I was recently doing my usual surf-for-gold crochet pattern searches and came across a post in The Crochet Addict of a woman who was nearly done with her plaid blanket and was expressing what a relief it was to be finished with it. The blanket was gorgeous (I went looking for the photo afterwards and couldn’t find it again!), in the typical red and black plaid colors with some other colors woven through it.
I had never seen or considered doing something with plaid patterns before. I’m not Scottish, I don’t have a tartan, I don’t particularly like plaid (though I live in hillbilly NH, I should!) so it’s never been something that I’ve been motivated to investigate. This blanket was gorgeous enough to give me a focus for my searches. I thought maybe a scarf would give me enough work to sample the crocheted plaid workup without committing to a huge blanket.
I found this pattern for a Big Tartan Super Scarf that looked pretty, but looking at the pattern a second time, it takes FIFTEEN balls of yarn! FIFTEEN! As pretty as it is, it might as well be a blanket. No thanks.
I continued my Googling and came across this site for 10 Free Plaid Crochet Patterns. The first pattern for wash cloths (the direct link is here) seemed fast and workable, and what I really liked is that the pattern didn’t call for weave throughs of chains or strands of yarn once the frame of the plaid has been worked up. For one, the Crochet Crowd said that weaving the yarn was a huge nuisance, and I would rather generate a product that I knew had all of the stitches attached across the weave.
There is a helpful video on the website, though I prefer to just follow a written pattern unless I get really stuck on a pattern. The only time I had to refer to the video while working up my wash cloth was on how to work the final chains around the rest of the work to make the plaid design.
Per usual I ignored gauge and hook size suggestions and just used my favorite J hook and figured I would deal with whatever got worked up. And boy I did. This swatch that I finished measures about 2′ x 4′. More of a body towel than a wash cloth!
And, per usual, I don’t like it. It doesn’t look plaid to me! It looks like a white background with a bunch of stripes on it. Perhaps it’s the colors I chose – rather at random and trying to align with the colors of the exemplar photo – or perhaps it’s that the hook I used is so large that the stitches aren’t close enough together to get the plaid look going. Not sure what. But I know I don’t like it. I don’t even know which side is supposed to be the ‘right’ side.
It was going to go into the Goodwill bag until C. saw the finished project and complimented it. She promptly got the mat/towel/large wash cloth stuffed in her bag to go home with her.
I’ve done some more searching and intend to do a faux-plaid scarf with variegated yarn using a yarn pooling method and the moss stitch. Will update on how that goes.