Easy Crocheted Checkerboard Cowl Scarf

I was aiming for a checkerboard look with this pattern. It was pure experimentation that turned out looking better than expected, with its interesting texture. It’s as easy as crocheting 5 single crochets, then chaining 5, and alternating your 5 sc and ch-5 back and forth for the entire length of your piece, turning, and then repeating the same steps for another 4 rows (to make 5 rows). Then you simply reverse the process over the next 5 rows by starting with ch-5 followed by 5 sc and continuing across the length of your piece. Switching back and forth for 5 rows gives you the checkerboard effect.

You can make the piece larger by using multiples of five. It’s crocheted in one piece, with the ends later seamed together to form the cowl.

So, here we go:

CHECKERBOARD COWL SCARF

MATERIALS
Worsted weight yarn (14 oz / 400g / 867 yds / 792m) one ball Burgundy
6.5 mm crochet hook
Yarn needle for weaving in ends

ABBREVIATIONS: sc (single crochet); sp (space); sk (skip); rep (repeat); ch-sp (chain space)

INSTRUCTIONS:
Chain (ch) 115 + 2.

Row 1: Ch 1, sc in same sp and in each ch across. (115 sc) Turn.

THE FIRST 5 ROWS

Row 2: Ch 1, sc in same sp and in each of next 4 sc, ch 5 and sk next 5 sc, *sc in next 5 sc, ch 5, sk next 5 sc, rep from * across and end row with sc in each of last 5 sc. Turn.

Row 3 to Row 5: Rep Row 2.

Row 6: Ch 6 (5 + 1 extra), sk next 4 sc, *sc in first ch-sp of ch-5 (from Row 5) and in each of the next 4 ch-sps, ch 5, sk next 5 sc, rep from * across to last remaining ch-5, sc in each of the 5 ch-sps, ch 5, sk last 4 sc and sl st in last (5th) sc to join. Turn.

Row 7 to Row 10: Ch 6, *sc in each of next 5 sc, ch 5, rep from * across, ch 5, sk last 4 sc and sl st in last (5th) sc.

Row 11: Ch 1, sc in same sp and in next 4 ch-sps, ch 5, sk 5 sc, *sc in each of next 5 ch-sps, ch 5, sk 5 sc, rep from * across and end row with sc in each of last 5 ch-sps. Turn.

Row 12 to Row 15: Ch 1, sc in same sp and in next 4 sc, ch 5, *sc in each of next 5 sc, ch 5, rep from * across to last 5 sc, sc in each of last 5 sc. Turn.

Row 16: Ch 6, sk next 4 sc, *sc in first ch-sp of ch-5 (from Row 15) and in each of the next 4 ch-sps, ch 5, sk next 5 sc, rep from * across to last remaining ch-5, sc in each of the 5 ch-sps, ch 5, sk last 4 sc and sl st in last sc to join. Turn.

Row 17 to Row 20: Ch 6, *sc in each of next 5 sc, ch 5; rep from * across, ch 5, sk last 4 sc and sl st in last (5th) sc.

Continue alternating pattern every 5 rows until your piece is desired length. Mine measured approx. 27″ wide x 10″ deep. Once finished, seam ends together by slip stitching on the wrong side. I also did a final row of sc around both top and bottom openings for a nice, clean finish. I never bothered blocking, but you may want to.

Colorful and cute, fast and easy—Crocheted Pincushions

pincushion_rosie & tiny squares1If you want a really quick, easy and fun project to work on when you need a break away from a large project, try your hand at one of these little pincushions. They’re a great way to use up scrap yarn, and they also make sweet gifts for your stitching pals!

So simple…

PRETTY PINCUSHIONS
Materials for both versions
Yarn: various colours of Bernat Handicrafter cotton
Crochet hook: 5 mm
Bit of Fiberfill stuffing
Yarn needle for weaving in ends

pincushion_rosieROSIE PINCUSHION
Pincushion front:
Chain (ch) 14

Row 1: single crochet (sc) in second ch from hook and in each ch across. Turn.

Row 2: ch 1; sc in same space; sc in each sc across. Turn

Repeat Row 2 five more times, or until you’ve got an even square. Fasten off and weave in ends.

Pincushion back: Repeat above (I used a different color for the back, just to change things up.)

Take your two squares and place the wrong sides together (right sides facing out). Use a contrasting color of yarn and sc to seam the squares together (this kills two birds with one stone—seams the squares together plus adds a pretty border around the edges). Once three sides have been seamed, stuff with a bit of Fiberfill, then continue to seam the last side closed.

Crochet a couple of little roses and leaves (lots of patterns available online!) and sew them to the top to decorate your pincushion.

pincushion_tiny squaresTINY SQUARES PINCUSHION
Using different colors of the same yarn, make four two-round granny squares. Mine were about 1-1/2” squares.

Then seam two strips of two squares together using the same border/seaming instructions as above. Next, seam the two strips together along the non-bordered sides.

Set your square of tiny grannies aside, and make a backing square in a contrasting color.

Then, place the wrong sides of your squares together (right sides facing out), and seam edges together/stuff with fiberfill as per the instructions for the first pincushion.

All done! Have fun making them in all the colors of the rainbow. For those of you with kids or grandkids, they would also make adorable cushions for Barbie dolls!
pincushion_rosie & tiny squares2

Easy crochet projects to whip up during your “me” time

While I was on vacation in February, I completed a couple of fast and easy bag_drawstring lavender & lilac1crochet projects perfect for working on when you don’t have a ton of time and would like to see quick results.

I had some leftover lavender and lilac worsted weight yarn from the hat I made (in an earlier post), so I did some crocheting in the round with the intention of making a little pouch for carrying change or sunglasses or car keys or whatever.

bag_drawstring lavender & lilac3I just made it up as I went along and never did write down the pattern. But if you can crochet in the round, then you won’t have any trouble figuring it out on your own. Here’s a basic description:

R1: chain 3; 5 dc in third chain from hook; slip stitch to close ring.

R2: 2 dc in each dc around; slip stitch to close.bag_drawstring lavender & lilac2

R3: alternate 2 dc and 1 dc in each stitch around; slip stitch to close.

R4+: either increase one more round if you would like it wider, or continue by repeating 1 dc in each stitch around until it’s the length you want. If you want to change colours, you can do so after about three rounds. Once the pouch was long enough to hold a pair of sunglasses, I finished off the top edge with 1 sc in each stitch around then fastened off.

Next I used sc to crochet a narrow carrying strap, about the length of a lanyard strap, then weaved it around the top of the pouch for pulling closed or loosening to open. I wore it around my neck and never once lost my sunglasses! A miracle! 🙂

I also had some very soft, pale pink baby yard that I thought would look nice worked in a delicate, lacy pattern. So I made an infinity cowl by following a pattern that I found in a back issue of Interweave Crochet. If you like the scarf_cowl pink lacepattern, you can still buy it at http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/alpine-frost-scarf

The cowl turned out as expected—very soft and delicate looking. A lovely accessory to go with a spring coat/jacket.

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