Introduction: The 'easy Challenge' Chain Mail Snood
I call this an ‘easy challenge’ because it only takes a few minutes to learn the skills to make the snood, but the project can (and will) be time consuming.
Step 1: Putting the 'chain' in Chain Mail
We start by creating a long chain of stitches. If you have never crocheted before, here’s a basic instruction on how to do so. I wanted my snood to be long enough to be looped twice and still retain a certain amount of ‘drape’, so, I made a chain three times the width of my shoulders. (You really should aim for an odd number of stitches, but I always get distracted and lose count!)
Step 2: Going Loopy
Once you have your chain you are going to wrap the yarn around the hook once and insert the hook into the eighth stitch from the hook. You are now going to wrap the yarn around the hook once, again, and then pull the hook out of the stitch. You should now have two loops on your needle. Wrap the yarn around the hook and pull it through two of the loops. You should (again) have two loops on your hook. Wrap the yarn one more time and pull it through the remaining two loops. Congratulations, you just did a double crochet! Now do two chain stitches and your ready to work along the row.
With your two chain stitches completed, start the double crochet process again in the third stitch away from the completed double crochet. This row is the one that takes the longest as it’s the one that requires the most amount of concentration - it gets easier as time goes on!
When you get to the end of the row, you may find that you have more or fewer chain stitches to work with (if you weren’t counting them), just try to keep the stitch as even as possible in relation to the other stitches.
Step 3: Steady As She Goes...
When starting a new row, chain five and double crochet into the top of the first double crochet. Then continue as before - chain two; double crochet into the top on the the stitch below. When you reach the end of the subsequent rows, give the corner a little tug to ensure that you’re aiming your hook in the right place - it’s really easy to accidentally change the shape while turning.
Let’s have a quick recap of the double crochet. Wrap. Poke. Wrap. Pull. Wrap. Through two. Wrap. Through two. Chain. Chain.
Now, all you have to do is KEEP GOING for about twenty rows. You will probably feel as though you’re not making any progress from about row ten, but it’s purely psychological ;-)
Once you’ve done the long haul, tie off the piece by extending the loop, cutting the work away from the ball of yarn and pulling the loose end through the loop. Then intertwine the tail of the yarn along one edge of your work. The easiest way to do this is with a tapestry needle, but, if you don’t have access to one, you can use your crochet hook to do the same (I did have a tapestry needle, once, but sometimes tools get restless and feel a need to ‘move on’, and they leave without saying goodbye…)
Step 4: It's in the Can (almost...)
Now that the crocheting is done, it’s time to start on the pompoms.
For the size of pompom I have on my snood I used a regular sized tin can as a template. Draw around this, twice, onto thick cardboard. I used a seam gauge to ensure that I kept the inner circle even. Cut these out and your template is ready.
Step 5: Shake Your Pompom!
Place the two circles together, cut a length of yarn and start wrapping it around the edge of the circles. Keep adding yarn until you can no longer see the cardboard. Carefully snip along the outer edge and cut another, shorter piece of yarn from the ball. Slide this shorter piece in between the two pieces of cardboard and fasten with a knot. Then pull each piece of cardboard away, and you should be left with a fluffy ball! Trim off any really scraggly untidy bits and repeat… And repeat…And repeat…
Step 6: ARE WE THERE YET???
I ended up using about twenty pompoms, but I made them in batches so that I could start sewing them on when the constant 'doughnut wrapping' was starting to grate on my nerves. Which ever way you chose, you will eventually need to sew them on to one of the long edges - for this you will just need a regular needle and thread. Be sure that you are catching enough of the pompom when attaching them to the snood.
Did I not mention that you’d need patience?
Once all the balls are on we can close the loop. I waited to do this bit because I wasn’t sure if I wanted to add a twist before closing, or to keep it flat. I chose flat, but you can place a twist in easily if you prefer.
We close the loop, essentially, the same way that we intertwined the tail into one of the edges.
And we are done!