Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Scrunchable Scarf

The chilly Antarctic blast that hit us this weekend just past had me digging in my drawers for some of the many winter warmers I made myself earlier on in the year.

Unfortunately I didn't start digging soon enough, because I have chilblains again *Cries*


One of the things I made myself was a scarf using the Scrunchable Scarf pattern that lurks in the corners of the Internet. This pattern makes an utterly gorgeous, completely reversible scarf with any yarn you wish to use. It works up to create repeating vertical columns of knit stitches, purls and a 1x1 moss stitch which  pleats itself into a thick, cozy length of material that nicely insulates you from the chill.

I really wanted to make myself one of these scarves. However, the instructions that I found didn't quite make sense to me, and after searching a good dozen or so sites I managed to put together a set of instructions that made sense to the newbie I was. (And indeed the newbie still am!)

This is the scarf I made, using Moda Vera 'Grand', in colour number 4246. It's a nice, heavy wool/acrylic blend that I sadly only managed to obtain 5 balls of, so the scarf isn't quite as long as I'd like it to be.

To make a Scrunchable Scarf, first select your yarn and then hunt up some needles in the size recommended by experience or the manufacturer. (Check the band on the ball of yarn, it should be noted near the gauge)

Cast on the number of stitches that will give you your desired scarf width, making sure your stitches come to a multiple of three. (You MUST cast on a multiple of three for the pattern to work!!)

Now cast on an EXTRA TWO STITCHES for your scarf edges. This is important to ensure that that your scarf has nice, tidy edges.

All you need to do to make the scarf is:
Slip the first stitch, then K2 P1 to the last stitch. Knit the last stitch of the row.

Rinse and repeat this row until your scarf is the desired length (or you are just about out of yarn), then bind off.

That doesn't sound too scary now, does it?

Happy knitting!


Thursday, 22 September 2011

Codename: Swine Flu

Meet Swine Flu.

This little piggy is the first of a litter of four, all being made on a bespoke basis for Work and University friends.

The photo really doesn't do him justice. The yarn is an acrylic in a particularly virulent shade of salmon pink I picked up at a local Op-Shop who do lovely cheap bags of random yarns. It is a lovely colour, but I found the yarn to be harsh to the tough when working with it, so it wasn't terribly enjoyable to work with.

(Also: I hate weaving in ends, and there was a boatload of them. Not a little dinghy either, but a full-on cruise liner worth. Oh well, I guess I can forgive him!)

On the day I found this lot of yarn, they kindly let me out the back to drool over what they hadn't had time to bag up. (Aren't they wonderful!) They also have lots of lovely second-hand knitting needles and row counters and stitch holders, oh my! *Swoons*

His littermates will be following as I complete them. I wasn't terribly pleased with how his snout and tail turned out, so I'm going to be modifying the patterns with the next three to see if I can't achieve a nicer (to me!) result. It will be interesting to see how they come out.

Just don't say the word 'Bacon' around them, it makes them nervous. . .


Monday, 19 September 2011

Snug As A Bug.

Pretty much described my niece this winter past.

I was totally stumped for a birthday present for her last year. At that point, Hope was in a ZhuZhu-pet phase, and other family members had called dibs on all the easy gift choices *Sigh*

So cue a trip to the yarn section of the Warehouse with her, to pick colours for her very own car-trip blanket.

There was a layer of cunning to that plan. Taking her there pretty much assured that she wouldn't pick one of the many pretty, short-lived and difficult to wash wool blends sold at the yarn shop I frequent. Delicate, expensive yarns and small, active children are not a good mix! I wanted her to pick something she liked, that would survive some fairly rough play and that her Mum could throw in the washing machine with impunity.

Armed with her choices, I sat down to churn out the appropriate number of peggy squares in time for her not-so-surprise present ;)

Voila, the finished blanket!

Not exactly what you'd expect from a kindy-aged girl, is it? I'll definitely get her input on colour choice before making any jerseys for her in future!

Here is a close-up of the seaming. I decided to sew the squares together with the khaki, since it didn't stand out as much as any of the brighter or darker colours would have done.

With any luck it will survive a decent few years of love and abuse. If not, I can always go a second round of blanket making!

Best of luck with your current projects!


Saturday, 10 September 2011


Well, well. The first post.

Whatever do I put here?

Maybe I should tell you why on earth there is yet ANOTHER crafting blog crowding the Internet? That would be a good idea.

Today at work I noticed a familiar look on a coworker's face as I prepared to launch into (another) paean of praise regarding some yarn I acquired recently. Her eyes began to glaze with boredom, and there was a little smirk at my 'Nana-Hobby' lurking at the corner of her mouth.

It was then that I 'clicked'.

WHY was I telling this person, this utterly UnCrafty little girl, tales that she simply couldn't understand, that she couldn't even begin to appreciate?

Why not spin my yarns (To pun metaphorically) to those who will?

To those who, I hope, will nod with agreement, shake their heads in shared disgust, laugh with me at my mistakes, and maybe even share some tips?

(Coz I love tips, you're NEVER too old or too slow to learn something new!)

So here I am, World. Warts and all. I do not pretend that I will be cheerful all the time, or that I will not take random absences, that I will not squeal with totally inappropriate levels of pitch at the randomest of things. I will not promise that I won't talk about Minecraft, my cat and anything else under the sun. Because I will talk about these things as well.

Life begets craft; and craft begets life.

And with that pretence at wisdom, I shall bid you goodnight.