Saturday, January 12, 2008

scarves for mothers

crocheted flower necklace

i didn't realize it until after i'd done it, but it seems i crocheted scarves for both my mother and my mother-in-law this christmas. one is really more of a necklace than a scarf, and the other would have been more of a shawl had i had enough yarn, but yet there you have it. scarfy christmas and a happy new year.

i was inspired to make the necklace thingy for my mom by sooz's tutorial. i already knew how to crochet flowers, but i wouldn't otherwise have thought of making them so small and stringing them together. so thanks for the great idea!

i was looking around for rowan glace cotton (or similar, but everything else i found came only in blah pastels), but then went out of town before making it to the one local store that i knew would carry it. out of desperation, i ended up finding a great little yarn store called the hook and needle in bryan texas of all places, and they had some similar weight cotton (schachenmayer nomotta catania) in lovely saturated colors. that was perfect, just the sort of colors my mom would like.

flowersi used #1 (2.75mm) hook for the flowers and (i think?) an F (3.75mm) hook for the chain. despite my hesitancy regarding tiny hooks, i found the work fairly easy. that said, the weaving in of the ends proved a bit teadious. i've already forgotten, but i think i did ten flowers in each of five colors. and, only one flower went walkabout with a toddler, which i found pretty amazing given that i was working on this project in the presence of two two-year-olds. (i made an extra, then the original turned up later, which seems to happen every time i crochet flowers... hmm, mysterious...)

i like that you can wear this necklace as a choker, short, or long, depending on how you wrap it. it even works as a belt in the right context. my mom liked it, and reported back that she was wearing it with various outfits over the next week or so -- that's good, i chose the colors to match the sorts of things she wears.


while at the aforementioned yarn store, i came across some beautiful recycled silk yarn by himalaya yarn. handspun with a beautiful variable texture, it was a mix of fucshia, purples, and blues with bits of everything from light pink to green. it's made in nepal from remnants from sari factories or from old saris, which i love -- not only does it employ people in nepal, but the yarn tells a story (of saris that were or might have been?). like the yarn for my mom, i knew this yarn was to become something for rita. sadly, they only had two hanks, so the shawl-style scarf i had planned had to become a scarf.

silk scarf

the main part of the scarf and the edge scallops (in left-over cotton from the above project) are done in the same fan-style pattern. you almost can't tell, given the dramatic differences in the two yarns, but i sort of like it that way, it's a bit of a secret. the pattern is chock-full of (american) treble crochet stitches (double treble elsewhere i believe?) -- that's one tall stitch! i found myself counting to four without meaning to (for all the yarn-overs -- oh, the obsessive couting). this was also my first time referencing a chart rather than reading a pattern, and i must say, i found it much simpler (as it seems i am basically translating the written descriptions to a "chart" of sorts in my head anyway -- starting with a chart saves the effort :).

for the silk yarn i used an I (5.5mm) hook and the fan repeats three times across each row. for the cotton edges, i used (i think?) an F (3.75mm) hook and joined the yarn carefully so that i fit exactly five repeats of the fan pattern. i then adjusted the design a bit so that subsequent rows tapered off to end with three scallops at the bottom edges. the cotton edges were i part to add interest, but honestly, it was to add length! since i was limited in the amount of silk i had, the scarf would have been a bit short without the additions.

scarf detail

i sort of intended this to be a dressy sort of scarf, they type of thing you might wear over a little black dress when you enter the room and maybe hang over your chair later. however, the yarn was a bit bulky for that, so it probably works better as a good old-fashioned scarf. thinking "silk" i was thinking delicate, but it's really quite warm and functional. i'm pleased with the results, and learned a lot in the process. oh, and i'd estimate that both scarves took me around 6-8 hrs to complete (based on multiplying from how long it took to complete one unit, a flower or row, etc).

so there you have it, scarves for mothers. i didn't mean to make it a theme, but as gift themes go, it does seem better than, say, scented bath soaps.


Anonymous said...

i love the flower designs.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
iHanna said...

these are just fantastic!!! did I say that?

tamdoll said...

The scarf is really nice. I have a bunch of recycled silk that I still haven't used yet - still trying to think of a project that won't be too heavy.

Kristy said...

tamdoll, let me know if you think of a great project for recycled silk. i'd love to use it again, but this scarf *is* pretty heavy, so i'll use more caution in where i use it in the future.

Red de rOuge said...

Very very nice, the flowers's necklace!!

Chris said...

Dearest Kristy - 1st - I love your blog. So many cool things to learn. I am currently trying to make this daisy chain necklace as a present for my Mom. I am having a heck of a time making these flowers with the small hook(2.75). Do you have any tips? I can make them with a 4.25 with no problem. I guess I just need to keep trying and practice. Mom is coming for a visit 1st week of May, which doesn't leave me with a ton of time. Thanks for reading! ta-ta
Chris of South Jersey

Kristy said...

chris, thanks for the comment. i agree the cotton yarn and the tiny hook isn't so easy. all i can think to suggest is to make sure your yarn really is small enough for the hook (mine was roughly the weight of embroidery floss, i'd say, so pretty small), and then to make an extra effort to keep it loose. i tend to crochet too tightly, making it hard to move those little loops around. (and even at that, sometimes i had to "help" the loops over the hook a bit...). keep at it, i'm sure you'll get it!

Chris said...

Hi again Kristy - Thank you for responding. Your words of encourgaement are greatly appreciated. Funny you should mention embroidery floss. I kept staring at your pictures of the flowers and thats what it reminded me of. So last night I gave it a go and your right, you do have to fuss with it a bit, but I am happy to say I actually made one. So I think I am on my way. Again Thank you so much.

On another subject. I think you are in Austin TX? Right? Well theres another blog site I like to go to named, cristencrochet on her blog she is advertising a Earth Day April 19 in Austin. Wish I was nearby, 'd go. Anyway, it looks like a lot of fun. I'm tellling you this because of the bag you made out of fused plasic bags. I am very interested in doing all kinds of stuff with plastic bags. Anywa - Have a great weekend!


myloveisbald said...

I am captivated by your "scarves for mothers" scarf. Do you happen to have a general patter for it. I recognize the stitches, but I am terrible emulating a pattern without instructional guide. It would be for my mother non-commercial use.

Yoko said...

Really LOVE the necklace! Think I´m gonna do asimilar one with turquise flowers and uncoloured linen