Slow Fashion DIY: Beginner Crochet Cowl

[pinterest] I have spent a bit of time bringing you easy beginner knitting projects to show you how easy it is to learn to knit your own wardrobe. Today I have an easy beginner crochet project to encourage you to learn to crochet. Crochet is a lovely slow fashion skill that I would encourage anyone to learn. Crochet is done with a single hook, as opposed to knitting which uses two straight needles. I actually think crochet is quicker and easier than knitting to master, and it is especially easier to learn to tackle more complicated stitch designs as a relative beginner in crochet. But mastering complex stitch patterns is not the purpose of today’s DIY. Today’s slow fashion DIY is designed for an absolute beginner. For this project you will need:

  • 2 balls of 8 ply (DK weight) wool (preferably organic)
  • 4.5mm (US size 7 UK size 7) crochet hook (for the most sustainable version, you can try to find bamboo crochet hooks, however metal hooks may be easier to use for a beginner
  • 1 yarn needle
  • Tape measure or ruler
  • A pair of scissors

To begin the project, you will need to create your first stitch by first creating a Slip Knot on your crochet hook. Once you have your slip knot, if you have never crocheted before, you will find it helpful to watch how to hold the hook and yarn so you know how to work with the hook and yarn in your hands. Then you will need to crochet 110 chain stitches, which will form the base row of your cowl. For a demonstration of how to do this, watch Crochet Chain Stitch video tutorial by Knit Witch. Once you have your 110 chain stitched, you will need to join your length of chain to create a circle. For guidance on how to do this, watch joining your foundation chain in the round. Now you have your basis for the cowl. To start your first row, chain two, then crochet your first stitch into the first chain of the foundation circular row. This is where things get a little confusing- there are different names of stitches whether you are US based or UK/Europe based. I have German heritage, so I have learnt the UK/European names for stitches. From now on in the pattern, I will refer to the stitch name in the UK convention with the alternate US name included in brackets. The video that I will link to may refer to either name depending on where the video is made- also long as you follow the video instructions, you will be doing the correct stitch for this pattern. It sounds more confusing than it is. Once you get started you will get the hang of it, but it is worth knowing the different naming conventions so that you can follow patterns from all localities. So, for the first row we are going to do a half treble stitch (US half double stitch). For a video on how to do this, watch this video on how to do the half double stitch. The rows will be worked in the same way as the straight rows that you see in the video, but you will follow the circle round until you meet the other end. This means that you do not need to flip the project at the end of each row as you see in the video. Work a stitch into each of the foundation chains in the circle until you reach the end. When you have reached the end, join to the start of the row with a slip stitch through the top of the two chains your crocheted at the start of the row. From now on you will continue to crochet in the round beginning each row with 2 chains and then using the same stitch to crochet along the row in the circle, and then joining your last stitch of each row with a slip stitch to the top of chain stitches that began the row. Work in this manner until the cowl measures about 12cm. Crochet Cowl in progress The next row will add a decorative element. Begin the row with three chains. Skip the first stitch and crochet a treble stitch (US double crochet stitch) into the second stitch in the row. You can learn how to do this by watching how to make the double crochet stitch. Now chain 1 stitch. Then skipping the next stitch (the third stitch in the row), crochet a treble stitch into the forth stitch in the row. Chain 1. Continue in this manner, crocheting a treble stitch in every second stitch in the row, and doing a chain between every treble you do. This will leave a gap between each stitch which adds the decorative element. When you have crocheted a treble stitch into the second last stitch in the row, chain one and then slip stitch to the start of the row.

For the following row, you will work one row of half treble stitches, just the same as you worked at the start of this project. Begin with two chain stitches. You will need to work one half treble stitch  into the gap formed by the skipped stitch/chain, into the first stitch of the previous row, then you will need to work your next stitch into the treble stitch in the previous row. Work at stitch into each stitch and each gap until you reach the end of the row. When you reach the end, slip stitch to the beginning of the row.

The next row is the second decorative row. Work this row as you did for the first decorative row: start with three chains, treble stitch into the second stitch, chain 1, treble stitch into the forth stitch, chain one and so forth. Now work another two rows of half treble stitches to finish the project. Once you have reached the end of the second row, slip stitch to join to the start of the row. Then you need finish off and weave in the ends of yarn.

The cowl is now complete and ready to wear. DIY Crochet Cowl


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