the Wool Warehouse. (I love buying from the Wool Warehouse, the yarn arrives in a gauzy drawstring bag which makes every purchase feel like a pressie!)

So there isn’t a pattern as such, but if you would like a crib sheet of how I worked it out I’m very happy to share so please let me know if you are interested.

crochet sweater detail

neck – edged with crab stitch

crochet sweater detail - side slits

detail – side slits

crochet sweater - Planet PennyIt’s exactly what I need for cold winter days in the studio, and there’s just about room for Higgins too!

So do leave a comment if you want to know more.

And I’d also like to ask for a little feedback from anyone who has subscribed to follow Planet Penny by email.  The widget appears to be misbehaving!  If you have arrived here because you’ve received the email, brilliant, can you tell me it’s working for you? If you have been expecting an email, haven’t received one and have arrived accidentally to see where I’m hiding, can you tell me that too?  I will need some ammunition so I can go and moan at someone! Thank you, lovelies…

I shall be back here soon with a review, and news of a super duper giveaway on the newsletter so please sign up for that.  I know that bit is in good working order!

See you soon..x

Edited to add: link to the crib sheet here

The Crochet Butterfly & Flower Mobile – Ta-DAH!

At last I can share with you the project I have been beavering away to finish, the crochet Butterfly & Flower Mobile,  made using the new pastel selection of Planet Penny yarn.Planet Penny Cotton Yarn - New Pastel Shades for Crochet Butterfly & Flower Mobile

I’m really happy with this pastel version of the rainbow shades and hope you like it too.  I’ve got lots of ideas for pretty pastel blankets and cushions, but for now I’ve been having fun surrounding myself with loads of butterflies and flowers.  We may not have had much sunshine this year, but it’s definitely been summer on Planet Penny!

Crochet Butterfly & Flower Mobile - pattern & cotton yarn from Planet PennyCrochet Butterfly & Flower Mobile - pattern & cotton yarn from Planet PennyI made lots of butterflies in different colour combinations, used the Lemon Sherbet to make the flower centres and saved the Peppermint Cream for the leaves (and then had a happy half hour arranging them for the photos!) Crochet Butterfly & Flower Mobile - pattern & cotton yarn from Planet PennyCrochet Butterfly & Flower Mobile - pattern & yarn from Planet PennyBut the ultimate goal was to make a mobile.  I used a wooden hoop as the base and crocheted round to cover it (but actually it would be fine left ‘au naturel’ or painted)…covered hoop for Crochet Butterfly & Flower mobile…and added three crochet chains for hanging.

After arranging and pinning the flowers to cover the hoop…crochet flowers for mobile PDF pattern - Planet Penny…I used my trusty hot glue gun to fix them securely.Crochet Butterfly and Flower Mobile - PDF pattern - Planet Penny(and then got very excited about the idea of a coronet bed head with filmy drapes over a little girls bed, or a bridesmaid headdress, or framing a mirror…or…or… shhh…calm down dear!) 

Anyway, for now it’s butterfly time and I added these with nylon thread which is nearly invisible, hanging each butterfly at different lengths and… da-DAA…! The finished Crochet Butterfly & Flower MobileCrochet Butterfly & Flower Mobile - PDF pattern - Planet PennyAnd then the sun came out so I was able to let those butterflies loose to flutter in the breeze…Crochet Butterfly & Flower Mobile made in Planet Penny Cotton Pastels _PDF pattern & yarn - Planet Penny You can find a downloadable PDF of the instructions here:  Crochet Butterfly & Flower Mobile and the yarn is available in the Etsy shop.

I’ll be back soon…x

Just a little post…

…to say thank you!

Thank you for all the positive comments on my last post.  It’s lovely to hear you are happy to read my ramblings, and Higgins is positively swollen headed at the thought that you want a bit more ‘Dachshund Action’…  He’ll do his best to provide it!

A lot of the things which have been keeping me away from the day to day Planet Penny stuff have been related to getting to grips with sorting out my parents home, my mum’s stuff and all sorts of things I had stored at her house and forgotten about.  It’s an unwritten law, isn’t it, that you always have something left in your parents’ attic, even when you have a home of your own? I know we still have all sorts of odd boxes full of our off-springs’ stuff and they’ve long left home.  I’m being hopeless at parting with things too, even things I actually don’t like, like this Toby jug which has scowled at me from a shelf for as long as I can remember…Toby jug

He’s been banished to a cupboard now, but we haven’t parted company even though he obviously disapproves of everything I do!

And then there are clothes, especially things my mum knitted.  How fabulous is this Patricia Roberts cardigan she made me in the eighties?  I thought I had lost in in one of my many moves, but no it was safely in the attic.  Quite a good incentive to diet, but probably not to have another perm!Patricia Roberts CardiganSitting out here in the studio listening to the rain on the roof it’s hard to believe how hot we were over the weekend.  Higgins is very fed up right now because he hates the rain and would prefer to stand around with his little cabriole legs crossed rather than got out into the garden.   It was a different story on Saturday when it was 28°C, a steamy hot August afternoon… A little post - Norfolk in AugustHe really was a hot little sausage!dog_walk hot_dogSo for now I’m indoors and working on a crochet project with the new Planet Penny yarn. Here’s a sneaky peek…Planet Penny Yarn PastelsI’ve also finished a bag that I started on the Crochet Retreat when I decided to go outside my comfort zone with chunky yarn and a size 12mm hook. I love the bright shades of this DMC XL Cotton…

DMC XL cotton yarnIt turned out to be a little more XL than I had planned.  Just as well I’m 5’9″ or it would drag on the floor but it’ll be great place for a yarn stash!crochet bag DMC XL yarnI’ll be back with a new post to share those pastel butterflies, see you soon…x


Planet Penny Cotton Colours – Ice Cream Shades

Those of you who signed up for the newsletter will know that the new Planet Penny Cotton Colours Ice Cream Shades selection is now available in the Etsy shop.  And despite the ensuing flurry of of orders I’m pleased to say there are still some packs available!
Planet Penny Colours Ice Cream Shades

I’ve really enjoyed playing with this new palette of colours, especially as I have got just a little bit obsessed with making these gorgeous crochet roses from the Frank & Olive Crochet CAL.  It’s a super simple pattern, and if you would like to join in you can help Ruby with her wedding flowers! 

Planet Penny Cotton Colours Ice Cream shadesThe yarn is exactly the same super quality as the Planet Penny Cotton Colours Rainbow Shades, a lightweight DK, and the packs of 10 different Ice Cream colours in 50g balls is £26.00.  It comes with a 3mm crochet hook, which I recommend if you are making amigurumi and need a denser stitch.  For blankets, throws etc I use a 3.5mm hook or knitting needles.

Find it in the Etsy shop right HERE

I’m off to work on the second new collection, a Pastel rainbow this time.  It’s going to be soo pretty for baby things, and with a new baby for the family putting in an appearance in the Autumn I’m going to have fun with it.

I hope you love the new Planet Penny Cotton Colours as much as I do…

I’ll be back soon…x


The Crochet Retreat with Frank & Olive

Well I’m home, bright eyed and bushy tailed from a simply stunning weekend at the very first Crochet Retreat with Frank & Olive and can’t wait to tell you all about it.

I hopped on a train to York on Friday afternoon and after the taxi driver had negotiated the rush hour traffic I arrived in the peaceful Yorkshire countryside at Deighton Lodge, a converted farmhouse.  Here I was welcomed by Ruby and Kim, of Frank & Olive Crochet.Ruby & Kim - Crochet Retreat with Frank & OliveRuby is a fabulous crochet designer as seen in Mollie Makes, Simply Crochet, Inside Crochet and Kirstie’s Handmade Britain.

As the other ‘Happy Hookers’ arrived we were given a very welcome glass of Prosecco to sip while we gazed with wide eyed wonder at the heaps, piles….mountains of gorgeous yarn which surrounded us.  Just yarn heaven!

Crochet Retreat with Frank & OliveI really wanted to bring this sheep home! DMC sheep - Crochet Retreat with Frank & OliveThere were pattern books galore to inspire us and it wasn’t long before we had all dived in and started new projects and we were a little reluctant to stop to eat.  That is until we saw the gorgeous Greek themed feast which had been prepared, just scrumptious!

And that is how the weekend continued, with fabulous food and drink, more yarn than we could ever use, inspiration, lots of laughter and new friends.  It was exactly what I needed and I’ve come home thoroughly inspired.Marna Lunt - Crochet retreat with Frank & OliveRuby had arranged a workshop with  Marna Lunt the textile artist who is lovely and had us all crocheting, cutting and stitching to make our own creations, I’ve nearly finished mine…Marna Lunt workshop - Crochet Retreat with Frank & OliveThe final luxurious touch was a massage with Nassira, who was fantastic – it just added that extra relaxing element…

So I’ve come home full of enthusiasm and have only been slightly daunted by discovering that our internet is on the blink! So. I might get this published, who knows but hey…I am sooo chilled…

If the Crochet Retreat with Frank & Olive sounds like it might be right up your street you can find out more about it here… and I’ll be back soon to share a few more of my makes…x

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