Tag Archives: crochet patterns

Why Balaclavas?

Every single day in the last month knitters have been coming in The Knit Cafe looking for supplies to make a balaclava. Why are we so obsessed?

Surely not all of us have been watching Audrey Hepbourne looking ever glamourous wearing her Balaclava in Charades? So how does one explain this Balaclava-mania?

A hat and a cowl combined might be a very practical accessory but it really has not been in vogue for the last few decades. So why now? There is no way of knowing but like most things these days the rise in popularity of the balaclava may be due to the pandemic. A warm and wooly covering to tightly envelope your head and neck is the embodiment of emotional armor we need at this moment. The balaclava is a bit of cozy reassurance that we can take with us when we leave the protection of our at-home-bubbles.

Here are some balaclava patterns that have caught my eye

…and now some Crocheted Balaclavas

For the Kids

Will you be next to jump on the Balaclava Bandwagon? It is so tempting!

Craftily yours

What to Knit and Crochet With 1 Week Till Christmas

There is only one more week to make some gifts!
Here a few that should get done in a jiffy!


Martha Cowl by Hannah Shin
Knit with Super Bulky yarn like Brown Sheep Burly Spun and 15mm
90 yards needed
One size fits most
An easy and extra thick cowl, made with only 90 yards and 15mm needles. It doesn’t get much quicker to knit then this project!


Crochet Baby Turban from This Mama Makes Stuff
Crocheted with Worsted Weight yarn like Berroco Vintage and 4mm hook.
To fit 0-3 months
Every newborn needs a turban! Yes?


30 Minute Crochet Beanie by Persialou
Crocheted with Super Bulky Yarn and 20mm hook
64 yards needed
One size to fit most adults
There are step by step instructions to make this really quick hat.

Last Minute Hat by Kirsten Hipsky
Knit with Bulky yarn like Peruvia Quick doubled up and a 9mm needle. You could also use a Super Bulky used single stranded.
216 yards (198 m) needed
Finished Dimensions in two sizes:18”-20” (20”-22”) around and 10” tall
If you use two different colours you with get this sweet marled effect, or use just one colour for a simple ribbed toque. Either way it will be done in no time.


Teddy Ornaments by Stephanie Jessica Lau
Crocheted with Sport Weight yarn and 2mm needles
These crocheted ornaments couldn’t be simpler and would make great host gifts.

Catnip Bunny by Selena Kyle
Knit with DK weight yarn and 3.25mm
Stuff them with catnip for your furry friends or string them into a garland for a baby pram.

Good luck with all your gift knitting everybody!
Craftily yours


5 Weeks till Christmas

So it’s 5 weeks now before Christmas.  Have you started your gift knitting yet?  If you need a push in that direction here it is.  I need to start a few things myself.  Still lots of time to do something really special for someone who will really appreciate the work. Below are some patterns, good for gift knitting and crocheting that are all for DK or Sport weight yarns.  Yarns like fancy Pashmina from Madelinetosh, or Sweet Georgia DK merino, or terrific old favourites like Cascade 220 Superwash will all be good bets for these projects.

Keaton Slouch Beanie by doverandmadden on etsy

Isn’t this a wonderful design! Once again imagine all the fun you could have mixing colours to make this hat.  Better yet – it is sized small (for a 12 monther) to big (adult).  The designer forewarns that you will have to know how to use double pointed needles and know how to increase and decrease.  This implies that the colour pattern is not fairisle nor stranded so if you are not used to colour work you should have no fear attempting this pattern, as only one colour should be worked at a time each row. You can purchase the pattern on etsy HERE

Keaton Slouch Beanie

Tee by The Knit Cafe

This brand new release from us – The Knit Cafe – is knit with sport weight yarn.  As all things knit for little ones it is a fairly fast knit.  You should be used to reading patterns and know how to increase and decrease and seam to make this wee sweater. The polka dots are added on once the knitting is done with a easy and super-fun technique called duplicate stitch.  We have added a picture tutorial on how to do duplicate stitch on The Knit Cafe’s Blog HERE, so you will have no trouble with it.  You can come in and let us advise you on polka dot colours, picking up some mini skeins for them, and get the pattern too. Or you can also purchase the pattern HERE


Soft Cotton Cardi by Katya Novikova

This cute crocheted baby cardi has a lovely open texture and pretty colour details. It is sized to fit 6-9, 9-12, and 12-24 months. The written pattern has step-by-step instructions and a chart for the yoke. So grab your hook and go to it. You can purchase the pattern HERE

soft cotton cardi

Bea by Andi Satterlund

I like this headband because it has a great retro feel.  This is probably partly due to the DK weight yarn which makes a slimmer headband.  This will make an adorable hair adornment for your friend and a fast knit for you.  You can purchase this pattern HERE

For a chunkier, warmer headband have a look at The Knit Cafe’s free pattern called KNIT 101 HEADBAND.


Hedgehog by Littlecottonrabbit on etsy

You can make this guy any size you like just by switching your yarn and needle size. The instructions suggest DK, Aran or Fingering weight. It also suggests that it would be a terrific project for using up scraps and I agree.  Whether you make it pincushion size for your crafty sister or hugable size for your sweet nephew this would be a great gift. you can purchase this pattern HERE


Sunday Shawl by The Little Bee

All you crocheters can get excited about this one!  It’s a generously sized crochet shawl pattern that allows you to get fun with colour! Have a look at some of the individual projects made from this pattern and you will see how different this shawl can be based on colour choice.  Crocheters know that it is a fast craft so even though it requires 1200 – 1365 m of yarn to complete this project you still have plenty of time to make it for Christmas. You can purchase the pattern HERE

sunday shawl

Ottograph Street by Cello Knit

The button on the top of this hat is like the delicious cherry on top.  It is that kind of terrific, one of a kind detail that really makes a hand knit sing! This hat is worked in rounds and with a simple lace pattern and a twisted rib hem. It is free! Find it HERE

Ottograph Street

Dr Who Scarf by Chris Brimelow

I love it when someone comes into the cafe and wants to choose colours to make an authentic Dr Who scarf.  It is a fun challenge to find just the right hues for this iconic piece of knitwear.  Anyone who is familiar with the series knows that there are a few different versions of this scarf.  The designer says “This is the first scarf worn by Tom Baker for his portrayal of Doctor Who from Robot in season 12 through The Seeds of Doom in season 13, and in scenes from The Masque of Mandragora, The Hand of Fear, and The Deadly Assassin in season 14” so you know what you are getting into.  This is a long, long, long, long scarf but is knit completely in good old garter stitch and any knitter new to the craft or old will have no trouble with it.  If you have any Dr. Who aficionados in your life, I am sure they would greatly appreciate this gifty. The pattern is knit in DK weight yarn and you can find it for free HERE

Dr Who scarf

A New Family Portrait – A Collection of 3 Christmas Stockings by Dorene Delaney Giordano

How about this for a seasonable gift?  This is an advanced knitting project that will require some time to make.  If you are speedy you may be able to get one done for this Christmas.  At any rate, if you fancy hand made stockings for the family, it is a good time to get started.  These stockings have a wonderful classic farm-house feel, and would be such a joy to use year after year.  The pattern includes charts for all letters so that you may spell out the names of your loved ones. You can purchase the pattern as a set of three as there are three different surface patterns on these socks.  Or you can buy each pattern alone.  Find them HERE

Three Christmas Stockings

If all this doesn’t suit you, there is always the ever popular HoneyCowl! This free pattern has two sizes, so you can make it as a one or two skein project. Find it HERE
Craftily yours


2 weeks till Christmas

Time to get serious.  With just two weeks of knitting time grab a bulky yarn, some big ol’ needles, a fast knitting pattern, and a strong cup of coffee and get to it.

Twinkle Hat by The Knit Cafe

This is a brand new pattern from the Knit Cafe.  You can find it on Ravelry and purchase it there.  It is made with two strands of Berroco Flicker held together to make a bulky weight yarn.  It is easy to do.  You don’t even need to know how to knit in the round to make this pattern.  Heck – you don’t even need to know how to purl.  The shaping is done with a trick called “short row shaping” and there is a pictorial tutorial included in the pattern.
The Flicker yarn is a perfect choice.  The baby alpaca makes this hat super soft with the perfect amount of slouch.

Your First Cable by The Knit Cafe

Also available on Ravelry. This simple cable project looks the same on both sides.  The chunky yarn will make for quick work.  Try it with Berroco Peruvia Quick.

Wonky  by Brittany Wilson

A smaller cowl project for those especially short on time.  The different textures make it an interesting knit.  This is a free pattern from Knitty.com where you’ll find plenty of nice patterns!

Jumbo Gnome by Anna Hrachovec

Hello Handsome! Fun to make – amazing to receive! Brown Sheep Lambs Pride Bulky will give you the colours and the heft that you want for this little man.

Dilih Wrap by Alexandra Tinsley

This pretty little number is easy-peasy.  The open work details are thanks to dropped stitches.

Bitty Boy Bump by Gina Bonomo

Only available in preemie to 1 year old sizes, so if you have a very new certain someone in your life that needs something cuddly for caroling in then look no further.

Padma by Dawn Toussaint

This cutie-pie is for all you crocheters. It is a free one!

Dolores Park Cowl  by Parikha Mehta

Also free for the taking is the Dolores Park Cowl pattern.  Simple and fast to knit – you can find it here.

Phenomenon by Carine Ancel

A very warm mitten! Cables, a textured palm and a bulky yarn like Lamb’s Pride Bulky will make it extra cozy.  This pattern is free!

Loved by Talitha Kuomi

Whether this crown is strictly for dress-up or a head warmer for everyday what little prince or princess wouldn’t appreciate it?

Craftily yours

3 weeks till Christmas

Thats right! With only three weeks to go it is time to start putting the pedal to the metal.  Here are a few projects that work with Aran Weight Yarn and will knit up with time to spare.
For example:

Turban(d) by Amélie Bernier

This project will be fast and it will be loved! If you have several people who would like one of this seasons most fashionable knit accessories then make several, and throw in one for yourself. Did I mention that this is a fast project?  It is also a free pattern.  The original was knit with Manos del Uruguay Classica which we have in the most divine colours right now.  At least 35 to choose from, so no excuses.

Liv’s Play Rug from Pickles

This sweet crocheted rug will take you no time to make and you can use up odds and sods of leftovers if you care too.  Keep a little ones bottom warm and spread a little joy.  This pattern is also a free one. Hooray! If you don’t have any sods nor odds then try making it with Berroco Vintage Chunky which wears well and yes- washes well and it’s soft too!

Cupido Cowl by Hiroko Fukatsu

This lovely cowl is made with an easily done slip stitch repeat pattern and comes in a single wrap and a double wrap size.  Make it with Berroco Flicker!  This yarn is spun almost entirely out of baby alpaca fibre. The remainder is a bit of glimmer.  Yes shiny gold or silver bits adding sparkle to the knit. What a lovely cowl that would be!

Snug by Hinke Schreuders

This sweet jumper is bound to be a favorite.  Knit from side to side in good old garter stitch.  Knit in one piece with very little seaming to slow you down.  Only fits new borns to 6 months old, which is  a shame but will make for a faster knitting time.  Make it in Cascade Ecological Wool as shown in the picture.  It feels great, wears well, and is very inexpensive too.

Camera Mittens by Ruth Stewart

Know any shutterbugs? These mittens have a hole in them – but it  is an  intentional one! The wearer can click away the whole day letting their trigger finger escape to the warm mitten whenever required.  The neat thing about this pattern is that you can make the mitten with any type of yarn you want, you can also make it for any size of hand you want.  Measure the hand and knit a gauge swatch and let that guide you. So grab the yarn that suits you and go to it! You can find the pattern for free here.
PS. you can make it without the hole too!

Vargavinter by Maria Olsson

Crocheted mittens! Really cute ones too! Since crocheting is fast you will have these done in no time. Use Misti Alpaca for the softest mittens ever! The pattern is free!


Kimono Slippers from Blog of Joy

If you are afraid of double pointed needles then this may be the slipper pattern for you.  These feet warmers are knit flat and then folded like origami to create this unique slipper shape. Make them with Berroco Vintage Chunky.  This wash and wear yarn will fit these slippers like a glove

Next week – Bulky yarn!
Craftily yours

4 weeks till Christmas

One month to go! Time for worsted weight projects.  This medium sized yarn comes in a plethora or varieties.  You probably have some in your yarn stash right now.  Get your needles in hand and make one of theses goodies a reality. Someone will thank you for it.

Hudson Bay Crib Blanket from the Purl Bee

Nothing could be simpler to knit.  Just good old garter stitch!  Change colours to match the Hudson Bay Blanket classic or create your own colour concoction if you dare to mess with tradition.  Lord knows The Bay has veered off the path a few times with special editions of their blankets.  Since using all Anzula For Better or Worsted like Purl did might just break the bank, try Cascade 220, or Berroco Ultra Alpaca, or a mix of the two.  Might I suggest for the Cream -Ultra Alpaca #6201, Navy- Cascade 220 #854, Yellow -Cascade 220 #7827, Red -Ultra Alpaca #6234, and Dark Green -Cascade 220 #9426, as shown here.  They are pretty good matches to the original.

Eternity Cowl from Brooklyn Tweed

We have this pattern for purchase in store too.  The style will suit a woman or a man and the pattern comes complete with several sizes .  An easy ribbing stitch adds a bit of texture.  I recommend Madelinetosh Vintage for a lovely lady or Berroco Ultra Alpaca for a dapper dude.

Anything Animals from Rachel Borello Carroll

You will have fun mixing and matching tops and bottoms – making a plethora of friends for some lucky kiddy.  Pretty easy and a free pattern too, so give it a try.  Use washable yarns like Cascade 220 Superwash!

Clover Tweed Dishcloth from Noelle B at Skull Charms

The very useful washcloth!  Once you’ve tried a hand knit wash cloth, you’re dishes will be spoiled for anything else. Cotton is what you want for a washcloth.  Try Blue Sky Alpaca’s Organic Cotton.

Baby Hat Crochet Pattern from Yvestown Shop

For a fast gift, what about this crochet hat?  It can be made with the bear ears or with stripes.  Spud and Chloe Sweater Yarn which is a mix of cotton and wool would be a good bet.  Comes in perfect colours for either version and it is a washable yarn too, so Mom’s will love you!

Ribbed and Ruffled Tea Cozy by Churchmouse Yarns and Teas

Tea cozies make pretty great gifts.  This one is a classic.  You can purchase it here. For a similar look to the pot cover in the picture use Noro Silk Garden.  This beautiful Japanese yarn will give you the gorgeous blended stripes.

Manda Ruth by Jane Richmond

You can find this pattern at the Knit Cafe.  It’s a cute one.  A hood on a baby sweater for keeping heads warm when hats get lost. Fits 3-24 months. For a very special sweater use Madelinetosh Vintage, hand-dyed, superwash, merino.

Graham by Jennifer Adams

A reversible cap with a bit of slouch.  It is a free pattern! Make it from Illimani Royal Alpaca.  Decadently soft and incredibly warm this yarn will make a wonderful hat.

Hot Water Bottle Cosy by Yvestown Shop

Another crochet pattern! Keep your loved ones safe from a scalding and hook them a cover for their hot water bottle.  This will be finished in a jiffy and you can have loads of fun with the colour.  Cozy Manos del Uruguay Maxima would be so soft to cuddle up with on a cold night.

Convertible Boot Toppers  by Renae Summers

These boot toppers can be worn two ways, showing off two different rib patterns.  They will keep the drafts away from cold gams and look stylish at the same time. Good old Cascade 220, or Cascade 220 Superwash will be AOK for these.  Sturdy and reliable and available in a whole rainbow of colours.  Top those boots with style! This pattern is free!

Keep on keepin on folks!
Craftily yours

6 weeks of Xmas- part 5 -crocheted gifts

Crochet! It is faster than knitting.  All you hookers out there – this one’s for you!

This pattern is for all the Monkey Men, Women and Children in your lives.  Yes – it comes in all sizes from new born to adult.  It is a free pattern and not too tricky.  Find the Monkey Hat here:http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/monkey-hat-sizes-newborn-to-adult. Think Halloween for next year!

Knitters should not have all the fun, hording the cowl making all to themselves.  Newer crocheters should have a look at the Calm Cowl.  It looks lovely and simple and it is free to try.  It is here: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/calm-cowl

The Chunky Circular Scarf may not have a very inspired name but it makes up for it in physical charm.  A pretty crochet stitched that would be fantastic made with something with a bit of drape.  I’m thinking Berocco Ultra Alpaca or Madeline Tosh Vintage. Find this free (intermediate) pattern here: http://peoplewebs.blogspot.com/2011/01/pattern-chunky-circle-scarf.html

Friends and family who are happy nesters always feathering their abode with the latest thing will appreciate this Chevron Rug.  Made with fabric strips so that it is strong and squishy on the feet this rug would make a lovely bath mat or welcome mat or kitchen mat or…you get the picture. The chevron pattern is so au courant and can be adapted by using yarn to make a scarf or a blanket with this classic wavy motif.  The Chevron Rug is a Knit Café pattern and available for $5 here: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/chevron-rug-2

How amazing is this? Other versions and sizes are available too.  Have a look at Puff Granny here:  http://www.pickles.no/puff-grannys-baby-crochet-po/  It is a free pattern.

If you are looking for more fast and easy crochet accessories have a gander at these fingerless mittens from the Purl Bee.  The multi-coloured striping is so fun but they could be made more classic using one of you favorite yarns all the way through.  It is free too, and can be found here: http://www.purlbee.com/the-purl-bee/2011/2/13/whits-knits-crocheted-striped-hand-warmers.html

Since it tis the season you might want to go on a search for a crocheted snowflake pattern, there are certainly lots to choose from.  You could make a bunch for your own Christmas decorating or use them to decorate presents or give as hostess gifts.  Here is one version of a snowflake (also free!) http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/crochet-snowflake

Crochet Flower Class coming up.
Flowers make excellent brooches!
Thursday December 15, 6:30-9pm
Call to register 416 533 5648

Craftily yours