Insulate 1,000!

My INSULATE! Hat has reached 1,000 projects on Ravelry - that's a huge milestone for me, and I'm thrilled that so many people liked my hat enough to knit their own! You can see a few of these fabulous projects (in an amazing array of colour combos) on the pattern's Ravelry page.

The INSULATE! Hat was one of my early-ish knit designs from mid-2012, and I offered it as a free pattern to other knitters who share my geeky love of Daleks. Its stranded colourwork design is nice and simple, and every now and then I receive a lovely comment from someone who used this hat as their gateway to knitting colourwork, which really warms my designer heart!

If you'd like to make one of your own, you can download the free pattern here.

Ombré crochet: How to make a gradient square

I've started a new 'relaxation project'! I really like having something uncomplicated to work on when I want to pay attention to conversations/tv or when I'm tired - I'm all for multiple works-in-progress with a variety of techniques and difficulty levels.

I'm making another crochet blanket, this time made up of squares which I'll seam together later. In each square, the colours will radiate from dark-to-light or light-to-dark, alternating like a chessboard.

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New pattern: Liquid Honey

So happy I can finally share this with all of you! Liquid Honey is my second pattern to be published in Knitty, and it's one I'm super proud of.

And that's not all... my face is on the cover of the Spring + Summer issue! I've been making 'cover girl' jokes all day, it's been quite surreal... :)

I love yellow, and I love knitting lace, and I'm totally fascinated by bees. Put it all together, and you get a sunny yellow shawl inspired by honeycomb dripping with honey. I thought its cheeriness would make it a great fit for Knitty, and a nice gift for my fellow knitters.


  • honeycomb lace with a zigzagging lace border
  • top-down triangular construction with garter-tab cast on
  • no special stitches: just knit, purl, single and double yarn-overs, k2tog, ssk 
  • a decorative picot bind off
  • requires 1.5 skeins of Malabrigo Lace (700yds of laceweight yarn)
  • suitable for solid or semi-solid colourways
  • one size: 63" wingspan, 29" along spine
  • both charted and written instructions. 

The main part of the shawl is very repetitive and intuitive to knit, perfect for an on-the-go or tv-knitting project. The edging requires a little more attention, and I do recommend using needles with nice sharp points, for example Addi Lace needles. They kept me sane!

Shout out to my best photographer Dad for doing the photoshoot with me, and finding all the summery-looking flowers in the garden and around the town. And another shout out to Mum & Dad's 'Fortune' plum tree for co-starring in the photos! Since then, the plums have ripened and been turned into a couple of dozen jars of sauces and jams. Go tree.

The pattern is available for free here at Its Ravelry page is here.

You can also read my post from last September on the story of Knitty and me.

Free pattern: Droste Effect

I have a hat pattern in the latest issue of Knitty! This is really exciting for me, as I first got lured into knitting as a hobby by the fun, free patterns in Knitty. This is Droste Effect, a hat covered in cables inspired by the structure of stockinette stitch: 

  • all-over cable pattern designed to look like stockinette stitch
  • crown decreases are integrated into the cable pattern
  • two sizes: adult small + large
  • a one-skein project: requires up to 185 yards of DK-weight yarn
  • full charted and written instructions
  • available for free!

The yarns I chose are two NZ yarns which have excellent stitch definition, perfect for knitting cables. The brown hat (size L) was knit using 2 balls of Skeinz Silver Lining in 'Clifton Stone', and the sea-green hat (size S) was knit using 1 skein of Vintage Purls Max in 'Abel Tasman'.

The name 'Droste Effect' is taken from the visual effect of a picture-within-a-picture, because the hat's cables represent a large-scale stockinette stitch (it's a knitting pattern that looks like knitting). Tins of Droste brand cocoa famously feature a nurse holding a tray with a cup and the same tin on it:


The photos were taken by Jos, my dad, when I was visiting Whakatane last. We went to one of my old childhood haunts - the playground by the river at The Heads. Bay of Plenty locals might recognise the rocks and Moutohorā/Whale Island in the background...

 We also played around with the picture-within-a-picture idea... :)

Droste Effect is available as a free pattern here at
Its Ravelry page is here.

Free pattern: On the Record

I made a batch of these crocheted record coasters as a house-warming present for Chloe and Celena, who have recently moved into a new flat:


They're quick and easy, require only small amounts of yarn, and they're reversible too! I used the half-double crochet stitch for most of the rounds, because I like the ridges it creates (perfect for a record). Each coaster is about 4.5" wide, which is big enough for a large mug. If you want smaller coasters, omit Round 5 in the instructions.
If you're new to crochet or would like a refresher, there are some good tutorials out there. I like the detailed photo-tutorials at the Attic24 blog (e.g. Flat Circle), the clear diagrams at
How to Read a Crochet Pattern, and the beginners' series Crochet School. As for actual books (gasp), my favourite is Debbie Stoller's The Happy Hooker.

Photos of each stage in this pattern can be found on my Ravelry project page: House-warming coasters.


On the Record 
by Amy van de Laar

This pattern uses US crochet terms for slip-stitch, dc, hdc, and sc.
A simple conversion chart for UK terms: Crochet Stitch Comparison Chart

  • DK or worsted-weight yarn in black plus one or more contrasting colours. I used Morris Norway 8ply in 'Black', and Bendigo Classic 8ply in 'Silver', 'Cherry Red', and 'Tasman Blue'. You will need about 16 yards of black for each coaster, and smaller amounts of the contrast colour(s).
  • a 4mm crochet hook,
  • a needle for weaving in ends.


Round 1 (Colour A): Make a slip-knot, chain 4, and join with a slip-stitch to start of chain. Ch2, and work 11 dc (double crochet) into the centre of the ring. Join to the top of the initial ch2 with a slip-stitch, and fasten off Colour A.

Round 2 (Colour B): Join Colour B, ch2, and work 1hdc (half-double crochet) into same place. Work 2hdc into each stitch of the previous round. Join to top of initial ch2 with a slip-stitch, and fasten off Colour B.

Round 3 (Black): Turn to other side of coaster, and join Black. Ch2, 1 hdc into same place. *1hdc in next stitch, then 2hdc in next stitch,* repeat from * to * until 1 stitch remains, 1hdc in final stitch. Join to top of initial ch2 with a slip-stitch.

Round 4: Ch2, 1hdc into same place. *1hdc, 1hdc, 2hdc,* repeat until 1 stitch remains, hdc in final stitch. Note: the 2hdc will fall between the 2hdc of the previous round. Join to top of initial ch2 with a slip-stitch.

Round 5: Ch2, 1hdc into same place. *1hdc, 1hdc, 1hdc, 2hdc,* repeat until 1 stitch remains, 1hdc. Join to top of initial ch2 with a slip-stitch.

Round 6: Ch1, 1sc (single crochet) into same place. Sc into each stitch of the previous round. Join to first sc with a slip-stitch.

Fasten off yarn, weave in ends, and block to help them lie flat.

A side
B side

© Amy van de Laar 2014.