N00b Monday: Crochet your First Scarf!

Your First Scarf
Welcome, crochet n00bs, to SPM’s n00b Monday. Some people were born with a hook in their hand; for the rest of you, welcome.

This is an active blog entry here. If you want to learn how to be less of a n00b, you’re going to have to practice. And I’m going to try and help you practice in the comfort of your own computer chair.

It may look overwhelming at first. But take each bit at a time, be patient with yourself, and don’t give up! If you find yourself stuck, by all means ask me for help. That’s what n00b Monday is made for!

Today, we’re making the Universal First-Time Crochet Item: the scarf.

Quick reference tips will be formatted like this, for you to easily find when needed.

So, before we begin, have the following with you:

  • A crochet hook (size g-k)
  • About 300 yards of worsted weight yarn
  • Scissors
  • A large-eyed yarn needle

To make this item, you’ll need to know:

  • Chain stitches (ch)
  • Single crochet (sc) stitch
  • Fastening off

Here is a great page if you need a refresher. It has some of the best diagrams and explanations I’ve found.

When selecting your crochet hook size, the later in the alphabet the letter is, the bigger the hook size is. So a size K hook is bigger than a size G hook. Bigger hooks will make looser stitches than smaller hooks.

Yarn by and large comes in 6 different sizes, or weights. The bigger the number, the bulkier the yarn. The finest, superfine weight, is used to make baby items, socks, and delicate edgings. Worsted weight, the most commonly used weight of yarn, is right about in the middle. It goes on up to Super Bulky weight, used for things like rugs or heavy blankets. In recent years, a nice simple sizing system has been used to make buying yarn even easier: number sizes are used along with description. Here is a thorough and more detailed description of yarn weights.

OK, make your slip knot on your hook.

You’re going to make chain stitches next.

In a pattern, you’ll see “ch x”; it means make x many chain stitches. So if it says “ch 38”, for example, it means “make 38 chain stitches”. The slip knot you made at the very beginning never counts as a chain stitch.

For this scarf, there isn’t a specific number of chain stitches to make. Make chain stitches until it’s as wide as you want your scarf to be. Then, make one more.

Once you’ve made your chain stitches, your foundation chain, it’s time to make single crochet stitches. In fact, just the way they are on the diagram is just the way they’re going to be made for this scarf.

In patterns, “single crochet” is abbreviated “sc”. “sc in 2nd ch from hook” means “make a single crochet in the second chain stitch from the hook (not counting the loop that’s on your hook)”

Row 1: Next:

Pattern direction: Translation:
sc in each ch across. Make one single crochet in each chain stitch until you get to the end.

When you get to the end of the row:

Pattern direction: Translation:
ch1, turn. make one chain stitch (ch 1) and turn your work around so that your hook is at the far right end again.*

*This is assuming you are right-handed. I don’t know how to crochet left-handed, I’m sorry! But I’m guessing it’s just the opposite; work left to right instead of right to left.

Row 2: Now you’re going to do pretty much the same thing as the previous row:

Pattern direction: Translation:
sc in each sc across. Make one single crochet in each single crochet stitch until you get to the end.

Make 1 chain stitch (ch1), turn your work around. This is your turning chain.

Row 3 +: You’re going to repeat Row 2, including the turning chain at the end of the row, as many times as needed until your scarf is the length you want it to be. Keep checking your length.

This step could take a few days. At first, each row will seem to take forever. But as you go, it will get quicker, easier, and more even. Practice practice! If you keep at it, you’ll likely have this all done–or nearly done–in time for the next N00b Monday.

When you get your scarf as long as you want it, fasten off (fo). Using the yarn needle, weave the end of your yarn into the stitches of the scarf so as to hide it.

noobscarf_fringe.jpg

Finally, we’re going to add some fringe to the end of your scarf. Cut several long strips of yarn, and attach the fringe as shown here or here.

noobscarf_done.jpg

Ta da! You’ve completed your first-ever scarf! Just think of all the handmade gift possibilities next Christmas!

Now, here’s the pattern in pattern-ese. You can double check the translations above:

Ch until desired width, ch 1.
Row 1: Sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in each ch across.
Row 2: ch 1, turn, sc in each st across.
Row 3-?: Repeat row 2 until desired length. FO.
Add fringe as shown above.

Congratulations. I look forward to hearing your questions and feedback, and seeing your finished product if you want to show it off here!

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1 Comment

Filed under crochet, directions, n00b Monday

One response to “N00b Monday: Crochet your First Scarf!

  1. wendy

    When an pattern tells you for example to make 48 chains, does one need to add another chain to that number? or do you just do what it says and make 48 chains?

    Well, it depends. I’m guessing you mean a pattern such as this one, where you start off with a row of chains. You make your 48 chains, at very least, and then you have to know what kind of stitches are used to make the next row. The first new “stitch” in your new row is actually made up of an equivalent number of chain stitches. This is called “turning chains”. It’s done to replicate the height of the remaining stitches in the row and have your hook come out up top. So, let’s say, in the case of your example, you start off with your 48 chains. Then the pattern calls for a row of sc (single crochet) stitches (like this one does). You make one more chain, to make your equivalent 1 sc, then you make a sc in the chain stitch just before that one.

    Link to a diagram.

    For taller stitches, you would make more chain stitches. The reccommended number for a half double crochet (hdc) stitch is two; for a double crochet (dc) stitch some say two, some say three (I prefer three).

    Here’s a chart I found online that should help. Hope I was able to answer your question, Wendy, and thanks for asking!

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