Friday, June 29, 2007

Wrap It Up.

**Just in - Annie Modesitt and her family are currently experiencing a very difficult time - her husband has been diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers, and if you feel so inclined, donate. The costs of keeping a home going at a time like this can be devastating to a family. The last thing anyone should have to worry about when facing this is the stupid mortgage.**

I hate that my hair touches my face in the summer. It drives me nuts. I used to have waist length hair that I wrestled every morning into french braids, or just pigtail braids if I was feeling rushed, or a single center braid in the back. My hair is very thick unless managed with those scary razor thinning shear things, so my single braid was about 3" across at the top and not comfortable. I went through years of work as a nurse with side-braids like a five year old. The residents called it cute. My mother wept softly, but then she also had a problem with the non-shaving phase, and the patchouli thing, and the perpetual cut-off and hand embroidered jeans - although she did purchase Birks for me, but only after she discovered her shrink wore them too, which made them ok. I cut it for the sake of vanity, pure and simple, total sell-out, but I hate having it cut. I feel like I am sacrificing it's integrity by razoring it into managable, modern shape. If practicality were to take precidence, I'd have it back to my waist and perpetually in a headwrap and braids. I can't go quite that far back in time, but suspect that when I am old (and wear purple) you will find my with two fat braids down my back. In summer I take half of the equation - the headwrap part - and put it into practice when bumming about. Usually this takes the form of an old bandana or scrap of calico of a pattern that matches nothing I am wearing. These scraps are generally accompanied by home made cotton and/or rayon dresses or jumpers of decidedly unflattering shape and style. 'Frump' lives strong in me. It's not something I wear when away from home anymore (sadly, for I miss the comfort). Difficult to accept, but "professionalism" and "worn calico housedress with red bandana topper" do not work well together. But I digress.
To the point: when Girl gave me one happy little skein of bamboo in ideal Melissa colors and the idea of a headwrap first was brought into the picture I had a visceral reaction : sadness. I assumed that this would be a drag-along item that I used to cover a bad hair day when grocery shopping, or something I wore under my bike helmet so my hair didn't spike through the holes. It would probably not be something I could wear any old time, but would have to be restricted to the garden or the deck or the transfer station. I was wrong. Way wrong. I want a million of them in all colors to co-ordinate with my entire wardrobe. The headscarf grows up, and I am on board.

Melissa's Happy Butterfly Headwrap

Needles: US4 or size needed to obtain the nebulous gauge stated below.
Yarn: 1 skein Alchemy Bamboo; 100% bamboo, 138 yds/hank or other lovable yarn that you could only manage one hank of - just make sure you've got at least 138 yards. (Classic Elite Bamboo, Plymouth Royal Bamboo, Artyarns Regal Silk, leftover Great Adirondak Sireno, Debbie Bliss Pure Silk DK, Filatura Regina, etc)
Gauge: Eh, who's counting?? OK, if I had to guess I'd say 5.5 sts/inch in st st AFTER blocking. If you don't get gauge, consider reducing or increasing your cast-on by one repeat to make up the difference. Play with it.
Finished dimensions: 4" x 46" after blocking. Remember - most of the non-wool yarns will grow a lot in length after blocking and wearing.

Using crocheted cast-on (a.k.a. chain stitch cast-on) place 23 stitches on needle. Work in garter stitch for 4 rows. Begin following charted pattern below, maintaining two stitches on either side of the charted pattern in garter stitch. Row 1 and all odd numbered rows are wrong side rows. Follow chart throughout scarf. You may wish to use stitch markers to denote the two edge stitches. Continue until you have about 5 yards of yarn remaining. Work 4 rows of garter stitch and cast off (or bind off, it's all the same to me).
Wash your scarf in cool water, squeezing to ensure that the water penetrates the bamboo fibers. Spin or squeeze to remove excess water, then lay flat to dry. When dry, tie one on and go for a spin in your convertible, dust the house, do the shopping, head to work, run out for a lovely evening. It goes anywhere. Now make about 20 more in a variety of colors and wrap your way to inner peace.

If you take the plunge, I'd love to see the results. Email me, or post a comment with a link to your blog.


Kristi said...

Oh, like I don't have enough projects this summer...(scribble, scribble, add to list). :)

Eh, what's ONE more?

Yarnhog said...

I have long, thick, wavy hair that is a total pain in the butt in summer (about six months long around here). My husband is flatly opposed to cutting. I am sick of pony tails, and wearing it up gives me a headache because it is so heavy. I may have to give this a try!

Kathy said...

My hair just hangs and sags and goes flat and icky in the summer. Feel free to transfuse some of your thickness anytime :)

I am glad you made the post about Annie - I'll do the same on the store blog. I cannot even fathom how she's holding it together.

Katy said...

Hmmm... I've been meaning to make the knit and tonic head wrap for weeks (but distracted by several Glampyre's One Skein Wonders and a long boring work trip). Maybe I will make the Melissa version instead.

Persnickety said...

Cute headwrap. I love the picture of you wearing it.

MelissaKnits said...

Funny. Someone told me that the pics of me are unattractive and should be removed. Huh.

Yarnhog said...

Update: I was at the store last night, looking specifically for headwraps, since my hair and I are off to Jamaica next week. They were outrageous! $25 for a scrap of fabric tied in a knot? Then I remembered this post. And I remembered that lovely single skein of Tilli Thomas Fil de la Mer (silk and seacell) that I got as a bonus gift and have no use for. It has 140 yards. I am so excited! What perfect airplane knitting!