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I showed up to dinner with my friend erin last week with a gift bag full of presents for her. A t-shirt I never wear, a piece of card stock from a fancy wedding invitation, and a flat inner tube to a bike tire. She has a friend who might like the shirt, regularly makes crafts with paper, and is making fantastic earrings from flat tubes to raise funds for her work with Bike & Build this coming summer

A couple weeks ago on Easter, Janelle arrived at church with some presents for me – four kitchen knives wrapped in an old sweater. The sweater, of course, was for unraveling. The kitchen knives because the last time she came over for dinner she was appalled at the state of the IKEA knives we found in Gene’s mom’s basement and have used all this time.

My friends and I are weird and I couldn’t love it more.

Janelle admitted that the sweater she was giving me had been her favorite for years. Given that admission, I couldn’t just take the yarn for myself, so I promised her a scarf.

The first swatch I made incorporated cables and was based off of a cowl pattern called Crochet Garcia. Great cables, clear instructions, but making a long scarf out of it would have taken forever. Also, the yarn just wasn’t working out well with the cables, coming out too stiff but also with gaps that would let in the cold.

Instead, I decided to learn a new technique I’ve been curious about for a while now: Tunisian Crochet. It’s somewhere in between knitting and crochet – using a crochet hook, you pick up stitches across the whole length of the fabric (in Janelle’s scarf’s case, 20 stitches) and then work them off two by two like casting off on knitting. Depending on where you hold the yarn when you pick up the stitches, you can make different textures of fabric. I chose to make ones that look a lot like knit stockinette.

I love how it turned out. As with everything I make to give away (within reason, clearly I’m not trying on baby sweaters), I test wear/use the item once or twice just to make sure I haven’t forgotten anything. This scarf is nice!

Why no, I’m not contemplating stealing it for myself! What makes you think that?