Design Your Own Crochet Projects: Magic Formulas for Creating Custom Scarves, Cowls, Hats, Socks, Mittens & Gloves

Design Your Own Crochet Projects: Magic Formulas for Creating Custom Scarves, Cowls, Hats, Socks, Mittens & Gloves

by Sara Delaney

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Overview

You love to crochet, but you’re tired of the granny square and other predictable projects. Let celebrated crochet teacher Sara Delaney help you expand your skills while showing you how to create custom-fit wearable accessories. Delaney’s unique, flexible formulas let crocheters of all levels easily design scarves, cowls, fingerless mitts, mittens, gloves, hats, and socks. With fill-in-the-blank templates and a stitch dictionary, you can use your favorite yarn and stitch pattern, and make accessories that fit perfectly. Delaney offers a starter course in the technique with 18 of her own original patterns, along with the formulas she used to create them. The companion online calculator helps create your customized patterns even more quickly!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781612126586
Publisher: Storey Books
Publication date: 10/31/2017
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 816,117
Product dimensions: 7.50(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Sara Delaney is the author of Design Your Own Crochet Projects and How to Crochet. She has been designing and writing her own patterns for more than 10 years. She teaches crochet classes online at Craftsy, and she lives in western Massachusetts. 

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Scarves

While crocheting a scarf may seem too predictable and even slightly boring to the experienced crafter, the simple rectangle is the perfect starting point for creating your first designs. No need to worry about shaping or working in rows: you have the gloriously simple task of working rows of stitches in a shape with four 90-degree-angle corners. Your only decision will be choosing whether to work widthwise or lengthwise.

Creating a Scarf Design

Begin by determining the size scarf you'd like to make. With that in mind, jot down your plan: the design you've chosen, the size scarf you want to make, and any style details.

SCARF WIDTH. Will your scarf be skinny or wide? Some scarves become so wide they can be considered stoles or shawls, but most are between 6 and 10 inches wide. If you want to be sure your scarf will keep out cold drafts, make it at least as wide as the measurement at the back of your neck from your hairline to the spinous process of your seventh vertebra (that bony bump at the bottom of your neck).

SCARF LENGTH. Will this be a scarf that hangs around your neck as decoration, or will it wrap several times around your neck for warmth? Most scarves are between 40 and 60 inches long — long enough to wrap once around your neck and still have enough to tuck the tails inside your coat, but not so lengthy that they seem overlong if your coat is left open, unless you're designing a replica of Doctor Who's scarf (the Fourth Doctor, that is). Determine the ideal length by looping a tape measure around the back of your neck, or wrapping it around your neck as many times as you'd like. If your tape measure is too short for the length you want, you can use a scrap length of yarn and then measure that piece flat afterward. Keep in mind that you usually want a scarf length that is close to a person's height. This is a particularly useful rule of thumb if you're making a scarf for a child.

What's Your Favorite ...?

You can use a scarf you already love as a template for width or length.

The Magic of the Swatch

With your design in mind, it's time to find a stitch/yarn/hook combination that you like. Working with the yarn you intend to use for your scarf, begin by making your swatch. When you're satisfied that the yarn, hook, and pattern stitch are working together, block and then measure (see Introduction from here to here) and weigh your swatch. Jot down these results in The Basics information (worksheet below).

A simple kitchen scale works well for weighing your swatch, though I like to use my antique postal scale. This is an important step in figuring out how much yarn you will need for a project, which we will get to shortly. Consider adding a half skein to the number of skeins your calculations indicate you need, so that you're covered if there are any defects in the yarn, like knots or frayed spots, or last-minute additions and adjustments to your pattern.

STANDARD SCARF SIZES AND YARDAGE REQUIREMENTS

This table shows three standard scarf measurements and their approximate yardage requirements based on a pattern consisting of a single stitch (sc, hdc, dc, and so on).

THE BASICS FOR SCARVES

Use the following data provided by your swatch to fill in the formula for calculating the amount of yarn you'll need for your scarf (see Calculating Yardage for a Scarf, below). Be sure to use the same unit of measurement (ounces or grams) for both the swatch weight and the skein weight.

SWATCH

Stitch pattern

Stitch multiple

Beginning stitch count for swatch

A Swatch width

B Swatch height

C Swatch weight

D Stitches per inch

E Rows per inch

F Pattern repeats per inch

G Stitches per pattern repeat

H Rows per vertical pattern repeat

YARN

I Weight of one skein of project yarn

MEASUREMENTS

J Desired width

K Desired length

Visit storey.com/crochet-calculator to create your customized pattern online.

CALCULATING YARDAGE FOR A SCARF

A × B = L Swatch area

J × K = M Area of finished scarf

M ÷ L = N Number of swatches to equal area of scarf

C × N = O Weight of yarn needed

O ÷ I = P Number of skeins needed

Note: Remember to give yourself some extra yardage as insurance.

Follow a Formula to Create the Pattern

It's always best to work from a written pattern. Even if you have no plans to make another scarf just like the one you're beginning here, it's useful to write out your pattern before you begin. You can certainly make changes as you go along. In fact, that's part of the creative process, but having a written plan is just a good habit. If you do decide to make another scarf like this one, you'll have all the information you need to do so, rather than trying to remember what you did and reverse engineer the pattern. The Scarf Pattern Formula (see below) is perfect if you're using a simple, single stitch throughout the whole scarf. If you are planning to use a more complicated stitch pattern with multiple stitches and rows to the pattern, however, you will want to use all or part of the Scarf Pattern Expanded Formula (see below).

To begin, complete The Basics worksheet. This is where you store all the detailed information about your design, gauge, the yarn and hook size used — the important things you'll need to know to recreate your pattern! Once you have all of this vital information, plug the right numbers into the pattern formula: just look for the corresponding letters to know what to fill in where.

SCARF PATTERN FORMULA

D × J = Q Beginning stitch count for scarf

E × K = R Rows to work

SCARF PATTERN EXPANDED FORMULA

You need to make a few more calculations when you are developing a pattern with specific stitch multiple requirements.

F × G × J = S Beginning stitch count

(E × K) ÷ H = T Total number of vertical pattern repeats

Fill in the Scarf Pattern Template

You can now fill out the Scarf Pattern Template (see below or download the printable PDF at bit.ly/crochet-scarf-template). Include a description of the project, your inspiration for it, and how yummy the yarn is. Be sure to give some information about the item and how it's worn. List all the abbreviations included in the pattern, and give directions for any special stitches in the places provided. Include a note if you have any additional information about your pattern that doesn't fall under the headings in the basic template. (Note that you may not need or want to include some of the items in the template for every scarf you make — for instance, the border stitch information.)

Scarf Pattern Template

DESIGN PLAN

Pattern name

Width

Length

Design details

SWATCH WORKSHEET

Width

Height

YARN

Manufacturer

Yarn name

Fiber content

Yardage/Weight per skein

Color(s)

HOOK

Size

MAIN STITCH PATTERN

Name

Source

Stitch multiple

GAUGE IN MAIN STITCH PATTERN (AFTER BLOCKING)

Stitches over 4"

Rows over 4"

BORDER STITCH PATTERN

Name

Source

Stitch multiple

GAUGE IN BORDER STITCH PATTERN (AFTER BLOCKING)

Stitches over 4"

Rows over 4"

Abbreviations Special Stitches

Notes

AT-A-GLANCE SCARF PATTERN

Use the numbers from the formulas you've completed to create your pattern. Here's a sample of the steps to include. Be sure to end each row of instructions with the stitch count you should be getting. If a row is repeated, it is not necessary to repeat the stitch count, but any time your instructions change or your stitch count changes, it should be noted.

* SETUP Chain a number equal to Q or S (depending on whether you are using the basic or expanded formula), plus however many stitches you need for your turning chain.

* ROW 1 Work your stitch pattern into the foundation chain. Be specific about where to place your first stitch.

ROW 2 Give full instructions for what needs to be done in this row.

CONTINUE Repeat these rows R times or for T pattern repeats or until the scarf measures K.

FASTEN OFF.

ADD-ONS Give specific row-by-row directions for any edge, border, or fringe desired.

FINISHING Weave in ends and block.

On the following pages you'll find patterns for two sample scarves to experiment with. For each, I've included the formulas I used to calculate yardage needs. You may want to crochet one or both of these, with or without your own variations, or you may want to jump right in and design your own scarf from scratch, using the formulas and template starting here for guidance.

PROJECT

Hitchcock Scarf

The clean lines and lengthwise construction of this scarf give it visual interest without loads of extra work. The simple, yet textural half double crochet stitches will fly off your hook. Worked in a solid color, this scarf is great for the man in your life or the friend with minimalist taste. You can easily spice it up by adding stripes or by using a variegated yarn. Note that I used the basic formula for this simple scarf, so I didn't need to fill in any information about repeats. This scarf is worked lengthwise.

THE BASICS FOR THE HITCHCOCK SCARF

SWATCH

Half double crochet Stitch pattern

any Stitch multiple

24 Beginning stitch count for swatch

6.5"A Swatch width

6"B Swatch height

28.35 gC Swatch weight

4D Stitches per inch

3E Rows per inch

n/aF Pattern repeats per inch

n/aG Stitches per pattern repeat

n/aH Rows per vertical pattern repeat

YARN

100 gI Weight of one skein of project yarn

MEASUREMENTS

60"J Desired width

7"K Desired length

CALCULATING YARDAGE FOR HITCHCOCK SCARF

6.5" × 6" = 39 sq. in.

A × B = L Swatch area

60" × 7" = 420 sq. in.

J × K = M Area of finished scarf

420 ÷ 39 = 10.77

M ÷ L = N Number of swatches to equal area of scarf

28.35 g × 10.77 = 305.33 g

C × N = O Weight of yarn needed

305.33 g ÷ 100 g = 3.05

O ÷ I = P Number of skeins needed

Note: This formula puts the weight at just over three skeins, but three was enough for this scarf. You often may have to use your judgment when the weight is a bit over or under the amount calculated by the formula. I tend to err on the side of caution and would gather four skeins if this formula came up with anything over three, because I don't mind having orphan skeins in my stash. These can inspire new projects or become part of stash-busting projects like granny square blankets or chunky, single-crochet rugs.

HITCHCOCK SCARF PATTERN FORMULA

Note: This scarf is worked lengthwise.

4 × 60" = 240

D × J = Q Beginning stitch count for scarf

3 × 7" = 21

E × K = R Rows to work

HITCHCOCK SCARF PATTERN TEMPLATE

DESIGN PLAN

Hitchcock Scarf Pattern name

7" Width

60" Length

SWATCH WORKSHEET

6.5" Width

6" Height

YARN

Valley Yarns Manufacturer

Northampton Yarn name

100% wool Fiber content

247 yds/"100 g Yardage/Weight per skein

3 skeins #40 Ocean Heather Color

HOOK

H/8 (5 mm), or size needed to obtain correct gauge Size

MAIN STITCH PATTERN

Half double crochet Name

any Stitch multiple

GAUGE IN MAIN STITCH PATTERN (AFTER BLOCKING)

16 Stitches over 4"

12 Rows over 4"

ABBREVIATIONS

CH chain

EA each

HDC half double crochet

St(S) stitch(es)

CROCHETING THE HITCHCOCK SCARF

* SETUP Ch 242 (this includes 2 extra chains for the turning chain).

ROW 1 Hdc 1 in third ch from hook, 1 hdc in ea ch across. (240 hdc)

* ROW 2 Ch 2, turn, 1 hdc in ea st across. (240 hdc)

* Repeat Row 2 nineteen times more or until your piece measures 7" wide. Fasten off.

* FINISHING Weave in ends and block.

PROJECT

Shepherd's Hollow Scarf

This second sample scarf has a slightly more complex stitch pattern. I've provided all the calculations needed to work up my design, using the expanded formula for developing stitch and row counts. The undulating rows of the Parquet Stitch presented in soft stripes of color are reminiscent of the rolling hills and rivulets of the village of Leeds in Western Massachusetts. The soft gray of the main color and the yarn texture remind me of that most plentiful of New England crops: fieldstones!

THE BASICS FOR THE Shepherd's Hollow Scarf

SWATCH

Parquet Stitch Stitch pattern

4 Stitch multiple

24 Beginning stitch count for swatch

6"A Swatch width

6.5"B Swatch height

9 gC Swatch weight

n/aD Stitches per inch

3.25E Rows per inch

1.38F Pattern repeats per inch

4G Stitches per pattern repeat

2H Rows per vertical pattern repeat

YARN

50 gI Weight of one skein of project yarn

MEASUREMENTS

8"J Desired width

70"K Desired length

CALCULATING YARDAGE FOR SHEPHERD'S HOLLOW SCARF

6" × 6.5" = 39 sq. in.A × B = L Swatch area

8" × 70" = 560 sq. in.J × K = M Area of finished scarf

560 ÷ 39 = 14.36M ÷ L = N Number of swatches to equal area of scarf

9 g × 14.36 = 129.24 gC × N = O Weight of yarn needed

129.24 g ÷ 50 g = 2.59O ÷ I = P Number of skeins needed

SHEPHERD'S HOLLOW SCARF PATTERN FORMULA (EXPANDED VERSION)

1.38 × 4 × 8" = 44.16F × G × J = S Beginning stitch count for scarf

(3.25 × 70")÷2 = 113.75(E × K ) ÷ H = T Total number of vertical pattern repeats

SHEPHERD'S HOLLOW SCARF PATTERN TEMPLATE

DESIGN PLAN

8" Width

70" Length

Stripes of two contrasting colors in increasing widths to the halfway point of the scarf (see Color Order below) Design details

SWATCH WORKSHEET

6" Width

6.5" Height

YARN

Elsebeth Lavold Manufacturer

Silky Wool Yarn name

45% wool, 35% silk, 20% nylon Fiber content

191 yds/50 g Yardage/Weight per skein

MC #86 Dark Oak, 2 skeins CC1 #59 Hazy Blue, 1 skein CC2 #126 Spring Grass, 1 skein Colors

HOOK

G/6 (4 mm), or size needed to obtain correct gauge Size

MAIN STITCH PATTERN

Parquet Stitch Name

4 Stitch multiple

GAUGE IN MAIN STITCH PATTERN (AFTER BLOCKING)

5.5 parquet loops (sc, ch 3, dc) Stitches over 4"

13 Rows over 4"

ABBREVIATIONS

CH chain

DC double crochet

REP repeat

SC single crochet

SK skip

SP(S) space (s)

ST(S) stitch (es)

CROCHETING THE SHEPHERD'S HOLLOW SCARF

Follow the color order shown below as you work the pattern instructions row by row.

* SETUP Ch 44 (this includes the turning ch).

* ROW 1 (1 sc, ch 3, 1 dc) in second ch from hook (1 Parquet loop made), sk 3 chs,
* ROW 2 Ch 3, turn, 1 dc in first st,
* ROW 3 Ch 1, turn, 1 sc in first st, ch 3, 1 dc in ch-2 sp of row below,
* Repeat rows two and three 113 times more, or until piece measures 70".

* FINISHING Weave in ends and gently block to settle stitches.

Color Order

Foundation ch + 2 rows MC

1 row CC1

1 row CC2

4 rows MC

2 rows CC1

2 rows CC2

8 rows MC

4 rows CC1

4 rows CC2

16 rows MC

8 rows CC1

8 rows CC2

All remaining rows MC

CHAPTER 2

Cowls

Cowls are the must-have accessory in everyone's wardrobe. They are also the easiest introduction to a shape you'll need for the rest of the accessories in this book: the tube. Cowls can be short and fat to fit snugly under the chin, or long and thin to be worn as a decorative piece in a single loop, or looped multiple times about the neck for warmth. Between these two extremes, you can play with many variations. This accessory is a great way to experiment with working patterns in the round, as well as pairing main and border stitch patterns.

Developing a Cowl Design

Just as with a scarf, you need to decide on two key measurements for your cowl: circumference and width.

(Continues…)



Excerpted from "Design Your Own Crochet Projects"
by .
Copyright © 2017 Sara H. Delaney.
Excerpted by permission of Storey Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Introduction
1  Scarves
    Hitchcock Scarf
    Shepherd's Hollow Scarf
2  Cowls
    Leyden Cowl
    Wild Leek Cowl
3  Hats
    Ashmere Beanie
    Greylock Glen Hat
    Cady Brook Hat
    Ashuwillticook Beret
4  Fingerless Mitts
    Stafford Mitts
    Day Mountain Mitts
5  Mittens
    Hutchinson Mittens
    Windsor Brook Mittens
6  Gloves
    Volvo Gloves
    Knights Pond Gloves
7  Socks
    Hoosac Range Socks
    Cleveland Reservoir Socks
    Allendale Socks
    Notchview Slippers
Appendix
    Stitch Dictionary
    Stitch Abbreviations & Definitions
    Metric Conversion Chart
    Acknowledgments
Index

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