Monthly Archives: September 2013

Crochet 101 – How to Crochet for The Big Knit

A little while ago, I got an email from Age UK about innocent big knit 2013. Now, I CANNOT knit. I’ve tried. When I was little, my grandma (an excellent knitter), tired to teach me. I suck at it. I recently had another go. It didn’t go well. There are now photos as evidence, as well, not even the cat wanted to play with what I’d managed to create. Anyway.. Back to the big knit! basically, you knit litlle hats for innocent smoothies. In the winter, the little smoothie bottles where hats to keep warm (they’re kept in the fridge, poor things) and everyone which gets sold with a hat means Age UK get 25p. Now.. I like smoothies. Particularly innocent, who use a portion of their profit for charity and general good deeds, and I like making stuff. But not knitting.

So.. I had a look for a crochet pattern, and didn’t find one. I eventually emailed the lovely people at Age UK, who sent me a couple of knitted hats to try and make a pattern from – This is the result:


I was nowhere near as imaginative as a lot of people who make the hats, but I’m hoping someone will buy the poor smoothies which end up wearing them!

So, for anyone else out there who wants to have a go:

Note: This pattern uses US terms, for UK crocheters, please replace SC with DC and DC with TR.

Hook: Use any yarn you like, and hook size 4mm-4.5mm, which gets you the right size hat!

Basic Innocent Smoothie Bottle Hat


  1. 6sc in 2nd ch from hook (6sc)

  2. 2sc in each stitch (12sc)

  3. 2sc in each stitch (24sc)

  4. sc in back loop of each stitch (24sc)

  5. 5- 9 sc all round

  6. 10. slip stitch round

  7. Fasten off and sew in ends

 You can embellish this basic pattern using stripes, or sewing on googly eyes or ears:

Small Ears:


6 double crochet in 3rd chain from hook

fasten off

Big Ears:


sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in next 3 stitches, chain 1, turn

sc in each st, chain 1, turn

sc in each st, chain 1, turn

2sc in 1st stitch, sc in next 2 stitches, 2sc in last stitch, chain 1, turn

sc in each st, chain 1, turn

1 dec sc, sc in next 2 stitches, 1 dec sc, chain 1, turn

2 dec sc

fasten off


ch 11

sc in 2nd chain from hook, sc to end.

Sam Baker Live



One of my earliest posts from last year was about seeing Sam Baker live in Gateshead, and there has been at least one since then, about the new album, Say Grace. Sam tends to do an annual short UK tour, and I try to look out for him. He’s invited to the North East by the jumpin’ hot club, based in the area.

The gig was actually a week ago yesterday, but I may have been hungover the next day like to take some time to think about things before I write about them sometimes. Due to some technical issues with the camera I got for my birthday (we don’t know how to use it) I haven’t got many pictures. Ones taken on my phone just show very shiny people on stage, because of the lighting.

Any, it was a brilliant gig. I drank too much because I was trying not to drink too much in front of someone who was with us. I decided alcohol might help with the social awkwardness, and well, I probably don’t need to tell you how that worked out! Anyway, it was a great gig, Sam was fantastic (as usual) and hung around at the end to meet people (and sign my copy of Say Grace – yes, I finally got a ‘real’ CD to go with my digital download).

The set list was (roughly): Cotton, Say Grace, the tattooed woman, road crew, white heat, ditch, interlude, isn’t love great, sweet hour of prayer (Carrie Elkin and Rebecca Kemp singing), (intermission), change (in a wonderful blues style, see clip below, as i can’t describe it well enough), introduction to feast, feast, panhandle winter (sam described the ‘meet me in Saint Louis’ line as his equivalent to ‘I’ll meet you in the field, where we won’t argue/I won’t hit you with a stick) , migrants, buttons by button, odessa, iron (complete with tour manager Rebecca Kemp singing, and a description of the song as about ‘codependancy, alcoholism, a car wreck, and betrayal’) , waves, palestine (Sam described this as about a logging accident, caused by cheap chains made of bad steel) , go in peace, truale and pretty world (the last few were audience requests).

Basically, the night involved some brilliant music interspersed with Sam’s wit and brilliant storytelling abilities. We (those of who’ve seen him a few times) think that the gig’s are always advertised as ‘an evening with Sam Baker’ because of his ability to tell the stories that inspired each song, and a few others too. In fact, I think the first time I saw him live, he talked more than he sang – not that anyone complained! RIght, starting to ramble now..

Suffice to say, Sam was brilliant, as ever. If he’s ever playing near you, I recommend you go, if you’ve never heard of him, download an album from itunes, or buy one online, or even in an actual record shop if they still have those where you are.


I’ll end with this…