A bit of an inside joke, but still these scarves are quite lovely.
1. Ethnic Jacquard from nitca handmade
2. Multicolor Stripes from Nits Creations
3. Cerulean and Cream from Peshtemal Shop
4. Check Cotton from Spring Flavor
5. Pink Paisley from Peacock Land
6. Handwoven Silk Ida Shawl from All Organic
7. Grey Stripes Infinity Scarf from White Moth
8. Blue to Aqua Handwoven Scarf from Billy Sue Textiles
9. Red and Yellow Linen Flax Scarf from Eleganti by Amizanti
Last year, on February 14th, I packed up Hubby, the baby, and my handy-dandy photographer and went to Allan Gardens to hang scarves on the trees in an attempt to help people in our not-so-great neighbourhood stay warm. I didn’t get to knit as many scarves as I wanted, so this year I’m asking for your help! Please(!)—send me your hand knit, hand crocheted, purchased, and cast-off scarves to hang in Allan Gardens this year! I know—there’s not much time left, but I think we can still do it. I mean, what better way to spend a chilly Sunday afternoon than knitting for a good cause? Plus, it’s a great way to de-stash. I am starting to knit today. Right now, in fact.
With your help I can make this Valentine’s Day project really special.
If you are interested, leave a comment or contact me via twitter or email so I can send you my coordinates. ♥
It’s been forever since I’ve actually posted a craft! That’s not to say I haven’t been crafting; this whole computer thing has just put a damper on the presentation of it all–more than I thought it would. I’ll spare you the details, but please forgive the wacky white balancing on the following photos. Not only am I not using Lightroom on BDF, I’m also working without a video card (who knew?! TOTALLY worth the money!).
Alright. Now where to begin.
I originally wanted to make this scarf out of this shirt:
It’s shirt my mom bought at Goodwill about 25 years ago. Made in France. (She’ll always tell you that.) My mom wore if for a long time, then I wore it for a long time, and now it’s soft, and comfy, but unfortunately, completely falling apart at the collar.
Since it is my favourite shirt, and it took me a long time to even admit its days were over, I was nervous to dive into the project with no pattern, so instead I decided to experiment on one of the many way to large shirts my childhood hairdresser keeps giving to me via my mom. Hello!? Have you seen the name of this blog? Medium is usually too big, why on earth would I wear an extra large?!
But I digress. And I won’t complain too much, because it gave me lots of material to work with. So I went to work.
I cut off the top and straps (and saved it for practice sewing), took out the drawstrings, cut the centre seam, folded the whole thing in half lengthwise, lining up the seams. I gave it a little press. I was lucky and was able to reuse the drawstrings as the button loops, which I pinned into place.
Now came the fear. Sewing with knit fabrics. Oy. I took an industrial sewing course (where you’re not allowed to pin or baste anything) and our teacher made feeding unruly fabrics look so easy. Just push a bit harder on the top layer, she said. Easier said than done.
But then I read Sew Liberated’s tutorial on the Sweet Pilot Cap. As promised, her tutorial offers “oodles of tips” for sewing with knit fabrics on your regular sewing machine. Well let me tell you, it’s like I own a new machine!
See #5 there? Where the little heart is on the skirt? I think that’s indicating my walking foot. And if it’s not quite a walking foot, it is the right foot for knit fabrics and it unlocked a whole other portion of stitches for me. Folks, I’m not even afraid of my tension knob anymore!
Okay, back to the project.
I sewed up all three sides, minus a bit to flip the whole thing inside out. Trimmed the excess, flipped it inside out, and gave it a quick press. Don’t move your iron back and forth with knit fabrics, just lay the iron on and let the heat do the work. (Another great tip from Sew Liberated.) Then, I decided to close up the scarf with one of my new found stretch stitches. A nice little bit of decoration, methinks. Sewed on some buttons, and voila.
It’s really hard to take a self-portrait of something around your neck.
So finally I gave in and got Hubby to take a picture.
And since I look super frumpy in that last photo, I’ll leave you with the dressed up version. Dress it up, dress it down, this scarf is a hit!
I saw someone do a project like this on the webbernets last year and knew immediately, that next year, I wanted to do the same thing. I can’t find the link anymore, so I don’t remember if it was a yarnbombing sort of thing, or an altruistic thing; I just remember pictures of a snowy, tree-lined street, and scarves. Lots and lots of scarves. How great would it be to hang scarves around the city for people who need them to take and wear?!
We live in a great house in Toronto on the wrong side of the tracks (in fact, one of our local parks is considered the most dangerous part of the city), so we see our fair share of disadvantaged folks around. We take many walks in our neighbourhood, and these people are actually quite sweet to us. They’re … characters. They really like Mr. S, and Addie’s always a hit. There’s the guy who carries a full set of harmonicas on a belt, the guy who offers Addie his sandwich (and plays with her in the off-leash area), and several ladies who smile at Samson when we walk by. Whatever disputes these people have, they keep it to themselves. I wanted to help these people.
So, yesterday we headed out to Allan Gardens (see, I didn’t mispell it!), a local park frequented by these folks, and started hanging!
I wish it could be a more spectacular display, and sadly, not all the scarves I put out were handknit, but I hope someone is a bit warmer because of these scarves. Next year, I’m asking for donations so I can have one scarf for every tree in Allan Gardens.
Happy Valentine’s Day ♥.
* There is some confusion surrounding the spelling of Allan/Allen Gardens. Google maps says one thing, Toronto’s site says another. I’m trying to put it right.