Free crochet pattern: One “mandala” cake triangle scarf

I receive commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

This pattern was updated on 12/11/17 and 7/30/19.

I got my first Lion Brand Mandala cakes, in the colorway “Gnome,” some time last summer, but they sat in my yarn stash for a while before I got the idea to try them with my pattern for the one “big cake” triangle shawl scarf.

Free crochet pattern: One

Instead of the size K hook I used with the Caron Big Cake, I used a size H hook with the Mandala cake (the size recommended on the label) and it worked beautifully.

As it turns out, I only needed a single Mandala cake to crochet a triangle scarf that is more lightweight, but otherwise comparable to its chunkier cousin made with a Caron Big Cake.

In fact, I think I prefer the lightweight Mandala version of this scarf. It will definitely be wearable well into the spring, when heavier pieces have been packed away.

Free crochet pattern: One

To make the scarf pictured, I crocheted 38 rows, then added a simple single crochet border, to make a triangle that’s 58″ along the long side, 38″ on each short side, and 27″ tall. In other words, to get the same size triangle as with the Caron Big Cake, I needed to crochet 4 more rows with the Mandala cake. I also had less yarn left over – just half an ounce.

The pattern itself is identical to the big cake version, using the most elementary of crochet stitches; the only changes are the yarn and the hook size. For convenience, I’m reprinting the written pattern below (refer to the big cake pattern for photos), and also including the video tutorial made for the big cake version:

Pattern: One “mandala” cake triangle scarf

Materials you’ll need:

1 Lion Brand Mandala cake, or 590 yards of a #3 weight yarn of your choice
Size H crochet hook, or the size that works for your yarn
Scissors
Measuring tape
Yarn needle
Stitch markers (optional; only used if working picots in border)

Stitches used:

Chain stitch (ch)
Slip stitch (sl st)
Single crochet (sc)
Double crochet (dc)

Row 1 (“foundation” row):

Ch 4. Skip 3 ch (counts as 1st dc), (2 dc, ch2, 3 dc) in 4th ch from hook.
(6 dc and 1 ch 2 space)

Because this is a one-cake project, there should only be two ends to weave in: one after completing round 1, and the other after completing the border. Using a yarn needle, weave in the first end now.

Row 2 (“solid” row):

Note: This row is repeated for all even-numbered rows that follow.

Ch 3 and turn (counts as first dc); dc in same stitch.

(From row 2 onward, always work first dc in same stitch as turning chain.)

Dc in each stitch up to ch 2 space at point; (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in ch 2 space; dc in each stitch up to end of row; 2 dc in last stitch.
(12 dc and 1 ch 2 space)

Row 3 (“spaced” row):

Note: This row is repeated for all odd-numbered rows that follow.

Ch 4 and turn (counts as first dc and ch 1); dc in same stitch; repeat (ch 1, skip 1 stitch, 1 dc in next stitch) up to ch 2 space at point, ending with a ch 1*; (1 dc, ch 2, 1 dc) in ch 2 space; repeat (ch 1, skip 1 stitch, 1 dc in next stitch) up to end of row, ending with a ch 1*; (1 dc, ch 1, 1 dc) in last stitch.
(10 dc and 8 ch 1 spaces on sides, or 18 stitches total; 1 ch 2 space at point)
* Update on 12/11/17: “ending with a ch 1” added for clarification. In the “spaced” row there is a ch 1 between every dc, but as originally written this was not made explicitly clear. Apologies for any confusion.

Rows 4+:

Repeat rows 2 and 3 (“solid” and “spaced” rows) until desired size is reached, ending on an even-numbered (“solid”) row. For each row, the number of stitches increases by 6.

When working a solid row on top of a spaced row, you will work the dc stitches through the ch 1 spaces of the row below, as well as in the top of the dc stitches.

Note: You are basically creating a right triangle with increases worked only at the three angles. Be aware that while a mistake made on one of the sides is easy to recover from in the next row, a mistake made when increasing at the angles could skew your work. Just be mindful at the beginning and end of each row, and when working the ch 2 space at the point of the triangle, and your triangle will be nice and even.

Stitch count by row

Added 7/30/19

In response to several requests, here are the number of stitches in each row (NOT counting the chain-2 space at the point which remains consistent). Note that the total stitch count increases by 6 for each successive row. If you find your triangle is not even, checking your stitch count against the counts below should help locate where you may have gone off track.

Row 1 (solid): 3 dc on each side = 6 st total
Row 2 (solid): 6 dc on each side = 12 dc total
Row 3 (spaced): 5 dc & 4 ch-1 spaces on each side = 18 st total
Row 4 (solid): 12 dc on each side = 24 st total
Row 5 (spaced): 8 dc & 7 ch-1 spaces on each side = 30 st total
Row 6 (solid): 18 dc on each side = 36 st total
Row 7 (spaced): 11 dc & 10 ch-1 spaces on each side = 42 st total
Row 8 (solid): 24 dc on each side = 48 st total
Row 9 (spaced): 14 dc & 13 ch-1 spaces on each side = 54 st total
Row 10 (solid): 30 dc on each side = 60 st total
Row 11 (spaced): 17 dc & 16 ch-1 spaces on each side = 66 st total
Row 12 (solid): 36 dc on each side = 72 st total
Row 13 (spaced): 20 dc & 19 ch-1 spaces on each side = 78 st total
Row 14 (solid): 42 dc on each side = 84 st total
Row 15 (spaced): 23 dc & 22 ch-1 spaces on each side = 90 st total
Row 16 (solid): 48 dc on each side = 96 st total
Row 17 (spaced): 26 dc & 25 ch-1 spaces on each side = 102 st total
Row 18 (solid): 54 dc on each side = 108 st total
Row 19 (spaced): 29 dc & 28 ch-1 spaces on each side = 114 st total
Row 20 (solid): 60 dc on each side = 120 st total
Row 21 (spaced): 32 dc & 31 ch-1 spaces on each side = 126 st total
Row 22 (solid): 66 dc on each side = 132 st total
Row 23 (spaced): 35 dc & 34 ch-1 spaces on each side = 138 st total
Row 24 (solid): 72 dc on each side = 144 st total
Row 25 (spaced): 38 dc & 37 ch-1 spaces on each side = 150 st total
Row 26 (solid): 78 dc on each side = 156 st total
Row 27 (spaced): 41 dc & 40 ch-1 spaces on each side = 162 st total
Row 28 (solid): 84 dc on each side = 168 st total
Row 29 (spaced): 44 dc & 43 ch-1 spaces on each side = 174 st total
Row 30 (solid): 90 dc on each side = 180 st total
Row 31 (spaced): 47 dc & 46 ch-1 spaces on each side = 186 st total
Row 32 (solid): 96 dc on each side = 192 st total
Row 33 (spaced): 50 dc & 49 ch-1 spaces on each side = 198 st total
Row 34 (solid): 102 dc on each side = 204 st total
Row 35 (spaced): 53 dc & 52 ch-1 spaces on each side = 210 st total
Row 36 (solid): 108 dc on each side = 216 st total
Row 37 (spaced): 56 dc & 55 ch-1 spaces on each side = 222 st total
Row 38 (solid): 114 dc on each side = 228 st total

Plain border:

After completing final, “solid” row,  ch 1 (do not turn); working along the long side of triangle, 3 sc along each dc; at end of long side, work 1 extra sc; sc in each stitch on first short side; 3 sc in ch 2 space at point of triangle; sc in each stitch on second short side; sl st in starting ch 1; finish off and weave in end.

Note: I opted to work the plain border twice along the long side and only once along each short side. Since the border color (in this case, purple) matched the color of the last row of the short sides, but was different from most of the colors in the long side, it simply looked better to me to make it thicker on the long side. Do whatever looks good to you!

Optional picots:

If you plan to include picots, it’s helpful to use stitch markers to indicate where you want them before you start your border. That way you can insure they’re evenly spaced without having to count stitches while you work.

To work a picot: Sc in stitch where picot is desired; ch 2; sl st in top of same sc.

Continue sc border to next picot location.

If you use this pattern…

I would love to see any scarves made from this pattern! You can email photos to spoonsandhooks@gmail.com. (Note: I’ll assume that sending me photos gives me permission to share them on the Spoons & Hooks site and social media — crediting you, of course — unless you specifically instruct me otherwise.)

Do you have any questions about this pattern? If so, ask them in the comments section, and I’ll do my best to respond promptly.

You are free to gift, donate or sell for profit any items you make from this pattern. I ask only that if you sell items made from any of my patterns, as a courtesy you reference spoonsandhooks.com as the pattern’s source.

Free crochet pattern: One

Free crochet pattern: The easiest poncho you’ll ever make

I receive commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

To purchase a printable, ad-free version of this pattern with expanded instructions for just $3, visit ravelry.com/patterns/library/the-easiest-poncho-youll-ever-make.

See also my free Denim Patchwork Poncho pattern, adapted from this pattern.

This lightweight poncho has a streamlined silhouette and a lovely subtle texture. And, you can crochet it quickly and easily from just two Caron Cakes using only elementary crochet stitches!

The color used here is Turkish Delight, which is one of my favorite cake colors. I think it goes exceptionally well with denim.

Free crochet pattern: The easiest poncho you'll ever make

Turkish Delight is a new Caron Cake colorway for fall 2017.

You crochet this poncho from the neck down, working in the round. To start, you make a loop of single crochet for the neckline. In the second round you switch to double crochet and create two points exactly opposite each other. Then you continue adding rounds, alternating two rounds of solid double crochet worked in back loop only, with three rounds of double crochet and chain-1 spaces, and always increasing at the points.

When making the loop for the neckline, instead of the traditional two-step process of chaining and then working the single crochet, I prefer to use foundation single crochet, which is done in a single step. Foundation stitches are especially useful when you need to crochet your foundation row to a specific length, as with the neckline of this poncho, and I use them whenever possible.

Feel free to use whatever method is most comfortable to you for the neckline, but if you’re interested in learning more about foundation stitches, you can watch my quick tutorial video:

Here is the video tutorial for this poncho pattern. The written pattern follows below it.

Pattern: The easiest poncho you’ll ever make

The poncho pictured here has a 26-inch neckline made with 88 single crochet, followed by 32 rounds of double crochet, for a total length of 35 inches from shoulder to point. This size will fit many people, but you can easily adjust both the neckline and length if necessary.

Free crochet pattern: The easiest poncho you'll ever make

I had just 1 ounce of yarn left over from 2 cakes, so if you want to make your poncho bigger you should get more yarn.

Free crochet pattern: The easiest poncho you'll ever make

This is how much yarn I had left from 2 cakes – precisely 1 ounce.

Materials you’ll need:

  • 2 Caron Cakes, or 760 yards of a medium weight (#4) yarn of your choice
  • Size I crochet hook, or the size that works for your yarn
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Yarn needle
  • Stitch markers are optional, but useful to mark your initial points

Stitches used:

  • Chain stitch (ch)
  • Slip stitch (sl st)
  • Double crochet (dc)
  • Single crochet (sc), or optionally foundation single crochet (fsc) as an alternative way to make your initial ring

Important note:

Do not turn the work. This allows the colors to spiral gracefully from the neckline to the hem.

Step 1: Form the neckline

Decide on the size of your neckline by measuring below the neck, near the collarbone. Keep in mind the neckline of the poncho may stretch slightly with wearing.

For my poncho, I made a 26-inch neckline, a size that goes over my head easily without catching earrings, but doesn’t risk falling off my shoulders.

The number of stitches in the neckline must be a multiple of 4. The neckline for this poncho is 88 stitches. Everyone’s gauge is different, so you may need to adjust this.

Free crochet pattern: The easiest poncho you'll ever make

Form and join a loop of single crochet in the number of stitches you need, using whichever method you prefer: chaining + single crochet, or foundation single crochet.

Free crochet pattern: The easiest poncho you'll ever make

Step 2: Form the points

After you’ve formed your neckline, chain 3, which counts as your first double crochet. Locate the stitch immediately to the left of the chain 3, and then locate the stitch exactly opposite it. I find it helpful to mark this stitch with a stitch marker. These two stitches are where you’ll establish your points.

Free crochet pattern: The easiest poncho you'll ever make

In the stitch immediately to the left of the chain 3, work 1 double crochet, chain 2, and then work one more double crochet. This is your first point.

Then double crochet in both loops of each single crochet until you reach the marked stitch opposite your first point. In this stitch you will again work 1 double crochet, chain 2, and then work one more double crochet. This is your second point.

Free crochet pattern: The easiest poncho you'll ever make

How the two points of the poncho are formed in round 2.

Continue working double crochet in each single crochet until you reach the chain 3. Join with a slip stitch in the 3rd chain.

After this step, you should check carefully that the number of double crochet on each side between the chain-2 spaces at each point is the same – and that it’s an odd number. In the second round of this poncho, there are 90 double crochet total – 45 on each side.

Free crochet pattern: The easiest poncho you'll ever make

Once you’ve formed your neckline and established your two points, you begin working the pattern by alternating two rounds of solid double crochet worked in back loop only, with three rounds of double crochet and chain-1 spaces, and always increasing at the points.

No border is needed – just take care to end with two solid rounds.

Increasing at point – all rounds from here throughout

In the chain-2 space at each point, work 2 double crochet, chain 2, then work 2 more double crochet.

Free crochet pattern: The easiest poncho you'll ever make

How all points are worked from round 3 onward.

Solid rounds

Chain 3, which counts as a double crochet, and then work a double crochet in the back loop of each stitch. In the chain-2 space at each of the two points, work an increase as described above. When you reach the chain 3, join with a slip stitch in the 3rd chain.

Note: Round 2, the first round worked in double crochet in which the points were established, counts as the first of two solid rounds.

Free crochet pattern: The easiest poncho you'll ever make

Spaced rounds

Chain 4, which counts as a double crochet plus a chain-1 space. Skip the next stitch, and in the following stitch work a double crochet and then chain 1. Continue in this manner along both sides. In the chain-2 space at each of the two points, work an increase as described above. When you reach the chain 4, join with a slip stitch in the 3rd (not last) chain.

Free crochet pattern: The easiest poncho you'll ever make

Last round

When you finish the last round, instead of joining to the turning chain in the regular way (which leaves an awkward knot), use the “invisible finish.” Here’s my quick tutorial video:

Weave in your ends, and you’re done. That’s all there is to it!

If you use this pattern…

I would love to see any ponchos made from this pattern! You can email photos to spoonsandhooks@gmail.com. (Note: I’ll assume that sending me photos gives me permission to share them on the Spoons & Hooks site and social media — crediting you, of course — unless you specifically instruct me otherwise.)

Do you have any questions about this pattern? If so, ask them in the comments section, and I’ll do my best to respond promptly.

You are free to gift, donate or sell for profit any items you make from this pattern. I ask only that if you sell items made from any of my patterns, as a courtesy you reference spoonsandhooks.com as the pattern’s source.

Free crochet pattern: The easiest poncho you'll ever make

Free crochet pattern: One “big cake” shawl scarf

I receive commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

This pattern was updated on 12/11/17 and 7/30/19.

To purchase a printable, ad-free version of this pattern with all updates included for just $3, visit https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/one-big-cake-shawl-scarf.

This project requires very little effort for very gratifying results. Using only a single Caron Big Cake and the most elementary of crochet stitches, you can quickly make this versatile, one-size-fits-most piece that can be worn as either a shawl or a scarf.

Caron Big Cakes are new this fall and this is the first time I’ve worked with them. One thing I noticed was that while the label calls for a size H hook, I found that too small for this pattern because the resulting fabric was stiff. So, I tested progressively larger hooks until I reached size K, which produced a fabric with the right “feel.” Everyone’s tension is different, so don’t be afraid to try a different hook to get the feel you want. This shawl scarf is meant to be cozy as well as easy and colorful.

To make the shawl scarf pictured, I used one Caron Big Cake in the color “Toffee Brickle” and crocheted 34 rows, plus the border; I had 1-1/8 ounces of yarn left over. The resulting triangle measures 58″ along the long side, 39″ on each short side, and 27″ tall.

This can easily be sized smaller for a child – just work fewer rows!

If you plan to make an adult size and use up most of the cake, you should stop adding rows when you have at least 3/4 of an ounce of yarn left, so that you have enough to make the border.

Here are two versions of a video tutorial showing the basic steps. The first, original video is 6 minutes long. In response to the feedback it received, I’ve added a slower version of the same tutorial that is 8:20 long. The written pattern follows below the two videos.

Pattern: One “big cake” shawl scarf

Materials you’ll need:

1 Caron Big Cake, or 600 yards of a medium weight (#4) yarn of your choice
Size K crochet hook, or the size that works for your yarn
Scissors
Measuring tape
Yarn needle
Stitch markers (optional; only used if working picots in border)

Stitches used:

Chain stitch (ch)
Slip stitch (sl st)
Single crochet (sc)
Double crochet (dc)

Row 1 (“foundation” row):

Ch 4. Skip 3 ch (counts as 1st dc), (2 dc, ch2, 3 dc) in 4th ch from hook.
(6 dc and 1 ch 2 space)

Free crochet pattern: One

Free crochet pattern: One

Because this is a one-cake project, there should only be two ends to weave in: one after completing round 1, and the other after completing the border. Using a yarn needle, weave in the first end now:

Free crochet pattern: One

Row 2 (“solid” row):

Note: This row is repeated for all even-numbered rows that follow.

Ch 3 and turn (counts as first dc); dc in same stitch:

Free crochet pattern: One

From row 2 onward, always work first dc in same stitch as turning chain.

Dc in each stitch up to ch 2 space at point; (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in ch 2 space; dc in each stitch up to end of row; 2 dc in last stitch.
(12 dc and 1 ch 2 space)

Free crochet pattern: One

After row 2.

Row 3 (“spaced” row):

Note: This row is repeated for all odd-numbered rows that follow.

Ch 4 and turn (counts as first dc and ch 1); dc in same stitch; repeat (ch 1, skip 1 stitch, 1 dc in next stitch) up to ch 2 space at point, ending with a ch 1*; (1 dc, ch 2, 1 dc) in ch 2 space; repeat (ch 1, skip 1 stitch, 1 dc in next stitch) up to end of row, ending with a ch 1*; (1 dc, ch 1, 1 dc) in last stitch.
(10 dc and 8 ch 1 spaces on sides, or 18 stitches total; 1 ch 2 space at point)
* Update on 12/11/17: “ending with a ch 1” added for clarification. In the “spaced” row there is a ch 1 between every dc (as shown in the photo below), but as originally written this was not made explicitly clear. Apologies for any confusion.

Free crochet pattern: One

After row 3.

Rows 4+:

Repeat rows 2 and 3 (“solid” and “spaced” rows) until desired size is reached, ending on an even-numbered (“solid”) row. For each row, the number of stitches increases by 6.

When working a solid row on top of a spaced row, you will work the dc stitches through the ch 1 spaces of the row below, as well as in the top of the dc stitches.

Note: You are basically creating a right triangle with increases worked only at the three angles. Be aware that while a mistake made on one of the sides is easy to recover from in the next row, a mistake made when increasing at the angles could skew your work. Just be mindful at the beginning and end of each row, and when working the ch 2 space at the point of the triangle, and your triangle will be nice and even.

Free crochet pattern: One

After row 6.

Stitch count by row

Added 7/30/19

In response to several requests, here are the number of stitches in each row (NOT counting the chain-2 space at the point which remains consistent). Note that the total stitch count increases by 6 for each successive row. If you find your triangle is not even, checking your stitch count against the counts below should help locate where you may have gone off track.

Row 1 (solid): 3 dc on each side = 6 st total
Row 2 (solid): 6 dc on each side = 12 dc total
Row 3 (spaced): 5 dc & 4 ch-1 spaces on each side = 18 st total
Row 4 (solid): 12 dc on each side = 24 st total
Row 5 (spaced): 8 dc & 7 ch-1 spaces on each side = 30 st total
Row 6 (solid): 18 dc on each side = 36 st total
Row 7 (spaced): 11 dc & 10 ch-1 spaces on each side = 42 st total
Row 8 (solid): 24 dc on each side = 48 st total
Row 9 (spaced): 14 dc & 13 ch-1 spaces on each side = 54 st total
Row 10 (solid): 30 dc on each side = 60 st total
Row 11 (spaced): 17 dc & 16 ch-1 spaces on each side = 66 st total
Row 12 (solid): 36 dc on each side = 72 st total
Row 13 (spaced): 20 dc & 19 ch-1 spaces on each side = 78 st total
Row 14 (solid): 42 dc on each side = 84 st total
Row 15 (spaced): 23 dc & 22 ch-1 spaces on each side = 90 st total
Row 16 (solid): 48 dc on each side = 96 st total
Row 17 (spaced): 26 dc & 25 ch-1 spaces on each side = 102 st total
Row 18 (solid): 54 dc on each side = 108 st total
Row 19 (spaced): 29 dc & 28 ch-1 spaces on each side = 114 st total
Row 20 (solid): 60 dc on each side = 120 st total
Row 21 (spaced): 32 dc & 31 ch-1 spaces on each side = 126 st total
Row 22 (solid): 66 dc on each side = 132 st total
Row 23 (spaced): 35 dc & 34 ch-1 spaces on each side = 138 st total
Row 24 (solid): 72 dc on each side = 144 st total
Row 25 (spaced): 38 dc & 37 ch-1 spaces on each side = 150 st total
Row 26 (solid): 78 dc on each side = 156 st total
Row 27 (spaced): 41 dc & 40 ch-1 spaces on each side = 162 st total
Row 28 (solid): 84 dc on each side = 168 st total
Row 29 (spaced): 44 dc & 43 ch-1 spaces on each side = 174 st total
Row 30 (solid): 90 dc on each side = 180 st total
Row 31 (spaced): 47 dc & 46 ch-1 spaces on each side = 186 st total
Row 32 (solid): 96 dc on each side = 192 st total
Row 33 (spaced): 50 dc & 49 ch-1 spaces on each side = 198 st total
Row 34 (solid): 102 dc on each side = 204 st total

Plain border:

After completing final, “solid” row,  ch 1 (do not turn); working along the long side of triangle, 3 sc along each dc; at end of long side, work 1 extra sc; sc in each stitch on first short side; 3 sc in ch 2 space at point of triangle; sc in each stitch on second short side; sl st in starting ch 1; finish off and weave in end.

Optional picots:

Some shawl scarf patterns call for a tassel at each of the three corners, and you can certainly do that with this pattern. Personally, I don’t care for tassels (nor fringe or pom poms, for that matter) so instead I worked easy picots approximately every 3 inches in the border for a non-obtrusive bit of decoration.

If you plan to include picots, it’s helpful to use stitch markers to indicate where you want them before you start your border. That way you can insure they’re evenly spaced without having to count stitches while you work.

Free crochet pattern: One

Note purple stitch marker where picot is to go.

To work a picot: Sc in stitch where picot is desired; ch 2:

Free crochet pattern: One

Sl st in top of same sc:

Free crochet pattern: One

Free crochet pattern: One

Free crochet pattern: One

Continue sc border to next picot location.

If you use this pattern…

I would love to see any shawl scarves made from this pattern! You can email photos to spoonsandhooks@gmail.com. (Note: I’ll assume that sending me photos gives me permission to share them on the Spoons & Hooks site and social media — crediting you, of course — unless you specifically instruct me otherwise.)

Do you have any questions about this pattern? If so, ask them in the comments section, and I’ll do my best to respond promptly.

You are free to gift, donate or sell for profit any items you make from this pattern. I ask only that if you sell items made from any of my patterns, as a courtesy you reference spoonsandhooks.com as the pattern’s source.

Free crochet pattern: One

Free crochet pattern: Self-striping granny square cocoon cardigan

I receive commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

I developed my original pattern for the granny square cocoon cardigan using a solid color heather yarn, Lion Brand Heartland. Then I decided to see what would happen when I made the same pattern using self-striping yarn. I wanted to make a birthday present for a dear friend and chose a Caron Cake yarn with five colors in approximately equal amounts – three blues and two grays. My intent was for the colors to fan out from the center of the back in roughly concentric squares, like this:

Free crochet pattern: Self-striping granny square cocoon cardigan

And come together in interesting angles on the front, like this:

Free crochet pattern: Self-striping granny square cocoon cardigan

My original pattern is based on turning the work at the beginning of each round, resulting in a granny square with no wrong side (or two right sides, however you want to look at it). For a solid-color yarn, that’s great. But when I did the same thing with the self-striping yarn, it wasn’t long before I realized I was not getting concentric squares. Instead, the colors doubled back on themselves each time I changed direction at the beginning of a new round. As the square got bigger, the colors began “bunching up” on one side or the other.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that – it’s an interesting effect – but I had my heart set on those concentric squares, and I had no desire to “slice and dice” the yarn to get them. (All those extra ends to weave in – not fun!)

I realized that to achieve what I wanted, I needed to adjust the pattern so I never turned the work, but always kept the yarn moving in the same direction. That way, the colors wouldn’t double back on themselves each time I began a new round.

A demonstration

I created the two diagrams below to demonstrate what happens when you crochet a large granny square with self-striping yarn and either turn the work for each round, or don’t turn it and keep the colors moving in the same direction.

In both diagrams I used equal amounts of five colors, filling the grid from the black center square outward in rounds like a granny square. The arrows show the beginning of rounds and colors changes, as well as the direction they are moving; the little squares indicate where each color ends.

This first diagram shows what the colors do when the work is turned and the direction of the color reverses at the beginning of each round, as indicated by the arrows. Notice how the concentric squares break down as you move outward from the center, and the colors eventually bunch up on one side or the other:

Free crochet pattern: Self-striping granny square cocoon cardigan

Diagram 1: Turning the work

In this second diagram I filled in the colors in a continuous counterclockwise direction, again as indicated by the arrows. Notice that while the concentric squares are not perfect, they do hold up pretty well:

Free crochet pattern: Self-striping granny square cocoon cardigan

Diagram 2: Not turning the work

The result

Once I figured this out, I frogged what I’d done (thankfully, not too much) and started over, never turning the work but always working counterclockwise. In order to do this, I had to start even-numbered rounds differently than I did odd-numbered rounds. And when the granny square was complete, because it was never turned it had a definite right side (the side that faced me as I crocheted) and a wrong side.

Except for these two small differences, the pattern is the same as for my original granny square cocoon cardigan, including the recommendation to make the granny square at least half the height of the intended wearer, plus an extra inch or two. (You can make it bigger, as some patterns suggest, but I’ve found that my formula results in a nice bottom-covering length and 3/4 sleeves, and doesn’t risk overwhelming the wearer.)

For your convenience, the modified pattern is below in full. As with the original pattern, you can make this cardigan in just three easy steps with only advanced-beginner level crochet skills.

Some final notes about the yarn

Because I was trying out a new pattern variation, in an abundance of caution I bought five Caron Cakes, which totals about 1915 yards of yarn – much more than I needed. In fact, I completed the 36″ granny square using just 2-1/2 cakes. I could have done all of the binding, stitching and borders using the remaining half of the third cake, but I wanted the binding and stitching to be all the same color in which the granny square ended (the dark gray) and the borders to be all the next color (the light gray), so to get those colors I did do a minimal amount of “slicing and dicing” of the remainder of the third cake and a tiny amount of the fourth cake. What’s left of the third and fourth cakes is plenty for some small future project. I returned the untouched fifth cake for a refund.

Finally, when selecting your Caron Cakes (or other self-striping yarn), pay attention to the colors in which each skein begins and ends, and make sure they correspond. That is, if the first skein ends in, say, dark blue, you want the second skein to begin in that same dark blue, and so on.

Pattern: Granny square cocoon cardigan

Materials you’ll need:

  • 3 or 4 Caron Cakes, depending on intended size of cardigan (and your tolerance for “slicing and dicing”), or 1000-1250 yards of a medium weight (#4) self-striping yarn of your choice
  • Size J crochet hook
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Yarn needle

Stitches used

  • Chain stitch (ch)
  • Slip stitch (sl st)
  • Single crochet (sc)
  • Double crochet (dc)

To connect new skeins of yarn, I recommend using the Russian join, which reduces the number of weave-ins required.

Step 1: Crochet a BIG granny square

Ch 6 and join in a ring with sl st.

Round 1: Ch 3 (counts as first dc here and for all odd-numbered rounds throughout), 2 dc in ring, ch 2, * (3 dc in ring, ch 2) 3 times, sl st in top of starting ch 3.

Tip: Lay yarn end along ring and crochet Round 1 over it for an effortless weave-in.

Round 2: Ch 3 (counts as last dc here and for all even-numbered rounds throughout), (ch 1, 3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in first three ch 2 spaces to form corners, (ch 1, 3 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in fourth ch 2 space, sl st in top of starting ch 3.

Free crochet pattern: Self-striping granny square cocoon cardigan

In even-numbered rounds, your starting chain 3 leads into a cluster of three double crochet stitches; it counts as the last double crochet in the space to its right. You will make a fourth chain which counts as a chain 1 space, and then continue with clusters and spaces as normal. When you’ve reached and crocheted in the space to the right of your starting chain, you will slip stitch in the third chain of the starting chain, leaving the fourth chain (the chain 1 space) alone.

Round 3: Ch 3, (2 dc in ch 1 space), (ch 1, 3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in each ch 2 space in corner and (ch 1, 3 dc) in each ch 1 space on side, ch 1 and sl st in top of starting ch 3.

Free crochet pattern: Self-striping granny square cocoon cardigan

In odd-numbered rounds, your starting chain 3 leads into a chain 1 space on its left and counts as the first double crochet in that space. When you complete that round, you’ll make a final chain 1 space and then slip stitch into the top of the chain 3. (When you’re making a granny square by turning to start each round, each round will begin and end like this.)

Round 4: Ch 3, (ch 1, 3 dc) in each ch 1 space on side and (ch 1, 3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in each ch 2 space in corner, in final ch 1 space (ch 1, 2 dc), sl st in top of starting ch 3.

Repeat Rounds 3 and 4 until square reaches desired size.

Final round (“binding”): Ch 1, sc in each dc and through each ch 1 space on sides; in corners, 4 sc through ch 2 space; sl st in starting ch 1, cut 6” tail and fasten off.

Step 2: Stitch together sides forming armholes

Note: If you want to see how the cardigan is constructed from the granny square (stitching the side seams and adding borders – steps that remain unchanged from my original pattern) look at at my original pattern post or watch this two-minute video:

Fold square in half with right sides together to form a rectangle, taking care to align 3 dc clusters and ch 1 spaces to the clusters and spaces on the opposite side.

Note: The right side will be the side that always faced you as you crocheted the granny square.

Beginning 7” from fold, single crochet through all loops of “binding” (final round sc) to end of side and through first 2 ch of corner only.

Note: Beginning 7” from fold creates a 14” armhole which will fit most. If necessary, the armhole size can be adjusted smaller or larger by starting the side seam closer to or farther from the fold.

Cut 6” end and fasten off.

Repeat on other side.

Step 3: Add borders

For the front opening and both armholes:

Round 1: Join yarn with sl st in sc “binding” near one of the side seams made in Step 2, ch 1, sc in each sc of “binding” until you reach ch 1, sl st in ch 1.

Tip: Crochet Round 1 over yarn ends left from binding and side seams for effortless weave-ins.

Rounds 2-6: Ch 1, sc around front opening until you reach ch 1, sl st in ch 1.

Cut 6” end and fasten off.

Weave in ends. (If you crocheted over all previous yarn ends, and used the Russian join to add new skeins of yarn, you should only have three ends left to weave in.)

If you use this pattern…

I would love to see any cardigans made from this pattern! You can email photos to spoonsandhooks@gmail.com. (Note: I’ll assume that sending me photos gives me permission to share them on the Spoons & Hooks site and social media — crediting you, of course — unless you specifically instruct me otherwise.)

Do you have any questions about this pattern? If so, ask them in the comments section, and I’ll do my best to respond promptly.

You are free to gift, donate or sell for profit any items you make from this pattern. I ask only that if you sell items made from any of my patterns, as a courtesy you reference spoonsandhooks.com as the pattern’s source.

Free crochet pattern: Self-striping granny square cocoon cardigan