25 February 2014

Crocheted Hats

At the beginning of the icepocalypse I wanted to sit down and just crochet a hat. I decided to try out Repeat Crafter Me's polar bear hat pattern, but to leave off the face of the bear. I also didn't have any white yarn so I chose grey.

Fast forward two weeks and it's my niece's eighth birthday. She always loves my crocheted or knitted hats and usually asks for one for whatever gift-giving event is coming up. In addition to the grey ear hat, I knew she wanted one of Frayed Knot's flowered headbands (since I have one in blue and she asked specifically for a red one for herself).

I didn't alter either of the patterns other than what I stated for the polar bear hat (since it's grey, Ava calls it her "koala hat"). I used some I Love This Yarn from Hobby Lobby in Graphite and some leftover Caron One Pound yarn in Country Rose (I think).



Isn't she gorgeous?


20 February 2014

Icepocalypse Cowl

A mere two weeks after the snowpocalypse hit us and left people stuck overnight in their cars, Georgia was graced with another winter storm that had everything shut down for two or three days. Last time I was stuck in the house, I worked on my snowpocalypse knit hat for three days straight. This time, though, I didn't do anything so complicated and had time for three projects!



I was inspired by The Original Boston Harbor Scarf (which you can buy on Etsy) and by Jane Girl's pattern...but of course I made some changes.


I actually used a little more than two skeins of this Wool-Ease yarn (color: wheat, but I always want to call it oatmeal) with a K hook (10.5/6.5mm). The label calls for an N hook (15/10mm) but I was iced into the house and K is the largest needle I own. I tried to crochet loosely though and the resulting cowl is very thick and crazy warm.

Pattern:

Ch. 28
DC in third chain from hook, then DC across (25 DC), ch 1 and turn.
DC between the stitches of the previous row across, ch 1 and turn.
Do this until the cowl is long enough to wrap around your neck comfortably.

You'll have to change your yarn a time or two before you're done. Both times I had to switch skeins I did so in the middle of the row by starting a DC but only pulling the original yarn through the first two loops. Then, with two loops still on the hook, loop the new yarn around the hook and pull it through the remaining loops. I continued crocheting until the end of the row then tied the yarn tails in a single knot before working the ends into the pattern.


Hopefully the pictures explain it okay (click to enlarge).

Once your cowl is long enough, tie off your yarn and work in the ends.



The buttons go up the LONG end of the scarf evenly spaced so that they stretch across the width of the scarf. This is what gives it the drape when you wear it.


Fun fact, we have a huge collection of buttons that my grandmother collected (that live right next to her old sewing machine). I found three matching buttons to use for my cowl so I think that makes it extra special :)


See?

Let me know if you decide to make a cowl off of my pattern! And certainly let me know if you have any questions—I'm more than happy to help :)

17 February 2014

Polka Dot Penguin




Some of you may recognize this picture from my Instagram last weekend. It was a sneak peek of a baby present requested by someone at my church.


I used some Michael Miller fabrics (Zoology, Play Dot Bloom, & Dumb Dot) from Fabric.com for the squares and just some plain cotton fabrics from Hobby Lobby.


As always, my blanket is backed with some super soft minky. I did something different with my tag this time though: instead of sewing it into the seam like I usually do, I put the fabric in a little embroidery hoop and completely stitched the edges down. This way it won't fall off or feel itchy against the baby's skin.


I'm also pretty excited about this little penguin! I used a pattern from The Purl Bee and leftover fabric from the blanket so it matches. The penguin's belly and wings are minky too! All the better for cuddling :)


I kind of wish I could keep him for myself!


12 February 2014

Valentines!


I can't remember when I started this tradition, but every year I send out valentines to all of my nieces and to my nephew.



Clearly this tradition started when I had fewer cards to write :)

This year I decided to use up some of my scrapbooking supplies and actually MAKE the valentines! It wasn't as hard or overwhelming as I thought it might be and I really enjoyed making them.


I used some of the cards from my Project Life books. I have the holiday pack and the midnight pack.


This card opens up like a flap to reveal the design underneath!


Maggie is my youngest niece. It's her first Valentine's Day so she obviously deserves a valentine :)


The stickers are from various sheets I've been hoarding. I grabbed the tiny safety pins last time I was at Michaels and they worked perfectly for the photos (even if that wasn't what I was planning on doing with them).




As it turned out, I didn't have envelopes quite the right size for my little valentines. Some quick googling gave me a fairly good idea about how to use some Valentine's scrapbook paper to make envelopes.


I just folded the paper around my card in an envelope shape and then cut away the excess. I used that one as a template for all the other envelopes.


So many valentines! I can't wait until all my nieces (and my nephew!) get them in the mail.

Did you hand make any valentines this year? Let me know in the comments!

10 February 2014

Valentine's Decorations


Even though I've been promising to post about my Valentine's decorations since February first, I've only just this morning gotten everything exactly how I wanted it for pictures. It's pretty simple this year, but next year when I have my own place (plus a husband to celebrate with me) it'll probably be a bit more festive.


One day--hopefully after about 355 of them--this will be part of a Valentine's mantle.

I just love all of the blog posts where people share their holiday mantles. I guess this is a takeoff of decoraiting it for Christmas...if we do it for a month (or two) once a year for Christmas, why can't we do it year round?

Anyway, right now this is on the counter in my bedroom. My room is technically the bonus room of the house, so it's equipped with a wet bar that is currently subbing for a mantle. I got the ampersand from Hobby Lobby to use in my engagement pictures (which I can hopefully share with you next week!) and the little vases are from Target's dollar spot. I got the flowers from Michaels for about $1.50 each.


For my door wreath this time I decided to use a styrofoam heart, purchased of course at Hobby Lobby. It was much harder to yarn wrap than I was expecting, so here are a couple of tips I picked up along the way:

  • Wrap both sides separately, ignoring the points for now.
  • Wrap the points separately (this is why the top & bottom of the heart are bulkier than the sides)
  • Hot glue is your friend! If you can keep it off of your fingers, which I cannot, it'll keep your yarn covering the styrofoam and covering the points. Without the glue your yarn will just slide off of the points and make you crazy.
I also used a sheet of glitter paper and my handy Silhouette Portrait to cut the X and the O. I can't remember which font I used anymore, but if I do I'll add it in :)

Later this week I have a post about the handmade valentines I made for my nieces & nephew (including handmade envelopes) and I'm planning on making the pink cinnamon rolls that I blogged about last week for my family on Friday so I'll post about it that afternoon.

Have you done any Valentine's projects? Let me know in the comments!