This knitted cotton scarf has a crocheted border and lots of drape (Clarence Tabb Jr. / The Detroit News)
I crocheted and knitted for years, but it wasn’t until around 1998, when I started burning the midnight oil cranking out soft-sculptured dolls, that I began using wool yarn.
At the time, I complained to a prolific doll-making friend about needing a yarn more suitable for making hair. She suggested wool, which gave me just the look I wanted for my “Brown Folks” characters.
I’d never knitted or crocheted with wool because of the expense, scratchy feel and the fact that it can be too warm. (Wool doesn’t wear well with hot flashes!) Then, several years after I stopped making dolls, I joined a social knitting group at a yarn shop, and it was only a matter of time before I discovered wool was the yarn of choice for practically everyone there.
I didn’t dare pull out my acrylic or inexpensive novelty yarn I’d purchased at one of the local craft store chains. So, whenever I took part in a knitting session, I searched the shop’s bends for affordable wool, not realizing I was fast on my way to becoming a “yarn snob” (someone who only knits, crochets or weaves with natural fibers, mainly wool — 100 percent wool). I gave in to peer pressure! I even started thinking like a “yarn snob” — wool is better because it doesn’t pill, it repels dirt, it felts, it holds its shape, it’s softer, it’s warmer, it’s this and it’s that.
Well, to my disappointment, wool does, in fact, pill — even cashmere and merino. Some forms are rough to the touch, and when worn as a hat, it causes hair breakage for some. More importantly, I’ve learned to let the project dictate the type of yarn I use. For instance, a soft, light-worsted weight acrylic works best for making baby garments because they need to be washed regularly.
It’s been a while since I joined a knitting group, and I now consider myself a recovering “yarn snob.” I’m overthe wool thing. Our closely knit relationship has ended — for now. However, my preferred yarn remains a natural fiber, but it’s now plant-based and known as cotton.
Here’s a pattern for a knitted cotton scarf with a crocheted border and lots of drape.
Detroit News Staff Writer Jocelynn Brown is a longtime Metro Detroit crafter. For more craft news and giveaways, visit her blog at detroitnews.com/crafts. You can reach her at (313) 222-2150 or email@example.com.
Circle Cotton Neckwarmer
Techniques: Knitting and crocheting
Estimated time: 20 hours
Tools: size 10.5 wooden knitting needles, size G crochet hook, scissors, yarn needle
Supplies: Three 50-gram hanks of Cotton Classic in choice of color
Abbreviations: K knit, P purl, CO cast on, BO bind off, St(s) stitch(es), DC double crochet, Ch chain, Sl st slip stitch, Cont continue
CO 25 sts
Row 1: K1, P1 to end (Note: knit tightly)
Row 2: Repeat row 1
Cont making rows in pattern (seed stitch) until two hanks of yarn have been used. BO, leaving about a 30-inch tail.
Now, thread tail through yarn needle and neatly whip-stitch ends together. Work in loose ends.
Tie end of third hank to seam at one edge of scarf.
Chain up 3 sts (counts as 1 dc st). Make two dc sts in same knitted st area. Then sl st the 1 st on hook into a knitted st about ˝-inch over, making sure not to create tension along edge.
Cont st pattern all the way around, making sure sts are evenly spaced, creating a wavy border. Sl st ends together. Knot off.
Now, repeat a row of same along other edge. Work in loose ends.