Saturday, August 6, 2011

Hula Wine Kozie

My craft wall does tend to get mocked on a regular basis but I like to think that it provides me with the necessities needed to do something festive on the quick.  I always keep a drawer full of Raffia available for when I need to swiftly decorate a present or upgrade a blah old' bottle of wine to a gift.  It is the most amazing stuff in the world.  Let me give you the rundown. You can pick it up at any Michael's and comes in a variety of ways.  I usually go with bagged stuff (seen on the left) but it also come on a roll and in different colors.  Cost wise, it can run anywhere between $2.50 and $5.00, depending on which kind you get.  I love this stuff because nine times out of ten, we are swinging by the liquor store on the way to someone's house to pick up a bottle of booze/wine and I will grab some raffia as we run out the door so I can put the gift tag on in the car.  I think it jazzes up a package and makes it look like you spent time decorating something, even when you haven't.  
Sorry friends!! :(  

I wanted to use the raffia in a different way and decided to take the bundle I had on my craft wall and create my own ball of yarn out of it.  That way, I could crochet myself a square piece that could be used as a decorative wine kozie.  To start, I just tied the ends together and then wrapped them around the nearest object, so it wouldn't get all tangled up.  

Don't panic, I used an old remote so I was still able to TiVo through the commercials of Renovation Nightmares.  Thank you HGTV!  I wasn't concerned about making it look 'clean,' so I left the knots a little longer to give it some character (and cover up any mistakes) in the end.  The look I am going for here is hula grass, so I wanted little bits of raffia coming out every which way.  Once I made a long enough bundle, I attached my crochet hook and got down to work.  

I used a bottle of wine (it was just lying around) to measure out the length of my first piece.  Note: the piece will shrink a little bit as you crotchet further so it's better to have it be a littler longer rather than a little shorter.  

I discovered that the best part of this project was that it didn't have to be perfect.  I definitely skipped some holes and had some sections that were longer than others.  Raffia is pretty unpredictable and has a bunch of random strings that will get in your way or get stuck on the crochet hook.  However, when I was done with the square, I pulled at it till some of the bigger mistakes weren't as noticeable and then pulled out all  the knot ends to cover up some of the other areas.  

I knotted two longer pieces of raffia on opposite ends of the square.  

This allowed me to tie it onto the bottle, just like you would lace up a corset.  The raffia provides a decent amount of give so don't panic if there is a large gap in the back.  You will be able pull the corset strings tight to close it up.     

For the last part, I made some gift tags, which can once again cover up any errors in the kozie, and shockingly, tied them on with some strings of raffia.  

And you are done!  It took me a little longer than an hour long episode of Renovation Nightmares (are you really surprised when chunks of drywall fall on your face because you were THROWING your hammer around the room...

(not so much Renovation Nightmare as Renovation Stupidity) and I think it was well worth it.  Now, I can give a bottle of 2 Buck Chuck as a gift and no one will know until I'm gone :)  Kidding, maybe... 

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