Friday, March 7, 2014

The Cabled Infinity ~ A Cowl Pattern

I am really excited. I'm really excited because after 2 months I am finally done designing, test knitting, writing, photographing and producing the pattern for a cowl I came up with. 

Around 6 months ago, I found out that the "Pioneer Woman" Ree Drummond, was going to be coming to my neck of the woods. I have been a fan of her blog for a few years, and my mom loves her cooking show. Thus we planned to go to her book signing.

I thought it would be really cool
to make her something, but I wanted it to be original and completely my own design.

I love cables and I adore cowls, so I thought "why not combine the two". After some trial and error, I came up with this.

I came in right under the wire for finishing a charcoal 'Cabled Infinity', just for Pioneer Woman.
After waiting in a very long line (that is a story for another time), I finally got to meet Ree (we're on a first name basis, ha) and presented her gift of which she was very grateful for and even said "I love it when people knit for me".

I knew the minute I finished the one for PW, I would write the pattern. I didn't know, however, it would take so long, lol.

After everything, I am SO excited to finally publish this pattern and make it available for purchase!                                            

You can get "The Cabled Infinity" on Ravelry for $3. The pattern is 9 pages long and includes written instructions for two ways to knit the cowl, corresponding charts and even a photo tutorial for grafting.

Also available upon request, is a second pdf with just the charts, so if you wanted to print them by themselves you could.

As always, thanks for stopping by.

Monday, December 9, 2013

DIY: Friendship Bracelet - Heart

Colorful, cheap, fairly easy to make and highly customizable (DMC floss comes in just about every color one can think of), friendship bracelets are a quick and easy gift. A gift that has some thought behind it, without being over bearing. 

I don't know about you, but I never learned how to make them when I was younger. If you are in the same boat as I was, don't worry, they aren't as complicated as they might seem.

The multicolored bracelet in the above picture is a simple chevron pattern. The tutorial that I used was from Honestly WTF.

Below, I have the pattern I made up for the other two bracelets (hard to believe but they are the same, just different tension was used on the knots).

Since I'm new to this whole thing, I won't go through the headache of trying to write up an explanation on what a forward and backward knot are (ever heard of the blind leading the blind, lol), so instead I will direct you again to the Honestly WTF tutorial. The biggest thing I had to keep reminding myself was to DOUBLE knot, so I suppose that is the only advice I have for you.

You will need:

2 Embroidery flosses in the main color you like
1 Embroidery floss in a contrasting color (you can find these at most crafting stores, I found mine at Walmart for 30 cents each)

The bracelet I made used 10 strands of floss. 8 strands will be your main color (MC), 2 strands will be your contrasting color (CC).

Start by cutting 8 strands of MC and 2 strands of CC at 32 inches. The one I made was 24 inches and just a tad too short for my liking, so i would add a few inches if I were you.

Step 1: Knot all strands together, and then part into three sections (since 10 can not be divided evenly by 3, it is okay for your sections to be uneven).
Step 2: Braid for 2 inches, knotting the end so your braid doesn't unravel.
Note: Tape down the braid well so you can really pull on the floss as you go. It might also be helpful to tape the bracelet down as it grows for added stability.
Step 3: Pull out pieces of your floss so that the pattern is, 2 strands main color, 1 strand contrasting, 2 strands main color, and this repeats on the other side.
Between Step 3 and 4: Here is the unseen work of double knotting the main color across for 2 rows.
Step 4: You should now have your contrasting color on the outside edges. To make the border for your heart, take the strand directly next to CC, and double knot backwards for the left side and forward knot for the right side.
Step 5: Work the CC across remaining 3 MC strands.

Continue working 2 rows of MC, the one special row with CC and then 2 more rows of MC, until bracelet reaches desired length. 

Once so, knot the end, braid for 2 inches and then knot again. Clip your uneven strands with scissors. You're done! Try your bracelet on or give it to a friend, either way, this cute accessory will brighten your day.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Part II DIY: From Studs to Clip-Ons

In this part II of my "from pierced to clip-ons" twofer, I'll show you how I converted a pair of studs to clips.

Since I made these a few weeks ago they have become my go to for a classy and work appropriate look. I am slightly obsessed with them.

Pearl earrings add so much charm, yet, there is nothing charming about paying $11 dollars for a pair. Since I am so adept at loosing that one earring, I could never justify the cost.
The studs I used for this diy were actually a gift, so I don't know their price. However I have seen similar studs in sets for under $5. Paired with the blanks which run around 25¢ a pair and around 10 minutes, and you can have a thrifty pair for half the price! 

Let's get going! 

You will need:

1 pair of stud earrings
1 pair of clip on earring blanks
Needle-nose pliers
Hot glue gun (not pictured)

1 - 2. Starting with your clip-on blank, and using the cutters on the needle-nose pliers, carefully trim off the loop. The easiest way I have found to do this is bend the loop to a 90 degree angle and then cut it parallel to arm of the earring.
3. Taking your stud, remove the backings and then using the snips on your pliers, remove the sharps. Try to get the profile as smooth as possible.
4. With your hot glue gun, place a dot of glue on the earring. Since you are trying to hide where the stud was, try dabbing the glue on that spot. 
5. Hold to clip-on blank until the glue sufficiently dries (at least 1 minute). Note: if you try to rush this step the glue might not set as well.
6. Further secure the earring to the clip on by adding a string of glue from one side of the earring, over the arm of the clip-on and then to the other side of the earring. This connection will help the earring stay in place.
7. Let the earrings dry completely before messing with them. Wait for the hot glue to go cold (this can take up to 10 minutes). 


Helpful hints: Though the temptation is strong, please make sure your glue is dry before trying them on for the first time. If the glue isn't completely solid, it might just break right off, taking off the pearl coating with it once you have to start over and take off the now dried glue ... (not speaking from experience here ...) and that wouldn't look as pretty.

Also, though I have gotten away with it, try not to take them off by pulling at the pearl/charm/stud. I like to think of it as if you are pulling electrical cord out of an outlet and pulling it by the cord instead of the plug. It isn't the best idea to pull at the weakest link.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and if you are interested in part 1 you can just click the link below. 

Part I DIY: From Pierced Dangle Earrings to Clip-ons

Friday, August 30, 2013

Part I DIY: From Pierced Dangle Earrings to Clip-ons

In this quick part one of two tutorial, I will be showing you how to change dangle pierced earrings into clip-ons. 

I like the way earrings look, but don't like the idea of having piercings. Clip-ons are the obvious choice, however, I've found them to be hard to find, and fairly expensive at that, especially in comparison to their pierced counter parts.

Yearning to make my own after seeing how easy the process was at a mall kiosk, I searched for the clip-on blanks and finally found them at Micheal's. Fourteen blank pairs for around $3! What more could a girl ask for?   

Let's get started!
You will need:

1 pair of clip on blanks (Bead Landing is the brand I found; they come in gold and silver. Mine are silver)
1 pair of earrings you wish to convert
Needle-nose pliers

1 - 2. Using your finger tips, gently pull the charm off of the pierced earring hook. Note: depending on how tightly the charm is attached, you may need to use your pliers.
3. Self explainatory shot of the seperated pieces. (hook and charm)
4. Using your needle-nose pliers, open the ring on one of your clip on blanks. 
5. Gently hook the charm onto the open ring.
6. Close the ring with your pliers. 



Sunday, June 9, 2013

FO: Aria's Cowl

Pattern: Bandana Cowl from The Purl Bee
Yarn: Caron Simply Soft in the colorway "Heather Gray"
Mods: Knit using a smaller needle size and smaller gauged yarn for a more close fit cowl
Inspiration: Aria Stark
Purpose: Project 4 of 4 (yay!) for the Game of Thrones KAL on the Ravelry group

Aria is a lot of things. She is head strong, she is fiestey and most of all she is fearless when it comes to her convictions. She is possibly the most kick-a** Stark and one of my favorite characters.

I wanted to make something inspired by her and fell in love with the simple lines of this cowl. I wanted something that looked like Aria would actually wear it and this cowl fit the bill quite nicely. While the shape has a masculine appeal (something tom-boy Aria would probably appreciate), it still has a touch of feminine charm. 

I chose the color gray for Winterfell and for the Stark colors; no matter where Aria goes, she always has Winterfell in her heart, so I thought it fitting to pay homage to the fact she might hold onto a little Winterfell gray.

The pattern is well written and easy to follow. I hadn't worked short rows before and this pattern made them a breeze. The cowl worked up very quickly and was easy to knit on while watching tv, but never became boring. 

Seeing as the weather where I am has risen to the late 80's, I'm looking forward to wearing this in the Fall ... or maybe it will end up in the gift pile.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Spring Forward ~ A Free Pattern

A simple, crocheted, zippered pouch, that uses feminine touches and fabric to make it pop.

Sunglasses case, cosmetics bag, or just a cute clutch for your necessities; with dimensions of 7 inches x 4.5 inches, you can be sure to fit just what you need.

Worked in two pieces and sewn together for a more structured look, the super simple single and double crochet stitch pattern makes this small purse an easy and almost instant gratification project. Make several as gifts or just one for yourself.
You will need:
A main color yarn (body)
Two contrasting yarns (flowers)
Hooks: 5.00 mm, 4.00 mm and 3.75 mm
One 7 inch zipper
Fabric (¼ a yard would be plenty)
Sewing needle

A word on copyright: This pattern is free for use to recreate. You can sell the finished object you make with this pattern, but if you could please give me credit that would be great. Please do not sell this pattern for profit. Thanks

Note: The reason I use a 5.00 mm hook for the first row is to compensate for my stitches getting looser the longer I crochet. Since the chain you make impacts how wide the bottom of your piece will be, you can combat it being to narrow by starting with a bigger hook, thus creating a more even shape

Body (make 2):

Using your main color and size 5.00 mm hook, chain 26
Row 1: Work one row of single crochet (25 sc)
Row 2: Chain 2, turn work and change to size 3.75 mm hook. Work one row of double crochet (25 dc)
Row 3: Single crochet across (25 sc)
Row 4: Double crochet across (25 dc)
Row 5: Single crochet across (25 sc)
Row 6: Double crochet across (25 dc)
Row 7: Single crochet across (25 sc)
Row 8: Double crochet across (25 dc)
Row 9: Single crochet across (25 sc)
Row 10: Double crochet across (25 dc)
Row 11: Single crochet across (25 sc)
Row 12: Double crochet across (25 dc)
Row 13: Single crochet across (25 sc)

Break yarn and pull through to bind off.

Sew cast on edges and sides together, leaving the bind off edges as the opening of the pouch.

Create your fabric insert by folding your pouch inside out and using it as a template for the size of fabric you need. Cut one piece and then sew sides together. Place your crocheted piece into the fabric pouch you’ve just created. 

Then place your zipper between the fabric and crocheted piece. Using the same color you used as the main body, sew zipper into place. Try to make your stitches even and place the zipper straight for best results. Using pins to hold everything in place and together is a useful trick.

Zipper pull (make two):
With main color, 4.00 mm hook and using the magic loop, double crochet into your loop 10 times. Slip stitch last dc to first dc to create a perfect circle.

After making a second disk, sew together over the pull that is already on your zipper. To make sure it is secure, you might want to sew through any holes several times. Also, sew edges of disks together.

Larger flower (make one):
Using one of your contrasting colors and size 4.00 mm hook, make a magic loop and chain 7. Slip stitch into the magic loop and then chain another 7, slip stitching that chain into the magic loop as well. Repeat the process 3 more times to create 5 “petals”. Pull yarn through on last slip stitch to bind off. Use tails to sew flower purse. You can pull your cut ends in between the crocheted fabric and the cloth.

Smaller flower (make two):

Using one of your contrasting colors and size 4.00 mm hook, create a magic loop and chain 5, slip stitch into the magic loop and then chain another 5, slip stitching that chain into the magic loop as well. Repeat the process 3 more times to create 5 “petals”. Pull yarn through on last slip stitch to bind off. Use tails to sew flowers to purse. You can pull your cut ends in between the crocheted fabric and the cloth.