For most people who learn to knit or crochet, the first project they probably try is that of crafting a scarf. The project is functional and it works up quickly. However, I’ve met many people who shrug and say that they “only know how to make a scarf” as if that skill couldn’t be transferred to larger or smaller projects.
Whether you only know a basic knit stitch or a single crochet stitch, you can build off the skills you have and create other items that as scarves in disguise.
Checking Your Gauge When Knitting or Crocheting
The projects mentioned here don’t have to adhere to any one particular size … in most cases, if they are a bit bigger or smaller, there’s no problem. To judge the number of stitches you need, use the size needles or hook you will be working with, cast on or chain 16 stitches and work the piece for approximately four inches.
Count the number of stitches in each in going across the piece; check in a few places to make certain you don’t work tighter in some places and looser in others. Let’s say you determine that you get four stitches to an inch and you want to cover a pillow that’s 16 inches across. You would need 64 stitches to go across the pillow.
However, in this situation, you need to remember that a pillow is thick and that you’ll need to sew the front and the back pieces together. Depending on the thickness of the pillow, you may guesstimate that you will need 70 stitches. In most cases, a little extra space won’t hurt.
Knit or Crochet a Pillow
If you are covering a pillow form, you need to account for the thickness of the pillow. If you will be filling the shape with polyester fiberfill, the size is more forgiving. You will want to make two large squares in the desired size.
Crochet or sew the two pieces together, making certain that the stitches front and back are going in the same direction. You can make tassels or pompoms and place them at each of the corners of the finished pillow.
Crochet or Knit an Afghan
While a pillow cover is a short, wide section of a scarf, an afghan can be seen as a series of extra-long scarves stitched together. Work with whatever number of stitches you want and work until the strip is blanket-length. You can work each strip in a different width, if desired, to create a pattern or a random design.
When done, sew the strips together. By working in narrow sections, this project will be easier to take with you, if you want to work on it while on a vacation or as a passenger in a car. To Crochet a Meditation Mat, you are working with shorter sections to create a smaller piece. Keep the finished piece narrow, and you can make a rectangular wrap or shawl.
One detail that will add interest to your finished pieces, even if you are working with basic knit or crochet stitches, is the yarn you use. There are many wonderful novelty yarns in craft stores and every year the manufacture’s design new yarns that can be worked with the simplest stitches and give beginners a boost in their crafting confidence.
When using a plain yarn (such as a medium-weight acrylic yarn), go with a variegated or multi-color yarn. The pattern the colors of the yarn produce will add visual interest to your creation. If you have access to a large variety of yarns from a yarn stash, try your hand at combining them. Learn How to Use Scraps of Yarn in Crochet and Knitting Projects.
With a bit of creativity, you can turn a basic square or rectangle into a pillow, afghan, fashion wrap, a hat, wrist warmers, or you could Knit or Crochet a Cute Young Girl’s Purse.
Photo by Susan Caplan McCarthy