I’m a firm believer that there are very few things short of chemical engineering that I can’t learn with a few free hours, YouTube and a decent internet connection. There’s no better testament to this than my recent adventures in being 80 years old — i.e. my love of crocheting. I had attempted to crochet once a few years back, but ended up with nothing but a half-finished scarf that was starting to look more like a really tall acute triangle than a rectangular scarf. I decided to pick up crocheting again a few weeks ago while I was in the process of moving from Champaign, IL to Chicago. With at least five round trips slated in a one-week period, I figured I’d try to keep myself busy. I ended up with this: my first scarf.
By the time I finished my scarf, I started to realize that there was probably nothing made of fabric that I couldn’t crochet, given the time and right color of yarn. My first plan was to try my hand at placemats…which inevitably led to matching coasters and napkin rings. Next, I branched out to cozy cups (I think that’s what they’re called —those things that keep cans of beer cold), which I personally thought were pretty darn cool! After that, I kind of went on a coaster kick — I made circles, I made squares, I made pumpkins, I made snowmen, I made country flags, and of course, I made my fall favorite: apple coasters.
In the spirit of my favorite season, I want to share with you my favorite craft. It’s possible that I’ll share my snowmen come December and something bright and colorful by May, but let’s focus on the present for now. I started taking pictures and video of myself as I made my autumn table gear, but decided I should probably leave that in the hands of the teachers that taught me. So follow my step-by-step guide, complete with links to the tutorials I used.
You will need:
Red, green or yellow yarn
Brown embroidery floss
5.5 MM crochet hook
Brown pipe cleaner
1. Using the white yarn, crochet a spiral out to 3 complete rings. Follow this step by step guide here. I found it incredibly easy to follow — easier than most videos on crocheting a spiral. There are just a couple terms you’ll need to know. Chain, slip stitch, double crochet (dc) and half double crochet. They’re super easy if you watch these short videos.
2. Pick any stitch of the circle as a starting point. Use your red, yellow or green yard now and half double crochet around the whole circle following the pattern of 2 half double crochets in every fourth double crochet stitch. When you get two stitches away from your starting point, do one last half double stitch, followed by a slip stitch as a final stitch.
3. Finish your project. I follow this video, but use my hook instead of the needle.
4. Cut 6 pieces of brown embroidery floss about 6 inches long. Tie a double knot in the middle of each strand. Tie each on onto the yarn with the double knot in the front. Trim ends on the back.
5. Cut a piece of pipe cleaner about 2 inches. Bend a little at the top and twist around the yard to make a stem.
And you’re done!