Ker-ker ker-choo à la main

One of the many great things about living in New Orleans was the people I met. Sometimes those people had mothers who could make crafts like nobody’s business, and you might find yourself trying to be even half as good over ten years later.

Growing up I was taught to appreciate the skill, time, and resourcefulness it takes to make things yourself.  I’ve always enjoyed making things, so I guess I was destined to become a fan of my good friend’s mother, Cindy. She would send gifts of her creations to her daughter in the mail and I was probably just as excited as my friend to see what was inside those packages. I am still awed and inspired by Cindy’s talent. She can sew, bead, paint, re-purpose, tie-dye, and who knows what else, but on top of that she always seemed to make items that were trendy before I even knew about the trend (which may or may not give you an idea about how hip I am). Cindy seemed to whip up these covetable items with amazing speed, but also with great craftsmanship. I’ve never been lucky enough to meet her, but I feel like I know her a little by then things she has made. One of Cindy’s many handmade creations were sewn kerchiefs. I thought of them when I was knitting the head-kerchiefs and head-wraps I’ve been obsessed by lately. It occurred to me that this woman I have never met is still inspiring me with her creativity and bespoke approach.

I made the first triangle knitted kerchief for my Grandmother’s birthday, but liked it so much I almost didn’t send it. It’s more comfortable than a headband, but also hides your unwashed/undyed/clean/wild hair. I could see how it would keep the sun off your head, and still be breathable, like a summer tam, or perhaps you could get it wet at the beach and wear it to keep your head cool since it’s made of cotton. It’s also strong enough to hold the shape when you pull it tight across your head, and doesn’t slip like a satin or silk scarf.

For the triangle kerchief I used an I-cord bind off, and I really liked the finished effect. It was an easy technique to learn and I preferred the thicker edging and rounded cords to tie the kerchief with. I thought of this technique while trying to come up with ideas for some fingerless hand warmers. I was given some hand spun yarn from a friend who lives near a sheep farm. The two small skeins were quite small, so I wasn’t sure what I could make with it. Two small cuffs seemed like a project that I could safely attempt, so I came up with a pattern to accommodate. I think they turned out super cute, and I really like the I-cord edging, and the bow detail for the wrist ties. I’ll be writing the pattern notes on Ravelry if anyone else wishes to recreate them. The yarn was so soft it was like knitting with cotton balls, or  fluffy kittens. So much fun.

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I found a free pattern for a head wrap called the Britta Lalena and made it with some modifications other knitters had recommended. I liked the idea of creating the button closure and a wider headband like “brim”‘ so I knitted a version of it in cotton, since I am now out of sock weight yarn completely, and decided to do the yellow version with a mesh pattern, rather than the eyelet (the red version, pictured below). The mesh pattern was inspired by some produce bags actually. One project seems to just flow into the next, and I have had to keep reminding myself lately that it is okay to love knitting so much, as it sometimes seems to swallow large chunks of time. Time I think I should maybe be doing other things with, but, I keep knitting.

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I still have kerchief patterns in mind that I want to knit up, but I am also making market bags, also out of cotton. We’re really impressed with Jean Talon market here in the city, and we’ve been going back quite often to buy produce. My friends across the country garden themselves, and I think these cotton produce bags will be handy to haul the bounty of the garden into the house. The great thing about cotton is you can wash the produce right in the bag and then hang it to dry with the produce inside, or use them to store your produce in the fridge or counter so tender items don’t get bruised. Mine will be for market apples and oranges, but I think I may also make bags to hang onions and potatoes in. I’ll be gifting a lot of these too, so I think I have a full summer line up of knitting produce and market bags.

As a side note, I want to say that if you haven’t tried pears sliced on top of Liberty organic cream cheese, with a sprinkle of honey and cinnamon, you haven’t lived. I am off to make myself something like this while I wonder what kind of handicraft Cindy could be up to now. Have a wonderful day!

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6 thoughts on “Ker-ker ker-choo à la main

  1. Sue

    I sure like the headwraps. I think they are stylish. I like both, and the colours are very spring-summer. Fun to take off in different directions when it comes to crafting. One does not become bored with the repetitious actions and same outcome. Great projects. You make a great model. Sure beats the stiff band like hairbands that poke into the scalp. Sometimes they are pressing on areas that cause headaches. This would be so much more comfortable.

    Reply
    1. gypsyfusion Post author

      Thanks Mom. The head wraps are super comfortable.
      I wish I had some readily available models. i don’t have any co-workers to hassle.
      Need a produce bag? 🙂

      Reply
      1. Sue

        Well that would be an immediate invitation to say ‘Yes”. I can also think of another purpose for it. If I may take the same bag and use it for a lingerie bag. If you think it is appropriate to use in this fashion. Would the bag be strong enough to live up to multiple washes?

      2. gypsyfusion Post author

        Yes, it would, but I would make it drawstring to keep the items inside.
        It may also be best to use a blended yarn rather than 100% cotton to prevent cotton pilling on nylon items. I’ll look into it and see what is best.

  2. Kaya

    The headbands are gorgeous and so are you!! I love the yellow colour, it reminds me of the lovely cowl that you made me!

    Reply
  3. allison

    Love it. My mom is still crafting, she is in full beading swing right now and has my nieces’ little hands working away. She said she loves having their help because they are very good at doing the tedious repeating patterns, which she hates. I know she will be so happy to know that she has inspired you in an area so special to her. I think she has always believed you shouldn’t buy something you can make yourself. Something she has tried to instill in my sister and myself which hasn’t quite stuck. But I am working on it, I do now own a sewing machine (one my mom gave me).

    Reply

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