Friday, April 16, 2010

Sweep your cares away!

Whisk Broom Cover from “Hand ‘n Hook Hobbies”, 1951

In today’s weight-obsessed culture, this Hawaiian broom cover is a breath of fresh air. She’s sweeping away preconceived notions about beauty by declaring, “So what if I’m overweight and flat-chested? I’m going to wear a bikini and enjoy my vacation in paradise!”

And good on her!

You too can strike a blow for real women everywhere by making yourself this Hawaiian broom cover. Then hand it to your husband and tell him he can clean up after himself, because you’re packing your bikini and heading down to Hawaii to hula up a storm.

For the complete pattern (and more snark!)

Whisk Broom Cover


J. & P. COATS or CLARK’S O.N.T. PEARL COTTON, Art. A. or B. 19, Size 5: 2 balls of No. 43 Dk. Yellow and 1 ball each of No. 18-D Shaded Dk. Purples, No. 15 Shaded Pinks, No. 21 Shaded Greens, and No. 81 Dk. Brown; or

J. & P. Coats “Knit-Cro-Sheen,” Art. A. 64, 1 ball each of No. 43 Dk. Yellow, No. 18-D Shaded Dk. Purples, No. 15 Shaded Pinks, No. 21 Shaded Greens and No. 12 Black.
I thought the broom cover was either a native Hawaiian or had a tan from dancing under the tropical sun. However, it turns out that her skin colour is “Dk. Yellow”.

So either she’s terribly jaundiced, due to over consumption of spiked Hawaiian punch, or she’s a character from the Simpsons.

Milwards Steel Crochet Hook No. 7.

A whisk broom, Scraps of Red and Brown embroidery floss, 2 sequins for eyes. Cotton batting for stuffing.

HAIR . . . Starting at center with Dk. Brown, ch 24. Join with sl st to first ch. 1st rnd: Sc in same place as sl st in each ch around. Join. 2nd rnd: Sc in same place as sl st, half dc in next sc, dc in next sc, 2 tr in each of next 6 sc, dc in next sc, half dc in next sc, sc in next 2 sc, half dc in next sc, dc in next sc, 2 tr in each of next 6 sc, dc in next sc, half dc in next sc, sc in last sc. Join (36 sts). 3rd rnd: Ch 3, dc in each st around. Join. 4th rnd: Sc in same place as sl st, * dec 1 sc – to dec 1 sc, work off 2 sc as 1 sc – sc in next st. Repeat form * around (24 sc). 5th rnd: Sc in same place as sl st and in each sc around. Join to front loop of first sc. Now work as follows: (Pull loop on hook out to measure ¾ inch, thread over and draw loop through, insert hook between single and double loops and draw a loop through, thread over and draw through 2 loops on hook – knot st made – make another knot st, sc in front loop of next sc) 13 times. Break off.
Feel free to make this a Hawaiian Homer Simpson broom cover instead. All you have to do is start with Dk. Yellow and make the top of the head smooth. Skip the purple colour changes and you’re good to go!

Coconut shells not included.
HEAD . . . 1st rnd: Attach Dk. Yellow to back loop of any sc on last rand and, working in back loop only, sc in each sc around. 2nd rens: Sc in each sc around. Repeat 2nd rnd until Head measures 1 inch.

SHOULDERS . . . 1st rnd: Sc in first sc, * 2 sc in next sc (1 sc increased), sc in next sc. Repeat from * around (36 sc). 2nd rnd: Inc 12 sc evenly around. 3rd rnd: Sc in each sc around. Repeat last 2 rnds 2 more times. Work without increasing until piece measures 1 ¾ inches from edge of hair. Mark off 11 sc in each side of shoulders for arms. Next rnd: Sc in each sc to first marker, ch 5, skip 11 marked sc, sc in next sc and in each remaining sc around. Join. Following rnd: Sc in each sc and in each ch around. Join and break off.
This broom cover will also give you an excellent excuse for putting off Spring Cleaning.

“But, darling, I can’t sweep the porch with naked brooms! What would the neighbours think?”
BODY . . . 1st rnd: Attach Shaded Dk. Purple to any sc on last rnd, ch 3, dc in each sc around. Join. 2nd, 3rd and 4th rnds: Ch 3, dc in each sc around. Join. Break off at end of 4th rnd. 5th rnd: Attach Yellow to same place as sl st, sc in same place and in back loop of each dc around. 6th to 9th rnds incl: Sc in each sc around. Join. Break off at end of 9th rnds. 10th to 13th rnds incl: Attach Shaded Purple and work as for 1st to 4th rnds incl. 14th rnd: Sc in each sc around. Break off.

ARM . . . 1st rnd: Attach Yellow to any sc on shoulder, sc in each sc and in each ch of armhole. 2nd rnd: Sc in each sc around. Repeat 2nd rnd until Arm measures 2 inches from edge of body. Next rnd: Dec 4 sc evenly around. Work without decreasing until Arm measures 2 ¾ inches in all from edge of Body. Break off. Complete other Arm the same way.
True, this Hawaiian broom cover is showing off her bare shoulders. But I’ll forgive this risqué behaviour, because it’s always extremely hot in Hawaii.
SKIRT . . . Cut a piece of cardboard 3 x 4 ½ inches. Cut a strand of Shaded Green 5 yards long. Working with main Shaded Green, wind thread 3 times around 4 ½ inch width of cardboard. Attach 5-yard strand to the 3 strands on cardboard, wind main thread 3 more times around cardboard. Repeat from * until Skirt is long enough to fit around whisk broom.
Sew Skirt to lower edge of Body. Embroider mouth and eyes. Sew sequins in place. Stuff arms with cotton. Slip cover over whisk broom. Stuff upper front of body with cotton. Sew up opening in hair. Trim ends of Skirt evenly.
You could probably save yourself several hours of frustratingly fussy work if you skipped the skirt entirely. Just tell your neighbours your hula gal is wearing a grass skirt.

And if your neighbour points out that whisk brooms are usually made of plastic or broom corn which isn’t the same as grass, then it’s time to pack up and move to a less judgmental neighbourhood.

LEI . . . With Shaded Pinks make a chain 6 inches long. Sc in 2nd ch from hook, * ch 3, sc in next ch. Repeat from * across, ending with 3 sc in last ch; ch 3, now work along opposite side of starting chain to correspond. Break off. Sew ends together. Slip over Head. Sew to front.

BRACELET (Make 2) . . . With Shaded Pinks make a chain 1 ½ inches long. Work as for Lei. Slip over wrist. Sew Arms to sides of Body.

FLOWER (Make 2) . . . With Shaded Pinks, ch 2. In 2nd ch from hook make (sc, ch 3) 5 times. Break off. Sew Flowers in place.
Now slip the entire creation over your whisk broom. Discover to your dismay that the pattern didn’t provide any way for the metal loop at the top of the broom handle to poke through the hula gal’s head, as in the illustration. Decide it doesn’t matter and try to use the broom anyway. Realize that all the excess fabric bunched up around the handle makes it hopelessly awkward to sweep with.

Decide it doesn’t matter anyway again, because this exercise was never about producing a useful household cleaning tool. It was about Spring Cleaning procrastination... ahem, breaking free of society’s youth-and-beauty-obsessed shackles.

Mission accomplished!

Click here for the printable pattern.

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