Saturday, December 4, 2021

Op Shop Wristlets - and the golden loop

It's been a while since I posted over here. Turns out 2021 was not conducive to creativity (for me anyway) I keep reading that many people took up crochet and knitting, along with bread baking and other 'home' based crafts or skills, and I'm very pleased to hear it! I did knit myself a few socks (I have posted about which sock patterns I've liked as a beginner) but for some reason, my crocheting passion had left me. 

Anyway, for today, I have a last-minute Christmas gift idea - ideally for those in the Northern Hemisphere. A pair of wristlets (or fingerless gloves). They belong to a set I've had out for a while - The Op Shop Collection. The collection was first conceived back in 2015, and had had a couple of re-writes since then. The wristlets have been a bonus pattern included in the ebook, so I figured it was time to make them a little more available! 

The Original Op Shop piece

The Op Shop Collection includes a shawl, a headband, and this pair of wristlets. The wristlets are ideal for those who need some extra warmth, but still need their fingers free - to type, or swipe their phones! 

To get the full pattern set - a ebook is available on Ravelry  at this link 

The Op shop Shawl is available as an individual item on Etsy. 

the original Op Shop Wristlets from 2016 

The Op Shop Wristlets use a stitch I have called a Long Double Crochet, or an LDC - which is very much like a regular dc, but the first loop is pulled up to the height of the turning chain. The first loop is also referred to as the golden loop, and knowing about it can be revolutionary in making gauge. 

Esther from It's all in a Nutshell has a very detailed blog post about it, which you can find linked here. For what it's worth, I tend to have a short golden loop, but it may answer some questions about why some people use 3 chains for a turning chain with dc, and others only use 2. 

These wristlets were first published in 2016. ‘Op shop’ is short for Opportunity Shop, which is the Australian version of a Thrift store. The story is that I have a much-loved, thrifted bed jacket, and wanted to create a modern garment using it as inspiration. The original bed jacket is baby pink, and still in my possession! The pattern has been edited for clarity. 

Materials needed 

9mm hook 

Bulky weight yarn. (I used a small part of 1 x 100gram skein of Superfine Alpaca from Knitpicks) 


Wristlets are made flat and seamed together. 

Abbreviations used 

ch- chain 

ch-sp - chain space 

sc- single crochet 

 LDC- long double crochet 

sk - skip

YO - Yarn over 

Do not count the chain as s stitch throughout the pattern. 

LDC- YO, hook in next st, YO, pull up loop to height of ch-5, (YO, pull through 2 loops) twice.

To make: 

Left hand  

Make a chain of 21 
Row 1- sk 1st chain, sc across (20), turn.
Row 2- ch 1, sc across (20), turn.
Row 3- ch 5, 20 LDC, turn.
Row 4- ch 1, 20 sc, turn.
Row 5- ch 5, 20 LDC, turn.
Row 6- ch 1, 1 sc. ch 4. sk next 4 stitches, 15 sc, turn.
Row 7- ch 1, 15sc, 4 sc into ch-sp, turn.
Row 8 - ch 1, 20 sc. 

Fasten off. Mattress stitch two short sides (edges) together and weave all ends in. 

Right Hand. 

Make a chain of 21
Row 1- sk 1st chain, sc across (20), turn.
Row 2- ch 1, sc across (20), turn.
Row 3- ch 5, 20 LDC, turn.
Row 4- ch 1 20 sc, turn.
Row 5- ch 5, 20 LDC, turn.
Row 6- ch 1, 15 sc. Skip next 4 stitches, 1 sc, turn.
Row 7- ch 1, 1 sc, 4 sc into chain space, 15 sc, turn.
Row 8 - ch 1, 20 sc. 

Fasten off. Mattress stitch two short sides (edges) together and weave all ends in. 

The current version of the Op Shop Shawl, which uses the LDC and can be part of a matching set.

I hope you enjoy this quick, and free pattern for fingerless gloves!

Happy Crocheting


Friday, September 3, 2021

Frog or Finish?

 A colleague of mine told me that in January every year she goes through her project basket and decides if she loves a project enough to finish it, she'll continue working on it, otherwise it'll get frogged and the yarn reused. This means she doesn't have anything too old sitting around or filling up space, and more importantly, gets projects finished! 

For those unsure - 'frog' means to undo. Because we often say 'Rip it out,' and rip it sounds a lot like ribbit.. a frog! Yes, crocheters and knitters often speak another language!

This may sound harsh, especially if you've put a lot of work into something, but I'm a fan of this way of thinking! I'm not sure that I've mentioned it on the blog before, but I also don't like to keep a huge stash of yarn at home either. Of course, I have no problem with those that do! I have found over time, what works for me, and it's just a few tubs of yarn. 

It was very common, just a generation or two ago, for sweaters to be undone and re knitted as children grew out of them when wool was harder to source. 

I've written about knitting from a sock blank, which is almost the same as knitting straight off a finished piece, but if you don't like the kinked texture (it looks like ramen noodles) you can soak and dry the yarn in hanks. The Spruce Crafts has this great tutorial on how to make a hank. 

But, back to your pile of unfinished projects, will you finish them or frog them? Remember there is no right or wrong answer - if you have the space and fully intend to finish everything, then please keep them! If the stack of unfinished projects is starting to overwhelm you, then making the decision to frog, or even donate, can be very refreshing. 

Thanks for reading, let me know your thoughts


Monday, August 2, 2021

Joshua Bonnet - free pattern - Pixie Bonnet

I first designed the Joshua Bonnet for my newborn son - Joshua! I love the look of bonnets on babies and wanted something that could be equally lovely for girls and boys. Joshua and the Joshua Bonnet are now over five years old, so time for a refresh of the pattern!

The pixie bonnet features some detailing along the front to frame the face.

Sizes: Newborn (Head circumference) 14 inches/35.5cm (3-6 month 16 inches/40.5 cm, 6-9 month 18/46 cm, 9-12 month 19 inches/ 48 cm, 2-5 years 20 inches/ 51 cm, 5-8 years 22 inches/ 56 cm.)

Yarn: 8ply/DK weight, 100g/3.53oz (283 m/309 yards) 52 m/56 yards (MC), 26m/23 yards A and B
Hook: US I (5.50mm) and US G (4.0mm)
Notions: Scissors, Yarn needle.
Gauge: 12 sts and 8 rows = 4" (10 cm) in hdc. 

Abbreviations: (US terms used) 

ch = chain

sc = single crochet

hdc = half double crochet

st(s) = stitch(es)

sl st = slip stitch

rep = repeat 

Pattern Notes: Turning chains do not count as a stitch.

The hat is worked flat in rows, and seamed along the back.

Using MC and 5.5 mm hook:

Chain 39. (41, 48, 51, 54, 59)

Row 1: Skip 1st ch, 38 (40, 47, 50, 53, 58) sc, turn.

Row 2: Ch 2, 38 (40, 47, 50, 53, 58) hdc, fasten off, turn.

Row 3: Using A, ch 1, 38 (40, 47, 50, 53, 58) sc, fasten off, turn.

Rows 4 - 8: Alternate rows 2 and 3

Rows 9 - 19 (20, 22, 24, 26, 28): in MC, As Row 2

Fasten off and weave in ends. 

Surface Crochet:

Using B and 4.0mm hook, RS facing out, surface slip stitch along Row 4, and repeat on Row 6.
Repeat with MC along the foundation chain.


Insert hook through space between first two stitches, front to back; keeping working yarn on
WS. Pull up a loop, insert hook into next sp (between stitches) pull up loop through space, and loop on
hook (one loop remains on hook). Continue to final st, cut or break yarn, bring remaining yarn through loop, and back to WS to secure the final loop.

Weave in ends.


Fold bonnet in half lengthways, so point a meets point b (above image) with WS together seam this edge together using your preferred joining method. This seam will be the back of the bonnet. Fasten off and weave in ends. 

Chin Tie:

Chin tie is worked in a continuous piece without cutting the yarn. Starting with one tie, then continuing around the base of the bonnet (back of the neck), and then continuing with the second tie.

Using MC, and 5.5 mm hook

Ch: 25 (29, 33, 37, 41, 46)

Skip 1st ch, sc across. Join to the left front corner of the bonnet with a sl st, sc across base of the bonnet, working one sc into the side of each row. Ch: 25 (29, 33, 37, 41, 46) Skip 1st ch, sc across, sl st to the bonnet.

Fasten off and weave in ends. 

 Happy Crocheting!

Let me know in the comments if you would like a tutorial on surface crochet, or on something else that's come up in the pattern.

Emma xx

Saturday, July 3, 2021

Textured Clutch "Amelia Clutch" Free Pattern

The Amelia Clutch is a chunky textured clutch that can be used to transport your crochet hooks and small projects, or maybe your phone and keys! Made with ‘ribbon tape’ using recycled textiles, it works up in no time at all. This clutch is also lined with fabric (which is optional) 

Above, shown in a tape yarn.

Above, shown in a 'rope' yarn

This pattern featured in the Get the Summer Vibes Blog Hop

Pattern Notes:

Clutch is made flat and sewn together. Due to the thick nature of the yarn, it is recommended to use cotton thread to seam the sides. Use leftover yarn to create a tassel or other embellishment.

Like this pattern? You might also like the Moss Stitch Pouch!

Finished Measurements:

Width: 19 cm

Height: 10 cm


Yarn: Hoooked Ribbon XL (80% Cotton, 20% Other; 72yrds/125g) 0.5 x ball used.

Hook: 12 mm

Notions: cotton thread to sew side seams in MC, sewing needle

To line: 20 x 20 cm of fabric, cotton thread, sewing needle, (sewing machine can be used) 

Optional: zipper (18 cm), beads to trim.

Gauge: 9 sts and 12 rows = 4" (10cm) in bag pattern.  

Chain 18.

Row 1: Sl st in 2nd ch from hook, *hdc in next ch, sl st in next ch; rep from * across, turn. (17 sts)

Row 2:  Ch 1, *hdc in first sl st, sl st in next hdc, rep from * across, turn.

Row 3: Ch 1, *sl st in first hdc, hdc in next sl st, rep from * across, turn.

Row 4- 16: Repeat alternating Rows 2 and 3.

Row 17: sl st into each st across.

Fasten Off.


Fold in half, lengthways, sew side seams with cotton thread. 

Example of tape yarn. 

To line:

Fold the fabric in half lengthwise, (RS together) Hem top edges by folding over 0.5 cm to WS, and pin in place, and sew (with either sewing machine, or hand sew)

Pin side seams and sew on WS.

Pin zipper and lining in place in the clutch, zipper between ling and outer, and sew in place along the top hem. 

Abbreviations (US terminology):

ch = chain

sl st = slip stitch

hdc = half double crochet

st(s) = stitch(es)

rep = repeat

RS = right side

WS = wrong side

Amelia Clutch is also featured in the digital magazine 'I Like Crochet' 

Happy Crocheting


Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Homespun - Crochet: Beginners and Beyond Magazine

 Just wanted to update you and let you know that one of my patterns is currently on the shelves in Australian newsagents and grocery stores: Homespun Crochet: Beginners and Beyond. 

My pattern fits into the beginner's category - Bias Blocks. A great introduction to the C2C technique and colour changes. 

Some other patterns included are: Textured Face washers by Elizabeth Castle.

Chesna's Hope infinity cowl by Tegan Howes

Snuggle Slouch Beanie by Sharyn Brock

Charli Cardi by Kate Polizzi

There are also some very useful articles on swatching, blocking, yarn weights as well as extremely handy US/UK conversion tables. 

If you are an Australian crocheter - try and grab a copy!


Friday, June 18, 2021

Sock Knitting - an Update

 If you read my newsletter (if you don't - sign up here) then you'll know I took the last month off designing and also blogging. 

I didn't stop crafting though! I do find I need some no-stress, no-pressure projects now and then - even though I do love a deadline! 

In my 'break' I have been knitting socks! I started learning to knit them last year, and also dyed my own yarn - you can read those posts here - part of my blog series on Sock Blanks.

I did finish my first sock made from the sock blank (top of this blog post) - but instead of starting another one, I wanted to try going down to a smaller needle, so I started on a self-patterning yarn - Pairfect by Regia. This ball will make a perfect pair, as the yarn colours are repeated. This yarn also happens to be designed by Arne and Carlos. 

I do have some method to my madness - I want to experiment with the different methods and see what I like best. So far I'm liking cuff-down socks, with a 25cm circular needle, and then using a second circular the same size for the heel turn. For the record, I tried magic loop with an 80cm cord, which I didn't hate, I just found the constant adjusting a little much - but if you only want to start with one set of needles - then it's a good way to go. 

I have tried the Turkish cast-on for toe-up socks, and think it's pretty amazing - but haven't got past the toe section to decide if I want to fully switch over, but I will try that technique next! 

As for patterns - I'm still mostly following the Rye Light socks by Tin Can Knits, but doing the whole sock in stocking stitch, and a 2x2 rib for the cuff! It's a free pattern online, and goes into a lot of depth for sock beginners! The other sock pattern I've tried is the Easy Peasy Socks for first-timers (On Ravelry) 

The main reason for my post today is that I found sock knitting really daunting, and didn't know where to start. You really just need to be able to knit and purl, work in the round, and decrease in two ways - k2tog and ssk, and the two patterns I've linked are written for beginners, so I hope this will hope someone make that first step! 

That's all from me today, in the meantime

Happy Crafting


Monday, April 26, 2021

Unity Remixes and an Update

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you'll know about the Unity CAL that started in February.

The 2021 Unity CAL was created by 10 Australian designers and was sponsored by the Australian Crochet Community and KoKonki - Motki Ombre.

Here is my blanket, completed to part 4, and below - my finished blanket on display at the Sydney Royal Easter Show - I won the blue ribbon! 

The CAL has now finished but, like Harmony,  the 2019 ACC CAL, there is a Unity Remix & Extension.

Unity CAL remixes can be made by using:

  • The released parts in a different order
  • Blocks of the different parts to make a block afghan
  • Blocks or parts to make different products altogether.

The blocks are now available on Ravelry, as stand-alone patterns, that can be combined in any way you choose- make a simple 3x3 square blanket, or make multiples of the squares like Jane Rawnsley-Kinney did for her test of the patterns, or if there is one square that you just love, why not make a whole blanket of just that! 

This link will take you to Ravelry to view all the patterns in the series.

This link also includes the original CAL sections!

 Need help with the stitches from my block? you can find the tutorial for extended front post stitches here, and a tutorial for the hdc join here. 

As always, Happy Crocheting,