Weekly Rec – Patterns That Teach


Today I’ve got three patterns I’d like to show you. I like them because each author takes the time to explain or demonstrate exactly how the item was made. They take the time to teach the technique(s) a crafter needs to make it. Too many patterns (and their writers) make assumptions about our skills. But these don’t. And these patterns are free!

The Ashton Shawlette by Dee O’Keefe

The Ashton Shawlette - a teaching patternThis is a gorgeous piece of knitting and it would be a nice pattern all on its own if Dee O’Keefe had just published it in the normal way. But she didn’t. The pdf pattern download includes a detailed, step-by-step guide for reading the lace charts. The author assumes you, the knitter, have never used a knit chart before and takes you through it from beginning to end. She then offers a page of tips for lace knitting in general. Then she adds blocking instructions.

Since publishing the original pattern, Dee has added a version in worsted weight yarn, a full length version in fingering weight, and a beaded version. Dee will show you how to make them all.

Beaded Ashton Shawlette

Its not really a pattern. Its a full knitting course disguised as a pattern. I love that.

The Owl Hat by Sara Zimmerman

Cute right? This is the most popular owl hat on ravelry. Its one of the most popular crochet patterns period. That’s impressive because there are TONS of owl hat patterns out there. Raverly has designated this one “owl-hat-31”. Why is this pattern the one people go for?

Because it shows you how to hide the join when you crochet in the round.

Everyone hates that join. Everyone hates having a seam in their crochet. There are lots of ways to hide it (probably one for every crocheter who got fed up with having a seam in their hat) and they all work to some degree or another. Sara Zimmerman’s method is dead simple. She shows it to you in several high-quality pictures so there is no guessing about where to put your hook. After you pick up the trick of it, you’ll probably be using her method in every crochet-in-the-round thing you make.

The Pyramid Pouch by Frankie Brown

Love Frankie Brown. I love her work and I love her cause and I‘ve already made that post so I’ll just move on to why I love this pattern in particular.

Pyramid Pouch by Frankie Brown

This pattern will teach you three things that you might not already know:

  1. how to get that nifty pyramid shape in your knitting
  2. how to add a zipper to your knitting
  3. how to line a knitted bag with fabric

Adding a zipper and lining are pretty useful skills. Because this is a small item, all the sewing can be done by hand. Make this little pouch for practice before you take on something bigger, like a zipper in a cardigan or a liner for a skirt.

(FYI – there no reason this couldn’t be made in crochet! Its a knitted rectangle that you fold and sew. If you crocheted a rectangle of the same size… well, I’m sure you can take it from there.)

A final note: If you like these patterns, give the designer a bump! Clicking that “add to favorites” button over on ravelry helps. Every click boosts their rank in the pattern database. Comments are nice too. Public comments left on the pattern page might not reflect in the searching engine but it makes designers feel appreciated. I know I treasure each comment I get on my designs! So please let them know you appreciate what they do.

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7 Comments on "Weekly Rec – Patterns That Teach"

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More patterns! You are on your way to making sure that TARDIS blanket never gets done! (Just kidding I have about 50 more rows. TARDIS blanket is taking up all my time and space!) I’m still fiddling with the spiral and have added increases as explained in my “Visually Teach Yourself Crochet” because darn it I wanna huge Spiral!

Kathy McCann

Charts really scare me so thank you for providing this pattern. Hopefully it will ease my fears and help me get past being a perpetual beginning knitter.


Charts put off many knitters. If you are not used to seeing instructions in graphical form, they can seem like a secret code. But they are do-able I promise!

You can also try this post of mine which I wrote to help knitters get started on charts:



I never used charts yet… And never knitted a shawl yet…
But thanks to you, I feel confident 🙂
Thanks Jenn!!


You are very welcome!

Cynthia Patton

I feel lucky to have met you and you are a great teacher who loves to teach – it is obvious.


Thank-you! I do love it; teaching is my calling.