All of these patterns belong to me. They are here for your personal use, but please do not post them to other websites. Instead, link back to them.


If you make any of these items to sell, you cannot claim the design as your own. You can claim that you handmade the item, but you must credit me, Julie Hicks, as the designer.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Ruffled scarves

You know, they're all the rage. They're soft, squishy and beautiful. They're also a pain in the backside to make. Oh, they're easy enough to do, once you get the hang of it, but they're still a pain. If you Google 'ruffled scarf tutorial' you can find any number of youtube links showing you how to knit these. Here's one where the tutor is going very slowly and explaining each step. She's even using the same yarn I am, from the look of it. Red Heart Boutique Sashay in the Waltz colorway.

Ruffled Scarf Tutorial

The only differences are that I'm holding the yarn in my right hand, it's how I'm used to holding it. And when I cast on, I skipped two loops, meaning I put every third loop on my needle and used six loops. I continued to knit every third loop. I now have about two feet of it done. It's got a looser ruffle than hers, but I like it. I'm also using a size 10 US needle. I may try a tighter ruffle some other time.

A few words of advice:

Do NOT use slippery needles. In fact, a sixteen inch circular needle would be better. Bamboo needles aren't slippery and will help you not to drop stitches. I recommend this if you plan on putting your work down. I learned this the hard way when my needle slipped out of all the stitches and I had to carefully rip back to a row that didn't have a dropped stitch on it. Also, I found out it's easier to hold both needles in one hand while you're making each stitch if you use a circular.

If you plan on sitting there from start to finish, then straight needles will be fine. Otherwise, use a circular so that you can just push the stitches down onto the cable if you put it down. Oh, and don't worry about whether you're doing it right or wrong, just be consistent.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Must give knitting it's fair share of time

In the last post I detailed how I held my yarn while crocheting. Hopefully it will help some people, if not, well it's still there.

Now, one would think that as a crocheter who twists the yarn intricately around her left hand to crochet with it would do the same as a knitter. You would be wrong. Again, it's all in who taught me. My mother could never learn to knit, but she had a friend who did and she taught me.

So, how do I hold my yarn? Not in the continental way, as most might guess. I simply hold the yarn in my right hand, along with my working needle. No twisting it around my fingers or anything fancy, I just hold it and throw it. This is known as the English method, though some who hold the yarn this way would also wind the yarn around the fingers as well. But I don't. It's most comfortable for me to simply hold it.

So, how do I avoid dropping my working needle while I'm throwing the yarn? Once I insert the working needle into the stitch I use the index finger and thumb of my left hand to hold the end of the
needle in place for the bit of time it takes to throw the yarn for the stitch. After a few stitches, the needle is held in place that way. Am I a fast knitter? No. I'm not too much of a slowpoke either. I'll never be lightning fast and I don't want to be. It's a bit annoying to watch someone knitting faster than I can see the stitches dropping off the needle. I prefer my sedate pace that doesn't make me look like I'm frantically trying to finish my project before suppertime.

Not that I'm disrespecting fast knitters. I'm not. It's just not for me. I applaud anyone who can knit that fast and not drop stitches or lose their place in the pattern.

Knit on, turtle slow or hare fast.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

How I hold my yarn while crocheting.

Yeah, there are as many ways to hold yarn while crocheting as there are crocheters-from simply holding it in their non-dominant hand to intricately wrapping it around the fingers of their non-dominant hand. I'm an intricate wrapper, I can't help it, it's how I was taught by my mother and I've been doing it for more than forty years. As intricate as it is, it only takes about half a second to do it once it's learned.

I'll put up this picture that shows (hopefully) will show how I was taught. I will also include detailed written instructions.

First the picture:

It's clickable if you need to see it in it's original size.

Now the instructions. After you make your slip knot on your hook, you will pass the yarn between your pinky and your ring finger from the back of your hand, wrap around pinky and go between it and the ring finger again. Then pass the yarn under the ring finger and over the middle and index fingers. You will hold your work with your thumb and your middle finger and hold your index finger up to control the tension as you crochet.

I promise after you practice it a few times it will become as natural as breathing to wrap the yarn this way. Of course I don't advocate it over other ways, it's just the way I was taught, so it's how I hold it. You go ahead and hold it the way that's most comfortable for you. There is no right or wrong way to hold your yarn as you crochet, just like you can hold your hook in whatever way is most comfortable for you-whether it's holding it like a drumstick or whether you hold it like a pencil  (I hold it like a pencil, BTW).

So, crochet away.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Garter Stitch Ribbed Mitts

Ever since I started making these, it's been in the back of my mind that I could create a knit pattern for them. Well, I just sat down and did just that. Here it is. They are very warm. I've written it in two sizes, but once you make them you'll see how easy it will be to make them larger, smaller, longer or shorter. And you can pick the wrong or right side, whichever side you think looks best.


WW yarn (I used RHSS)
Knitting needles size 10

Yarn needle.

Note: They are worked from side to side and sewn together after.

CO 30 sts. K 11 (13) rows

CO 10 sts at the end of row11 (13) and continue in garter st until you have a total of 40 (44) rows. BO, leaving a long end for sewing.

Thread a yarn needle with the long end and sew mitt together, sewing the CO and BO edges tog. Be sure to leave the thumb opening. You will sew the hand tog first, then bring over the original CO edge to finish the wrist. Weave in all loose tails.

Note: For you knitters who don't like to knit in the round, but want a more traditional-looking mitt, there's a free pattern on Ravelry

Note: These mitts can also be made with any weight of yarn with appropriately-sized needles, just adjust your stitch/row count to fit your hand.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Shell-easy legwarmers

This is based on my Shell-easy mitts and are easy to make. They have an added ribbing on the top and bottom so that they'll stay on your leg.

I'm giving the directions for one that fits my leg, obviously if you have larger or smaller legs you will have to adjust your starting chain up or down 6 chains for it to fit your leg.

Note: This pattern is easily adjustable for any weight of yarn with appropriate hook. RHSS will make a fairly heavy legging. If you want a lighter legging then use sport weight or lighter yarn with appropriate sized hook. For the ribbing you will want a hook at least one size smaller than the one you use for the legging, I recommend one two sizes smaller where possible so that the ribbing will be snug.

Note: Your starting chain should fit around the largest part of your lower leg at the calf. Do not stretch it too much, it will be better if it's a bit loose. The shell-easy pattern has some give in it.


RHSS, Amethyst. I'm using a partial skein of 14 ozs, I recommend two  regular skeins to be sure, or one 14 oz skein. Or any WW yarn.
Crochet hooks sizes H and J
Yarn needle to weave in ends

Gauge: Not important.

Shell: 5 dc in specified st.

Shell-easy pattern (over a multiple of 6 sts around):

Rnd 1: Ch 1, sc in same place as joining, sk 2 sc, shell in next sc, sk 2 sc, *sc in next sc, sk 2 sc, shell in next sc, sk 2 sc. Rep from * around, join with sl st to first sc.

Rnd 2: Ch 3 (counts as 1st dc), shell in 3rd dc of next shell, *dc in sc bet shells, shell in 3rd dc of next shell. Rep from * around, join with sl st to 3rd dc of starting ch-3

Rnds 3 and following: Ch 3, shell in 3rd dc of next shell, *dc in dc bet shells, shell in 3rd dc of next shell. Rep from * around, join with sl st to 3rd ch of beg ch-3

Using larger hook:

Ch 42 (or a multiple of six), join to form a ring, being careful not to twist sts. Ch 1, sc in each ch around, join with sl st to first sc. 42 sc.

Work shell-easy pattern above until you have 14 shell rnds.

Next rnd: Ch 1, sc in same place as joining and in each dc around, join with a sl st in 1st sc. 42 sc. Do not end off.

Note: Count your ribbing sts carefully every now and then, it's very easy to miss the sc right next to the legwarmer and you'll lose a stitch and have to frog back.

Top ribbing. Switch to smaller hook:

Ch 11, sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each ch across, sl st in same st as joining on legging and in next sc of legging. Turn. 10 sc.

Row 2: Sk the 2 sl sts and sc in BLO of next 10 sc. Ch 1, turn.

Row 3: Sc in BLO of each sc across, sl st in next 2 sc of legging. Turn

Rep Rows 2 and 3 alternately all the way around, ending by working Row 2 (do not ch 1 at end of this row, just turn). Turn and sl st the last row worked to the free lps of beg ch, working through both lps of last row. End off, leaving end long enough to weave in.

Bottom ribbing: Still using smaller hook. (This pulls the bottom in to fit the ankle better)

Attach yarn with a sl st to any free lp of beg ch. Ch 1 and sc in same st as joining and in each free lp of beg ch. Join with sl st to first sc. Make sure you have 42 sc (I somehow ended up with 43, but it was no biggie to fix)(Or however many chs you had in your starting ch)

Now work ribbing same as the top ribbing, except ch 9 instead of 11.

Finishing: Weave in loose ends.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Basic Glove

Yes, I know the thumb and wrist ribbing are a different color. That was because I ran out of the lighter yarn as I was working. This glove is simply a demonstration so that I have a picture. But if you like it, feel free to copy it, or even do each finger in a different color. Just be sure to use the glove color to bring palm of glove up to base of fingers before switching colors. This will leave more ends to work in, but just leave them long enough to thread through a yarn needle.

WW yarn, app 4 ozs should be sufficient
Crochet hooks sizes G and I
Yarn needle to weave in ends
small safety pins for markers (at least 2)

Gauge: Not terribly important

Difficulty: I wouldn't recommend this for a beginner, intermediate at the very least.

Right, I'm just going to write how I did this in basic language. Start out using the larger hook, the smaller one will come in later when you add your ribbing.

What I did was to chain a chain that fit around my hand without stretching. You do want an even number for the ribbing added later to come out right. I believe mine came out to 30 sts.

Being careful not to twist sts, join this chain to form a circle.

Ch 1, sc in each ch st around Place a marker (such as a small safety pin) in the first st to mark beg of rnds as you will not be joining rnds, but working in a spiral.

Sc in each sc around, moving marker up as you go, for about an inch. (Took me about 10 rnds)

Shaping Thumb Gusset:

Sc in 1st sc, inc in next sc, sc in next 3 sc, inc in next sc, sc in next sc and mark this sc. (It will be removed later, after you finish shaping gusset). Sc in rem sc of rnd

Sc in each sc around, moving both markers up.

Sc in 1st sc, inc in next sc, sc to within 1 st of second marker, inc in st just before marker, sc in rem sc around, moving both markers up.

Sc in each sc around, moving both markers up.

Rep the incs as before, moving both markers up.

Sc in each sc around, moving both markers up.

Sc in first sc, ch 5, remove second marker and sc in that sc and each sc around. You no longer need the second marker, but continue to move the first marker up.

This is where you'll need to try the glove on frequently. You will need to work even for about an inch, or until you reach the bottom of your pinky.

Put the glove on and mark the two sc that are app between the pinky and ring finger. Move the one you've been using to mark the beg of rnds as you will now be working each finger individually and that doesn't matter anymore.

Sc around to the first marker (back of glove) and move it up, then sc around to the other marker (palm) and remove it, making a sc in the marked sc. Ch enough chs so that you will have 10 sts from the marked st, then turn glove and sc in marked sc on back of glove. Set this marker aside, and sc around to ch sts between fingers, mark the sc before the ch as the beg of rnd.

Sc in the ch sts between fingers, and in each sc, then continue to work evenly, trying on the glove, until the finger is just above tip of the pinky. End off, leaving at least 4 inches. Thread end of yarn into a yarn needle and weave it through the tops of the sts in the last rnd and pull tight. Turn finger inside-out and secure yarn to inside, then weave end through sts on wrong side, then turn finger back right side out.

You see where I'm going with this? Trying on the glove as you go insures that the fingers are right, and you can frog back to add more chs if it's too tight.

Now, try the glove on and mark the scs between the ring finger and middle finger. Attach yarn to the sc on the palm of glove where the pinky is attached, then sc around, moving markers up and sc in free loops of ch between pinky and ring finger. This should bring palm of glove up to the base of the ring finger. Now, with marked sc  on palm of glove as your beg of rnd, crochet the ring finger, having at least 11-12 sts, however many you need to fit around ring finger comfortably. Complete finger as you did the pinky, trying glove on to get length right, and then continue on with the other two fingers as established, working another rnd around to bring palm of glove up to the base of middle finger before starting to crochet the finger. 11-12 sts should be sufficient for remaining fingers as well. For the index finger, work sts into side of first rnd of middle finger if you need to, to get sufficient sts for index finger to fit comfortably.

Once you're finished with the fingers, it's time to do the thumb, and this one will have to be done a little differently. Attach yarn to one side of gusset and sc all the way around, marking firs st of rnd as before.

Sc around, dec one st on each side of thumb gusset.

Sc around.

Do prev 2 rows alternately one or two more times, or until you have 11-12 sc, then work evenly until thumb is long enough and finish off as with the fingers.

Wrist ribbing:

Using smaller hook, attach yarn to any free lp at lower end of glove. Ch 13, or however many you like, to get length you want, plus one to turn.

Sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each ch across. Sl st into same st you attached yarn in, and in next free lp and turn.

Skip the 2 sl sts and sc in BLO of each sc across. Ch 1, turn.

Sc in BLO of each sc across, sl st into next 2 free lps on glove, turn

You see the pattern now? Sc in BLO throughout and work ribbing all the way around glove. When you've reach the last two free lps, do not ch 1 and turn at the end of row, but sl st the last row you just made to the first row all the way down, cut  yarn leaving at least 4 inches long, thread end through a yarn needle and secure on the wrong side of ribbing, hiding the end. Your glove is now finished, make another one for your other hand, if you managed to understand these instructions.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Shell-easy mitts

These mitts are made in one piece and seamless so there's no sewing after. They're lacy, yet warm and will allow you to type if you get cold hands in winter. Or you can wear them over a plain pair of gloves to dress them up and add extra warmth. They're ambidextrous-you can wear them on either hand.

Red Heart Shimmer, 1 skein will make at least two pairs, if not three
Crochet hook size H
Other yarns you can use:
Caron Simply Soft
Red Heart Super Saver
Really, just about any yarn can be used, with appropriately-sized hook, you'll just need to adjust the pattern up or down to compensate. Also be aware that different weights of yarn will make the mitt look different from that pictured. Lightweight yarn will look delicate, while WW yarn will look sturdier. If you use a lightweight yarn, you may want to ch 2 for the thumbhole, and then do a dc dec in the two chs on your next rnd to bring it back to one dc.

Make 2

Loosely ch a multiple of 6 so that it fits around your hand without stretching and join to form a ring, being careful not to twist sts. Alternatively, use a size I crochet hook to make starting ch, then switch to the size H hook for the remainder. This will make the starting ch a bit more flexible since there is no ribbing.

Rnd 1: Ch 1, sc in same st as joining, sk 2 ch, 5 dc in next ch (shell), *sk 2 ch, sc in next ch, sk 2 ch, shell in next ch. Rep from * around, join with sl st to beg sc. 5 shells on a ch of 30. your shell count will vary if your chain is larger or smaller.

Rnd 2: Ch 3, shell in 3rd dc of next shell (shell on shell), *Dc in next sc, shell on next shell. Rep from * around. Join with sl st in 3rd ch of beg ch-3

Rnds 3-7: Ch 3, shell on next shell, *dc in dc bet shells, shell on next shell. Rep from * around. Join with sl st in 3rd ch of beg ch-3.

Rnd 8: Rep prev rnd, except when you reach last dc bet shells, ch 1, sk the dc bet shells and make a shell on the last shell. Join with a sl st to 3rd ch of beg ch-3. This space will be the thumb hole.

Last 4 rnds (Hand). Continue in pat as established, making a dc in the ch-1 sp of the thumb hole bet shells on rnd 9. End off after rnd 11. Weave in loose ends.

Alternative construction:

If you're a beginner and have trouble making the shell pattern in the foundation ch, or you want a sturdier foundation to work on, once you get your foundation ch joined, ch 1 and sc in each ch around. Join with a sl st in the first sc and then continue on with pattern as written.

Long mitts:

If you want elbow-length mitts, start with a size J hook and do about three rnds of shells, switch to a size I hook and do three more, then switch to a size H hook and finish mitt out. I also suggest that you start with a rnd of sc in your foundation ch before you start the shell pattern.