Draft Blocker

A version of this pattern was previously published on Think Crafts!

We’re deep into winter and the air is chilly. If you live in an older house you may have doors that let in the cold. Make this easy draft blocker to keep your home cozy warm.

DIFFICULTY LEVEL
Beginner

MATERIALS
Fabric
Stuffing
Ribbon

DIRECTIONS
Measure the width of your door and add seven inches. This will be the measurement for your length of fabric. For the width I find nine inches makes a thick enough blocker. If you have an especially wide gap at the bottom of your door you may wish to increase the width.

Cut out your fabric. Sew a hem on both ends. I went with a 1/4” hem.

Sew fabric lengthwise using a 1/4” seam allowance.

Turn right side out. Tie ribbon 3” from the edge to close off one end.

Stuff the tube with stuffing.

Tie the other end 3” down from edge with ribbon.

Put in front of your door and kiss those cold drafts goodbye.

Craft on!

Knit Gift Purse

A version of this pattern was previously published on Think Crafts!

The holidays are here. Need a quick handmade gift? I had a last minute gift to make and managed to crank this purse out over a weekend. If you need a gift and have little time make this purse. I wrote this pattern as simply as possible to help save you time. Plus it’s completely adjustable. Want a bigger or smaller purse? Just adjust the square and strap to your desired size.

DIFFICULTY LEVEL
Beginner knitter

Intermediate sewer (optional)

MATERIALS
Yarn -fiber and color of your choice
Knitting needles
Fabric for liner (optional)
Zipper
Thread
Buttons (optional)
Yarn needle

PATTERN
Decide how big you’d like your purse to be. Want a 12” rectangular purse? Cast on until you have 12” of stitches. Want a small square purse? Cast on until you have 6” of stitches. Then knit stockinette until you have a square or rectangle that suits your tastes. Bind off.

Knit a second square or rectangle to match the first. Decide how wide you’d like the shoulder strap to be. I went with two inches. Cast on and knit stockinette until it’s the length you want. The shoulder strap, like the purse, is completely adjustable to your tastes.

Keep knitting stockinette so the shoulder strap wraps around the sides and bottom of the purse squares. This will create space inside your bag.

Block the pieces. If you’re pressed for time can skip this step.

Seam the squares to the strap. Seam the strap ends together.

Don’t know how to sew on a machine? No problem. Just weave in your yarn ends and call this purse done!

If you can sew, then grab some fabric. Again this is a quick project so I didn’t do any measuring. I just cut a length of fabric and pinned it to the strap.

For the liner you can make it as simple or as complex as you like. Cut two rectangles of fabric and a thin strip. Sew together and call your liner done. Or you can add pockets:

I got fancy with this one and added small pockets and a thin pocket for a pen. However, this was a last minute gift for Thanksgiving so I didn’t have much time. I measured nothing! I just cut out squares for pockets, pinned them down and sewed them into place.

Sew the strap lining to the knit strap. You can do this on the machine or by hand.

Put the liner into the purse and pin the zipper into place.

Sew the zipper into place. But oh no what’s this? My zipper wasn’t long enough!

There’s nothing like a deadline to spark creativity. I just knit two small squares and sewed them in and it looked intentional!

If you’re pressed for time you can call this purse done at this point.

A handknit purse that’s lined with pockets makes a great gift.

But if you have a bit more time you can make some I-cord flowers to give it that extra flair. I made mine out of scrap yarn and buttons from my button jar. Here’s a handy I-cord tutorial:

Knit I-cord to your desired length. Then curl it around and sew down onto the purse. Sew a button in the middle. I made three flowers in different colors.

FINISHING
If making, sew flowers onto purse. Weave in ends.

Now your last minute gift is done. Wrap it up and pat yourself on the back. Craft on!

Crochet Flower Ring

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

Winter is here but you can still keep summer blooms alive with this crochet flower ring.

CRAFT
Crochet

DIFFICULTY
Beginner

MATERIALS
Yarn (Whatever type reminds you of summer)
Crochet Hook (Appropriate for chosen yarn)
Button
Yarn needle
Elastic
Thread

PATTERN NOTES
CO: Cast on
Ch: Chain
SC: Single crochet
DC: Double crochet
BO: Bind off
CO: Cast off
*: Repeat instructions between ** symbols

DIRECTIONS
CO enough stitches to make a 5” chain, ending with an odd numbered stitch.

ROW 1: CH 4, *DC, CH2, skip stitch* until end of row, ending with a DC.

ROW 2: CH2 , *SC 1, SC 4 around CH stitches*, ending with a SC.

ROW 3: SC until end of row.

Cut yarn, leaving a long tail.

Curl piece around itself to make a spiral shape. Sew into place using tail.

Sew on button in center of flower.

Cut a piece of elastic to fit snug around your finger. Sew ends together and then sew onto bottom of flower.

FINISHING
Weave in ends.

Wear on a cold day to remind yourself that warmer temperatures will return.

Craft on!

Renovare Monstrum

I’ve created a new monster pattern! This time it’s a sewing pattern kit that comes with instructions and all the materials you need to make your own monster. The precut fabric is made from upcycled sweaters. The felt, yarn, ribbon and buttons are all upcycled as well. I’ve chosen the name of this kit to reflect these materials being reused for a new purpose: Renovare Monstrum (Latin for Renew Monster).

A limited supply is now available at Salty Teacup in Portland. Future kits will be available for sale online. Stay tuned!

As always, my faithful sewing assitant supervised the design process.

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!