Permission to Go Off Script – A Crochet Headband Conundrum
Going off script can be disastrous in many parts of life, but for your crochet, it doesn’t have to be. I think we can all relate to that one project that went wrong (let’s never speak of that one again), but some projects can go very right when you stitch outside the lines.
Whether I seem to do it intentionally or not, I find myself off script in one way or another regularly. There are two paths I often veer down with crochet, but in the case of the Ponderosa crochet headband I’ve gone down both . . .
Off Script Part 1 – Why Can’t I Pick the Same Yarn?
This is a question I’ve asked myself many times. It’s as if my brain is incapable of picking that exact option. I remind myself, however, that this is a common occurrence across the fiber world. It’s even something we can give ourselves permission to do with a little guidance.
There is an art to yarn substitution and to considering how yarn weight, elasticity, stitch definition, and drape will change the finished project.
Did I lose you? Bear with me!
This time we don’t need to go too deep, but those four phrases also don’t have to cause alarm, panic, or a big yawn. When you are ready for them, check out this basic yarn substitution article from Carol J. Sulcoski. You’ll be glad you did.
Thankfully, substitution is often much less complicated with accessories – like a crochet headband – than with garments. Despite that, changes could still make or break your projects, so don’t forget to consider these pieces as you get started:
– Check your gauge. This is important for every project, but it’s vital if you are substituting. I’ve found if I’ve gone up or down in yarn weight that my crochet hook size usually changes less than I think. Start by changing just one size at a time, and crochet the swatch until you get the right gauge.
– While you crochet your samples, think about how the variation in thickness of this substitute will alter fit. For this headband, a slightly bulkier finished project would only make it cozier, and that was okay in my book.
– Be sure you have enough yarn to finish the project. Check how much was needed originally, and compare that to your substitution. The original pattern called for 190 yards, so I made sure I had a comparable amount.
This headband called for Sugar Bush Yarns Crisp, a DK-weight yarn (#3). The perfect orange caught my eye at my LYS, as you guessed it, in an Aran weight (#4). I ended up going from the original hook size H/8 to a size I/9 to get the gauge I liked.
With this in hand, I started in, and nothing changed until I reached the finishing section.
Off Script Part 2 – Finesse the Finishing
This is where you can let your personality shine through to make the finished product your very own. Think about the ways you’ve added a small detail or a decorative notion, or changed a border to something you really loved. See, going off script isn’t as bad as you thought.
For the Ponderosa crochet headband, about halfway through, I realized I liked the slightly scalloped edges that were forming. So before I finished, I knew that I was going to skip the edging on the two sides, though I also considered changing the edging or just doing a slip stitch down the length to add structure. In the end, I left the edge raw (as shown close up here).
I also immediately questioned whether to seam the two edges or not. As I talked it over with some fellow crocheters, we agreed that the edges would seam nicely, but adding buttons would be even better.
I considered wood buttons but wasn’t able to find any that would work with the big spaces created in the cable pattern. Enter the simple toggle: big enough they wouldn’t slip out, but not so big as to overwhelm the design.
As I reflect back on the final result of this crochet headband, I realize that this is akin to baking vs. cooking. You can follow the pattern precisely, but as with cooking, you have the option to add your own adjustments (flair), and it can turn out delicious.
Have you found other ways to go off script and love the results? Share some of your favorite off-script crochet moments with us in the comments. Let’s see what we can all cook up together.
P.S. And don’t forget, if you want to get this pattern, you can grab it in the Fall 2017 issue of Interweave Crochet.