Shells and Lattice Crochet

Click to enlarge so you can see the pattern better.

So I know I said I was going to learn to knit this year, and I am. In fact, I have already knitted one project (despite much cursing and pulling out of stitches). I doubt it will ever be natural for me the way crochet is, so I probably won’t ever make any of the really lovely (but complicated) sweaters and things I see patterns for.

And beginner projects are always so very basic that they’re hardly appealing at all.

But often I think the same about crochet. Still, some beginner crochet can look quite accomplished. So here’s a very, very basic pattern that still looks lovely when made up. The only stitches you need are double crochet (DC) and chain (CH) and adding yarn (which I do with a slip stitch for this one).

And the best thing about this scarf is that it is extremely tolerant of mistakes. Most common error: putting six DCs in the shell instead of 5 or forgetting to put the CH where it belongs. You’ll go along to the next row and go “blast, if I count, I have too many DCs below!” but it doesn’t matter. Don’t rip it out. Just skip 3 DCs instead of 2 and make sure your next DC goes in the right place. Forgot to put a chain in? You won’t have *enough* spaces in the row below, but ignore that and just put the chain in on the row you’re working on and then go ahead and DC where you’re supposed to. I promise, it will work out.

That said, those fixes ONLY work if you don’t use a self-striping yarn. I wouldn’t recommend variegated yarn for this project for beginners because that will show mistakes.

This scarf came from several sources–it’s a combination of  a scarf pattern I could never make work (I think the author had the numbers wrong, but she didn’t reply to email), along with some shell-stitch wrist warmers that I love the look of and wanted a scarf to go with. But the problem with shell stitch for a scarf is that you have flat on one end. So you make this scarf in two pieces (don’t worry, you don’t have to sew them together or anything complicated). That way you get pretty waves on both ends.

Center of Scarf

The centerline of the scarf, where two pieces attach

For ease, I’d make this using two skeins/balls of wool. That way you know both your ends will be the same length. Essentially, you’re going to make one side the length you want, then go back and start from the chain end and make the other side. This leaves a center line that’s visible but pretty.

I used Berrocco Flicker for this scarf, which is a worsted weight (#4) yarn. But to make it long enough at this width, I had to use 2.5 skeins. You could probably do just fine with two skeins if you went down to a 46 beginning chain rather than the 54 I have listed. (You can see a chart for this at the bottom of this post.)

Shells and Lattice Scarf:

Chain 54 (basically, the number of chains is dependent on the width of scarf you want. If you only wanted one shell, you would need to begin with 14 chain stitches. Each repeat is 8 stitches, so it goes up by 8 depending on width: 14, 22, 30, 38, 46, 54, 62, 70….all the way up to blanket size!)

Row 1: 1 DC into 6th CH from hook, skip 2 CH, 5 DC into next CH, skip 2 CH, 1 DC into next CH, CH 1, skip 1 CH, 1 DC into next CH, **skip 2 CH, 5 DC into next CH, skip 2 CH, 1 DC into next CH, ch 1. Repeat from ** until end, then turn.

Row 2: Ch 4 (look at the graph; these make up the first DC and the first CH), skip CH, 1 DC into DC, **skip 2 DC, 5 DC into next DC (this will be the 3rd, topmost, DC of the shell, and you’re making the next shell on top of it), skip 2 DC, 1 DC into DC, CH 1, skip CH (so you now have a chain above a chain above a chain–nicely lining up), 1 DC into DC. Repeat from ** until end. Beginner note: At the end, if you’re not used to double crochet, you’ll find you have a sort of loose loopy thing (see graph). For this second row, there will be five. Those five make up the bottom chain stitch of the first row’s pattern, the three that make up the height of the DC, and the chain stitch of the row you are working on. So place your stitch into not the TOP one, but second from the top. In this case, it is the fourth CH out of five, in future rows it will be the third of four.

Row 3:  Ch 4 (again, these chains make up the first DC and the first CH), skip CH, 1 DC into DC, skip 2 DC, 5 DC into next DC, skip 2 DC, 1 DC into DC, CH 1, skip CH, 1 DC into DC, ch 1. Repeat from ** until end. When you get to the loopy bit at the end, don’t forget to skip the first chain and crochet into the second.

Future rows are all the same as row 3–just make it until it’s the right length or until you run out of half your yarn!

Now for the second half.

There are several ways to do this, but after a couple of experiments, I found looking for shells was easiest. I want my shells to match up and I know that each shell is made up of 5 DCs and that on each side of a shell I have a pattern of DC, ch, DC. So I attach my new yarn (I like to use a simple slip stitch and weave in ends later, but you can attach however you like.  I make 4 chains, because I know that’s what I need to get the height and single chain. Then I don’t bother to try to count the chains. Especially with fuzzy yarn, it’s really hard. I just look for the first DC and DC into that. Now, I know that I have done DC, CH, DC, so it’s time for my shell. Look for the shell and put 5 DCs into the space created by your first shell. Keep going all the way to the end, then just repeat Row 3 to the end of the scarf!

Block if desired or necessary.

Ends of the scarf

The lovely wavy ends of the scarf created by the shells.

Scarf Chart