Finally, a crochet scarf pattern for beginners that is designed to cover or reinforce all the important foundational basics of crochet, that intermediate and experienced crocheters will hopefully also enjoy making and possibly even learn from!
My fellow crocheters, let me get real and be honest here. As a former beginner crocheter who now teaches people to crochet, I find the typical "beginner" crochet projects to be both boring and usually inappropriate for beginners. I find a shocking number of crochet patterns labelled as "easy" and "perfect for beginners" when they are in fact neither!
Here's a sampling of what, in my view, is poor but common advice for beginner crocheters. All of this advice was found in numerous locations on page 1 of Google searches for beginner patterns and project ideas:
- "Make a blanket" - asking a beginner to invest time and money in a large project like a blanket or afghan, made with stitches that work up very slowly like single crochet, is setting them up to fail. Yarn companies are the worst for this.
- "Make a scarf" - OK yes, I've designed a scarf but the pattern contains a ton of tips and tricks for beginners and the project itself involves lots of practice in different foundational basics and techniques. Suggesting a beginner make a scarf using double crochet in rows (for example) is asking them to create a project that will likely bore them and that no-one will want to wear when it's done
- Washcloths and dishcloths. This is what (a knitter) recommended that I make when I went into a yarn store to ask about what projects were good for beginner crocheters and which yarn I should buy. I was sold cotton yarn, when plant fibres are most definitely NOT the best fibre for beginners to start with because they lack elasticity.
- Crochet kits. Most crochet kits labelled as great for beginners just...aren't. They either:
- use yarn that's the wrong weight for beginners (like bulky yarn, just because it works up quickly)
- include hooks that are the wrong size for beginners (anything much smaller or larger than a 5mm hook is unlikely to provide a beginner-friendly experience)
- supply yarn in the wrong fibre like cotton or yarn in hanks (don't ask beginners to wind yarn!)
- are amigurumi projects that are too small, too fiddly or require too much sewing (or worst of all, all 3)
It's almost like we want beginner crocheters to fail?! To be clear, none of the patterns or projects or kits I found looked "bad" to me, they just didn't seem to me to be a good fit for someone learning to crochet.
I designed this scarf for beginner crocheters because they get to:
- make small squares - this gives beginners lots of repetition and practice without it taking so long to complete a square that they get bored
- use a hook that is the perfect size (5mm) together with high quality yarn that's the right weight and made from forgiving fibre (assuming they follow my recommendations)
- practice over and over the basic techniques they need to master, like working into a foundation chain, but the foundation chains are small enough that practice isn't (hopefully) frustrating
- master foundational stitches like single and double crochet and get to experience both working in rows and working in the round
- learn how to edge and block their squares as well as join them and finish their scarf
I want to set beginners up to succeed, so the pattern is comprehensive, includes lots of tips and tricks, as well as both written and charted patterns for a number of different squares:
- regular single crochet
- Moss (or linen or granite) stitch
- single-colour granny square
- multi-colour granny square
- Lemon peel stitch
- Bean stitch
And intermediate crocheters can also make:
- A long Wave square
- Catherine's Wheel stitch square
Detailed instructions are included for edging, blocking and joining squares, together with options for finishing as either an infinity or regular scarf.
I don't believe that learning to crochet should be a stressful experience when crochet itself is such an effective stress reducer! So I use this scarf as the basis for my program which teaches mindful crochet, "The Relaxed Creative. Master mindful crochet and enjoy therapeutic crafting, anytime, anywhere and every day"
In addition to making the Spice of Life scarf we also make a number of small, standalone projects that can be completed in a short period of time. The projects (like amigurumi, home textiles, a headband, fingerless mitts and more) are designed specifically for beginners. In addition to giving program participants more practice, these small projects also enable them to feel the sense of gratification that comes from finishing something. The other participants in The Relaxed Creative program find it both inspiring and motivating to see these finished products and it gives them the chance to cheer their fellow beginners on.
Tiu started the program at the end of February and here's what she had to say after only 2 classes: