Wicked Witch Gloves

My winter fingerless glove are officially done. I started these back when Josh and I were housesitting in Boston.

However, this particular yarn has been in my stash for years. I even brought it to Taiwan and back. Imagination is a Merino/alpaca mix and the colorway is called Wicked Witch. I remember laughing when I read the name and knowing I had to use this yarn for a special pattern.

Spatterdash is an advanced knitting pattern and just what I needed to refresh my knitting game. The yarn was a bit finicky to work with but is so gorgeous that the extra effort is worth it.

The fit and feel are great. When cooler weather returns I’ll be wearing these a lot.

This pattern calls for 28 buttons and it took awhile to sew them. But these metal little flowers are so lovely that the extra effort was worth it. I’m so happy with how pretty these turned out!

Name: Spatterdash
Pattern Source: Knitty
Craft: Knitting
Yarn: Knit Picks Imagination, Wicked Witch colorway
Needle Size: US 1/2.25 mm
Size: Medium

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!

Cat Fur Hack

Recently I fixed my sewing machine with a clever hack. I inherited this machine and it’s pretty solid except that it was missing a small part. Usually there is a thin circle of felt that rests between the thread stopper and thread.

The missing felt meant that the thread moved around the thread holder rod and sometimes both it and the stopper slid off completely while I was sewing. With stores shut down because of Covid19 I couldn’t find a replacement locally. Ursula’s fur came to the rescue!

She’s a long haired girl and loves being brushed. Every time her hairbrush fills up I pull it off and store it in a zippie. I figured I’d experiment some while in quarantine! When I had a few hairbrush merkins I started needle felting.

Since the felt circle holds thread into place, I slid off a thread label and used that for my template.

Cat hair takes longer to felt since it’s not as long as sheep’s wool but otherwise it’s pretty similar. After needle felting for awhile I had a good thickness. I put the thread label on top and cut around the cat felt to match the shape.

I snipped a hole in the middle and needle felted more to round it out. It slid easily onto the thread holder rod.

To thank Ursula I took her on a walk. She loves sitting outside and eating grass.

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!

Woolly Snake

The Knits for Kitties book has so many great patterns I had to make Ursula another toy. The pattern was easy and I used stash yarn.

Ursula totally knew I was making her a toy.

My favorite part was putting on the facial features. Isn’t that tongue adorable?

The pipe cleaner was a clever way to make the snake curve. Eventually it started poking out so I pulled it out. She still loves it though!

Name: Desert Snake
Pattern Source: Knits for Kitties
Craft: Knitting
Yarn: Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Worsted
Needle Size: US 7/4.5 mm
Size: One size

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!

Changing the System

(Photo credit Xena Goldman)

Whew, we are living in historic times eh? After the tear gas settles, what lasting changes will be made? This article by President Obama is a comfort to read and lists resources to help you learn and contribute in multiple ways.

How to Make this Moment the Turning Point for Real Change

The only thing I’d add is a plea to take jury duty. Yeah, it’s a pain in the ass. Back in New Mexico I took grand jury duty. I was working nights and had to drive an hour into town to reach the courthouse by 8 am. It sucked but I’d happily do it again. (Gratitude for the bailiff who let me bring my knitting!) In my 20s and 30s I protested a lot and of all my activist activities, jury duty was the one where I saw the most immediate effect.

Honestly access your strengths and situation to figure out how best to help. Stay strong and safe out there. Justice for George Floyd!

Reusable Toilet Paper

As toilet paper became scarce, people started joking about making their own. I had thought about doing so back when I lived off grid in NM years ago but never did. When I saw other crafters posting their homemade TP, I couldn’t resist.

I guestimated a good size for a square and made a simple template. I had a unused linen kitchen towel that I cut up for the experiment.

First I made squares with a 1/4″ seam. The finished look was nice but seemed superfluous. All that pinning just for toilet paper? Meh.

My Serger gave a nice finished edge. No pinning required and a flatter finish.

But the most important point-Do they work? They’re…ok. Yes they work and the cloth is certainly softer on the tender bits. But they’re not as convenient as the flushable kind. I keep them in a tupperware container near the toilet and throw the used ones into a ziplock bag. Since I wash them with Dr. Bronner’s they’re not treated with chemicals like regular toilet paper. So that’s a plus. And I only use them for urine.

Will I keep using them? Maybe. Thankfully, there’s still toilet paper to be bought! However, I really like the reusable aspect of my homemade squares. If I’m in a hurry then flushable TP is the way to go. But why not use a trip to the bathroom as a moment of reflection? Time for breath work, reality testing, etc. That’s when I’ll use the cloth TP.

Face Masks

Strange times indeed! On the upside, I finally have time to develop my long held dream of being a seamstress. Face masks are in demand now and I’ve been making plenty.

My masks are based on the Olson Mask pattern. This design has a built in pocket to allow for an extra filter (like a N95 filter) to be slid inside for extra protection.

This design also allows the wearer to replace the elastic should it wear out.

Thank goodness for my fabric stash! I’ve been using up all of my cotton fabric.

Even though these masks are for practical purposes, I still have to make them fashionable.

I’m selling masks for $10 each. If you would like to purchase some please leave a comment and I will email you.

For every ten masks sold I’m making one to donate to either health workers or those currently income deprived. The above two were given away.

Time to #stayhomeandsew!

Kitty Cookie

Josh and I adopted a cat from the Humane’s Society just before quarantine kicked in. She’s 10 years old and is a sweetheart. We named her Ursula after one of our favorite sci fi authors.

Today I knit up this cute little doughnut from the book Knits for Kitties.

I mixed in some catnip in with the stuffing. Ursula prefers toys that can be dragged so I added a little braid.

This is an easy pattern and has a lot of potential for customization.

Name: Desilu’s Donut
Pattern Source: Knits for Kitties
Craft: Knitting
Yarn: Universal Yarn Cotton Supreme Batik, Waffle Cone colorway
Needle Size: US 7/4.5 mm
Size: One size