Now, hopefully you all know that I’m not one to buy something just because it’s cheap. I’d rather spend extra money to buy something that comes with an ethical and sustainable back story. But there is a point at which I draw the line. And it turns out that point is refusing to buy what is essentially four small granny squares and a zip for the absurdly inflated price of £190 just because it’s by JW Anderson.
It’s not that I don’t like JW Anderson. Give the label a sustainable makeover and give me £1 million and I’d be dripping in his clothes. I love what he’s brought to the fashion landscape but there is no part of me – physically, mentally, emotionally – that’s willing to hand over £190 for the aforementioned four small granny squares and a zip. Maybe it’s because I’m from Yorkshire. Maybe it’s because I’ll shortly be buying a house. Maybe it’s because I spent all my money on millennial frivolities like avocados, rent and heating. Whatever the reason, it’s just not fucking happening, so I made my own instead.
Here’s what you’ll need:
– Yarn (double knit, various colours) This is a great way to use up scraps and short lengths
– A 4mm hook
– Snips or scissors
– A short zip (more on that later)
– Cat (optional)
This project is so simple that really any level of crocheter can tackle it. It’s a great beginner project too. Ideally, I’d have created a tutorial video showing novices exactly how to make granny squares but I haven’t so, instead, I’ll point you in the direction of the video I used to learn to crochet in the first place. She takes it really slowly, so it’s ideal if you’ve never crocheted before.
You’ll need to make four granny squares and each one will have four rounds. The colour palette is totally up to you but I went for a foundation shade of black to pull together all of the other clashing colours I chose. Once you’ve whipped up four of them, join them together and you’ll have something that looks like this:
I also added two rows of single crochet to each end to provide a more sturdy base to stitch the zip to. Now, this next bit is important so pay attention.
When you’re buying a zip, ensure that you accidentally choose a close ended one. Rather than immediately noticing this and exchanging it before you compound any problems this might cause, it’s important that you remain blissfully blind to your oversight throughout the entirety of making your neckband. My expert suggestion is that you even go so far as to sew it on, snip off all the stray threads and hold it up proudly once it’s finished, pleased with what a creative soul you’ve grown up to be.
Next, attempt to put it on and finally realise your monumental fuck up. You might also like to try fruitlessly attempting to stretch it over your head because you can’t quite believe you’ve been so stupid. Now it’s time to share your annoyance on Instagram stories in the hope that it will, in time and with the assistance of sympathetic emoji replies, become funny rather than hair pulling-ly annoying. Once you’ve shared on social media, unpick the zip and rethink your entire existence.
Now that you’ve completed the first part of your entirely unnecessary creative and technical diversion, it’s time to pop to the shops. You may well discover that you can’t actually find a short open ended zip, so buy the shortest one you can, adding another roadblock to actually finishing and wearing the damn thing. Mark the desired length with chalk, use pliers to remove a couple of centimetres of teeth above that line, carefully remove the stoppers from the top, place them next to your measurement marker, trim, maybe let out a little scream and then finally, finally, sew the zip to each end of your collar.
As well as a sense of deep hostility toward your past, careless self, you’ll have a bright, handmade, non-£190 crochet neckband. And, if you used scrap ends to make it, you’ll have reduced your waste too.
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