Fancy Schmancy Stashbusters…

We all have them.  Treasured in boxes, stored on shelves, lovingly collected, often taken out and admired, never used.  I’m talking about our yarn stash – and not just those random leftover balls of yarn from prior projects, but those precious one-time purchases from random boutique yarn shops, or travels across the country/world, or colorways that you bought thinking “this is AWESOME, I’m sure I can find the perfect project for purple/green/mauve/mulberry yarn!”  And of course, since you only bought one (because it was probably $25 and it’s not like you need two balls of purplegreenmauve yarn), and said ball of $25 yarn is, I’m sure, in a special dye lot, there you have it, that now lone ball that can never be multiplied, never turned into anything larger than a small scarflet or hat or MAYBE a pair of gloves.  It just sits on the shelf, enticing you with its possibilities, begging to be used but somehow begging more to be left alone and simply admired for the things that might be, but never are.  That’s how it is with my Malabrigo merino yarn, purchased in my home town in upstate New York on a quick three day leave from Beijing.  It’s so soft, so beautiful, so variegated, that I’m pretty sure I’ll always just keep it, a lone hank of wonderful yarn that I occasionally pick up and rub.  I know, I’m weird, but I have a feeling you yarners out there will understand.

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There’s a word in Chinese:  she bu de (捨不得), that best translates to “hate to do/hate to part with” that perfectly sums up my attitude towards my precious stash.  I am she bu de to use it up and commit it to something solid.  Sometimes I prefer to just look at the un-knit/un-crocheted yarn and simply consider the possibilities of ‘what if’?

However, today I’m here to not just wax poetic on really expensive fancy yarn, but also to submit my personal collection (across Pinterest, Ravelry, and Etsy) of potential she bu de yarn busters.  These all fast, almost all free, and yarn-budget-friendly, with simple stitches that showcase said yarn, and hopefully are pretty enough to deserve that skein you’ve been holding onto since 1998.  I’ve done some of them, others I’m still holding on to for future she bu de yarn purchases.  One can never have too many cowls… right?

(Click on picture to go to pattern link)

If you’ve REALLY got a lot of time, colorways, and desire to make sooper rainbow mitts, here you go.

I love pretty much anything from the Purl Bee, and their yarn is always gorgeous.  Plus, free patterns!

If you’ve got just a bit of extra luxurious soft yarn, whip up this hat for a baby.

First cowl of the day!  I love the wooden buttons.

So maybe this doesn’t necessarily need luxury yarn, but omg c’mon, this pattern is awesome.

This is one of the most popular patterns on Ravelry, and for good reason – it’s hard to find a very manly yet cool standard hat that any guy will be willing to wear.  Ask my husband.

I’ve had this one saved for ages, and even bought eight skeins of Bernat roving to make it.  I just got distracted by the forty other projects in the time it took the yarn to come in the mail.  #toomuchyarn

For your super bulky yarn, this one whips up in a jiffy and is gorgeous with the repeating leaf pattern.

So. Pretty!!

If you’ve got a bit of extra yarn, this baby jacket is wonderful.  It’s classic and works well for both boys and girls, and can be embellished to the nines with buttons or flowers or trim.

I could go on all day, but for the sake of your tired eyes I’ll stop.  What are some of your favorite patterns for fancy yarn??

Free Pattern: Diamond Lattice Chain Crochet Infinity Scarf

6/13/2013 UPDATE:

MY FRIENDS!  Thank you for coming by to visit this post!  When I peruse my stats (because I am a statistician, that is what I do), this post always has a bazillion people clicking every day.  I sincerely hope you are all chaining your way to awesome scarves.

That being said, yesterday I stumbled across a free pattern from the always awesome, always famous The Lovely Crow on a “Genius Headband“.  When I clicked on it, I discovered that 1) it was pretty much the same lattice pattern as below, but 2) it has a WAY BETTER finishing technique than mine.  I read the instructions and already I could tell that it creates a seamless, awesome finish instead of the weird lumpy row I was improvising.

So, that being said, please feel free to visit Ravelry and download the pattern yourself for reference.  You’ll need an account, but I have a feeling most of you came here from Ravelry in the first place anyway.  😛  Good luck!

*Start original scarf post*

This is my most used go-to scarf pattern.  I love it because 1) it’s super easy, 2) it’s super fast, and 3) it’s super yarn/budget friendly.  I mean, with all these incredible bonuses working in its favor, how can you *not* be inspired to grab a skein (and a half) of bulky yarn and whip one out too?

Diamond Lattice Crochet Scarf Pattern | Classy Crochet

This scarf is great because the bulky yarn and extra long length keeps you super warm, but the open lattice work keeps you from smothering to death.  This is very important because there is simply nothing worse than being simultaneously freezing when it’s cold out, yet having sweat dripping down your chest and feeling like you’re about to choke.  Not that I speak from personal experience.

My favorite bulky yarn is Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick n Quick.  It comes in a variety of really great colors (my personal favorites are citron and lemongrass), it’s that so-helpful blend of acrylic and wool which means it’s cozy and warm like wool but non-scratchy and most importantly machine washable like acrylic, and you can find it everywhere online and in stores and usually for a great deal too.

I can’t even remember which hook I normally use – K, L, or M all work with this pattern.  There’s no gauge, no swatch, no important notes to reference.  And all you have to do is know how to chain.  Wha-?  That’s right, this is tooootally a beginner’s scarf.

Let’s begin!

Diamond Lattice Crochet Scarf Pattern | Classy CrochetWith your hook and yarn, ch 30

Diamond Lattice Crochet Scarf Pattern | Classy Crochet

Row 1: Slip stitch into the 10th chain from the hook.  Ch5, count every 5 chains, slip stitch, repeat to the end.

Diamond Lattice Crochet Scarf Pattern | Classy Crochet

Row 2: ch5, turn, and slip stitch into the middle of the ch5 loop (or third ch).  Repeat: ch5 and slip stitch into the middle chain of each loop.

Diamond Lattice Crochet Scarf Pattern | Classy Crochet

End of row 2.  Ch5, turn, and repeat.  Chain chain chain away until scarf is desired length.

Diamond Lattice Crochet Scarf Pattern | Classy Crochet

I usually make this hat with 60-75% of one skein of Lion Brand Thick n Quick, and use the rest and an additional skein to complete the scarf.  It makes the perfect length, AND it’s budget friendly.  (Who would have thought you could get a nice crocheted hat AND a really long scarf out of only two skeins of bulky yarn?!)  When you reach the length you want, flip the scarf over…

Diamond Lattice Crochet Scarf Pattern | Classy Crochet

…and line up the other edge.  You can either make a loop, or twist it once for a ‘mobius’ effect.  Starting from the blue arrow, insert your hook and sl st both sides together.

Diamond Lattice Crochet Scarf Pattern | Classy Crochet

…like so.  Ch3, then sl st into the top of both loops (the right white arrow on the previous photo).  Ch5, sl st into two loops four times.  Ch3, sl st into both loops at the end (last white arrow on the left).

Diamond Lattice Crochet Scarf Pattern | Classy Crochet

Your finished edge will look like this.  It looks like just another row.

Diamond Lattice Crochet Scarf Pattern | Classy Crochet

It will leave a bit of a bumpy ridge when you lay it flat, but I’ve never had anyone complain about it, and it’s barely noticeable when you put it on.

Diamond Lattice Crochet Scarf Pattern | Classy Crochet

Loop that sucker around your neck and go conquer the world!

11/23/2013: Final addendum.  I’ve had several people ask (very nicely) if they could sell scarves made from this pattern.  Please, feel free.  If you’ve put the time into it, you should reap whatever benefits you want.  I humbly request a link or acknowledgement of some kind to this post, but otherwise, chain away to your heart’s (profitable) content.  Thanks!!