One of my favorite things about this last fafkal concept, the Log Cabin Make-along, was being able to rope crocheters into it (no pun intended) — and particularly getting to include my friend Cal Patch on the panel. The crocheters have made so many amazing contributions to the #fringeandfriendslogalong feed (I’m particularly crazy about @peacockaren’s boxy sweater) and today I’m thrilled to show you Cal’s finished bandana-cowl, which she’ll be releasing a pattern for soon! For news on that and more of Cal, make sure to follow @hodgepodgefarm on Instagram. Here’s Cal—
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You initially set out to make what you were tentatively calling a “log cabindana” — a neckwarmer with coverage in both the front and the back. Did you veer at all from your original plan along the way, or did you make exactly what was in your head from the start?
This is a case where my end result is very much exactly what I envisioned! I guess the only real difference is that it did end up a bit bigger than I imagined … possibly more into mini-poncho territory than a bandana cowl-esque thing, which was my intention. I am pro-poncho so this is not at all a negative for me! I did consider crocheting around the neckline to build it up higher around the neck, and I’d like to try another version and do that. But I loved this one so much once I joined the rectangles together, that I wanted to keep it just as it is.
I also didn’t imagine it quite this big — I love the scale of it. And I take it you love how it turned out?
I LOVE IT!!! The log cabin technique is so fun; I had dabbled in some LC sewing but never tried it in crochet. (Which, in retrospect, seems unimaginable that it took this long!) As a scrappy improviser, this method makes my soul sing! I’ll be wearing my Cabindana for the next few months as Winter transitions into Spring here in the Hudson Valley — always a chillier season than we’d like to think. So having this snuggly mini-blanket around my neck will be a welcome comfort.
We talked about this a little bit before, but have you used one crochet stitch the entire time and it’s just the yarns giving it subtle variation in appearance, or have you changed it up at all along the way?
Yes, this project is 100% half-double crochet in the back loop, which gives the ribby texture. Half-double is actually my favorite stitch; it’s the “just right” middle size between single (too short and potholder-y) and double (too tall and open). Any variation you’re seeing would be due to the slightly varying yarn weights and textures. They’re mostly sock yarns, but some were definitely lighter single-plies, verging on lace weight, and others may have been sport or DK. There’s even some handspun in there, from a bag of bits of leftovers given to me by a friend.
And you’ve gone totally freeform in terms of both the sizes of your various blocks and your use of color — or did you map any of that out ahead of time?
I did not map it at all; my only plan was that I knew the destination, or the finished dimensions of the two rectangles, which I had worked out in advance using some T-shirt jersey. So I worked freestyle and occasionally held the two rectangles up to the sample to guide me. I knew I could always add on a few “logs” to just the short sides, if I needed to make up extra length. It worked out perfectly.
Will the pattern invite people to be freeform about it as well, or have you broken it down into established chunks of crochet?
I’ve been mulling this over in my head … I’d prefer the pattern, which I haven’t yet written up (maybe for this very reason), to allow the maker to freestyle within the blocks like I did. But I’m not sure if that method suits everyone. Maybe I’ll include both ways in the pattern. It wouldn’t have been nearly as fun for me to be told the size of every log, but I’m sure there are many who’d like to be told the sizes. Feedback is welcome!
I mentioned before that I kind of feel like crochet is inherently modular and log cabin-like, but did working on this project make you want to do more in the log cabin realm? Or did it have any effect on your broader sewing/making practice? How soon before you log cabin again?
Yes, I definitely predict many more Log Cabin Crochet projects and designs in my future! My wheels are turning … and the crocheters seem to have embraced it over on the Insta. We’re using the hashtag #logcabincrochet to share. I haven’t decided what my next LC plans are; I may need to make another Log Cabindana to test the pattern, or a sweater, or some crochet mitts, or … I guess you can safely say I’m HOOKED on Log Cabin!
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Thanks, Cal! Don’t forget there’s still activity on the #fringeandfriendslogalong feed, and we’ll have our final panelist FO q&a with Kay Gardiner once she finishes up her little gem of a sweater!
PREVIOUSLY in Log Cabin Make-along: FO No. 3 Veronika Jobe