Crochet a Grass Mat

Crocheted Grass Circle with Loop Stitch or Fur Stitch

Tired of that messy plastic grass in your Spring decorations? Wish you had some eco-friendly faux grass that you can use season after season? Crochet your own!

This crocheted “grass” circle can be made any size, with any yarn you have on hand. Use it to line an Easter basket or as a Spring centerpiece with your favorite flowers!

The loop stitch technique is based on single crochet. Watch the video for a tutorial on How to Crochet Loop Stitch (also known as Fur Stitch). I’ll show you three different variations, so you can choose.

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About the Yarn

Use any yarn you choose, with a hook in an appropriate size for your yarn. The Grass Circle pictured used one ball of Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice color 172 Kelly Green (100% acrylic, 3.5 oz [100 g], 170 yd [156 m]) .

Craft Yarn Council Icon for 4 Medium Weight Yarn

About the Construction

The mat is worked in the round from the center out in continuous, un-joined rounds. Every other round is worked using the loop stitch single crochet technique.

Instructions for the Grass Circle are given below. A print-friendly, ad-free version includes instructions and charts.

Grass Circle Mat Pattern

Size & Finished Dimensions

Can be made to any size. The sample pictured measures 14″ [35.5 cm] diameter.

Materials

Worsted weight yarn (or any size yarn desired), approximately 170 yd [156 m] to make a 14″ diameter circle

Size I-9 [5.5 mm] crochet hook, or size needed to create a nice fabric for your yarn

Stitch marker

Gauge

Rnds 1-7= 4″ [ 10 cm]

Gauge is not crucial in this pattern.

Abbreviations & Special Stitches

ch: chain
Lsc (Loop single crochet): Hold working yarn so that it is coming from back to front over left index finger (right index finger for left-handed crocheters). Hold this finger approximately 1″ [2.5 cm] from the hook. Insert hook into next stitch, then move the hook clockwise (counterclockwise for left-handed crocheters) so that it comes over the front of the working yarn; yarn over with the strand of yarn that is coming from the back of the index finger; keeping index finger in place, pull up a loop, yarn over and pull through both loops on the hook to complete a single crochet. Remove index finger from loop.
rep: repeat
rnd(s): round(s)
sc: single crochet
st(s): stitch(es)

Pattern Notes

Do not join at end of rounds.

Instructions

Rnd 1: Ch 1 (does not count as a st), 6 sc in ring—6 sts. Place marker in first st to indicate beginning of rnd and move marker up as you work each rnd.

Rnd 2: 2 Lsc in first st, 2 Lsc in each st around—12 sts.

Rnd 3: Sc in first st, 2 sc in next st, [sc in next st, 2 sc in next st] around—18 sts.

Rnd 4: 2 Lsc in first st, Lsc in next 2 sts, [2 Lsc in next st, Lsc in next 2 sts] around—24 sts.

Rnd 5: Sc in first st, sc in next 2 sts, 2 sc in next st, [sc in next 3 sts, 2 sc in next st] around—30 sts.

Rnd 6: 2 Lsc in first st, Lsc in next 4 sts, [2 Lsc in next st, Lsc in next 4 sts] around—36 sts.

Rnd 7: Sc in first st, sc in next 4 sts, 2 sc in next st, [sc in next 5 sts, 2 sc in next st] around—42 sts

Rnd 8: 2 Lsc in first st, Lsc in next 6 sts, [2 Lsc in next st, Lsc in next 6 sts] around—48 sts.

Rnd 9: Sc in first st, sc in next 6 sts, 2 sc in next st, [sc in next 7 sts, 2 sc in next st] around—54 sts.

Continue in this manner to increase 6 stitches every round until piece is as large as desired, ending with an odd-numbered round. Weave in ends.

For more detailed instructions for Rounds 1-23, plus a stitch chart, buy the ad-free printable pattern.

What will you use your “grass” for? Share photos on my Instagram feed, using #edieeckman!

How to Crochet a Granny Square

The granny square is the most common motif in crochet. Almost everybody recognizes a granny square! Even beginning crocheters can learn to crochet a granny square.

Granny squares are useful and versatile. They can be crocheted in any yarn . They can be dressed up or down, and they can be combined in so many different ways.

Granny squares are relaxing to crochet because the concept is so easy. The hook goes into spaces, not stitches, so once you get the feel of it, you can almost crochet without looking.

Follow these steps,and watch the video tutorial to crochet a classic granny square. I’m using American crochet terminology in this post. This post contains affiliate links.

What is a Granny Square?

Although a lot of people use the term “granny square” to refer to any type of crocheted square, a true granny square is a specific type of crocheted motif.

A classic granny square is crocheted from the center out. It consists of groups of three double crochet stitches, separated by chain spaces. All of the stitches are worked into chain spaces, not into the tops of stitches.

How to Crochet Granny square with helpful labels

They can be crocheted in one color, but are most often seen in multiple colors. It’s a great way to use up small amounts of different colored yarns!

There are lots of granny square variations. What follows is a classic Granny Square with chain-1 spaces between the stitch groups, and a combination of chain-3 and chain-2 corner spaces.

Tips & Tricks

Many granny square instructions have you join new colors and start new rounds with a chain-3 build-up chain at the beginning of the round. I don’t like the way that looks, so in these instructions I’ve added the refinement of using a standing double crochet to start each new color.

If you understand the construction of a granny square, you can make them without a pattern. Basically, you are putting 3 double crochets into each chain-1 space, (3 double crochet, ch 2, 3 double crochet) into each corner space, and you are using a chain 1 to bridge the gap over each 3-double crochet group.

Don’t worry-that will make more sense once you’ve crocheted one! Be sure to watch the video below for more tips.

A printable ad-free copy of this pattern is available to subscribers to my newsletter. Click on the button to subscribe and get the pattern.

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Granny Square Instructions

Abbreviations

A, B, C: yarn colors
ch: chain
dc: double crochet
rep: repeat
rnd(s): round(s)
st(s): stitch(es)
standing dc (standing double crochet): beginning with a slip knot on the hook, work a double crochet into the space indicated

Materials

Any yarn and any hook appropriate for your yarn

This granny square uses three different colors but you can make your granny square with any number of colors.

Instructions

With A, ch 4, join with slip st to form a ring.

Rnd 1: Ch 3 (counts as dc), 2 dc in ring, ch 2, [3 dc in ring, ch 3] 3 times, join with slip st to top of beginning ch-3. Fasten off. You have 4 3-dc groups and 4 corner spaces.

Rnd 2: With B, standing dc in any corner space, [2 dc, ch 2, 3 dc] in same corner space, ch 1, *[3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc] in next ch-space, ch 1; rep from * around, join with slip st to top of first dc. Fasten off. You have 8 3-dc groups, 4 corner spaces, and 4 ch-1 spaces.

Rnd 3: With C, [standing dc, 2 dc, ch 2, 3 dc] in any corner space, *ch 1, 3 dc in next space, ch 1**, [3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc] in next space; rep from * around, ending last rep at **, join with slip st to first dc. Fasten off. You have 12 3-dc groups, 4 corner spaces, and 8 ch-1 spaces.

Rnd 4: With A, [standing dc, 2 dc, ch 2, 3 dc] in any corner space, *ch 1, [3 dc in next space, ch 1] in each space to corner space**, [3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc] in corner space; rep from * around, ending last rep at **, join with slip st to first dc. Fasten off. You have 4 corner spaces, 4 additional 3-dc groups, and 4 additional ch-1 spaces.

To make the granny square larger, repeat Rnd 4, changing colors as desired.

If your granny square starts to look off-kilter, read Skewing Grannies. For a fun variation on the classic granny square, try a Tower Stitch Granny.

Watch the Video for More Information

In this video, I show you how to crochet the granny square I just described.

Note that on Round 3, I start the round in the middle of a side (in a chain-1 space), rather than in the corner as the written instructions show. This is just to demonstrate that you can start the round anywhere at all, as long as you understand granny construction!

Oceanid Cowl Free Knitting Pattern

A free knitting pattern for a cowl fit for a mermaid! Waves of sea green and turquoise froth around your neck in soothing bands of color.

This lightweight accessory is truly season-spanning. It’s also comfort knitting. The easy-to-remember four-round stitch pattern is meditative and relaxing.

Thanks to KnitPicks for providing the the yarn for this project. This post contains affiliate links.

 

About the Yarn

Use fingering weight gradient yarn, color-changing yarns, or a tonal pack of mini skeins as shown here. Or make a rainbow version using your sock yarn odds and ends.

Fine Weight Yarn-2 Craft Yarn Council

KnitPicks Stroll Tonal is a fingering weight wool blend. It’s a classic sock yarn made of 75% superwash merino wool and 25% nylon. The Stroll Tonal Mini Packs are available in a variety of beautiful colorways. I chose Aquarium for my cowl, but there are several beautiful color combinations to choose from.

Stroll Tonal Mini Pack in Aquarium colorway

Including the yarn I used for a swatch, I used about 10 g of colors A and E, and a bit less than that for the other colors. That works out to be about 38-48 yds [34-44 m] per each of the five colors.

My math says that you should have enough to make two cowls from one mini pack, as long as you only knit one swatch and you match the pattern gauge.

You do always knit a swatch, right?

About the Knitting

With US size 3 [3.25 mm] 16″ [40 cm] circular needles, cast on loosely and knit in rounds until you are finished. Matching gauge is always important, but it’s not crucial in this project. What could be easier?

I’ll tell you what could be easier: collect up your stitch markers and put a marker between each 11-stitch repeat. That’ll help you keep track of the stitch pattern!

The free knitting pattern is below. You can also purchase an ad-free printed pattern that includes photos and a stitch chart.

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Oceanid Cowl Pattern

Size & Finished Dimensions

One Size: 26″ [66 cm] diameter x 5″ [12.5 cm] high

Materials

Fingering weight yarn: approximately 48 yds [44 m] each of five colors. Sample used KnitPicks Stroll Tonal Mini Pack (75% superwash merino wool/25% nylon, 3.5 oz [100 g], 462 yd [422 m], colorway Aquarium

US size 3 [3.25 mm] 16″ [40 cm] circular knitting needle or size to obtain correct gauge

17 stitch markers; one in a unique color

Gauge

Two 11-st pattern repeats = about 3″ [7.5 cm]; 48 rounds = 4″ [10 cm] in Wave Pattern

Gauge is not crucial in this pattern, but do match gauge for best results.

Abbreviations

A, B, C, D, E: color designations
k: knit
k2tog: knit 2 stitches together
rep: repeat
rnd(s): round(s)
ssk (slip, slip, knit): slip next 2 stitches one at a time knitwise, insert left needle into the front of these 2 sts and knit them together through the back loops
st(s): stitch(es)
yo: yarn over

Wave Pattern

(multiple of 11)
Rnds 1 & 2: Knit.
Rnd 3: *[Ssk] two times, [yo, k1] 3 times, yo, [k2tog] two times; rep from * around.
Rnd 4: Purl.
Repeat Rnds 1-4 for pattern.

Instructions

With A and circular needle, loosely cast on 187 sts using a long-tail cast-on and placing a marker every 11 sts. Place unique color marker to indicate end of round. Join for working in the round, being careful not to twist sts.

Set-Up Rnd: Purl.

Begin Wave Pattern, working four rounds each of colors A, B, C, D, and E. Work until piece measures about 5″ [12.5 cm] long, ending with color E.

Bind off Rnd: Remove markers as you work this round. With E, *bind off 4 sts, (yo, lift previous st over the yarnover to bind off, bind off next st) 3 times, bind off 4 sts; rep from * around. Fasten off.

Weave in all ends. Block.

Crochet Book Giveaway

To recognize National Crochet Month, I’m giving away two copies of my best-selling crochet border book, Every Which Way Crochet Borders! It’s filled with step-by-step written instructions and crochet charts, and features 139 borders. Plus, just like my previous border book Around the Corner Crochet Borders, all of the borders in this book turn a 90-degree angle, so there’s no fussing when you’re trying to complete an edging.

This post contains affiliate links.

Every Which Way Crochet Borders

How to Enter

EDITED TO ADD: The Giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Winners Debbie and Angelia!

To enter for a chance to win, just comment on any March 2020 blog post! More details:

  • Comment on any March 2020 blog post
  • One comment per blog post, but you can comment on every post throughout the month
  • Each new on-topic comment counts as one entry
  • Only US residents eligible
  • Comments accepted as entries from now through March 31, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern
  • Two winners will be chosen at random on April 1, 2020
  • Winners will be contacted via the email they used to leave a comment
  • If winner does not respond within seven (7) days of being contacted, a new winner will be chosen
  • Books will be sent via US Media Mail

Good luck!

My First Scarf: A Story and Free Knitting Pattern

The beginning of the first scarf I knit

This is the story of my first knitting project. It’s a story that spans 50 years. It’s about yarn and memories and connections that come full circle. And it includes a free beginner pattern.
This striped garter-stitch scarf is a good beginner project for novices who have the patience to knit a whole scarf. Don’t want to knit so much? Make it a coaster or cowl instead.

This post contains affiliate links.

In the Beginning

When I was about six, one of my favorite books was A Gift from the Lonely Doll, by Dare Wright. In the story, The Lonely Doll —whose name is Edith—knits a scarf for her dad, Mr. Bear.  She knits diligently at every possible opportunity and (spoiler alert) the scarf ends up too long. It’s worth reading the book for all the adorable details.

A Gift from the Lonely Doll cover image

Like my doll heroine, I wanted to knit a striped scarf for my father’s Christmas present. The scarf must be red and black, the team colors of his beloved University of Georgia Bulldogs.

My First Knitting Project

My maternal grandmother lived with us and was happy to teach me to knit. We started with a skein of black Germantown worsted wool, some leftover bits of red Germantown, and a pair of straight needles. She showed me how to cast on—the German twisted cast on, no less!—and how to do the knit stitch.

I knit and knit. The stitch count changed from row to row, but that didn’t matter to me.

The subtle shaping was due to inadvertently added stitches. Surely a design element, right?

I knit and knit and knit. I learned to change colors, although not always on the correct side.

I clearly didn’t have an idea of “right side” and “wrong side”.

I knit and knit and knit. The scarf grew slowly. Yarnover holes and incomplete stitches magically disappeared overnight. It’s the only time in my life that the Knitting Fairy has corrected my knitting.

 I knit and knit and knit and knit and knit. Now it was starting to look like a scarf. I tried it on frequently to see if it was long enough.

Is it long enough yet?

I knit and knit and knit and knit and knit and knit . Nana kept urging me to knit a few more rows, but I was on deadline and anxious to finish on time. (Sound familiar?)

Just in time for Christmas, the scarf was long enough. Because the edges were so wobbly, Nana single crocheted around the whole thing to tidy it up. We wrapped it up in anticipation of the big reveal the next day.

On Christmas morning, Daddy opened the package. He made all the appropriate noises about how beautiful the scarf was, and how hard I must have worked to make such a special gift. Apparently it was the best gift ever!

I never saw him wear it, and I eventually forgot about it.

About 25 Years Later

Visiting my parents’ house, I caught a glance of red and black rolled up in the back of a drawer. It was my first scarf! Daddy had saved it all those years!

But that photo doesn’t really do it justice. Let me help you understand the scale of this scarf.

It is 4″ wide x 22.5″ long. Despite all my efforts, and even trying it on my skinny six-year-old neck, it was way too small to be worn by an adult male! Furthermore, we lived in Georgia where scarves aren’t even needed. The scarf came home with me, to remind me how much my technique had improved.

About 25 Years Later

As I wandered the aisles of a trade show, my eye caught a familiar sight: Germantown yarn from Kelbourne Woolens.  I’m pretty sure I squeed out loud. I may have jumped up and down a little bit.

Germantown Yarn colorful skeins

About Germantown Yarn

For that first scarf, and for many projects after that, Brunswick Germantown Worsted was my go-to yarn. 

Knitters who have been around for a long while will remember this ubiquitous yarn. There weren’t nearly as many yarns available as there are now, but Germantown was a classic worsted weight standby that came in many colors.

Germantown Yarn in black and red

Read Germantown: Redesigning a History for the story of how Kelbourne Woolens revived the brand, then read A Brief History of Germantown Yarns for a fascinating look at this American yarn. Go ahead, I’ll wait while you do that.

When Kelbourne Woolens owner Courtney Kelly heard the story of my first scarf and what Germantown meant to me, she immediately suggested that I make another scarf, and provided the yarn for me to knit it.

My First Scarf Knitting Pattern

So here, fifty years after the original scarf, is the pattern for My First Scarf. This version is meant to be easy enough for new knitters to knit, and long enough and warm enough to actually be worn by an adult.  

Presented in Georgia Bulldog red and black, of course. Note that black is not the best choice for beginners; feel free to use different, lighter colors for easier visibility.

My First Scarf

The free pattern is below; you also can purchase a printer-friendly pdf.

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Want to knit it in Germantown yarn? You’ll get 10% off the price if you use code EDIEECKMAN at checkout here.

Materials

Craft Yarn Council Icon for 4 Medium Weight Yarn

Kelbourne Woolens Germantown (100% North American wool, 220 yds/201 m, 100 g), 1 skein each #005 Black (A) and #625 Scarlet (B), or colors of your choice.

US size 8 (5 mm) knitting needles or size to obtain correct gauge

Stitch marker or safety pin

Finished Dimensions

3.75″ (9.5 cm) wide x 61″ (155 cm) long

Gauge

20 sts and 39 rows = 4” (10 cm) in garter stitch (knit every row)
Gauge is not crucial in this pattern, but for best results match the gauge of the pattern. Watch How to Measure Gauge in Knitted Garter Stitch.

Pattern Note

Leave a 4-5″ [10-13 cm] tail of yarn each time you change yarns so that you’ll have enough yarn to securely weave in the tails. Each time you change yarn colors, the yarn tails should be on the rightmost edge of the scarf.

Instructions

With A, long tail cast on 19 sts.

Row 1 (Wrong Side): Knit.

Turn the work and place a marker on the right side to help you keep track of the right and wrong sides.

Rows 2-15: Knit.

At this point you have a total of 8 garter ridges and you have ended by knitting a wrong side row.

Cut A.

Rows 16-27: With B, knit. End by knitting a wrong side row. You have 6 garter ridges of B.

Continue working alternate stripes of 8 garter ridges (16 rows) in A and 6 garter ridges (12 rows) in B, until you have 20 stripes in color B. End by knitting a wrong side row.

Last stripe: With A, knit 8 garter ridges (16 rows). End by knitting a wrong side row. Bind off on a right side row.

Weave in all ends. Block.

Crochet Pattern Round-Up: Unusual Techniques

Break out of your crochet rut and try a new technique! Skip the rows of double crochet and rounds of granny squares.

Find a technique that’s new to you with this collection of crochet projects that use unusual techniques.