Maybe Matilda: How to Crochet a Curlicue . . . and a Crochet Korker Bow Headband!

Friday, September 2, 2011

How to Crochet a Curlicue . . . and a Crochet Korker Bow Headband!

Have you ever wondered how people make these little yarn curlicue doodads? They're kind of cute, don't you think?

I was so intimidated by them when I learned to crochet--anything beyond a basic row or rectangle seemed frightening, and something that curled so nicely must certainly be horrific to try and make, right? So when I found out just how simple these guys are to make, I knew I had to pass it on. It's easy to get a bit carried away, since they're so quick and so satisfying to make:

And once you have a little bunch of them, you've got to put them to good use somehow . . . and I thought a crochet version of the good ol' korker bow we all know and love would be a great way to implement these fun little curlicues! (Also, I googled this . . . I think it may actually be an original idea. What what! Something new on the interwebs!)
(My poor son. He'll have so many things to tell his therapist someday. And he or she will definitely retire in style to the Bahamas, courtesy of me and my many offenses toward my poor baby boy. But lest you think he's too abused, he definitely puts up a good fight during our modeling sessions lately . . . )
 (Gone are the days when he'd just lie there like a cute little lump smiling at me with hats and headbands on his head . . . sometimes--especially when I'm holding a camera--I really miss those days.)

Anyway, I think this headband (and especially those colorful curlicues!) is so sweet . . . wouldn't it be particularly fun on a birthday girl? It kind of makes me think of curled gift ribbons on top of a pretty present:
Want to  make your own little crochet curlicue? They're so easy, and you only need a very basic knowledge of crochet stitches. Here's a little help if you're new to crochet--you just need to know the chain stitch (which you can learn right over here) and the double crochet (click here to learn), and if you need to see them in action, just head to youtube and search for them there; you'll find tons of videos of people demonstrating these stitches.

I used scrap pieces of yarn (you don't need much) and an H hook, but size doesn't matter a whole lot. Start by making a chain that's as long as you want your finished curlicue to be, plus 2. So if you chain 10, for instance, and that looks about the length you want your curlicue to be, just chain 2 more for a total of 12.

Make one double crochet in the 3rd chain away from the hook, the one marked by the needle:
Your work should look like this now:
Now just go down the rest of your chain, working 2 double crochets in each stitch of the chain, like so (so you'll be doing one double crochet in the stitch, then another in the same stitch, before you move on to the next chain--2 double crochets in each.):
Now just fasten it off (click here for a how-to). When you get to the end, it might look a little weird--maybe it'll be a bit wavy, but in a pathetic, half-hearted way, or maybe it will just be a little half moon shape, like so:
But if you take one end and start to roll it, it will curl up into a cute little curlicue, just like you wanted it to:
You did it! So easy, right? Now, don't tell anyone how simple it is (let's keep it a little crochet secret, okay? everyone will think we're amazing), whip up a few more, and make a headband! (My curlicues ranged in length from a chain of about 9 to about 15--I wouldn't go much longer than 15, as they started to get a little out of control when I sewed them onto the headband.)
You'll have 2 yarn tails on each curlicue--the piece that you started with, and the tail that was left over when you finished it. Weave in the ending yarn tail (how to here), but keep the starting yarn tail for now. You'll need a headband to attach your curlicues to--I'm not coming up with a new pattern for you today, but I'll help you out . . . I highly recommend this headband pattern (it's the one I used to make the headband pictured here), or you could use the instructions for my knotted crochet headband (just leave out the knot and you're good to go!), or you could even use a store bought stretchy headband, or attach your curlicues to a clip and forego the headband altogether (also, blogger doesn't seem to recognize the word forego . . . it's a real word, blogger, get with the program. I'm not just making words up.).

Just take your starting yarn tail, weave it under a loop or two of the headband, back up into the curlicue, and tie a knot. Weave in the yarn tail like you did at the start and cut off the excess. Keep attaching your curlicues, packing them close together on your headband, and slip it on to somebody cute (preferably a girl, but hey, you've gotta work with what you've got):
Cute, don't you think? My husband literally laughed out loud when he saw these pictures, but I'll assume he was laughing at the idea of our little boy in a headband (nothing new around this house) and not at my korker bow idea. And I'll pretend he didn't elaborate on the reason for his laughter. Which he did. And directed it at the bow. But what does he know?

Also, I'm being featured on Who I Am at Whipperberry today--very exciting! I was pretty shocked that Heather would want to spotlight me there, and found it surprisingly difficult to write a little bio blurb for it. That little paragraph on her blog honestly took me about an hour. Anyway, head over and check it out! So exciting, because I love Whipperberry--it has a certain elegance that a lot of crafty sites don't have (this one most definitely included. I mean, I just crocheted a korker bow and put it on my son. And in the pictures where you can't see his hands, it's because I'm holding them down while I'm taking the picture. Obviously, I'm not going to be getting the Elegance Award anytime soon.). I'm very flattered, and I think I'll be blushing all day.


  1. You are so clever...I have never ever seen one like it before. They are DARLING!

  2. Aww, this is so cute! I'll have to try making one of these for Emma. By the way, I can't help but laugh at your sweet little boy, modeling your pretty creations. Too sweet and toooo funny! :)

  3. I love that you put him in girly headbands. He is very pretty though :) While we are on the kids-in-therapy talk - just yesterday I took a picture of Sawyer with a self-inflicted diaper wedgie and texted it to my husband. I told him to keep it to show his first girlfriend as payback for sleepless nights. too much?

  4. Your little model is adorable! :) I love the look of this--so pretty!

    I saw you on Whipperberry & was SO excited for you! You do rock though, so I am not surprised to see you there. :)

  5. that headband is such a cute idea!

  6. Oh I love the photos! One day they will look great on his wedding video.

  7. Not a stupid headband. I would wear it! Perhaps the adult version would have smaller curly q's though :)

  8. Your blog and etsy shop are adorable!!!! Thanks for visiting me! I REALLY want to make a fun hat for my new little guy coming and love all your inspiration!

  9. Thanks for sharing your tutorial! I love the headband :)

    Have a great weekend!

    Mary @ Crocheting the Day Away

  10. Love it! I just learned to crochet and am looking for ways to expand my repertoire. Thanks. I found you on whipperberry, now you will be one of my frequently visited blogs!

  11. This is adorable! Forrest looks awesome in a headband. ;0)

  12. Super Cute! Just stopping in from 30 Handmade Days Link Ups!! Super cool blog!!

    Many Blessings,

  13. Completely fabulous! Linking up at Tangled Happy tomorrow. Thanks for sharing this. :)

  14. Hilarious pictures of your male model!! Thanks for the great tutorial!

  15. Don't feel bad. My son is 3 and I still make him model my stuff. I think this headband is adorable!

  16. Darling! I'm featuring you on Friday at

  17. Love it, cute ideas and great tutorial. thanks for sharing

  18. This is tooooo cute! I love projects that you can start and finish in a short amount of time. (The big projects never seem to get finished around here.)

  19. I'm new to crochet and have failed quite miserably at a few projects but this looks like something even I can do, thanks to your excellent tutorial! I love how you actually wrote out the steps instead of giving me the confusing (to me) pattern! And, let me tell you, that bow looks so freakin' adorable on your baby! This is so getting pinned! Thanks for the instruction and the idea! :)

  20. Is this what was used to make the "seaweed" in these pictures?

  21. Great tutorial! i love it, thanks for sharing.

  22. That crochet headband is super cute! I give you two thumbs up for creating a lovely headband. b(o.0)d

  23. I just stumbled upon this post and I LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea! I have put these dang curlers on tops of LOTS of hats, but for my headbands? I curl the ribbon! duh! what a great idea!

    and I think it's hilarious you used your son as your model...I do too-all the time! here's a post with my little dude modeling a headband (and I'm about 99% certain wearing the SAME shirt as yours! we had the bananas over mommy outfit!)

    thanks for the great idea :)

  24. c' est adorable et le petit bout de chou est tout aussi adorable bravo bisous

  25. Do you remember what stitch you used for the headband? It looks like it may be double crochet?

    1. Hi there! I believe I used this headband tutorial:


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