I was given this gorgeous collection of Stylecraft Batik yarn last Summer and it spent many months in my studio being stroked and admired. The colours are really lovely, sort of soft and vibrant all at the same time, and the yarn itself is super-soft and squishy (it's an 80% acrylic / 20% wool mix). The yarn inspired me to think about some ideas for simple scarves as it feels so good snuggled right next to the skin. There is absolutely none of the itch that you tend to think about with wool, but there is still a welcome amount of warmth.
As so often happens, these scarfy ideas jiggled around inside my Creative Mind for many, many months until one day the perfect opportunity sprang forth. I was asked to design a simple project to be included in the 2017 Comic Relief Crafternoon publication, following on from the little Spring Posy brooch I made for the same charity event in 2015. I already had a very good idea about what sort of scarf I wanted to make, but the hardest bit of all was trying to choose just five colours - uh-oh - what a tough job for someone like me who generally chooses All The Colours!
I was asked to think spring-like thoughts and come up with an appropriate soft and gentle colour palette. Ok then, I can do soft and springy, of course I can! So after much umming and ahhing and colour-filled sampling, I settled on the above selection : Stylecraft Batik DK in Biscuit, Pistachio, Heather, Sage and Coral.
I opted to make a very simple, and very long skinny scarf, using a really easy stitch to form those long, long stripy rows.
And to finish those skinny rows off, I made some neat tassels, which was a first ever thing for me, and a huge amount of fun. Who knew that making a tassel fringe could feel so satisfyingly good?!
Oh yummy, just look how pretty those colours are (very Springlike indeed, wouldn't you agree?), and how impossibly neat my fringes look. That was a Proud Tassel Moment for sure.
Did I mention that this skinny scarf is loooooooong? I made it six foot long (180cm) as I do like to feel like I can wrap a cosy scarf right around my neck a good few times and still have length enough to tie a jaunty knot.
Nobody told me how damn near impossible it is to actually photograph a six foot length of crochet though. I took a gazillion pictures of it draped hither and thither - folded, curled, tied, un-tied. On a table, on a hanger, on a hook, around my neck, and finally on a chair. I liked the chair picture a lot in the end.
So have you heard of the Comic Relief Crafternoon? It's a fabulous idea dreamed up by my lovely friend Emma Mitchell, and brought to life by the team at Mollie Makes. This is essentially a wonderfully creative way to raise money for a charity that does amazing things to beat poverty and help people in need in the UK and Africa. You can find out all about the Comic Relief charity and the work it does here.
This year's Crafternoon magazine is a thing of beauty and inspiration - 130 colourful pages chockablock full of creative ideas and fun makes. A whopping £5 from the sale of every magazine goes directly to the Comic Relief charity (the 2015 Crafternoon magazine raised over £60,000!!).
Shall we have a little peek at some of the pages?
Oooooooooooooo looky right there - that looks mighty familiar! I am ridiculously chuffed to see my Skinny Minnie scarf looking rather pretty and not too badly styled on that chair against my lush blue studio wall. On the next page (which I'm sorry I forgot to photograph), there is my crochet pattern, which is accompanied by a whole lot of step-by-step photos to help you along the way to skinny stripe and tassel perfection.
There are fifty (FIFTY) different creative projects included in the magazine which cover a whole host of creative disciplines. Sewing, weaving, papercrafts, embroidery, pom-poms, crochet, jewellery making etc etc, all designed by some very clever makers from around the world.
I was so happy to see this cute little crochet birdy designed by Clare of Little Conkers (remember when I made one of her robins for my Winter Wreath?). Definitely on my list of things to whip up in a spare moment or two.
Eat, Sleep, Craft, Repeat.....the story of my life!
I absolutely fell head over heels in love with these Blooming Lovely flowers made by the super talented Lia Griffith. They are made from crepe paper - yes, paper!!! Oh, aren't they just rather lush?
Emma's tag line for this incredible Crafternoon endeavour is "Make your Craft Matter", which I think hits the spot rather nicely. Because as well as knowing that a whole £5 from the sale of each magazine is going to charity, there is a way we can help raise even more. Emma encourages us to think about making some beautiful little things which can be sold to friends, acquaintances and work collegues to make more crafty cash for Comic Relief. You can go the whole hog and organise a crafty coffee morning or hand made fair, or you could simply grab some yarn and make a little flower brooch, a soft skinny scarf or a pretty little birdy and ask someone lovely to buy it from you to help those in need.
Remember, every little helps, it really, really does.
Just £2.50 can buy an insecticide-treated mosquito net to protect a child in Africa from contracting deadly malaria while they sleep.
You can donate your handmade money easily and safely via the Crafternoon sponsorship page (using a credit card or Paypal) - the goal is to raise a creatively inspired £2000, so please spread the word and join in if you can.
Here is the link you need to donate your money directly >>
I've loved seeing all the gorgeous creative makes pop up on social media since the Crafternoon magazine went on sale last month. If you are on Instagram, you can use the hashtag #molliecrafternoon to share your projects and find inspiration. The (Mini) Skinny Minnie scarves shown above were made by a lovely lady called Kay for her great nephew and niece....cute eh?
So it goes without saying that I would love it if you felt inspired to go forth and snag yourself a copy of this fab magazine. Every copy sold will help do something wonderful for those in need.
In the UK, you can find copies of The Big Comic Relief Crafternoon in the larger branches of Sainsbury's supermarkets. There is a handy list for you to check which Sainsbury's stores are participating here >> http://bitly.com/crafternoonstock.
£5 from each and every magazine goes directly to Comic Relief.
Alternatively, if you are overseas you can acquire and download yourself a digital version via these places :
£4 from each and every download goes directly to Comic Relief.
And finally - here is a rather second rate selfie of yours truly to show you my Skinny Minnie scarf in action. I wish you could feel how light and soft it feels.
You can share your crafty news and makes via the Crafternoon Facebook page, the community over there is fab and there are already lots of plans afoot for Crafternoons (and mornings and whole days!) all over the country.
Comic Relief this year is on FRIDAY 24th MARCH.
Thank you so much for any support and sharing you can give to this, it is very, very much appreciated,