These are the easiest baby prezzies ever. Just cut 6 blocks roughly 12 x 12cm of some fun fabric. Sew them together so that you end up with a cube, stuff and sew closed. One of mine has a little bell inside so it's a bit jingly.
The tags can be from any ribbon. I have found the greatest place to buy a super selection from. Have a look at Craftqueen
My Cuddle Bunny is getting some friends. I've made a few for various prezzie extras and quite like the new look with button eyes.
The pattern is also evolving as I go so here is the basic one:
CUDDLE BUNNYUsing 6.5mm needles ( or any to suit your wool
as tension is not important), cast on 1 st. 1st row: Knit into front and back of st. 2nd row: Inc in first st, K1. 3rd row: Inc in first st, knit to end.
Rep 3rd row 3 times … 7 sts. 7th row: K3, M1, knit to end … 8 sts.
Rep 7th row until there are 40 sts. (DEPENDING ON WOOL
THICKNESS AND NEEDLE SIZE YOU CAN KEEP GOING
TILL YOU HAVE A GOOD SIZE)
Cast on 12 sts at beg of next 2 rows (for Paws) … 64 sts.
Knit 6 rows garter st.
Cast off 12 sts at beg of next 2 rows … 40 sts.
Dec one st at beg of every row until 28 sts rem. SHAPE HEAD
Change to 4.5mm needles.
1st row: * K2tog, rep from * to end …
2nd row: Inc once in each st … 28 sts.
3rd row: * P1, sl 1, rep from * to end (this
is knitting the front and back of the head at
the same time).
Rep 3rd row until head measures 9cm.
SHAPE EARS 1st row: P3tog, return st to left hand needle, cast on 17 sts, then P3tog, P15, [you now have 16 sts on right hand needle and 25 sts on left hand needle], turn. 2nd row: P14, P2tog, turn. 3rd row: P16, turn. 4th row: P12, turn. 5th row: P14, turn. 6th row: P16, P2tog, turn. 7th row: P18, turn. 8th row: P16, P2tog, turn. 9th row: Cast off 18 sts, P1, * sl 1, P1,
rep from * to end, turn … 20 sts.
Beg 2nd Ear: 1st row: P3tog, return st to left hand needle, cast on 17 sts, then P3tog, P15, [you now have 16 sts on right hand needle and 17 sts on left hand needle], turn. Work 2nd to 9th rows as for 1st ear … 12 sts.
Cut a 25cm length of yarn. With wool needle, thread yarn through every other st on needle, then back through rem sts. Remove knitting needle and stuff head with stuffing. Pull yarn tightly to close top of head
and secure, embroider face using black or brown yarn and straight sts. Weave in ends. Tie a knot in each paw.
I would like to credit Lincraft for the original bunny pattern as it was there that I first saw the pattern.
This is so that I will be able to repeat this in the future. Record keeping has not been a strong point and it is frustrating when you want to do the same thing but can't remember what size or pattern you used.
This is probably the most basic top down sock but it fits nicely and I managed to adjust a few different patterns to get just the right fit.
1 Ball (100g) Self stripe sock yarn
Set of 4 DPN size 3 mm
Cast on 64 stitches very loosely
Divide stitches over needles N1 16, N2 32, N3 16
LEG Rib cuff. Establish a 2x2 rib pattern for 18 stitches or 5cm
Work in St st for 56 rounds or 15 cm
HEEL flap Over N2 with right side facing work back and forth as follows:
Rw 1 : *Sl 1 purlwise, k1. Repeat from * to end.
Rw 2 : Sl 1 purlwise p to end.
Repeat these 2 rows until 32 rws are complete 6 cm
Continue with same needle pick up 16 sts along the left side of the heel
Pick up and knit st from the row below the first instep st to prevent a hole
Knit across instep sts with free needle pick up and knit from the row below the first heel st to prevent a hole. Pick up 16 sts along the right side of the heel and work across the remaining heel sts.
SHAPE gusset: dec. rnd.
N1 work to 3 sts from end, k2 tog, k1.
N2 (instep) work even.
N3 k1, ssk, work to end.
Repeat these two rnds until there are 64 sts remaining.
Foot: Continue working until foot measures 15 cm about 28 rounds
SHAPE Toe: Rnd 1:
N1(Heel) work to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1.
N2(instep) K1,ssk, work to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1.
N3(heel) K1, ssk, complete round.
Rnd 2: Work even.
Repeat these two rnds until 32 st remain(16 rounds)
Work Rnd 1 only until 20 sts remain.
Use Kitchener st to finish sock off
I started with about 30 chain stitches and then carried on with rows of single crochet stitches. When I got to the end I decided that it would be nice to have a little handle so two stitches and about 10 rows did the trick.
fold your whole piece in half and sew one side and bottom closed
I sewed the zip into place by hand.
and there you have it a zippered pouch with a tag.
What do you do with all your wool bits at the end of projects?? Well I have an ongoing project (actually one in each colour scheme). I'm not much of a crochet 'er but can do the basics. Every time I have a left over bit I see which blankly it would suit best and add to that one. It is basically a Granny Square that doesn't stop.
About.com has some great Crochet tutorials and this Crochet_Granny_Square one is basically what I've been doing except I just carry on and on until the blankly is the perfect size for cuddling while reading a good book or watching a great movie.
I'm still limited to some hand sewing as I am unpacking boxes and finding homes for all the things that has to live with us in our new home. When I looked at this block my first thought for the eyes of the little dragonfly was a french knot and I'm pleased with how it turned out. feelingstitchy has a great tutorial on how to do this stitch if the diagram below doesn't help.
This diagram is from Wikipedia and it shows how the stitch is created.
I tried to keep the contrast from the previous blocks going with the red.
I completed the first block of my Japanese inspired quilt this week. This block is about 23x23cm. I'm not sure how it is all going to fit together lets just say it's a work in progress.
I stitched with 100% cotton sashiko thread in cream and red on pre printed cotton in Navy.
The cream is just a simple running stitch. I used an embroidery hoop so that my piece won't pucker too much.
The little red flower is made up of detached chain stitches also known as a Lazy Daisy. I found a great video tutorial on making them. I used the same technique mine is just more centered. I tried to put 9 petals in a circle (some didn't quite get 9). If you go to this link daisy-stitch-video-tutorial you will see how easy it is to incorporate these in your hand sewing.
I wanted to call this a Neckerchief as it brings up images in my mind of Benjamin Bunny messing about in Old Mac Gregor's garden. Unfortunately for it to be a Neckerchief it has to be a little bit triangular, so this will be a Scarflette. The actual blog is about BLOCKING your knitting. I am confessing straight up that this was my first attempt and as it was so successful I am converted. You have to block your knitting specially if you've spent all that time knitting up a gorgeous lacy pattern. Picture 1 is my piece fresh of the needles.
About.com teaches us about blocking why you would want to do it and how to do it to what type of fibres. As I used a 100% wool here steaming did the trick. You should get some T-pins I think they will make the job a bit easier.
Look how beautifully the pattern has opened up. The steam just pulled the pattern into place. My scarflette pattern is just a rectangle, when folded over your shoulders let the two pieces hanging down the front meet with a nice brooch or in this case some little buttons (thanks to the lacy pattern I just used existing holes)
When you put a jacket over this it looks like you have this gorgeous knitted top on it acts like a false collar it is lovely and warm but not too hot for in between weather a great layering technique. You can also do it out of those lovely balls in your stash that you only have one of, as it doesn't have to be nearly as long a a regular scarf.
That's my bit for the week. Wish me well as we've reached D-day for moving and the packers will be here on Monday morning.
This weekend I attended the Craft and Quilt Fair here in our fair City. http://www.craftfair.com.au/ I anticipated this event for weeks now as I've really enjoyed previous years. I have to say they didn't disappoint. The Quilts are outstanding and all the exhibitors were helpful and super friendly. I hope they all do extremely well financially as I'm sure the commitment on their side to be here are huge.
As I walked around and enjoyed the stimulus overload the bits that stood out for me (and possibly only because it is my interests) was the wonderful Linen Quilts and specially the Japanese influences. I remember lots of Owl designs. I definitely stopped at every wool stand I loved what Teresa Dair from "dairing" in Victoria is doing she showed us how to knit using our arms as needles (think about that one for a while) I suppose you had to be there. Her website is super http://www.dairing.com/ they sell online and they stock the Habu Textiles range (Japanese again). http://www.habutextiles.com/
The other Fabrics that I enjoyed was from Sakizome momen. Sakizome means "yarn dyed" and momen means "cotton", so the yarn is dyed before weaving these traditional fabrics.
This gorgeous quilt is by Be Be Bold ( http://www.bebebold.com/ ) from the woven precut fabrics.
and last but not least I'm inspired to try the traditional Sashiko method. According to Wikipedia:
Sashiko(刺し子?, literally "little stabs") is a form of decorative reinforcement stitching (or functional embroidery) from Japan. Traditionally used to reinforce points of wear, or to repair worn places or tears with patches, this running stitch technique is often used for purely decorative purposes in quilting and embroidery. The white cotton thread on the traditional indigo blue cloth gives sashiko its distinctive appearance, though decorative items sometimes use red thread.
Many Sashiko patterns were derived from Chinese designs, but just as many were developed by the Japanese themselves. The artist Katsushika Hokusai (1760–1849) published the book New Forms for Design in 1824, and these designs have inspired many Sashiko patterns.
Equipped with loads of new ideas floating around in my head I can't wait to get busy.
Please tell me you can relate. You're all excited, luggage packed, suitcase weighed and on the aeroplane. After a long but reasonably pleasant flight you get to your destination just to be hoarded with the rest of the nameless individuals on your flight to the carousel where you await your luggage. There it starts, luggage coming through the tiny little door and you wonder, "My suitcase is black? or is it really a navy blue?" Three people make a beeline for the only red case on the carousel and awkwardly fall over each other trying to figure who's case it is. Inconspicuously people try checking the tiny tags to see if this case they selected is really theirs and then shyly pop it back onto the rotating floor. If you hesitate too long trying to make up your mind if it's yours or not zoom it swishes by and you have to wait for it to come by again. Well no more. I decided this trip is going to be different. So I applied some green crafting, recycled a bit and had a lot of fun turning shopping bags into gorgeously bright luggage tags. I made matching hand luggage tags just in case my brain is so numbed from the hours of travelling that I forget that the happy smiley faces belongs to me. If it happens to cheer my fellow travellers in the process it will be a great bonus.
I've tried my hand at a mini tutorial I hope you find it helpful.
The smiley faces comes from a shopping bag. You can cut out any motive or word that you like and use that.
Take standard shopping bag, cut off handles and slit bottom open
Fold bag in half and then half again (8 thin layers)
Layer your folded shopping bag image and see thru plastic.
I found that dark ink smudges so I use a thin layer of clear plastic (from the veggie isle) over dark colours otherwise it tends to stick to your brown paper.
Applying the heat is not an exact science and takes a bit of practise, test the heat on different plastic thicknesses. Sandwich your plastic between two layers of paper (newspaper can come off on your plastic specially working with white)
Remember to work in a well ventilated room and keep little people away from the hot iron. Always be careful when you touch the plastic you've just melted it, it's going to be hot.
After the initial melting together I cut the excess thin plastic off
Iron both sides of your plastic till your happy with the result.
As you practise you'll get the results your looking for.
I cut a template, traced and cut round my tags.
I cut a template and traced round my tags.
Some eyelets (these from the scrapbooking section) gives it a nice sturdy hole.
I decided to tie it to my suitcase with a cable tie.
A year or two ago I discovered sock knitting. It always seemed too hard to try. With all those needles you could just tie yourself up. The surprising thing is, it is much easier than what it looks and it is mostly a quick weekend project. I love the amazing sock yarn that the wool and craft stores stock. If you want to start off, get a basic pattern and maybe a thicker yarn and aim for some Bed socks. You can then graduate to the more fancy lacy types when you know what you're doing. http://www.knittingdaily.com/ is a wonderful site full of great knitting info and patterns. Register with them (It is free) and then download their "7 Free Sock Pattern" booklet. The other free download from them is their "8 Free knitting patterns for Children". In this children one is a sock section with a very nice basic sock pattern that I've tried out a few times. With the cooling Autumn air about I found some yarn I had left from last years' attempts and whipped up some tootsie warmers for the little feet in my house.
Some more sock knitting needs to happen as I've also managed to get the most beautiful self patterned 100% wool yarn and I have just the pattern for it.
I have been severely told off this week by a well meaning friend. Here is the thing in exactly a month my whole house and family will be moving across the country. She said I should be packing and NOT crafting!! Well here is my side of the story, when packing, a whole lot of decisions need to be made. In this specific case I'm looking at this old cutting board and thinking "definitely not worth moving you across you go on the throwaway pile"
Just a bit later I'm in another area packing a few things and then what do I find a half used tin of chalkboard paint now that can definitely NOT be packed so out that goes... Together in the out box my cutting board and tin of chalkboard paint started scheming about being allowed back in - and the rest is history.
It didn't take very long at all (and I had to take a break from packing anyway) and now in my yet unknown house on the other side of the country I'll have a Note board with character.
Mark the area you want to paint with some tape. Chalkboard paint goes on best with a roller and you'll need a couple of layers (let it dry in between). If your wood is very faded you can use some woodstain to give it a nice glow. I wanted a little ledge for my chalk to rest on (otherwise I'll never find it) so I re purposed some pencils from the drawing cupboard they're the extra thick ones for toddler hands. A bit of wood/craft glue and it works like a charm. Here is a closeup.
I suppose you can add to it by turning in some hooks to hang your keys on depending on where in your abode you'll be using it. Next time you buy a humble cutting board - think what you can do with it when it has served its purpose .. I'm thinking of buying one big enough to become a tray.
Have a crafty week.
ps. Please send me a picture of what you've done with your cutting board.
Hope you're all having a blessed Easter time appreciating the miracle of living your life. I've had some Green crafting fun helping my kiddos construct Easter baskets out of all sorts of recycled materials. While looking around for some ideas, I came across this site by michelemademe she shows how to get a long continuous "string" from a cereal box. She made a gorgeous little easter basket with it. I'll start at the end of my product today and then deconstruct it ....
Make a mold (cardboard and sellotape worked great) I covered mine in Tinfoil. Cover some rope in glue any project glue will work and stuff it into your mold press down a little and leave to dry - when dry take out of mold and put a piece of ribbon through to hang it up with. Here is a picture of my mold.
Next is the polystyrene egg I covered mine in some beautiful tissue paper that I got from the grocery store. Simply cover the egg with glue and then mold the paper around. I tied a ribbon to each one so I can tie it to my wreath.
Then the fun recycling bit - I took a cereal box and cut a long continuous string (as you would make a snake out of a sheet of paper) from it. Mine is about .5 cm thick and as much as I could get out of one box this I then tied to an old wire coat hanger that I pulled into a round shape.
There you have it a wreath with all the Easter elements - A cross for the Crucifixion and some eggs to symbolize the new life and resurrection.
This week I tried something really fun. It's something I originally saw here: punkinpattern.sweettoothpouch , she did a superb job, hers is lined and covered in vinyl. Then I also spotted this obsessivelystitching-juice-pouch-belt-tutorial now this really got me going. (They'll never teach you this in Design school) Being able to sew through something recyclable and end up with a useful product. I like that. I experimented with different media and the findings were mind boggling I'll show more in weeks to come. My inspiration for this Coin purse comes from a Coffee loving friend who introduced me to her latest find:
I wondered could I sew through it? And if so, then what would you make?
I increased my stitch size a little and started sewing - no problem and it is really strong too. I then created a pattern I liked ( a little bit like a Quilt). When I had the two sides the size I wanted I decided to add a zip.
Next with right sides facing each other sew the sides and bottom closed. Just a note before you sew your last side closed please open the zip - yes I had to unpick a bit because I had a completely closed inside out coin purse ??? Don't blame me I was so excited about the fact that I was sewing on something that should not be sewed on.
This next bit is a bit tricky to explain. Look at the last picture to see the result. You need to take the bottom corner of your purse. Place the side and bottom seems onto each other (right sides facing) sew across the corner effectively creating a triangle. Do the same to the other corner. Then turn the whole thing inside out (through your open zip).
Whalaa a little CoffeeCoin Purse. I gave mine a little tag to hold onto.