I love double-ended crochet, and it’s very related to Tunisian crochet, so it seemed like a great technique for Week 2 of the New Year, New Skill crochet-a-long! This week features three different double-ended crochet patterns! (If you’re just hearing about the CAL, you can find more details and a regularly updated schedule here.)
Double-ended crochet goes by many names. You may have heard it referred to as double-ended Tunisian crochet, crochet on the double, crochenit, or even other names. You need a specialized double-ended crochet hook to make these projects. These days, double-ended hooks are available in a variety of lengths and materials. I prefer to make my own double-ended hooks using my Denise2Go Crochet for a Cure 2-Hook Set, which can also be configured as Tunisian hooks or standard crochet hooks.
If you’ve never done double-ended crochet before, the Skinny Minny Scarf is the perfect pattern to try it on.
I used two different weights of yarn – Red Heart Boutique Unforgettable, a medium weight yarn, and Red Heart Grande, a super bulky weight yarn. I love the way this turned out! It’s a great accent scarf to wear year round.
If you’re new to double-ended crochet, I’ve included a video tutorial after the pattern.
Today is Giving Tuesday, a national day of giving. I’m sharing some of my favorite crochet and knitting related charity links today in honor of this event, which encourages us to put aside the shopping for a moment during the holiday season. I hope this roundup with inspire you to share your talent (or money!) with charities that are important to you.
If you’re looking for a crochet-a-long, Sunset Family Living is hosting the annual 12 Days of Christmas Charity Challenge (also known as the NICU charity challenge). She is challenging people to crochet 12 hats for preemies in their local neonatal intensive care unit. Last year, over 26,000 (!) hats were donated as part of the challenge, which runs through January 6, 2015. 20 crochet designers have donated hat patterns, and if you’d like to sign up to participate, you can read more about the project here.
Some designers sell specific patterns to raise funds for a favorite charity. Some of my favorites are the Mitered Cross Blanket (knitting) by Kay Gardiner. All proceeds from the sale of this pattern are donated to Mercy Corps, an international emergency response/disaster relief organization.
I also donate pet blankets in the sizes suggested by the Snuggles Project. (I interviewed Deborah Green from Bideawee about blanket donations here, if you’d like to hear how local shelters use these blankets.) The website allows you to search for a local pet charity that accepts handmade blankets. The Snuggles Project is a program of Hugs for Homeless Animals.
Another organization that accepts handmade goodies is Project Linus. Their mission is to “provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new, handmade blankets and afghans, lovingly created by volunteer ‘blanketeers.'”You can find out more about donating a crocheted or knit (or sewn) blanket to a local chapter, contributing funds to help defray shipping costs or volunteering on their website.
If donating an entire blanket is out of your crochet comfort zone, Warm Up America is another charity that distributes blankets and accessories to a variety of social services agencies. You can send a blanket square, or accessories such as hats or scarves to them for distribution. The Kitty Cap by Bella Crochet is a great free crochet pattern for making children’s hats for charity.
You might also be interested in the Red Scarf Project from Foster Care to Success. Each year, they coordinate the delivery of Valentine’s Day care packages, including handmade scarves, to young adults who have aged out of foster care as they experience life on their own at college. You can learn more about this charity in the current issue of Crochetvolutionhere. There are also two great free crochet patterns in this issue, Big Red and Vino Scarf, that would make great projects for the Red Scarf Project. You can also try some of Kim Guzman’s many great free winter patterns. (I interviewed Kim here.) Two of my favorites that would be perfect for the Red Scarf Project are the Reversible Pinstripe Scarf (double-ended crochet) or the Twisted Cable Scarf.
What are your favorite charities to share your crochet and knitting with?
My regular blog readers know I have a soft spot in my heart for baby blankets. I actually love crocheting blankets in general, but by the time I get about halfway through a full sized blanket, I’m usually questioning my own sanity. Baby blankets are much faster to make, and they always seem to be cherished by parents and babies alike.
This post contains affiliate links. The yarn for the sample was generously provided by King Cole.
The generous folks atKing Colehad sent me quite a lot moreMerino Blend Aranthan what was required for the scarf, and I knew my friend was having a boy.
The white and blue seemed like just the right colors for his blanket, and the easy care of the superwash wool seemed a great fit for a newborn.
I used double-ended crochet because it looks great – but different – on both sides, and it makes a nice, thick blanket. After all, Tadley was due in late December, so I thought he might need something very warm for his stroller or car seat during the winter.
To combat the love-hate relationship I develop with all of my crocheted blankets during the last few rows, I crocheted this on the bias, increasing towards the center and then decreasing until the end. Once I reached the center, each row was shorter than the one before it, so finishing the blanket was a breeze.
Well, almost a breeze. On the last few rows, I ran out of yarn. I ordered one extra skein in each color, and by some strange miracle, both skeins were from the same dye lots as the yarn I received from King Cole almost five months before.
This blanket is very lush and thick, and works equally well as a playmat in the spring or a stroller blanket in the winter. Gauge isn’t critical, and it can be easily resized (though you may need more or less yarn).
A simple reversible project crocheted on the bias with a double-ended crochet hook!
Finished Size: Adjustable. Photographed sample is 36” (91.5 cm) square.
King Cole Merino Blend Aran (100% superwash wool, 1.75 oz/50 g/88 yd/80 m) – 10 skeins each in Denim 778 (CA) and in Aran 776 (CB), or approximately 840-1,000 yd (770-915 m) in each of 2 colors in any medium/worsted weight yarn.
Gauge: 18 sts x 18 rows in Tss = 4” (10 cm). Exact gauge is not critical for this project.
Abbreviations Used in This Pattern:
CA – color A
CB – color B
ch – chain
ea – each
rep – repeat
Rnd(s) – Round(s)
sc – single crochet
sk – skip
sp – space
st(s) – sts
Tfs – Tunisian full stitch (used to increase 1 st in this pattern) – Insert hook under horizontal bar (between 2 vertical bars), yo and draw up loop onto hook.
Tss – Tunisian single stitch – Insert hook under next vertical bar, yo and draw up loop onto hook.
Tss2tog – Tunisian simple stitch 2 together (used to decrease 1 st in this pattern) – Insert hook under next 2 vertical bars, yo and draw up loop onto hook.
yo – yarn over
Always sk first vertical bar (below first loop on hook) at beginning of row.
Blanket is crocheted in rows on the bias, increasing to the center and then decreasing to end. Border is crocheted in the round.
Weaving in ends in double-ended crochet projects can be challenging. Change colors at beginning or end of rows when possible.
For edging, a stitch marker or piece of scrap yarn can be used to indicate corner st.
With CA, ch 3.
Set Up Row: Sk 1st ch. (Insert hook in next ch, yo and pull up a loop) twice. (3 loops)
Increase stitch count to center
Row 1: Slide loops to other hook, turn, with CB, ch 1, *yo and draw through 2 loops; rep from * across.
Row 2: Tfs in first sp between vertical bars, Tss in each vertical bar across to last sp, Tfs, Tss in last st. (Increase by 2 sts)
Row 3: Slide loops to other hook, turn, with CA, ch 1, *yo and draw through 2 loops; rep from * across.
Row 4: Rep Row 2.
Rep Rows 1-4 until sides measures approximately 34”/86 cm (or desired length), ending after Row 3.
Decrease stitch count to end
Row 5: Tss2tog, Tss in ea vertical bar across to last 3 sts, Tss2tog, Tss in last st. (Decrease by 2 sts)
Row 6: Rep Row 1.
Row 7: Rep Row 5.
Row 8: Rep Row 3.
Rep Rows 5-8 until 3 sts remain on hook, ending after Row 3.
Final Row: With CB, (insert hook in next vertical bar as for Tss, yo, draw through both loops on hook) twice. Fasten off.
Rnd 1: Facing side where CA is more prominent, join CB with sc in corner, 2 sc in same st, *sc in edge st of ea row across to next corner,** 3 sc in corner; rep from * around twice, then from * to ** once. Fasten off.
Rnd 2: Turn, facing side where CB is more prominent, join CA with sc in corner st, 2 sc in same st, *sc in each st around to next corner,** 3 sc in corner; rep from * around twice, then from * to ** once. Fasten off.
Life became rather too complex for me to do any work towards Year of Projects goals. And, then, suddenly it was December.
Last year, I did a lot of advanced holiday crafting, and I even finished all of my gifts by mid-November. This year, not so much. When Thanksgiving rolled around last week, I realized I was in for some trouble and sat down to look at my handmade holiday list.
My mom also liked this hat I designed, and asked for one in black. Luckily, I have just the yarn in my stash.
A few weeks ago, I received this beautiful skein of Mountain Colors Twizzle in Swift Current from Mountain Colors to review. I figured you can’t review a yarn without trying it out, and something about it said shawl to me. On Friday, I picked up the delightful Shaping Shawls by Anna Dalvi (an awesome book, by the way) and decided to try my and at designing a simple knit crescent shawl for my younger sister. It’s about two-thirds finished now.
And speaking of my sister, I started an earwarmer for her boyfriend. They currently are in law school in New Orleans but he’s accepted a job in Houston after graduation in May. This will be reversible: one side will be for the New Orleans Saints and the other for the Houston Texans. I’ve finished the first side in Tunisian crochet and it will need some serious blocking before it is gift.
I have little more than these notes I took earlier this year about my Uncle Bill’s hat. He has one of those factory made cashmere hats, and I was planning to make a handmade version with some scrumptious Galler Yarns Pashmina I have on hand. So far, other than the finding the note (which took some time!), identifying the yarn, and picking out needles, I’ve done nothing.
Luckily, I have finished one project – from my original YOP list, no less – a baby blanket for my dear friend’s newborn.
And then there are the 7 or so more handmade gifts that I haven’t even started yet. Oh, and 4 design samples due in mid-December for a magazine (but I haven’t received the yarn support yet).
So here’s my challenge to myself: finish a project every 2 days between now and the end of December. What do you think? Can it be accomplished?
For more Year of Projects posts, visit this thread on Ravelry.