Friday, December 31, 2010

Scarf or Not Scarf?

All four of these items are covet-worthy, but two are scarves and two are not. Watch as I sort items that dance on the fine line. Click the link below each photo to go to the ravelry store for each item.

It's titled as a shawl, but it's so thin that this counts as a scarf in my book. Tiny tiny shawl=scarf.

This on the other hand is a full sized shawl worn as a scarf. Shawl=Not scarf.

A lovely cowl is certainly a scarf. Cowl = Scarf

This is a gigantic cowl, but it's more of a poncho or cape. Cape= Not scarf.

These are all beautiful, but I think the rule of thumb here is about size. Anything too gigantic stops being a scarf except maybe on the runway.

So you've guessed by now what I'm doing starting tomorrow, right? It's pretty obvious because I'm not very good at being mysterious. Also there are tags. Anyway, see you tomorrow!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Picky Picky Scarves are Tricky

If I'm going to start a project and it's going to revolve around the scarf, I had better lay down the rules, eh?

Scarf –noun
1. a broad strip of wool, silk, lace, or other material worn about the neck, shoulders, or head, for ornament or protection against cold, drafts, etc. ; muffler.
2. a necktie or cravat with hanging ends.
3. a long cover or ornamental cloth for a bureau, table, etc.

I feel that there's a lot of wiggle room in this definition. First off, I'm going to scratch definition number three. It's not that I don't think it's a valid definition; it's just that I don't particularly enjoy making those sorts of things.

Next I feel that the first and second entry somewhat contradict each other. I have never seen a "broad" necktie. Maybe they exist, but I just can't picture it and still imagine it looking nice.

Also, in my world a thing that is meant to be around your shoulders is a cape or a shawl. You can certainly wear a shawl scarf-style, but that doesn't turn it into a scarf. Some shawls are very slight and can cross the line, but in general if they are as wide as they are long, that's just not a scarf to me.

I seem to think that if something is ornamental that it needn't be defined by it's size. In my mind a scarf can be broad, sure, but it could be slender. After all, isn't the phrase "skinny scarf" in common use?

So for the purposes of my 2011 project, let's see what we have left.

A scarf is a strip of material worn around the neck and/or head for ornament or protection from cold. A scarf can be broad or slender. A scarf can have hanging ends or be secure. Yes, in my world a cowl is a scarf and a tight collar is also a scarf as long as it covers the neck.

Tomorrow I'll search out a bunch of pictures of scarves and not scarves so we'll all be in the know.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Necessary Cold Weather Gear III

Gigantic arteries carrying warm, oxygen-rich blood are totally exposed because you aren't covering your collar area! Thanks to SCIENCE we now know that covering something warm is "insulating" and will prevent a loss of heat. Use this to your advantage with one of the following neck warmers.

This is a scarf.

I made this one. (in my shop on etsy)
It's a very long rectangle that keeps you warm. It's very easy to wear because it is so versatile. You can wrap it, fold it, tie it, and let it hang free. If it's long enough you can wrap your head, neck and hands all at the same time!

Oh. I see. Too many places around you for it to get caught. That's fine. Why not try this one on for size?

This is a cowl.
This is by Mandizzle, a teammate of Cleveland Handmade.
It's like a scarf because it hangs around your neck, but it's connected into a continuous circle. The hanging bits that would have gotten caught are now taken care of. Once again, you can wrap it more than once if it's large enough and cover your head.

One size fits all isn't your style, eh? Well, la-di-da, I can STILL help you!

This has a multitude of names. Dickie, collar, turtleneck. Invent your own name if you like.
This is by Katrinchen on etsy.
Granted, this is a unitasker, but I assume you've read the previous two entries and have warm heads, ears, and hands by now.

You ARE properly warmed by various fashionable yet functional outdoor apparel, aren't you? Well stay tuned! I've a lot yet to say and display about that cold neck.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Necessary Cold Weather Gear II

Your little digits look a little cold there, chief. Ever think about covering those suckers up? Ah. Pockets. Yes that's a good place for them most of the time. What will you do when you have to pull them out of your pockets to fiddle with keys, bags, hair, and everything else in the world with which you need to interact? Got you there, didn't I?

These are mittens.
These were made by Etsy teammate Caffeinated Frenzy
They cover your whole hand and keep your piggies warm! Frostbite should fear your cold weather gear! Oh you say you'd rather be able to move your fingers around. That's not a problem.

These are gloves.
This pair was embellished by another teammate Raging Wool
There you see? Now your fingers are still warm, but they're all separate so you can still feel the freedom of flying fingers.

What? You want to be able to touch the things you're fiddling with? Well, we can help there too.

These are fingerless gloves.
Look! Your fingers are free, they're exposed, you can touch things like your ipod and your iphone and your eyeball. Have I convinced you yet to dress warmly and keep your poor little ticklers cozy?

Next I'll have a thing or two to say about that exposed neck area. (And I'll really be getting excited about my project HINT HINT)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Necessary Cold Weather Gear

We are DEEP into winter now in the Northern Hemisphere and yet I'm still sometimes seeing otherwise sane people choosing a hoodie and sweatshirt pairing to brave the elements. I shall assume that this is a matter of blissful ignorance and therefore offer this guide in hopes that one of the offenders will read it and realize the common sense of the matter. I'm also winding myself down into my big project for the coming year.

This is a hat.
This one was made by my friend and Etsy teammate LaztTCrochet.
See how it hangs out on top of the head? See how it covers up the ears to keep your little hearing dudes warm? It's very useful for preventing the heat that rises up out of your head from escaping.

Oh you don't want to mess up your hairdo? Well how about one of these?

This is a headband or ear warmer.
This one was made by yours truly.
You'll notice this time that the crown of the head is uncovered so it won't upset your hair. But it still covers the ears! You won't have to worry about your cold red ears falling off if they are kept warm and normal colored!

What's that? You're STILL worried about your hair?

Fine fine.

These are earmuffs.
This pair is available from The Perfect Present.

Now you really can't argue with that right? It's the absolute bare minimum you can wear and still keep your side-flaps from freezing right off your head.

Next time, we'll talk about things that keep your hands warm.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Let's Get Started!

I've a giant project in the works for the new year, friends!

I know I usually neglect my blog, but starting on New Year's Day, it will be an integral part of keeping me to my goal.

Anticipate daily updates throughout the year and it will be of greatest interest to fellow crafters, knitters, and crocheters. I'm really going to need support with this one, so leave comments, leave links, and maybe leave photos too once it's well underway.

Here's to creativity in 2011!! (You'll find out the project soon enough!)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Embarrassing Stories: My Worst Christmas

This little story is more sad than embarrassing. Pathetic is similar to embarrassing, right?

The Bells and Whistles

When I was in high school, I was very active in my church choir. I sang alto and sometimes mezzo soprano. I played the saxophone, orchestral bells, handbells, cymbals and a host of other music enhancing percussion instruments.

At Christmas and other important church holidays, I was in high demand. This particular Christmas, I had agreed to play in every single mass that would be held at my parish. How many masses was I playing? Well, let's list them: Children's mass, Evening mass, Midnight Vigil Mass, Christmas Morning, Christmas Late Morning, and I believe there was at least one other nondescript mass. Since most of the masses were an hour and Midnight Vigil was around three, that's at very least 8 hours I spent in church over those 2 days.

My extended family had planned a Christmas Eve get together that year, which was disappointing for me since I would not be able to attend.

"We'll probably be home before the final mass is over and we'll have a Christmas Eve together then," my family members said.

I walked to the church early in the afternoon, played through the first 2 masses, twiddled my fingers until the midnight mass, played through, and then walked myself home around 11:30 at night. (This was before I could drive, you see) I called out into the dark house.


I'll have a Blue Christmas without you.

My family wasn't home yet.

I was starving by this time as I hadn't eaten since lunch and checked the fridge, thinking that a plate of Christmas dinner would have been saved for me. I would reheat my leftovers and at least have a little Christmas for myself.


Finding no plate set aside on the counter, in the fridge, or anywhere at all, I began looking for at least something to eat at all. Let's face it though. It was Christmas Eve. All of the food in the house had been ingredients for the various pot luck dishes that had been taken to the party. And those same pot luck dishes were to be leftovers for the next few days. And I came from a family that didn't stock spaghetti-O's.

I did however find one semi-palatable thing that Christmas Eve night as I sat on the couch in a dark house at midnight watching the first showing of A Christmas Story at the beginning of its annual 24 hour marathon.

And that's how it came to be known as "Canned Creamed Corn Christmas."