Thursday, October 29, 2015

On the Hook: Crocheting with Tencel from Teresa Ruch Designs

In September, we featured this lovely hand dyed 100% tencel yarn from Teresa Ruch Designs.  The color and shine caused a lot of chatter among our members on Ravelry as everyone planned their next project.  Many mentioned they had worked with a tencel-blend yarn in the past but most had not worked with a yarn entirely made of tencel.  This was my first experience with 100% tencel as well and I have to say, it was quite a treat!

Tencel (also called lyocel) is a man made fiber that is created from wood pulp.  Yes, wood pulp.  It is an environmentally friendly cellulosic fiber that acts like other plant-based fibers.  Absorbent and breathable, it can be used like silk or bamboo and has a lustrous shine to it.  And just by holding it, you can tell that this yarn will have incredible drape.

One of the biggest questions asked by our members was, how do I block tencel?  Do you soak it?  Spray blocking?  Steam?  What would be best to showcase this gorgeous fiber?  I did some research and didn't come up with a definitive answer.  Some said soaking was best while others suggested a spray blocking.   So I did what we should do when faced with such a question: test out my desired method on a test swatch.

I promised our members that I'd create a bonus pattern with Teresa Ruch's yarn so I already had a gauge swatch to test my blocking.  After watching this video from Knitting Daily, I saw how the tencel behaved when wet.  When dry, it's very strong and when wet, it stays very strong.  I decided that I would try to soak and block the swatch.

On the left is a swatch from the pattern that has not been blocked.  On the right is my gauge swatch that I soaked and then aggressively blocked (I figured, if I'm going to block it, I might as well see how far I can go with it).  The tencel held up beautifully with the soak.  The fiber stayed nice and strong.  My stitches opened up giving me a lacy look.  And my yarn's shine was still very much there.  Big win for the tencel!

Now on to that pattern I promised...

With this yarn, I wanted to design a scarf using an open stitch that would allow the yarn to drape.  After playing with some stitches, I settled on a double crochet cross stitch where you skip a chain, double crochet in the next chain, then work behind that stitch and double crochet in the skipped chain.

As I stitched away, I thought about what to do for the edging.  I liked the way each row finished off so I really just needed to focus on the ends of the scarf.  As the silky texture of the yarn slipped through my fingers, beads came to mind.  Just a little extra sparkle would be a great pairing for this scarf.

Before I give you the pattern, I'd like to leave you with a couple notes.

I didn't block my finished scarf as aggressively as I did my gauge swatch.  I wanted it to still have that slinky drape.  When blocking, my width didn't stay exactly where I blocked it.  It relaxed about an inch.  I think part of this is because of the yarn and part is because of the stitch itself.  The cross stitch has a little stretch to it (which you will see when working it up).  But like I said, I still wanted my scarf to have that slinkiness to it so it's not that big of a deal.  The yarn holds the blocking well and I'm quite happy with it.

Also, tencel is crazy thirsty.  It immediately soaked up the water and went to the bottom of my tub.  I expected it to take a long time to finish drying but much to my surprise, it didn't take longer than most other yarns.

The scarf was designed using the Tencel 3/2 DK weight yarn but you can easily use the Tencel 5/2 lace/light fingering weight with a smaller hook and smaller beads.  With the lighter weight yarn, you can choose to make your project wider for more of a wrap than a scarf.

There are a few different ways to add beads to your crochet and knit projects.  My favorite is to use a string of Super Floss and add the beads when I need them.  Watch this video to learn more about this beading method.

I hope you enjoy your finished scarf as much as I enjoy mine!  It's becoming one of my favorite accessories!

Crisscross Applesauce Scarf
by Aimee Hansen

Size H crochet hook
Size G crochet hook
Teresa Ruch Designs Tencel 3/2 DK Yarn
Size 6 seed beads (optional)

Pattern Notes:
In this pattern, we will make the double crochet cross stitch.  First, you skip a chain or stitch and double crochet in the next chain.  Then, working behind the stitch you just made, double crochet in the chain or stitch that you skipped.

The chain 3 at the beginning of each row counts as the first double crochet of that row BUT the chain 1 at the the beginning of the row does not count as a single crochet.

In double crochet cross stitch pattern, 11 pattern stitches across x 7 rows high = 4"x4".  Because of the stretchiness of this stitch, gauge is not important.

To make the scarf wider, increase beginning chain by a multiple of 4.

If you would like to use the lace/light fingering weight and make a wrap, use a size F or G hook depending on how open you'd like your stitches.  Increase the beginning chain by 4 chains to the size of your liking.  Continue the pattern repeats till your piece is as long as you'd like.  Do not change your hook size for the last row of edging.  For beads, use size 8 or 10 seed beads.

Finished Measurements:  Approximately 75" long x 8" wide unblocked; 92" long x 9" wide blocked.

ch - chain
sl st - slip stitch
sc - single crochet
dc - double crochet


With H hook, ch 36. 

Row 1:  DC in the 5th ch from hook (the 4 skipped changes count as first dc and one skipped chain).  Working behind the last st, dc in the skipped ch.  *Skip 1 ch.  DC in the next ch.  Working behind the last st, dc in the skipped ch.  Repeate from * to last ch.  DC in the last ch.  Turn. (32 stitches; 16 cross stitches)

Round 2:  Ch 3.  *Skip the next st.  DC in the next st.  Working behind the last st, dc in the skipped st.  Repeat from * to the last st.  DC in top ch of the turning ch.  Turn. (32 stitches; 16 cross stitches)

Rows 3-120:   Repeat row 2.  On the last row, continue on to edging.  (32 stitches; 16 cross stitches)


Row 1:  Ch 1.  Sc in the first st.  *Ch 3.  Add a bead to the loop on your hook.  Skip 2 stitches.  SC in the next st.  Repeat from * across.  Turn.  (12 single crochets, 11 ch 3 spaces)

Row 2:  Ch 1.  Sc in the first st.  Ch 1.  Add a bead to the loop on your hook.  Sc in the middle ch of the next ch 3 space.  *Ch 3.  Add a bead to the loop on your hook.  SC in the middle ch of the next ch 3 space.  Repeat from * across.  Ch 1.  Sc in the last st.  Turn.  (13 single crochets, 10 ch 3 spaces, 2 ch 1 spaces)

Row 3:  Ch 1.  Sc in the first st.  *Ch 3.  Add a bead to the loop on your hook.  Skip 1 sc.  SC in the middle ch of the next ch 3 space.  Repeat from * across.  Turn.  (12 single crochets, 11 ch 3 spaces)

Rows 4-6:  Repeat rows 2 and 3 one time.  Repeat row 2 one more time.

Row 7:  With your G hook, ch 1.  Sc in first st.  *Ch 2.  Add a bead to the loop on your hook.  Sl st in the back ridge of the last ch made.  Ch 1.  Add a bead to the loop on your hook. Sc in the middle ch of the next ch 3 space.  Repeat from * across.  Ch 3.  Sc in last st.  Fasten off.

Turn your piece and join your yarn to the bottom ch of the first row's beginning ch 3.  Repeat rows 1-7 of edging.  Fasten off.  Weave in all ends.

Making this pattern?  Remember to link up your project on Ravelry.  We'd love to see your finished project!


  1. Love this pattern and the finished look. Especially with the beads. Great job, AJ!! And thank you.

  2. Oh, dear. I'm slightly confused. How is row 1 repeated? It looks like in the photo that you just repeated row two 4 times. Repeating row 1 would result in the SC being in the 1st chain of the CH3, as opposed to the 2nd, no? :(

    1. Thanks for catching this! It is a row 1 repeat but instead of skipping 2 stitches, you sc-ing in the ch 3 spaces. I've updated the pattern that repeats row 1 but the language is changed to sc in the ch-3 spaces.

    2. Welcome! Thanks for clarifying! :)


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