Sunday, December 03, 2006

Making a Snood, a Lackadaisical Quest

(What is a snood, you ask?)

I posted previously about sewing a snood from mesh fabric and doublefold bias tape: One Way to Make a Snood

As I haven't found additional mesh fabric since then, I figured I was going to have to crochet my own. (Well, either that or order from the no doubt excellent Lady MacSnood whose definition is linked above.) Online searches this summer revealed a scarcity of snood patterns. Of those, half were ballet-type bun covers, a couple made weird little purses that sat at the nape of the neck and strapped over the top of the head, and the few that were left either weren't appealing or didn't have photos. One or two patterns were for knitting, which I hadn't learned to do. I also found some directions for solid fabric snoods, which, while they might have history and might serve a purpose for some women, weren't what I was looking for or even what I think of when I think snood. But despite this lack of suitable patterns, I was not energetic enough to make my own pattern.

Then in The Golden Hands Complete Book of Knitting and Crochet (ISBN 0394485696), I found a pattern for a simple crocheted snood. I made it and, as I suspected, it was only a bun-cover, but I jotted down adaptations to make the pattern a full-size snood. By the time I'd bought new size 3 cotton thread and dyed it to the colors I wanted, I was out of the mood for snood-making, but recently in a spirit of winding things up for the year--and maybe getting a purple snood for Advent--I got out my yarn and pattern and went for it. Or at least I went for it after I spent ten to fifteen minutes deciphering my jottings; apparently I am past the age when a couple of cryptic notes are all I need to recall something entirely to my mind. A couple of versions later, I can provide a basic pattern to anyone who's interested and is willing to read poorly written instructions.

I am including it here, although it is an adaptation, because 1.) the book it is adapted from is out of print; 2.) my understanding is that stitch patterns, nearly all of them being traditional, can't be copyrighted; 3.) my adaptation is a different size from the original, is arguably a different item (full-size snood v bun cover), uses different yarn, uses a different size hook, and is rewritten in my own words, although admittedly there's not a lot of ways to reword a stitch pattern. If you want to see the original bun-cover directions, find a secondhand copy of the book.

Honeycomb Mesh Stitch Pattern

Make a chain divisible by 4, plus 11. (Or so the original stitch pattern says and I've done, but you might want to try plus ten instead.)

First row: Work 1 dc into tenth ch from hook, *ch 4, skip 3 ch, 1 dc into next ch, rep from * until end. Ch 8 and turn.

Second row: Work 1 dc into first ch 4 space in the previous row, * ch 4, 1 dc into next ch 4 sp, rep from * until end of row. Ch 8 and turn.

Honeycomb Mesh Snood

Supplies for the basic snood: about 1/2 to 2/3 ball of Aunt Lydia's Fashion Crochet Thread (a size 3 thread); E hook; a length of either round elastic cord or narrow ribbon long enough to tie around your head (nape to top, not crown)

Ch 47.

Work the honeycomb mesh stitch pattern (there will be ten spaces in the first row), but increase one space at beginning of each row by working one extra dc and ch 4 into the first sp. Do this until you have a row with 18 sp, then work 4 rows without shaping; this will give you a total of five rows that have 18 sp. Then begin decreasing one space each row, by simply skipping over the first space in each row. Keep dec until you have a row with only 10 sp in it. Do not turn. Take your hand and smooth it out--it makes a shape like a Chinese lantern while flat--before proceeding.

Finishing: You will begin working your edging down the side right by where you made your last dc. * 2 sc into next sp, 1 sc into next sp, rep from *all down that side and around to wheere you started. (If when you get down to where you left a tail of yarn from the foundation ch, you pick it up and work it together with the working yarn, you won't have to weave it in later.) Join with ss to first sc. (At this point, you may want to try it on to make sure it will fit before proceeding.) Work two rounds of sc, one sc per st. Fasten off. Weave in tail.

At this point, you can thread elastic cord through the edging, or you can thread a ribbon through and tie your snood on; either works, although the round elastic cord is a bit more difficult to thread through, due to its shape and not wanting it to show. Alternatively, you could tuck the edging inside some doublefold bias tape or folded over velvet or ribbon and sew it down, leaving a small opening, then run some 1/4 or 1/8 inch elastic through the tube, and secure the ends; I haven't actually tried this yet, but there's no reason why it wouldn't work. You may want a few bobby pins to secure the snood while wearing, even if you use elastic.

Ideas for Embellishments. I like simple styles, but some possibilities for fancifying the basic mesh snood might include: adding some beads to your crochet; working with two differently colored threads held together (two strands of size 10 thread held together can substitute for size 3 thread, although it's actually a bit smaller); possibly holding a metallic sewing thread with the regular crochet thread; or stitching a crochet motif, felt shapes, or tiny artificial rosebuds to the mesh. If you'd like to use a wider, more decorative ribbon in the edge of your snood, you could try substituting a row of double crochet for one row of the sc to give you more space.

Notes on size: I have a big head and waist-length hair and this size snood just fits me; adding one or two rows at the maximum space-count in the middle wouldn't hurt me, but might be a little loose for people with average-size heads. My first version--foundation ch of 55, with 12 sp on the first row, and 27 total rows with 11 of them at the maximum space-count of 20 sp--was too big when I simply slipped it on, but when I added a ribbon, it gathered the excess to my head and fits nicely. The smaller size snood doesn't drape as I would like, but the larger one does; however, the smaller size might well drape properly on someone with a smaller head and less hair. The larger version took me about 3/4 of a ball of thread.

The "quest", lackadaisical though it is, goes on.

Although this snood pattern works and I like the simple look of the honeycomb mesh, I'm not 100 percent satisfied with it. I have about four ideas about different ways to get what I want, but I'm not keen to work on any of them. What I'll probably end up doing is just crocheting a flat, openwork fabric that is roundish and gathering it into a fabric band, as I did with the snood I made from purchased mesh fabric.


Marina said...

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Marina (from France)

Naomi Banta said...

I'm catching up on your older blog entries -- love your stuff.

Anyway - there's an SCA site -- the Florilegium that has a good entry on snoods including a very very simple crochet pattern - the entries are here --

Tempted to make one now. :)

Suzanne said...

Thank you for the SCA address; I've bookmarked it to read later.

Since this post I've not crocheted any more snoods, but I knit one using this pattern by Craftster user ozbourne:
It's not as fancy as some of the crocheted ones out there, but I like it. You basically just knit a circle of ribbing that will go around your head, then work a lace or mesh pattern to make a bag.