Homemade gift series: crocheted hat and scarf

Take one needle, add a big pile of yarn, an internet connection, and a few hours (which can be in front of the TV), and you can create a beautiful and useful gift set.

Trent Hamm / The Simple Dollar
Trent's daughter models a hat and scarf that her mom crocheted in about eight hours. You can learn to knit and crochet from websites and YouTube videos, and transform an inexpensive bundle of yarn into a heart- (and neck-) warming gift.

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.

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.

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).

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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