I used a pattern adaptation by SpiderWomanKnits on Ravelry to make adjustments for my yarn (a whole bunch of scrap Wool Ease Thick & Quick yarn from making all my reading shawls over the years) but made the back end pointier and omitted the back tassel.
Here's Denise sporting her new hood
From the side, showing the color transition.
A k2tog 5-point decrease every other row gives the fun swirl-shape that gradually comes to a point.
My son Parker was born last Sunday, and while I've been hanging out holding a sleeping baby on my chest, I've taken the opportunity to have some yarn in my hands. This beanie is made with Knit Picks Shine in worsted weight, but can be made in any soft worsted weight yarn. Machine washable is always a big bonus for babies, who I'm coming to find out are very messy! I came up with this very basic baby beanie with stripes of a coordinating color worked through the bottom. This hat pattern is quick, easy, and doesn't use much yarn at all.
Note: Stripe colors can either be carried up the back of the project, or can be trimmed and worked into the rows.
Row 1: with Main Color (MC) chain 3, then sl st into first chain st to create ring. Row 2: ch 2, dc 9 into ring. sl st into 1st dc to close round. Row 3: (ch 2, dc 1) into 1st st. dc 2 into each st, 9 times. sl st into 1st st. Row 4: (ch 2, dc 1) into 1st st. dc 1, (dc 2 into 1 st, dc 1) 9 times. sl st into 1st st. Row 5: (ch 2, dc 1) into 1st st. dc 2, (dc 2 into 1 st, dc 2) 9 times. sl st into 1st st. Row 6: (ch 2, dc 1) into 1st st. dc 3, (dc 2 into 1 st, dc 3) 9 times. sl st into 1st st. Row 7: ch 2, dc all sts. sl st into 1st st. Row 8-10: ch 2, dc all sts. sl st into 1st st. Row 11: with Accent Color (AC) ch 1, sc all sts. sl st into 1st st. Row 12: with MC, ch 1, hdc all sts. sl st into 1st st. Row 13: with AC, ch 1, sc all sts. sl st into 1st st. Row 14: with MC, ch 1, hdc all sts. sl st into 1st st. Row 15: with AC, ch 1, sc all sts. sl st into 1st st. Trim ends and weave in.
I also have sizes 3-6 months and 6-12 months on my webpage.
I made this great recycled t shirt rainbow rug for Earth Day, and I wanted to share it with you as another great idea for recycling old or thrifted t shirts.
Each round is made from part of a cut t shirt. I used t shirts in 14 different colors, and saved the left overs for other t shirt yarn projects.
Here's the t shirts before being processed into strips. I used Tulip Spray Fabric Paint to splatter paint them all before cutting them into yarn. This time I cut strips across the width of the shirt at a slight angle, and broke the strips at the weak point while stretching the strips, overlapping to join the pieces as I crocheted them.
I love using old things to make new and beautiful items, especially when they have a lot of vibrancy and color like this item. What will you make with t shirt yarn?
Over Christmas break, my husband Mark and I were watching a TV show with my mom about knit and crochet cables. I enjoy elegant details in my work, and loved the thought of crochet cables. However, I wasn't a big fan of how they worked their cables, and ideas started running through my head on how to create my ideal crochet cable.
I pictured this design as a cowl, because by design cables act a bit like ribbing, and a tube of ribbed fabric makes an excellent neck covering, which is perfect for the rainy winter months in the San Francisco Bay Area. The tiny scalloped top edging can also be omitted for a more masculine look.
Hook size H Gauge: 7 sts by 10 rows = 2 inches Yarn: On Line Linie 208 Nature-Wool Weight: Bulky / 12 ply (7-8 wpi)
Row 1: Ch 78, sl st into first st to join in the round, being careful not to twist sts.
Row 2: Turning foundation chain over, ch 1, then sc 77 into back loop of chain. Sl st into first st to join in the round.
Row 3: Ch 2, dc 77, sl st to join.
Row 4: Ch 2, dc 1, *(dc 4 into front of post, dc 2)* 12 times, dc 4 into front of post, sl st to join.
Row 5: Ch 2, dc 1, **(sk 2, dc 2 into front of post, cross in front of work and dc 2 into front of post of skipped sts, dc 2 into 2 following cabled post sts)**, sk 2, dc 2 into front of post, cross in front of work and dc 2 into front of post of skipped sts
Rows 6 - 8: Repeat row 4
Row 9: Repeat row 5
Row 10 - 12: Repeat row 4
Row 13: Repeat row 5
Row 14 - 15: Repeat row 4
Row 16: Repeat row 5
Row 17 - 18: Repeat row 4
Row 19: ch 1, sc 77
Row 20: Repeat row 16
Row 21: (Sl st, ch 3, sk st, sl st), repeat to end of row, slipping last st into first st. Pull tail straight up through final st.
Weave in ends. Block to shape.
Enjoy! I'd love to see photos of your variations in this thread.
Last night I finished a new pattern I designed for a birthday present for one of my best girlfriends. It's a big shawl, perfect for the cool fall days in the bay area, and great for curling up on the couch to read with.
I have a feeling I'll be making a bunch of these this year, because they're fast, easy, and knit up with huge needles and only 3 balls of yarn. Can't go wrong there!
Gauge and dimension are not critical in this piece, and dimensions can be altered by adding or decreasing stitches and rows to create desired length and width.
Row 1: Starting with Color 1 (C1) and using the long-tail method, cast on 60 sts. Leave C1 to the side. Row 2: Pick up Color 2 (C2) and k 60 sts. Leave C2 to the side. Row 3: Pick up Color 3 (C3) and k 60 sts. Leave C3 to the side. Row 4: Carry up C1, *k1, yo*, repeat * 58 times, k. Row 5: Carry up C2, *k1, drop 1*, repeat * 58 times, k. Row 6: Carry up C3, k 60 sts. Row 7: Carry up C1, k 60 sts. Row 8: Carry up C2, *k1, yo*, repeat * 58 times, k. Row 9: Carry up C3, *k1, drop 1*, repeat * 58 times, k. Row 10: Carry up C1, k 60 sts. Row 11: Carry up C2, k 60 sts. Row 12: Carry up C3, *k1, yo*, repeat * 58 times, k.. Row 13: Carry up C1, *k1, drop 1*, repeat * 58 times, k. Row 14: Carry up C2, k 60 sts. Row 15: Carry up C3, k 60 sts. Rows 16 - 60: repeat rows 4-15. Rows 61 - 75: repeat rows 4-14. Row 76: Carry up C3, bind off. Weave in ends.
Hope you guys enjoy! If you make one of your own, please post pics, I'd love to see! I'll post more later when I make others.
A distaff is an incredibly handy spinning tool. Around here, I have 3 cats, and fiber on my lap or on the couch is just too tempting to steal and destroy! The kitties also leave hair all over the place, and setting my fiber down not only leaves its own hairs everywhere, but tends to collect the hair of the cats too.
There are a few different types of distaffs, but my preference for the majority of my spinning, which is done on a hand spindle, is a wrist distaff. Here, I'm going to show you how to felt your own wrist distaff with left over wool from any scrap spinning or felting project.
What you'll need:
Wool scraps for felting - no superwash here! A bowl of hot soapy water A bowl of ice water A large empty bowl for squeezing off excess water Towel A few beads
Lay out your scrap wool in a thin, fluffy line, about 1 1/2 feet long. Longer is ok, but I wouldn't recommend going any shorter. I've layered a few different colors here, but you can do as many or as few colors as you'd like.
Begin wetting your strip of wool with the hot soapy water. Press the fibers down until they begin to compact, focusing more on the middle than the ends at first. Occasionally give the strip of wool a slight twist before continuing to press down, in order to help the fibers hold together for our next step.
Carefully lift the strip of wool by the ends, and dunk into the bowl of hot water, keeping the ends out. Lightly swish to make sure each fiber is in contact with the water. Lift out and squeeze extra soap and water into the large bowl.
Begin rolling the wool between your hands with a good amount of pressure. When all the moisture has been squeezed out and the wool is beginning to felt, dunk the strip into the cold water bowl in the same way as the hot soapy water bowl. Ring out excess water into the large bowl, and continue rolling in your hands. Alternate hot and cold water process until fiber begins to felt into a solid rope in the center.
It's time now to shape the distaff. Place the roped center area around the back of your hand, and create a loop below your wrist. Leave yourself plenty of room to slip your hand in and out of the loop, but don't make it so big that it's hard to keep the distaff on your hand.
Twist the unfelted ends together and begin to process as before, alternating dipping into hot water, rolling, dipping into cold water, and rolling. The ends will begin to felt into a point.
When your distaff is almost finished, wrap a small piece of unfelted wool around the join of the loop. Felt this in with the rest of the distaff as before. This will help the felted joint stay strong and not come apart with use over time.
Rinse your distaff very thoroughly to ensure there is no soap left in the fibers. At this point you have the option to either air dry, which can take a few days, or throw in the dryer. I threw mine in with a load of jeans to help any last bit of felting along.
Once dry, attach a few beads to the bottom of the distaff for weight. This will help keep the distaff from floating around, and will also help keep the fiber on the distaff. I used a hemalyke hoop and a couple of metal beads on mine.
To use, pull off a handful of fiber. Draft out a little, then wrap the drafted fiber from the beads to the loop. Either wrap the fiber over the back of your hand, or grasp it under your hand as I'm doing here.
By the way, here I am spinning on my new handmade bottom whorl spindle at the Renaissance Faire at Casa de Fruta, just outside of Gilroy, CA. We had a great time, and my husband is a great sport for taking me!
Hope you enjoy your new wrist distaff, and happy spinning!
Fruit salad anyone? I've currently been making citrus canes to slice up and embed in clear resin pendants, but I can see the worth of these canes in many different applications.
I've got five different citrus types here: lemon, lime, pink grapefruit, orange, and blood orange. There's also other variations that you could make work very nicely!
Materials: Translucent polymer clay White polymer clay Polymer clay in rind color Polymer clay in fruit pulp color Cutting blade Pasta roller or acrylic rolling tool Parchment paper
Let's get to it, shall we?
Begin by conditioning enough clay for six wedge-shaped sections in your fruit pulp color. Here I'm using a bright lemon yellow, and I've got four completed. Keep your fruit segments equal in height and width. If it helps to create a large circle first, cut into six wedges, and then soften the edges, feel free to do so.
Now that you've got your evenly-sized six fruit segments, we're going to create the membrane on the outside of the pulp. In this photo, I'm using translucent clay with the tiniest dab of white mixed in. Run through pasta machine on smallest setting, or roll out evenly into a thin layer with acrylic roller. Note that I'm only wrapping the internal V shape of the wedge. The external edge of the sections will get wrapped together at the end. Trim away the excess translucent clay from the edges of each wedge.
Roll out a small snake of white clay, approximately 1/4" in width. Cut the rounded edge of one end to make it blunt, then cut the snake to the length of the wedge. Arrange the wedges in a circle around the center white cylinder.
Squeeze six wedges and center white cylinder together until there is no air trapped between the pieces, then wrap with translucent clay rolled out on the second setting on your pasta machine, or to an even thickness of between 1/8" and 1/4" with your acrylic roller. Wrap translucent clay around lemon segments, then press out air bubbles. Trim overlapping clay, and any clay hanging over edges.
The final layer is the rind of the citrus. Here I'm making a blood orange cane, so my rind will be a deep reddish orange tone. Your rind should be at least as thick as your membrane layer that was just added, if not thicker. I often go with twice as thick a rind layer for definition as the cane is reduced.
It's time to begin reducing the cane. Keeping solid pressure toward your work surface and working from just outside the edge of the cane toward the center, start squeezing the cane evenly on all sides. Occasionally press straight into the work surface, and don't forget to work evenly around the edges of the cane to prevent distortion.
Once you have reduced the cane down about halfway, I tend to cut half the cane for later. You can always reduce a cane further later on, but once it's reduced, it is as large as it will be without distortion.
In this picture, using the pink grapefruit coloring, I have one end of the cane reduced to the final size and one end reduced to the size for storage.
Using a polymer clay cutting blade, slice thin pieces off your finished canes. Lay out on parchment paper and bake according to your polymer clay brand's manufacturer instructions.
Citrus slices are so cute, they can be embedded into resin, glued to scrapbook pages, added to jewelry pieces, or used as miniatures.
I hope you enjoy making these fresh little wonders. They even look like they would smell good! Thanks for looking!
Today I'm going to share with you how I make my Signature Series pendants for my HomeGrown Fashion line. Hope it inspires you to make some big funky pendants or earrings of your own!
Here's what you're going to need to make a series of glitter pendants:
Colors of polymer clay that can be mixed Glitter in colors for your color scheme Pasta roller Parchment paper Cookie cutters Stamps and tools to decorate Coffee straw Acrylic paints and/or inks Acrylic Sealer
Select colors of clay to create a custom blend. Cut two portions of one color to allow for a second color blend for accent later. Here I'm using a fuchsia that I've cut two pieces of, one of which I'll set aside at first, as well as a silver pearl, a hot pink, and a translucent clay. The translucent won't necessarily change the color as much as the opacity of the clay, and since we're going to be adding glitter, a little translucent helps the glitter to show through.
Now it's time to begin conditioning the clay for pliability. Stack all but the second chunk of fuchsia into a lump, pushing the layers together to push out air bubbles. Place the whole thing into a small plastic bag to protect the clay and your clothing or furniture, then use your body heat to warm the clay. I usually sit on it or put it in the pit of my knee or arm while I'm setting up the rest of my area. You can alternatively dice the clay up with a clay blade and work the clay bits back together, which I'll show you in another tutorial.
Once the clay is warm, begin rolling the colors between your hands to start combining the clays. Fold the clay and continue rolling until the shape is pliable enough to put through the roller.
Run the log through the pasta roller on the largest setting the long way. Fold the pressed clay in half, and put through the roller with the fold to the side. Fold and turn repeatedly until the colors begin to blend.
Sprinkle a layer of glitter (fine works best) onto the polymer clay sheet, then continue folding and rolling the clay through the pasta roller until the glitter is mixed evenly through the clay.
Roll the clay through the pasta roller until it's at your desired thickness, then lay out onto the parchment paper and cut shapes with cookie cutters. Set shapes aside, and collect clay scraps.
Use stamps, found objects, or make tools to decorate the pendants. I'm using the rounded tip of an opened bob pin for the dots, a wire bent to a circle with the circle bent 90 degrees for the circle stamp, and a single high heel shoe as my center piece of the design.
Cut a hole to hang your pendant using a coffee straw. Smooth the edges of the back of the hole for comfort of wearing and clean lines. Smooth the edges of the pendant lightly with your fingertips, and carefully buff out any finger prints left behind with light finger pressure or a smooth tool.
Place jewelry pieces onto a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Parchment paper will protect the pieces from developing a shiny spot where the clay would be touching the metal. Bake according to your clay's manufacturer directions.
Fill recessed designs with acrylic paint in a coordinating color. I'm using a bamboo skewer as a brush here.
Finish your pendant on the front and edges with acrylic sealer. I don't tend to seal the back because the pendant tends to stick to a bare chest more often if I do.
At this point, your pendant is complete! Allow sealer to completely dry, then create a beautiful piece of jewelry.
We decided to make our own handmade paper invitations, and we took photos along the way so you can learn to make them too!
Recycled paper, shredded or torn into small pieces Flower petals, onion skins, garlic skins, dried thin leaves, etc Acid-free powdered paper additive Blender, not used for food Mold and deckle Felt sheets Sponges Towels (lots!) Large bin for water and pulp Iron and Ironing board Cheesecloth
I like to make my paper pulp ahead of time and run through cheesecloth, straining out all the water. I then freeze the pulp balls for later use. In this case I colored my pulp balls ahead of time with used construction paper, but I often freeze plain white recycled computer paper balls and plain kraft paper balls from grocery store bags and the like, and add colored paper to the batches as I use them.
Begin by mixing the water and paper pulp mixture. Be aware that from this point on, the blender you use for this project is no longer food safe. I personally purchased a fifteen-dollar blender to dedicate to craft use, but you could check craigslist.org or your local thrift store for cheap to free ones.
Use pre-blended frozen paper pucks like the ones I showed you before or blend your paper right on the spot. Add 2 pitchers full of pulp and water to the bucket, then add 1 pitcher full of plain water to loosen the mixture. The water should be opaque but not lumpy. Stir in your acid-free additive as according to directions, and last, add your plant matter for decoration as desired.
Assemble your mold and deckle by placing your screen on the deckle, then placing your mold. I use a kit by Arnold Grummer that has a fine screen that I put below the regular window-style screen, a grated base for the deckle, and here I am using a mold that makes 2 half sheets of paper, perfect for standard A2 size invitations. I also have a mold that makes A2 envelopes, though I did not use it for this project.
Stir the pulp/water mixture, and slide your assembled mold and deckle setup into the water side down, trying to get underneath the pulp smoothly.
Stack 2 felt sheets to be used as couching (pronounced "koo-ching") sheets. Couching sheets absorb the extra water in a sheet of fresh paper, allowing the pulp to be more dense while processing.
Carefully turn the fresh paper, still attached to the screen and deckle stack, upside down onto the couching sheets. Remove the deckle.
Once all your papers have been pulled, top your stack with 2 felt sheets, and turn the stack upside down, putting the first papers you pulled on the top.
Lay down a layer of cheese cloth on the ironing board, and carefully transfer your damp sheets of paper to the cloth. Fold the cheesecloth up to cover the paper, and begin ironing with heat set to medium-low.
Move the iron rapidly over the entire sheet, being careful not to press too hard or stay in one place too long. Occasionally flip the cheesecloth-paper sandwich and iron the other side, but spend the most time ironing the side with the least of your plant accents on the surface to limit discoloration.
Stack the finished dry sheets and press between 2 heavy flat objects to set. I usually use 2 textbooks, but if you are doing a large amount of paper 2 boards clamped around the stack tends to work better. Usually overnight is long enough to press them flat and allow any remaining moisture to dry.
Here's another set of handmade paper cards I designed, this time also using the A2 envelope mold. These turn out to be great sets, and make perfect gifts.
Thanks for checking it out! Have you made any paper? I'd love to see it!
So, I've been doing tons and tons of hula hooping lately for fun and exercise... here's proof:
Hoop dancing is a fantastic aerobic exercise that burns 600+ calories an hour! Plus it's fun, pretty, exciting, and makes you feel sexy! I loved playing with my friend's hoops, so I decided I needed one (or many!) myself.
Now mind you, we didn't make the LED hula hoop, but when I was looking into buying my own hoop, I realized that I'd be spending quite a bit of money on each one if I purchased them. However, the supplies for several hoops weren't a lot more costly than one professionally done hoop, so I decided I'd jump right on in!
Want to know how I did it? Here we go:
Materials: Poly tubing, from 3/4"-1" outside diameter, between 100 psi and 160 psi Internal barbed tubing connector for the size of tubing you're using Utility knife Sand paper, 200 grit Hair dryer Gaffer's tape in your color selection Electrical, metallic, or any other thin decorative tape in contrasting colors to gaffer's tape Optional: Helper Cat
Most people will be comfortable with a hoop between 132" and 134", though I have hoops that I use that are as small as 130" and as large as 136". If you are a taller person, lean toward the 134" mark or even a bit higher. Children's hoops can be made to fit as well. Measure out your desired length of tubing, then cut cleanly with a sharp utility blade. Watch your fingers, and work away from your body!
Using a medium-to-fine-weight sand paper, even the ends of the tubing. Sand both ends.
Sand the very center posts of the barbed connector so they are flat on the top instead of rounded. This makes it easier to smooth out the connection point on the hoop later on. Don't sand the barbs on the ends, just the center.
Holding the ends of the tubing in one hand, begin heating up the ends with a hair dryer. Keep the heat moving, and be careful not to burn your fingers! Once the tube is sufficiently heated, we'll be inserting the barbed connector into the ends.
Moving quickly, insert the connector into one end of the tubing. Ready? Now push, quick, quick!
Try to keep the connector centered between the tubing ends. If the tubing cools down, heat it up around the outside edges with the hair dryer for a few seconds.
See the raised edges where the tube is covering the center barbs? Flatten them out flush by sanding with medium-to-fine-weighted sand paper.
Using gaffer's tape in your choice of color, place tape at an angle over the edges of the tubing. You want to make sure you're using gaffer's tape, as it has the right texture on the outside to help the hoop grip. Don't substitute with duct tape! You'll not only be really mad by the time you finish, but the resulting wrap won't be as smooth or fitting either. Gaffer's tape is made from fabric, so retains a flexibility that duct tape cannot. Gaffer's is used in theater though, so it's available in lots of colors!
Wrap base-taped hoop with electrical, metallic, glitter, or any other decorative tape in any manner you choose. Or, leave plain. You may want to ask you helper cat for suggestions here.
Enjoy your new hoop! Practicing for 30 minutes, 4 times a week is enough to help you burn calories, get in shape, have fun, and feel sexy!