Copyright © 2007-2015 Foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, All Rights Reserved

Monday, December 21, 2015

Finely Feathered Friends

We've had a few frosty mornings lately when I've found groups of birds waiting on the deck rail for their daily ration.
Mourning Doves
It's every bird for themselves once I put the seeds out and go back in the house.
Blue Jays staking their claim.

Cardinal & Blue Jay (back)
Sometimes the scramble for food is too rough on the top rail..
Eastern Towhee
It's much safer just to wait on the seat for seeds that fall in all the commotion.
Eastern Towhee
Sometimes feathers look exactly like fur. o.O
Gray Squirrel
If he wasn't so cute I'd shoo him away.
Piggy Gray Squirrel & Red-bellied Woodpecker (back)
Well, I've made six Mt. LeConte scarves, and I think that's enough crocheting for awhile.   You know it's all about the fun of making them, right?  Getting to wear what you make is just a bonus.   Meanwhile, I find I've made too many, and I've not done a giveaway in several years so I'm doing a very quick one this week.  I'm giving away the cranberry colored scarf so if you'd like a chance to have it for your own just leave a comment stating the name of your favorite bird.  It can be any bird you've seen.  The winner will be chosen Tuesday evening and notified by email.  Be sure I can contact you if you enter. A big "Thank you!" to all who have visited my blog all year long.  Your friendship and comments have been a blessing.  :)

Wishin'  y'all a peaceful season of celebrating our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Friday, December 11, 2015

The Mount LeConte Scarf

Mount LeConte
Mount LeConte is the third highest mountain in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park near Gatlinburg, Tenn., and the only way to get to the top is on foot.

There are several trails leading to the top of the mountain, and they are lengthy and steep so supplies are trekked in via llama-train as their feet cause less wear and tear on the trails than do horses' shod feet.
 Once atop the mountain there are rustic resort cabins to stay in provided reservations were made in advance.  When hiking to Mount LeConte in cooler weather one needs a scarf to keep one warm and cozy on the trail.

The Mount LeConte Scarf is a very quick crochet project, not to mention cozy and stylish.  Here are directions just in time for a last minute gift giving idea.  Just a few hours of crocheting and you'll have a scarf for yourself or someone on your list.


bulky yarn or two or three strands worsted held together
size N crochet hook
three 1 1/2 in. buttons
yarn needle 

Ch 52 sts if you use the half-double crochet stitch, 53 if  using the double crochet stitch.
1.  hdc (or dc, your choice) in 3rd (4th if dc) ch from hook to end = 50 sts , measuring about 28-30 in. long -  12/16/15  Note:  The scarf must be at least 28 inches long so if you need to then add more     stitches to get the right length.
2.  ch 2, turn work, hdc to end
3.  Repeat row 2 until scarf measures about 8-9 inches wide
There's no need to make buttonholes as the buttons should slide easily through the stitches.

For the homemade buttons you'll need:

polymer clay
rolling pin
stamp - if you want a design on them
polyurethane spray to seal them
paint - for antiquing
1 1/2 in. clay cutter or cookie cutter
bamboo skewer to make holes

I heated a 2-in. piece of clay in the microwave on high for 30 seconds to soften it a bit to make it easier to knead.  Take care, though, if it gets hot it will start to harden.  I used a pizza dough roller to roll it about 1/8 in. thick.

To stamp an impression in the clay I used a stamp I already had which happens to be a French recipe for chicken soup.  Stamp the design you want on the buttons before cutting them out.   Cut out the buttons in the shape you want then use a bamboo skewer to make holes large enough for the yarn to pass through easily when sewing them on the scarf.

Follow the baking directions on the package of clay to harden your buttons.  For the light/off-white colored buttons I used white clay then painted them with gold paint, let the paint dry for 30 mins. then wiped some off  for a great antique look.

Edited 12/12/15:  Spray them with the sealer then let them dry.  Sew the buttons along the right side of one end of the scarf.  To wear, place the scarf around your neck and line up the end with no buttons over the side with the buttons and button in place.

For this scarf I used Lion Brand Wool-Ease yarn in Mushroom that I had in my stash.
I used the hdc stitch for this cozy scarf and named it after a unique area in the Smokies.
Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick, Barley which is a dark taupe color.
Copyright © 2015 Toni in the Foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, All Rights Reserved

Stay warm, y'all!
Shared at The Art of Home-Making Mondays, Maple Hill Hop