I wasn't going to post again until the New Year, but I'm so excited about this project, I have to show it now. NOW. I have some problems with delayed gratification, can you tell? (Although, I did wrap my own Kindle Fire and waited until Christmas to open it, to everyone's amusement.)
Ok, so I saw some pretty nifty braided scarves on Pinterest and Google. Follow me on Pinterest to see my inspirations! I decided to mash up the braided scarf idea with the upcycled t-shirt idea, and this is what I got.
I didn't cut up old t-shirts though, mostly because I only have a couple of them hanging around, and they're not of a size to produce enough fabric for this scarf. So I went to Hobby Lobby (for the FIRST TIME!) and almost swooned at the sight of the craft heaven that it is.
In a nutshell, this scarf consists of a cuff made from crochet, and a whole bunch of knit jersey fabric braided and tied into the crochet cuff.
I'm thinking about selling this on Etsy! (Did I mention? I'm starting an Etsy shop - another New Years resolution that I'll talk about later.) Update: I have not been making these for sale because it takes more fabric and time than I have available.
2 yds jersey knit fabric
yarn in coordinating color
thread in matching color
scissors, embroidery needle, crochet hook (I think I used size K)
3 hair bands (3 hair bands?! I know, I'll get to it)
Make a crochet cuff, which is really just a crocheted rectangle folded up and joined together. My pattern was CH 13, *turn, HDC 12 starting with the second chain, CH 1, then start from the * until you get a cuff large enough to be folded. To join, fold the rectangle up, and join your first row with your last row with a row of HDC 12, then fasten off. Did that make sense? I'm terrible at patterns. I'm also terrible at gauges, so good thing this project doesn't require any size accuracy!
For the braids:
Cut up your fabric into (24) 2 inch strips. I tried using 1 inch strips but the "t-shirt yarn" was thin and weak looking.
Since I had 2 yds of fabric, my strips were 72 inches long, but I needed twice that, so I sewed two strips together, to make 12 strips total. If you had 4 yds of fabric, you could cut some ginormous strips and save yourself the sewing. Then this would become the No Sew Braided Scarf instead of the Minimal Sewing Braided Scarf.
To make the "yarn" from the strips, pull the fabric strips so that the edges curled in, which means no need to hem! SCORE! and yay! for the jersey fabric.
Now I had a whole mess of jersey yarn spaghetti, which obviously, Josh wanted to play with. I forgot to get a picture of the tangle that he created when he pulled the whole mess onto the floor and wallowed in it. These pictures are of my t-shirt noodles, after Josh had gone to bed. I felt like the asian noodle master on the Kung Fu Panda dvd.
Thread the 12 noodles into 12 holes at the bottom of your crochet cuff so that the seam, or the middle, of the noodle is hidden by the cuff. This means you should have 6 feet of noodle on either side. Now you have a weird 12 pronged dodeca-pus squid monster.
It's time to BRAID! Pick 3 noodles (that's 2 from each side of the first crochet hole and 1 from the second) to braid. At this point, save your sanity and roll the noodles up and tie with the hair bands. Otherwise, you'll be messing with 6 foot open ends, knots up to your eyeballs, and no amount of liquor is going to make you want to continue.
Lock down the crochet cuff somewhere so you get enough tension to braid the noodles. I did this in my guest room, so I just tucked the cuff in between the mattress and the boxspring. Ha! I knew the dead weight of the Tempurpedic was good for something!
Now there's nothing left to do but braid. And braid and braid and braid. Twelve noodles halved gives you 24 strips, which means you'll end up with 8 braids. At 6 feet per braid, that's 48 feet of braiding. Maybe open a bottle of wine at this point...
As the braid progresses, release more of the material from the hair band. Towards the end, lose the hair bands altogether, then knot the braid at the end to fasten.
Braid, sip wine, braid some more. Chug wine. Keep braiding. Before you know it, you'll be done, and you'll have kicked that bottle and be feeling good!
To wear, wrap the braids around your neck once and secure in the cuff.
Here's me taking pictures of myself after Drew told me I had plenty nuff pictures already. After dozens of shots pointing in all the wrong directions, these were the only 2 that turned out, sort of.
Ok! NOW I can sit down and seriously think about my resolutions for 2012!
[Update] : I got myself a sticker!