Category Archives: Free Patterns

I’m with the band! A knitted headband story.

This is a super easy project.  I made it in a few hours – really! It took me much longer to photograph the process then it did to knit it.
This project was inspired by a knit cafe student.  Kat attended out Knit 101 class, and by the 4th class she came in with this little number that she invented herself.  I was so impressed by her cleverness for figuring!
The project seemed like a great thing to teach a beginner.  Fast to do with really only a few basics and not very many stitches to keep track of.  I asked her if I could reinvent her pattern for our blog and spread the knit-joy! She agreed! Thank you Kat!
Kat figured out how to add the pretty cable twist into this pattern on her own gumption, but I have included a step-by-step here so you won’t have to go to the trouble.  Knitter’s secret – cables are really easy! You’ll see!

photo 4photo 1
Thanks to Edie for modelling!

Knit 101 Headband

Finished Dimensions: Width 10cm (4″), Circumference unstretched: 44cm (17″)

10mm needles, cable needle

1 skein Madelinetosh Tosh Chunky held two strands together.
Tosh Chunky is 100% Superwash Merino, 151m (165yds), 14-16sts/10cm (4″)
For my version I used exactly half the ball.
When you wind your ball, make sure you get a center pull so you can hold two yarn ends together to knit this project.  Alternatively you can wind two separate balls.

Gauge in garter stitch – 13 sts/10cm (4″)
This is the tension that the project is knit to.

Gauge in stocking stitch – 12 sts/10cm (4″)
This will help you make substitutions, as all yarn labels have gauge knit with stocking stitch.   If you find a yarn that knits 12 sts over 10cm it will be the right weight for this project without double stranding it.

Note: I made a slipped edge which is easy to do, but the headband will still look wonderful without this detail.  If you feel like you’re inclined to try this kind of edge you can add it on like this:
The  first stitch of every row, slip from one needle to the other, inserting your needle through the stitch like you would if you were purling.  For those who have not purled this means insert the needle from left to right through the stitch and transfer it to the other needle.  Before you knit your next stitch bring your yarn between the two needles so it sits behind your work.  Repeat this on the first stitch of every row!

Cast on 12 stitches

Knit 23 cm (9″ ) or to fit half way around your head when stretched out some

To make Cable Twist:

Knit 1, Slip the next 5 stitches on a cable needle and hold behind the rest of your stitches

Knit the next 5 stitches from your original needles (not the ones on the cable)

Knit the 5 stitches from the cable needle

Knit the last stitch from your original needle.

Knit another 23cm (9″) or to fit half way around your head when stretched out.

Cast off. leaving a long tail for seaming and seam ends together.

Congratulate yourself on your sweet new headband!

Cabling Tutorial for Headband

cabling Knit one.





cablingSlip the next 5 stitches on a cable needle and hold behind the rest of your stitches



cablingKnit the next 5 stitches





cablingLike so!





cablingKnit the 5 stitches from the cable needle (starting with what would have been your 2nd stitch, the first one you slipped)



Knit the last stitch











head bandet volila!




I tried a few different ways of seaming the headband together.  One left a seamless join, but a bulky underside.  The other is a little less perfect, but lies flat.  I chose the latter for my headband.  Here’s both versions – you can choose the way you like best!

Seamless join with bulky underside:

DSCN0045The pink triangles highlight the stitches.  Insert your needle under a stitch on one side of your headband.  This picture shows the cast off side. Make sure you get both sides of the triangle.  Let the orange arrow be your guide!

This is the cast on side.  Again- insert your needle through the full stitch (both sides of the triangle.

Move back and forth across the two sides- from cast off to cast on! See how the stitches you are making resemble the “V” shapes of your knit stitches!

DSCN0039When you pull it tight the stitches disappear. Even this bright red melts away! …ooooooh!

This is the back side.  It is nice and neat but a bit bulky with such thick yarn.

Running Stitch Join, lies flatter but not as neat:
Insert needle through the cast on edge and the cast off edge straight through.

Pull through both, and change the direction of your needle to connect cast off to cast on. Keep weaving back and forth till you have connected all the stitches.

DSCN0057The result looks like this on your working side.

DSCN0058It looks a little bit better on the back side. Both sides sit flat.

Choose which method you prefer, or try both and compare your results.  It doesn’t take too long with only 12 stitches.

headbandhaed band
The finished goods!

Craftily yours

Polar Bear

Some of you have been very patiently waiting for our Polar Bear Pattern to be ready to share.  Today is the day your patience pays off.

polar bears

This is the full array of polar bears that have been decorating our window this season.

polar bear 4

Each one is a bit different.

polar bear 2

Once you add the eyes and ears and noses they really come into their own.

polar bear 1

The pattern comes with the directions to make a small and larger version of the bear, but you can widen the differential with your yarn and needle choice.

polar bear 3

The bears are so easy and fast to make you could have a whole bunch ready for Christmas.  Small ones would make great ornaments or present toppers, big ones are good for cuddles.
If you feel like you need a helping hand while making your bear – join a class! This 2.5 hour workshop is available Monday December 9th, 10am-12:30pm, or on Thursday December 12, 6:30-9pm.  Call to register 416 533 5648.

these pics came from our new instagram account!

Polar Bear Pattern
by Maurie Todd for The Knit Cafe

This is an easy knit project! The bear is knit in garter stitch (that is knit every row). It is knit flat on regular old straight needles and then seamed up.  Ears and eyes and noses are added once stuffed.  Gauge is not very important for this bear, just make sure you knit tight so that the stuffing won’t show through.  Different sized bears can be made by varying the weight of yarn and the needle size.  If your tension is average, then we suggest that you choose a needle size a half size smaller than the recommended needle size on the yarn label.

Size: Small (Large)

We used 100 grams worsted weight yarn and 3.5mm needles for a bear with finished dimensions of approximately 10 (20) cm from nose to tail.
small amount of black embroidery thread for eyes and nose
row counter (optional)

To Make:
Back Legs: CO 20 (40) sts and knit 10 (20) rows.
Next Row: Bind off the first 5 (10) sts at the beginning of the row, knit across.
Next Row: Bind off the first 5 (10) sts, knit to the end of the row.  10 (20) sts.

Body: Knit 9 (18) rows

Front Legs: Next Row:  CO 5 (10) sts at the beginning of the row and knit across
Next Row: CO 5 (10) sts at the beginning of the row and knit across 20 (40) sts
Knit 10 (20) rows
Next Row: bind off the first 5 (10) sts of the row and knit across
Next Row: bind off the first 5 (10) sts of the row and knit across 10 (20) sts

Start of Head: Knit the next 1 (2) rows
Next Row: K2tog at the beginning and the end of the row 8 (18) sts
Next Row: knit
Repeat these 2 rows until 4 stitches remain
Cast off.

Ears: (make 2)
small : CO 4 stitches, bind off
large: CO 7 stitches.  Knit one row. Bind off.
Both sizes: Fold ear in half and attach to head.

To Make up: see diagram

Seam legs first
Fold A to A and sew around. Repeat with B to B, C to C, D to D. These 4 wee pockets are the legs, Stuff all 4.

Fold bear in half along fold line and sew together. Stuff as you sew.

Attach ears.

French knots work well for eyes. Satin Stitch can be used for the nose.

polar bear diagram2

Craftily yours

bear snip

Triangulate this!

I finished these mittens this week.
new order mitten
Designed by me, on account of this scarf ↓.  I needed a go-with for it.
I decided I wanted to pick up on the triangle motif without directly copying it.  The yarn came from left-overs.  Odds and sods of soft Manos del Uruguay Maxima and Malabrigo Worsted, both are 1 ply merino wool, and the very same yarn that comes in all those fun, neon colours I spoke of last time.
new order mittens
A ribbed cuff followed by the easy fairisle pattern does the trick for keeping the chilly winds out.  There were a lot of ends to darn in which I seemed to do gladly, but you can minimize this by choosing 2 colours only.  Yes- I am giving you the pattern.  Right here! Right now! Here we go….. Continue reading

Good news is fit for sharing!

I have some very exciting news to share.
The Knit Cafe is adding a new member to the team, and you will all love her.
Please give warm wooly welcomes to Natalie Selles when you meet her.
Natalie is a very accomplished knitter and we are very lucky to have her.  She will be an excellent resource for all of us. I am looking forward to picking her brain on a topic or two. She is a self proclaimed Knitter with a capital K ! Natalie is a knitwear designer and you can peruse her patterns on ravelry here.  Natalie is also a blogger and you can follow her blog here.

I would also like to share with you the pattern for these knit Matroyska Dolls.
They were the stars of the Knit Cafe’s Nuit Blanche exhibition this past Saturday/Sunday.
They are pretty fun to make and easy to make them your own.  This is evident by all the unique characters that grace our current window display.
Here are a few↓

Inspired? Time to make your own version.  The pattern is after the jump.
Craftily yours

Continue reading

Spring decorating!

Hello spring-lovers!
For those who are lucky enough to have a garden.  Check out this idea from The Fiber Farm.  It’s for bird nests! Start saving up those yarn bits.  Wouldn’t we all like to look up and see one of our coloured scraps decorating a birdie house?

If you are not quite as lucky in the garden department.  You could leave the nest make-overs to the birds and still show your bird-devotion by making this ↑
It’s an oldie but a goodie! A free Knit Cafe pattern that you can find right after the break.

Tweet, tweet, all!
Craftily yours
Continue reading

at a snail’s pace

For the spring season we created this menagerie for our window: little molluscs making their way up yarn stems to fuzzy flower tops

here’s a close-up.

and some more views

This fine specimen (above) was created with the pattern by the genius knitter Hansi Singh who wrote the book Amigurumi Knits.  This book is one of my favorites with glorious examples of all sorts of knit creatures from snails to lobsters to jackalopes. 
The other snails are my own creation.  It’s a simpler, quicker knit snail!  The pattern is here after the jump. 

Craftily yours
Continue reading

big red!

So the big-love day is coming up, and although we may not all pay heed to this “holiday”, most days are good days to tell someone you love them.

Four years ago now, I submitted this pattern to the illustrious online knit magazine Knitty. This Canadian institution is a great place to find free and fantastic patterns (but I digress).  Since the publish date of this pattern 559 knitters have made it (ravelry statistic). 
I feel great about this pattern.  Like a hug I sent out to the universe that keeps multiplying as folks make their hearts and then give them away.  I receive notes.  They tell me that hearts have been passed on to heart-transplant recipients, or friends who have had surgery on their tickers, they have been given to friends and lovers too.
If you would like to make a heart and wear it on your sleeve.  The Knit Cafe has a mini version of the heart pattern that would look lovely as a lapel pin.  Find it here

You can never have enough friends.  You could make some new ones or show you’re appreciation to old favorites with this project from the Purl Bee. There, you will find a great tutorial on how to make these Heart Friendship Bracelets

Happy February 14th, no matter how you spend it.
Craftily yours

Soho Scarf

A pattern for you.
In commemoration of my trip to Purl Soho last May, where I got the yarn to make this triangular scarf I am calling this pattern Soho Scarf.

The scarf is made from MadelineTosh Merino Light which we have a pretty collection of in the store.  This is a a beauuuuuutiful yarn to work with.  So soft!  It is a one ply which makes it quite a unique fingering weight yarn, very delicate and subtle and so perfect for shawls and scarves.
See pattern after the jump

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the case of the unexpected socks

I bet you weren’t expecting that!  Socks for chairs!
You might be thinking that chair socks is crafting taken one step too far, but I would argue the chair socks, though cute as cute can be, are primarily appealing for their practical purposes.
Recently my kind friend  gave me some sturdy stools for my kitchen.  I was excited when they came home to roost, but I noticed something right away.  The bottoms of these stools were lethal weapons and they were aimed at my floors. Since I own my floors now I was very perturbed.
The idea came to me in an instant.  Iwona had some time ago made adorable little chair socks for our chairs at the Knit Cafe. I decided to steal this idea to protect my floors from my new furnishings.  I went to work with crochet hook in hand and within a few hours I had 8 new wee socks ready to swaddle my stool’s feet. Amazing! Crisis averted! Floors saved!

This is how I made them.
I used left over sock yarn (we all have some of that).  A good choice cause most sock yarn is sturdy and washable.  I used a 3mm crochet hook.
I started with a slip ring and made 6 single crochets into the ring.
Next round I made 2 single crochets into each single crochet for a total of 12.
Then I just single crocheted in rounds till the sock reached the desired length. On the last round I decreased by a couple of stitches for a snug fit.
You could easily adjust these instructions to fit your own chair legs, increasing more or less on the bottom to make a different circumference.  Note that the crocheted bottom spreads out a little after your last decrease round so err on the side of too small,  Crochet is a great way to make these as it is easy to try them on as you go and ensure the fit is right but if you don’t know how to crochet or prefer to knit here is Iwona’s knit recipe for chair socks:

Needles: 2.5mm
Yarn: fingering weight (leftover from making socks will do here)
Gauge: 7sts/1inch, knit in stocking st in rounds.

Measure the circumference of your chair leg in inches. Multiply that number by 7 (gauge). If you end up with a decimal number round it down to a nearest whole number. This is going to be number of sts to co.
Example: 2.25” (circumference of chair leg) x 7(gauge)= 15.75 – .75= 15sts.

Knit your socks in ribbed st pattern. They will hug the legs of your chair better and they will not roll down. Depending on the number of sts you cast on, you can choose different rib pattern. My socks turned out to be 15sts, so I knit k3, p2 rib. I could have also done k2, p1.

If you have an even number of sts you can do k1, p1 rib. If your even number is multiple of 4 sts you can knit k2, p2 or k3, p1 rib.

Once you establish your pattern cast on your sts loosely. I use long tail method over 2 needles, but you could also use cable cast on over bigger needle (4mm or slightly bigger).

Divide sts between 3 needles; join into round being careful not to twist the cast on edge.

K in pattern till desired length. Next, k2 together till 4 or 5 sts remain. Break yarn, leaving about 6″ tail, using darning needle thread the remaining sts through yarn, pull tight and weave in all ends.

Now go to it!
Craftily yours

I heart my bike

Over the past couple of weeks I have been staring at a fruit bowl beside my bed, full of odds and ends of pretty yarns. I have been collecting them for a blanket I’m working on.
Because its summer and  I always feel like crocheting this time of the year I decided to make use of some of these colourful ends and make myself a new bike lock cosy. This was a really quick and fun movie watching project.
Here is the pattern:

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