Nov 4, 2008

Elegant and easy ornaments

I'm still cranking out ornaments for TPP. My latest effort are these simple paper ornaments. I cut strips of colored paper and stapled them as described. They are so cool looking for almost no effort.

Oct 14, 2008

So, what are 40 birds in the hand worth?

I loved these sweet paper bird ornaments because they could be funky or classy depending on the paper I chose. So simple,too. The pattern comes from Better Homes and Garden. I couldn't find cute two-sided cardstock, so I glued two contrasting pieces together before cutting out the bird shapes (the wing on one side is the same pattern as the body on the other).

I also adapted the pattern for felt. I used the exact same stencil on felt, then I used a blanket stitch in contrasting thread to sew it up with just a little stuffing inside. Little black sequins for eyes complete the effect. I used a whip stitch to secure the wings, but left them partially free to move at will.

I really liked making them... so now I have about 40.

Who wouldn't let these guys join in their reindeer games?!

I declare these little Rudolphs totally cute and easy to make. All it took was some clothes pins, ribbon, spare felt, bells, puff balls, and googly eyes. Everything except the clothes pin and googly eyes came from my stash. I took my inspiration from two online sources (here and here), but the fun was in dressing them up just as I like them.

Feb 17, 2008

Beaded memory wire bracelets

We're having another blizzard, so I'm stuck in the house and not motivated to work on school stuff. To pass the time, I tried making beaded jewelry with memory wire for the first time. Normally, I'm not a jewelry person, but I really like what I ended up with. I might actually wear some of it!

I based my bracelets on this pattern from Beading Times. They lost their scale in the picture, but they're about 3" in diameter. Hobby Lobby had a 50% off sale on Bead Treasures stuff, so I don't think they cost that much and I had a lot of fun with different kinds of beads. I'm definitely going to try some new styles the next time it stops snowing and I can get to the store.

The Hip-Conservative Business Card Wallet

I just got business cards for the first time and I wanted a card holder that wasn't too fussy but also wasn't too cutesy. I got the idea for this project from some Etsy items, and I think these might be the right balance-- hip but conservative. I'll take them to a conference next month and see how I like it in action.

The final wallet is about 5x3 on the outside; your cards can be up to 2.5 x 3.75 in size (and this obviously scales up and down as you need).

Materials needed:
- Cardstock paper or other inspiring materials
- laminating machine or contact paper (or use paper that is already slick and sturdy)
- sewing machine
- matching or contrasting thread
- clear-dry glue

1. Cut card stock into 8.5 x 4.75 inch rectangle.
2. Laminate the paper (or use laminated paper to start with). I used contact paper, but any flexible laminating material will do.
3. Fold the two short ends of the rectangle down 1 1/4 inches (to make the pockets for the cards.
4. Sew the two long sides of the wallet with a 1/4 inch seam (on the paper, not through the laminate). Make sure to face the outside of the wallet up as you stitch-- the needle pushes the paper into little peaks, so you want to hide this on the inside of the wallet.
5, Spread just a little glue (that dries clear) over the ends of the thread. The laminate doesn't hide them as well as normal cloth does.

Improvements you might make on my design:
- use a lamination method or buy laminated cardstock that doesn't require quarter-inch borders. I used contact paper and the large plastic borders are not as fabulous as one might want.
- Try using maps as the paper (this is what some Etsy folks are doing).
- I had pretty cardstock with a coordinating color on the inside. If you have something without a pretty back side, try using two pieces of paper together. You'll have to worry about getting them to stick together and whether they'll fold smoothly.
- cut paper with pinking shears for a different edge.

Feb 10, 2008

New Pattern: Ruffles the Hat and Bootie Set

Needles: size 3
Yarn: MC: Baby Bee Little Britches yarn in Breebug (4oz/252yds)-- uses less than half a skein
CC: Baby Bee Sweet Delight yarn in ??purple?? (4oz/377yds)-- does not use up much at all

Ruffles the Hat
Rounds with 54 stitches= 11" (for 3-5 lb preemies)
Rounds with 72 stitches= 15"circumference (for newborns)

CO 189 (252) stitches in CC
Row 1: knit around
Switch to MC
R2: *k, K2tog(3 times); repeat from * around (108/144 stitches)
R3: knit around
R4: k2tog around (54 stitches)
R5: * k1 p1; repeat from* around (work this row tightly to cinch in the hat brim)
R6 (twisted rib): *k1 through back loop, p1; repeat from * around
R7-10: repeat this row 4 times
R11: eyelet row: *yarn forward, k2tog; repeat from * around
R12: knit around (knitting through front loop of eyelets so they stay open)
repeat knit row until piece measures 3" from brim (3.5” for larger size)
(on last knit row, place markers every nine stitches to help you keep track of decreases)

Decreases for crown:
R1: knit (x 7), k2tog
R2: knit even rows
R3: knit (x 6), k2tog
R5: knit (x 5), k2tog
R7: knit (x 4), k2tog
R9: knit (x 3), k2tog
R11: knit (x 2), k2tog
R13: knit (x 1), k2tog
R15: k2tog
run yarn through loops to bind off

Ruffles the Socks
cast on 84 stitches in CC
Divide stitches on three needles.
Row1: Join and knit around one row
switch to MC
R2: *k, k2tog (3 times) rep * around
R3: knit around
R4: k2tog all around
R5: *K1, P1 rep * around
R6 (twisted rib): *K1 into back, P1, rep * around
R7-10: repeat Row 6 four times
R11: Eyelet Row: *yo, k2tog rep * around (these are the eyelets)
R12: knit around, knitting through the front loop of the eyelets so they stay open
Knit even in stockinette stitch until desired length is reached:
For smaller (preemie) size, work until 2”
For larger (newborn) size, work until 3.25 before toes

K2tog on all needles (12 stitches)
knit one round even.
K2tog on all needles (6 stitches)
Knit one round even, thread needle through and gather toe stitches. Tie off and weave in ends.

finished sock is about 2.5" (3.75”) long from heel to toe