Garden Yarn Bombs

 

While visiting my folks in Arizona, a couple of their garden features got yarn bombed!

Without a little cart to pull, this little burro has resorted to working out. This yarn bomb is crocheted using a large variegated rainbow yarn and size L hook. The brand of yarn is unknown as it was bought in a garage sale. The headband and armbands were crocheted in single crochet and sewn onto the donkey.

As it was winter in Phoenix (temperatures only reaching the low 70’s), the little bear in the garden looked a little chilly. He needed a little something to keep him warm as he did some ice fishing.

The scarf was also crocheted using a size L hook. The scarf is 6 stitches wide and double crocheted. Tassels on the ends complete the scarf.

As luck would have it, I didn’t need to wait until the cover of darkness to dress up these garden features. When the folks were taking siestas, these guys were getting ready for fiestas! The hard part was waiting for my folks to notice the yarn bombs. They walked by the donkey multiple times before noticing! I guess bright blue, yellow and pink are his colors.

Fair Isle vs. Intarsia

Back in 1994 I crocheted a Precious Moments afghan for my parents. Up until this project I thought one only used one color at a time when crocheting. However, I wanted to make the afghan with multiple colors. I simply cut and tied together the colors as they came up. I had never heard of Fair Isle or intarsia. If only I had! I probably could have finished the project a little faster, though the end result would have been much the same.

What are Fair Isle and intarsia? They are forms of changing colors while knitting or crocheting. More commonly associated with knitting, Fair Isle and intarsia can be used successfully with single crochet. Though both result in projects with images or patterns, how the color is changed is different. The Precious Moments afghan was done in a format similar to intarsia though not in true fashion since I cut the yarn and tied on the new color at each color change.

Fair Isle crochet scarves for 2011 Special Olympics

Fair Isle

In Fair Isle knitting or crocheting, two or more colors are used and carried along to be used as the pattern calls for it. It is carried loosely in the back when knitting and crocheted over/on top of when crocheting. Traditional Fair isle uses two colors per row or round. Two colors for knitting leaves only one color “stranded” alongthe back/wrong side. Two colors for crocheting means only one strand of yarn is hidden or crocheted over. The disadvantage of carrying multiple strands when crocheting is that it gets harder to to hide multiple strands as the stitches gets thicker around. This can also distort the size of the row.

Fair Isle knit skull hat

Intarsia

Intarsia is the use of multiple colors on multiple balls or bobbins. Each color is used and then dropped when the color is changed. The appropriate strand of yarn is picked back up and used on the way back across the row. For knitting, this requires picking up the new color from under the old color so the yarn is twisted together and a hole is not formed. For crocheting, the color may still need to be carried on a previous row a stitch or two like in the Fair Isle method if the color does not resume right above the previous row.

Crocheted Fair Isle and Intarsia Pillow

Fair Isle and Intarsia often use charts rather than detailed row by row written instructions. These charts can be used for knitting and crocheting. The stitch sizes in knitting and crocheting are slightly different, but will still work well when single crocheted. Half double and double crochets elongate the stitches which will distort the image. There will also be longer strands made when picking up “dropped” yarn from previous rows.

Fair Isle and intarsia designs can be made from any graph. If you can graph it, you can knit/crochet it. The sky truly is the limit. Check out the Graph It post for some ideas on making your own graph.

Fair Isle for Special Olympics

Many states are collecting scarves for the 2011 Special Olympics. And because I can’t do anything basic, I decided to make some scarves with Fair Isle! Thanks to Peggy Jean Kaylor and Crafty Knit Chicks for the Special Olympics logo and star graphs. Wanting to create a little Fair Isle work myself, I came up with a snowflake chart/grid, with the help of my sister. (I gave my sister the first pattern, which didn’t turn out too well! My second attempt turned out much better.)

The graph for the Special Olympics logo can by found on Ravelry. The star chart can be found at the Crafty Knit Chicks website. Though they are both written as knit patterns, they both can be crocheted using single crochet. I did the star with half double crochet, but that elongated the star a little bit.

The scarves are approximately 23 stitches wide. Per the requirements, the scarves are crocheted with Red Heart blue and turqua yarn. They are all approximately 6 inches wide x 54-60 inches long. They were made with a size H hook, though the requirements for the Olympics scarves project doesn’t mandate a specific pattern or hook size.

Not sure what Fair Isle knitting or crocheting is? Check out my post on Fair Isle vs. Intarsia.

Snowflake Scarf pattern – PDF

Basic snowflake scarf instructions

Pattern

Color A

Chain 23

Row 1: sc in 2nd chain from hook and each stitch across. Chain 1, turn.

Row 2: (1sc, 1dc) in 2nd chain from hook. Skip the next stitch. *(1 sc, dc) in next stitch, skip next stitch* across to the last two stitches. Sc in last two stitches.

Rows 3-25: Follow the pattern on the chart using sc for each stitch. Chain 1 and turn at the end of each row. (The chart can be found here in the Snowflake Scarf pattern.)

Color A for the X’s, color B on the blank spots.

Row 26: Repeat row 2

Row 27: Chain 3 (count as first dc). (Dc, ch-1, 2dc) in next stitch. Skip 3 stitches. *(2dc, ch1, 2dc) in next stitch* across. The last dc should be made in the last stitch.

Row 28: Repeat row 2 except skip all the ch-1 spaces of the previous row.

Row 29-30: Repeat rows 27 and 2.

Row 31: Chain 3, dc across.

Repeat Row 31 until the scarf measures approximately 50 inches in length (about 76 rows).

Row 107-110: Repeat rows 2 and 27 twice.

Row 111: Repeat row 2.

Rows 112-134: follow the snowflake chart.

Row 135: Repeat row 2.

Row 136: Sc across. Tie off; weave in end.

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