Posts Tagged ‘yarn’

Thankful Day 5: My Week(53) in iPhone Photos

Saturday, November 5th, 2011

This week was fueled by left-over party food, lots of Stroller Strides to balance out the party food and plenty of begging my children to behave themselves so I didn’t have to drag them home and entertain them myself all afternoon. But even on the days when I resorted to bribery, tears, screaming and more screaming we had tons and tons of good moments. Today I am thankful my iPhone gives me an easy way to capture those moments, so once a week when I review them for this post I pretty much forget all the bad stuff. It is extremely good for my sanity.


Nursery floor pillows are probably never going back up to the nursery. SO COMFY. (Sidenote: not my kid)

After finally sorting all the baby clothes, Caroline's room looks like a real playroom

Mmmmm...dirty, soap filled water is the BEST.


Oh no! I'm being attacked by the tiniest most adorable dragon ever!

The button on that bench at Old Navy didn't do anything. Best toddler toy ever.

My I got new boots boots! (They're miraculously large enough for my huge calves and were only $25 at Old Navy)


My kid might be the only person on the planet who gets one of those "part of a complete breakfast" cereal commercial breakfasts...and then doesn't eat any of it.

This buckle? Is NOT OK. It totally doesn't match my outfit.

I'm kind of obsessed with taking sleeping pictures of Caroline, since Little Evan was such a picky sleeper I never got to take any.


SO EXCITED. And it's not even on.

Sinking her teeth into a little vampire fiction (IT'S TWO JOKES IN ONE!)

Cut up food. Throw it in a freezer bag. Add mustard and rosemary. Freeze. Voila, easy peasy dinners.


Overdramatic toddler is overdramatic. NO MAMA, NO WALK DOWNSTAIRS. FOOT HURT. (He has a hangnail.)

It made my house smell like CHRISTMAS.

Four children. Two shopping carts. WHO WILL BE THE FIRST TO FALL ON THEIR HEAD?


I take your picture take my picture, mama!

Using the ball winder at the yarn store is oddly thrilling.

"Evan, what are you doing?" "Fire truck! Weeeoooooh!" "Uh, ok."


Clyde's. Pretty much the best place ever on a Saturday in November.

This is what 1 dozen apple cider donuts look like after I've shoved half of them in my face.

I just don't even know.

Now we’re going to go cram a week’s worth of family time in less than 48 hours. There will be forts, dancing, messes and pizza with our weird, wonderful kids. I am thankful for ALL of those things.

Did you take any camera phone photos this week? Link up with one or lots using the linky below and grab the code (so it shows on your blog too!) over at Amy’s . It’s really fun! (linky up on Sunday!)

$0 Spring Wreath

Friday, April 29th, 2011

I don’t even know who I am anymore.

Sticks. Trash. Should be thrown away or at the very most turned into mulch.

I was out in the garden this week, cutting back a stupid useless vine of some sort that keeps trying to grow up the side of our house and stuffing it into a trash can to haul out to the dump. I looked at the bendy, twiggy vine all curled up in the can and thought “hey, it looks kind of like a wreath.” And then instead of doing the TOTALLY NORMAL PERSON THING and throwing it away I cut a few more branches, dragged them inside, trimmed them up and made a damn wreath.

I started with some long ones and just twisted them together. I used an extra thin twig to tie the ends.

By hand. With sticks. Sitting on the floor of my living room. When I could have been doing something useful like knitting or blogging or picking my toenails.

Then I twisted different sized twigs around and tucked in the ends until it was wreath-sized.

Oh but I didn’t stop there. I dragged out my craft box and glue gun and the felt flowers I made last year and decorated that bitch right up.

Junk I keep in a box for moments like this where I lose my mind.

I started with some ribbon and tulle and yarn, because those look nice on a wreath, right?

I really half-assed it on the bow

Then I used the glue gun to attach some felt leaves and flowers.

Hot glue: the lazy crafter's best tool

And because, hey, naptime lasts forever right? I’ve got all the time in the world to waste! I stitched up couple of little buds to fill in the gaps.

Just makin' it up as I go

A little more hot glue, a loop of ribbon for a hanger and BOOM. My front door has been spring-ified for exactly zero dollars.

Too bad I made a brown wreath for a brown door. Stupid.

Take your $6 stick wreath and SHOVE IT, craft store. Ain't got nothin' on me.

And that’s the end of today’s craft project. I’ll be in the kitchen, drinking wine straight from a bottle and wondering when my life became so boring this is what I do for fun.


It’s Like I Had A Yarn Shaped Hole In My Life

Sunday, December 12th, 2010

I don’t think I can find words to describe how much I enjoy knitting. It’s sort of silly to think that something that’s been around for hundreds (thousands?) of years can still feel so cool and so new and so fun every time I pick up my needles. At any given moment I probably have four or five different items in progress with the yarn & patterns ready for another half dozen…and then I get on and end up starting three more projects I had no idea I even wanted to make before I saw them right. that. instant. There’s a reason my Christmas knitting is way behind schedule and it’s not because I don’t knit every chance I get.

There’s just something about yarn – the colors, the textures, the way it feels on my hands – that I cannot resist. Yarn stores have replaced bookstores as the most dangerous place on the planet for my wallet. And then! Turning it into things! Things I can wear! Or other people can wear! It’s like magic! I’m shocked every single time I put on something I made with my own two hands and think “this used to just be yarn and now it is a HAT. HOW did that happen?!” Despite the image I’m trying to project here on the blog with my crafts and projects and creativeness I suck at almost all forms of domesticity. I’m still not good with fabric and terrified of my sewing machine – I’ll leave that to my amazing, talented, awesome, inspiring blog friends – but me and knitting? Amazingly, we’re BFF’S.

Want to see what I’ve been doing instead of finishing the nursery/new bedroom/cleaning/cooking/wrapping presents/deep breathing exercises/taking care of my family? I’m not going to spoil anyone’s Christmas here, so this is just the stuff I’ve finished recently that I’m NOT giving as gifts.

These coffee coozies take almost no yarn and no time so I still plan to make a zillion more before Christmas.

Super easy and comfortable fingerless gloves made from one skein of something really fancy, like baby alpaca and silk (I lost the wrapper so I can't remember exactly). I also lost the other glove, but by "lost" I mean "it's in the hall closet somewhere and I will definitely find it as soon as I get up off this couch."

Bebeh pixie hats. I made three (four? five?) more of these and sent them to friends who were/are expecting babies soon. The yarn is ridiculous - and inexpensive - but it makes for great newborn pictures.

This may never make it onto a baby, because I sort of made up the pattern and it MIGHT be too small for an actual infant, but if it fits? OMFG TEH CUTE!

More fingerless gloves (can you tell I'm afraid to knit fingers?) But they work great when I'm taking pictures or trying to buckle car seats so I'm going with it. These were the Mom's Night Out project Megan wrote the pattern for, designed to be easy enough for even a real beginner.

And this. THIS is me accepting the fact that I am totally having a Christmas baby who will be wearing this pretty much from the moment she's born. I'm OK with that. p.s. I totally made up this pattern too, based loosely on the pixie hat. I'm pretty proud.

And now, back to the knitting.

Wordless Wednesday: Today I am getting my craft on Edition

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Upcycled: Wool Sweaters to Felt Flowers

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

You would not BELIEVE how many perfectly good, brand new wool sweaters I’ve ruined in my washing machine. Dozens. Maybe hundreds. Until I started knitting and learned to actually appreciate fiber I always saw those “HANDWASH COLD ONLY” and “LAY FLAT TO DRY” rules more like…guidelines. I was too lazy and forgetful to separate stuff before throwing it all in the wash. And yet I was always shocked and devastated when my previously human-sized sweaters came out of the dryer doll-sized and stiff.

That shrinking process is called “felting” and this week I did it on purpose so I could turn wool sweaters into crafty felt flowers.

Since all the sweaters I’ve ruined recently are black, I went to Goodwill to hunt through the racks.


Cardigans are a double score because you can repurpose the buttons in your flowers.

The trick is to find sweaters made of 100% WOOL. Not 70% acrylic, 30% wool or some other synthetic blend. You also want to watch out for items that have “machine washable” on the tag or say anything like “Super Wash” or “No Shrinking!” That sort of defeats the whole purpose here. In theory, you could use other animal fibers – the light pink sweater is actually 100% cashmere – but I found it didn’t felt up as nicely as the wool ones.

I did pretty well with what I bought – the white one in the front didn’t have a tag and I suspected it wasn’t real wool so I wasn’t shocked when it didn’t felt. But it’s clearly hand made and was only $3 so I’ll just wear it. The scarf didn’t felt either, but again, not big loss. New scarf for me!

Now you’re going to shrink the sweaters on purpose to make felt you can craft with.
Follow these steps:
1. Throw sweaters in the washing machine with a little detergent.
2. Set machine to Hot Wash/Cold Rinse and push start.
3. Walk away.

And you’re done.

I found a lot of instructions online that wanted you to put the items you were felting in a mesh bag or pillowcase or toss in a tennis ball or some other heavy item but I had the best luck with the straight up washing machine. Since the goal here is to make the fibers as dense and stiff as possible so you can cut it up, you can even toss the whole mess in the dryer on high when they’re done washing. If you’re not happy with how felty they look after 1 wash, repeat the cycle.

If your sweater wasn’t wool to begin with it will become very clear right about now, because they will not look like this:

Post-felting. You can see how they've shrunk.

Now comes the crafty part. If you’re creative on your own just stop reading and go do something awesome with your new wool felt. The rest of my project isn’t that impressive. But if you want some ideas, read on.

My first thought was to cut out actual flower shapes and sew them together. I found flowers to use as templates online, traced them onto cardboard, and cut out the cardboard shapes to trace onto the felt:

Why yes, that is the box from a cereal that is kid tested and mother approved. It was the only thin cardboard we had in the house.

Unfortunately, tracing the shapes onto the felt was WAY too much work for me, especially with a toddler trying to crawl across the table every two seconds. If you can think of an easier way let me know (Maybe I should pin them? Maybe I can cut with an X-acto knife to avoid the tracing?) but I recommend stick to shapes you can free-hand. I have the cutting skills of a second grader so flowers and stars come out as lopsided blobs – but since you’re a grown up you can definitely do better.

Luckily, I can do a lot with just one or two fancy shapes and a few easily cut circles and leaves.

It helps if you have some buttons hanging around - these are all from the Goodwill sweaters or my stash of lost buttons on the dryer.

Cut out different shapes in different colors...

Stitch them together with a little thread and one of those buttons...

If you're feeling lazy, just stick to cutting out circles...

Or if you're feeling REALLY lazy, use a little yarn to make a loopy flower on a leaf (the button makes it fancy!)...

And you're done! Now you can glue them to pins, barettes, headbands, or sew them right onto a boring purse or scarf.

I’m sort of ridiculously pleased with my flowers. For the record, I made all these from just the bottom part of one sleeve from each sweater – I still have a LOT of felt left over. You can use it the same way you’d use acrylic or nylon felt from the craft store, just remember it is wool so it might be a little scratchy on bebeh parts.

Happy Crafting!

p.s. These are the stretchy cuffs from a couple of the sleeves. I’m thinking they’ll make great headbands for a tiny baby girl – especially with a little felt flower sewn on.

To be continued...