Saturday, August 27, 2011

Metaphysical Crafting: Infinity Scarves

This is a long post, but by the end we will have made THIS:
I said "put your arm there, on the bridge". Class A photographer. available for weddings. jk.

I remember the first time I really considered the concept of infinity.  It was in middle school math class. The teacher was talking about the coordinate plane:
The CARTESIAN coordinate plane.

Each axis, she said, technically extends forever and ever, way off the paper.  There is even a third axis, y, which makes the whole thing 3-D and heads straight towards your face.
Cut to me, trying to imagine 3-D rhombuses and whatnot (rhombi?) all semester.

I sat there in class and starting thinking about those lines, and how they went on and on forever in every direction, and I was just seeing a little tiny part on my paper.  In my head, the lines were red like lasers, and the other space was dark, and the lines just ran by faster and faster as I looked at them. It was like Tron (I’ve never seen Tron). Correction: It was how I imagine Tron based solely on the fact it is a movie called Tron starring Jeff Bridges. It was sort of mind boggling to realize I couldn’t possibly imagine it. Infinity, I mean, not Jeff Bridges.  I’ve got a fairly…active…imagination, and I couldn’t imagine the end of those lines, because they didn’t end. (So, maybe in a sense I could imagine them, because there were no ends to imagine?)

Anyway, all that is neither here nor there, because this post is about a scarf, which is a very concrete, tangible thing.  You’ve heard of infinity scarves, I suppose? I guess they are called that because they are made like a circle, they have no end, so you just wrap it up around your neck a few times and hope it doesn’t get caught on something and choke you (depressing, yes, but please always consider scarf safety, my friends).  If I had been taxed with the task of this taxonomy, I would have called it a circle scarf, because I think Infinity is a bit too grand of a concept to associate with mere scarves. (PS- the first phrase of this sentence is my best alliterative work ever)

A while back I bought this cool knit fabric (gray, with trees and flowers) that I intended to use to make a b-day pres (that’s the hip slang for birthday present, of course) for my friend.  However, summer internships and a 4-week long separation from my sewing machine (we’re back together now, everything’s fine) resulted in a less homemade, but equally well-meant gift.

I was cleaning out my craft closet last weekend, which is really just the lower-left quadrant of my regular closet, and Jessica was sitting on my sofa watching Northanger Abbey because I like people to talk to me while I’m doing stuff like that.  I pulled out the aforementioned fabric and she said something like “Oh wow, I love that fabric, what is that for?” to which I replied, “Um, well, I got it for your birthday present…but then I gave you that fish mug instead (in my defense, it is a really righteous fish mug)…but I’m still going to make you something out of it (because she can wear something with this pattern, and I don’t think I can. It’s hard to explain, but it is similar to why I cannot wear graphic tees).”
The fabric

I decided to make her an infinity scarf, right then, right there. No more tarrying. This is my first infinity scarf.  I’m not sure if this is the established, evidence-based method prescribed by the American Association of Infinity Scarf Makers, but it worked pretty well for me, and gave my mind a little conceptual exercise.

First I cut this piece of fabric (of unknown length, perhaps 1.5 yards) in half longwise. Then I sewed the two lengths together, right sides together.  Next, I folded the now very long piece in half, right sides together, and sewed the edge, making a very long inside-out sleeve.  I turned the whole thing right-side out and matched up the two end seams right sides together, and sewed them until I couldn’t any more because the rest of the fabric was all bunched up inside it, at which point I right-side outed the whole thing again and stitched up that last little hole just like you would when you make a pillow. In this way, you only get the right side of the fabric showing.  I will perfect this method and provide you with a more coherent, perhaps illustrated, version of these instructions later.

The whole process took maybe half an hour, including the time it took me to rip out a seam and do it again because I sewed a right side to a wrong side once. Scarves are probably going to be my craft jam for a while, because I saw an adorable Nine West ruffle scarf at a consignment shop the other day (I was going to buy it, but my inner American Colonist was going “Mmm-hmm. NINE dollars? For a scarf somebody already WORE? Get thyself over to the General Store and make thine own scarf that is NEW.”  Apparently my inner American Colonist is also an English Separatist).

Well goodness. If you made it to the end of this post, I’ll probably have to buy you some frozen yogurt sometime, because that kind of time commitment shows some real dedication. If you are an internet stranger, though, it will probably have to be imaginary fro yo, because I’ve seen Dateline and Law and Order. You don’t just go meeting internet strangers all willy-nilly in frozen yogurt shops.
ABC, it's easy as 1,2,3!

Jessica, searching for her lost tomorrows. Whatever that means.
 Special thanks to JT, who kindly allows her likeness to be posted on my blog.


  1. Super cute, Courtney! I read it all the way to the end...does that mean you're going to buy me some frozen yogurt? ;]

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  3. My face is so 9am in the morning. That scarf is awesome. I can't wait for autumn.

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