Warm and Cozy

There is nothing quite like knitting a warm cozy blanket in the winter. Last week I wrote about a crochet project that I had worked on for 2 years (even I can’t believe it), in contrast I made this blanket in only a few days over the Christmas break. There are a few differences that account for the speed. This blanket is a bit smaller, and is knit with big think yarn which makes larger stitches per inch. Even better than knitting a blanket in the winter is snuggling under it with a cup of tea in a handmade mug of course and a magazine. Pure luxury!

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Just for me

If you have been following my blog for any length of time you probably notice that I make craft projects for other people often. Even when I decide to make something for myself frequently someone tells me how much they like it and somehow it becomes theirs. I am an advocate of the handmade and prefer to gift handmade objects.

One of my friends gave me yarn for Christmas this year with the implicit instructions to make something for myself. She knows me a little too well. The yarn that she gave me was beautiful but I was already making myself a pair of finger-less gloves. I might have to turn the yarn that she gifted me into a pair of socks. No one in my house will steal them because they will have a bit of pink in them.

If you think that these are as great as I do here is a link to the pattern. I think that I was sucked in by the pretty pictures with the pattern and I have made an effort to duplicate it but I didn’t really do them justice.

P.S. In case you were wondering those are my real hands and my nails are real. I just have to throw it out there but I take zero credit, because it’s all in the genes. Some people get skinny genes, some people get good nail genes. I only got the good nail genes.

Nesting

IMGP9372There is a chill in the air and all of the trees have lost their leaves. Fall is here. My youngest has begun to point out nests in the naked trees. He tells me that the birds are snuggled in their nests making candies. If only that was true. He has been making nests around the house and snuggling in with his stuffies. I am taking my cues from him these days and fluffing up my own nest.

I spend too much time browsing on Pinterest! I saw a picture of chunky knit blanket that I had to make. The problem was that I couldn’t find knitting needles long and thick enough. I wanted to make a king size chunky knit blanket and I wasn’t about to start knitting with 3′ long needles. Although come to think of it I probably could have tried knitting with the kids light sabers!

practiceI wasn’t going to let something as trivial as not having the right size needles stop me, so I made a pair. Using a pair of purchased 50mm short knitting needles (pictured) I cut them down drilled holes in the ends, tapered the cut ends, inserted and glued a rope, taped the rope to the needles and voila circular needles long enough to knit a king size blanket.

This was the biggest knit project that I have ever attempted. I learned a few things in the process. First off this project worked my arm muscles! I was sore after knitting because the blanket and yarn are so heavy. It was next to impossible to knit sitting in a chair because the blanket was so big it would spill over onto the floor and then it was really hard to get the tension right. Sitting in bed was the perfect place to work on this blanket so that the weight could be spread out over an even surface. It is only a little luxurious to knit and be warm and cozy under your project at the same time.

Pattern to follow

Work in process

I haven’t posted any craft related projects in a very long time but I am always working on something. Here are a couple of pictures for my most current project. I am knitting a chunky king size blanket. It’s the perfect season to make blankets. This one is almost done, I just need to knit enough to cover up my toes. When I am finished the pattern and finished pictures will be posted!

Felt Dryer Balls

I have been writing about some heavy topics lately and I thought that I would lighten it up a bit with felt dryer balls. I have been using a bounce dryer bar but they have become difficult to find, and after checking a number of stores I gave up and made some dryer balls. I was a little skeptical that they would work but after a couple of weeks of using them I am converted. When I made the switch from dryer sheets to the dryer bar I no longer needed to remember to put in a dryer sheet with every load, nor did I need to fish out a dryer sheet at the end of the load. There are a few added benefits of felt dryer balls the first being that there is no garbage and the second is that there isn’t any chemicals. They are also so easy to make, I made these three one night while I was watching TV.

Instructions

Step 1 – using 100% wool wrap into a ball (mine are about the size of an orange). I used yarn for the entire ball but you could also use an old wool sweater.

felt balls 3

Step 2 – once the balls are wrapped put them into an old nylon/pantyhose and knot after every ball as pictured. Wash in the washing machine in the hottest water possible. They can be washed with a load of laundry or alone. I sent mine through two loads. After they are felted cut them out of the nylons and dry them in the dryer.

felt balls 4

These are the finished dryer balls. I leave them in the dryer most of the time occasionally the kids steal them and play which is something that they couldn’t do with dryer sheets. I am going to experiment with adding oils into the balls to make the laundry smell nice.

All I want for Christmas…

I know that it’s nowhere near Christmas I’m just getting caught up on a few items on my to do list. This is a project that we (my husband and I) have been working on for a long time. Starting with the day that I first saw our current house 4 years ago. When I first saw what would be Logan’s room before Logan was even an idea I knew that the space would be perfect for a built-in bunk bed. But first we needed to get the house, get pregnant, and have the baby. When Logan was born we put the crib in the “nook” and I patiently waited until he was old enough to make the transition into a big bed which happened this fall. I wanted to build this about as much as a five-year old boy would want it. In September we went to Great Wolf Lodge and the boys spent their first night in a bunk bed.

That sparked Sasha to ask for a bunk bed for Christmas. After explaining that Santa doesn’t have room in his sleigh for a bunk bed, Stanko and I decided that it was time to build one in the “nook” in Logan’s room. We finished building it right before Christmas and Sasha promptly moved into Logan’s room. It took me the last 4 months to get it painted, hang the pictures, hem the drapes, and make more pillows.

I love that we have enough space so that the kids can be sleep together, apart, in the same room or in different rooms. If one of them is sick we can separate them into their own rooms, yet most of the time they opt to sleep together in Logan’s double bed. Sasha’s room goes unoccupied almost all of the time so it’s fair game for visitors.

My kids are my inspiration for most of my projects. The following items can be found in Logan’s room.

Here is the before…

before

During…

After…

If you are looking for me I will be napping in the bottom bunk with the drapes closed.

Pom Pom Pillows

I saw an idea for a pom pom rug on Pinterest and I thought that it looked interesting. But it also looked like a bit of work to make all of the pom poms and then attach them all to a backing. So I decided to do a trial run in the form of a pillow to test the process. It is a lot of work, and I will not be making a rug. Especially since the morning after I finished sewing all of the pom pom’s onto the pillow Logan (my 2 year old) came to me with piles of yarn in his hands that used to be pom pom snowballs). He had sat quietly and pulled apart about 10 white pom poms, now I can’t really blame him, he’s 2 and I am sure it was fun. It was days before Easter when the snowball massacre occurred, and the yarn became the “Easter grass” for the kids new Easter baskets. But this pillow was far too much work to be destroyed by his little hands in a matter of minutes. So until he is over his destruction phase (hopefully before his 18th birthday) this pillow will stay on the top shelf 😦

Easter Bunnies

Knit or Crochet Easter Bunnies

If you are new to knitting or crochet these little bunnies are quick and easy. These are a great way to use swatch gauge’s, small balls of yarn or to try out new stitches.

Step 1. Crochet or knit a square 8″x 8″ square. Size really doesn’t matter in this case.  Neither does the yarn weight.

Step 2. Using an embroidery thread in a matching colour, sew a triangle.

step 1

Step 3. Pull the threads to gather a square to form the bunnies head

Step 4. Stuff the head

step 2

Step 5.  Sew up the head and down the back of the bunny

step 3

Step 6. Stuff the bunnies body

step 4

Step 7. Close the bunnies bum by running a stitch around the edge and pulling tight

Step 8.  Sew on a tail (pom pom), eyes, nose (buttons) and tie a ribbon around the bunnies neck. I used store bought pom poms but you could easily make one too.

This pattern is intended for personal use only. I offer this pattern for free but I request that you do not sell it or any product made from it.

New Year New Sweater

sweater 1Last spring I started this sweater for Sasha at his request.  We went shopping for yarn together and he picked this grey blend.  Spring ended, summer started and the sweater wasn’t quite complete.  Every month or so Sasha would ask if his sweater was ready yet and this past weekend I finally finished it.

The pattern was found from Ravelry it is called Tama by Kelly Brooker.  If you are thinking about knitting or crocheting then http://www.ravelry.com is an excellent site to search for patterns.  There are piles of free patterns, patterns for purchase and links to knit/crochet blogs.

On the eleventh day of Christmas…A scarf

If you are in need of a last-minute gift this is a quick handmade scarf perfect for a sister, mother, or wife.  I would be so impressed if my husband made me a scarf for Christmas.  All you need for this is a ball of yarn, and a skein of embroidery floss (that’s what a thing of embroidery floss is called which you can get from the dollar store) and about 20 minutes.

I used Patons Cobbles in Chargrey for the one pictured and black embroidery floss.

Thanks to Meaghan Patterson for this craft.

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Picture 1 – Wool and embroidery floss
Picture 2
Picture 2 – start by looping the wool around your legs and tie the end
Picture 3
Picture 3 – continue looping the wool, and occasionally wrap the wool around the scarf to hold it all together, tie the end once all of the wool has been looped around
Picture 4
Picture 4 – Tie the embroidery floss around the section of scarf where the wool is tied
Picture 5
Picture 5 – loop the embroidery floss until it’s all used and tie the ends together. That’s it.
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Picture 6 – me wearing the scarf
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Picture 7 – finished scarf