Saturday, 10 June 2017

Broomstick Rainbow Finished for You

Cowl displayed on wooden coathanger as if it were around the neck. The cowl has one twist in it and two layers around the neck. Rainbow stripes are in the following sequence dark blue, light blue, green yellow, orange, red, and then in reverse.  The background is a wooden trellis of diagonal slats.
Continuous Scarf (Cowl) in Broomstick Lace
made by Jodiebodie, May 2017

Side view of cowl hanging flat against a light orange brick wall. It is approximately 10 brick-heights long. The cowl is in rainbow stripes.
Side view of cowl.
There are 80 stripes in total.


This is my latest creation in broomstick crochet, worked from January 'til May this year.  It normally wouldn't take that long to make but 2017 has been a ridiculously hectic year so far.   How has 2017 treated you so far?

For me, it's been busy, hectic, tiring and stressful. I've been pushed past my limits in many ways, making a mockery of medical advice to "pace yourself".

Any parent who hears that will probably scoff at that advice which assumes we have total control over everything in our lives–not very realistic in the pressured modern world of demands and deadlines. When you throw children and schools into the mix, watch out for chaos in even the most organised calendar.  

Suffice to say, I've been exhausted much of the time with my crochet whims at the mercy of external forces.  Somehow, amidst the days of falling into bed without so much of a glance at a crochet project, I managed to make slow progress on this broomstick cowl.

Close-up of cowl on the blocking board before it was joined into a continuous scarf.  The board is white with a 1 inch grid. The scarf is secured by glass-headed pins at regular intervals of approximately 2.5 inches.
Reverse side of Broomstick Rainbow Cowl on blocking board.
I used the steam iron to steam the fabric which is why the reverse side is facing up.
The grid of 1-inch squares shows a tension of 6 stripes per 5 inches.
The cowl was blocked 7 inches wide.
Slow progress. That's the way it's been rolling for me lately. Much of my crochet is done during those little moments here and there, in-between other activities, but this year, the fatigue fog seems to have rolled in to stay. Those small breaks where I can pick up a hook and still have enough brain power to concentrate are becoming rarer. 

That's why I am so excited to be able to share this finished cowl!

I completed the 'broomstick-ing'* back on 1 May in the hospital but it took until weeks later to sew the ends together after blocking the cowl first. 
A close up of the cowl showing the whip stitch join.  The join is made with the loose ends in dark blue and light blue. The join is along the edge of the darkest blue stripe on the left hand half of the picture.
A simple whip stitch was used to join the short ends of the scarf
to turn it into a cowl.
I chose whip stitch instead of crochet stitches
because it leaves a thin, almost undetectable seam.

It  is interesting to discover how many names people use to describe this sort of scarf, joined at the ends to make an endless ring of cosy crocheted colour:
  • continuous scarf
  • cowl
  • snood (pronounced like 'food')
  • snood (pronounced like 'hood' or 'good')
  • infinity scarf
Do you make any distinctions between these definitions?

According to my Macquarie Dictionary the correct Australian pronunciation of 'snood' is like 'food' yet I've heard a number of people pronounce it like 'good'. 

Whatever you call it, I love this broomstick crochet rainbow and it is now for sale at Gallery M. I wish I could keep it for myself but I already have my own broomstick rainbow to wear. This one is so evenly tensioned, it deserves the limelight of the gallery.

The finished cowl on a wooden coathanger against a wooden trellis of diagonal slats.  The cowl is straight, no twists, hanging down as if it were around the neck once. The inside of the join can be seen behind the coathanger in the centre in light blue where it would normally be at the back of the neck when worn.

Gallery M is in the Marion Cultural Centre, about 30 minutes' drive from the centre of Adelaide, South Australia, and it is a not-for-profit exhibition space used by many local artists with an adjoining Gallery Shop.  The beautiful handmade items are superb. I wish I could afford to bring home a bit of everything!  Homewares, fashion accessories, gifts, cards and scarves (including my silk mohair scarves too) plus artworks of course and more.

Project Details
The cowl is finished and folded like a concertina in three layers, resting on the blocking board which is white with a green 1-inch grid.
The finished cowl folded,
reverse side up.

Yarn: Katia 'Darling', 60% virgin wool 40% polyamide, 100 g / 190 m per skein, 2 skeins, colour 201, lot 70680
Hook: 3 mm aluminium 'Pony' hook with blue plastic handle
Broomstick: 15 mm wooden knitting needle
Finished Dimensions 
After blocking, the cowl relaxed into a slightly reduced width:
  • width: 16 cm (6¼ inches) after blocking to 7 inches
  • cirumference: 165 cm (65 inches)
Ravelry project page:

Have you had a chance to try broomstick crochet since 
I shared my first broomstick crocheted scarf?

Do you prefer straight scarves
or continuous scarves like this one?

*I've done so much broomstick crochet recently that I am turning 'broomstick' into a verb! Editors and English lovers are going to hate me! This is precisely the type of thing that annoys me too but it's quick. My fallback excuse: languages are dynamic–they are continually evolving. 

Related Posts on Lupey Loops

"Mayday! Mayday! RAH, rah, rah!", 17 May 2017: 
Pictures of this cowl in progress. 

"Get on your Broomsticks!", 31 October 2016:
Making my first ever broomstick scarf.

"Silk Mohair Scarf Delivery", 2 July 2015: 

"First of the Autumn Scarves", 3 April 2014:

Links & References

Gallery M, Marion Cultural Centre,
287 Diagonal Road,  Oaklands Park SA 5046, South Australia, Australia:
Phone: +618 8377 2904

Katia Yarns:

Lola Lovegrove, 688 North Road, Ormond Victoria 3204, Australia:

Tex Yarns, distributors of Katia Darling in Australia and New Zealand:


  1. Yay! Well done for completing your scarf against the odds. I love the fact that it's for sale. The tension you have achieved is wonderfully consistent and the colors are fab. I've only done a little broomstick before, a single 5 inch square swatch for my Craft Yarn Council certificate but I really enjoyed the technique and the resulting stitch pattern. I guess your weather is starting to get cooler now - scarf wearing weather. Wishing you all the very best from Texas x

    1. Thanks, Tamara!

      Yes, it is definitely scarf-wearing weather. The overnight temperatures have been down to around 3°C and 5°C (37-41°F) in Adelaide - good sleeping weather and quite balmy compared to Canberra and a place in South Australia called Yunta which have about -5°C (23°F). The forecast was for 7°C (44.6°F)at the footy the other night.

      We've had relatively warm winters in recent years; my children were sceptical about my stories of walking to school with the frosty grass crunching underfoot until this year when the weather got back to my kind of winter. If it's going to be winter, be cold and frosty like winter is supposed to be! I do enjoy having four seasons.

      One day I went into Gallery M wearing my first broomstick rainbow scarf and the boss said "I want one in the shop!" Everyone who sees it has something positive to say about it.

      On the very day I delivered this rainbow cowl to the gallery, a customer had asked about whether there were any rainbow coloured scarves. I was just a few hours too late but they must have known something!

      Not to worry. There are more and I have ordered more of that beautifully coloured yarn which keeps getting softer and warmer with wear. I love it!

  2. Well done you for completing this beautiful project. So sorry to hear you have not been having a good time of late. Hoping you will feel a little better soon. Take care.

    1. Hi Lorraine,

      I'm feeling much better now after a very frustrating time.

      I'm sure it's a chaos theory thing - a whole lot of important, urgent things happen all at once and they cannot be ignored.

      I'm sure it's the same phenomenon as traffic where it comes along in bunches and then nothing. Concerts and social events happen like that too - suddenly there will be three invitations for three different things all on the same date and then there will be nothing for months!

      I am enjoying the 'gap' time at the moment, catching up on blogging and getting a chance to 'think crochet' again.

      Does your life happen 'in bunches'? I'm sure you have a long list of jobs to get through since moving house this year. I hope you are not pushed too hard and find time to rest and catch your breath in between.

      Take it easy!

  3. That is beautiful and gallery worthy. I have never tried that method but it is intriguing.

    1. Hi Marianne,

      The hardest thing about learning broomstick crochet (I found) was finding the most comfortable and efficient way to hold the broomstick and hook at the same time but that's no different to regular knitting or crochet.

      There are written instructions in an earlier post "Get on Your Broomsticks" (link listed above). There are bound to be videos online too. I chose not to add photos because of my limited energy - why re-invent the wheel when someone is bound to have a photo tutorial already made? Having said that, if you or anyone else in the Lupey Loops circle can't find something like that and you need one, let me know and I will do my best to oblige.

      The broomstick crochet technique certainly is intriguing. I thought I had come across another broomstick crochet pattern for a garment but, on closer inspection, it seems to be knitted. It is on the Katia website here:

      At first glance, I thought it was broomstick crochet done in diagonal rows until I checked the details. That has me intrigued now. I expect it to be the same principle except in knitting. The pattern page quotes the following knitting techniques involved: Twisted Stockinette Stitch, Twisting a Reverse Stitch, Lace Stitch, Drop Stitch, Pattern Stitch.

      I'm interested to know what you and other experienced knitters think. Have you ever made a fabric with that kind of pattern before? The construction elements fascinate me - I could never get bored with these crafts. It is interesting to compare the ways in which knitting and crochet approach the same problems. There is so much to learn!

      Never stop learning, right Mary-Anne? :-)

    2. P.S. Dear Mary-Anne,
      I just realised that my phone must have auto-corrected the spelling of your name here. I'm terribly sorry and will be more careful that it doesn't happen again From now on, you can call me Judy instead of Jodie! xx

  4. Congrats on finishing! It sure is bright and colorful. Since it's long, I'd call it an infinity scarf. A shorter one that just fits around the neck would be a cowl. A snood (like hood) would have to go up over your head. :)

    1. Hi Tammy,

      Thanks for sharing your definitions and your pronunciation. That's so interesting!

      Since writing the blog post, I found the definitions that uses for designers to categorise their projects:

      "Cowl is a closed loop that may be close-fitting or loose; may be worked in one piece or fasten closed; are intended to always be worn closed. Some cowls may be pulled up to protect the ears and head as well as the neck. (Items shaped or primarily intended to cover the head or hair belong in a headwear category.)"

      "Scarf is for hanging or tying about the neck, for warmth or decoration. Scarves typically have two ends that can be tied or fastened together and do not extend to cover the shoulders. (A scarf intended for the head should be kerchief under hair accessories.)"

      "Snood used to be a sort of bag worn at the back of the head to hold long hair, but is changing to include cowls large enough to stretch up over the head."

      According to Ravelry's definition, my project would be a cowl and not a scarf and it could also be called a snood because it is a cowl that can be pulled over the head although I don't think it would be as warm as a hood unless I wrapped it multiple times.

      In my experience, cowls have always matched your definition of a shorter scarf.

      According to my dictionary, a cowl is a "hooded garment worn by monks" or "the hood of the garment" or a "hood-shaped covering for a chimney". So that links the ideas of cowls and hoods. No wonder there are so many interpretations.

      The Macquarie dictionary defined snood firstly as a "distinctive headband" from Scotland, "a band or fillet for the hair" and then the definition I was familiar with, "a netlike hat or material worn to confine a woman's hair". I think of the 1940s and 50s fashions.

      I'm confused! That's why it is so interesting to find out what others think and what terms are in use where they live. Even within Australia we have different names for the same things in different places.

      Thank you so much for your contribution, Tammy.

  5. What fantastic colors! I can only imagine how warm it would be on a cold, winter day!

    1. Hi Betty! Welcome and thank you for taking time to visit; super thanks for taking time to give your feedback and not being shy. I love meeting new blogging friends.

      The scarf is very warm despite looking 'holey' - the yarn has a soft 'halo' which traps air and makes it warmer. I am getting a lot of wear from the first broomstick scarf I ever made and it gets softer and cosier each time but doesn't lose its stitch definition. I'm very pleased with it. It is deceptively warm because the fabric feels so lightweight (you forget you are wearing a scarf at all) but the wool content keeps the temperature on your neck 'just right' and toasty.

      I'm sure you would know a lot about cold winter's days in NZ. You'll have to give me a rundown of what makes a favourite scarf for you and your weather conditions.

      So nice to see your comment here today. Cheers! :-)

  6. Well done finishing the scarf when life has been so trying. I find nothing happens for a while then everything comes at once too. I've tried broomstick crochet and really liked the stitch but haven't made any items from it yet. Hope life gets easier for you soon. Hx

    1. Hi Helen,

      Thank you for your thoughts. It's nice to know I'm not alone in my "all or nothing" experience. We live in a crazy world.

      Things have settled down for the moment so I'm feeling better and trying to make the most of the lull. Thank you for your good wishes.

      What sort of project would you like to make with broomstick crochet? I've seen patterns for blankets, vests, belts, ties and tops as well as scarves. I'm working on a hat design at the moment.

      I'm glad you gave broomstick technique a try. A variety of projects will improve our crochet skills. The main thing is to have fun.


  7. I hope you are feeling better now, more in control, and as cheerful as this bright scarf.

    1. Hi Amalia,

      You have summed up the situation perfectly. Thanks for your friendly support.

      I am feeling better both physically and emotionally. I'm getting through the pile of things that need attention and the body is behaving after more disciplined rest.

      It helps that I've found time to not only think about crochet but actually get the hooks in hand for some playtime. It is no coincidence that more crochet = happier me.

      Your pretty and whimsical crafty blog posts delight me so and also help to bring a smile to my face and an escape to an imaginary world even if just for a few moments. Every little bit helps. Thanks for continuing to share your work and spread your goodwill around the crafty Blogosphere.

      Wishing you a happy week. xx