Saturday, January 21, 2012

Crafty Pants

It may surprise some of you to hear this, as I never, ever talk about crafts, but I can actually be pretty crafty. I just don't make time anymore, what with the always being pregnant / having wee ones thing. My grandma taught me to crochet when I was a kid, so I was psyched when Stitch n' Bitch came out and my dorky pastime was suddenly hip. I even joined a local Stitch n' Bitch chapter for a while there, but I quit when I moved to Cincinnati for med school and never rejoined when I came back. [Mental note to check up on this, even though it's super unlikely that it's still going on]. Anyway, yes. Capable of crafting, I just don't often implement.

Thanks to the scarf swap, I have already completed two of my five required crafty projects for 2012. Have we finally found a goal I might actually achieve? Stay tuned.

I was serendipitously matched with Jennifer from Jayesel, who is not only also going to the Blathering, but has two adorable girls as well. Every time I see pictures of them, it's like looking into our future when my girlies get older. I immediately started pinning scarves like crazy, so WOULDN'T YOU KNOW she started following me on Pinterest about 10 seconds after I finished. I am sure she was not remotely surprised by my choices, but what can you do?

The first scarf that really struck my fancy was this braided jersey scarf. The only catch, of course, is that I don't sew. However, my mom does, so we made a craft date. We pretty much followed the tutorial to the T, but we are apparently more OCD than Keight, as I spent 10 zillion years carefully pinning the jersey lengthwise at exactly 7 inches to ensure that both colors were the same size and the seams were straight.

I chose Steelers colors for Jen since she is from Pittsburgh and had some Steelers stuff pinned. I also got some extra of the yellow as well as a light gray to make one later for me, since I loved the combo on the store-bought scarf that inspired it all. Here is how Jen's turned out:

Not pictured: My terrible, not so "blind" stitching on the part that needed to be sewn by hand. Still! Not bad for our first effort. Also, I totally want a sewing machine now. A cheap one, not my mom's complicated, expensive, crazy one. The whole project took a little over two hours (maybe more if you count getting the sewing machine properly threaded and working right), but that could be cut down significantly if you are less anal about the pinning and measuring and whatnot.

Since that scarf was so dang cheap (maybe $10?) I wanted to make another for the swap. I thought Mama Bub's finger knit scarves were super cute, so I bought some chunky yarn and went to town. It was a little hard (for me, anyway) to follow the handwritten instructions. I was going to make a video for anyone who needs to see it being done, but alas, I am not a unique and beautiful snowflake and it has already been done. Shoulda googled that shit BEFORE I spent an embarrassing about of time fiddling around with it.

Once I got going it was very easy, and I was able to whip this out in about an hour. I just did one whole skein of yarn, but I would maybe (I think?) do more and loop one more time next time (Lion Brand Yarn in Dallas Gray, super bulky (6) for those of you playing at home).

Megan gussied hers up with felt flowers, but I wanted to bust out my crochet skillz. I used the pattern here to make these:

There are also 9 million crocheted flower videos out there, but if anyone is interested in making these particular roses and wants to see a video, I'd do it. I did better with this pattern than the finger knitting instructions, but I've also been crocheting for 20 years (OMFG). It's probably a little confusing if you're new, but they are still surprisingly easy to make. I just sewed a pin to a circle of felt and stitched it to the flower when I was done. Easy peasy! It takes me about an hour and 15 minutes per flower, from start to finish.

You can see Jen modeling both scarves over in the Scarf Swap Pool. I will add pictures of me wearing the ones she sent me once I'm actually, like, showered and stuff. In the meantime, you can see my dining room table sporting them:

I love them both because they a) are super cute and b) aren't something I'd pick out myself. To me, that is the best part about joining something like this - branching out. I have like 18 black scarves with some sort of print, and if I wanted another, I could easily buy it myself (and probably will). I NEED a pop of pink or a flash of silver in my life, hand selected by someone more fashionable than I am. Raven also does a flip flop swap in June, which I will be participating in because, you guessed it, I own like 18 pairs of black flip flops.

Thanks, Jen and Raven, this was fun!!!


Jessica said...

Those scarves are awesome. I was jealous when Jen tweeted the pictures of her wearing them!

Hillary said...

Very cute!

d e v a n said...

How cool! Love the idea of a scarf swap!

Jennifer said...

Hooray, you got the scarves!!! I love love love mine- I love that they are handmade because seriously, I can barely sew on a button. So your scarves amaze me :) Thanks so much, this was great fun!

Doing My Best said...

Woohoo! Hurray for craftiness! Your scarves turned out REALLY WELL!! If it makes you feel any better, I've been crocheting for a long time too *cough*26 years*cough*. =)