Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Ok, so I've been so busy lately with both creative and non creative things that I've not had time to post the pictures I said I would a while back! So I'm sharing some here and hope you'll enjoy them.

First up is something I made for myself, a felted guitar strap! I just love the SWS yarns and so when I saw a pattern for a needle knitted strap on the Lion Brand site, I thought, hey! I could do that on a loom with no trouble at all and this SWS would be terrific for it! So I kinda made up my own pattern as I went along. I used my pink long KK loom, working with the figure 8 wrap and started with about 12 rows of straight knit stitch (stockinette) in a dark purple SWS (called Natural Raisin). I then went into a sort-of-garter stitch, still following the figure 8 path, and switched to a variegated "Natural Violet" SWS. I did that for 2 skeins and then went back to the stockinette stitch with the Natural Raisin to finish it off. I machine felted it and because it wasn't as "felted" as I wanted, I also machine dried it :) The result is a very thick strong strap that will be perfect for my guitar...not that I've had time to put it on and test it out yet! Anyway, here's a few pics of that project:

Next up, a "soft" hooded sweater I made for my niece Kayla's second birthday. I say "soft" because that's what she calls it, a "soft". I basically used the pattern by Janet Brown called Child's Hooded Sweater, but made adjustments for size difference since it was originally a pattern for 4-5T (and resized for 12-18 months as well) and Kayla is a 2T right now. I used Lion Brand's Homespun yarn in Baroque, a nice purple color that Kayla loves and I really like how it turned out. I especially like the pocket Janet came up with which reminds me of a cross between a slash pocket and a "muff". The best part is that with this yarn, the pocket virtually disappears from sight on the sweater so it's not super obvious that it's there. Anyway, here are some photos of that project. Kayla curled up with it right after she opened it at her birthday party. This first photo is a size guide so you get a reference.

Next is a picture of the pocket that I just love! This pic with the flash on shows how the pocket blends into the sweater so it's hard to see.

This one WITHOUT the flash shows the pocket a bit better...

This is one of the sleeves. I love the way the knit/purl pattern makes it almost lacy and wavy.

And these last three are just overall shots of the finished sweater. Proud of it, can't you tell! :)


If you are a family member and are still reading this post at this point, don't blame me if Santa takes back your gift! :)

Ok, the next thing on the photo tour is the scarf and hat set I made for my mother-in-law for Christmas. In my previous post I talked about the yarns I used, but here are the final results. The hat actually took two tries, so I'll post the "bad" hat after I post the "good" one :) The scarf was just a straight stockinette stitch on the KK pink long loom, using the double sided (figure 8) stitch pattern. I added fringe to the ends which I knotted to keep from fraying. The hat is loosely based on the "Keep Warm" hat in Denise Layman's "Learn to Knit on Circle Looms". Both were done with the Lion Brand Organic Cotton in Bark and the Bernat Natural Blends Bamboo in Linen, using 2 strands throughout. I really like the feel of these two yarns together. They came out incredibly soft and warm. The bamboo "frizzes" (for lack of a better term) a bit when washed, but it's still very soft and warm.

The first photo is of the "standing" finished hat.

Next is the "bad" hat... It's not really "bad", but ended up too loosely woven for a northern winter hat. So I'm keeping it for me :) The original pattern, from Anne Bipes "Learn New Stitches on Circle Looms", is for a "Woven Top Hat" and the yarn she uses in the pattern is Lion Brand Thick & Quick, which is considerably thicker than the four strands (two of each yarn) that I used for the woven part. But I like the way it turned out, even if not for a colder climate.

Last but not least is a shawl I made for my stepmom for Christmas from the Lacy Shawl pattern posted at Loomknitting.com I used YarnBee's Featherwisp yarn in Creamcicle. I have to say that this is the SOFTEST acrylic yarn I've ever worked with AND it's a pain in the neck to keep untangled! It's so soft and slippery that the ball doesn't stay intact and once it starts to slip, it tangles horribly. But it's still beautiful and soft :) I love this pattern and the frame it creates around the edges so I'm hoping Mom will like it as well.

So, that's all the "done" projects... I still have a prayer shawl on the prayer shawl loom and have been making Knifty Knitter Christmas bells as ornament gifts (will post photos later of those). And I finally got the straw loom, so am looking forward to playing with it a bit later. Meanwhile though, hope you enjoy the pics!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Most recent projects

Ok, so I thought I'd post about what my most recent crafty projects have been.

The first one that I completed a couple of days ago is for my mother-in-law...

So Mom, if you're reading this...STOP! You'll ruin the surprise! :)

It's a Christmas gift that I made for her. They live in DC, and I know it's not as cold there as some parts of the country, but it still gets a little bit chilly and is a lot colder than here in South Texas, so I thought about making her a hat and scarf for Christmas. Problem is, she's allergic to a lot of things, including wool, and most of the yarn that I use for scarfs, etc. is wool based. So, I went searching and found this great yarn made of organic cotton. It's from Lion Brand and is called Nature's Choice Organic Cotton. I picked it up in the Bark color, which is kind of a khaki/tan shade.

Lion Brand Organic Cotton-Bark

Then I found some great yarn from Bernat in their new Natural Blends line. It's a bamboo/acrylic blend called Bernat Bamboo which I picked up in the Linen color.

Bernat Bamboo Chunky Yarn-Linen

So I combined one strand of each yarn and used my small Knifty Knitter long loom (the pink one) to make a double-sided (wrapped figure 8 style) scarf. The bamboo yarn is so soft and the cotton is pretty fluffy. Together they make a wonderfully thick scarf. I added some fringe to the ends and it was done.

Next I took those same two yarns and started on the hat. The first hat I did was based on a pattern which used a much thicker yarn (one of the thick n' quick kinds) and even with double-stranding, it didn't work out well for a warm winter hat. The pattern is great though and I'll be doing it again. In fact I plan to keep the first hat I made for myself since here we don't need the extra warmth necessarily :) The pattern itself is from one of the "Learn to Knit on Circle Loom" books and has the basket weave top. It's very pretty, just too "loose" for warmth.

So I started again, this time with my round yellow KK loom. This one was a simple e-wrap stocking cap which I created a brim on. It's nice and snuggly warm as well as soft. Hope that Mom will like them both :) I'd post a picture, but don't want to totally ruin the surprise, so those will have to wait for after Christmas :)

Next, I attempted to create a pattern for a felted cd carrier. We picked up a cute Dora the Explorer cd player for my niece Kayla (who'll be two in a couple weeks!) and since she's little, she tends to drop it occasionally. It's not an expensive thing (purchased on clearance at WalMart for $13), but I figured if I could make a felted cover for it, so much the better. I've got that project ready for my next "hot" load of laundry. Basically I created a three layer woven circle by following the basket weave technique from the hat I mentioned above but beginning with four rows of e-wrap stitch followed by three rounds of basket weaving (in three different directions) and completed with one row of knit stitch and the bind off. The funny thing is, it looks a little like a "tam" hat right now! I'm anxious to see how the felted result will come out though. If the felted result is good, I'll make another one and stitch the two together for the case. Will post a pic when I'm done felting it.

Right now on my loom are two projects. On the smaller pink KK Long loom is a guitar strap for my guitar. It's being made out of Paton's SWS yarn in some shades of purple and will be felted when completed. I took a dark purple SWS and e-wrap knitted several rows, then switched to a variaged SWS and am doing stockinette stitch on this portion. Will finish with the dark purple before felting. Should be nice and strong as well as pretty :)

The second project is a sweater for my niece. I'm doing it in a purple version of the Homespun from Lion Brand. It's a "hooded sweater" pattern I got online and should be really cute. The front and back panels, the pocket and one sleeve are done. Just have to finish the second sleeve and make the hood. She's already seen part of it and just kept saying "soft!" over and over :) Cute!!! I'll put up a pic when I finish it as well as hopefully one of her wearing it once I give it to her.

I also made cards for our Fall/Halloween card swap and am currently working on the Thanksgiving swap cards. These I'm doing using a cornucopia rubber stamp which I stamped in Staz-on onto watercolor paper. Then I spritzed it with walnut ink and "dabbed" the torn edges of the watercolor paper with the walnut ink dilution as well. Now I'm using watercolor pencils to shade the stamped image. They will then be mounted on a diamond-folded mat which will be matted on another piece of colored paper (perhaps the "crepe" paper by Martha Stewart that I got at Michaels...) and then mounted on the front of some kraft notecards. Will post a pic when complete :)

So, that's it for me right now... Quite enough at one time I'd say!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

What Scrapbooking Item are You?

What scrapbooking item are you?

You are PAPER!You are an all natural basic person who likes to act as a foundation to others. You are willing to take a backseat in most of your relationships and let others take the spotlight, while you show your support and help them shine! Underneath it all, you are the one who makes it all happen. You are the focus and stability in any group, even if you are not the leader. Others look to you to set the pace and provide ideas for ways to get things done. But Paper Beware - sometimes you get a little edgy with the people who look to you for support and can give them some papercut remarks that can hurt their feelings. Remember to watch what you say, because you are best when leading by example.
Take this quiz!

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Start of a new blog...and a freebie!

So I've decided to start up a new blog, called the Scrapping Post, in hopes of encouraging myself to share my passion and creative adventures. I hope to share with you, dear readers (if you're out there!) some freebies from time to time, my new creations as they occur, my inspirations, etc. and hope that you will share with me your comments, suggestions, etc. as you have them as well!

So, first up, I'll share with you a freebie I created this weekend while working on the "refill" for the mini album tins I created last year for Mother's Day for my sister, stepmom and grandmother. I'll have to see if I can dig up a picture of the tin itself since I no longer have those, but the template is for creating the "innards" for the tin. The template will work great for those who don't have a corner rounder or don't have a good cutter! I ended up not using the template (and didn't complete the refills in time for Mother's Day!) this time, but may the next. The instructions are on it for use. Please do not post the template to other sites or use it for commercial projects unless you email me for permission first. I'm not hard-nosed about sharing, but would like to have the opportunity to know where and when my freebies are shared if not on this blog... But feel free to send your friends here to download it! Click the pic below to download or just click here.

Instead of the template, I just cut 8 1/2 x 11" card stock into 4x11" strips. If you want to do like I did, without the template, just cut your strips (4x11") and then fold in half. Using a corner rounder, round all four corners. Then, fold each of the sides back upon itself (so that you have an "m" shaped piece, with hill and valley folds) and again, round the corners. What you'll have when you finish is an "m" shaped piece of paper, comprised of 4 panels, with rounded corners at each fold. Then, because I used card stock which is sturdier than the scrap paper I used with the template, I did not "double side" it, planning to create scrap paper "mats" for each panel instead. I attached end 1 from the first panel to end 3 of the second so that it forms one continuous 4" wide strip, accordion folded. Hope this makes more sense than it seems!

I hope you'll enjoy the template and I'll share my finished "refill" when I get it done. I know my sister, stepmom and grandma will love it!