Saturday, July 31, 2010

Small Flower Loom

I watched a tutorial using a small flower loom, the same flower loom that I found in my mystery bag from the second hand shop. It gave me an idea to make grand daughter Bella (5 yrs) a bag for her DS game boy. 
Below is the finished bag, it is the same on both sides.
I made a lining and put a zipper in for security.
As you can see, the game boy fits perfectly in the little bag, along side of the bag is the flower loom that I used.
Below is a tutorial, which eventually gets to the flower making. There were more tutorials, but I found this one the best of them.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

What I learned From Recycling Sweaters

My initial research paid off. I knew what to look for, what could be taken apart.
But what I was not prepared for was a thin sweater (too much work), I was also unaware of how long to soak the recycled yarn. After more research, I learned it is best to leave the yarn soaking over night. This will help to get rid of the wrinkles (not totally so far), clean the yarn and leave it smelling like new.

I unraveled the sweater with the help of my yarn winder.

Then I wound the yarn into large skeins by wrapping it around 2 chairs and used about 6 ties to secure it.

I then let the yarn soak over night in a eucalyptus wool wash.
The batch in here are yarn balls I bought second hand and they were smelly so I washed them too.

This is my first lot of  unraveled and soaked yarn, that is now drying in the shower.
You can put something heavy on the bottoms of the skeins to assist with the wrinkles coming out even more.

This is another sweater to unravel.
 After the yarn had dried, I was looking forward to winding it into balls to use with my yarn winder, not that simple. I had placed the skein on the floor and begun to wind the yarn, but it all ended up into a mess!
Put your thinking cap on Cat! There must be a right way to do this, even with out a swift. So I went back to the chairs where I had made the skeins, placed the skeins back over the chairs and began to wind the balls of yarn that way. Yippee, no tangles, but I will still have to go back to the yarn winder and use that if I want nicely wound balls of yarn.

I have now gone just that one step further and attached the yarn winder to the chair to save time.
Some may say why bother with all that trouble?
For me, I found it relaxing (apart from winding the yarn around the chairs). 
The washing means you are almost there.
The money saved is more than worth the effort.
And finally, I finally have the same ply and color to make larger projects, this is very exciting for me.
Some very useful links.

How to Unravel a Sweater to Recycle Yarn 

Reclaiming yarn from a thrift store sweater

Saturday, July 24, 2010

I tried some more weaving

In my last post I had made a tiny weaved pouch. I used the same method to make a bag for myself. I used quite thick yarn and tried some different weaving techniques too. I have been watching quite a few youtube video tutorials to learn more about the weaving. I really like the texture the weaving gives you.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Little Bit of This and That

This week I have been unwell with a nasty cough, and chest infection. Hubby caught it last week and the grand kids the week before. So it's traveling around the whole family.
I've been taking it easy and doing lots of internet surfing. When I come across something different that I fancy, I give it a bit of a go.

First I found this scrap buster youtube tutorial. I liked the stair pattern it created. At the beginning and the end of this pattern you do use scraps, but in the gut's of the pattern, it takes up more than just scraps.
I used a bag full of blue and white baby yarn that I had sitting in the corner of my cupboard just waiting to be put to use and made this small baby blanket.

Another youtube tutorial was on crochenit. I was given some double ended crochet hooks some time back and I thought it was about time to try them out. So here I am making up another bathroom mat with this method.

And yet another youtube tutorial on weaving a small case, see's me beginning one of my own. I've been wanting to try a small weaving project for weeks.

After seeing my doctor on Tuesday, I took the opportunity to check out a couple of second hand shops. I picked up a couple of sweaters that are suitable for recycling (it will be my very first time to unravel a sweater), a bag of brown yarn and a bag of mystery items.
The mystery bag was priced at $2, but what caught my eye was the little orange loom. I have not opened it up as yet, I'm saving it for an incentive for myself. Because I've been feeling so poorly with this cold, I have not over done it with the house work. So I made a deal with myself, I can open the mystery bag when I have achieved a certain amount of house work, sick or not. Well it has worked and my incentive is awaiting it's  opening.

Contents revealed.
The loom is a flower maker, there are several balls of cotton, twine and yarn, lots of elastic, shoe laces, frames, ribbon, some sort of shuttle that you would wrap cotton onto (the red plastic item in the frame on the left), bias binding, doily, zip and some press studs.
not bad for $2.

Last but not least, I made a heart illusion square, just to see how they are made.
Pattern here. 
I hope you have enjoyed my little bit of this and that. 

Monday, July 19, 2010

Knooking? Cross Between Knit and Crochet

Have you knooked as yet? I made a swatch using a regular crochet hook and some cord. It was just like knitting but using a crochet hook instead.
Here are some links to knooking and thanks to IwannacraftToo from HGTV for bringing this to my attention.

Introduction to Knooking

Blog Post for Knooking


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Crochet A graph In The Round

Crocheting a graph in the round most certainly can be achieved with the correct graph.
Because the stitches are off set when working in the round, a flat graph will not line up, making your picture slanted or even distorted.

I tried to make the flat graph work in the round, I ripped it so many times, but I was getting no where with it. I decreased and increased to make it work some what. 
But the end result was not quite up to standard, I did write down the instructions as I was making it up, but changing colors, decreasing and increasing in a simple construction of a hat was quickly becoming a difficult to use pattern. 
I prefer the KISS method. But I was not to be beat, I began to crochet a hat, using the hdc ear flap method, 
BUT, I did not join my rounds, 
 I've never tried this method before and it was working up really well, I got to where I estimated the graph would suit best and I began the flat graph pattern. 
 Although I was not joining rounds and going back and forth, the hat shape was still forming.
The flat graph fitted perfectly and I got the result I had wanted.
 BUT, using this method of not joining the rounds did increase the hat size. I am currently working on a smaller stitch to obtain the hat size I want.
The free pattern will be available once I have achieved this.
I must point out that the graph is not mine, so my pattern will be more or less a stitch count from the graph it's self.
It did take me 5 nights if ripping and writing to achieve the end result.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Old Sweater New Look

This is a great technique to increase the size of an old or new sweater.
You will need a sweater, a shirt that is longer than the sweater, scissors, pins and sewing machine.

Shirt and Sweater

Cut the button up panel from the shirt, leaving an  over lap on each side for sewing

Cut the sweater down the centre

Sew up the button edge so it does not flare open, leave a small bit un sewed at the bottom for some flare

Attach the button flap from the bottom of the sweater and up wards with some pins, then sew into place.

Pin the other side into place from the bottom to the top of the sweater, have a check to see if it is even with the other side, then sew into place

The striped pattern makes gives you a nice straight line to sew on

Fix up the collar how you would like it to sit, finished :)

Want to add more of the shirt to your sweater?

Use the pockets or cuffs for a more dramatic look.

Would you like to see more idea's using a similar method with felted sweaters?
Watch this Video Tutorial.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

My Hand Made Bargains

I have chosen to sell some of my hand made crocheted items at my new Etsy store.
I have also made the decision to keep my prices very affordable.
The materials used to make my items are new and the cost for my labor is very low.
My philosophy is to sell at a low price, which in return brings more sales.
I invite you all to view my shop and I would love to read your feed back.
Some of my hand made good for sale, 
from $12.00 USD.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Crafty Crochet

Some crafty crochet to share.
Have a really good look at the picture below.
The crochet work and idea's belong to Rudy Rambo, I saw her post to Mikeyssmail on face book and it impressed me enough to blog about it (with her permission).
Not only has she embellished her project, but she has put it together for so many uses. I wonder what is under the lid of the 1st container on the right?

Below is a stitch marker and row counter in one. I saw this idea on the internet somewhere and made one up myself, I have already used it and it is so very handy.

I was doing some swatches of skull and crosssbones from a graph pattern. I was testing for the best size to use in a hat. At this point I do not think I could work the graph into a hat as I make the hats in the round and I do not think the graph pattern will line up as the stitches in a hat are off set. But I was able to sew on the small skull to the back of an ear flap hat.

Large Skull Graph.

Small Skull Graph.

This is an ear flap hat I made for a 2 yr old.

I must tell you that I was one of two winners for Mikeyssmail DVD competition.
I am going to use this as an aid in teaching my grandkids more on the knifty knitter, maybe I'll get them to crochet too!