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So You Don't Like Basketball...

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March Madness is back! Yippee…

Are you one of the folks that felt bad for the student athletes, but didn’t really miss the NCAA basketball tournament last year? Do you dread the countless bracket breakdowns and seemingly non-stop basketball? You aren’t alone, and we’ve got a few ideas to help you make the most of your March!

Knitting with a mustard-green yarn.

Game On, Craft On

Make a deal with your partner, family, children, roommates, dog, roommate’s dog - whoever wants to watch the games. When there is basketball on, you get to craft! No dishes, no cooking, no cleaning, no errands, no laundry...Ok, there may need to be a few minor concessions here but you get the point!

Watch Party = Cast On Party

So you already have 10 other projects on the needles. Who cares! Dig through your stash, check out your favorited patterns, visit your local yarn shop - we’d love to see you! (safely of course!) - and cast on one, two or more new projects! Call it “Cast On Madness” or simply forget the world around you in the excitement and anticipation of new WIPs.

Your Own Cinderella

Can’t or don’t want to commit to so many projects? There’s always an underdog that makes some noise in the basketball tournament, so why not find your own Cinderella? Go back and find your oldest work in progress and take it from rags to riches! Take it out of the closet and give it the spotlight it deserves!

What? You say you don’t have a WIP that’s been neglected? You’re on top of things?! We’re jealous, but if that’s the case, find a special project that you’re excited about and make it the belle of the ball. Whether it’s new or old, having a fun project that you really want to be working on will hopefully avoid some of the eye rolling when you hear yet another air horn from the TV.

brown tweed yarn balls and circular knitting needles.

Attempt a Connection

Maybe hate is too strong a word for your feelings about March Madness. Maybe you’re just looking for a way to connect with the folks that can’t seem to get enough of it. Here’s an idea for connecting your crafting to the games so you have a reason to watch! 

Have you heard of the temperature scarves and blankets that have been popular recently? Essentially, you knit, crochet or weave a row in a color based on the high temperature each day. Translate that to basketball and you could have a neat project that commemorates the year and gives you a vested interest in the games! 

Sound like fun? Here’s a couple of suggested “patterns” or recipes if you will:

Knitting
  • Cast on 40 stitches (the number of minutes in a men’s college basketball game!) or however many needed to achieve the width you’d like.
  • Using a color of the winning team from each game, work 1 inch - or length of your choosing - in garter stitch. (Garter bumps remind us of a dribbling basketball!)
  • When changing colors, try doing [knit ,1 purl 1] across the first row before knitting all other rows in the stripe. This makes for a more seamless transition between colors and a less noticeable difference between right and wrong sides!
  • Bind off and consider adding fringe using all the colors you incorporated into your piece!
Crochet
  • Chain 40 stitches (the number of minutes in a men’s college basketball game!) or however many needed to achieve the width you’d like.
  • Using a color for the winning team from each game, work 1 inch - or length of your choosing - in double crochet. (Just don’t double dribble!) 
  • Change colors at the end of the rows. If you’re feeling adventurous, mix up your stitches with each color change!
  • Bind off and consider adding fringe using all the colors you incorporated into your piece!

Fill Out a Bracket

No, we aren’t joking. Yes, we know this is supposed to be an article about not liking the tournament. Hear us out!

Fill out a tournament bracket. For each matchup you predict correctly, put a dollar (or $5.00 or $0.25) in the yarn fund, pattern fund or tool fund, etc.! We have a feeling you’ll take your bracket - and therefore the games - a bit more seriously if there’s yarn on the line! Plus, you don’t have to know much about basketball to guess who’s going to win. You could pick based on your favorite colors, the given seedings that tell you who is the “better” team, or even the schools’ mascots!

If you really want to get into things, ask some of your fiber friends to join your bracket challenge to enhance their own stash budgets! Maybe up the ante so correct matchups are worth more in later rounds.

What do you think? Will you try any of these this year? What suggestions do you have for our fiber friends that want to avoid the madness of March basketball?

 

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