Happy Thanksgiving! To celebrate this day of abundance, I'm giving you a present—thanks to a 13-year-old boy who learned to crochet little scarves for Beanie Babies.
Here's the story: Shortly after my last enewsletter, about scarf patterns, I received an email from a reader who wanted to make the blue-striped Retro Scarf. Specifically, her son wanted it for his girlfriend.
First, her son, Chris, crochets. So I like him already.
He learned how to crochet when he was 13 after he was given a stuffed dog with a crocheted scarf by a group called HeartMade Blessings. This group “is a world-wide group of volunteers dedicated to providing hand-crafted items to those people suffering a loss, tragedy, or going through a rough time that need to be reminded of the simple fact that people care.” The gift came to Chris because a friend of his was killed in a shooting accident.
“I wanted to help other kids out," Chris told me. "I liked how it made me feel that someone I didn't know cared enough to let me know that they were thinking of me. So mom and I went through my Beanie Babies and I made scarves or blankets to go with each one.”
Learning wasn't particularly easy. Chris is left-handed, so his right-handed mom taught him using the mirror method, she said.
After crocheting a flurry of mini scarves and blankets for the Beanies, Chris put down his hook. Until now.
Chris, now 22 and living in Joliet, Ill., wanted to make a scarf for his girlfriend, Jes, in her sorority colors: royal blue, light blue and white. His mom scouted out some patterns, but nothing was quite right. The Retro Scarf is quite right.
The plan is for Chris and his mom to crochet it together in time for Christmas. “When she mentioned me doing it, I freaked since I haven't crocheted anything in years,” Chris said. “I'd like to help out with it, but I REALLY want it to look good for Jes too.”
So now all they need is the pattern.
I made the scarf, um, a really long time ago. So I channeled my teenage self, sitting on the floor in my childhood bedroom, crocheting the long, long (100 inches long!) scarf. I pulled out the same turquoise aluminum Size J hook that I used to make the original scarf, gathered up some new yarn and set to swatching.
After some tugging and studying, I came up with a pattern that creates the diagonal-striped scarf. The single-crochet-chain-one stitch pattern gives the scarf solidity without weighing it down – and because you're essentially working every other stitch, it moves along pretty quickly.
And on this day of giving thanks, I give you the pattern for the Retro Scarf.
And to thank you further, the Interweave Store has marked all patterns 20 percent off. The sale lasts through Nov. 30—stock up on a cornucopia of patterns for gift-making. (While you're there, check out Scarf Style, with 31 fabulous patterns to crochet and knit. I love this book!) Shopping online will help you avoid the mad crush of Black Friday—and give you more time to crochet!