I’ve been asked to put Ozarque’s link over on the side with my xanga subs, but I don’t know how, so I will just have to post it occasionally, like now: http://www.livejournal.com/users/ozarque/

Pokey, if you can tell me how to do that, I would be very grateful.

Another person I would like to be able to put on the side there is the Yarn Harlot (http://www.yarnharlot.ca/blog/ ) who is trying to make a whole sweater in 14 days. It is a beautiful cabled one. I hope she succeeds. It may seem like a silly quest to me and perhaps to you too, but I always like to see people succeed at their quests.

I am not usually trying to be fast when I knit. For example, it has now taken me over one month to make the DNA scarf. But I am not like my foremothers, trying to keep 13 children in socks and woolies. I knit for fun. As the Librarian says, the yarn lasts longer when you have to frog a lot. And I have done a lot of other things in that month, too.

But lately I have been having to hurry with crafting. First, the anniversary quilt had to be finished in time for the anniversary — and it did arrive on the day, I am pleased to report. Then the Empress and I learned, two days before our dress rehearsal — with photographs — that the director of the madrigal choir had An Evil Plan for those of us with short hair. An Evil Plan requiring a quick hand with hooks and needles.

He bought some nasty fake hair which he intended to attach to our heads with ribbons. Having just been to the Renaissance Faire, I was able to propose an alternative: snoods. So I sewed one and crocheted another, real fast, and he said no to the sewn (fastest) but yes to the crocheted. I have therefore been crocheting madly, at home, at meetings, and at work. I even did a couple of surreptitious rows at Bible study. I have hopes of finishing in time.

The Empress suspects that our director’s Evil Plan extends further than mere horsetail-like switches from the beauty supply house. She thinks he has it in mind for us to take on the worst excesses of RenFaire costuming. Padded breeches. Bosoms like twin globes of flan quivering above our bodices. Dead white faces with red Cupid’s bow lips and fake beauty spots. This is the preferred everyday look for one of our younger members, and I say let her and the director go with it if that is what they like. However, it was not the ordinary mode in the 16th century, any more than it is now. And what might look fetchingly risque on people in their 20s makes those of us in our 40s look like raddled old strumpets, male or female. My KC Renaissance Faire pictures are still not back from the developers, or I would show you what I mean.

On the other hand, that may be for the best. Murphy’s law would guarantee that the individual I chose to illustrate “raddled old strumpet” would randomly click on this site today and be crushed. So just take my word for it.

Would you like to make yourself a snood? You can wear it to the next Renaissance Faire or madrigal performance (lots of people do), or to a Civil War reenactment, when they actually had come up with crochet. For that matter, if ponchos and boleros have made it back into fashion, the snood cannot be far behind. You can be in the forefront of fashion. The remainder of this post is instructions, so skip it if you do not want to make a snood, for some reason.

Begin by measuring the circumference of your head. Put the tape around your head, from the occiput to the crown. Multiply the figure by .75. This is the diameter of your snood. It will seem too large, but I worked it out with the assistance of a stuffed lamb and some paper napkins, so I can assure you that it is correct.

Now, if you are going to sew a snood (“bag headress” was the term in Elizabethan days), you must find a circular object of the correct diameter to serve as a pattern. You may think that you can calculate the radius, cut a string of the appropriate size, and attach it to a pencil. Then, pinning the other end of the string securely in the center of the fabric, you construct your circle. If you can do this without ending up with an excitingly wavy shape, you’re a better geometer than I am, Gunga Din. Which you probably are. But if that doesn’t work, go back to searching for disks.

You may be successful if you are at home, where you may be well furnished with trays, removeable marble table tops, and mirrors. At work, we found a cardboard bulletin board decoration circle and a plastic lid from one of those sandwich trays people bring to meetings. Both worked fine. In a dormitory, you may have more trouble, but also more fun, as you bound from room to room, tape measure in hand,  pawing through people’s possessions in search of a 16.5″ object.

Draw around your object. Cut out your circle. Sew a channel for your elastic all the way around the edge and put in the elastic as you usually do. We made one for the empress in a nice knitted velveteen kind of thing, and she can wear it to The Electric Cowboy once she’s through with the madrigals.

If you want to knit or crochet your snood, start in the middle and increase outward. Many people immediately think of starting with the outside and decreasing, but this will not give you a flat circle. It will give you a nice cap, but you will not get a snood out of it. If you are going to knit, go find a nice round doily pattern and follow it. You won’t be ready for tomorrow night anyway.

If you are in a hurry, you can crochet a simple mesh.  Don’t ask what size hook or what kind of yarn. If you have time to think about that, you’re not in as much of a hurry as I am. I made one with crochet cotton and one with Caron Jewel Box, and used a G hook for both because that was what I had thrown in my purse. It worked.

So chain 9, form a circle, and sc 18 in the center. Then you can (ch 3, sk 1 sc, sc in next sc) around, sl st to join round. Now ch4, sc in the middle of the next arch, and so on around, joining each round rather than making a spiral. Chain more each time — ch 5 on the next round, 6 on the next, etc. By the time I got to ch 10, I had reached the needed diameter, but it will depend on the thread you have chosen. I did one more round of dc all the way around it to make a channel for the eleastic. Cut the elastic to the original head measurement and thread it through. Check the fit and sew it closed. If you have time before your call, sew beads at the intersections, vowing that next time you will not be in such a hurry and will thread the beads on properly before you begin.