New Hobby: Crochet Earmuffs (Shallow Thoughts)

Akkana's Musings on Open Source Computing and Technology, Science, and Nature.

Thu, 14 Dec 2023

New Hobby: Crochet Earmuffs

[Akkana modeling a crochet earmuff] With the cold weather upon us, I've been cranking out a lot of crochet earmuffs.

I'd made a few knitted earmuffs back when I was learning to knit a few years ago. I liked the way they felt and worked — no pressure on my head or ears like with the kind of earmuffs that have a band that goes over the head — but they're tricky to knit, requiring circular knitting with small double-pointed needles and a lot of increasing and decreasing. I'm still not that good at knitting and have a hard time with increases.

It turns out earmuffs are much easier in crochet. You start as if you were making a round coaster or doily: chain five or six stitches, then loop around and start crocheting into the first stitch. Single crochet works best because it comes out the densest: more yarn, fewer holes, so on windy days, or if you're biking and generating your own wind, the cold doesn't come through the holes.

Initially, make a roughly flat disk. I've seen recipes for disks, like crochet two stitches in the second row for every stitch in the first, and so forth, but it never works out quite that way for me. I find that how much I need to increase varies depending on factors I haven't figured out, so just keep an eye on whether the disk is cupping toward you (you're not adding enough extra stitches) or getting wavy (too many extra stitches). After a while you get an eye for when you need to add more stitches.

[Crocheted earmuffs] When the disk diameter gets to about the height of your ear, stop adding extra stitches: just crochet one stitch on top of each stitch in the previous row, which should make it stop being a flat disk and start cupping toward you. After a row or so, switch to reducing, so you're skipping every other stitch in the previous row.

(Can you tell I don't grok crochet patterns and haven't learned the terminology? I've tried to follow a few patterns but haven't had much luck yet. I'm sure I'll get there eventually.)

Anyway, keep reducing until you get a hole that's about the right size to stretch over your ear and keep the muff in place without feeling too tight. Then tie off the yarn and you're done.

If the earmuff doesn't stay in place well enough, you can string some elastic through the innermost loops, but I haven't needed that; they stay on pretty well, even while biking.

Earmuffs make for a super easy project even for a yarn beginner like me, and they're something you can't buy in a store (at least, I've never found anything like them). They don't take much attention, so you can work on them while watching TV, sitting in a meeting, etc. I've been making multiple pairs so I can always keep a set in my bike bag, in my hiking pack, etc. (otherwise I'm liable to forget them). Plus, they're small so I keep losing them.

They're comfy and warm, great on hikes, and make it possible to bike even on 30-degree days. At least if the ground isn't covered with ice and slushy snow like today. They were nice and comfy when we went out for a snowshoe hike around the neighborhood this afternoon — which still seems crazy and fun to a transplanted Californian!

Tags: , ,
[ 15:35 Dec 14, 2023    More misc | permalink to this entry | ]

Comments via Disqus:

blog comments powered by Disqus