Although I am a bit involved in blanket making and using all sorts of bright colours, I also like the idea of producing some crochet to wear. I know in the 1970s people wore some pretty weird outfits – granny square trouser suits and bright orange and black creations but I fear that wearable crochet items need to be a bit toned down in the colour department.
As well as making some Iron Man fingerless mittens a while ago, and some fingerless mittens for myself, I’ve also been experimenting with cowls and scarves.
My first scarf was a bit of an accident. It started life as a ripple blanket but I made all sorts of mistakes with the counting in the first few rows. It didn’t look too bad, but I knew that if I carried on, the blanket would look pretty awful. What I was left with was a strip that was just the right width for an infinity scarf…
This was the forerunner of my seascape ripple blanket and has the colours of the beach section – gold, parchment, stone and cream. really like the colours and the texture and so I just sewed the ends together and put a border on each edge in double crochet in gold. Its just long enough to wrap round my neck twice when its really cold.
I liked these colours so I made a matching set of fingerless gloves using a pattern in the Simply Crochet magazine a while back.
The scarf project that I was working on during this time was a Christmas present for a friend, so it has had to remain secret until now… She has opened it now so I can safely show a pic or two. Here is my crochet Japanese flower motif scarf…
This is my version of the Japanese flower scarf that Lucy from Attic24 made a few years ago now. Hers was a much more dramatic shawl-type scarf with lots of colour. I wanted to do something more simple and understated but using some really nice yummy yarn. I found just what I was looking for at the Knitting and Stitching show in Alexandra Palace, while I was with the new and (hopefully) proud owner of the scarf.
This yarn is a mixture of alpaca wool and mulberry silk and it is fluffy, soft and gorgeous. My friend really liked the rich muted green, but they only had one skein left and although she is a knitter, it didn’t seem to be enough to make anything. I bought it though and also three skeins of the contrasting lighter green, which complements it really well.
This Japanese flower motif shows the dark green in the centre and at the edges, but most of the motifs in the scarf have the colours the other way around – otherwise I would not have had enough to finish.
And this is how I put the crochet Japanese flower motifs together – I use a join-as-you-go method and just joined together three of the flower petals. Most of the motifs are in a line, forming a wrap-around scarf that can be styled as you want it. The end two motifs (featuring more of the dark green) are at the end and slightly offset.
Its very difficult to photograph a scarf without a model and I hate taking pics of myself. This is the closest I could get to how it would look when wrapped around a neck – in this case the neck of my wicker chair…
When I visited London the other week the great present exchange took place (I have some gorgeous embroidered slippers from New England!) and we went into a haberdashery store to choose a matching button. This will be fixed in the centre of the Japanese flower motif at one end so that one of the flower petals at the other end can fix the scarf in place.
I’m also excited that at the Harrogate version of the Knitting and Stitching show I saw the same sellers and they had some skeins of the same yarn but in duck egg blue… I might have to make myself one too.
About the crochet Japanese flower motif
This was really popular a couple of years ago, around the time Lucy featured it on her blog. Matt from According to Matt did an entire Japanese flower motif blanket! It looks fabulous. The pattern is from a Japanese book, which I don’t have and which I didn’t want to buy. I just made the motif up by looking at the photos on other blogs and websites and just working out the stitching.
Its very easy – the central three rounds are the same as any crochet circle motif. Then I just made a round of 7 chains between the treble clusters and crocheted over the chains in the next round with 2 double crochets, 2 half trebles and 3 trebles. I put a double crochet back down into the treble cluster round at each junction, going over the dc that was already there.