Posted in Crafting Corner, crochet

How To Help Save The Planet By Making Yarn Out Of T-Shirts

Have you heard of the term “upcycling”? It’s pretty much the fancy way of saying that you have repurposed something that you own into something new. Or maybe you’ve heard the term “zero waste” living being tossed around.

Both of these terms serve the same purpose. They are both based on the philosophy of reusing what you have to create something different or to reduce the amount of waste that we are putting in the environment by using reusable items instead of plastic or paper products.

What does this have to do with making your own yarn? This tutorial is going to show you how to make your own cotton yarn out of your old t-shirts.

If you are an avid crafter, like me, and you care about the environment, then making your own yarn makes sense.

Plus I saw a ball of yarn in Micheals, Lion Brand Re-Up Yarn, that is made from recycled materials. It’s nice to see that even the big brands are getting on board with the upcycling trend.

While this yarn wasn’t expensive ($2 a ball), why drive all the way to store to buy recycled yarn when you can make your own cotton yarn from t-shirts you already have at home.

Are you ready? Let’s make some yarn.

To make your own cotton yarn or t-yarn you will need the following supplies:

Supplies needed to make t-shirt yarn: t-shirt, rotary cutter, cutting mat, scissors, and a ruler.

This post contains affiliate links which means that I may receive a small fee, at no additional cost to you, when you purchase items using the links provided. As an Amazon associate I  earn from qualifying purchases.

  • 100 % cotton t-shirt
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Self-healing cutting mat (optional)
  • Rotary cutter (optional)
  • Washable marker(optional)

Selecting The Right T-shirt

The best t-shirts to use for this project are 100% cotton t-shirts without side seams and with minimal designs. If you use a t-shirt with print on it, then the yarn will not be a uniform color and if the design is vinyl you will not be able to stretch the shirt properly to turn it into yarn.

For this project, we are making a continuous ball of yarn. If the shirt has side seams you will have to remove the seams, which will prevent you from making a continuous ball of cotton yarn.

The amount of yarn that you will make depends on two factors.

  • Shirt size (bigger is better)
  • Strip size

How to Make T-Shirt Yarn (T- Yarn)

Step 1: Cut Your T-Shirt

Lay your t-shirt down on a flat surface (right side up). Using your ruler as a guide cut a straight line across your shirt underneath the sleeves. Set aside the top half of the shirt.

You can either use a seam ripper and take out the bottom hem or cut the bottom hem off. It’s up to you. I cut the bottom hem off.

Clear ruler placed underneath the arms of a t-shirt.
Cur off the bottom of the shirt.

Step 2: Line Up The Edges

Turn your shirt sideways so that the side of the shirt is at the top of your workspace. Fold the bottom half of the shirt up to the top. Leave an inch gap between the bottom edge and top edge.

Fold the edges of the shirt up leaving a 1 inch gasp.

Step 3: Cut Small Strips

Using your ruler and scissors cut the t-shirt into 1-inch strips( if you want thinner yarn make ½ in or ¾ in strips).

DO NOT…I repeat DO NOT cut all the way to the top. Stop cutting 1 inch away from the top of the shirt.

T-shirt cut into 1 inch strips.
Only cut to the inch mark.

I prefer to use my rotary cutter and ruler for this part just because it makes my strips more uniform in size. (I struggle with cutting things in a straight line.)

Your shirt should look like this:

Cut strips of yellow fabric.
Unfolded strips

Step 4: Make 1 Continuous Strip

Put your hand inside of the shirt to separate the strips. Find the uncut part of the shirt and lay it flat on your workspace (as flat as you can). This is the tricky part so take your time.

Kinda looks like a skeleton rib cage.

Starting at the middle of the first strip you are going to cut the strip diagonally to the first cut. Then you cut the next strip, starting in the middle, cut diagonally to the next strip.

Honestly, I had to use a marker to create a guide so that I knew where I was supposed to be cutting. Once I got the hang of it I didn’t need the guide anymore.

Cut each strip diagonally to the next strip.

You should end up with one long continuous strip.

Continuous t-shirt strip.
Continuous t-shirt strip.

Quick note: try not to cut the middle pieces too thin or else the t-shirt will break when we start to create the yarn in the next step.

Step 5: Pull

Now, the easy part.

Take the end of your t-shirt and stretch it. As you stretch the shirt you will notice that the strip will get thinner and that the raw edges will curl in on themselves.

Continue this process until you’ve finished the whole strip.

Pile of completed t-tarn.
Stretched t-shirt

Then wrap it up into a ball.

yellow ball of t-shirt yarn with a metal crochet hook.
Ball of T-yarn

Congratulations! You’ve just made your first ball of t-yarn and helped the planet.

How does making your own yarn help save the planet?

drop of water
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

According to the Lion Brand website,” It takes, on average, 20,000 liters of water to make 1 kilogram of cotton. By using one 70 gram ball of Re-Up you are saving 1,400 liters of water.”

A ball of Re-Up Yarn will give you 114 yd (105 m) of 4 medium weight yarn.

Depending on the size shirt you used you can easily get 150+ yds of yarn. Plus you didn’t have to drive to the store, which reduced your carbon footprint for today.

You’ve also kept a t-shirt from going to the landfill

Did you know:

  • It takes 1,800 gallons of water to make 1 pair of blue jeans.
  • 400 gallons of water to grow enough cotton to make 1 plain cotton t- shirt. (treehugger.com)

What Can I Make With T-Yarn?

If you made 1-inch strips you can use a size 5mm crochet hook or larger on your yarn.

You should be able to make anything that requires a 5mm crochet hook and cotton yarn.

If you are interested in using all of your t-shirt to make yarn check out this youtube tutorial on how to make t-yarn using the whole shirt.

Need some crafty ideas on what to make with your new yarn? Check out this list of Top 20 t-shirt yarn projects by Sustain My Craft Habit.

If don’t want to make your own t-yarn you can buy t-yarn on Etsy.

What are some other ways that we could upcycle a t-shirt to help reduce waste?

Share your ideas in the comment section. Don’t forget to like, share and follow my blog to keep up to date on my latest post.

Until Next Time,

The Crafty Afro

Posted in Crafting Corner, sewing

Cute Boxy Make-Up Bag Sewing Tutorial

Have I mentioned how much I like making zippered pouches? They really are fun and easy to make. Not to mention the different ways they can be made.

If you haven’t read my previous zippered pouch tutorial you can find that here. If this is your first time making a zippered pouch I would suggest that you read it.

It contains useful tips and hints that will make putting this pouch together easier. Today I’m going to share with you how to create a cute flat bottom zippered pouch aka cosmetic/make-up bag.

Flower themed zipper pouch in front of white roses.

Materials

Supplies needed to put your zippered pouch together.

This post contains affiliate links which means that I may receive a small fee, at no additional cost to you, when you purchase items using the links provided. As an Amazon associate I  earn from qualifying purchases.

  • 2 Fat quarters (coordinating colors)
  • 7 in zipper (or zipper of any size)
  • Coordinating thread
  • Clear Ruler
  • Pins/Sewing Clips
  • Zipper Foot

Optional Supplies

  • Seam Ripper

Important Sewing Terms

  • Zipper foot- type of presser foot that is used to attach zippers.
  • Right Side (rs)- The pretty side of the fabric
  • Wrong Side (wr)- The plain side of the fabric
  • Top stitch- stitches placed on the right side of the fabric for decorative purposes
  • Seam allowance- area between the fabric edge and the line you stitch
  • Interfacing- used to make an area of a garment more rigid or give it body.

Tutorial

1.Prep Materials

Before you start sewing you will want to do the following things:

  • Iron fabric to get out all of the wrinkles. Make sure you iron your fabric on the appropriate setting.
  • Attach your zipper foot to your machine.
  • Thread your bobbin with your coordinating thread colors and thread your machine. Change your needle if you have already used it a few times. If you are using thick fabric you may want to use a bigger needle. Check your manual to ensure you are using the proper size needle for the fabric you will be using. 

2. Cut Your Fabric

Cut  two 8.5 in x 7.5 in rectangles from your lining fabric, outer fabric, and your interfacing. You should have six rectangles (2 lining fabric pieces, 2 outer fabric pieces, and two interfacing pieces).

Tip: An easy way to save time on this step is to layer your pieces together and cut them all at once. If you have a rotary cutter set it makes cutting multiple layers of fabric easier and quicker.

Cutting fabric using the self healing mat, rotary cutter, and ruler.

 Tip: If you are using a different size zipper you will want to cut your fabric the same length as your zipper. If you brought a 9 in zipper add 1.5 inches to the length of your fabric.  The 9 inches doesn’t include the material at the end of the zipper. 

3. Attach Interfacing

Cut your interfacing to the size of your fabric.

Once you’ve cut out all of your pieces attach your interfacing to the wrong side of your outer fabric. Follow the directions that came with your interfacing.

I used clips to hold my fabric and interfacing in place until I could attach it to my fabric.

Clip the interfacing to the wrong side of the outer fabric until you are ready to press it in place.

Note: If you are using a thick fabric you may not need to use interfacing. The interfacing is used to stiffen the fabric so that the pouch will hold it’s shape.

4.  Create A Zipper Sandwich

This is one of the most important steps of the process. Take your time and make sure everything is lined up correctly and facing the right direction. You can find detailed steps on creating a “zipper sandwich” here.

Line the zipper up with the edge of the lining fabric.

Line the outer fabric up with the zipper and lining fabric.
Use your clips to hold everything in place.

Now you have a zipper sandwich! Well at least one half of it. 🙂

5. Sew The Pieces Together

First half of fabric is placed in the sewing machine.

Place your zipper sandwich on your sewing machine  and sew a straight line down the length of the zipper.  Make sure to remove the pin/clips as you sew. Cut your threads.

Tip: Before you get to the zipper pull. Place your needle in the fabric and unzip the zipper. Continue sewing.

6. Repeat Steps 4 & 5

At this point you should have one side of the pouch attached to the zipper. You are going to repeat steps 4 and 5.

Line up the outer fabric piece with the zipper.
Place ling fabric rs and line up with the edge of the zipper.
Second half of the inner and outer fabric are clipped to the zipper.
Place outer fabric rs down on top of the zipper and clip together.

Your finished product should look like this:

Inner and outer fabric attached to the zipper.

7. Press Your Fabric

Press fabric down and away from the zipper.

Press your fabric. Make sure that you are pressing away from the zipper on each side.

Note: If you are using a metal zipper be very careful because the teeth will get hot and burn you. 

8. Top Stitching

Take your fabric back to the machine and place a straight top stitch on each side of the zipper.

I usually line the edge of my zipper foot up with the top edge of the fabric.

Fabric is placed in the sewing machine to add top stitch.
Top stitch on each side of the zipper.

9. Match Up The Sides

Fold the fabric so that the right sides of the inner and outer fabric are facing each other. Pin or clip the sides together.

Fold the ends of the zipper so that they are facing the lining of the fabric and pin/clip each side together.  Unzip the zipper halfway before clipping both ends together.

Edges of the fabric are clipped together with binder clips.

*All you should see at this point are the wrong sides of the fabric. 

10. Sew It Together

Starting at the top of the lining fabric using a .5 in seam allowance sew around the perimeter of the fabric.

The perimeter of the zippered pouch is sewn closed with a small hole in the linning fabric.
You will need to leave a gap at the top of the lining fabric large enough to stick your hand through.  DO NOT  SEW CLOSED.

 Tips:

  • go slow when you get to the zipper area you may need to use the hand wheel to sew through this area because it will be thicker than the rest of the fabric. You do not want to hit the metal part of the zipper. 
  • Leave your needle in the fabric when you are turning the corners. 

11. Create The Bottom

Now we are going to create the bottom of your pouch. In each corner draw a .5 in square.
Note:You want to measure your squares inside the seam allowance.

Squares are drawn in the corners of the inseam.

*Tip #1- If you want a smaller or bigger bottom to your bag take the width that you want the bottom to be and divide in half. Use that number to determine what size your squares will be. (ex: 3 in bottom: 3/2=1.5 in square.

Once you have marked your corners trim off the excess fabric and cut out your corners.Trim the excess fabric and cut out the boxes of the pouch.
Carefully fold and match the end of each corner together. Pin the corners in place and stitch closed.

Make sure you use the same seam allowance when you sew all of your corners or they won’t be even. Trim off any excess fabric.

If you would like to try another method of boxing the corners or need a visual aide there is an excellent video tutorial here.

Align your seams before sewing the corners together.

*Tip #2- Before you sew your edges together make sure to line up the seams. This will keep your seams even all the way around your bag.

12. Time To Flip Out (The Fun Part)

Hopefully, you remembered to leave a hole in your lining fabric and you left part of the zipper unzipped.

Reach your hand into the hole of your lining fabric and pull the outer fabric through.

Viola! You have a cute little zippered pouch that will stand on its own. But before we can use it we have to do one more thing.

Pouch seamed are correctly matched up on the side and bottom of the bag.

13. Sew the Lining Closed

Tuck the ends of the fabric in (the should do this naturally) and sew the hole closed.

Inner zipper pouch lining is sewn closed.

14. Finishing Touches

  • Using a pencil or another blunt object push out the corners of your bag.
  • Zip the top closed and press your bag to give it that professional touch. 

Flower theme zipper pouch

Congratulations you have made your first flat bottomed zippered pouch! These are really easy to put together and make excellent gifts for kids and adults.

If you have any questions or need clarification please don’t hesitate to leave me a message in the comments area.

If you found this tutorial helpful please don’t forget to like and share it on social media.

Until next time,

The Crafty Afro

Posted in Crafting Corner, diy, sewing

Super Simple Zipper Pouch Sewing Tutorial for Beginners

stack of zippered pouches with a pink rose

Make up bags. Pencil pouches. Coin purse. Mom first aid kit. What do all these things have in common? Simply put they are all just different variations of a zippered pouch. 

I first started making zippered pouches because I wanted to learn how to sew a zipper. And creating a zippered pouch is a fairly simple and straight forward way to get practice sewing zippers.

I’m relatively new to sewing so I was very excited when I made my first one and it came out better than I could imagine.

It wasn’t too long before I started making all kinds of pouches! You can use them for just about anything and everything.

You need a pouch to carry your essential oils? Pow! Zippered pouch to the rescue!

Your kid has a bunch of small tools laying around house? I got a zippered pouch to put those suckers in!

Another thing that’s great about making your own zippered pouches is that you can make them a small or as large as you want. It’s a very versatile project. 

On top of that they are fairly inexpensive to make. I think I spent about $3 to make the pouch I used for this tutorial.

 As you can tell I’m pretty excited about making zippered pouches. I’m also excited to share with you this easy photo tutorial that I’ve put together to help you make a simple zippered pouch. 

I’m sure once you’ve made your first one you’ll be making many more! So without further ado, let’s get started!

Materials

This post contains affiliate links which means that I may receive a small fee, at no additional cost to you, when you purchase items using the links provided. As an Amazon associate I  earn from qualifying purchases.

Important Sewing terms

  • Zipper foot- type of presser foot that is used to attach zippers.
  • Right Side (rs)- The pretty side of the fabric
  • Wrong Side (wr)- The plain side of the fabric
  • Top stitch- stitches placed on the right side of the fabric for decorative purposes
  • Seam allowance- area between the fabric edge and the line you stitch

Tutorial

1.Prep Materials

Before you start sewing you will want to do the following things:

  • Iron fabric to get out all of the wrinkles. Make sure you iron your fabric on the appropriate setting.
  • Attach your zipper foot to your machine.
  • Thread your bobbin with your coordinating thread colors and thread your machine. Change your needle if you have already used it few times. If you are using thick fabric you may want to use a bigger needle. Check your manual to ensure you are using the proper size needle for the fabric you will be using. 

2. Cut Your Fabric

  • Cut  two 8.5 in x 7.5 in rectangles from your lining fabric and your outer fabric. You should have four rectangles (2 lining and 2 outer fabric pieces). I can’t cut a straight line with scissors to save my life, instead I use the rotary cutter set that my husband brought for me. It’s made my life much easier.

 Tip: If you are using a different size zipper you will want to cut your fabric the same length as your zipper. If you brought a 9 in zipper add 1.5 inches to the length of your fabric.  The 9 inches doesn’t include the material at the end of the zipper. 

3.  Zipper Sandwich

This is one of the most important steps of the process. Take your time and make sure everything is lined up correctly and facing the right direction.

  • Place the lining fabric right side (rs) up on the table.
  • Lining fabric is placed rs up.
  • Place the zipper right side up on top of the lining fabric, line the zipper up with the top edge of the lining fabric.
    Zipper is lined up with lining fabric.
  • Place the outer fabric right side down on top of the zipper and line up the edges.
  • Pin or clip the edges together. (I prefer to use clips because they are easier to manipulate than sewing pins. I brought a pack of cheap binder clips from Walmart for .88, but they have nicersewing clips that you can use.)
    All the pieces clipped together.

    Now you have a zipper sandwich! Well at least one half of it. 🙂

Tip: Before you start sewing take a piece of scrap fabric and sew a few stitches. Check to make sure your tension and stitch length are correct. The thicker the fabric the longer the stitches should be. 

4. Sewing The Pieces Together

Slowly sew everything together.
  • Place your zipper sandwich on your sewing machine  and sew a straight line down the length of the zipper.  Make sure to remove the pin/clips as you sew. Cut your threads.
    Completed zipper sandwich.

Tips: Before you get to the zipper tab,stop sewing and back stitch. Take your fabric off the machine and unzip the zipper. (Or you can leave the needle in the fabric and unzip the zipper. ) Place your fabric back on the machine and continue sewing from where you left off. 

Unzip the zipper and keep sewing.

5. Create Another Zipper Sandwich & 6. Sew The Pieces Together

At this point you should have one side of the pouch attached to the zipper. You are going to repeat steps 3 and 4. 

Completed zipper sandwich.

Lining fabric is rs up.
  • Place the lining fabric rs up and line the zipper up with the fabric.
Rs of the outer fabric should be facing each other.

Place outer fabric rs down on top of zipper. Line everything up and pin/clip in place. Sew it together.

Your finished product should look like this:

7. Press Your Fabric

  • Press your fabric. Make sure that you are pressing away from the zipper on each side.

Note: If you are using a metal zipper be very careful because the teeth will get hot and burn you. 

  • Press fabric away from the zipper.

8. Top stitching

  • Take your fabric back to the machine and place a straight top stitch on each side of the zipper.
    Top stitch on both sides of the zipper.

9. Match Up Sides

  • Fold the fabric so that the right sides of the fabric are facing each other. Do the same thing with the outer fabric. Pin or clip the sides together.
  • Fold the ends of the zipper so that they are facing the lining of the fabric and pin/clip each side together.  Unzip the zipper halfway before clipping both ends together.

*All you should see at this point are the wrong sides of the fabric. 

All clipped together.

10. Sew It Together

  • Starting at the top  middle of the lining fabric using a .5 in seam allowance sew around the perimeter of the fabric.
    Sew along the perimeter with .5 in seam allowance
  • You will need to leave a gap at the top of the lining fabric large enough to stick your hand through.  DO NOT  SEW CLOSED.
    3 finger width gap in fabric

 Tips:

  • go slow when you get to the zipper area you may need to use the hand wheel to sew through this area because it will be thicker than the rest of the fabric. You do not want to hit the metal part of the zipper. 
  • Leave your needle in the fabric when you are turning the corners. 

11. Trim

  • Trim off the excess fabric and an excess bulk from the zipper area. Be careful not to cut the thread. Also trim all loose threads if you haven’t already.

Tip- cut your corners at an angle, this will help when you have to turn the bag right side out. 

Clip the edges at an angle

12. Time To Flip Out (The Fun Part)

  • Put your hand inside the hole you left in the lining fabric and gently pull the outer fabric through the zipper. You may need to unzip the zipper more to flip the bag completely out.

Pulling the outer fabric through.

Viola! You have a cute little zippered bag to use however you wish! But before we can use it we have to do one more thing.

Completed zipper pouch

If you did not place your fabric right when making the zipper fabric your bag will look like this:

Outer fabric is showing the ws of the fabric.

13. Sew the Lining Closed

  • Tuck the raw edges of the lining fabric together and sew it shut either by hand or using your sewing machine.

14. Finishing touches

  • Using a pencil or another blunt object push out the corners of your bag.
  • Zip the top closed and press your bag to give it that professional touch. 
Finished product.

Congratulations you have made your first zippered pouch! These are great to give as gifts and are pretty easy to put together once you get the hang of it.Not to mention there are so many other different bag styles that you can make once you get the basics down.

If you have any questions or need clarification please don’t hesitate to leave me a message in the comments area.

If you found this tutorial helpful please feel free to share it. I hop you enjoy making many more pouches!

Until next time,

The Crafty Afro

Posted in Crafting Corner

How To Design and Create Your Own Crochet Patterns For Beginners

Have you ever wondered how the people on sites like Ravelry and Etsy come up with those awesome crochet patterns? Have you ever wanted to try your hand at creating your own crochet patterns to sell or to list for free?

Honestly, if you’re interested in making money in the crochet world making and selling your own patterns is the way to go.

As a beginner crocheter, you may not feel like you how the skills to create your own crochet designs and write your own patterns.

But I’m here to tell you that if you have the basic crochet skills down, then you have what it takes to design and write your own crochet patterns.

So let’s get to it.

The Design Process

Find Inspiration

The first thing that you need to do is figure out what it is you want to create. If you are new to crochet or you don’t know many of the advanced crochet stitches I would start with something easy.

Some of the best and easiest crochet items for beginners are:

  • Dishcloths & Hand towels
  • Scarves
  • Baby blankets
  • Coffee Cozies
  • Headbands
  • Boot cuffs
  • Pillows
  • Coasters and
  • Hair Bows

If you are a little more advanced or want to challenge your skills you could try designing your own garments, purses or stuffed animals (amigurumi).

For example, a few months ago I attempted to crochet a replica of one of my favorite shirts that had become… shall we say a bit too small and had a little run-in with some bleach.

I’ve crocheted a cardigan before so I figured why not try to make my own sweater. That project was the inspiration for this blog post.

Start with the basics

Now, that you have decided what item you want to make you need to ask yourself a few basic questions.

1. What kind of stitches will you use?

I would suggest you start making something using a combination of the basic crochet stitches.

Basic Crochet Stitches:

  • Single crochet
  • Half double crochet
  • Double crochet
  • Treble crochet

These stitches can be used in combination to make interesting patterns and textures or you can use just one specific stitch. It just depends on the look you are going for.

Other ways you can add texture to your work are by using the following types of stitches:

  • Stitching in the front or back loops only (ribbed effect)
  • Shell stitches
  • V stitches
  • Post stitches

Remember you can use any combination of stitches that you want in your design.

Just make sure it is something that you are comfortable with and something that you can explain to somebody else.

To create a crocheted replica of the sweater I used single and double crochet stitches.

I used single crochet stitches at the base and the rest was made using double crochet stitches and single stitches for the border.

2. Are there any special skills you need to complete your work?

As a beginner, you might not know many of the advanced stitches, but don’t let that stop you.

However, there are still some basic skills that you need to make sure you freshen up on before you start creating your work.

For instance, will you be using one color or will you be using multiple colors? If you are using multiple colors you will need to make sure that you know how to change colors.

If you are going for a ribbed look, do you know the difference between the front loop and the back loops?

When you get to the end of your row how many chains do you need to do create before you turn the work so that your stitches are the same height?

To an experienced crocheter these may not seem like special skills, but if you’re a novice they are skills that are essential to your success as a designer and a pattern maker.

When I decided to create a crocheted replica of my shirt I had to know how to change colors, how to increase and decrease stitches and how to sew the two panels together.

All of these are basic skills, but I usually make blankets or scarves, which usually don’t require you to increase or decrease stitches nor do they require you to sew two pieces together.

3. What type of yarn will you need?

The next piece of information you will need is what type of yarn will you use? If you are making a dishcloth you will want to use something absorbent like cotton yarn.

If you are making a blanket or scarf acrylic or wool yarn would work just fine.

Most crocheted items are used making size 4 yarn. But maybe you want something super warm and squishy, then a bulky or super bulky yarn would work best.

If your making something a little more dainty and lacy then a size 3 or lower yarn would be the best option for your project.

5. What’s the size?

The final question that we need to ask ourselves is how big do we want our project to be.

For items like dish clothes, scarves and even baby blankets size is not that big of a deal. However, if you are concerned you can always look up what the average size of these items are.

Knowing the size of your item is important for making things like sweaters, hats, etc.

All bodies are not created equal and having correct measurements is a must when making any type of garment.

This information will also give you a rough estimate of how much yarn you will need to buy to complete your project.

Write Down Everything

Once you’ve gotten the basics figured out now it’s time for the fun part. Creating your masterpiece!

I assume you are reading this blog post because you want other people to be able to make your marvelous new creation.

If you want to be able to share your pattern with the rest of the world you will need to write down EVERYTHING.

If you took measurements. Write it down. If you changed colors in the middle of row 11 on stitch 22. Write it down.

If you don’t count the turning chain as a stitch. Write it down.

Whatever you do from this point on make sure you write it down. It doesn’t have to be neat, but it does need to be written down somewhere.

I can’t tell you how many scarves or blankets that I’ve created that I wish I had written down what I had done.

If you don’t write down what you are doing you will forget what you did by the time you are finished.

As you can see from my diagram. I wrote down everything I did and the measurements that I took on one sheet of paper.

It is important to note that in this phase, you will probably start over many times. But keep working at it until it turns out the way you want it too.

The crocheted sweater I made came out the way I wanted to, as far as the way it looks. But after making it and trying it on I realized that the yarn I had used was too bulky and stiff.

So I’ll have to try it again with a thinner yarn. But it wasn’t a total loss. I could rework the pattern and take out the increase to make it a “normal” fitting sweater.

This step will also make writing your final pattern easier, we’ll talk about that in the next section.

Will You Need a Gauge Swatch?

At some point you may want to create a gauge swatch for your pattern. If you are making a sweater, hat, cardigan etc these are very important and need to be included in your pattern.

This will help the person reading your pattern determine what size hook and tension they will need to use to get the same look and dimensions of your finished work.

Gauge swatches are usually a 4x4in square and include the type of stitch, the number of stitches it took to get 4 inches wide and the number of rows it took to get 4 inches in height.

Example Gauge Swatch: 10hdc and 4 rows created a 4×4 in square using a size M hook (the hook size is mentioned in the supplies section of the pattern).

Depending on how tightly or loosely the person reading your pattern crochets will determine if they can use the same hook size or if they will need to go up or down a hook size.

Writing the Pattern

If you remembered to write down everything you did during the design process. Then this part will be relatively easy.

All you have to do is transfer what you wrote down into a standard crochet pattern format.

Use Standard Crochet Terminology & Abbreviations

Before you begin writing your pattern you will need to become familiar with the basic terminology and abbreviations used in crochet patterns

Depending on what part of the world you live in some of the terms and abbreviations are not the same. For example, in the UK a single crochet is called a double crochet.

When I first started crocheting I didn’t know that the names for stitches and hook size were different. The first time I tried to follow a pattern written by someone in the UK I was thoroughly confused.

Here are a few of the basic abbreviations and terms used in the US and the UK when writing crochet patterns.

Common Crochet Pattern Terms and Abbreviations (US & UK)

Us Term

US Abbreviation

UK Term

UK Abbreviation

Chain

ch.

Chain

ch

Single Chain

sc

Double crochet

dc

Half Double Crochet

hdc

Half Treble Crochet

htr

Double Crochet

dc

Treble Crochet

tr

Treble Crochet

tr

Double Treble Crochet

dtr

Slip Stitch

ss or sl

Slip stitch

ss or sl

Yarn Over

yo

Yarn Over

yo

Explain Any Special Stitches Used

If you used a special stitch or technique that might not be familiar to the person reading your pattern you will need to provide an explanation of this stitches for your readers.

You can provide this information at the beginning of your pattern or you can explain it in the pattern.

If it’s something that is going to be done frequently or is a major part of the design I would explain it at the beginning of your pattern.

For example if you used a cluster stitch in your pattern in the section for special stitches you would explain how to do a cluster stitch. It would look something like this:

Cluster stitch (cl): yo, insert hook, yo, draw loop through, yo, draw through 2 loops over 3 stitches, yo and draw through all loops on the hook.

You could explain it again in the pattern if you think it will be easier for the reader to understand in the context of the pattern.

Basic Crochet Pattern Outline

Hopefully, you took excellent notes during the design phase. If you did, writing your crochet pattern will be a breeze.

Now that we’ve covered the basics I’m going to provide you with an outline to use to write your pattern. You can also download my free crochet pattern template here as an editable word document.

Basic Crochet Pattern Outline

Title:

Materials Needed: {yarn used (include size,color, and brand), hook sizes, scissors, needle, etc go here in bulleted form)

Gauge: (if needed)

4×4 in gauge square: 11 hdc wide and 4 rows

Special Stitches: (if needed)

Finished measurements:

Skill level( is this pattern suitable for beginners,intermediate, or advanced skill levels)

Pattern

Ch. 36 (always start with the number of single crochets used in the starting chain) This does not count as a row.

Row 1: insert hook into 2nd ch from the hook, sc in each stitch (35) ← this number indicates the total number of stitches at the end of row 1. If you are not adding or removing stitches then this number isn’t necessary at the end. Ch 1 and turn. Indicate how many stitches are in the turning chain

Row 2: sc in 2nd ch from the hook and across the rest of the chain, ch 1 and turn (35)

Row 3: repeat row 1. Ch 2 and turn (35)

*If you have repeating rows you do not have to keep writing the same thing over and over again. Simply write row 3-row 5: repeat row 2.

If your super lazy like I tend to be sometimes you can just right R instead of row.

R 4: 2 dc in 1st ch from the hook, dc across, 2 dc in the last stitch, ch 2 and turn (37)

R5-R17: repeat R4 (57)

Cut yarn, tie off, and weave in any loose ends.

Optional Information

At the end of the pattern you can include any other information you would like.

Some designers indicate whether people are allowed to create and sell the items they made from this pattern as long as they give credit to the author in this section.

If your handy with a camera you could create a tutorial and insert the video or link here.

Now to our final and most important step before you hit that publish button!

Test Your Pattern

The last thing you want to do before you submit your crochet pattern to the world wide web is to test your pattern.

You can either find a friend to test your pattern or you can set it aside for a few days and come back to the pattern and try to make it again yourself.

If you do this part it’s important that you follow the pattern as you have written it. If you notice any mistakes or can’t figure out what to do next, chances are neither will a complete stranger on the internet.

The best thing you can do is take notes on what went right and what went wrong. Then you will have to go back and tweak your pattern.

If you can get somebody else to test your pattern that’s even better. Make sure you ask them to leave you feedback.

Final Thoughts

I hope you found this post helpful and informative.If you create and design your own pattern please share your success with me. I’d love to hear and see all the wonderful things you have made.

I would not consider myself a pro at crocheting so if there is something I’ve missed or you have any questions please feel free to contact me or leave a comment.

Once again if you would like the free crochet pattern template you can download it here.

If you thought this post was awesome please share it or save it on Pinterest.

Until Next Time,

The Crafty Afro

Posted in Crafting Corner

Crochet Blankets and Scarves for Christmas

It’s Christmas eve and I’ve finally finished all of those crocheted Christmas presents that I foolishly promised people I would make. A superman themed baby blanket, 2 blankets (lap blankets), and a hat and scarf set.

The first blanket I made using:

Isaac Mizrahi Yarn (Sutton, 7 balls)

Q/16 mm Hook

Darning needle

I really love the color of this yarn. It’s a super bulky yarn so the project worked up pretty quickly.

I’m not big on fashion, but apparently, Isaac Mizrahi is an important designer. I was lucky and found this yarn on sale at A.C. Moore. Seven balls of yarn for $5.

The pattern for this yarn consisted of double crochets and single crochets. Unfortunately, I forgot to bookmark the pattern. If I find the link I will make sure to add it to the site.

The second blanket I made using:

Isaac Mizrahi Yarn (Sutton, 7 balls)

P/11.5 mm Hook

Darning Needle

I used the same yarn for this blanket I just used a different pattern. Instead of trying to do something fancy I just made a blanket using granny squares. Since the yarn acrylic and wool, both blankets turned out to be pretty warm.

My last Christmas gift was a hat and yarn set. Honestly, I really like the scarf, but I’m not thrilled about the hat. She wanted a slouchy had, but somehow it didn’t turn on like I imagined.

For this project I used:

Grey Crochet Hat & Yarn Set

Studio Classic Yarn (Grey, 1 Jumbo roll)

K/6.50 mm Hook

L/8.00 mm Hook

Darning needle

I followed the pattern here to make the slouchy hat. However, I didn’t have bulky yarn so I just used two strands of the grey yarn.

Grey crochet hat

The scarf was made using a half double crochet stitch with the stitches crocheted in the back loops only.

Chain 142 stitches

Round 1: Insert hook into the second chain, half double crochet into that stitch and all the remaining stitches.

Round 2: Chain 1. Half double crochet into the back loops only. Repeat until you achieve the desired width.

Then I added the tassels at the end.

The hat is not my best work. I am still trying to figure out what kind of embellishments to put on it to make it look better. However, the scarf turned out great.

Until Next Time,

The Crafty Afro