Maybe it’s the long winter. Or maybe it’s lack of creativity. Or, it’s probably both . . .
I have spent the last few months in what I will now refer to as “Heidi’s Scarf Phase.” I have made so many scarves that Nicky no longer asks, “Whatcha makin?” The question has turned to more of a statement of fact: “Another scarf?”
So, because I realize I have scarf issues, and I know scarves aren’t the most exciting thing in this world, I will just share this one with you. And my excuse is this: I solved a problem with this scarf.
Problem: the scarf I was making was not as long as I wanted it to be, and I had run out of the yarn I was using.
Solution: Put a bead on it! Or nine beads, to be exact.
You should do this, too – it’s so simple and easy. I just wove the last of my yarn through the end of the scarf, cinched it up, strung the beads, cinched it to the other end, and voila!
Here’s the nitty-gritty:
I used this yarn (several partial balls that I probably picked up at a yard sale, and is apparently no longer being made).
I followed this pattern, with some changes: I used a bigger hook (4.25 mm), a thicker yarn, and I did not make the edging.
And I strung on nine large beads that I picked up for a song at a surplus store.
Now, I am happy to say that the snow mountain outside is slowly melting, and I think Heidi’s Scarf Phase is melting along with it. To be replaced with “Heidi’s Tank Top Phase?” Time will tell <suspense>.
What do you do with a big glass fish? All of the things my Gramma tried didn’t seem right: it’s an awkward candy dish, it’s not deep enough for real fish, sticking a plant in there wouldn’t work well (no drainage, too high-maintenance, DIRT) . . .
So knowing that crochet was the answer, as it is for so many problems, I hijacked Gramma’s fish and put a coral reef in there.
Obviously, I was heavily inspired by Rachel’s work (and BTW, you can see her interview here). And PINTEREST. Pinterest is also the answer. Go on and do a search for “crochet coral,” and you’ll see what I mean.
- Make bits of coral.
- Shave down a little mound of floral foam.
- Pin all of your coral bits to the floral foam with stick pins.
- Realize that your coral reef is too big to fit through the fish mouth. Curses!
- Remove all coral bits from foam.
- Stick naked floral foam into the fish gullet.
- Carefully stick coral bits into floral foam with pins (again). This was difficult, as I could only fit one hand into the fish mouth at a time.
- Feel like you are doing some bizarre form of reverse-crochet-taxidermy.
- Revel in your coral reef.
Hello out there! I am back from the holidays, after all this long while. This time our holidays included a Thanksgiving, three Christmases, a New Year’s, a birthday, a wedding shower, and a bachelorette party – a lot of fun crammed into a short time!
It also included what I will just call a Significant Heartbreaking Event for Nicky and me. I will spare you the details, but suffice it to say that it was the type of Significant Heartbreaking Event that left me wanting to just be alone – I felt like the wind got knocked out of me and any type of motivation to do anything got sucked right out along with it.
But, life does go on in spite of ourselves, and unlike the Polar Vortex nightmare that is going on outside right now, I do feel like I am slowly thawing out. In an effort to distract myself from myself, I started working on some projects I have been putting off for forever. It all began with some ancient crochet bedspreads . . .
I inherited two enormous bedspreads that my Great Grampa made – apparently he was an avid and very skilled crocheter. The bedspreads haven’t been well taken care of and they need some heavy-duty mending and stain-removal. I started in on what is turning out to be the herculean task of mending all of the rips and ravels and missing pieces . . . and just got overwhelmed (I will share the bedspreads with you in two years, the actual time it will take me to fix them). So, I moved on to something a bit more manageable: doilies.
The doilies have been passed on to me from one of Nicky’s Great Grammas. I wanted them out for everyone to see . . . but I am not exactly the type of person to have doilies sitting out on tables and such. Enter Pinterest, as usual. I saw this post over at Goodknits and knew I had a winner – Lisa’s idea is genius!
This project was many things: Meditative. Easy. Satisfying. Also, it made me feel really connected to the past in a weird way, and happy that I found a solution for displaying these heirlooms.
No doilies were harmed in the making of these mandalas – I only stitched into the backing fabric, or gently slid the thread through stitches!
The exclamation is supposed to make it positive and exiting. It’s that time of year again, when I need to step away from the internet for a bit to focus on the holidays and family and myself – so I don’t become insane! Take care everyone, and I’ll see you in a few months, all renewed and fresh as a daisy.
After doing something complicated or difficult or stressful, it’s necessary to take a break with something mindless. Especially now, when the days are short and cold, all I want to do is watch Netflix and shove carbs in my face. Here’s a mindless task to keep your hands busy and out of the box of Cheez-Its.
- Find a cheap scarf and buy it. I found this one on sale for five bucks. It was too long and it had some tears in it, so I cut it apart and Steam-a-Seamed it back together into an infinity scarf (no sewing!). You don’t need to do that, but I thought I’d put that out there in case you find yourself in the same predicament.
- Cut lengths of embroidery floss that are a few inches longer than your scarf. I separated the lengths into three strands of floss.
- Make running stitches all the way around. I taped my starting ends down so I could just tie the floss together when the ends met back up again. If you’re not working into an infinity scarf, you’ll have to tie knots at start and finish.
- Make sure to check that everything is flush as you’re going, so you don’t end up with bunches in your scarf.
I used the weave of the fabric as a guide to try and keep everything relatively straight. There were times when I was paying more attention to the TV than my work and the rows got out of control – but that’s okay! It looks just as nice when it’s imperfect, and nobody will be able to tell when you’re wearing it, anyway.
That’s it! I think I saved saved myself about three thousand calories making this. And I ended up with a pretty new accessory rather than a gut full of guilt. Yay! Here it is in action:
I have a surplus of crochet thread. And I almost never buy it. I think my family finds it at yard sales and gives it to me, or maybe it’s just multiplying on its own, like Tribbles. Either way, I need to get some of it out of the stash and into my life.
Maybe I should have called this post The Trouble with Trebles. Haha, Get it? anyway . . .
Because you can only make so many doilies, so many crochet rocks, and jewelry only uses little bits – I needed to think of something different and BIGGER. So I thought, why not use a big hook and make a big scarf? I know I’m not reinventing the wheel here – I think knitters use big needles with thread all the time – but this is new to me, and a challenge.
I’ll reveal what I did here in case you want to give it a try, but I’m not going to call it a pattern, and this is why:
The edging is directly influenced by this one I found on Pinterest. I started making it verbatim, but I didn’t like how it was looking, so I altered it some.
I’m becoming a little gun-shy to post patterns because I get comments telling me I should make You Tube tutorials and/or that written patterns are too difficult and they aren’t good. While I do partly feel bad about this, that’s just how I roll because I do a lot of my work in the car or at night. This doesn’t really lend itself to taking photos every step. And, I don’t own a Go Pro, which would allow for video. When I win the lottery and I can quit my job, I will make video tutorials . . . I’m still holding out hope! Now,
You’ll need: crochet thread, beads, a H8/5mm hook (for the main body), a size 4 steel crochet hook (for the edging), a needle, and something to string your beads onto (I used clear nylon beading line).
Please note: the 5mm hook is a big(ger) hook, like one you would normally use with worsted weight yarn. The size 4 steel crochet hook is a tiny hook, like one you would use to make doilies. When making the main body, pay very close attention to what you’re doing and make sure to count your stitches often – you really need to know the anatomy of the stitches, as they look very different when using thread and a big hook. Because of this, I am calling this an ADVANCED pattern, not for beginners!
The main body of the scarf will be made in rows, and the edging will be made in the round.
You’ll need to know how to make picots, and I’m sure you can find lots of You Tube tutorials for that. Usually, picots are made with three chains, but I find that making four or five chains is a bit easier and helps the picots lay nicer. I used both four and five in this edging.
Partial pattern chart for the edging (click to make bigger or click this link to download: Lace Edging Chart PDF):
Thread and Beads Scarf
With the 5mm hook, ch 20.
1. Dc in 4th ch from hook and in each remaining ch. (18 dc counting the 3 ch from when you dc in 4th ch from hook)
2. Ch 3, turn (counts as first dc). Dc in each dc from previous row. (18 dc)
Repeat row 2 until the scarf is as long as you’d like. To make the edging, you’ll need to have a multiple of 10 rows. I did 80 rows and my scarf is about 43 inches around. When you get to the end, cut thread to leave a long end for sewing and finish off. Sew the two short ends of the scarf together with the thread end you left and weave in all ends. Now the main body of the scarf is done.
With the size 4 steel crochet hook, join thread in any space along the outer side.
1. Ch 1, sc in same space. Ch 6. *(sc in next space, ch 6). Repeat from * around. Join to first sc
2. Sl st into first ch 6 space. Ch 3 (counts as first dc). Make (2 dc, ch 3, 3 dc, ch 1) in same space. Ch 1, sc in next space, ch 1. *[make (3dc, ch 3, 3 dc) in next space. Ch 1, sc in next space, ch 1]. Repeat from * around. Join to first dc.
3. Sl st to center ch of first ch 3 space. Ch 1, sc in same space. Ch 13. *(sc in next ch 3 space, ch 13). Repeat from * around. Join to first sc.
4. Ch 1, sc in same st. (Ch 1, sc in space) 3 times. Make 3 chain-4 picots. (Sc, ch 1) 3 times in same space. Sc in next sc. In next space: Ch 1, dc, chain-4 picot on top of dc. (Ch 1, tr, chain-4 picot on top of tr) two times. Tr, make 3 chain-5 picots on top of tr. (ch 1, tr, chain-4 picot on top of tr) two times. Ch 1, dc, chain-4 picot on top of dc, ch 1. *[Sc in next sc. In next space: (Ch 1, sc in space) 3 times. Make 3 chain-4 picots. (Sc, ch 1) 3 times in same space. Sc in next sc. In next space: Ch 1, dc, chain-4 picot on top of dc. (Ch 1, tr, chain-4 picot on top of tr) two times. Tr, make 3 chain-5 picots on top of tr. (ch 1, tr, chain-4 picot on top of tr) two times. Ch 1, dc, chain-4 picot on top of dc, ch 1]. Repeat from * around. Join to first sc and finish off. Weave in ends.
You are now done with the crochet portion. Before you add your beads, make sure to block your scarf.
Cut a length of nylon beading line (or whatever you’ll string your beads on) that is several inches longer than the diameter of your scarf. Tie one end securely to one of the sc from round 3 (the orange sc in the chart). String on some beads then thread the beading line through the next sc on round 3. Repeat all the way around. Tie your beading line ends together securely and weave the ends into the scarf. Repeat on other side.