Outside The Box

Outside the Box by Cheri McEwen
By Cheri McEwen

Photos: Cheri McEwen

Sometimes a thought enters my mind that I just have to try. I’ve seen hundreds of people “arm knitting” during the last few months and it reminded me of the “finger crocheting” I did when I was young. My brother and I would sit for hours and “crochet” chains and pull them back out. It was a great way of increasing manual dexterity and keeping a young child busy. It never dawned on me when I was six that I could do anything with the chains. Now that I’m older, I can think of all kinds of things to do with them! I thought I might be able to put this to use with my idea for a scarf/cowl and a six year old desperate to do something to fight boredom while on a school break.

Difficulty: Easy


  • Worsted weight yarn
  • N/15 10mm hook (optional)
  • Tapestry needle

Outside the Box by Cheri McEwen


A quick search on YouTube will net several ways of holding your hands while finger crocheting, but I think my favorite is by HappyBerry.

I set my little munchkin loose with a skein of yarn and an hour or two later I had a skeins’ worth of chain. (If you don’t want to finger crochet a super long chain or have a willing youngster to do it for you, then a worsted weight yarn and a nice big “N” hook works just as well.) Make sure to roll your chain into a ball as you go to reduce the chance of knots!

Once you have your new “yarn,” use it to crochet another chain. (It will be a doubled up chain yarn when you finish.) If you are using a hook, then work loosely with the “N” hook or go up a couple of sizes to a “P” or “Q.” This will yield a super bulky yarn, just like those really thick and chunky ones used for arm knitting.


Row 1: With your double-chained yarn, ch 13, turn.

Rows 2-4: Sc in 2nd ch from hook and each remaining ch. (12 sc) Ch 1, turn work.

Fasten off, but don’t cut the yarn. Use it to weave together the two ends and you end up with a wonderfully thick and chunky cowl. I chose to wrap the seam with the last little bit of the yarn to give it a butterfly effect at the join.

Need more ideas?

If you have access to more than one kid needing a project, have them work with different colors of yarn and then braid them all together to make a beautiful braided scarf.

A doubled chain will make a long skinny scarf.

Tripled chains will make a thin, normal length scarf.

The chains can be woven together to make small rugs!

Chains can be wrapped around a tree like a garland!

Use it to wrap around a Styrofoam wreath for a holiday decoration!

The possibilities are endless. It just takes looking at those chains and imagining what else they could become.

About the Designer
Cheri McEwen Cheri is a stay at home mother and wife. She has been designing knit and crochet patterns for about 5 years as a way of maintaining her sanity. She is an avid science fiction and crime drama aficionado and often pulls details from these genres into her pattern designs.

Pattern & images © Cheri McEwen. All rights reserved.

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