Here’s my second crochet project, a stripy scarf made in Rowan Pure Wool Aran to keep D nice and warm!
I’m not sure quite how I feel about this project, or the results, though D is very happy with it. He’d been teasing me that all my crochet efforts were focused on the baby, so I took a break from blanket #2 to find a scarf pattern and make something ‘quick and easy’ up for him over Christmas.
I picked the pattern ‘Stripes and Stripes forever’ from the fabulous ‘Stitch and Bitch Crochet – the Happy Hooker’ book. I bought the book to help me learn to crochet, and it is a great introduction to the craft, with an interesting history section as well as detailed step-by-steps for many stitches.
The pattern was described as ‘perfect for beginning hookers’ and quick, and looked simple as it only uses single crochet and slip stitch. Perfect, I thought! I decided to make a slightly chunkier scarf in a more masculine colour scheme, so I picked a heavier wool yarn rather than their suggested cotton in the colours cedar, tough, charcoal and noir. I decided to add a couple of extra rows, and to use a 7mm and 6mm crochet hook instead of the smaller ones suggested as this was appropriate for the wool. I read through the pattern and started to stitch, confident of a good result as it all seemed pretty straightforward.
Sadly, this pattern is simple, but I don’t think it is brilliant for a total beginner like me. The reason? The long, vertical stripe pattern necessitates a foundation chain of 300. Keeping tension even on a chain this long is pretty tricky, and doing the first crochet row into the foundation chain took forever. I used the smaller hook for the foundation chain and first row, as the pattern recommends, but a couple of rows in it became obvious that my tension was too uneven in the chain and the scarf looked terrible. I had to unpick it all and use the larger 7mm hook to do a new foundation chain – fortunately I made a better job of it and once the painful first row was completed using the 6mm hook, things progressed quite quickly.
The bulk of the scarf was then pretty quick and simple to complete, as described – rows of single crochet were perfect for doing whilst chatting with Christmas guests! I had to keep an eye on the ends of the rows but the fringing makes this pretty forgiving. No tricky ends to weave in either. I was beginning to love the scarf…until I got to the final stage, the edging. This was needed to smooth out the foundation row and tidy up the scarf.
I am probably being very daft, but I couldn’t find anywhere in the book that explained what ‘working across the opposite side of the foundation chain’ should look like. Added to this the fact that in places it was pretty tight slipstitching into the underside of the chain, and it took me a good couple of hours and a lot of swearing to finish! However, I am glad I persevered – it looks much neater and I am really pleased with the colour contrast and texture. The single crochet makes this feel really chunky and the Rowan yarn is really soft. I’m hoping this will last D for many years to come!
(the ‘made with love’ labels are from the brilliant Sublime Stitching )