Woven scarf

Having mastered the granny square (yes, I’m still a bit chuffed about that) I’ve been digging out all the partial balls of yarn I have left from other projects and the ones I bought with nothing in particular in mind. I do that a lot, I’m a sucker for a pretty colour. In the middle of the basket of yarn, I dug up some funky red wool I’d bought on whim. I’m also a sucker for things that are red. It’s multi thickness, very thin in some places and quite fat in other places. I tried to crochet with it, but frankly everything I did looked a bit shit. The very thin bits end up looking too loose and stringy if I used a hook for the fat bits, and if I used a middling hook, the fat bits didn’t play.

I thought it might look a bit cool if I used it to weave a scarf, but not having a loom was a bit of an issue. I do have a small square loom (one of those ones with the nails around the edge of a frame) which I could have used, but I don’t know where it is to be honest, so that was out. There’s lots of options for making looms out of other things. I pondered coat hangers, sticks and even shutting the ends in a drawer when I stumbled upon the idea of using an embroidery frame.

Embroidery frame loom

At first I considered hammering a row of nails in each roller, but it wouldn’t have worked as I was using the rollers to hold the completed work as well as the waiting to be rolled up yarn (you know what I mean). So instead I drilled a series of holes in each roller, 1cm apart. Then I cut the yarn into sections a bit longer than I wanted the scarf to be and threaded them one at a time through the holes, tying a knot to keep them in place.

Did it work? It mostly did work okay! Rolling the rollers to keep the threads tight worked as I planned, with the only issues being some slightly longer yarn which went a bit loose at the end. The hardest bit was the first rolling, which you can see above. Keeping the warp threads in order was a bit tricky, but it works fine if you take it nice and slowly.

Weaving in progress

It is, as you can see, wonky. I think this is due in part to the different thicknesses of the yarn, it was not always possible to keep it all tight and straight, but as it apparent in many of my projects, a little bit of wonky doesn’t trouble me. The chopstick is there to push the weft thread more tightly into place. Basically it’s weave a line, push into place, weave the next line, push into place… The whole thing is done in the basic Under One, Over One weave except for the places when I messed up.

Once I’d reached the end, I cut the warp threads and tied them off in pairs (having planned ahead, I had an even number of holes drilled) and then added some more yarn as a fringy bit on the end because making a fringe is the easy way out.

Finished woven scarf

It’s actually a little short, but it keeps my neck warm and that is what counts. Wonky as it is, I’m a little bit charmed by it and will wear it without too much embarrassment.

I’m planning to try out the “loom” on some other things, as soon as I fix the two holes that were too close together and ended up as one big hole – this is fine for chunky yarn but hopeless for thinner stuff. Of course thinner stuff might not work anyway as the holes are so far apart. However I have other frames I can drill holes in if I want to. Pleasingly, they are still completely usable as embroidery frames too as the fabric strips are not disturbed by the drilling.

WIP: Temperature Scarf, February

This is not the highest volume blog on the internet now is it? Oh well, I might make 20 posts by Christmas. I did intend to post during February, but as it turns out the heat was constant and unrelenting, so most of my spare time was spent laying in bed thinking “I hate this”. I did do some cross stitch, which is a WIP post for another day. I also managed to keep up with the Temperature Scarf, hooray! I just finished the last row for February a little while ago, so here it is hot off the hook:
February Section of the Temperature ScarfI seem to have overcome my random increases problem (not that it was a problem, it was a feature). I also got most of the ends tidied away this time before I took the photo. The month started promisingly cold, but the over 30 degree days won out in the end (that’s orange). Apparently Melbourne broke some kind of “Days Over 30 Degrees In February” this year, so yay. You can’t see it, but I typed that yay in an extremely deadpan way.

I’m very happy that my month divider rows came out exactly as I hoped they would, breaking the months with a neat little line of cream. Now for the scarf in full, which you will need to click on to see in all it’s glory (but you don’t have to, I won’t know if you don’t and I wouldn’t judge you even if I did know).

Scarf for Jan and FebLook at that row of blue in there being a big old weather tease.  And look how much neater February looks compared to January, crochet wise. The intended border at the end of the year should hide those wibbly bits, but if not no worries. I’m the one who’s wearing it and I don’t mind a bit of a wibble.

Lazy Summer Days

How awesome am I to open a brand new blog and then cease to post after three entries? Pretty damn awesome! I have the most best excuses though, and they are two. The first is the heat, which as usual has sucked the creativity right out of my face via my more than ample nose. No matter how determined I am to do anything in a given day, it never happens if the temperature climbs too high. The house I’m in does have air-con, in a patchy sort of way, which is just not enough to overrule the Summer. The second excuse is that I reactivated my World of Warcraft account, fool that I am.

However! I come to you with news of a planned project. A knitting friend of mine on Plurk (hello Selana!) linked a nifty looking project – A “My Year in Temperatures” scarf. For those who can’t be bothered clicking, the basic idea is that you select colours to represent temperature ranges, and every day you add a row to your scarf of the relevant colour. Kris, the lady who owns the blog where the idea is, has chosen colours for a range of temperatures from -40°C to +30°C, however being as I am in Melbourne, I have been able to select a much smaller colour range as our seasonal highs and lows don’t cover such a wide spread. While I’m waiting for my yarn to arrive (I know the idea works best on scrap or left over balls, but I don’t have enough of a colour range as I tend to buy just red. Or sometimes brown), I am keeping track of the top temperatures and reminding myself to do so with a sticker on my monitor:

Temperature List

Eagle eyed guests, or those who do a lot of snail mailing, will note that is the border end of a strip of stamps. My top tip for today is using them for tiny reminder notes as they stick easily and peel off later. And yes I totally did watermark an image no one in their right mind would steal.

I think this project has captured my imagination for a couple of reasons. The first is simply timing – Selana linked to it a couple of days ago, while the years high temperatures were still easily available on the web. If it’d been June, I probably would have tucked it away and then forgotten about it. The other reason is that I love stripes, I think stripes are the most best awesome things (although polka dots are also terribly awesome). Finally, I like the idea of having a year long project that can’t be rushed. The yarn should be here soon, and then I’ll get the opening days done and be on my way! Huzzah!

In other crafty news, about a week ago I was thinking random thoughts about things unrelated to much and I suddenly remembered that the wooden chest under the window is no longer full of my mother’s eccentric hat collection – it’s full of Craft Stash!

stash

On the top you can see a frog I did to check the colour palette of a piece of software I have since lost. Underneath that? All manner of kits, threads, patterns and other bits and bobs including a latch hook cushion front kit. Being as I’m on a bit of a stash bust this year (do pretend, now you’ve read that, that I didn’t mention buying yarn a paragraph ago. Thanks), I am diving in with this small, sweet kit:
Dragon Fly BroochIt’s beaded stitching done on a heavy cardboard backing instead of fabric, for use as a brooch. I have no recollection of buying it, but it does seem like something I’d buy…

So stay tuned, because there’s a cool change coming tomorrow and I might actually do something!

Batscarf

My fiancé is, if I’m honest, a bit of a nerd. He’s pretty into Batman also. So much so that I am not permitted to mention Shark Repellent Spray, which is a shame because I personally think that is the best thing that ever happened in Batman. He’s also pretty keen on sending me links to handmade nerdy stuff which he then makes sad puppy eyes about. I promise to make him one and then never do, because I am a terrible person.

To make it up to him, and also to keep his neck warm, for Christmas this year I made him a Batscarf. Not so terrible afterall!
Batsignal

I haven’t done a proper tutorial, because it wasn’t that complicated really and any crafty types out there can figure it out. Starting at the top, we have the Batsignal, which is made of felt. The yellow felt is on top of the black because it was easier to place the logo correctly like that. It’s blanket stitched around the signal, and while I did plan to blanket stitch the actual signal onto the scarf, it turns out I’m quite lazy and used the machine. So lazy, so quick!

City Skyline

The city skyline is, I think, Singapore somewhere. It’s another layer of fleece over the dark blue, machine stitched around and then cut out – so much easier than pinning little skinny buildings down and then having the machine eat the fleece halfway along. The windows are more felt. These are hand stitched on because the machine, as I just mentioned a second ago, eats little things. To be honest, I was going to skip the city lights, but I’m glad I didn’t – it looks so much better “lit up”

Batman

At the bottom, to break up all the black and balance the design (good lord that sounded good, I’m writing that down on a piece of paper to use again) I put in an outline of Batman himself. I like to think he’s gazing out over the city, about to respond to the call of the signal. Or he could have his back to the city, but also  have his eyes closed. Works both ways.

To hide the back of the stitching, the whole thing is backed with black fleece and then topstitched around the edges, which was a bitch to do on the three layers at the bottom, but worth it. I like the border effect.

Whole ScarfI’ve thumbnailed the last shot as it’s long, and also I know you like to click things. The whole thing is just over 5 feet long, and hopefully will keep the chap warm in the face of the Chicago winter, which is very snowfilled because it’s ridiculous.