Looking at the above picture I suddenly feel quite sad! Sad because that beautiful pale blue flower in progress there was the very last flower I made...I was at that delicious point where I was about to witness a WiP becoming a FO. That's a Work-in-Progress becoming a Finished Object. Delicious yes, but sad too :: awwwwwww no more flowers to make!! The most delectable of projects is over and done with, boohoo!!! I can see now why many of these scarves have gone on to become large wraps or blankets. The urge to keep making more and more flowers is quite hard to resist. I am already planning my next flower scarf in a light weight yarn of some sorts for spring/summer wear.
Anyhow, gosh, there I go, off on quite a ramble in my very first paragraph, I do apologise! What I should be saying is Hello, and Welcome to my Japanese Flower Scarf Ta-dah!!!!!! Very glad to have you here to share this with me, I am unbelievably excited about this particular ta-dah moment.
I have totally LOVED working on this project (can you tell?!). It's been a wonderful experience and everything about it has been wowsy. If you've not already seen it, you can read my post here which details the beginning of this project including yarn info and links to the inspiration, pattern etc.
The yarn (Debbie Bliss "Andes") has proven a total dream to work with, I can't rate it highly enough. Everyone who has seen me working this scarf has involuntarily reached out to touch and stroke the yarn, it's absolutely beautiful and completely irresistible. You can't look at it without wanting to touch it.
I used 9 colours/skeins in total and as you can see I only have a teeny handful left. I was working the colours totally at random and joining-on-the-go, so I did have to pay very careful attention to the placement of them. I managed pretty well I think, spacing them all out fairly evenly and using roughly the same amount of each colour throughout.
The above photo was taken before I blocked the scarf out. The flowers did end up a little bit scrunched, with curly-up petals and tight middles and although they probably would have been fine just as they were, I knew that blocking would improve them a lot.
I get asked a lot of questions about the process of blocking actually. Is it necessary? Does it work? How do I do it? Do I block individual motifs/shapes or block the finished article? The answers vary, depending on the yarn used (you can only block natural fibres), the type of project and the size of the project. Generally speaking, if I'm making something that employs the join-as-you-go method, it's not actually possible to block individual motifs/shapes and often I won't bother to block the finished article either. But sometimes I finish making something and it looks so disappointingly wobbly/scrunched/dreadful that I know it will have to go through the blocking treatment. But believe me, it is SO worth the effort and the extra day's wait for the finished article.
My blocking method is very simple and involves a towel, some pins, a spray bottle (this kind of thing), and the attic floor. I pin directly through the towel and into the carpet as you can see above. Starting in the middle, working outwards to the edge. Gently stretching and easing the crochet into shape. With this scarf, I started pinning outwards from the middle flowers, then pinned every petal around the edge. Once the edge was pinned thoroughly though, I found I could remove all the pins in the middle, I only needed them to start out. Tepid water in the mister, and a generous spray all over. The article needs to be evenly wet but not drenched. Then you stand back and force yourself to leave well alone for at least 24hours, and believe me, that last bit's not at all easy! But it does need to be completely, thoroughly dry before you remove the pins.
Then comes a most magical moment.
I've removed all the pins, and there it lays, all dry and perfectly shaped and stretched and taught.
I really want to scoop it up and check out it's perfectly beautiful new drape and shape, yet at the same time I am happy to sit and admire it all laid out.
I hold my breath.
I ease a little bit of it up off the towel.
It sits all taut and shaped and stretched in my hand.
And I think phhheewwwweeeee, the blocking has worked as I knew it would, it's safe to lift up the rest.
I breathe out.
And inwardly my heart is singing and I'm thinking "It's finished! I did it! It's finished!! And I LOVE it!!!!"
With this scarf, I spent rather a long time prancing about with it in front of the mirror before I decided to lay it out again and photograph it. It's not often I create wearable hooky and it was quite an experience! I mean, I do always kind of "wear" my blankets about my shoulders when I've first finished them, but the Trying On Of The Scarf was extra special.
You know what's coming, right?
Are you ready?
Ready for the reveal??
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh isn't it just????????? Just????? Well, just deeeeelightful!!!!! In every way.
I am of course totally thrilled with it.
Worked in four long rows, I made 46 flowers altogether.
It's quite a substantial and generous wrap.
It's soft and drapey and luxurious and colourful and joyous. Warm too, oh my goodness me, it is soooooooo warm. The alpaca/silk combo makes this an exceptional bit of heat-retaining kit to wear around ones neck.
The colours are such a success I think. The soft/rich/subtle/vibrant mixture is very appealing.
It was in fact incredibly hard to take pictures of the scarf on myself by myself. I wanted to show you the scale of this beauty, how generous it is, how long and wrappable and easy to wear it is. I teetered on a small wooden childs chair to catch my reflection in the bathroom cabinet in order to show you. Not terribly successful, but hoping you get the gist.
I can't tell you how incredible it feels to walk out and about wearing this creation of mine :: in the few days that I've been wearing it, it's given me such a lot of pleasure already. SO HAPPY!!!
And then when I'm not wearing it, I have the pleasure of seeing it hanging around in the hallway looking all casual and at home.
I only took a few pics outside in the back yard and most of them were rubbish (I tried to hang the scarf on the washing line which didn't work out). But this turned out to be my favourite picture of all, I just love it for it's simplicity.
Sigh. So lovely, if I do say so myself.
By the way, I really hope you don't find my enthusiasm too gushy or braggy, I certainly don't mean it to be. I just get a tremendous kick out of creating and sharing, such fun!
Anyhow....I think I may have finally run out of steam here, so I will end with my usual Riveting Facts....
Pattern :: taken from the Japnese book "Motif Book Vol 4".
Yarn :: Debbie Bliss Andes, a DK weight baby alpaca/mulberry silk mix
Flowers :: 46, each measuring approx 10cm across
Measures :: 143 cm along the long side, 105cm along the shorter side, and 36cm width
Balls :: 9 x 50g in 9 different colours
Weight :: 400g
Cost :: £53.55 and so so so worth it.
Time :: started mid January, finished early March.
Photo :: sitting in the Big Chair, casually wrapped
Scarf :: soft and gorgeous and luxurious and blissful and...(I could go on and on here)
Me :: happy and happy and happy and.................happy!
ps I know many of you have been inspired by these flowers and have embarked on your own wraps/scarfs/throws/blankets, it's been really incredible seeing so many pop up all over the world in recent weeks. If you'd like to share yours with everyone I'd be so happy :: please leave a blog/flickr link for us to go see! Thank you! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx