Experiment in Plaid

75442b50-5704-4395-aa85-5815e50a48f5I’ve been wanting to try Crocheting a plaid pattern ever since I saw the Whistle and Ivy beanie pattern. She’s done a number of other things with the plaid, like pillows etc and it’s really simple but looks great. Her pattern uses 3 colours, black and 2 shades or red.

Plaid patterns are really a woven fabric technique. You get the plaid designs from the mixing of various colours of strands vertically and horizontally, which then create stripes and blocks that appear to be different colours, or grades of colours. For example, in what Whistle and Ivy does, the darker red mimics the look of plaid when red and black cross each other in a plaid weave. So to get a plaid effect rather than just a checkerboard, you have to use some ccombination of colours  that are graded or look like they are mixtures of the other colours. I suppose you could also do multi strand blocks for a more elaborate plaid effect, and then also weave lines of contrasting colours to mimic more complex plaid patterns.

There are these free vintage patterns for pot holders and placemats etc that show different ways of achieving a plaid effect in crochet. And a collection of some 10 plaid patterns on Moogly.

d3ebf4b2-a357-41d0-8230-d2c1ed148f5dI chose red, orange, yellow and Aran and kept it simple i.e. only 2 colours per row! And I didn’t want to do any weaving of chains through the pattern. I made a drawstring beanie for this, for a 12 year old who likes bright colours. Drawstring so it can be worn closed, or opened up for a ponytail, or bun, or even folded over for an ear warmer.

How did I do it? (Not quite a pattern!)

I started with the Aran and made enough dcs to fit around the head, joined than continued in the round. I did the colour rows alternating 3 dcs in each colour as follows:

  • Aran, yellow
  • Yellow, orange
  • Orange, red
  • yellow, orange
  • Aran, yellow

( and repeat until it is as long as you want)


img_0485– when you are switching colours, carry along the unused strand on top of the row below and crochet over it, switch colours in the last pull through of the 3rd dc.

– I didn’t want too many ends to weave in so I carried the unused strands of yarn up each row, by keeping the strands behind the first stitch of a row when I joined and then making the first stitch over the unused strands. It does mean you can see som of the strands on the wrong side, but not on the right side (see photo on the right)

– at the top, I did hdc, ch, hdc all around, switching colours every hdc!

– drawstring is a chain with a simple circle at the end.

this would make a cute purse…either flat or with the drawstring at the top!5125f520-a6ff-4183-aa15-80e267676d6a Continue reading “Experiment in Plaid”