When I was a little girl, my grandma Dorothy taught me how to crochet. At her knee, I learned to chain stitch and single crochet. However, I never learned how to read crochet patterns. I’ve been told that it’s easy to learn the abbreviations, but I’ve yet to get over that hurdle. Over the years, I’ve tried my hand at a few projects. In college, I made a granny square scarf out of a Martha Stewart Living magazine. When I lived very close to a nice yarn store, I made scarves without a pattern by just stitching double crochet over and over again until I ran out of yarn. My crochet habit faded away when I moved and immersed myself in quilting. Nevertheless, each fall, when the leaves started to turn, I thought of Grandma Dorothy and wished I could read crochet patterns. One year, I tried to teach myself knitting, but it didn’t take. Even though I didn’t have the necessary skills, the yearning to create warm cozy things with yarn remained.
A couple weeks ago, I was at Joann’s Fabrics picking up some notions for a sewing project when my eye was drawn to an end cap display of Lion Brand Scarfie yarn. The packaging promised that one ball would make a scarf, and that the crochet pattern was included on the back of the label. Right then and there, I decided that this was the year I would learn to read crochet patterns, one project at a time. I picked up a K (6.5mm) hook and was all set to rediscover crochet. (For those wondering, one ball of this yarn is 312 yards, and the fiber content is 78% acrylic, 22% wool. This color is Denim/Navy.)
As luck would have it, the pattern on the back of the label wasn’t even one of those scary ones with the funny abbreviations! It’s in plain English (and Spanish and French) and directs you to stitch half double crochet until you run out of yarn. I used a video tutorial from Wool and the Gang to learn the required stitch and went to work. Immediately, I was reminded of why I love crochet and why I missed it so much. Crocheting is quite soothing and meditative. With a simple pattern like this, there is very little thinking required. At the end of the day, it feels incredibly good to sit down and rest my weary mind while my fingers are still creating something. Crochet is also very quick. I managed to finish this scarf in a week!
I realized after the fact that I made a couple of mistakes. I used the K (6.5mm) hook that was listed on the outside of the label instead of the J (6mm) hook that the pattern called for inside the label. I also worked all my stitches into the back loop instead of the front loop. Since I was consistent, nobody but myself or someone who had made the pattern before would notice the difference. Also, the end was wider than the beginning, so I’m not sure what happened there.
I prefer to wear infinity scarves so I researched how to seam crochet pieces and used a slip stitch seam to turn this plain scarf into an infinity scarf. The yarn is soft and machine washable, so I’m sure I’ll wear it often. I’m just as sure that I’ll be crocheting more in the future. As soon as I finished this scarf, I started on my next pattern, which is also in plain English. Watch this space!