Thing-a-Week #46

I’m going to Stitches West in a few weeks. I found out there’s going to be a stitch marker swap there, so I made some to trade. I have some closed rings that’ll work with knitting needles, and some open hooks that’ll work with crochet. I just thought the charms were cute.

Thing a Week #46: Stitch Markers

I got the charms and findings at Beads and Beyond in Bellevue. I’m not sure if I got enough, or too many. I guess we’ll just have to see!

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Thing-a-Week #44

Last month there was a discussion thread on Ravelry about a $300 hooded scarf from Spratters & Jayne. The basic tenor of the thread was that people couldn’t believe someone was charging $300 for a chunky scarf. I was intrigued, and decided to see if I could make one too. This is the result.

Thing a Week #44: Hooded Scarf

I reverse engineered the scarf based only on pictures on the web. I also chose a yarn–Cascade Magnum–that appeared to be very similar to what they used. It’s a very thick single, made from Peruvian Highland Wool. It’s so similar (even down to color selection!) that I have a feeling it’s from the same mill. It’s crochet, using a Q hook (which is very large… 15mm). Minus any small differences in stitch count, gauge, or construction, I think my scarf came very close to the original (found here).

Thing a Week #44: Hooded Scarf

(This picture is my own; I arranged the scarf so that it appears similar to the manufacturer’s pictures for comparison.)

What I learned during this exercise was that $300 is not really that far off. The yarn cost me nearly $80 alone. It only took a few hours to make, but once you factor in that, shipping, and distribution, it’s not that much of a stretch, even with reduced material and labor costs for the manufacturer.

I think people are incredulous at high prices because they think that hand-knit and -crochet items are inherently cheap, something you do because you can’t afford to buy the “real” thing at the store. So not true. Handcrafted items can take many (many, many!) hours to make, but they’re often sold for only a little over the cost of materials. Knitters and crocheters undervalue their time, and buyers don’t want to pay what the item is really worth. It’s why I never even think about selling what I make; it’s only for the pleasure of making it. Still, it’s nice to see a business model that works.

Hooded Scarf

I do love this scarf. The yarn is great, and the scarf so very warm and soft. I can see why people would shell out $300 for it, though I’m glad I can just make it myself.

Hooded Scarf

Thanks to my husband Bryan for the photos. I keep saying how handy he is!

(Note: I am not making the pattern available for this scarf. This was solely for the challenge; I have no interest in encroaching on Spratters & Jayne’s turf, either by distrbuting the pattern or by selling the completed scarf. However, it’s really not that hard to figure out if you really want to make one for yourself!)

Hooded Scarf

And another thing

Right. So I haven’t been doing Thing-a-Week lately, but I have two things that should’ve taken a week and took a month each instead. Close enough, right?

First, we have a knit hat:

Lamb's Lace Beret

The pattern is Lamb’s Lace Beret by Christina Wall of Classic Cable Knits. The yarn is Old Maiden Aunt superwash merino 4-ply in Ultraviolet, a gift from my friend Ewenique. The color is gorgeous. I just made it for me, though I’m not sure it suits me. Maybe I’m just not used to berets.

After I finished the hat, I moved on to something I’ve been wanting to make for a while. If you know your internet memes, you’ll recognize this:

Nyan Cat Scarf

That’s right, it’s a Nyan Cat in scarf form. The pattern is Amigurumi Pop Tart Cat Scarf by Mevlinn Gusick, and it’s crocheted in wool. It was fun to make and even more fun to wear. You can’t help but smile at it!

Nyan Cat Scarf

So I do have something lined up to attempt this week, so I might just get back into Thing-a-Week real soon. Let’s hope!

Thing-a-Week #13

Whew. I made it a quarter of the way through my year of things-a-week. Never thought I’d get this far!

I thought it fitting that I actually finish that little neckwarmer project I was working on (Things 3, 4, 5, and 7). The final step was to actually publish the pattern, and I did that today. It’s a free pattern, available for download in PDF format.

Thing a Week #13: Neckwarmer Pattern

Details about the pattern and where to download it are here.

Helen Neckwarmer

A couple of months ago, I spun some yarn for my friend Helen. The yarn was an odd weight, sorta-bulky and sorta-aran, and I thought she might have some trouble finding a pattern for it. So, I wrote one up!

Helen Neckwarmer
Download pattern (PDF)

This neckwarmer is edged in eyelets, which can be used for any arrangement of buttonholes. The body is simple alternating single and double crochet stitches. It was designed with handspun yarn in mind, but also looks striking with commercial self-striping yarn.

The pattern is available here in PDF format. Enjoy!

Thing-a-Week #7

Back to the neckwarmer thingy. If you remember, I made a ill-fitting prototype for Thing #3, wrote the pattern for Thing #4, and then spun the yarn for it for Thing #5. This week, I actually made it for real.

Thing a Week #7: Neckwarmer

It’s a nice and warm, and actually fits a human neck this time. I just wish I had some better buttons.

Thing-a-Week #4

Warning: this post isn’t very exciting.

This week I wrote the pattern for the neckwarmer I made last week. I made some minor tweaks to resize it, but I think it’s going to be pretty close.

It’s not quite ready to publish yet; I want to test it out first, so I have nothing to show you this week. You’ll just have to take my word for it!

Thing-a-Week #3

I gave away the yarn I spun last week, but it later occurred to me that the recipient might not know what to do with it. There wasn’t a lot of yardage, and it was sort of an odd weight. So, I decided to write a pattern for it. I settled on a neckwarmer and began making a prototype. This is it:

Thing a Week #3: Neckwarmer prototype

It’s crochet, and this prototype was made with Patons Soy Wool Stripes. This is an example of a thing-a-week that isn’t quite right… I got the overall stitch pattern I wanted, but I didn’t make it long enough, so the neck opening is too small. That’s ok, though. I’ll write up the pattern and give it another try, which should give me at least two more things-a-week to do!

Noro Catherine Wheel Hat

I started on this project back in March, soon after I posted my Noro Catherine Wheel Scarf. One of the very creative people on Ravelry had created both a scarf and a set of fingerless mitts from the scarf pattern, and thought it’d be great if I wrote up a hat, too. So, here’s the hat!
 
 
Like the scarf, this hat uses a repeated Catherine Wheel stitch, and incorporates the same ruffled border for the edge. I used the same Noro Silk Garden yarn that did for the scarf.
 
While I completed the hat in April, I didn’t finish writing the pattern till today. Better late than never, right? It’s now available here in PDF format. Have fun!

Noro Catherine Wheel Scarf

Over on Ravelry, I came upon on the Moonstiches Rhubarb Scarf, a gorgeous, delicate thing that I decided I had to have for myself. There was no pattern, so I felt inspired to write my own.
 


Download pattern (PDF)

 
The scarf uses a repeated Catherine Wheel stitch, and is bordered by ruffled semicircles. This one uses Noro Silk Garden yarn, which isn’t as fine as the Diakeito Diamusee Fine used for the Rhubarb scarf, and is 4 repeats across instead of 5. Still, I hope I captured a little bit of the spirit of the Moonstitches scarf.
 
The pattern is available here in PDF format. Many thanks to Moonstitches for the inspiration and permission to publish this pattern. Enjoy!
 
Update Feb 21: I’ve added charts to the pattern. Redownload at the above link if you want them!
 
Update Feb 22: Bonjour, lecteurs de Théonie! (Did I say that right?) Thank you for visiting and for your kind words!
 
Please send any questions or suggestions to ellemennop (at) live (dot) com. Thanks!
 

see this pattern on ravelry                see this project on ravelry