Thursday, April 17, 2014

Hacky Sacks for the Kiddos

My nephew asked me if I could crochet him a hacky sack.  So I searched the internet for patterns.  I found all sorts of free patterns for crocheted hacky sacks.

They don't take much yarn to make, so this is a great project for using up scrap yarn.  I even have some that I used several small pieces of yarn to make 1 hacky sack.

The ones using varigated yarn are great.  But my favorite look is the spiral one.  It is more complicated and takes 2 different colors of yarn, but it looks great.  (Spiral - top pic - it is the one in the bottom, right corner:  grey and burgandy;  in the bottom pic - it is the one in the top, left corner:  red and peacock blue).  Spiral pattern can be found here.)

I tried several patterns that I found and my favorite pattern for a regular hacky sack can be found here.  I modified it slightly to get the look I wanted (will try to post modifications later), but I did several exactly like the pattern and they look great!  She even has instructions on how to fill them.  She used old pantyhose (I used trouser socks.  I could get 4 hacky sacks out of 1 pair of trouser socks.)  Use what you have or what you can purchase cheap!

So then as I began to make one for my nephew, my boys wanted one and then I began to think it might be neat to give all my nieces and nephews one at Easter time.  So I kept making them.  (I think I made even more since the pictures were taken.)  They are fun and easy to make.  

The first few I stuffed with rice and then I found a bag of Poly Pellets that I had purchased awhile back and it was just laying around.  They boys and I have decided that we like the weight and feel of the ones stuffed with Poly Pellets best.

Note:  I had my Poly Pellets for awhile and when I went to my local craft store to purchase some more, they no longer carried them.  They called another one of their stores to see if they still had some in stock and they did so I was able to get more, but when they are gone, they are gone.  I did a quick search on Amazon and you can purchase some there.

These also make great stress balls.  Would be good for someone in a hospital, nursing  home, or hospice, someone that has to have therapy.  Can you think of other uses?

Monday, March 10, 2014

Another Handmade Book

I think I have discovered a new hobby.  (I don't need a new hobby, but I am really enjoying this one none the less.)

This book has a cover.

It also lays flat when opened.

I have found this GREAT YouTube Channel (Sea Lemon) that has all sorts of book binding methods along with other crafts.  She is fantastic.  I am now addicted.  I watch her for instructions, but I also watch her for ideas and enjoyment while I fold the laundry.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Crochet Scarf

A friend of mine saw a scarf online that she asked me if I could make her.  I said I would give it my best shot.  She brought me this blue yarn (chunky) and a jumbo button.

The yarn is Yarn Bee's Effortless Chunky in blue jean.

This is a chunky yarn, but I wanted it to be really chunky (like the pic she showed me).  So I used 2 strands of yarn and crocheted them as they were one.  (I used yarn from both skeins at the same time.)  It took almost both skeins, but there was some left over.

I love this button!

I put a penny next to it so you could see how large the button really is.

Here is the finished scarf.  I wish my friend were here to model it for me.

For not having a pattern, I was really pleased at how it turned out.  It was really close to the picture she showed me.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Primitive Hand bound Books

I love books!  I love books in all forms (yes, even e-books), but my favorite books are the traditional books.  I love the feel of the book in my hand, the sound of the pages as they are turned, the smell of the ink on the pages.  I love books!  So, you can imagine how pleased I was when I found on Etsy a seller called Peg & Awl and they sold a book binding kit.  The book looked primitive and I loved it!

The Anselm Bookbinding Kit has been on my wishlist for awhile, but I finally broke down and purchased it (it was a splurge, but oh so worth it).  I made the book that I got in the kit.  The instructions were easy to follow (with written instructions, a diagram and a link to a youtube video).

Here is my finished book... 

O.K. now I am armed with a little knowledge and experience and I want to do some more.  I could find all the supplies that I needed on line, but I'm not patient enough to wait for them to get here and also it was a little pricey for me.  So I ran to the local craft store and purchased some acid free paper (that I had to cut down to size), hemp cord in fun colors (b/c that's all I could find at the craft store - not really ideal, but it worked), and I used twill tape (again that was what I could find as a substitute).  Here are 4 books that I made for my boys...

I let them each pick a color (that way they would know which one was theirs).

Rance could not wait to use his and turn it into a storybook.  He created a cover and then wrote and illustrated a story.  (When he is finished, I will date it and keep it.)

These books are great because they lay completely flat.  Which makes writing and drawing easier.

The books that I made for the boys are slightly larger than the one I made from the purchased kit.  I really enjoyed making these.  I am planning on making more.  I think it would be neat to have a whole stack of handmade books full of my boys' artwork.

I also like to know the inspiration behind things and this really intrigued me, Peg and Awl said this in their description of the kit...

The style of this book was influenced by my love of Anselm Kiefer and his book 'Transition from Cool to Warm', a book I picked up in Brussels one fine evening many years ago. It includes beautiful uncovered books that, in addition to housing extraordinary paintings, also show (with dirt and bendy corners) all of the love and travels his books endured... 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

More Boot Cuffs

I found my pictures that I had lost of previous boot cuff that I made (although this is not all of the boot cuffs I made).  Some were gifts and I failed to take a pic before I gave them away.

Here are the buttons I used (love the deal $0.50/ea. when they were regularly priced at $7.49/ea.).  I really like the look of the buttons also.

I used Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick & Quick in 'Wheat'.

These were finger knitted.  This was the first time I tried finger knitting.  I really like the non-perfect (primitive and rustic) look of the finger knitting.

Here they are with the buttons sewn on.  I found the tutorial here at The Kurtz Corner.

Here they are with my boots.

Sorry about the glare with the flash.

Here is another pair that I made.  I knitted these with knitting needles and used the knit stitch.
It is hard to tell from the pic, but I used 2 strands of yarn (2 different colors -  Vanna's Choice in Chocolate and Vanna's Choice in Charcoal).  I used US size 13 needles.  (Bamboo needles are my favorite.)

Last pic with the buttons sewn on.  I didn't use a pattern here.  I just knitted across 3 or 4 inches (as tall as I wanted them to be) and then kept knitting until they went around the calf of my leg.  I then sewed the 2 short ends together to form the cuff.  It was a quick and easy project I did when the temp was in the single digits (unusually cold for around here) and I just wanted to stay inside where it was warm and cozy.

What's cozier than working with yarn and drinking coffee or hot chocolate?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

I Mustache You A Question...,

....But I'll Shave It For Later

I teach 2 year olds at our church's Mother's Day Out program.  When we were studying the letter 'M', I thought it would be cute to have a mustache for them to wear if they wanted to (I also made extra for me and the other teacher to wear).  When I was making them, my boys were so excited and wanted one.  So I let them pick what they wanted and made some more for my class.

I had to get some pix.  Very fun!

I found the free pattern here

Just takes a minute and a scrap piece of yarn.  Great way to use up those yarn pieces that are not long enough for anything else.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Mug Cozy

Mug Cozy

Here is another quick and easy project.  Just have a few minutes and a partial skein of yarn and you can whip up one of these in no time.

Again, there are tons of free (and for purchase) patterns out there.  Just surf and see what you like, but here is where I found this particular pattern...Three Beans in a Pod.

You can make these to match your kitchen, you can give them as gifts, so cute.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Boot cuffs

I have seen people wearing these adorable accessories called boot cuffs.  I have really been wanting a pair.  So when we have had some snow days and really cold days, I decided to peruse the internet and Pinterest and find some patterns.

The red ones were a free pattern that I found on Ravelry (you must have an account to view patterns, but the account is free) - the name of the crochet pattern is 'Sincerely Pam's Chunky Boot Cuffs.'

The above boot cuffs I just knitted a row (using Lion Brand Yarn - Thick and Quick) as long as I wanted the boot cuff to be tall (I knitted it horizontally and then when I finished I turned it vertically).  I knit several roew using the knit stitch - until I thought I had enough to go around the calf (it will stretch).  Then cast off and use the ail to "sew" the two ends together to form a tube.  Add a button for decoration.

Made a couple of pair like that (lost pic to other pair).

The ruffled boot cuffs I saw a picture of and fell in love with them, but there was no pattern.  Tried to crochet a pair similar to what I saw, so this is my version.  I am learning that I need to crochet tighter (to minimize stretching or to make them smaller than I think I need them).

I have 2 or 3 more pair that I forgot to take a pic or lost the pic and they were gifts.  These are a quick and easy project that is really fun to do.  Great winter project when you just don't want to go outside.

There are so many free (and for purchase) patterns out there.  Check the internet and check Pinterest.

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