Waffle Scarf

Not sure if she was inspired by my incessant verbal waffling. (Unlikely 🙂  )  Or by my enjoyment of toasted waffles for breakfast. But whatever the reason, Shana recently treated me to not one, not two, but three whole 50g balls of Sirdar ‘Husky’ Super Chunky waffle yarn. Shana thought the white flecks were little pieces of marshmallow, but perhaps she was feeling hungry when she looked at the yarn. Like the starving character played by Charlie Chaplin in silent classic ‘The Gold Rush’ when he ate his own boots, sometimes almost anything can look like food. But if I find Shana eating my most recent project, I shall take immediate umbrage. Marshmallows indeed!

Anyway, as it was proper man-sized yarn I could hardly knit little pieces of chunky lace patterns, could I? So I did what any super chunky yarn is meant for: I knitted a scarf. I did it (in proper fisherman’s rib stitch, no less) using a pair of 150mm wooden needles. Did I say 150mm? Well that must be either a typo or a telegraph pole. Figure that out for yourself (consider it a bonus Craftshack puzzle, why not?).

For stats obsessives, I just measured the scarf and it is easily eight feet long. And if Shana helps me put it on and stands of one end of it,  she can probably get it quite tight too. That should keep me warm when the Arctic blasts arrive 🙂

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The tale of the twice-knit scarf

Life, some say, is all about a long process of change. Development. Transformation.

Well, so is knitting!

About a year ago, I made a big chunky floppy scarf, using a home-made knitting loom that would probably have been considered a bit primitive even by the Flintstones

This week I frogged it. For the uninitiated, that means I found one of the ends, untucked it, and unravelled the entire thing.

Then I knitted it into a scarf again, in a similar way to that famous work of ‘art’ called Shed/Boat/Shed, where someone built a wooden shed, dismantled it, made a boat out of all the parts, sailed to the North Pole or somewhere, and on their return rebuilt the boat into a shed. Brilliant!

My project will be informally known as Scarf/Yarn/Scarf.

Or, the twice-knit scarf 🙂

This time, though, I didn’t use a loom. I used proper grown-up wooden knitting needles and some basic knowledge of the knit stitch that I acquired while researching loom-knitting methods.

This time the scarf is shorter but much more solidly constructed.

I had to persuade our favourite bear to come out of semi-retirement to model the scarf (I almost said ‘garment’ 🙂 ).

Next, I shall attempt to knit a boat and sail to the North Pole.

Or perhaps not :).

Home-made knitting loom scarf

When it comes to the esoteric arts of yarnery, I am proud to call myself a dilettante. And I can prove it too! Yesterday afternoon, for example, I decided to finally do something useful with a big ball of Patons Fab Big yarn that Shana bought me a few weeks ago.It was a chunky mass of pink, grey and white and really needed something spectacular to be made from it.

I confess I had been mulling over this idea for a while and had, to assist me, amassed a host of links to various tutorials. But yesterday I at last got down to business. The serious business, that is, of loom knitting.

But apart from a diddy little pink plastic kniting spool about the size of my hand, I had no equipment available.

But never fear. A ‘bloke’ like me is always resourceful. So I made my own flat panel loom, hacked out of a stout cardboard envelope that had once held a crochet book Shana bought online. Here it is. Eight inches wide, with two inch pegs. (Or if you’ve gone all metric , that’s eight inches wide with two inch pegs. Clear now?) Oh yes, and when I say ‘hacked’, I’m not entirely joking 🙂

home made knitting loom

And then I knitted myself a scarf.

bearinscarf2

And allowed one of our favourite bears to model it.

Obviously, I remembered how to cast on and knit; otherwise, there’d be nothing to show you , would there? However, it does have a slight rustic curliness at the edges, because although I had read about garter stitch and other such wonders, I just wanted to plough on and get done. This was a BIG project for me, as the most I’ve ever done on a loom before was a relatively short length of tubuluar knitting.

I did check up on how to cast off and didn’t do too badly, but again didn’t quite finish as perfectly as I’d hoped, so there was a small amount of tidying up and burying of loose ends afterwards. Shana gave my scarf a final check before allowing me to unleash it on our delicate readership 🙂

bearinscarf

The scarf came out at just over six feet long (or if you’re metric that’s forty-six horsepower, so there!) and I am quite chuffed with how it went. We might run a competition and give away my homemade loom as a prize.

The scarf, though, I keeps 🙂

Queen Victoria’s Crochet

Trawling through the news searching for anything to do with crochet I found this article, not exactly recent news, but nonetheless interesting! Google seriously needs to change its algorithms, crochet is NOT knitting.

What is the link between Queen Victoria, potatoes and crochet?
In early Victorian Britain, crochet was often regarded as a cheap substitute for traditional hand made lace and as such was not popular amongst the wealthy. Queen Victoria strove to make crochet more fashionable by buying crocheted lace crafted by Irish women striving to eke out a livelihood during the disastrous potato famine which decimated the population of Ireland in the mid 19th Century. The Queen even learned to crochet herself, making eight crocheted scarves as awards for selected veterans of the South African War. These Royal scarves were worn as sashes with great pride.
This particular crocheted “comforter” or scarf was made by Queen Victoria and given to Lady Wantage who presented it to Wantage Hospital. Its pristine condition suggests that it was never actually used, but framed for posterity.

source: BBC