“Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons-” Jim Bishop
It’s that time again! Are you ready for spooky season!? I am. This summer was a hot one. Now it’s cooled off and we need to find ways to warm up. I don’t know if you know this, but when it’s cold outside and I’ve tucked my garden in to sleep, one of my indoor hobbies is crocheting. Now I don’t get super fancy with it and sometimes following patterns gets my head in a tangle, but I do like the meditative process of both knitting and crocheting so I’ve put together some easy-peasy lemon-squeezy projects for you for the fall.
One of the easiest projects for any new knitter/crocheter is a scarf. Scarves are wonderful; just pick how wide you want it to be and go till your arms fall off. It’s also a great practice tool to try out more complicated stitches for the more advanced person. You can fancy up the ends by adding tassels. You can swip-swap colors in and out. A super fun idea that I want to try is a temperature scarf/blanket. It’s very easy but does require a bit of planning and a fair amount of dedication. For every day of the year you knit or crochet one row. Sounds good right? The catch is: each row corresponds to the average temperature for the day. There are lots of color guides out there on the internet that correspond to the temperatures, some more complicated than others. The end results in a rainbow of colors and makes for a neat keepsake and reminder of the past year. Plus scarves and blankets are essentially the same game plan. It’s a great project for a first-time knitter/crocheter.
For anyone wanting to learn to knit or crochet, here are some great DVDs in our non-fiction DVD section:
Alternatively, every library cardholder has access to tons of helpful learning guides on CreativeBug. Have you ever been to CreativeBug? It’s fantastic! On the Salina Public Library’s homepage, go to “Services”. Then just log in with your library card and you have access to tons of arts and crafts videos and classes taught by experts.
With any yarn craft, you can get as complicated or as easy as you want with it, but I’m going to stick with pretty basic ideas here and leave the rest to the masters. My next suggestion is one of my favorite first projects: arm warmers. Essentially they’re rectangles that wrap around the arm like sleeves with or without a thumb hole somewhat like long gloves without the fingers. They’re great as a layering piece and pretty easy to do. You can make them with simple colors and then add beads for detail or try out a more detailed braided cable stitch. With such an easy short project, you can really let your creativity run rampant. These were one of my very first projects. They were super simple then I added beads to spice ‘em up.
“I like making a piece of string into something I can wear-” Unknown
Hats. Everyone likes hats. Even cats like hats. Well, maybe not everyone. An easy and cute modification to hats is to make it into an adorable hood. Add ears and you have your very own cat hat! Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself. They are universally useful and fairly uncomplicated, requiring only a few different skills than simple stitching (it’s an excellent project to learn how to increase stitches). Hats are another standard beginner project. You can usually get one done in an evening. That being said, I find hats difficult. I like floppy hats, but when I crochet floppy hats they end up trying to eat my head. Lucky for me, we have tons of books here at the library for easy patterns for hats. I found this book particularly useful for getting the basics of size and then adjusting it for my own needs: Easy Weekend Crochet Hats: A Ski-Style Collection for the Entire Family
It wouldn’t be a list of basic knitting and crochet patterns if I didn’t mention granny squares. They are quick, easy little projects that can be used individually for anything from coasters and pot holders to piecing them into bigger projects like blankets, pillow covers and more. The concept is very similar to quilting in that you create simple yet beautiful squares with as many colors and patterns as your creativity allows. Any of the previous projects I’ve mentioned can also be made using granny squares. They’re the best way to use up those little leftover bits of yarn that aren’t big enough for other projects. Don’t be fooled. Granny squares don’t have to be square. If you’re feeling adventurous, check out this book that I found that has a fresh look at granny squares to help you… think outside the box.
Do you want to knit/crochet but don’t know where to start? That’s okay, SPL’s got you covered yet again. The Library of Things has a full set of knitting needles and crochet hooks.
Additionally, The Stitch and Craft Collective meets every other Thursday to provide a place for fiber crafts and needlework. They meet in the McKenzie Center in Room 2 from 6-7:45 p.m. and no registration is required. Bring your projects and chill with other crafters!
Hopefully I gave you some ideas for the coming cozy season. Feel free to share pictures of your finished projects with me! I’d love to see them. Happy crafting!