Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Ah-yi - designer and creator

Ah-yi is the name her family use and the name she uses for her eclectic blog. Postings vary from pictures of her travels in Southern
California to delicate projects with yarn and textiles. I love her simple, spare style and when I discovered the following project, I instantly wanted to pass it on to chaincreative. Although she is an architectural designer by trade, her first love is textile design which she channels in so many ways. A couple of projects I spotted were her work on varying scarves. So far, so normal, you might think but the scarves she's referring to are anything but. The first is inspired by everlasting sprout and is perfect for our new and improved weather! The second is another Japanese inspired project and ah-yi has kindly given permission to publish the instructions so you can get cracking yourself. Now I know it's not strictly crochet but I so loved the simplicity of the idea that I persuaded myself it's a close relative.I'm going to repeat all the instructions ah-yi gives so that you have the complete picture both in words and images.
'The yarn I used here is blue sky alpacas "Bulky Naturals", I used one skein.(45 yards). The color is silver mink. ( these look very nice too). The length of the finished product is 6'4" and the width is 2'-1/4". First, cutthe yarns to the desired length. I had 12 of 10' long yarns. 2 of them as a group and tie them together like the photo shown below.**( it could be 14 of 8' long yarns or 16 of 7' long yarns. you will have shorter but wider scarf.) so you will have six group of them. Tie them to the clothes hanger. Follow the instruction here. I quickly did some sketches here. I hope this is helpful.I hung my hanger to my book shelf structure so I can sit on my chair. The Ikea book shelve I have happens to have the steel rod structure so I can easily adjust the height I want. I also tried to hang it to the bath room's towel hanger but then I could not adjust the height. It's a bit painful to stand for a couple hours. Also you need a clean floor space for the excess yarns. remember they are 10' long yarns!I think I was inspired by those back strap loom which attached to wood trunk and human body. It reminds me that I doesn't hold the yarns well. I just don't have a surface can nail on and also bigger enough for those 10' long yarns.I think I'm going to keep this scarf with me this time although you can simply use my clothes hanger to finish this project.No. 8 is the end condition. You need to always adjust the shape of the scarves. Pull them tight!! but not overly; try to do some swatches before you did a real project. To check the texture, color and get used to the braiding patter. Also you will know what kind of the tension you need. This is the swatch I used the irregular shape yarns so you can see that it got various width.
Here is the original illustrations from the book. You will notice that actually the yarns are fixed by the nails. you also can do this way. I tried this at the very beginning . I used foam core and pins but it failed. The pins doesn't hold the yarns well. I just don't have a surface can nail and also bigger enough for those 10' long yarns.
I think I'm going to keep this scarf with me this time although it's almost spring here now!! ( I always ended up not keeping/owning any of the scarves I made.)
Please feel free to ask me any questions. I may miss some details. I think you will find you own way to do it just like what I did.Happy
braiding!! friends!* It took time to make the scarf, do all the sketches and write this post if you are going to use any of the photos or contents then please ask my permission.'Thank you, ah-yi!!! I used your words and pictures (with a few tweeks here and there). Thank you again!

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