Caterpillar Cocoon

I was asked to make a Caterpillar Cocoon months ago and searched high and low for a (free) pattern that would work with the chunky yarn (stylecraft special) I had bought and had the ridges of a cocoon rather than just straight edges. I bit the bullet and set about designing my own pattern. Eek! It took a few goes to get the increase and decrease rows right so they could be seen but weren’t going to be tight or uncomfortable for a baby. I so wish I had made these for my own babies as I think they would have been so useful for cuddling them in and then transferring them to a moses basket, like a ready made swaddle. I used chunky yarn but two strands of contrasting DK would look good too. This cocoon fits newborn to three months.

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The pattern is in US terms.

Ch2 at the start of a row does not count as a stitch. Start round in the same stitch as the ch2, not the next one.

You need:

6mm hook, chunky yarn.

Magic ring, ch 2, 8 dc in ring, sl st into first DC to join. (8)

Row 2: Ch2, 2 dc in each stitch around (16)

Row 3: Ch2, *2 DC in first stitch, DC in next*. Repeat ** around. (24)

Row 4: Ch2, *2 DC in first stitch, DC in next 2*. Repeat ** around. (32)

Row 5: Ch2, *2 DC in first stitch, DC in next 3*. Repeat ** around. (40)

Row 6: Ch2, *2 DC in first stitch, DC in next 4*. Repeat ** around. (48)

Row 7: Ch2, *2 DC in first stitch, DC in next 5*. Repeat ** around. (56)

Row 8: Ch2, *2 DC in first stitch, DC in next 6*. Repeat ** around. (64)

Row 9: Ch2, DC in each stitch around (64)

Row 10: Ch2, *DC2tog, DC in next 6*. Repeat ** around. (56) Fasten off this colour and join new colour with a slip stitch.

Row 11: Ch2, *2 DC in first stitch, DC in next 6*. Repeat ** around. (64)

Row 12: Ch2, *2 DC in first stitch, DC in next 7*. Repeat ** around. (72)

Row 13: Ch2, DC in each stitch around (72)

Row 14: Ch2, *DC2tog, DC in next 7*. Repeat ** around. (64)

Row 15: Ch2, *DC2tog, DC in next 6*. Repeat ** around. (56).

Fasten off this colour. Join new colour with sl st. Repeat rows 11-15 twice more, alternating the colours used.

Finish off after a dec to 56 row and sc two rows, either in constrasting chunky yarn or in 2 x strands of dk. Hope you like it. Please let me know if there are any issues with the pattern!

Happy hooking x

PS the hat is a very cute pattern from Hand Me Down Hobby.

ETA Regarding the hat…

The second time I made this hat in newborn size I used stylecraft chunky and a 6mm hook. I started with 10 and increased 10 stitches each time until 30 stitches then increased in every 5th stitch to get 36 stitches in total. I did 8 rows altogether and then two rows of the rib edging.

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Crochet confusion part 2: worsted yarn

It feels odd referring to the stuff I have called “wool” all my life, as “yarn”. The Americans are right though, it is yarn. Wool is defined as a fibre obtained from the coats of animals. Yarn is the term to describe a continuous length of interlocked fibres. So the pedant in me insists that I now call it yarn. 
When I started crocheting, I had a plentiful supply of yarn left over from my knitting days, but it wasn’t the yarn they were recommending on patterns. Most patterns called for a “worsted weight yarn”. Say what? I had no idea. Turns out that worsted weight is approximately equivalent to our aran weight. That is, unless the pattern is asking for light worsted or heavy worsted…they are totally different! (double knitting and chunky to us in the UK).

Why can’t these things be the same the world over? Why can’t we all use the same terms to describe our yarns? Why can’t we all decide to just call the crochet hooks their actual size ie a 5mm hook (as is UK convention), rather than a “H” hook (US!)? Why is our single crochet a US double crochet?!

Sorry, back to yarn. 

So, I spent the first few months using aran weight yarn, not convinced it was the right stuff, but my items worked up ok so I was happy.

I was browsing the Wool Warehouse site, looking for some cotton yarns to make lighter hats, more suited to spring and ordered lots of balls of gorgeousness like this one…

Can you imagine my excitement when I spotted this on the label!

Finally I could feel confident that I was using the correct yarn. I hadn’t used cotton before so thought I’d do a couple of little projects to try out the pretty new additions to my stash. 
I used the solid colours (Drops Paris) to make a cover for my phone using a pattern from Moogly. I lost some stitches along the way so it is far from perfect but it was good for getting used to using an inelastic fibre. I might even make a matching one for my laptop. 

 I loved working with the Lily Sugar n Cream Ombres to make this little hat. Gorgeous colours, perfect for spring days.

The cotton works up beautifully, giving a really polished finish to items. It is more expensive than acrylic yarns and less forgiving when it comes to sizing, but I think I will be buying a lot more cotton, worsted yarn in the future. 

Crochet confusion

When I started crocheting, I soon realised that Americans were into crochet in a much bigger way than Brits. Or maybe it’s just because there are more of them so all the instructional videos were from the USA. This caused me and my crocheting buddies some confusion. Turns out US and UK crochet terms don’t actually mean the same thing. But both countries use the same terms, oh maaaaan. For anyone else who is confused, here is a handy conversion table…

Most patterns I have come across on the web, use US terms. UK pattern books are the only place I have seen UK terms used. Even UK designers on the web tend to use US terms.
For anyone who is starting out, This useful graphic turned up on my Facebook feed this morning, courtesy of Oombawka design crochet
Many people have asked me to teach them to crochet, but the truth is I just used YouTube videos when I was initially learning to crochet, mainly this series. I still regularly use the videos to check I am doing the correct thing or if I come across a new stitch. I would love to run crochet lessons but I’m still considering the logistics. Ask me to teach some Chemistry, fine. Crochet? Where do I start?! 
So, until then, just get yourself a 5mm hook (aluminium), a ball of aran weight yarn in a light shade and settle down with the YouTube videos. 
WARNING: CROCHET IS ADDICTIVE.
Being a Crochet and Knitting addict, means openly talking about hooking, fingering and your   stash, while bystanders wonder if they should call the police.