DIY

DIY Diva: Cool Striped Cuff

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This cuff was made by acf3326 and is for sale on Etsy.com

This cuff was made by acf3326 and is for sale on Etsy.com

Heyo – the DIY Diva here with a throwback craft that will take you back to your Girl Scout/Boy Scout days around the campfire roasting marshmallows with your BFF.

Remember when I said that I couldn’t knit for shit?  Well the thing that sucks about is that in attempting to learn how to knit I bought myself all this fantastic and pretty yard on the cheap at Tuesday Morning.  (If you are a Bay Area Brokeass who doesn’t know about Tuesday Morning, YOU SHOULD!!!)

I was sitting around in my apartment a couple of days ago, bemoaning having spent money on yarn when it was clear I wouldn’t be in a position to knit shit for a long while, when I got a phone call from one of my BFFs – a particular Ms. Rosey, who not too long ago moved away from the city to our homestate of Ohio, to attend graduate school.

I miss Rosey.  Rosey misses me.  AND she was calling me to bemoan being in the Midwest with nothing to do.  She was jonsing for San Francisco something fierce, her sadness was palpable over my shitty Metro PCS Motorola Razr phone…  it was a little heartbreaking.

After we hung up I sat there trying to think of something I could do, something I could make, that I could send her to cheer her up a little bit.  All of the sudden I was hit with an idea: A COOL GROWNUP FRIENDSHIP BRACELET!

I know I said in a previous column that I never made friendship bracelets… as a kid.

As an adult, I taught arts and crafts for a year at a Boys & Girls Club outside Chicago, and one of the favored projects of the kids I was teaching was making friendship bracelets.  So I had to learn how to make fucking friendship bracelets but fast.  And, I actually got so good at it that I could whip one of those suckers out in an half hour.  I had a waiting list of about 20 pesky little tweens I had to make friendship bracelets for before I moved away to San Francisco in 2004.  I am the friendship bracelet making master, motherfuckers!

The other cool thing I did for a couple of my friends before we moved was to make the wider cuff style of bracelet for them.  I made my ex-boyfriend, the Paranoid Android, one which used red and black and had a charm with  the anarchy symbol tied into the cuff.  He loved it and wore it until it fell off his arm… shortly after he and I broke up in 2005, if I recall.

ANYHOW.  I used the yarn I had to whip up Ms. Rosey a lovely lavender and teal striped cuff that I mailed off to her in Ohio.  And, I thought I’d share how to make this with you people, as these cuffs make awesome, easy and CHEAP gifts.  You can use yarn, cross stitch floss, string, leather stripping, really anything your heart desires to make these cuffs.  Once you get the hang of the braiding pattern, the project will take you about an hour from start to finish.  One skein of yarn will make several hundred of these bracelets, I imagine.

Yes, the picture is NOT mine, as I mailed the one I made before I decided to use this as the craft for my column this week and did not have time to make another.  You can check out the one pictured and a lot of other cool cuffs for sale at www.TheNotableKnot.etsy.com — they’re expensive, but super cool — she has one with a duckie on it that I’m eyeing to buy for a friend for Chrismas this year.

If you follow my directions you’ll have a cuff that is striped like the one in the picture, though.

You need to create four braided strands that are a half a yard (18″) long. You want two of each color you are using in the finished bracelet.

HOW TO DO THE FOUR STRAND BRAID:
-You will take two strands of yarn which are each a yard (36″) in length and double it over.
-At the end of yarn that is not cut, tie a knot about a half-an inch from the top, creating a loop.
-Starting at the left side take the yarn that is on the outside and weave it through the other three strands. The pattern is over, under, over.
-Pull the yarn so that it is taught.
-Repeat this using the next outside strand.
-Keep repeating the pattern until you’ve woven the yarn together into a thin braided strand, knot it at the end.

Step A: Once you have four of these you need to arrange them so that the color alternates (example: purple, teal, purple, teal). At the end with the loops, tie the strands together into a knot about an inch from the top, aligning the loops you’ve made previously. (This is going to serve part of the clasp for the cuff.)

Step B: You then want to braid the strands together using the same four strand pattern that you used for the individual strands. If you get messed up, don’t be afraid to pull the braid out and start over. You want it to be precise to create the stripes.

Step C: When you are about an inch and a half from the end (depending on how big a cuff you are making, for what size wrist it is going to go on) you want to tie the braid off into one big knot. Make sure it is very tight. Cut the yarn below the big knot off. You then will be able to take the cuff on and off as you like, slipping the knot through the loop to fasten it onto your wrist.

And, there you have a cool striped cuff.

Happy Crafting!

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Kate Kotler - DIY Diva

Kate Kotler - DIY Diva

Kate Kotler is a freelance writer and professional blogger. IRL she is a very nice person, regardless of what you might have read about her on the innerwebs. Kate lives in Berkeley with her dog, Max. You can follow her on Twitter @adorkablegrrl

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