The calendar says it’s officially spring in Australia, so I might not be getting much use this year out of my knitted and crocheted collection. All the more reason to show you what I have — and made — before it’s time to pack them away!
Above, you can see my wonderful items. Clockwise from the top, we have:
- the arm-knitted infinity scarf I made in July out of beautiful wool (see below).
- a crocheted cowl with buttons I made last year. It fits around my neck and looks a little like Claire from Outlander, which I like.
- knitted fingerless gloves, by my friend Sam, who is a fantastic knitter. She gave them to me for my 30th birthday, and I think of her every time I wear them. Love the color — not something I’d normally gravitate towards, but it looks fantastic with many of my winter coats.
- here’s a piece I commissioned from my cousin Jessica: a knitted hot water bottle cover. It goes over my German-made Fashy hot water bottle that my friend Rachel insisted I buy in New Zealand. (Jess, if you’re reading this: the ribbon came out and I’m using it as a bookmark, but I’ll put it back in when I finish the book, promise.)
- next up, we have a knitted scarf, also by my friend Sam. I’ve had this for years, and it finally made its way from the U.S. to Australia. Love the rainbow jewel tones — all of which I wear a lot.
- finally, there’s the pink/orange/yellow crocheted infinity scarf, made by yours truly. I crocheted it last year — it was the first time I’ve ever used more than one skein — but I couldn’t seem to keep the sides to go even. There was a moment when I showed it to my friend Angela. “My friend just loves the colors,” I said. “Yes,” responded Angela, “But does she like the shape?” Chuckle! So I never got around to wearing it last winter. But this year, infinity scarves/cowls became all the rage in Melbourne, and I turned it into one. I love wearing it with bright red lipstick and a white shirt, as you can see in the photo.
Arm-Knitting an Infinity Scarf
My (former) housemate Jen and I became obsessed with the idea of arm knitting after seeing a video about it in a Frankie magazine newsletter. “Takes 30 minutes!” the video trumpeted. So after a fortuitous happening upon of some gorgeous wool 50% off at a shop in Fitzroy, we thought we were in business. Taking it along to a crafternoon organised by my (current) housemate Jez, I attempted to watch the video on my phone. Nope. I don’t know how to knit, and the video went too fast.
Enter Leaona. A knitter (and sewer, and all kind of crafty things), she gamely came over to teach me how to arm knit. She even brought cupcakes to go along with my ginger shortbread.
The casting on was — just like regular knitting — the hardest part, but once it was firmly attached to my arms I really got the hang of it. The repetitiveness is quite soothing, and the huge thread made the very open weave look wonderful.
An hour later, we both had finished infinity scarves. I’ve worn mine out several times and get compliments galore. The best part is, if I decide I want to change things up, I can just take it apart and knit or crochet it into something else.
All of my handmade designs — either made by myself or from friends or family — make me feel not just warm on the outside, but warm on the inside, too. (Awwwwww.) If you’re a knitter or crocheter, make sure to give an item to someone this Christmas — there’s nothing like wrapping yourself up in a scarf or mittens made by a friend. And if you’ve ever wanted to give it a go, I highly recommend teaching yourself, or inviting a friend over to show you how. They might even bring cupcakes!