Hopefulness Scarf Pattern

Hopefulness scarf

Hopefulness scarf

This scarf was designed for a lovely friend of mine who has had some truly horrible times lately. Somehow she remains one of the sunniest people I know. I have been very affected by her courage and ability to look to the future.

I used one skein of Malabrigo lace to make this scarf i.e. just under 430m and a 2.25mm hook (US size B I think). I strongly suggest that you choose a solid colour yarn to make this scarf. Or at least a semi-solid with only a small amount of variation in depth and a single hue. The stitch pattern will be lost in a heavily  variegated yarn.

The finished project, once blocked, is approximately 150cm long and 30cm wide.

The pattern is deceptive. While it uses simple techniques and only four stitches, it is not easy to memorise and you will probably need to use the chart the whole way through. I did!

The stitches used in the chart are chain stitches, UK triple/ US double, UK triple two together /US double two  together. The edge  pattern which I have written out below also uses UK half treble/US half double crochet stitches. From now on I will use US notation.

Hopefulness Scarf detail

Hopefulness Scarf detail

The pattern is worked in two halves from the middle of the scarf outwards.

I apologise that this is a hand-drawn chart that I’ve scanned in. I have done my best to make it clear and easy to read but if anyone struggles I am very sorry.

Chain 74 stitches. This is the foundation chain. The first turning chain (shown on the chart) is not included in this number.

(An aside: The pattern repeat is 24 stitches wide. So to make the scarf wider or narrower chain a multiple of 24 plus 2.)

Then work according to the chart, starting with the turning chain of three.

My pattern testers suggested that placing a stitch marker after each repeat helped them to stay on track with the pattern.

Please note that the pattern looks neatest if you work the double crochets into the tops of the relevant chain stitches instead of around the chains. I know it’s quicker to work around the chain but it looks really sharp if you actually work into the stitches.

Another point to mention is that if you are working the chart correctly the double crochet stitches should create smoothly curving vertical lines. Please click on the detail picture above to see what I mean.

After working the chart twice through, work the edge.

Modelling the Hopefulness Scarf

Modelling the Hopefulness Scarf

Edge pattern:

1. Chain 2, work a row of half double crochets.

2. & 3. Chain 3, 3 doubles, *2 chain, skip 2 stitches, work a double crochet in each of the next 2  stitches, repeat from * until the last 4 stitches which are all doubles.

Repeat rows 1-3 then repeat row 1 as the final row. Bind off and weave in ends.

Attach the yarn to the reverse of the foundation chain and begin again with the chart.

To download the chart* click here: HopefulnessScarfChart

The scarf really benefits from blocking to straighten out the edges and open up the lace.

I hope you enjoy making this pattern.

For a variation, have a look at the chart. It is divided into two sections. If you just repeat the first section, instead of alternating with section two, you will also get a pretty lace but this time the arches will stack on top of each other instead of being offset like scales.

Thank you for reading, please send me comments or questions.

Special thanks to my volunteer pattern testers, Ravelry members: kimothy76, jacquimorse, Mshanane, SmallCrochet, AnarchyCox, wlindboe, lorithetrainer, ManicBeach, yarnedaround and funisinstyle.

*Extra super special thanks to Aparna Rolfe for making a professional quality chart for me on her pattern drawing software to replace my scruffy hand-drawn one. Her designs on Ravelry are well worth checking out by clicking her name. Lovely, stylish, contemporary  work.

Coffee with Supermum

Erel speaking at the South London Press- Shell 'Our Heroes' Awards

Erel speaking at the South London Press- Shell 'Our Heroes' Awards

Erel Onojobi is one of those people who’s both fantastically inspiring and so completely down to earth you immediately feel at home in her presence. She’s an ex-colleague and a good friend. A serial social entrepreneur whose goal in life is to get positive portraits of young black Londoners into the public mind. This in the face of a government and press that seem intent on scapegoating  urban youth for every possible societal ill. Erel is also charming, honest, generous and possessed of the most infectious giggle I know.

We meet in outside a station in West London and head to a cafe for a catch up and to talk dream and projects. It’s been over a year since I’ve seen her and she has her little boy, just turned one, in a buggy. He is, of course, an adorable bundle of round eyes and chubby little cheeks. Even though he’s got a spring snuffle, the sight of him standing on the cafe seat holding onto his mum’s shoulder makes me as broody as anything.

“His dad taught him to climb the stairs.” says Erel shaking her head, “Bad idea. He’s gonna fall down them.” I remember my mum telling me stories about how I learnt to climb up stairs before I learnt to get down. How she used to spend all day racing to the top to bring me back, only to have me determinedly set off again. It suddenly comes home to me how much energy that would take up. I dunk a biscuit in my cappuccino and consider that maybe broodiness is one thing but having a baby is quite another.

I ask her about her work projects, Ministry of Thrift and Set Fashion Free. Ministry of Thrift is a consultancy specialising in creating tools to help people, particularly young people, manage their money better. It has funky retro branding and a focus on social media. This is of course awesome, but today we’re here to talk about her other project. The one that connects with my deep, deep love and fabrics and design.

Set Fashion Free is a charity that bring young Londoners together to learn to design and make clothes using African textiles and then showcase them in a judged catwalk competition. The young people visit museums and learn about African imagery and crafts as well as meeting designers and fashion industry insiders to learn about real world of the ragtrade.

“Well, everything has to fit around him,” she gestures at her son, “And I’m supposed to be winding down Set Fashion Free and handing it over but somehow we’ve ended up doing an e-commerce site.”

This is news! Surprising but somehow not so surprising. Erel wind down? Seems unlikely. And Set Fashion Free has been a successful and growing organisation since 2008, working with high profile partners like the V&A and Goldsmiths University as well as garnering awards for Erel and exciting opportunities for the young people. Not to mention that African inspired looks are smoking hot this season.

“Afrikouture is a shop selling designers who make clothes in African textiles. We want the young people to have somewhere to go with this. Not just to make the clothes in a bubble but actually to be able to sell things. We want to sell them to white people too. I’ve had people ask if they can wear the clothes and I say ‘Yeah, of course, this isn’t just an African thing!’ ”

I tell her I’m relieved because I’ve seen some beautiful pieces made in African fabrics, but I always feel like I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes by wearing them.

She laughs at the idea. “Nah man, it’s good. Wear what you like! We want our clothes to be for everyone.”

Afrikouture is still in development but the signs  are very promising. Erel has a gift for bringing people on board and in her words “Doing a lot with nothing.” A skill we all need nowadays. Somehow I find myself asking if there’s anything I can do.

“The crafting community are very supportive of independent design.” I muse. “Maybe I can put the word out and see what comes back.”

“That would be great!” She says.

Her little boy sneezes and as she wipes his nose I think of all the women in the craft world who are doing the same thing: taking care of their baby with one hand, their business with the other.

It would be great, wouldn’t it? I think.