Homemade Gift Series #7: Crocheted Hat and Scarf

How to Make Homemade Winter Accessories

My wife, Sarah, loves to make homemade functional items, particularly ones that give her hands busywork when she’s doing something like watching a movie or rocking a baby. Thus, it’s not surprising that crocheting is a natural match for her.

This year, she elected to make a crocheted hat and scarf set for one particular relative (and is considering making a second set). Below, you can see our daughter modeling the output of this work, which took Sarah about eight hours to complete.

Hat and scarf being modeled

Obviously, you don’t need too much in terms of material to crochet – just a needle and a big pile of yarn. According to Sarah, it’s not too difficult to learn how to do it, either; you just need to know five or six simple techniques, then you just repeat them over and over again.

She recommends Lion Brand Yarn’s crocheting tutorial website for those who are interested in learning how to get started.

Hat being knitted

Another element that’s necessary when crocheting is to have a pattern to work from. As you can see in the picture above, Sarah made the hat based on a free pattern printed from a website (here’s the exact pattern she used).

One particularly great source for crochet patterns is Crochet Pattern Central, which offers a small mountain of patterns. Of particular note in relation to this post is the hat pattern list and the scarf pattern list.

Sarah did not use a scarf pattern and instead did it solely from memory, as she’s made scarves in the past for gifts (like the one I often wear in the winter).

Hat and scarf

The finished pair will make a nice gift for someone this Christmas.

Sarah is considering making at least one more hat-and-scarf set for the Christmas season. She estimates that each item took about four hours of nonstop work, but it’s work that can easily be done while watching a movie and can be set aside at almost any point so you can engage in other activities.

This is a gift that turns something very inexpensive and ordinary (yarn) into something beautiful (crocheted garments), with just a little time and care added by the gift giver.

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  1. todo es bien says:

    What a beautiful daughter you have! Congratulations on being blessed and wealthy in so many ways. jcw

  2. Aerin says:

    Beautiful! I love to crochet, and enjoy making gifts for other people. You can keep it extra-frugal by looking for yarn at 2nd-hand stores. I often find brand new balls of yarn at Value Village. I guess people plan to learn to knit or crochet, then change their minds and donate the yarn. I recently got enough colour-coordinated yarn (nice blues and grays) to make a whole afghan, and the whole batch cost less than $20. Considering that one ball of quality yarn can cost $8 or so, this was a real score!

    I love this home-made gift series! I love to make and receive home-made gifts. Don’t let the haters bitching get to you. Anyone who doesn’t appreciate a hand-made scarf doesn’t deserve one.

  3. Tamara says:

    You actually need a hook, not a needle to crochet.

  4. Stacy says:

    That is a beautiful picture of your daughter… the scarf and hat are awesome, too. I’m loving the gift series!

  5. Molly says:

    Cheap yarn store I recently found online: smileysyarns.com Caveat: minimum $50 order plus $13 S/H, but the yarn is as low as A DOLLAR A SKEIN. Quite cheap if you’re going through it fast.

  6. friend says:

    This would be super-easy to knit, too (and then you could use your needle). Cute!

  7. Riki says:

    Needle crafts like knitting or crocheting generally make me want to jam the needle in my eye . . . so maybe that’s why I always really appreciate getting these types of items as gifts. Really good idea, although it’s important to remember to leave enough time to finish without stress. It takes practice to produce work that neat.

    Sarah did a great job! Perfect work.

  8. Looby says:

    Your daughter looks so like you!
    A great source for free knitting and crochet patterns is Ravelry, you do have to sign up to access everything but it is great. I particularly like that you can record all the yarn and needles that you own, so you don’t accidentally buy duplicates.

  9. Diane says:

    I have to second the Ravelry recommendation. It’s a really great resource for looking for patterns and other knitting/crochet information.

  10. Kathy says:

    Knitpicks.com is a place I go to get yarn at a decent price. They have natural fibers/natural-synthetic fiber blends (which I prefer over 100% man made fibers.). You can get a skein of 100% wool for $2.00.

    You can also hit the thrift stores for sweaters, unravel them, and re-use the yarn that way, too. There are tutorials online on how to do this. I once found a cashmere sweater at a local Goodwill for $8. I decided that this sweater was for wearing, but I could have easily decided to recycle the yarn. You can’t even get 1 skein of 100% cashmere yarn for under $10.

    Knitting and crochet are also very tactile hobbies and that’s something people should keep in mind because that can factor in whether or not someone enjoys the craft and what kind of yarn they are going to buy. Synthetic yarns will always be cheaper than yarns made from natural fibers. If you take up the craft, and you don’t like how the synthetic yarns feel as you work with them, that’s going to affect how much you spend on materials and it’s something to keep in mind. But there are deals to be had out there if you know where to look. :-)

    But that being said, I’ve knitted and given things to other people, who really appreciated the time and the effort I put into making something that was unique and made just for them. Money never factored into my decision to do so. I decided to knit and give these to people because I wanted to do something special for them. Perhaps this may not be the most frugal way to give a handmade gift, but time and effort and thoughtfulness always trump money. :-)

  11. Jane says:

    You have to be sure that people like knitted scarves and hats, though. I have an uncle who hands out girly scarves every Christmas to all the ladies in the family, and while they are well done, the colors and yarn he chooses just aren’t my style. I feel bad, but I don’t wear them. Having said that, the blankets he knits are fabulous and we always fight over them in the winter!

  12. renee says:

    I love home made gifts. My G’ma must be related to Jane’s Uncle, I always get gaudy scarves, but what a conversation starter. Wear them until you see a homeless person, then give the scarf to them.

  13. Kittie says:

    @Renee Far kinder to give it to anyone who might admire it. One person’s “gaudy” is another person’s “fabulous”. You might suggest what colors you really prefer to this person who puts their hard effort into something you dispose of.

  14. Carole says:

    Another thought–I was bald in the winter a couple of years ago because I underwent chemo. I purchased several of this style of cap because I didn’nt like to wear my wig very well. So if you know anyone in this situation it would make a helpful gift.

  15. Hope D says:

    I would love to learn to make a Dr. Who (Tom Baker) scarf.

  16. Courtney says:

    Pretty hat and scarf and very cute little girl!

  17. Darla says:

    In addition to the Lion Brand tutorial, I recommend YouTube for videos to help you learn. I especially recommend The Art of Crochet by Teresa, she has covered about any aspect of Crochet you want to learn. YouTube is a great resource to help you learn how to do so many things, or how to repair something. I learned how to fix my sewing machine, saving me a $59 service fee.

  18. Karen says:

    Little model in the making….she is adorable.

  19. Kai says:

    For those who like this sort of stuff, it can be great. You don’t really need patterns for tuques though. Once you’ve done one or two and get the idea of how they go together, you can simply leave it all to your imagination. I knit and crochet, and have made all kinds of tuques. The only one that came from a pattern was the first.

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