Jen Shawl KAL for Invest in ME Research

When I found that 12 May is M.E. Awareness Day and that there were other people in the community who were fundraising I decided to give it a go. This is what I came up with, a pattern for a shawl. All proceeds will go to the charity: Invest in ME Research.

It is a quick knit, pictured here in Regia Design Line Kaffe Fassett Sugared Almonds and uses 100 g yarn. The appeal is not only the soft, squishy yarn in simple garter stitch but also the lace border. It has an eight row repeat which is easy to learn by heart after a few repeats. Also with cast on and bind off rows which have only 10 stitches respectively I know it is going to be popular with a lot of people.

The shape when opened out is a long, shallow triangle. If you use 100g yarn then it is a light accessory to throw over the shoulders when it is a bit chilly. However it is also ideal for cold weather because it can be tied as in the picture and therefore keeps all the chilly air away from your neck, keeping your neck warm by closing all gaps and is nevertheless lightweight. You could of course make it larger by using more yarn.

The next surprise is the simple construction. Once you have the lace border and the rhythm of increases set up you keep going until you have used up just less than 50 % of your yarn by weight. I stopped increasing at 48 g, knitted straight without increases but including the border for one repeat and then continued the border repeat this time with decreases where there were previously increases.

The pattern is an adaptation of a Norwegian design called a Bactus. (See my previous blog post with free instructions for a simple shawl without lace border).

I have set up a facebook page for the KAL @JenShawlKAL

100% of the proceeds from this pattern go to Invest in ME Research.
The pattern is available to purchase through loveknitting: Buy pattern here

Feel free to take part in the KAL and do the easy Bactus style shawl instead. All you need to do is to donate via my JustGiving page instead:

Link to my blog and Simple Bactus Style Shawl:

To knit the shawl you will need:

I have used Opal undyed (100g/420m) hand dyed in my own colour scheme but you could use any of the yarns I have listed:

Regia Design Line - Sugared Almonds - Kaffe Fassett (03772) (100 g/420 m): one skein (shown above)
Regia Design Line - Island - Arne and Carlos (03765) (100g/420 m): one skein
The Florist Collection Sock Yarn by West Yorkshire Spinners - Forget-me-not (801) (100g/400m): one skein.
Drops Alpaca Uni Color (3620) 100% alpaca 4ply (50g/167m): two skeins for a small shawl or up to four skeins for a larger version of the shawl shown.


Gauge is not crucial for this project. My gauge is 24 sts and 40 rows measure 10 cm square (4 inches square) in garter stitch using 3.5 mm needles (US 4) after blocking.

Finished size:  32 cm at widest point x 154 cm long after blocking. The size is easily adjustable if you would like to make it larger but would then require more yarn.

3.5 mm knitting needles (US 4) or size needed to get the fabric you want. It should feel slightly looser than usual to make the shawl soft and give it drape.
Tapestry needle
Stitch marker

Zelda Scarf Pattern

Introducing the Zelda Scarf in one colour brioche stitch.

This aran weight yarn was custom dyed for me by  GamerCrafting on etsy. I decided to do a one colour brioche stitch scarf in my favourite leaf design and this is the result.

If you are new to one colour brioche stitch then in fact you can rest assured it is easier than two colour brioche. There are only brk stitches, no brp or purl stitches. You can used single pointed needles because you turn after every row and also the increases and decreases are the same as for two colour brioche. 

I have made two YouTube tutorials covering all the techniques used in this scarf. One using the English yarn hold

and the second using the Continental yarn hold. 

Butterfly Baby Blanket

I have fallen in love with this beautiful Japanese stitch pattern. I love the texture and to add to the appeal it is deceptively easy. I have filmed a youtube tutorial showing all the patterning, including the p2tog tbl on the wrong side row.

You can buy the full pattern which has been test knitted and tech edited for your convenience. Buy the Butterfly Baby Blanket here.

Crochet Mandala Free Pattern

I have had a go at making really complex mandalas but never designed one before, so this is what I have come up with. My first crochet design. 

UK terminology has been used. 


ch   chain
st(s)   stitch(es)
sl st   slip stitch
dc   double crochet
tr   treble crochet stitch
ch1-sp   chain 1 space
ch2-sp   chain 2 space
fptr   front post treble
yo   yarn over
tr3tog   treble 3 together
st dc   standing double crochet
st tr   standing treble crochet

Yarn and hook size:

Gauge is not crucial for this project, it could be worked in a variety of yarns with 
appropriate hook size. I have used a 5 mm hook and aran weight yarn in four 
colours (Drops Love You 8, 100% cotton 85m/50g) so that my mandala measures 
16 cm across. 


Start with an adjustable ring. 

Round 1: With colour A, ch1 (does not count as a stitch), 12 dc into ring. Sl st to join. (12 sts)

Round 2: Ch4 (counts as first tr, ch1), (tr, ch1) in next 11 sts. Sl st to the third chain to join. 
Fasten off.   (12 tr, 12 ch1 sp)

Round 3: Join colour B either by pulling up a loop, ch3 into any ch1-sp 
or with a st tr into any ch1-sp. 
Tr into same sp. Fptr around post of next tr from round2. 
(2tr in next ch1-sp, fptr around next tr from previous round) 11 times. Sl st to join. Fasten off. 
(36 sts)

Round 4:  Join colour C by either pulling up a loop in any st, ch1, skip next st
or with a st dc into any st, ch1, skip next st.

(dc, ch1, skip next st) 17 times. Sl st to join. Fasten off. (18 sts, 18 ch1-sp)

Round 5: In this round you will work 18 tr3tog bobble stitches. These are worked by only 
completing the first step of the tr three times and leaving the loops on the hook, 
to complete the stitch you take yo and pull through all the loops left on the hook. 

The first one is different at the start of the round.  

Beginning tr3tog bobble: Pull up a loop of colour D in any ch1-sp, ch2, y0, insert hook 
into the same space and pull up a loop, yo pull through 2 loops (2 loops on the hook), 
yo, insert hook into the same space and pull up a loop, yo, pull through 2 loops 
(3 loops on the hook), yo and pull through all 3 loops. Ch2 before working the 
next bobble in the next ch1-sp. 

The next 17 bobbles are all the same. 
Tr3tog bobble: (Yo, insert hook into sp and pull up a loop, yo through 2 loops) 3 times, yo and 
pull through all 4 loops on the hook. (One tr3tog bobble completed), ch2) 17 times. 
Sl st to top of ch2 of beginning tr3tog bobble to join. Fasten off. 

Round 6: Join colour C with a st dc in any ch2-sp, 2 dc into same sp, fpdc around top of bobble 
st. (3 dc into ch2-sp, fpdc around bobble) 17 times. Sl st to join. Fasten off. (72 dc)

Round 7: Join colour A with a st dc into any st. (Skip 2 sts, 7tr into next st, skip 2 sts, dc into 
next st ) 12 times, omitting last dc at the end of the round. Sl st to join. Fasten off. 
(12 "petals" consisting of 7 tr each, 12 dc)

Earphone Cosy Free Knitting Pattern

Knit in DK yarn on 4 mm needles (US 6) this is a very quick knit. It makes a useful cozy for those irritating earphones which lie around and get tangled with other things. I decided to give it a cabled twist effect as decoration. 
Finished size: 9 cm deep and 8 cm across at the widest point.
This pattern was drafted as a teaching pattern in order to practice increases and cables. That is the reason for the use of both lifted increases and make one increases. You could stick to one kind of course if you wish. Free pattern here
Happy Knitting.

Balloon Bunting Free Knitting Pattern

If you get up at five a.m. during the balloon fiesta in Bristol you are in for a treat. Hundreds of 
multicoloured balloons floating up into the sky all around you during the early morning 
light. This balloon bunting attempts to capture the magic of this moment.

Using this pattern you can create as many plain balloons as you want. Crochet a chain to 
join them to a strip of bunting.

"Paperflower" Two-colour Brioche Stitch Scarf

The idea for this scarf came from my daughter who hand dyed the pink variegated yarn and asked me to knit a scarf for her. She chose the red background colour and so the "Paperflower Scarf" came to be. 

Free Pattern for a two-color brioche stitch cowl in the round

This cowl features bold colour contrasts and is knitted in a super chunky yarn so that it is quite a quick project. The instructions are essentially those for knitting two colour brioche stitch in the round. Try a free trial of skillshare to watch my class on how to make this cowl. 

Crescent Shawl

Wave Shawl Pattern

This lovely crescent shaped shawl is very simple to knit. It drapes around the shoulders, showing off the lace border. The shawl is wider than it is deep so that it can be wrapped around the neck too.  If you would like to watch my online class all about knitting this shawl for free then feel free to start a two month trial by following this link. No charge whatsoever if you cancel within the two months. 

Branching Leaves Brioche Cowl Pattern

The stitch pattern for this cowl resembles Branching leaves, hence the name. I created it while playing with the "wavy buds" pattern by changing the decreases to those used when knitting brioche in the round. You can watch my skillshare class and learn to knit this cowl (including pattern) for free if you sign up to a free two month trial.

"Samba" Shawl Pattern (Sideways Knitted Triangular Shawl)

My version of this sideways knitted triangular shawl has two row garter stitch stripes and a slipped stitch selvage. It is immensely comfortable to wear because the biased fabric wraps itself around the body very readily. 
I have the free pattern below or alternatively you could watch my skillshare class about how to knit this shawl for free: Knit a Sideways Triangular Shawl

My newest skillshare class covers increases and decreases in brioche knitting (when knitting flat)

This class shows you how to do brioche stitch using two colors and increases and decreases when knitting brioche stitch. To watch the class for free sign up for a two month trial of skillshare with no charge if you cancel in the two month period. 

How to knit decreases in brioche stitch when knitting in the round.

While researching my latest brioche stitch pattern I tried to find a way to do decreases when knitting brioche stitch in the round. The two-stitch right-leaning and left-leaning decreases were easily found by consulting Nancy Marchant's book "Knitting Brioche", however she made no mention of a four stitch decrease when working brioche stitch in the round. 

I had a look at the two stitch decreases and decided that if I used a brssk next to a brk2tog then the result should be a brioche four stitch decrease. I tried it and it worked!

The result is my newest pattern, the "Abutilon Cowl" in two color brioche stitch. Available to buy on loveknitting,  please click on this link
Below is a written explanation of the decreases when knitting brioche in the round.

First it is necessary to understand the left and right leaning two stitch decreases:  

 brssk:  Slip one stitch knitwise (a stitch with yarnover counts as one stitch), slip next stitch knitwise, insert the left hand needle into the fronts of these two stitches and knit them together.

brk2tog: Reach under the yarnover and brk the next two stitches together. The yarnover then falls behind the stitch when it is slipped off the needle.

sl2yo:  With yarn in fornt, slip two stitches and take yarn over needles and forward to brp the next stitch.

sl3yo:  Slip three stitches and take yarn over needles and forward to brp the next stitch.

brcdd:  Slip two stitches together knitwise under the yarn over while leaving it in
place, brk the next stitch with the yarn over, pass the two slipped stitches over the brk stitch. This is a symmetrical decrease. By avoiding the yarnover until you knit the third stitch the contrasting yarn will not be worked into it but sit behind it.

Brioche right leaning decrease (worked in the round):
This is a two st decrease.

First step: Work to sl1yo, the next stitches on the left hand needle are a MC
stitch with a yo, a CC stitch and another MC stitch with yo. Brssk the first two together and (without doing a yo), brk the next stitch. This decreases the stitch count by one and there are two MC sts next to each other.
Second step: In the brp round work to the two MC sts. Slip both together purlwise
and take the yarn over the needle to brp the next stitch.
Third step: Work to the two MC sts next to each other with a shared yo. Brk these two stitches together with the yarnover, again decreasing the stitch
count by one.

Brioche left leaning decrease (worked in the round):
This is a two stitch decrease.

First step: Work to sl1yo, brk the next stitch. Without doing another yo, brk2tog.
This decreases the stitch count by one and puts two MC sts next to each other.
Second step: In the brp round, work to the two MC sts which are next to each other. Slip both together purlwise and take the yarn over the needle to brp
the next stitch.
Third step: Work to the two MC sts which are next to each other with a shared yo.
Brssk these two stitches.
This step also decreases the stitch count by one.

Brioche four stitch decrease (in the round):

Step 1: Work: brssk, brk brk2tog. There are three MC sts next to each other.

Step 2: In the next round, work these three stitches as follows: sl3yo.

Step 3: In the next round, leave the yarnover in place on the needle when you slip the first two stitches, brk the next stitch with the yarnover, then pass the two slipped stitches over it. 
In total four stitches have been decreased, two in step 1 and two in step 3.

In this way, I have made a cdd into a brcdd (brioche central double decrease). I feel as if I have invented it or perhaps re-invented it, if ever anyone has invented it before. If so I am perhaps the first person to write it down. Let me know. Either way, the instructions for it are above or you can try it out by purchasing my "Abutilon Cowl" pattern. Click here to go to my craftsy pattern shop

Happy Knitting! 

Any Size Yarn Gauge Sock Recipe - Free Sock Knitting Pattern

Have you ever wondered how to knit socks without needing a pattern? This recipe will empower you to knit a pair of socks using the yarn you want and the needles you want. 

Knit a "Bactus" Shawl - Free Pattern

"Bactus" is a tooth troll from a Norwegian children's book. Together with "Karius" they teach children to brush their teeth and are destroyed by the dentist.... With the long thin ends hanging down you can see where the association with a tooth came from. 

As part of my KAL for Invest in ME Research you are welcome to take part and do this easy pattern instead. Please consider donating to Invest in ME Research via this link

If you would like to join the KAL on social media please choose a group:


This version is knitted entirely in knit stitch so it is simplicity itself. You could knit the same pattern in stocking stitch (knit one row, purl one row) to make a "Karius" scarf which would tend to curl in at the edges.

The Baktus Shawl pattern is widespread. This is my version of it, there are many variations possible and it is easy to adapt by adding a border along one edge. Why not try my simple version and then move on to doing a modification of your own?

This shawl starts with three stitches. You knit every row, increasing every fourth row until you have used half of your yarn then decrease down to three stitches again. A very easy relaxing shawl to knit. 


100 g fingering weight yarn / sock yarn, 3.25 mm (US 3) knitting needles (straight or circular). Please adjust needle size if the fabric you achieve is too tight or too loose.
Stitch marker (optional), Blocking mat and pins (optional).


Knit up a small square in garter stitch (knit every row) to check if you are happy with the fabric. I found 3.25 mm (US 3) needles were suitable. If you need to, you could go up or down a needle size.
Weigh your yarn and make a note of the weight in g or ounces. 


I have stated my gauge but it is not important for this pattern. 24 stitches and 54 rows to 10 cm (4 inches) using 3.25 mm needles and knitting every row (garter stitch).


k knit

st(s) stitch(es)

yo take the yarn forward (to the front of your work) and over the right needle. When you knit the next stitch from this position an extra stitch will have been created.
(This increase leaves a hole, which is used decoratively or closed by knitting the stitch through the back loop, thereby twisting it, on the next row).

k1tbl knit one stitch through the back loop.
(Stitches lie over the needle with one part of the loop in front facing you and one part of the loop at the back of the needle. Knitting into the back loop twists the stitch).

ssk slip two stitches as if to knit, one at a time, from the left needle to the right needle. Insert the left needle from left to right into these two stitches so that the left needle is in front of the right needle and knit these two stitches together.

Pattern Instructions

Using 3.25 mm (US 3) needles, cast on 3 stitches.

Increase rows occur every fourth row as follows:

Rows 1 to 3: K all sts.
Row 4: K1, yo, k to the end of the row.

Row 5: K until there are 2 sts left on the needle, k1tbl, k1.
Rows 6 and 7: K all sts.
Row 8: K1, yo, k to the end of the row.

Repeat rows 5 to 8 until you have used up half of your yarn by weight.
Start decreasing in the fourth row as follows:

Rows 1 to 3: K all sts.
Row 4: K1, ssk, k to the end of the row.

Rows 5 to 7: K to the end of the row.
Row 8: K1, ssk, k to the end of the row.

Repeat rows 5 to 8 until there are only 3 stitches left on the needle.

Bind off loosely, block if desired and weave in the ends. 

If you have access to or would like to become a member, then feel free to have a look at my class: "Knit a "Baktus" shawl" 

You can watch it for free by signing up to a two month trial of skillshare with no charge if you cancel within the two month period. 

Chevrons in brioche knitting

I love the way the hand dyed yarn used as the main color has created a zigzag pattern across the cowl due to the increases and decreases in the pattern. The main colour yarn used was hand dyed, the contrasting colour was Regia sock wool in Purple.

The abutilon flower which gave this design its name is a plant for healing wounds. I liked the lines of the veins on the flower and have recreated it here.

You can purchase my patterned cowl on craftsy here