In some ways I feel slightly embarrassed to be blogging about this item for the simple reason that it is not exactly an adequate demonstration of my skills. Indeed, this is entirely a beginners pattern. Nonethless, for all its simplicity I absolutely adore the end result. Let's start at the beginning....
Many, many months ago I was glancing through a friends copy of Monika and Deborah Simmons' "Double Stitch" when I came across this design. Well, I say this design, but in actual fact I am claiming this design as my own! I remember that the Simmons twins had crocheted a lengthy belt, attached masses of colourful fringe and fastened with a large button. I recall being very taken with the idea of using fringe to create such a striking effect, but, as I was already engaged in several other projects, I forgot all about it.
Cut to about three or four weeks ago and, whilst giving my stash its bi-annual up-ending (basically just bringing everything that has become buried back to the surface so that it may fairly compete against newer purchases for a place in my next projects), I came across multiple skeins of sari sailk yarn. Now, I adore this stuff. Not only is it a luxury product, hand-spun by a womens co-operative in India, but furthermore it feels like such a quality product. The yarn has a good weight to it, fantastic movement and drape, has more vinbrancy than the moment Dorothy steps out of her Sepia dipped farmhouse and into the full technicolour shock that was Munchkinland and, perhaps most compelling of all, cannot free itself of all those romantic connotations of magic carpet rides, Asian Princesses, the monsoon and any other stunning images that are immediately projected into ones mind when one hears the word 'India'. My only problem though was this - i'd tried using Sari yarn before but found that its uneven gauge, indeed its very character, was not conducive to a pleasant knitting experience. This yarn does not like to be constrained by a pattern, calling instead for freedom, for liberty, for ( I realised now) THIS design! Approx 200 gms are used in the belt, but the majority of this is reserved for the fringe. You see, the project acts as a vehicle for showcasing the yarn instead of the other way round. It is not the design that makes this item sing - it is the unapologetic, in your face, MASS of sari yarn!
This particular example will be for sale on my Folksy shop within the next few minutes, but if you'd like to make your own then this is what you need to do:
Materials & Tools:
200grams Sari Yarn
1" button (mine was handmade from polymer clay)
5mm Crochet Hook
Step 1: Chain a continuous length of sari yarn until you can wrap it around your waist comfortably. What you want is to be able to wrap it around your waist, hold the length of chains together at your hip with the two ends dangling along the front of your legs. (see pictures for a rough idea). Stop chaining when the length of chains is the same length that you wish you finished belt to be.
Step 2: Tr crochet in every chain along the length. Ch2
Step 3: Repeat step 2
Step 4: Chain 5 & join with sl st through the tr space. Repeat all the way along. You are creating a continuous series of button loops along the top of the main belt.
Step 5: On opposite side to the button loops that you have created, add fringe all the way along. I suggest 2 lengths, folded in half. The fringe is attached between each of the tr. spaces of the first row.
Step 6: Weave in ends, attach button in a place that makes the belt comfortable for you and your style.... Wear it your way!
Try wearing the belt as a scarf or as a sarong on the beach!