Monday, November 10, 2008

Crafting Genius Strikes Again

A couple of weeks ago Una mentioned that she wanted a scarf. Since we do live at a latitude that is nearly halfway between the equator and the north pole I find that a reasonable request. In fact, now that she's reached the age of maturity when a scarf is no longer a strangulation hazard, I would go so far as to say that she needs a scarf. Since it's a legitimate need, I wasn't feeling too bad about the possibility of purchasing one, especially if I could find one at a second-hand store. But the compact-follower in me wanted to see if I could first cobble together of scarf of sorts with items I already have. If I'm really honest with myself and my readers, I'll let you know that making a scarf was my second choice. My first choice was taking a scarf that I've had my eye on for a few weeks from the lost and found box. Unfortunately for me (but fortunately for the scarf's owner), the scarf was claimed late last week (you should know that I would only take something from the lost and found if it had been sitting there for months). So with option number 1 out of the picture, I set out to determine how to make a scarf with items on hand. This would have been quite easy if I followed in the footsteps of Julia Roberts, Sarah Jessica Parker, Hillary Swank, or countless other celebrities and hipsters who have popularized knitting in recent years. I, however, am neither famous enough or hip enough to knit and therefore creating a scarf from yarn is not an option for me. Plus I don't have any yarn in my house.
Luckily I remembered that I can sew. I also remembered that a few years back my friend L and I oversaw a community service project where we made scarves out of fleece fabric. I just read through that last sentence and the phrase "community service" makes it sound like we were court-ordered to participate as retribution for some misdeed. That was not the case. Contrary to what you may think of me after the lost and found revelation, I can assure you that both L and I are reputable citizens who were making scarves out of the goodness of our hearts for the cold and needy children in the area. Off I went to the basement where my bin of fabric resides. Unfortunately we were all out of fleece. But I did see some funky tie-dye print jersey knit. I'm not sure why I had it, or what I was planning on doing with it, but I rejoiced in its existence just the same. I held the tie-dye scraps up to Una to see how long this scarf would need to be and she told me in a very matter of fact tone "this is not warm enough, mom." She of course was right. Some fleece (or at the very least, flannel) needed to be found quickly. And that's when I stumbled upon this:
When Una was born her then 8 year-old cousin from Bert's side of the family was learning how to sew and made this pink blanket for her. I thought it was the sweetest gift and have been unable to part with it. I used it with both Una and Duet, but they've now outgrown it and it doesn't get much use. It is, however warm and made of fleece. I rationalized that I could now turn the blanket into a scarf so Una would have a daily memory of her cousin and the thoughtful gesture. If you think I'm calloused for turning a child's gift into something useful because I'm too cheap to buy that item at the store and you're not buying that argument that it was really done in an effort to memorialize the 8 year-old's thoughtfulness, then you should know that we haven't seen or heard from this cousin's family in at lest 3 years so I hardly think anyone will be offended.
With the fleece and colorful jersey knit (2 items that were just sitting around cluttering up my space) in hand I cut them up into the right sizes, and sewed the pieces together with hot pink thread that I found in my basement (again, I have no idea where it came from), and ended up with this:It is a bit garish and over-the-top, but imagine for a moment that you are a 4 and 1/2 year old girl. Wouldn't you be thrilled to have a rainbow colored scarf with warm pink fleece? I thought so. The best part is that I copied a brilliant idea that I noticed last winter when my friend A brought her daughter over. Her scarf had built in pockets that doubled as hand-warmers. No mittens necessary for quick trips to and from the car. I loved it and incorporated it into my masterpiece.

Masterpiece is a stronger word than I should use to describe this scarf. Truthfully, it's not my best handiwork. I almost ran out of thread at the very end and had to hand sew the last bit. I hate hand sewing and I'm not that great at it. Bert volunteered to do that part since, as you may recall, he sews people. But in the end I finished it myself and I am happy to report that Una loves it. Of equal importance is the fact that I love that following the compact has unleashed a new wave of creativity in me. I'm becoming more reliant upon myself and my skill set and less reliant upon the readily made items at the store that evidently I don't really need to be buying after all. I've got those same post-pumpkin bag feelings. And let me tell you, in the words of James Brown, "I feel good."

In addition to putting 2 pieces of clutter to good use today, I also managed to de-clutter in Una's room for 10 minutes.

P.S. I promise not to mention this too many more times, but if you haven't already voted for me yet ( it only takes less than 1 minute to do so and even my technology-challenged 70 year-old mother managed to do it, so you know it must be easy) here's the skinny (as previously mentioned in Saturday's post One Tangent After Another): Somebody (I have my suspicions) nominated me for an award for best new blog. Please, if you like my blog (or even if you don't, but feel generous and would like to make someone, i.e. me, happy) follow this link and vote for me by scrolling down...way down...and clicking on the plus sign under "becomingmarypoppins." On second thought, don't scroll. Use that sweet tech tip I wrote about in October, and use the space bar to jump down to the bottom of the page where you can find my name. I just tested it out and you only need to hit the space bar 21 times. Who doesn't have time for that?


Angie said...

you are so funny. I love all of your justifications because you think people are judging you. More power to you for sewing that together. I think it's absolutely perfect for her. Especially with the pockets on it. Plus now the scarf matches her and Duet's old onsie right? I really need to learn to sew. I asked a neighbor to make me a dress since I can't find one I like, but I wish I knew how to sew and could do it myself! You're awesome for puting your skills to good use lady.

Denise Eskelson said...

that is one cute scarf! love the pockets and the tye-dye. Impressive.

GmaA said...

MP--I amazed, astounded, impressed, entertained, and blown away. Who knew (although, I have always been (the above adjectives)by you and your accomplishments. You are truly my idol!! Funny and Fun stuff! I read every post in one sitting, it was sooo fun!


Liz said...

I believe that L person is me you were talking about, and I am so glad you kept all that left over fabric and it is not cluttering up my house! I love making things for my kids. They seem to appreciate them more and love watching and helping me when they can.

Mary Poppins said...

angie--thanks and what can i say? we do love tie dye in my house.

denise--glad you like it. i only wish i had enough fabric left over to make one for you.

gmaa/deb--glad you signed your name so i know who you are. thanks for checking me out and reading through everything. as usual you went above and beyond. thanks for the nice comments. one day i hope to be half as creative, generous, and wonderful as you.

liz--you are indeed my L. believe it or not those bags of fabric have been gone for over a year now. we used up almost all of the scraps in making the various quilts. i was soooo happy when i was able to kiss that fabric good-bye.

Baba/Ann said...

What can I add that hasn't already been said? Gmaa/deb put it quite succinctly. I'll just say, I am in agreement and like to add my voice to the cheering section. I just want you to know I'm still following your blog even though I don't log on every day.

Mary Poppins said...

baba/ann--you have always been and continue to be an excellent cheerleader. T-H-A-N-K-S!