September 8, 2012
let me count the ways...
So, what is a two-yard? Well, it's two-yards (give or take, depending on your size) of fabric.
Why do I love it so much? Let's see...
A bit of history. One of my best friends, Dara, spent two years in Ghana as a PeaceCorps volunteer. When she came back, I noticed that anytime we were chilling at her house, she was wrapped in a beautiful skirt. Usually she had on comfy pants beneath it. It seemed wonderful. So I asked her about it. She told me it was her "two-yard". In Ghana, the women wear them (only they call them simply, "cloth". PCV's called them "two-yard" since it is most often about two yards of fabric.). They serve as skirt or dress. But as Dara told me about them, I saw they served as so much more.
Dara gave me some beautiful fabric from Ghana to make my own two-yard (which, let's be honest, was more than two and a half, closer to three, but hey, that's part of the beauty, you cut enough to fit YOU!). It took me a while to get into the habit of wearing it. I often remembered to wrap it around at home, over my sweats or yoga pants, because it gave me another warm layer.
But Dara had told me that the two-yard was also used as a towel, a money holder, a sleeping mat, and could be used as many other things. Since I don't have much of a use for it as a money holder, towel, or sleeping mat, I just smiled and nodded.
Then, one cold weekend when Dara and Sarah P and I were up at my dad's to go to the shooting range, we found another use for it--a scarf! We wrapped it around someone's neck (I don't remember if it was me or Sarah P) and it helped keep the cold out. There's a use they might not think of in Ghana.
I also realized that the fabric was so very pretty, that if I paired it with a nice top, I could wear it as a skirt. Plus, I could still wear shorts or yoga pants underneath, making me even more comfy!
I started packing at least one of my two-yards (I know have two, with fabric for two more!) on trips. Trips around town (I might get cold, or I might want to get comfy), trips across the country (I took my red two-yard through Yellowstone, used it as a blanket in the car for when my dad decided to kick up the AC), and pretty much always think about it now.
On this last camping trip, I took both of my two-yards, and they came in super handy. The first night in the woods it was cold and clammy, and my head was freezing. I can't sleep under the covers because I get panicked that I can't breath. But the two yard worked nicely to cover the top of my head, close up the open spaces around my shoulders, and didn't make me feel closed in at all. During the week, I used it as a head cover, a shawl, a blanket, and a pillow. Later, when we were at a friend's house, and I didn't want to dirty my last remaining clean pair of jeans (which I wanted to wear the next day), I used my second two-yard (still clean as well!) as a skirt. It was perfect.
And I'm not the only one who has discovered two-yards. Brenda, another friend, was on a hike with Dara. At some point, Brenda's shorts ripped. Thankfully, Dara had a two-yard handy, and Brenda was able to complete the hike wrapped in the comforts of fabric, instead of having to go on in ripped shorts!
So, do you want a two-yard yet? It's cheap to make, easy to care for (they wash just like a sheet, and the best fabric is just cotton prints, which they have some fun ones out there!), and uber-useful. I like to hem mine up so they last longer. To use it as a skirt, you just wrap it around then roll down the top (which secures it). Run now and make yourself a two-yard today. You'll be amazed at how often you use it!
(photo-me wearing my two-yard as a skirt. Photo credit to Mary Burklin.)