What does one make of this… right?
Say, a scarf or whatever else one may fancy.
And then there is the method of doing it. I chose crocheting. Because of its remote familiarity, the simplicity of creation involved. Almost as if something from my ancestry as a human hooked and pulled me in.
Yet, first timer I may have been, I did not have to go through the deepest and slowest creative acquisition process, trait of a novel discovery. I had my wife, Cheryl on my side, whom I had seen spin fibers and crochet hats before. Nonetheless doing is an even better way of believing than seeing.
I needed a scarf. I didn’t have one.
Contextually I would mention my discriminative affinity for natural fibers and wool is plentiful in our new home, Scotland. Then there is my complexion, an Asiatic white, with recently discovered curly dark brown hair locks all around. Something else sheep-ish. And did I find the perfect match? First I practiced crocheting on a head band and when I was done and donned it, sometimes I would forget it in my hair not finding it instantly in the mirror. It was a chocolate Shetland.
But first things first, I sat down to spin my first 200 g of wool fiber. Was I intimidated? No. My feet kept me going… while my fingers tried to hold me back. I had some caramel brown Manx Loaghtan wool on hand with similar rough texture, so I threw in a couple of tufts here and there for a tiny color accent.
The result? A yarn that I recognized as one, from its springy thinnest to its fuzzy thickest, double-triple corkscrew when let go. Fantastic nonetheless: tremendous tensile strength (not that on my chest under coat it will matter) and given the random variation of tightness and loftiness, as I justified the unintentional inhomogeneity of my yarn, will surely provide a very warm piece of apparel, perhaps even warmer than something from a deftly pro’ yarn. Seriously.
Following a few not at all unimportant intermediary steps, I got to sit down and with a 6.00 mm bamboo hook in my hand learn the very basics of crocheting. Again, I mustered up confidence on a nearly invisible head band. Then with the left-over (oh, might not be enough any more) yarn and the design concept in my head, commenced the work on my scarf.
With a somewhat unique approach, characteristic to uninitiated outsiders, I imagined my scarf being short, just down to my chest, but wide enough to cover the majority of the wind-exposed, more sensitive area (vaguely from nipple to nipple), with a right size slot running vertically down the middle of it through which the other, much narrower end would be pulled through and it would key into by virtue of steeply widening the last few rows. To finish it off, I wanted to go around the edges twice. Simple (or not) as that.
I had to seek Cheryl’s repeat hands-off directions, to be sure, almost each time I sat down to resume my work after a shorter or longer break, and on occasion for her to clarify which one was the next stitch, but otherwise I enjoyed my solitaire creative freedom of self-expression.
Then the yarn ran out, so I had to wait for the right opportunity to arrive and repeat the process. At the Edinburgh Yarn Festival we found the same coarse texture and color, but under Jacob name. We bought 100 g anyway.
This second time around my yarn was more relaxed and so was I. The thickness and shade were seamless match to the old.
I found it very useful and I think it is exactly that what makes a garment custom-fit, truly bespoke, that I stood up tirelessly over and over again to measure the scarf to myself.
So was it fun, was it worth the time and effort? Most definitely. As for start-out projects like this, I recommend everyone to set any intimidation aside, what’s more, to challenge yourselves and be bold. Original ideas are refreshing for more than just the person conceiving them, and if they are natural pieces of clothing, the streetscape, landscape will equally be relieved.
Asymmetry in balance. A virtue by nature. Oh, and look at that rich texture against the factory bleakness of my pullover… One garment at a time we will get there.
Let me show you some details…
Joyful crafting with no worries – just strong ethics, a dab of ingenuity and lots of looseness.