In the So Many Fairies story “The Rag Maiden," there is an unusual tradition in a small northern town. The morning after the longest night of the year, one household wakes to find a gift at their front door. It is always the same gift: a beautiful and unique hand-woven carpet. What makes the carpet more magical is this: it is always warm. Even when the rest of the room is cold, the carpet remains warm.
Over the years, many families have received one. Some have two and some have three. But Katri’s family, for reasons no one can understand, has none. However, Katri thinks she might know where the carpets come from and decides to find out.
A few years ago at Christmas, DIY flannel blanket scarves were all the rage amongst the internet crafty set. Buy a piece of flannel, unravel the edges a bit, and — poof! — you have a scarf. And not just any scarf, but one that — a bit like the magical carpets in this story — could keep you cozy in a blizzard and double as a blanket for a sleeping babe around a crisp, winter campfire.
But although the scarves were lovely, unraveling all of those edges was so very tedious and time-consuming. So this year, when I decided I wanted to make a similarly warm scarf for my little daughter — who is likely to ultimately lose it on the playground, after all — I decided that I had to come up with a quicker way.
This is how I decided to do it.
Yes, there is still a little unraveling, but only a little. Because rather than having a fringe, this scarf has a length of bright bobble trim sewn to either end. It not only eliminates hours of unraveling, it adds a pop of color and whimsy in a style that always makes me grin to see on little ones.
What's more, by sizing this scarf down to kid-size, you can get two scarves out of one standard piece of plaid flannel fabric. How fun it would be to make up several and leave them on your child's best buddies' doorsteps or slip them into a coat drive bin to make someone's day!
20-Minute Kid-Sized Bobble Blanket Scarf
(Materials listed will make 2 scarves)
1½ yards plaid flannel fabric
2½ yards bobble trim
Sewing machine or basic hand-sewing supplies
Fray check or fabric glue (optional)
Begin by washing and ironing the fabric, then trimming up any large loose threads that result.
Then, with the short side of the fabric parallel to your body, choose a line in the plaid pattern that's near the center of the fabric and use the rotary cutter and cutting mat to cut the fabric into two long, skinny pieces. Set one of the pieces aside.
If your fabric has a selvage on one of the long edges still, use the rotary cutter to trim it off. Then use your fingers or a straight pin to unravel about the first ⅛th inch of the fabric on both long sides. You're not trying to make a bold fringe — you just want to soften and even-up the edge a bit.
Once the longer sides are finished, pin the bobble trim to the edge of both short sides.
Either by hand or with a machine, sew the trim down with a zig-zag stitch, taking a good number of back stitches at both ends to help keep the scarf from fraying further.
When the trim is secure, snip it off at the ends. If the base of your bobble trim has a looser weave, dab on a bit of fray check or fabric glue to keep it from unraveling.
Repeat this process with the second piece of fabric to make another scarf, and enjoy distributing them anywhere you want to spread warmth and coziness and cheer.
If you liked this tutorial, here are others you might enjoy:
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About the Author
The Sparkle Kitchen Series is created by Meryl Carver-Allmond.
Meryl lives in a hundred-year-old house near the prairie with her sweet husband, two preschoolers, one puppy, one gecko, and about ten chickens. While she's been writing since she could pick up a pen, in recent years she's discovered the joy of photography, too. She feels lucky to be able to combine those skills, along with a third passion — showing people that cooking for themselves can be healthy and fun — in her Sparkle Kitchen posts.