Archives for posts with tag: scarf

Project bag

A friend had some outpatient surgery and somehow, I was deemed a “responsible adult” and went with her to wait and drive her home.  Of course I took this as an opportunity to bring along a project bag (or two).

While almost everyone else was playing with their phones or tablets, I used some stash yarn to start a scarf I’m planning to donate. I have larger projects, but wanted something containable for a waiting room chair.  One woman asked if I was crocheting a scarf and then started talking to me about her own crochet and a new stitch she had made up.  After describing it, she came over and started demonstrating it.

It was at that moment the nurse came out and called her name. Do  you think she hopped up and followed the nurse into the back for her surgery prep? No she did not. Instead, she turned and said “You need to wait a minute until I’m done with this.”

OK, she may have been stalling not wanting to face what was ahead of her, or it may be a testament to the power of yarn and the instant community that can be created when two like-minded crafters find each other even in unlikely places. At the very least I hope it took her mind off of worrying for a few moments while she was waiting.


Mariner scarf complete

I am able to send out 2015 with one final project completed. The mariner’s scarf  is bordered, woven in and ready to send off. I like ending the year with a project completed.

This is also day 365 of my 365 challenge to work on something creative every day. I originally started using this blog as a way of documenting what I did with the hope that having to record each day’s work would help motivate me to keep it going. What I found, as the year went on, was a wonderful community full of encouragement, inspiration, and even new project ideas.  I also feel like I’ve made a few friends along the way, and look forward to new posts from them to see what they have been doing.

I need to take a moment to say “thank you” for being part of my journey. You have added depth and dimension to what would have been a solitary task.  When I started this, I did not know if it would be possible to accomplish, but I made it! While 2015 is complete, 2016 stretches ahead, and I can’t wait to see what it will bring.

mariner progress

The black yarn in the Mariner’s scarf is really hard to photograph on its own. It either washes out to grey, or the contrast is too intense and it ends up looking like a black blob.  This photo, with some background color in the form of a cat captures it the best so far.

I did not think I would have a lot of time to work on any project this week, but an unexpected block of it showed up today. Original plans fell through and it ended up being a low-key recharge day. The next few will be busy again, so I appreciated  the time spent feet up, cat on lap, and hook in hand. It also explains why every project I make comes with bonus cat hair.



My brother and sister and I have not lived on the same continent for  most of our adult lives. My sister lived in Cyprus for 11 years, and my brother has been in Saudi Arabia for the past several. This has made it hard to see them individually, and even harder to see them both together.

A few months ago, my brother started scheming to get all of us together at my parents’ house on a single day. That day finally happened. We gathered to celebrate my parents birthdays as it is the only time they would be here together, and my parents each have a milestone birthday coming up in the next month.

I did not get a lot of crochet done, but I was able to give my sister-in-law a quick lesson as she has been asked to teach someone else, and has never held a hook.

We were going through an old album of my grandmothers’ quilt projects and I came across this newspaper clipping from 1982. The article is about her quilting group, and the work they did each year to create a raffle quilt to help support the Wetlands Institute in New Jersey.  I remember as a child going with her to some of these meetings when the quilt was on the frame and everyone was gathered around working on it.

The album went to my Sister-in-Law since she is a prolific and accomplished quilter, but I had to snap a photo of the article. It was a good memory. I may not finish my current project by the end of the year, but spending time with family is a trade off I will take.




Black yarn

When I am working on a scarf, , and need to set it down, I always end up wrapping it around the skein of yarn and fastening it  with the crochet hook.  This is just about the only type of project where I don’t tend to have to go searching for the hook at some point.  If only all projects could be so tidy.




I’m hoping to finish one more charity scarf before 2015 draws to a close. This one is for the Seaman’s Church Institute which provides care packages to mariners.  Unlike most charity projects, they prefer wool since that will still keep someone warm even if it gets wet.

Since most mariners are men, they asked that the scarves be in non-feminine colors.  I was limited when I picked up this yarn, so had to buy black (which is photographing as grey).  They also provide the patterns they would like to have used.  This is a sort of basket weave look, which does give the solid color some visual interest.

We took a trip out to visit some relatives and I brought this along for the car ride.  It was all highway driving so I did not miss much scenery by looking down at the yarn and hook.


Self striping

Oh this scarf. How can a scarf that is so simple have caused so many problems? There were days I felt I ripped out as many rows as I put in. Holiday brain maybe?  But now it is complete.

On the C2C scarf I made with the same yarn, I ended up deciding to not add a border around it. This one, with it’s rows upon row of double crochet needed something. The border seems to work as a frame on this pattern, so I am glad I did it.

I also realized that there is less than one week left in the 365 challenge I set for myself. I’m beginning to think I may actually accomplish it.


Waaaay back in January, I decided to try weaving. I started, then I put it down when February hit and I was participating in Thing-a-Day. Then apparently six more months somehow happened. The loom has been sitting in my craft room. It is an odd shape to store, so I see it every time I go in there, which is pretty much daily. I’ve been feeling that it is time to break out some of the larger projects… maybe finish a WIP or two, so I set a goal to get this done.

I had forgotten how quickly weaving can go. Even with all the “oops”, the skipped stitches, and undoing of rows, the fabric works up quickly.  This is my first completed actual non-practice project on my loom. Even though I can see all the imperfections, the areas of improvement, I do always like the first of something new. I like knowing that one day I will look back on this and be able to have a benchmark for how much I have learned and how far I have come.  My first lesson is to use a light colored warp on the outside rows until my tension gets better.  The navy blue really highlights the the loopiness, but the sides are a lot straighter than my first practice piece. (Not straight, but straighter.)

For someone like me who likes to start seeing results right away, weaving was a lesson in patience and finding the rhythm. Warping the loom, winding yarn onto the shuttle, weaving the fabric, securing the ends, even wet finishing the piece each take time while you are anxious to start on the next step. I made an effort during each step to not look ahead, but try to be fully engaged with the current process. That was a good lesson too.

As enjoyable as it is to sit down and work on something you know how to do, there is a certain joy in struggling through learning a new skill as well. Sometimes you realize you don’t really like it, and that’s OK.  I have taken many classes for things I thought I’d enjoy, but realized I didn’t, but was still happy I gave them a try. But other times, like this is for me, you know the first is just the start.

blue scarf

This is the scarf I made for my father-in-law. I started it when he was in the hospital and pretty disoriented but he paid attention when I was crocheting so I asked him if he wanted me to make something for him. I decided that I would only work on it when I was visiting him, so it has traveled with me each day first to the hospital then to the rehab facility. Each day I would remind him I was making it for him, ask him if he liked the color and show him the progress before I left.

After I sewed in the ends, I gave it to him to try on. “Is this for me?” he asked. He spent some time examining it. I asked him if he wanted fringe added to the end. (No.) For a while he laid it over his lap like an extremely short afghan, then carefully folded it and set it on the bed next to him. “It is very nice work, thank you.”


tie dye

I spent a lot of time this weekend crocheting the blue scarf while I sat with my father-in-law. But that is not why my hands are blue. I tried tie dying for the first time since college when a girlfriend and I tie dyed a set of sheets in the dorm laundry room.

I had seen a project of tie dyed napkins out on the internet and decided to give it a go using one of those three-color Tulip one-step kits and a package of white bandannas. I used the dry method to prevent the colors from bleeding into each other.  Here are a few thoughts on the process.

The kit gives a few techniques for different designs like the spiral, the bulls eye and stripes. In a perfect world, I would have tried a few of them, seen what worked and then gone back to finish the rest, but you must use the dye within 45 minutes of mixing it and the dyed projects need to sit wrapped in plastic for 6-8 hours before unbinding it. Once you start, you pretty much have to use it all, or waste it.

When the colors are applied, they are really vibrant. In this case there was bright turquoise, dark blue and emerald green. They faded A LOT when I put them through the washing machine. The colors are still pretty, but much softer and definitely no longer as vivid.

It might have been the fact that the fabric of the cotton bandannas was thin, but during the “sit for 6-8 hours” part of the process, the dyes did wick.  I had left quite a bit of white on these, and when they were rinsed out, there was not much white left at all. I also may have over saturated the fabric with dye since it was my first try with it and I was not sure how much would be needed.

This project took a lot of water to rinse out the dyes. You are supposed to rinse them until the water runs clear. After over 30 minutes, they were still releasing dye. I was starting to feel too wasteful, so I got them to the close-enough stage and called it good.

Cover more than your immediate work space. The little squirt bottles that come with this kit do sputter a bit. I had a baking tray covered with newspaper, but there were a few drops that jumped back onto the counter.  These were able to be wiped completely up right away without leaving any permanent marks, but I was lucky to notice them immediately. Aslo, son’t wear the new t-shirt you just got on sale at Target for this project. ‘Nuff said.

Get extra gloves. The kit comes with 2 sets of plastic gloves. I used both sets in the dying process as the first set got dye on it and I did not want to transfer those smudges onto the additional pieces. When I was rinsing the napkins out, I did it without gloves, and now my hands and fingernails are a faint shade of dark blue.

So all in all a good learning experience, and this is also why i decided to try napkins for my first attempt. They were inexpensive, and don’t need to be perfect to still be usable and fun. I did have a bit of dye left over and tried using it on some yarn.  Since I can’t run that through the washing machine and dryer, I’m still waiting for it finish drying out completely before I’ll be able to see how it turned out.