Thursday, December 15, 2011

Hats, and Crafts, and Storage, Oh My!

I've recently been pretty busy with work lately... But I still find time for my knitting, and random crafts.

So here we go!

I recently finished a cabled slouchy hat, just for myself (and a second one that is available on my Etsy page), I find myself knitting so much for others, and very rarely for myself. I used a pattern located here:

I ended up editing the pattern much more than I had expected. I wanted a larger cable pannel, and a more noticeable "flower" on the top of the hat.

For those interested, I will post my pattern tweaks (with credit to AZURE of course), in a later posting.

I have loved slouchy hats for a long time, but somehow never owned one. (I know, how does that happen? :P) I love wearing this hat, it's also the first time I've used a Cascade yarn, and there is no going back for me. I also got a ball of black Merino, I'm currently knitting up a lace cowl with it, and the feel is amazing, but I think after all this lace, I'll need a good solid knitting project.

I also spent a good part of a weekend spray painting the left over containers in my home with my husband.

This lil' baby is a lysol wipes container, turned into a perfect yarn container. I am the type of knitter who is forever tangling my yarn into a huge ball of knots, and this is a godsend. I will definitely be making more.

And last, but certainly not least, these jars were spaghetti sauce jars, and with a little string, hot glue, and spray paint, they've now become well loved, and used decoration/storage. As any knitter knows, we have too many stitch markers, point protectors, stitch holders, t pins, and cable needles to ever be contained in one of those nifty storage solutions.

Well, that's all I have for you for now. Merry Christmas all! 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Quick Post

I recently bought a Samsung Replenish & I've been through the whole thing of buying phone cases & not being satisfied with the quality. Thankfully, this phone came in pink because I'm pretty sure I'd be an owner of three new cases by now.

My goal with this phone is to protect the heck out of the screen. It's a touchpad phone & I'm not letting this one get wrecked.

My first idea was to cut the thumb off of an unused mitten & then stitch it up & slip in my phone. No one would think to steal a gal's mitten!

Tonight, while brainstorming other crafts - it hit me! I can make a FELT case.

Out came the felt, DMC floss (it's stronger), and some velcro.

However, while I was creating a craft storm, my silly self forgot to take pics!

This is the final result though:

Pink & Purple Felt

I cut a hole on the bottom for the charger & put velcro on the cover.


Friday, November 11, 2011

UpCycle #1

I have found over the past couple of months that I've been buying cough drops, obsessively. I have coupons, so I use them up. No sense in them going to waste, right? Yes, they're all sugar free. Ever since 2006, I've only used sugar free cough drops. When I'm sick, I usually find myself falling asleep with them in my mouth, so this only makes sense, too.

Enter in an empty peanut container. I thoroughly cleaned it out and I used Goo Gone to get the the manufacturer's label off. Can I say, that is the BEST thing in the world? Next to Mod Podge, of course.

I measured the lid & it was a little under 4 1/2 inches, so I decided that a 4 1/4 circle would do. To my Cricut I went!

I also cut out some letters and cropped a matching scrap for the front. I used my corner rounder & then adhered everything to the container.

What do you think?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Short Blocking Tutorial

Blocking is a wonderful knitting tool, that unfortunately most knitters don't know about or utilize. Blocking can take a piece of 'meh' lace knitting, and make it absolutely beautiful, and it can do the same for all other types of knitting too. It helps hide the look of loose stitches, fit a sweater more accurately, and overall just take your work to the next level. And I'm here to help!

 First, you want to start with a sink full of water. The piece I'm blocking is 20% cashmere, and 80% wool, and I'm NOT trying to felt it, so my water was very cool, do not not not use hot water to block anything that's wool that you don't want to shrink to one third it's size, and felt right up, and if it's mohair, do not wring it out, roll it in a towel, and dance on top of it. (Unless it's treated, like Super Wash yarn, that won't felt.) I also add a tablespoon of liquid softener. Personally, I like to let it rest in it's bath for a few minutes, let it have time to unwind (not literally, of course). Then I wring it out, soak it again, and wring it out once more. (For those of you looking to felt a piece, I'll do one of those later.)

 Once you have wrung it out well, it's time to do the actual blocking. Basically you're telling your knitting the shape you want it to have. I use push pins and corkboard, but you can use a lot of things. They have special "t" pins just for blocking, but those are really only helpful for lace weight yarn. You can use push pins and cardboard, a spare mattress, or even your carpet if you have nothing else.

And then... you let it dry. Shown above is a leaf pidge scarf, before blocking it was too short, and the holes and veins of the leaves weren't very noticeable, but once this baby is dry, it'll be perfect.

So, to all you knitters out there that finish a piece and it wasn't what you were expecting - give blocking a try! It might be the answer to those finished project dissatisfaction woes.

*// Edit //*:

 And here you can see it finished, with buttons, the leaves are well defined, and - just as I wanted - there are gently peaks at the bottom of the scarf.

 And here it is unbuttoned. :) I hope this tutorial helped.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

It's a girl!

A friend of mine from high school & his wife recently welcomed their first child & during the last trimester, I was procrastinating about making them a "It's a Girl!" card. You see, his family has a history of having the opposite of what the ultrasound says will be the gender.

Anywho, they welcomed a healthy baby GIRL & the day she was born, I was quickly working away at another homemade baby card. I like putting some thought into any card I make & this was no exception.

Here is what I used:

This page header is from Wild Asparagus (bought this a couple of years ago).

gcd studios paper - Tinted Rose Stripe 12x12 cardstock

I did a size of 5" x 4" with the cardstock & I mounted it on a folded piece of white cardstock with the dimension of 5" x 8".

The final product?I mounted the page header on the top & added two buttons. I thought the bunny was a perfect touch. I bought that right when I found out they were expecting.


What type of celebration do you like to do cardmaking for?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Plain Jane to Flower Power

Back in the spring, I bought a couple of Iris Photo Cases (at Michaels, they're $1.49 regular price) during a 50% off sale. They only had a lime green & a hot pink color; both colors I love. While cleaning out a couple of drawers (I purge unnecessary items like a hoarder collects items), I found the cases & decided that I would play with one to spice it up.

As you can see, it's a plain jane case. I sifted through my collection of random cardstock that might coordinate with it. The one piece that seemed to coordinate was We R Memory Keepers' Grandma's Kitchen :: Flower Frills.

I used some tracing paper to cut out the right shape and then traced over the cardstock to get the sizing right. After a light coat of Mod Podge Gloss, I was ready to lay down the paper.

I waited until the first Mod Podge layer was dried to coat top part of the paper. Lately, I've been experimenting with glitter + Mod Podge (without buying the Shimmer, Sparkles, or Glitter bottles). I added a light dusting of gold & silver glitter and waited until it was dry.

I forgot to mention in my introduction that I'm the least patient person when it comes to crafting.

Ready to see what it looks like now?