Archive for the ‘Free Patterns’ Category


March 8, 2012

I am working on some more installments of the male gaze posts (holy cats, you guys have a lot of good thoughts and ideas!) but in the meantime, how’s about a free pattern? I whipped up a quick spring scarf for Eleanor and it’s easy as pie. Easier, honestly – pie crust can be a bit tricky!

It’s called Pippa, after Robert Browning’s lovely little spring poem, “Pippa’s Song”, and it takes just one skein of some really scrumptious DK weight yarn and only two row repeats. You can of course adjust it to any width or length.

4 inches wide, 52 inches long

* 1 skein Squoosh Fiberarts Silky DK [50% merino, 50% silk; 225 yds per 100 gm skein], shown in colorway Shell
* 40 yds scrap yarn in contrast color, shown in A Verb for Keeping Warm Alpaca Silk, colorway Magic Bean (optional)
* 1 pair U.S. size 8 (6 mm) needles
* crochet hook

23 sts/26 rows = 4 inches in Tunisian Rib Stitch

Knit the scarf

CO 23 sts.

Row 1 (WS): K1, [yo, sl1 wyib, k1] to end of row.
Row 2 (RS): K1, [k yo together with sl’d st tbl, k1] to end of row.

Rep Rows 1 and 2 until scarf measures 52 inches or desired length, ending after Row 2. BO all sts.

Add fringe (optional)

Cut 96 lengths of contrast yarn 9 inches each. Holding 4 strands together, fold in half, creating a small loop near the center of the gathered lengths. Each group of 4 will be attached on every other st of the scarf, 12 groups of 4 to each end of the scarf. Using the crochet hook, pull the center loop through the edge stitch of the scarf. When the loop pulled through is large enough, pull all the ends through the loop and pull it tight. Work all fringe in this same way. Once all the fringe is attached, trim evenly to desired length.


Weave in ends. With a silk blend like the one used, blocking is technically optional. For a deeper texture, leave unblocked. For a drapier scarf, block gently and dry flat.

Notes and modifications

Altering the width and length of the scarf may require more yarn, so if you plan on making a larger scarf, please purchase a second skein of yarn. To make a wider (or more narrow) scarf, cast on any odd number of stitches that matches your gauge and desired width and follow the pattern as written. Altering the length is as easy as binding off when you reach your preferred length. Be sure to use a soft yarn with some drape that feels nice around your neck. The scarf is reversible (both sides shown above) so you can display the side you prefer. Enjoy!


BO – Bind off
CO – Cast on
K – Knit
RS – Right side
sl – Slip
st(s) – Stitch(es)
tbl – Through back loop
WS – Wrong side
wyib – With yarn in back
yo – Yarn over

Tamarind update

December 8, 2011

I created the Tamarind Cowl a few years ago as a way to use up my surplus of Malabrigo in Rich Chocolate. It’s an easy little free pattern, and one of my more popular patterns to boot. I didn’t substantially change the pattern, but I did update it a little today both to match my current layouts and to make it a little easier to follow.

You can download the updated Tamarind Cowl pattern here. It’s a simple little knit that doesn’t take very much yarn, so you still have time to make one (or a few) for holiday gifts!

Pamela Cowl

August 20, 2009

I’ve been forgetting to add this to the blog, but here you go!  Another free pattern on the free patterns page.  Nothin’ fancy, but a simple, relaxing cowl that is soft and comfortable.  This was my go-to cowl all last fall and winter, and I hope you enjoy it as well!

One skein of Malabrigo Silky Merino, a set of size 6 circulars, and you are on your way!  The all over lace means you get more out of the skein than you otherwise would, and the silk/merino blend feels amazing against the neck.  This pattern will also be available in the 2010 Knitting Pattern a Day Calendar.

Edited to add: I’ve been forgetting to mention this as well, but I’ve temporarily taken down the Arthemis pattern until I can write it up much better than I’ve currently done.  It is not top in my list of patterns to get to, but I didn’t like having it up when it was such a mess.  I will be returning to it in time.

Happy New Year – here’s a pattern

January 1, 2008

So it’s a new year, which means it’s five days until I hit the last year of my twenties. I’m not terribly impressed with the idea of turning 29. It just sounds so fake, even faker than 28 did. I want to hit 30 and just commit to it, instead of lingering at this age that no one will believe.

Anyway, I have owed you all a pattern for a good long time, and like the nice people you are, you’ve been uncomplaining, though I’ve had the occasional nudge to remind me to finish. So here, for the new year, is the pattern for Arthemis, and I’m working on the pattern for the Erin Shrug as well.

I originally started writing this pattern in the usual range of sizes, but as I was writing it up, it hit me that I was destroying the very thing that makes a top down raglan special – the ability to customize to body type. Sure, I could write up just what I did and size up and down, but that assumes that everyone has the same basic shape as I do, and it’s not useful. So instead of a standard pattern, I wrote this up as more a recipe to customize to your own shape. The pattern for the sleeves, collar, and lace edge match the ones in my picture, and I think I’ve explained pretty well how to place the darts, but if you have trouble, please let me know and I’ll do my best to help. As always, I’d love to see it if you knit it, and I definitely want to hear about mistakes I’ve made in writing it up so that I can correct them.


Dapper Herringbone Scarf

December 4, 2007

I should be ashamed of myself for even daring to call this a pattern, but a few people have asked about the scarf I showed in my last post, and I figured I’d just quickly explain what I did. There is absolutely no skill involved in coming up with this, because I just used a Barbara Walker stitch pattern and made it about as wide as I wanted. (For those with Barbara Walker’s first Treasury, the stitch pattern is the Woven Diagonal Herringbone on page 96 of my edition.)

I made my scarf with two skeins of Cascade Luna. It’s pretty short, though, (43 inches) so I’d recommend 4 skeins for a more normal length scarf of about 7 feet long. The stitch pattern is perfect for a scarf because it’s reversible, and it has enough interest to keep a knitter pretty well occupied with a result that is not too flashy for even the most conservative of fashionable gentlemen. (Of course, it would work admirably for a woman, too. I am just pleased to have found something that works even for someone like my husband, who does not like frippery on his handknits.)

So, the pattern, such as it is.

Yarn: 4 skeins Cascade Luna
Possible yarn subs: Rowan All Seasons Cotton, Cascade Ecological Wool, Malabrigo Worsted, Knit Picks Main Line (about 336 yards of any of these)
Needles: One pair 5 mm needles (U.S. size 6)
Gauge: 17.5 st to 4″ in pattern (this does not need to be terribly precise)

Please note: All slipped stitches are slipped with the yarn in front.

Cast on 24 st

Row 1 (WS) and all other wrong side rows: Purl across.
Row 2: (Sl 3, k3) 4x.
Row 4: K1, * sl 3, k3; repeat from *, end sl 3, k2.
Row 6: K2, * sl 3, k3; rep from *, end sl 3, k1.
Row 8: (K3, sl 3) 4x.
Row 10: Sl 1, *k3, sl 3; rep from *, end k3, sl 2.
Row 12: Sl 2, *k3, sl 3; rep from *, end k3, sl 1.

Repeat rows 1-12 until you feel the scarf is of a good length or you run out of yarn. You should have just enough for a scarf slightly over 7 feet long if you use 4 skeins of Cascade Luna. Wet block the scarf and then wear. Swell!

January 2nd edit:  Orata over at Feather and Fan made some really excellent adaptations to this pattern.  Her version is called the Prismatic Scarf, and it works really well with any variegated yarns as well as eliminating any possible tendency to curl.  My version blocks pretty flat, but it does want to curl, as will happen with any stockinette based pattern.  The Prismatic Scarf evens out the knits and the purls to a happy medium.  Hooray for happy endings!  I actually think I’ll be making a second version using the Prismatic pattern (and some fun yarn).

Meta post: Maude is now easier to download

November 9, 2007

Thank heavens, eh?  I completely and totally fail at WordPress, because I hadn’t even realized I could host my PDF here, instead of at that random awful place that made it difficult to get a copy.  I know a lot of people have had trouble downloading Maude Louise, but hopefully that is at an end.  There’s a new link in the sidebar and a new link in the original post.  And now you can click from here to get to the Maude download.  Once there, you can click on the picture of the PDF or on the sentence below it to download the pattern.  Whew.  Much better.

I’m still working on the Erin shrug pattern and on Arthemis, but I’ve been sort of down and depressed in the last couple of months, and I’ve cut out work on most things that don’t need to be done immediately, so they’ll be slow.  I’m truly almost done with Erin, but I just haven’t found the time to scan in my charts and fix them up.  Sorry – I’m the slowest pattern writer on the planet, I think.  I appreciate your patience with me, though.

Basic Blue Hat

August 8, 2007

The pattern for this hat is long overdue, so I thought I’d post it before we head off into the wild blue yonder on our move. Gabriel was kind enough to pose for some pictures for me, so you can see what this hat actually looks like when it’s worn. I know there are plenty of simple hat patterns out there, but I’m posting this one because there is a dearth of kid sized hat patterns. When I got the skein of Kersti used to make this hat, I searched and searched to try to see what size kid hats are normally made at, and I found baby, toddler, and adult hats, but nary a hat for a child over the age of about four. The Koigu Kersti is pretty stretchy, so this hat should fit anyone from about the age of five up to a small headed adult. (I happen to be a small headed adult, so the hat fits me. I’d make it slightly longer for myself, though.) Gabriel, shown here, is eight. This is a perfect first pattern for any new knitter, because you use almost every skill you will need in making more complex projects. With that in mind, I’ll write it out in full, no abbreviations, with links to Knitting Help on each new technique used.

Enough chatter! On to the pattern!

Yarn: One skein Koigu Kersti
Possible subs: Any worsted weight yarn, though it should be one with a bit of stretch
Needles: 16″ U.S. size 6 circular needles (4.25mm), one set size 6 double pointed needles
Notions: one stitch marker

Cast on 100 stitches. Join to knit in the round, being careful not to twist the stitches. You do not want a moebius hat! Place a stitch marker at the join. This just means that you slip on a little ring or even a small knotted piece of yarn in a contrasting color to mark where each row begins.

Knit one stitch and purl the next. Repeating these two stitches will form K1,P1 ribbing. Knit for one inch in ribbing, ending at your stitch marker.

This next section is the easiest part. You simply knit without purling until you have an open tube measuring 4 inches in length, again ending at the stitch marker. This is more than ample time to get you used to the knit stitch, which is the main thing you’ll need to know in knitting any object.

One the next row, knit for 8 stitches. Slip the next stitch onto your right hand needle without knitting it. Knit the following stitch, then pass the slipped stitch over the top of the knit stitch. This will create a left slanting decrease, commonly abbreviated in knitting patterns as SSK. You can use any of the techniques shown on this page, however, so feel free to experiment. The important thing is to decrease after every 8 knit stitches for one row, and to use a consistent method of decrease.

From here on out, you’re going to be using the same decrease stitch on each row, but since you’re losing stitches, there are two things to keep in mind. One: On each new row, there will be one less knit stitch before you decrease. You decreased after every 8 knit stitches on the first decrease row. One the second, it will be after every 7 stitches, and so on. Two: You are eventually going to have too few stitches to keep knitting on 16 inch circulars. This is where the double pointed needles come in.

Spiral top

When, after a few rows, your knitting starts to feel a bit tight, take out your double pointed needles. Sets of dpns usually come with either four or five needles. It doesn’t matter which of these numbers you use, but you need to transfer your stitches onto one less than the total number of needles. Try to distribute the stitches as evenly as possible. There is a tutorial on using dpns here. Keep decreasing as before until you have five stitches left. Then carefully slip all of the stitches off of the needles and slip the end of the yarn, leaving a long tail. Thread the tail on a tapestry needle and run the needle through the remaining five stitches and pull tight with the tail dangling on the inside of the hat. Knot and then weave in the end and clip it. Weave in the other dangling end and you’re done! Voila! You have a hat.

As always, if you have any difficulty or find any errors with what I’ve written here, let me know.  I’ll help in any way I can.  I’d also love to see pictures of your finished creation!

Maude Louise

March 3, 2007

March 29, 2009 update:  Whoops!  All of a sudden this old post is getting a lot of traffic.  The pattern for Maude Louise has been completely rewritten as of this month, and you can get it here. Sorry for any inconvenience.  The entirety of this post applies to previous incarnations of this pattern, none of which was entirely complete.  Even if you’ve downloaded Maude Louise before, I highly recommend downloading the new pattern rather than trying to work with the old.  I’m leaving these notes, up, though, in case they help anyone who has the old pattern still.

IMPORTANT: If you downloaded the pattern prior to March 12th 2007, there is a major error in it. Please see the corrections here and here. I’m very sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Well, I’m exhausted, and I don’t really want to do math ever again (though I shall be doing lots shortly to figure out the other sizes), but I finished the pattern in my own size! Ha! Victory is mine! I do the happy ninja dance of joy and drink the blood of my enemies in celebration! Um, OK, maybe I don’t drink the blood of my enemies, but I am boogying in my seat pretty hardcore. Oh yeah.

I apologize in advance for any errors and remind you again to let me know about them as you come across them. Before you start, please be sure to look at the notes here.

The latest version of Maude Louise has multiple sizes, but not in the sleeves.  Until I figure out the math on this one, you can use these great instructions, or those found in Barbara Walker’s Knitting From the Top, to make the sleeves work even without me knowing how you should make them from the bottom up.

On the subject of torsos and the many sizes in which they come, I wanted to discuss the sizes I’ve given in my pattern. Maude Louise is intended to have a fitted waist, but there are a few important things to keep in mind to make sure your sweater fits. One is bust size, of course, and all of those are listed in the top, but I wanted to explain how big the waist is for each size. That way, if you want to mix and match bust and waist size, you’ll know how many stitches you need. Bear with me.

The size 32 and 36 inch bust each have a 27 inch waist that gets a little smaller when seamed. It stretches, so it shouldn’t be a problem if your waist is a little bigger or smaller than 27 inches. The size 40 and 44 inch busts have a waist size of 32 inches. The size 48 and 52 have a 35 inch waist, and the size 56 has a 42 inch waist. This is assuming you’re knitting in gauge, of course. Now, I’m limited here by the lattice stitch, which requires the addition of a very particular number of stitches to come out right. However, there are two ways you can make sure this sweater fits your own particular waist. One way, if you’re knitting in gauge, would be to see if one of the measurements I’ve listed is close to your own, and swap out the number of stitches on the bottom half of the sweater for the one that will fit you best. The other, probably more precise way, is a bit more work. You’re going to have to knit a few more gauge swatches of the lattice stitch, on several different sized needles. By changing the gauge around, you should be able to make a sweater that fits your body type.

One last note – the size 40 and 42 are designed so that the waist seams will not line up perfectly at the sides. If it all works out as I think it will, this won’t matter much, but it’s certainly possible that I’m wrong. If I am, I will be sure to try to fix it. Anyway, I think the twisting will be minimal and won’t really show when the sweater is worn, but please do keep me updated if you run into any problems with it.

Thanks for reading all of this, and good luck! Send me pictures of your finished projects – I really want to share.

Gulp. (Notes on Maude Louise)

March 2, 2007

So here’s what is happening with the pattern for Maude Louise. Finished or not, I will be posting it tomorrow, hopefully as a download, provided I can figure out how to do that. The likelihood is that I won’t be finished, but not to worry – I will update it as I finish and continue to update as people let me know about problems in the pattern. (And there will be problems, though hopefully not too many!) Right now I’ve only got it in one size – mine, and I am a fairly stretched out sort of person, so bear this in mind if you decide to start. I’m 5’10”, and I have a very long torso and very long arms, so there may need to be some modifications for people who are of a smaller stature. Other notes: I have a 34 inch bust, but I made Maude at 32 inches to make her more fitted. If you want your version to fit closely, make the chest two inches smaller than your actual bust size. The Andean Silk I used stretches very well, and relaxed a lot when I blocked it. I don’t think that a stiff yarn would work very well, since that stretchiness is pretty necessary for fit.

I’m trying to think what else a knitter would need to know about Maude Louise. I used three different needle sizes in making the torso area, in order to keep increases and decreases to a minimum. For this reason, gauge is very, very important. DO NOT try to make this pattern without swatching first. Since the end result is supposed to be fitted, it’s doubly important. On a bulky garment, it’s not as huge a deal if you’re off by a little bit, but being off a little on this one could leave you with something totally unwearable. There’s meant to be a fair amount of stretch in the waist. Because of the fact that it’s in lattice stitch, many of the sizes will begin with the same waist sizing on different needle sizes – it goes up by a full five inches if I add more stitches to the waist. The waist on mine measures 27 inches when I’m not wearing it. I think my waist is a little bigger than that, and it stretches without looking pinched. If you’re worried about waist size, though, go up a needle size instead of adding stitches. The lattice stitch is done in multiples of 16 (+2) so the increases are pretty sharp.

I think that’s it! Wish me luck in finishing this pattern, and tomorrow I’ll post it. C’est la guerre!

Ripple Hand Towel

February 21, 2007

Yarn: one and a half skeins Rowan Linen Drape (discontinued)
Possible subs: Plassard Coton-Lin, Louet Sales Euroflax Originals, Maggi Knits Maggi’s Linen, Needful Yarns Iside, Queensland Collection Cotolino
Needles: U.S. size 3 (3.25 mm)

Cast on 44 stitches
Knit for 4 rows in garter stitch.
Maintaining 3 garter stitches on each side, knit in the following pattern, which is taken from Barbara Walker’s A Treasury of Knitting Patterns (Diagonal Rib, page 24):

Row 1: K1, * p4, k4; rep from *, end p4, k1.
Row 2: K4, * p4, k4; rep from *, end p2.
Row 3: K3, * p4, k4; rep from *, end p3.
Row 4: K2, * p4, k4; rep from *, end p4.
Row 5: P1, * k4, p4; rep from *, end k4, p1.
Row 6: P4, * k4, p4; rep from *, end k2.
Row 7: P3, * k4, p4; rep from *, end k3.
Row 8: P2, * k4, p4; rep from *, end k4.

Repeat Rows 1-8.

Knit until the piece measures approximately 16 inches.
Knit four rows in garter stitch.
Bind off.