Who knew that learning to crochet your own infinity scarf could be so relaxing and actually quite simple? It's perfect winter woolies weather in these parts...what better way to make the most of it than walking around wearing your own handmade scarf? :) I learned a bunch of things along the way...and I've shared the process below. Also I'm still on the look out for the perfect shade of mustard yarn...
So let it be known that I'm not a fabric person...I don't knit, I don't sew (with the exception of paper)...I don't understand ply, hook sizes, casting off and such things. I have never, repeat NEVER knitted a scarf and finished it. In fact, when I was newly married I tried to start one...being the Suzy Homemaker that I was at the time. I literally shoved it in a drawer out of frustration and that drawer has not been opened since...for real...for 10 years. My point being, that if I can figure out how to crochet an infinity scarf...anyone can. Trust me on this :)
A friend and I were emailing at work...wondering if there was someone we could pay to make us a real deal homemade scarf. Then we got talking about how often our after work lives are spent in front of screens catching up on things we can't get done during the day. Maybe it would be good for us to have a project to work on with our hands "off the grid" so to speak. She sent me this blog post...which promises you only have to learn two stitches...and you could have your own infinity scarf in an hour. My mind was starting to tick over.
Turns out Mum had the perfect sized wooden crochet hook...and I ducked into Spotlight late on a Friday night to grab some cheap/soft yarn in a colour not yet in my scarf collection...spring green. Emphasis on cheap...if this scarf ended up in another drawer until our 20th wedding anniversary...I didn't want to have wasted many dollars on it! (Coincidentally, the first knitted scarf attempt was also green).
Your first row is a Chain Stitch...which is like the foundation that the rest of the scarf is built on. I used this tutorial to learn it. Every other row after that is the double crochet stitch...this tutorial shows you how. So basically...chain stitch for as long as you want the scarf to be...turn around and start 4 links in and double stitch back to the other end. Turn around and double stitch back along the row again (I didn't do any more link skipping at the ends after the first one)...and repeat until the scarf is the thickness you want it. Tie a knot to secure the last stitch...then join both ends of the scarf together to form the loop (you can add a twist if you want)...and use left over yarn to "sew" the ends together. You might want to investigate the original blog post for more specific instructions, or further tutorials on YouTube...but this is how I did it and I love my green scarf so much I'm now working on a grey one...and there will be a red one after that...then mustard...oh dear, I might be hooked...no pun intended!
Things I Learned:
- Keep your chain stitch as loose as possible...you don't want the tension of it to skew the rest of the scarf once you get going on the double stitch. Also really tight stitches = a lot of work with your thumbs when it comes to sliding loops off the hook. The day after my "super enthusiastic crochet day" my thumbs hurt so bad I had to take a 24 hour break. Loose stitches are good stitches...crochet related RSI is not. Repeat.
- Soft yarns with mixes of wool and acrylics with a little bit of fuzz to them are my favourites for this project...turns out real wool can be super scratchy...you don't want a scarf that looks pretty but you'll never wear!
- Don't stress about whether you dropped a stitch and didn't notice until you'd gone too far to fix it...that knots are visible...or maybe you accidentally did too many stitches and your scarf grew a little lump. All these things add to the charm of a scarf you made for you...sure you could grab one from Cotton On for equal to (or less) than what you paid to make this one...but handmade feels better...and no-one else has the same one!
- The first time I watched the tutorials I thought it looked too hard...my brain isn't wired for this stuff...there's no shame in "rewinding" and playing over and over and over until it starts to feel normal and second nature. I'm not at the stage yet that I can watch TV and not my stitches (I should be aiming not to...minimise screen exposure remember!) but it kinda looks like I know what I'm doing...even if I invented my own technique. I bet if I sat next to an old lady on the train and she watched me do it, she'd swear I was on my own little crochet planet because the people on the YouTube videos look much more accomplished and smooth than me. Doesn't matter, still works. Also, maybe little old ladies don't swear?!
- I now appreciate Reuben and his crochet Batman Softies on a whole other level
- Making your own scarves is awesome for people with non standard torso lengths like me. In store scarves are rarely long enough...I'm loving that I can make the perfect length for my body type....I'm still figuring out what the perfect length is. I got distracted by a Grey's Anatomy catch up session and accidentally crocheted a scarf that is almost 4m long. Not even I can make that work without looking like an eskimo. Still figuring out how to remedy this. Going to have to ask Mum.
So what do you think...doable? I think so...and it's kind've relaxing (I like to listen to audio books at the same time)...Kate from Foxs Lane finds hers a meditative process too. Thanks to Mum for the advice and lending me her lovely wooden crochet hook with handwriting on it. Thanks to Luke for taking the photos of me above. Please do share if you make something...I love checking out other people's creative projects :)
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