One of the latest trends in the yarn market is self-striping sock yarn. Knitters and crocheters are braving the double-pointed needles, the circular needles for Magic Loop socks, socks made on two circular needles, and small crochet
hooks once destined for lace making to experience the pure indulgence of handmade socks.
Once you wear handmade socks, with each of the 17,000 stitches receiving individual attention and special care, store bought socks just don’t feel as good. Socks are made from cuff to toe, toe to cuff, with lace, cables and bobbles, single color, or multiple colors. But what if you don’t want to learn how to make socks, yet those dashes of color which magically turn into perfectly proportioned stripes, with their white lice pips and names like “Vineyard”, “Sweet Tarts”, and “Lumberjack Red” beckon to you? Or you love making socks and want something besides a scarf or wrist warmers to match your handmade treasures?
How about a hair scrunchie made from sock yarn? These use only a little bit of left over sock yarn, match your socks, tie your hair back in a cute ponytail, and just like every handmade item – unique to you; no two are ever the same.
All you need is very basic crochet skills. The only two stitches you need to know are single crochet and half-double crochet. If you don’t know how to crochet, you can find many free tutorials, lessons and videos on the Internet and in needlework magazines.
Several excellent sites to teach yourself are:
1) Crochet Guild of America http://www.crochet.org/index.shtml
2) Crochet Cabana http://www.crochetcabana.com/
3) Crochet at About.com http://crochet.about.com/
4) Crochet Me http://www.crochetme.com/index.html
5) Crochet School http://www.geocities.com/crochetschool/
Check your local library for “How-to” crochet books. With knitting and crocheting declared as the new yoga, there’s plenty of free, excellent books to check out. Your library might host a knitting and/or crocheting meeting as well. Many of the large-chain craft stores also have free to very reasonably priced lessons in knitting and crocheting.
Now that you know how to crochet, let’s get our tools together.
Crochet hook in size F
Approximately 18 yds of sock yarn, fingering or DK weight yarn.
medium to large sized plain, elastic hair band
It’s said the beginning is the hardest part. And this is true of this pattern. But really, it’s not that bad. Our goal is to get this piece of thin string around an elastic circle. Here’s how:
1)Make a slip knot around one edge of the elastic. Easy!
2) With your hook, starting from the inside, grab the yarn from the bottom edge of the elastic. Pull it over the top, and hook another bit of yarn. You should have two loops on the needle. Hook more yarn, pull through like a single crochet.
3)Repeat all the way around the elastic. You’ll want all the elastic covered.
4)Slip join at your starting point.
5)Half-double crochet for another round.
6)Repeat step 5 as many times as you like – I stop at four rounds. The more rounds, the more ruffles. Remember to join the end of the round with your beginning with a slip stitch.
7)When you reach the “done” point, snip the yarn, pull the tail through your last loop and weave the ends into your stitches to hide them.
Now you’re ready to pull your hair back into a cute ponytail.
To wash your new wooly treasure, fill your sink with warm water, add a squirt of your favorite shampoo, and let them soak for a minute or two. Gently squeeze the scrunchies to work the shampoo through. Drain. Rinse in warm water, squeezing to get the soap out. Lay flat to air dry.
If you don’t want to use self-striping sock yarn, any yarn in fingering or DK weight will work just as well. My only note of caution is to make sure you use a smooth yarn since you don’t want your hair to get tangled in the hair scrunchie. The faux fur yarns seem to catch and tangle my wavy hair. If your hair is board straight, faux fur might work. Then again, you often have to hear sarcastic remarks about the back of your head being attacked by a rabid creature. For you extra creative types, you can play around with dying your own yarn.
Enjoy making and wearing your new hair scrunchies! Let your creative-self loose; there’s no limit to the colors, textures and size.