What to do with a dozen bandanas?

Birthday greetings

Two of my male friends have had birthdays in the last week, and I made cards for them both. I always try to find the time to make cards for family and good friends. When I first started doing so, I kept a list of who’d been sent what, to avoid giving a similar card the next year, but now I have a simpler method: I just change the type of card I’m making every few months. Fortunately, there’s so much inspiration out there on the internet that I have no trouble finding new ideas. I do have a few “old favourite” designs though, but I tweak them a little every time I use them, so that there’s no danger of someone getting a card that’s identical to one they’ve had from me in the past.

But making cards for men is difficult, isn’t it? With women, anything pretty and/or floral will fit the bill when all else fails. I usually end up making something more geometric for men, as I’d rather avoid the clichés of cards with a sporting, drinking or DIY theme. This time around, I found a couple of ideas for designs that I expect I will make again.

The first has a fun waistcoat element to it that could be made from all sorts of patterned papers. I used a geometric print origami paper, but I can see me using a floral paper or a metallic the next time, perhaps with a different tie to make this suitable for a wedding or engagement card. Sequins or gems could then be used to make glitzy buttons instead of plain paper dots.

Jacket and waistcoat birthday card Ribbons and bow birthday card

The next card is dressed up with short lengths of ribbon. I think this style suits being monochrome, but it might look good in red and white or navy and white as well as black and white.

Complicated lace

Knitting-wise, I am continuing to work on the Kelmscott cardigan. The almost-plain reverse stocking stitch back is finished and I’ve begun the first front.

Kelmscott cardiganThe lace is worked on both the right side and the wrong side, and the pattern doesn’t repeat until you get to row seventy-something, so I’m having to concentrate rather a lot and progress is slow. I reckon it’ll take me a month to knit both fronts. I thought I’d be able to convert the whole thing to right-side-out stocking stitch fairly easily, by cutting the back above the small lace motif at the hem and just re-knitting the lower section before grafting it back to the turned-around upper section, but I now see that the fronts have a reverse stocking stitch panel up the side. This means I’m committed to having the reverse side outwards, unless I pull the whole thing out and start again. Which I’m not inclined to do. I will trust to the fact that the designer knew what she was doing when she chose reverse stocking stitch to set off the lace.

The sleeves, like the back, are plain apart from a small lace motif at the cuff. I’m going to cast on for the first one to give me something undemanding to knit alongside the front, for when I’m at my knitting group or my dear husband wants to watch the latest subtitled Montalbano or Nordic noir.

Winnings

Last but not least, my prize parcel has arrived from Instructables. This was for coming third in a dyeing contest with a project for dyeing in the microwave.

Dyeing kitThe parcel contains Procion dyestuff in three colours, fixative, squeezy bottles, a tie-dye DVD, a plain white T-shirt, a dozen cotton bandanas and lots more goodies. I don’t think this type of dyeing will be quite as mess-free as the microwave method that won me the prize, so I’ll have to wait until the summer when it’s warm enough to splash dye around outside. I’m not at all sure that I have a need for 12 bandanas, but I feel a tie-dye party coming on.

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About yorkshirecrafter

I live and work in West Yorkshire.  I've always enjoyed crafts of all types, from woodwork to lace-making.  I also enjoy anything mathematical, which makes knitting a favourite pastime, especially complicated designs.  I've been advising businesses and industry on environmental matters for 30 years and also have an interest in green living, especially where it saves me money. I live with my husband and our Maine Coon in a 100-year-old cottage that constantly needs something doing to it.  Fortunately, I enjoy DIY too.
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