by Chloe Nightingale
I have a little problem. Unless it's only a few inches long, I cannot throw yarn away. I've even bought bags of scraps and partial skeins from charity shops. I think this stems from my college crocheting years when every strand was sacred.
Rather than collecting leftover bits of yarn until the end of time, I am always on the lookout for odd-ball, one-skein, and scrap-yarn projects. I have a problem with a lot of scrap yarn patterns, though. Just because something is made with leftover yarn doesn't mean it has to be messy-looking and made with clashing colors. Choose the scraps for your projects carefully, making sure the colors go well together. Repeat after me: scrappy does not mean crappy.
When I worked as a barista, I used scrap yarn to crochet coffee cup cozies for my customers, but now that I do most of my coffee drinking at home, I figured it was high-time I designed a cozy for my french press.
This Mondrian-inspired cozy is just one way to work-up a cozy for your cafetière. Try a monochrome version (a great way to use odd balls and one-skein impulse purchases) with an embroidered embellishment, try stripes or fancy stitches, or try something completely different. And definitely send me pictures!
- Approximately 165 yards (151m) scrap yarn (DK or sport weight is recommended for the pattern -- for thinner yarns, try using two complimentary strands at once; for thicker yarns, I would recommend making the cozy a few stitches narrower and a few rows shorter to ensure a proper fit)
- C1 (yellow): 20 yards (18m)
- C2 (black): 40 yards (37m)
- C3 (white): 50 yards (46m)
- C5 (blue): 15 yards (14m)
- US F/5 (3.75 mm) hook
- Sewing thread (optional)
- Yarn needle
Will fit standard size coffee press: 7" x 14" (18cm x 36cm)
17 sts x 18 rows of sc = 4" (10 cm)
When changing from one color to another, I find it looks best to change color mid-stitch. For a single crochet stitch, the final yo and draw-through is done with the second color. Although it is not necessary to 'carry' yarns for this project, this color-changing technique is sometimes known as tapestry crochet, explained by Carol Ventura here.
With C1, ch 28, turn.
Row 1: Starting in second ch from hook, sc in each st to end, ch 1, turn. (27 sts)
Row 2-4: Sc in each st to end, ch 1, turn.
Rows 5-6: With C2, sc in each st to end, ch 1, turn.
Row 7: With C3, sc in each of the next 17 sts, with C2, sc in each of the next 5 sts, with C3, sc in each of the last 5 sts, ch 1, turn.
Row 8: With C3, sc in each of the first 5 sts, with C2, sc in each of the next 5 sts, with C3, sc in each of the last 17 sts, ch 1, turn.
Rows 9-22: Repeat Rows 7 and 8.
Rows 23-24: With C2, sc in each st to end, ch 1, turn.
Row 25: With C4, sc in each of the first 17 sts, with C2, sc in each of the next 5 sts, with C3, sc in each of the last 5 sts, ch 1, turn.
Row 26: With C3, sc in each of the first 5 sts, with C2, sc in each of the next 5 sts, with C4, sc in each of the last 17 sts, ch 1, turn.
Rows 27–44: Repeat Rows 25 and 26.
Rows 45-46: With C2, sc in each st to end, ch 1, turn.
Row 47: With C3, sc in each of the first 11 sts, with C2, sc in each of the next 5 sts, with C5, sc in each of the last 11 sts, ch 1, turn.
Row 48: With C5, sc in each of the first 11 sts, with C2, sc in each of the next 5 sts, with C3, sc in each of the last 11 sts, ch 1, turn.
Rows 49–56: Repeat Rows 47 and 48.
Row 58: With C2, sc in each st to end, turn.
Row 59: With C1, ch 3 (counts as first tr), tr in each st to end. (Note: Feel free to substitute hdc, dc, double-tr, etc. for the tr stitches to accommodate button size.)
Fasten off. Using yarn needle, weave in ends.
Sew buttons onto the area between Rows 1-4. Not everyones coffee presses have their handle in the same place, so you will have to figure out the placement yourself -- the good news is that you don't have to make button holes! The buttons fasten into the tr-spaces of the last row.
If you find sewing on buttons a nightmare, you may fasten the cozy by attaching lengths of ch-sts to the foundation chain and tying them to the tr stitches.