I used Rowan's Cashsoft Aran yarn (a lovely cashmere and wool blend), so this chunky jacket is sure to be warm. It took 7 skeins, though, so it turned into a bit of an investment piece at $9.50 a skein. What I like about the pattern is that it's knitted on circular needles so you can somewhat reduce the number of seams you have to deal with a the end (although the hood and sleeves must be sewn on).
What better utensil for a cozy cup of hot cocoa, than chocolate stirring spoons!!
I'm sure I've seen something like this online somewhere, but I can't remember exactly what inspired me to make these. I took 30 small plastic spoons and 2 bars of 76% cocoa chocolate bars and in about 15 minutes turned out these home-made gifts that were a total hit at our friends' holiday dinner party last week.
I just broke the bars into chunks and melted them over low heat:
Then I dipped the spoons into the melted chocolate and twirled the spoons around until the fronts and backs were covered. As I finished each spoon, I laid them onto a greased sheet of foil (I didn't have any wax paper on hand). I had a lot of leftover chocolate, so I spooned the extra into the dips of the chocolate spoons:
Let them cool and harden for about an hour and then they're done! I included them with some cookies and a few caramels I purchased from a gourmet shop.
Quick and easy and definitely a crowd-pleaser. It'd be cute to have these accompany a mason jar of hot cocoa, or a little home-made bag of hot chocolate mix. You could also add toppings, or roll the spoons in nuts or crushed up peppermints... The possibilities are endless!
I just finished my first quilt, with the help of my amazingly talented sister (left in the pic below) and all of her fancy quilting tools.
I didn't buy any fabric at all for this project. I used leftover material I bought in Provence (France) for other things, and how much I had of each pattern determined what the overall layout would be, which I guess is how quilting came about in the first place, right?
The pattern is called Around the World (I think?), and is very appropriate: the material is from France, I started it in the U.S., finished it in France (where I live now), and then sent it off to our friends' brand-new baby in Hong Kong, where it has now safely arrived. The Provençal prints make it look a little crazy, but I hope the little baby boy I gave it to will find the madness entertaining and not dizzying!
Since this was a relatively quick, machine-pieced first experiment, I decided not to hand (or machine) quilt the layers, but instead used yarn ties to hold it all together. It's important to use non-synthetic yarn, as synthetic yarn will eventually wear through the cotton fabric and batting.
I like how the backing turned out, too, with the little nubs of white yarn peeking through the cheerful fire-engine red.
I can't wait to get more experimental with my next quilt. Maybe I'll even try – gasp – rectangles! Thanks for looking and I hope you don't need asprin after doing so!
This project was very quick and easy. I'm always trying to find something unusual to make for new babies. This toy is my favorite at the moment: it can be thrown around, grabbed, or snuggled.
The pattern is from a magazine, so it's copyrighted, but it's pretty straight-forward. I made the head in stockinette and then the little body parts in moss stitch. The tail was a departure from the pattern, which called for a fabric one. I made it using knit cording (on double-pointed needles cast on 2 stitches; knit them and DO NOT TURN and knit again; repeat until desired length). The little poof is a yarn pom-pom I made (my first one!).
I used some vintage fabric for the body, and just traced the rounds using a large plate and a smaller one. Sewing was somewhat time-consuming because I don't have a sewing machine here (I'm living in Paris for the year), and the trick is to cut the circle so that you can turn it inside out (see photo above).
Even without the sewing machine, this was easy to finish quickly, so I made two. They're going to a pair of twins that live in Miami.
I am one of those strange knitters that would rather knit on double-pointed needles than use just two and deal with seams at the end. So with the arrival of a friend's pair of twins and two other babies being born this month, I was determined to find a small project that wouldn't drive me mad with sewing.
My first attempt at a baby sweater!! Well, *any* sweater for that matter. I call it "French" because I bought the pattern, yarn, and buttons from a lovely French woman who owns a baby clothing shop on the Left Bank in Paris. I just love the way it closes with just two buttons! The pattern was completely beginner-friendly, too. I don't know if I will run into copyright issues if I post it. It was just stockinette stitch, with moss stitch around the edges. I think you could make the entire body as one piece, but I made the front 2 sides and the back seperately.
Have you ever seen a bride have long hair hanging out, on TOP of a veil?
I am using a vintage veil and cannot figure out what the story is for this headpiece!!!
Here's the deal: -There are 2 veils, but I'm going to take off the shorter one and only use the long lace one. -The headpiece is a thick, circular wire piece covered in lace on the top part (not like a perfect circle crown, it's weird), where the veil is coming out of the BOTTOM part, which is not so pretty... it creates this HUGE empty space in the middle. -If I wore my hair down (ideal for my curly hair and more casual feel that I am going for), could I pull some of it out through this center part? Will it look like my veil is coming out of my neck?!! -Can I just cover some of it up with flowers? -Should I just give up and try to detach the lace veil from the headpiece and start over with a simple comb?
The bride who wore it way back added the poofy shorter veil which covered up the middle, so she didn't have to worry about this issue...
But then I got to thinking, why not just make hanger branches? I used wire hangers from the cleaner's, bent paper clips for ornament holders, and a tall glass vase with heavy porceleine balls in it, to keep the branches in place. I put my extra ornaments in the bell jar, on the right.
I just embroidered this vintage design onto a light-blue down blanket for our friends' brand-spankin' new baby.
The above picture is pre-ironing and pre-application to the blanket. It's also out of focus and a little red because my finger was covering the flash. OK, enough excuses! Here's what I did:
1. I embroidered the design, which I found on needlecrafter.com (I found out about it here on craftster, of course!), onto a handkerchief, using a combination of twisted embroidery floss and "regular" 6-strand floss (using 2 of the strands at a time). I used the handkerchief because it was the only material I could find at the craft store, and it also had more threads per inch than cross-stitch material. It was also very thin, so I could just trace the design I printed out, instead of doing any fancy transferring.
2. Using 32-point "Lucinda Handwriting" font in Microsoft Word, I typed in "Sweet dreams, Zachary" and printed it out. I traced it onto the material, just as I did the baby design, with a #2 pencil (which is very hard to erase from the material, actually, so don't make too many mistakes!) I then embroidered that in green floss. I think I need some practice with letters, but it's readable.
3. I then cut the handkerchief to fit into exactly 6 squares of the quilted blanket, and sewed the sides to finish them. Ironing was key to this process, because I could iron the would-be seams first, to make sure the measurements were precise, which they rarely were the first try.
4. To apply the design to the blanket (which I bought...it's soft and lovely and made by a company called "Brooklyn Down") I first used Steam-a-Seam to stick it on. This took about a minute of ironing for each section - more than the usual 20 seconds. I then sewed all around the white material, all the way through the blanket, using light-blue thread, so it wouldn't show on the other side of the blanket. Here's the finished product: