Swift Bag Holder

This post was previously published on Think Crafts!

If you knit or crochet you likely have a lot of yarn. I know I do! Skeins of yarn are pretty to look at but yarn cakes are great to knit with and easier to store. I use my Swift every time I buy new yarn. Swifts are great but they’re an odd shape. How to store them conveniently? Make a swift bag that will prevent it from accidentally folding open on its own. Here’s an even better idea-upcycle an old pair of pants to make the holder! This is a great project to upcycle old clothing that is too cute to throw away but no longer wearable.

Craft
Sewing

Difficulty
Beginner

Materials
Old pair of pants
Sewing Thread
Cat (optional)

Directions
Cut off one pant leg long enough for the swift to fit into.

Sew the bottom part of the leg closed.

Fold over the top part of the leg twice and sew down to make a hem.

Make a tie to close the top part of bag. The old yoga pants I used had a drawstring so I just used a portion of that. If you don’t have one cut a thin rectangle from the second leg of your pants. Fold in edges and sew together to make a tie.

Slide swift into bag and store away until your next yarn purchase.

Craft on!

Crochet Cat Bed

An earlier version of this tutorial was published on Think Crafts!

Want to make a special present for that beloved furball in your life? While this cat bed won’t guarantee your cat will stop napping on your computer (mine hasn’t) it will give your cat a special place to sleep all her own.

Craft
Crochet

Difficulty
Beginner

Materials
Fun Fur Yarn
Lily Sugar ‘n Cream Yarn
Crochet hook (Size H 8 or size needed to get desired gauge)
Craft Foam

Gauge
None. Use whatever yarn and needle you want.

Size
Custom

Notes
* Repeat pattern between * *
CH Chain
CO Cast on
DC Double Crochet
RND Round
SL ST Slip Stich
STS Stitches

Pattern

CH 6
Join into a ring, making sure not to twist stitches

RND 1
CH 3, Work 11 DC in ring
Join round with SL ST to top of CH 3 (Each round will end with this type of join.)
12 STS

RND 2
CH 3, DC into first stitch, then 2 DC into every stitch
24 STS

RND 3
CH 3, *DC around row, 2 DC into every second stitch*
36 STS

RND 4
CH 3, *DC around row, 2 DC into every third stitch*
48 STS

Continue adding an extra DC in this fashion: every fourth stitch one round, every fifth stitch the next round, every sixth stitch the next round, etc. Keep increasing until bed is desired size. If the bed starts to wrap, add a round of DC with no increases. This will help it lay flat.

Once you have reached desired size switch to the feather yarn. Crochet making rounds with no increases until desired height. I crocheted until my feather yarn strip was six inches tall.

Fold the feather strip around a strip of foam. Sew down the edge over the foam strip. Weave in ends.

Lure your kitty onto her new bed with some catnip.

Craft on!

Nalebinding – Viking Knitting Technique

A previous version of this tutorial was published on Think Crafts!

Want to knit like a Viking? Recently I had the pleasure of researching nalebinding for a school project. Nalebinding, also called Nalbinding or Viking knitting, is a fiber technique that predates both knitting and crochet. Egyptian socks from the 4th century were made using nalebinding. The Vikings also used nalebinding to create textiles and now you can too.

Materials

Wool Yarn
Yarn Needle
Velcro Sticky Back Coin Fasteners
Felt
Thread
Needle Felting Tool (optional)

Note
There are many types of nalebinding stitches but as this was my first time trying I went with a simple stitch. This method is called the Oslo stitch.

Pattern
Cut a length of yarn roughly a yard long. Anything longer becomes too wieldy to handle. Take the yarn and make a loop.

Place your needle through the loop.

Wrap the yarn over the needle.

Pull through. This creates a loop on your thumb.

This next step is tricky at first but once you get the hang of it it’s easy. Put your needle under the back loop. Twist the needle to then slide under the loop on your thumb and under the working yarn.

Pull through. You now have two loops on your thumb.

Slide the top loop behind your thumb.

This now becomes the loop you slide your needle under first.

After sliding the needle under the back loop twist it again to slide under the loop on your thumb and working needle. You’ll then have two loops on your thumb.

Repeat this step over and over under you have a length of chain. You can use multi ply yarn if you like. But it needs to be wool.

Why wool? Because when you get to the end of the yarn you’ll need to attach more.

Pull apart the yarn ends. You can spit splice them together but I preferred to use my needle felt tool.

Once you’ve joined the ends you can continue.

I decided to make a cell phone bag so I joined my ends once I reached my desired length. Slide the yarn needle under the first loop on the starter end before sliding under the loop behind your thumb.

For the next stitch slide your needle under the stitch to the right of the first starter stitch you worked in the last step. You’ll keep working to the right. Keep spiraling around until you’ve reached your desired length.

I wanted to make a little flap at the top so I stopped spiraling around. Instead I turned direction to pick up a stitch.

I worked back and forth until I had a little triangle.

Attach Sticky Velcro to give the flap quick access.

A small length of red felt makes for a cute tongue. Sew down with matching thread.

Find circular items to trace out shapes for the eyes on the felt. I used the thread spool for the white and a bottle cap for the black.

Sew on the eye.

Create a new chain of nalebinding stitches of desired length for the strap.

Sew strap onto bag.

Now you have a cute Viking monster!

I’m loving my new cell phone cozy. If you make your own please post a
pic in the comments.

Craft on!

Fridge Magnets

This post was previously published on Think Crafts!

Need a special gift for a graduate this month? Fridge Magnets make a great present. Collect images from magazines and specialize a set for friends. Of all of my handmade gifts these magnets get the best reaction.

Materials

Glass Marbles

Magnets ½”

Eclectic Adhesive E6000

Miscellaneous magazine images

Cardstock

Pattern

Find small pictures for your magnets. Use a glass marble to lay over the magazine image to see if it fits. You can make a template by tracing around the marble on card stock.

I cut out a pretty flower blue pic, a Green Man and a sun and star for my magnets.

Squeeze a dot of glue onto the flat side of the marble. Place your image onto the glue. I find it’s best to do this in a well ventilated area as the glue smell is strong.

Check to see if it’s centered.

Set aside to dry with marble face down for 5-10 minutes. Place a dot of glue onto the magnet.

Place marble with image onto magnet. Adjust until it’s centered over magnet.

Set aside to dry.

Wrap them up and give away. Or make a set for yourself. This craft can easily be personalized which makes it a unique gift.

Craft on!

Yarn Needle Case

This post was previously published on Think Crafts!

Sewing needles are essential for crafters but they can easily get misplaced. Tired of pricking my finger when another needle fell out of the paper package, I came up with a yarn needle case to store my needles safely. Using yarn, plastic canvas and fabric this case will keep your needles in place in a fashionable way.

Craft
Sewing, Misc. Crafts

Difficulty
Beginner

Materials
Plastic Canvas< Yarn Needle Yarn Cotton fabric or felt Thread

Pattern

Cut out two pieces of plastic canvas measuring 5 in x 3 in.

Knot the yarn in one corner of the plastic canvas.

With the yarn needle sew the yarn in and out of the plastic squares, effectively wrapping the yarn around the plastic canvas. (Using a yarn needle will avoid painful pricks on the fingers!)

Continue using this sewing technique along the first row. Keep wrapping across the rows until you have covered the canvas.

I find having a super long piece of yarn is too cumbersome. Instead cut a length you find comfortable. When you come to the end of your yarn sew it down with thread. Knot on a new strand and continue wrapping the yarn. Sew all ends down on the same side of the canvas. Sewing them down flattens the yarn ends to prevent bubbling.

After you have covered the pieces of plastic canvas it is time to sew them together. Using thread sew the two long sides together going back and forth in a zig zag fashion. Make sure the sides with the tacked down yarn ends are both facing up.

Cut a piece of cotton fabric 6 in x 4 in. Alternatively, you could use felt.

With yarn end sides facing up pin down the cotton on top folding over the edges to line up with the outside of the plastic canvas. Sew down with thread.

Before completely sewing down the outside edges knot a 5 inch piece of yarn in the middle of each outside long edge of the plastic canvas. Sew small end under fabric. This will tie your needle holder closed.

Fill up with needles.

Craft on!

Ruffle Bowl

This post was previously published on Think Crafts!

Invited to a party and need a gift? A crochet gift bowl is a quick project that leaves an impression. Make one in a pastel color and fill it with baby socks and pacifiers for a baby shower. Make one in a cotton yarn and fill with washcloths, fancy soap and hand lotion for a housewarming party. Or make one in your favorite color and fill it with yummy treats to pamper yourself!

This pattern is highly flexible. Want to make this bowl out of thicker or thinner yarn? No problem! Just use an appropriate crochet hook for your chosen yarn and follow the pattern as is. Want to make a smaller or larger bowl? I address that in the Variation section of the pattern.

Craft
Crochet

Difficulty Level
Beginner

Materials
Yarn: Worsted Weight
Crochet Hook: Size H//5.0mm
Darning Needle

Gauge:
16 stitches/10 rows = 4 inches

Size:
small bowl

Finished Measurements:
4 1/4″ wide, 4″ tall, 14 1/2″ circumference of bowl

Abbreviations:

CH = chain
DC = double crochet
RND = round
SL ST = slip stitch
STS = stitches
* = repeat directions between *

Pattern

RND 1
CH 6, join into a ring
CH 3 (the CH 3 will count as your first stitch for each round)
Work 11 DC in ring
Join round with SL ST to top of CH 3 (each round will end with this type of join)
12 STS

RND 2
CH 3, DC into first stitch, then 2 DC into every stitch
24 STS

RND 3
CH 3, *DC around row, 2 DC into every second stitch*
36 STS

RND 4
CH 3, DC around row, 2 DC into every third stitch*
48 STS

RND 5
CH 3, *DC around row, 2 DC into every forth stitch*
60 STS

Continue in DC until piece measures 3″, approx seven more rounds

Variation
For smaller bowls-Follow instructions until desired size. Continue onto Tie RND.

For larger bowls-DC into every fifth, sixth, seventh stitch (and so on) every row until you reach desired size. Then continue in DC until piece measures desired height. Continue onto Tie RND.

(Tie RND and Ruffle will have more stitches due to pattern alteration.)

Tie RND
This round is more “open” so tie can be woven through
CH 3, *DC one stitch, CH 1*
30 stitches

Ruffle
If using contrasting color for ruffle switch yarns before Ruffle RND 1

RND 1
CH 3, 2 DC into one stitch, *DC, 2DC until end of row*
90 STS

RND 2
CH 3, 2 DC into one stitch, *DC, 2DC until end of row*
135 STS

Cord
Cut three lengths of 25″ yarn. Tie knot, braid pieces, tie knot at end. Weave the cord into the “open row” under the ruffle.

Weave in ends

Fill with goodies and craft on!