Thursday, March 05, 2009

The Faux Woven Scarf

Sorry for missing yesterday's post. I got into a major depressive funk and just wasn't feeling up to it. I also didn't pick up my knitting either. I don't knit well when I'm upset or depressed for some reason. But I'm feeling much better today!

This helped. He's been walking around for the past hour with a carrot saying "What's up doc?" over and over and over...

I've got an older project to show you today though. I dug this up a couple of days ago when it was cold:
Click to enlarge for details

It's a Faux Woven Scarf. It's so easy and fun to make. You don't use any knitting needles or crochet hooks to make it either. You use a sewing machine!

I gathered together a bunch of odds and ends of different yarns and ribbons, trying to get a good ratio of color to texture with a base color of black. I know there's some lion brand homespun and some novelty eyelash yarn in there along with some thin black ribbon as well.

The magic ingredient in making one of these is some water soluble stabilizer. Sulky makes a great one. This is commonly used with embroidery machines to stabilize the fabric that is being embroidered.

Now, get out your sewing machine and thread. That's the last of what you need to get started.

Figure out how long and wide you want your scarf to be. Cut your stabilizer to that length and width. Then, cut your pieces of yarn and ribbon to the same length.

Begin sewing the pieces lengthwise onto the stabilizer using a zigzag stitch on your sewing machine. I used black thread to coordinate with the other pieces that I had chosen.

Vary the space in between each of the pieces that you sew on. You want this to look very loosely woven in order to get the look above. Of course, no one says you have to match it exactly. It's your scarf, play with it until you get the look you want!

Once you have filled the stabilizer's entire length all the way across and the yarn and ribbon feel fairly stable on it, you can begin with the horizontal stitching. Change your stitch to a straight stitch. Beginning at the top of the scarf, start stitching across. You are going to stitch all the way down the length of the scarf. Again, vary the length in between your rows and make sure these stitches go on top of every piece of yarn and ribbon.

Don't worry if your stabilizer has bunched up a bit, you're not going to be looking for perfection here and it's going to disappear in the next step anyhow.

Once you have completed the sewing part of the scarf, it's time to get it wet. Run it under warm water and dissolve the stabilizer completely. I used acrylic yarns for this, so I didn't have to be gentle with it. If you use wool, handle it with care in order not to felt it! Although, that could look cool too with this technique. I might have to try it sometime. :)

Spread it out on a towel or other blocking surface to dry completely.

There! Simple huh?

As always, if you have any questions on this technique, let me know. I'll be glad to answer.