This is a guest post from Patrice of Yarn Over, Pull Through: The Heart and Soul of Crochet
It’s time to start getting serious about crocheting and knitting hand-made gifts for friends, family, and loved ones. If you’re ready to begin but are stumped about what to make, consider crocheting and knitting scarves and cowls. Even if you live in a warm climate like I do, more likely than not, you have loved ones in chilly locales who would love to receive a beautiful, hand-knit or crocheted scarf or cowl. Scarves and cowls can also be used to accessorize outfits, providing the perfect complement for day and evening wear. (In the picture, my daughter Adrienne Neale models the One-Ball Scarf I made in Vanna's Glamour.)
Not only are they fairly simple to make, these versatile gifts are often easy on your budget because they don’t require a lot of yarn. You can even splurge on a luxury yarn for that special someone to create a beautiful scarf or cowl that only requires a skein or two to make. Best of all, Lion Brand has a wide array of patterns and yarns to choose from. Beginning your holiday gift-making becomes a simple matter of deciding which ones to select.
The following 12 scarf and cowl patterns use a number of different yarns and stitch patterns. Many do not require an exact gauge since they are designed to loosely drape around the neck. Some can be made in one sitting, while others require a few days to complete. I’ve included designs for the beginner to intermediate knitter and crocheter, so you should be able to find patterns to suit your mood and skill level.
|Glimmer Scarf||Chevron Scarf||Felted Neck Muff||Simple Cowl||Knit Ridge Cowl||Cabled Cowl|
|One-Ball Scarf||Lacy Wonder
|Fast and Easy
In addition to following the pattern instructions to create these hand-made gifts, try a little experimentation. Substitute different yarns to create unique fabrics and effects. If you’re not sure how much of the substitute yarn you’ll need, this article will help you figure out yarn amounts. Let the yarn speak for you by combining simple stitches with novelty and variegated yarns. Or try knitting and crocheting the scarves in the round to create cowls and the cowls in straight rows to create scarves.
I whipped up the One-Ball Scarf in two evenings, my favorite time to crochet. The pattern is so easy, consisting of “double crochet, ch-1” repeats, that you can practically crochet it with your eyes closed. Vanna’s Glamour, “the yarn for special occasions,” created a delicate scarf that serves well as the perfect accent to evening wear. But I can also imagine it complimenting a funky, daytime outfit. This sport-weight yarn is shot through with jewel-like sparkles, and while it doesn’t stretch, the tight ply creates a fabric that is quite “stretchy.” I found this yarn easy to work with and love the fact that I can use it, along with the One-Ball Scarf pattern, to create designer scarves in 16 bold jewel tones.
As you can see, selecting scarves and cowls to launch your 2011 holiday gift-making season offers many options that will make creating these hand-made treasures an absolute joy. Happy knitting and crocheting!