Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Last Minute Bookscarves

So-called because they crochet up incredibly fast and there's still time to make yourself (and a friend!) one for marking your place in Deathly Hallows. They could also make a last-minute addition to any book you might be giving someone as a present, or something personal to go with a bookstore giftcard.

Please note, these bookscarves do not look like the house scarves shown in the HP movies, but they use house colors and they do look like scarves. They work up much faster than movie-accurate ones would and there's no tedious weaving in of ends. Bear in mind scarves are not described in the books, so you can imagine Hogwarts students wearing scarves that look any way you like and no one short of Ms. Rowling herself can tell you you're wrong. I think these lengthwise scarves are darn cute, whether they look like the movie scarves or not; that's why I'm posting the pattern, in spite of the fact it is so simple a project I should be embarrassed to presume to give directions.


steel crochet hook, US size 6 (or thereabouts)

small amount of size 10 crochet thread in two colors--I used red and gold for Gryffindor; substitute blue and bronze (or silver) for Ravenclaw, black and yellow for Hufflepuff, green and silver for Slytherin, or whatever colors you want for non-Hogwarts scarves

(optional) tapestry needle

Incredibly Simple Pattern:

Using red (or whatever your MC is), ch until you have approximately 7" of foundation chain (about 60 st).

Dc in fourth ch from hook, and dc across.

Join gold (or other CC) thread, ch 3, and turn.

Dc in fourth ch from hook and dc across.

Join red (or your MC) thread, ch 3, and turn.

Dc in fourth ch from hook and dc across.

At this point, you may want to iron your scarf, spraying lightly with spray starch on each side.

Now those dangly bits of thread where you joined yarn will become part of your fringe. Find a piece of pasteboard or something else that is about one and a half inches in diameter and loosely wind thread around it--about sixteen to twenty wraps of each color will be enough for one bookscarf. Cut one end of the wrap. Now you just add the fringe to the ends of your scarf. You can do it by poking a crochet hook through the scarf and pulling a doubled strand through and looping it around itself the way we often see yarn looped through a punched hole on commercial bookmarks. Or, because this is such tiny stuff, it may be preferable to thread a piece of fringe in a tapestry needle, pull it through the scarf, and tie it on by hand. When all your fringe is on, trim so it's more or less neat-looking, and you're done. Happy bookmarking.

Alternate version, in case you don't have steel hooks or don't like using them: Use the smallest aluminum hook you have--I used a D hook--and ch about 7" same as above, but sc two rows of each color instead of dc-ing one row. Looks just fine and it is still a fast little project.

Note on length: The length of these bookscarves works with the Harry Potter hardcovers, but if you want a bookscarf to go with trade paperback size books, you're gonna want something a bit shorter.

Note on fringe: While typing this, I had an idea to make the fringe-making go faster: take a long piece of thread in tapestry needle and thread through the end of the scarf repeatedly, leaving loose loops of thread below each part where you put it through--clear as mud?--then cut across the end of the loops. When I've actually tried this, I'll update this with whether it worked or not. [Update: Yes, it works, and it does save some time, although not as much as I'd thought it would.]

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