Sunday 8 February 2015

Teddy needs a scarf

For months now my son has been asking for a scarf for his teddy, imaginatively named Teddy. So this weekend I finally relented and agreed to cast on a scarf. I'm a bit of a sucker for magazines that come with 'free' yarn, not that I ever buy them full price, and in the past six months I have managed to buy three magazines, each with 6 balls of yarn for only 50p each, so decided that my son could choose his colours from this little yarn stash (experience tells me not to give a three year old too many options). He had 15 balls to choose from, and I let him choose 10 colours (I had suggested 5 so that I used up most of each colour in the scarf, but he decided that more colours would be better; he is three after all).

I love getting the kids involved with my crafting, and considered letting my son choose the order the colours were going in, but that risks some truly awful colour combinations, so I decided instead that he could choose whether the scarf would be knitted or crocheted, and how many rows there should be in each stripe. I've done this before for squares for blankets and it's good fun as, if you stick to what he says, you can't predict what the item will look like.

Can't resist a rainbow

My son chose crochet (and then knitted. Apparently Teddy needs two scarves. I'm not totally sure my son knows the difference between the two fabric types; he definitely knows the difference between the two types of tool though). I arbitrarily let him pick 17 numbers between 1 and 10 so the stripe repeat didn't match the colour repeat, hopefully resulting in a very multicoloured scarf. He came up with this number list:
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9
  10. 10
  11. 11
  12. 12
  13. 13
  14. 14
  15. 15
  16. 16
  17. 17
Which reminded me (again) that three year olds don't always do what you want. So instead I used the random number generator in Excel to tell me how many rows to do in each colour, between 1 and 5 in each.

And then I cast on. As the yarn is DK weight I used a 4 mm hook and a starting chain of 21 (20 sts plus one for turning). I crocheted for an entire episode of Breaking Bad (yes, I am a little behind in my popular TV viewing. Don't tell me what happens!), then went to bed. When I looked at in the morning I decided that it was all wrong, much too tight - it was curling up on itself - and decided to go up to a 5 mm hook and a starting chain of 13 (12 sts), much better [although still a little curly - I'm much more used to doing knitting, where I know which stitches curl and which don't; apparently single crochet (US; double crochet, UK) does... It's a scarf for a bear for a three year old, I am certain he won't care].

4 mm hook - a bit curly

The scarf didn't take long to crochet, and I really liked all the random stripes appearing. I did four colour repeats; the first two repeats are much shorter than the second two, and green doesn't really get a look in (randomness is clumpy), but I love it. I think I might use the random stripe width approach for my next ripple blanket. Darning in the ends took a while (of course I left them all until the end), but once it was done my son was delighted. He has requested that he should get one too, which I'm up for, but I might go for 8-row garter stitch knitted stripes instead. Hopefully I'll have enough yarn left from this scarf.
Rather a lot of ends
Ends all gone...
...into my son's cooking pot. Apparently they're noodles
Teddy likes his new scarf

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