Friday, May 8, 2009

My First Pattern: Coin Cuff

A few days ago, I found myself itching to crochet something. My mind has been elsewhere, so I hadn't really picked up the hook in a few weeks. Unfortunately, this also meant that, while my fingers were itching, I had no pre-planned projects.

There I sat, sifting through projects on Ravelry looking for something relaxing to crochet that could be done from stash, and I was having no luck.

Eventually, I decided upon something that was going to require some extra effort on my part. In my favorites bin sat a knitted cuff with a pocket to hold a few coins, perhaps subway tokens or bus money. I had intended to keep it so that when I teach myself to knit, I would be able to make it. I had found the finished object, and really liked the look of it. Check it out from dyedinthewool!

I also love how environmentally-friendly it is, especially if crocheted with organic, sustainable yarns.

I decided to recreate it through crochet, which meant creating a pattern from scratch.

I have to say that the process was quite interesting, and I strongly feel that I learned so much, and hopefully will be able to improve on the pattern, and make new ones in the future. Here are the things that I took into consideration before I started:
  • Colouration: I liked the rugged backpacking feel of the inspiration piece, and so I chose a grey. In the end, I couldn't help but crochet in some turquoise, which completely changed the feel of the piece. I think I need help!
  • Look: I wanted a ribbed, matte look, rather than the shiny, bulky look seen in the example given by the pattern author, Mazz. I have small hands, and I didn't want to overpower them.
  • Clasping: There had to be a way to close the pocket, and I debated between taking the opportunity to learn how to crochet a proper button hole, attaching snaps, or sewing on a button and crocheting a tie to go around it. I chose the tie method.
Crochet Pattern #1: Coin Cuff

Hook: 4mm
Yarn: Sport weight.

FO Measurements: 5.40cm tall x ~17cm around inside, post-stretch x 5mm thick. Pocket, 5.40cm across, 5cm down from top. Flap, 5.40cm across, 3cm down, measuring from point of origin.

Terms (US):

ch = chain
st = stitch
hdc = half double crochet
sc = single crochet
sl st = slip stitch
** = indicates a section to be repeated.

ch 33.
hdc in second ch from hook. hdc across, 32 st.
ch 1. turn. sc across, 32 st.

Repeat the following 3 times:
*ch 1, turn. hdc across, 32 st.
ch 1, turn. sc across, 32 st.*

At this point, decide if you would like a taller cuff. If so, repeat ** until satisfied. If not, continue:

ch 1, turn. sc in first 12 st.
sl st across 8 st.
sc across remaining 12 st. Finish off.

Looking at your 8-stitch-wide gap (top), locate the dashes ( - - - - ) that make up the ribbing effect, that correspond to these 8 stitches. They should be in the bottom rib.

Attach yarn, 2 if you are using a second colour, to the first or the 8th bottom rib stitch (either is fine). Make a knot, and leave a tail. You can either sew it in after, or sweep it into the pocket and cut the tail short.

sc across in 8 rib stitches.
ch 1, turn.

Repeat the following, 7 times, or until you reach the top rib, not edge:
*sc across in 8 rib stitches. ch 1, turn.* Finish off, leave a tail.

Attach yarn (2) from one side of the 8 sts at the top.

sc across 8 sts, a few rows, to preference. I chose 5. Remember that some of the length is shortened as it folds over.

turn. ch 7, sl st into 8th stitch across. Note: the length of chain depends on your button size. Fasten off.

Sew your pocket on by going up each side. Determine button placement, and sew it on using the same yarn (thread will not be strong enough). I chose the type of button that has a big hoop on the back, rather than holes from front to back, as this leaves more room for the chain.

Sew the two ends of the cuff together, or run a quick row of sc across each, fasten off and sew in those ends, and then attach snaps. Of course, your cuff will need to be much longer than desired size if you choose this option.

Sew in all ends discretely.

Adjustments for different measurements:
Depending on your gauge, hook size, yarn, and wearer, you may want a tighter or looser fit. To do this, simply crochet more than 33 st in the beginning, or less. To adjust the pocket to fit in the centre, simply perform this simple calculation.

Determine a width based on the widest object it should hold. In my case, the diametre of a Canadian toonie. Use your stitches as the width.

Mine, to comfortably fit a toonie or three, is 8 stitches. Given the 32-stitch band, I expect to have 12 stitches on either side of the pocket. 8 + 12 + 12 = 32.

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