Wednesday, January 09, 2013

2-hour chunky crochet cowl and other crafty acts of rebellion

Pardon the pun, but cowls are hot this season – groan! – because they are both fashionable and functional. Since my giraffe neck is always freezing, I knew I needed [okay, wanted] a cute cowl this winter to help keep me warm. In November, trendy cowls were all over hip clothing stores like Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters. But when I saw the price tags – anywhere from $48-100 – I laughed out loud. I knew I could make my own while still being able to pay my mortgage, so I headed straight to the yarn store.

Cost of my homemade cowl: $5. The smug satisfaction of wearing something you've made and saving  $43: priceless.
I crocheted this cowl using a ginormous size Q crochet hook and one – get this! – one $5 skein of Lion Brand Hometown USA yarn in Napa Valley Pinot. Scroll down for the "recipe." Even if you are a beginning crocheter, you can easily finish this cowl in about 2 hours.


In this age of technology, the quantified self and ready-made everything, wearing or using something DIY is nostalgically self-satisfying. If only for a few minutes, you feel as self-reliant as Ma in Little House on the Prairie. What, besides food, have you made from scratch lately?  Below are a few other things I've recently sewn:

Liverpool dress. Pattern by Amy Butler. My first sewn collar. I had to lie down after finishing it.

Easy-peasy halter dress from One-Yard Wonders. This cost about $6 to make!


Scrap-bag potholders from Lotta Jansdotter's Simple Sewing: Patterns and How-To for 24 Fresh and Easy Projects




My 2-Hour Chunky Crochet Cowl


Left cowl: $5; right cowl: $48 at Anthropologie. Both are acrylic. I like mine better.


You'll need:
  • 1 skein Lion Brand Hometown Yarn
  • 1 Q crochet hook
Loosely cast on 35 stitches.

Row 1: Single crochet to end. Chain 2. Turn
Row 2. Double crochet in third stitch. Double crochet to end. Chain 3, turn then begin single crochet row in second stitch.

Repeat these rows until you are just about out of year Sew or crochet together seam. If you want an infinity cowl, twist the seam before sewing the edge. Trim yarn ends and wear proudly.

This non-food recipe is dedicated to my pal, the ever-fabulous Kittee who just knitted this amazing sweater. Kittee makes a lot of her own clothing. I vividly one of her kreations – a chicken-print skirt she wore at the VidaVeganConference in 2011. Our styles are very different but we both love making our own stuff from scratch. 

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9 comments:

windycityvegan said...

Love the cowl, what a gorgeous color! The dresses are gorgeous, too. I love challenging myself to knit or sew something that I've seen at Anthropologie or J Crew.

Theresa said...

Crochet is my favourite craft - it's so quick! I'm working on a string bag at the moment, and then will move on to a flower garland for my office neighbour. It's too hot right now to think about crocheting anything to wear!

Mattheworbit said...

Oh, I so admire people who can sew, knit and create - it's just the ultimate, being able to wear or have something handmade, and filled with love!... I'm just not that great at working with my hands, so alas, I will admire from afar. It looks great.

Jennifer said...

Awesome cowl! I had a great knitting pattern for one and made a bunch for gifts (and myself of course!). I, however, can not crochet to save my life; it takes me longer to crochet the edge of something I knitted than it takes me to knit the whole garment! And you have some pretty amazing sewing skills as well... Your dress is adorable! I will break out my seeing machine again someday and get past A line skirts!

Unknown said...

nice work :) i've been really into snoods/cowls/shawls the last few months and have sewn/knit/crocheted six of them. there were a few fabric baby-sized striped beach balls, and quite a few homemade christmas decorations including bunting and a pompom wreath. it's festive in here :) ~erica in pdx

Kittee Bee Berns said...

yay, i can post now! this is awesome. i love seeing your make and wears!
xo
kittee

Catherine said...

I've made soap, hand cream, lip balm, and deodorant lately! I would really like to learn to sew this year, though!

mims said...

great job on the liverpool dress.... I know what you mean about having to take a lie down after successfully completing a difficult sewing job (settign in gathered sleevs does me in).

Andrea said...

A two-hour crochet project is just my speed. I'm sure I have a skein of yarn lying around. Your potholders are gorgeous, but have you ever tried crocheting "magic potholders" with cotton yarn? It's another quick project with satisfying results.

I laughed at your description of having to lie down after making the collar — I know that feeling well. Nice dress!