Saturday, January 12, 2008
scarves for mothers
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.
i 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.
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.
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.