Saturday, February 6, 2016

Double Strand Basket Weave Scarf

**For those of you keeping up with the program, this is the Scarf of the Month for October. Since I've fallen so behind, I'm going to stop labeling the months in the titles of the remaining scarves. Seems a bit strange to be featuring October's scarf in February of the next year, so just enjoy the free pattern! If you're interested in creating items for charity too, then be sure to check out the notes I've included at the end for why I think this is one of the best scarves to work up for a donation. **

  Working a basket weave pattern with two strands of worsted yarn makes this scarf amazingly warm and cozy - and quick to make, too! Triple crochet stitches and a large hook help you get the project done faster, and the two strands leave your color choices almost endless. You can play it safe with two strands the same color, mix and match your favorite colors, or combine two shades of a neutral.

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  The pattern is easy to adjust for a wider scarf, but this piece is plenty warm at 5" (12.5 cm). Using the entire length of both skeins, a 5" wide scarf will finish at a length of 75" (187.5 cm). To increase the width or length, you'll need extra skeins! Need to brush up on your stitches for this pattern? Be sure to check out the links in the stitch definitions. (And psst... Find a whole tutorial for this scarf by clicking here!)

crochet, free pattern, crochet for charity, scarf, tutorial

Skill level:
Skill level, intermediate

2 skeins - Worsted weight (4) acrylic yarn
-I used Caron United in Black and Dark Grey Heather
*For a wider or longer scarf, you will need 4 skeins - Two of each color
Hook size N-9.00MM or size needed to obtain gauge
Stitch markers (optional)
Yarn needle

In 4" by 4" (10 cm by 10 cm)
12 triple crochet in pattern stitch
*Almost* 4 rows - 4" should be about 3/4 of the height of the fourth row

crochet, gauge, triple crochet, basket weave

Chain-3 at beginning of rows counts as a double crochet stitch

Pattern stitch is worked in multiples of 4. For a wider scarf, increase by 4 stitches.

Have trouble with turning chains? Use stitch markers. The beginning chain-3 will disappear behind the last post stitch. Marking it will make it easier to find.

Stitches and abbreviations:
Chain (ch)
Foundation double crochet (FDC)
Double crochet (dc)
Front-post triple crochet (fptr)
Back-post triple crochet (bptr)

free crochet pattern, basket weave, scarf, triple crochet


- Working with both strands of yarn held together -

Row 1:
Ch 4 (counts as dc), FDC 11. (12 dc)

Row 2:
Ch 3, (fptr in each of the next 2, bptr in each of the following 2) two times. Fptr in each of the next 2, make 1 dc in last.

Repeat row 2 for all following rows. Example repeats 74 times for a total of 76 rows.

Bind off, weave in ends.

crochet, free patter, scarf, basket weave, double strand, Caron United

Additional notes about using this scarf for a charity donation:
Translation - Let me convince you to make at least one to donate! But okay, if you're not going to donate, then you might still want to make one for yourself, or as a gift... So you should probably still read this.

1. It's super thick. 'Nuf said, right? Seriously... Double strands of yarn make it extra thick, but if you decide to use a different yarn than Caron United, you need to make a gauge swatch and try it out. Does it stand up on it's own? Then it's too stiff. Even though this scarf is "beefy", it's still soft and pliable. I wouldn't want to wrap myself in something that feels like a carpet; would you?

2. Again, this pattern is thick, but the basket weave design creates little pockets of texture that make the scarf breathable... Without being "airy", if that makes sense. That makes it more versatile to double up on extra-cold days, or wear it loosely wrapped to fight a slight chill.

3. PLEASE, please, please... Please don't even consider getting that cheapest-of-the-cheap acrylic yarn that sells for $1 a skein. I think that stuff's made for crafting, not wearing. It's definitely not for this scarf. You might think you're doing more service by saving money so you can donate more, but you might as well give the recipient a hair shirt. The double strands will accentuate the scratchiness and stiffness. (See next tip for side note)

4. I'm not trying to advertise this yarn; perhaps you have your own favorite non-scratchy acrylic that's priced less. Go ahead and use it. But remember that when you purchase Caron United, fifteen cents from every skein goes to the Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation. That's like double-charity, if you'll be donating your scarf.

I have seen United advertised in a few stores for over $4 a skein. Don't buy that. I've also seen it on sale for under $3. If you follow that link above you can find United for it's usual price, which means you can still make this scarf under ten dollars... I go yarn shopping there about once a year and take advantage of their free shipping on bigger orders, so my scarf cost exactly $6.98. If you sign up for their newsletters, you'll find they offer 15- 20% off sales quite often.

5. Whatever yarn you decide to use, make sure it doesn't require any special care! Choose something that holds up well to wearing and washing... And drying.

United is easy-care! I'm pretty sure the label says "low heat", but I accidentally threw a pair of fingerless gloves in the dryer on high... They came out fine! I've done this with a few other acrylics, and although they didn't melt away or disintegrate, you could tell the yarn just wasn't the same as it used to be.

6. Speaking of drying... This scarf doesn't need any blocking! The thick pattern holds its shape well. That's great for charity donations and for gifting to yarn-clueless people.

7. My final thought: Time.

-The triple crochet stitches make it work up quickly, while the double strands and thick basket weave combat the lacy effect of the taller stitch. It almost feels like cheating.

- Got somewhere to go, but time to sit? Throw this project in a to-go tote! The double strands make it slightly more difficult to work on as an on-the-go project, but it's not that hard to carry two balls around in a bag, is it? ;) It's not like you'll be doing stranded color work or anything. The simple repeat of the same row over and over makes it easy to get a few stitches in, even if you only have a minute. Once you make a couple rows, you'll probably be able to work without the pattern, right?

- Let's be honest. Maybe you're not pressed for time. Sometimes, you get tired of working on a project, or you just don't like it, or maybe something came up and now you are pressed for time even though you thought you could finish it when you started... Whatever the issue is, this project can still make a great accessory. As long as you get the "scarf" to measure about 25" (62.5 cm) long, stitch the ends together for a cowl. It's not as versatile as a scarf, but it will still provide warmth for someone in need.

crochet, free pattern, scarf, basket weave, triple crochet, tutorial

Happy Crocheting!

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