One of the many things I put together for people for Christmas was this gorgeous crocheted scarf. I haven't crocheted for a long time, and I thought it high time that I re-learn the skill, particularly as I have Krystyna around to give me a hand when I get stuck on the whole US/English mis-translations.
It's one of the reasons that I haven't done any for a while - when I was teaching crochet to my fellow crafters at our University Craftiness Society I got entirely confused because the size of my projects never turned out right. Krystyna has since informed me that there's a completely different notation system for England compared to the US, so I'm re-reading all of my patterns carefully to see where I've been going wrong.
Anyway, Krystyna introduced me to a beautiful pattern for the Luna Lovegood scarf from Harry Potter, created by pinkleo. It's such a pretty scarf, and I thought it would be perfect for my friend Rowena, and for my Granny. I decided to make the scarf shorter than the original pattern, partly because of time constraints, and partly because my Granny prefers shorter scarves; pinkleo's pattern calls for a starting chain of 383, I used 290 for my shorter length version. In the end, I ended up making it from one 50g ball of King Cole Galaxy, which has sequins woven into the yarn for extra sparkles, and knits up as DK, with a size 4.5 hook. I used 'Mercury' since it fit so well with the original colour - though I'm considering trying it out in 'Venus' (black) or purple at some point.
It turned out to be beautifully soft - I was a little worried that the sequins might be scratchy, but they really weren't - and looked great! The pattern was easy to follow (once I'd translated it from US to UK), and one of pinkleo's friends, ariaya made up a chart for it, which was great to refer to when I got stuck. It's a pretty good pattern for beginners who are looking for a bit of a challenge. I'd very much recommend both the pattern and the yarn.
If you need a good hook size converter from US to UK or back again, try Yarn Forward's helpful guide; they also do a decent stitch converter, too.