Staying Home and Crafting

How have you been spending all this extra time at home? Cleaning crevices of your home you never thought of cleaning? Finally clearing out your closets to discover items you had long forgotten? Constantly searching the internet for recipes to use up obscure items found in your pantry? Or simply catching up on television shows or discovering new ones? And of course, there are those things on your to do list that you know you should get to, but, just don’t seem to have the motivation to do so. One of those things for me is raking the leaves in my backyard. A task I am never fond of doing, but, once done I am so happy to have done. Sometimes too we put so many things on our to-do lists that we become overwhelmed with what to do first. I know that happens with me often. Especially on my list of crafts I want to do.

For quite some time I had a small pile of beadweaving projects that I wanted to get to. I even organized the beads I wanted to use for the projects so all I had to was actually sit down and make them. Well, I finally started working on some of those projects and soon discovered that I didn’t like how a few of them were turning out or I just didn’t have the patience so I gave up and moved on to the next one. I did find one project that I liked and I ended up making two pairs of earrings.

I’m in the middle of making this bracelet. So far so good, I just need to figure out how to put a knot in the end of the bracelet without destroying the braid or making it look wonky.

I also attempted to make a new Easter wreath. I picked up the supplies in late February after coming across the directions and they sounded simple enough. Decoupage plastic Easter eggs with small pieces of paper napkins and then glue them to a straw wreath adorned with Spanish moss. I’ve made quite a few wreaths so I thought I would have no problem with this one. I started, well, I should say I tried to decoupage the eggs and it was a mess. The paper wasn’t flat on the eggs regardless of how small I cut the napkin and I couldn’t stand the smell of the decoupage glue. Oh well. Thankfully the supplies weren’t that expensive and they are all things I can use for other projects so it wasn’t a total loss.

Before things got really bad with the virus and places were still open I was taking crocheting/knitting classes at my local library. I had just finished a series of three classes where we made crocheted tote bags and was starting another series of three classes to make a knitted keyhole scarf. I actually made a crocheted version last year. We got through one class before the library decided to cancel all classes and then ultimately closed. Thankfully in that one class I got the gist of how to make the scarf – it involved splitting stitches and using double-pointed needles, neither of which I had done nor used before in knitting – so, I was able to complete it on my own.

And then I started another scarf (my neck is ready for next winter). Initially, using Lion Brand’s Homespun yarn, I was knitting a scarf in garter stitch (knitting every stitch in each row) and once completed I was going to weave ribbon through the scarf in a basketweave pattern. I got to a certain point and tested out weaving the ribbon through and just didn’t like how it was looking so I decided to go with a pattern (Flights of Fancy) I had in a folder and I am liking this much better. I’ve thought about going through my yarn stash and putting all my remnant yarns together to make a blanket. For now though, I’ll just add that to my to-do list.

So, I’ve definitely been trying to keep myself busy at home as you can see. And yes, I have cleaned corners of my house I never thought of cleaning all while avoiding those leaves. As for television, I don’t subscribe to any streaming services so I split my time between watching actual television and listening to music. I am always amazed how there are so many channels and still nothing to watch at times. As for cooking and baking, I haven’t gotten too creative yet. I did make this Banana Cake with Mascarpone Whipped Cream Frosting last week as a means to use up some bananas and mascarpone cheese. I do have a pasta dish that I have yet to hit publish on that I give quite a few ideas to customize with what you have in your pantry. The main thing right now though is to stay home, stay safe and stay healthy!

 

 

 

Crocheted Keyhole Scarf

Earlier this year I got a request to make a keyhole scarf (it can also be referred to as an Ascot scarf). It’s a short scarf that sits at the upper chest. As opposed to other scarves this style stays put because one end is inserted into the keyhole of the other. Since I truly had no clue how to make one I started looking for patterns online similar to the picture of the one requested. Once I found a pattern I set it aside figuring I would have time to make it by the deadline of September. Eventually I picked up the pattern to give it a good read over and instantly got worried. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to actually make it. The words leaf, keyhole and neck in the pattern through me for a bit of a loop. I decided though that I would practice on some extra yarn that I have stored away – I have a bin of yarn in my basement with remnants from past projects. I clean it out every now and then because I realized you don’t really need a few yards of random shades of yarn.

So, I picked a yarn that was similar in weight to the yarn I planned on using for the actual scarf. And I must say actually working on something with your hands as opposed to reading and imagining how to do it are so opposite. Once I had the yarn and crochet needle in my hand the pattern made sense and the scarf was a cinch to crochet. I decided to work thru the pattern from the first leaf, to making the keyhole and then a bit of the neck (all those words that through me for a loop at the beginning.) Once I got to a decent point I showed the sample to the recipient of the final product and they were happy with it. I then went and purchased the actual yarn.

And started working on it…

It took me less than a week (probably the quickest I’ve ever gotten a yarn project done – well, except for some ruffle scarves I made a few years ago. I was cranking out two a day after someone requested like 10 of them) and the scarf was done. This is a pic of the scarf just completed but before washing and blocking it.

After washing and blocking the scarf it laid flat.

Here’s a pic of the keyhole…

What the scarf looks like without one end being inserted into the other…

And a not so great shot of me wearing the scarf, but, it gives you an idea of how the scarf fits.

Most importantly, the intended recipient was delighted with it and is planning on wearing it on her upcoming Alaskan cruise!

Unfortunately I cannot share the pattern I used to make the scarf, but, if you would like to make it yourself the pattern I used was the Rita Ascot Scarf by Emily Johannes.