• Handicrafts

    DIY Christmas Inspiration Videos

    3 DIY Christmas Ornaments Inspired by Anthropologie. I’m determined to make those gold temporary tattoo ones with those exact ones from Rifle Paper co and their peacock ones. I almost got them this year, but mistakes and budget happened, maybe I can get them soon for next year. I did get tiny glass ornaments for this, and they look lovely, like little bubbles just hanging on my tree. I will do my little tea set that I bought last year for the tea cup ornament. And I’d like to do the globe as well maybe in a different color scheme, silver and teal maybe.

    DIY Cozy Christmas Decor: Ornaments, DIY Stocking, & Village. I might have to do some of these next year too. I usually just love about anything she does, we have similar tastes. I am hoping to do a lot more DIY next year when I will be in my own place and have more room and less fear of disaster with pets and people.

    DIY Hand Painted Christmas Tree Ornaments. I think I want to see if I can make a few of these as gifts if I can find some at the dollar store or Walmart maybe, I know we have acrylic paint in the house somewhere I think. I especially love the beige and white.

    3 SIMPLE last-minute gift wrapping ideas that also act as gifts!  I love gift basket type of gifts, it feels like opening a treasure chest, I thought this one was especially unique. I think I might have to make those little hats for gifts.

    Cinnamon ornaments. I’m also planning on doing these this week. I had a fail with the orange garlands this year. I’m hoping I will be more patient and careful with these.

  • Handicrafts

    Textured Tonal Triangle Scarf Free Pattern

    Another from the archives.

    Here is the pattern from this blog post (I think if I kept that photo, it is probably un-rescue-able on my old computer). Of the few knitting things I’ve altered or come up with, this is the simplest. I really wish I’d written out in an understandable way the striped baby dresses (I did have handwritten notes but not sure what I did with them) and the toddler shrug, I mean I’m sure I could do them again, but it would have been more efficient to come up with the pattern then.

    I have worn this scarf, and I think I used sport weight, so with the light weight and the pattern, the sides roll into each other. I’d recommend a heavier weight and probably a few stitches of garter on each side. This was four years ago, and I still haven’t added buttons to wear it as a infinity scarf, although I may have some I could use. Maybe if I remember to get around to that I could update with a photo.

    I used the stitch found here, but I always find it easier just to have some simple instructions if only for how many stitches. and so, I wrote out more specifically what I did in case anyone else wanted to know.
    I used Rowan Finest which is sport -weight and size 4 needles. I cast on 45 stitches.
    Knitted in a multiple of 14 sts, +3 and 28-row repeat.
    Row 1: (right side) K8, p1, * k13, p1; repeat from * to the last 7 sts, k8.
    Row 2 and all even number rows: slip one stitch purlwise, purl to end.
    Row 3: slip one knitwise, k6, p3, * k11, p3; repeat from * to the last 6 sts, k6, ktbl.
    Row 5: slip one knitwise, k5, p5, * k9, p5; repeat from * to the last 5 sts, k5, ktbl.
    Row 7: slip one knitwise, k4, p7, * k7, p7; repeat from * to the last 4 sts, k4, ktbl.
    Row 9: slip one knitwise, k3, p9, * k5, p9; repeat from * to the last 3 sts, k3 ktbl.
    Row 11: slip one knitwise, k2, p11, * k3, p11; repeat from * to the last 2 sts, k2, ktbl.
    Row 13: slip one knitwise, k1, * p13, k1; repeat from * to the end but one, ktbl.
    Row 15: slip one knitwise, p1, * k13, p1; repeat from * to the end but one, ktbl.
    Row 17: slip one knitwise, p2, k11, * p3, k11; repeat from * to the last 2 sts, p2, ktbl.
    Row 19: slip one knitwise, p3, k9, * p5, k9; repeat from * to the last 3 sts, p3, ktbl.
    Row 21: slip one knitwise, p4, k7, * p7, k7; repeat from * to the last 4 sts, p4, ktbl.
    Row 23: slip one knitwise, p5, k5, * p9, k5; repeat from * to the last 5 sts, p5, ktbl.
    Row 25: slip one knitwise, p6, k3, * p11, k3; repeat from * to the last 6 sts, p6, ktbl.
    Row 27: slip one knitwise, p7, k1, * p13, k1; repeat from * to the last 7 sts, p7, ktbl.
    Row 28: Slip one purlwise, purl to end.
    Repeat until as long as desired. If you want to make into the scarf in an interchangeable cowl and regular scarf add buttonholes as instructed below.
    On row 8 or 22: slip one purl-wise, p2, p2tog, yo, p7, p2tog, yo; repeat between stars until 4 stitches remaining: purl 3, ktbl.
    If next row is 9, finish to 13; if next row is 23, finish to 27. Bind off in purl. Block and attach buttons to the other end.

  • Handicrafts

    Yarn Along April 2019

    photo of book and knitting

    Knitting another baby blanket with KnitPicks Shine Worsted (of course), a variation on this well-loved pattern. I’m on the second book of All-of-A-Kind Family, although I’m obviously much above the intended age range (I don’t have much mental space at the moment, and I like to read books I feel I “missed out” on in my childhood), I’m enjoying them (also, five girls, one boy is a familiar situation!).

    I’m linking up here on Ginny Sheller’s blog

    and here for Crafting On.

  • Handicrafts

    DIY Leather Leaf Earrings

    Last year for my sister I’d meant to make the leaf earrings that Joanna Gaines (this sister has a very similar style to Joanna) wears in almost every episode in the last season of Fixer Upper. I had some scraps left from the thrifted lambskin leather jacket (I had used this to make a belt for this same sister last Christmas). If you don’t have scraps, I think craft stores carry small packs of leather and possible faux leather.

    I made a pattern in Word with an online picture (because the diamond shape in Word was wonky to work with) which you can download here: Leather Leaf Earring Template. I would love a Cricut one day though.

    I’d seen earrings with a shimmery leaf on top, so I grabbed some tempera paint that looked close to rose gold (I think it was bronze). I wanted the red to show through, but I added a bit more tempera than I thought, so it’s more opaque than I wanted (and I think the leather is from different parts and took the paint differently, so bear that in mind).

    If you search leaf earrings in YouTube there are multiple tutorials, here is one featuring similar earrings. One showed how to punch a hole with a thumbtack which is nice if you don’t own an awl or similar tool. I already had rose gold colored ear wires, but I grabbed some bronze/rose gold colored wire from Hobby Lobby to use for the jump rings. The mini tools are from Hobby Lobby, but I definitely need to upgrade, the wire cutters didn’t work.

  • Handicrafts

    Yarn Along: January

    I’m linking up with Ginny Sheller’s Yarn Along here.

    I’m still working on Christmas knitting. One of my resolutions last year was to finish gift projects on time. Ha. Clearly that needs to be this years as well.

    I started Suzie Sparkle’s Jasmine Dress (I LOVE the styles she has) in Knitpicks Shine Worsted in Sailor (I love this yarn; I love that it is in two weights, the feel of it, the cost; it’s my go-to for babies with Valley Yarn’s Goshen although Knitpicks is easier to order from). The pattern is for DK, so I’m usually as smaller style based on my gauge, fingers-crossed that it will turn out. I’m making the long-sleeved option, and I think I might want more eyelets in the skirt, and a ribbon around the waist, we’ll see.

    I’m reading Odd Girl Out which is a sort of memoir from the author about her adult diagnosis of autism. I just randomly found this on a blog, I think and thought it was interesting. You usually hear of boys with autism. I’m a third in I think. Interesting story but I hate present tense writing and this is pretty wordy.

    I whipped this bonnet (the pattern is $2, but I think it was free when I got it) up for my niece in November with some left-over Knitpicks Shine. I had several more balls of different colors, so I’ve finished two more of different sizes (one for my niece next winter) plus have a fourth on the needles.

    I’m quite proud of this even though it’s late. My mom bought my niece a 12 month baby dress at a boutique in Baltimore when visiting friends months before she was born, and she wanted me to make a shrug to go with it for Christmas. Of course it was blocking (I will break this procrastination!) when we opened gifts. I made the pattern myself with help on the number of stitches for cast on and sleeve increases from other raglan patterns (because raglan is easy, I knew I could come up with a pattern rather than buy a similar, plus I like mine better!). This is Knitpicks Shine sport in Robot I believe, and the clasp is from Knitpicks as well (I’d collected a few over the years). I haven’t given it yet, I’m wanting to finish the sweater dress first and then go visit, and I can take a photo of the shrug with the dress Mom gave.

  • Handicrafts

    Left-Handed Calligraphy and Hand-Lettering Links

    Left-Handed Writing The man in this video on foundation pens explains the three main ways of that lefties write (I think I’m mainly an underwriter) starting at about 6 minutes into the video. Calligraphy  Calligraphy pens frequently have a flat line tip and in order to make strokes, the pen must be held at a specific angle. Here is an explanation about the issue of calligraphy for lefties (the man is right-handed, but he explains and shows the difference). The strokes of calligraphy are dependent on an angle of the pen that is just extremely hard for us to achieve. And while some people manage to use the right-hander pens, I was personally thrilled to learn of specific pens for left-handers. Basically, these specially pens are cut at an angle so that I can write as I normally would, I could follow all the stroke instructions as written for all the different calligraphy lettering styles. I received the deluxe Manuscript left-handed calligraphy pen set from the John Neal Books left-handed section for Christmas two years ago. When I can get the ink to flow, I LOVE it, but I think I need to learn to clean and store my pens better in order to get the ink to run, maybe I need to clean with alcohol. I’d love to be able to try some of the left-handed dip pens listed as well. This man demonstrates his way of using right-handed pens. I believe he is doing the strokes opposite, up instead of down, etc. so that he can get the proper width with hand and wrist contortions. I personally would rather not have to unlearn and relearn basic writing direction, but this is an interesting adaptation. This girl demonstrates calligraphy with pens that seem to be point rather than straight across. I’m not sure how she gets this to work for her; I’d like to try it, but I’m not sure I could do this. Hand-Lettering Links While my personal style leans more toward the formal calligraphy, I do find hand-lettering pretty. I bought my sister brush pens and loved some things she’s done. She mentioned there being a learning curve, so I looked up videos, and then realized there is probably going to be WAY more of a learning curve for a left-hander although I’d be hard-pressed to explain exactly why since these tips are the same as any other pen, I guess the stroke width also depends on angle? I got my own brush pens and have recently tried them, but I’m not sure they are meant for lettering, rather for drawing and painting. I’m wanting Tombow pens and hoping those will be better. Tips for getting started hand-lettering as a lefty. A playlist for beginning lettering as a lefty. Also, in my searching, I gathered that Arabic calligraphy is done from right to left and may also require oblique pens (the cut of the pens for lefties) for right-handers.
  • Handicrafts

    What I’ve Been Up To

    I’m in between job assignments until next Wednesday.

    I’m still trying to figure out what I want to do in regards to work (i.e. what will I hate least). So, I’m in school with computer classes. I’m still planning on taking my Accounting CLEP and taking both computer and accounting next year.

    In the midst of all this, my niece was born. We’re all obsessed. I’ve visited twice, and I think we are going to visit again this week-end. She definitely looks like our side of the family, in the first photos I saw she looked like Doctordiva, then when I saw her, I could see her daddy, my brother, but then I quickly decided she also looked dead like Travelgirl’s baby photos. We need to dig out all our baby photos to compare.

    I’ve of course, made her some baby things. This was my first attempt at smocking; I’m now hooked, but since I don’t plan on only using gingham fabric, I’m planning on investing in a smocking machine. I found the elephant flannel on fabric.com and did a simple mitered corner hem. The blanket is simply “Old Shale” (this is NOT “Feather and Fan” although it is often incorrectly labeled so, even in print, I think). I’ve also helped stock her already burgeoning library with the darling Frances books by Russell Hoban and a Disney princess collection.


  • Handicrafts

    Brijee Patterns Casey Skirt Pattern Testing and Blog Party

    In June I participated in a pattern test for Brijee patterns. She is currently hosting a pattern giveaway on her blog here.

    I made my skirt from Robert Kaufman Superlux Poplin in navy. I’ve needed some more business formal looking skirts (the color is darker than the photos, but I wanted the skirt to be visible). I shortened the the skirt, and I tried my hand at bound button-holes.

    I’m not crazy about the waist-line, I might use a rounded one and I need more fullness in the back skirt (but not waist), but I will definitely be using the pattern again with adjustments. This is so flattering for my body type!

  • Handicrafts

    Yarn Along and Crafting On Link Up

    I linking up with Ginny’s Yarn Along and Nicole’s Crafting On.

    I have, of course, more than one book going (and 2 more projects on the needles although I’ve been focusing on this one for awhile), but this was the prettiest arrangement. The blanket is Purl Soho’s Mosaic Blanket which is free and actually very simple. I think it is rather stunning.

    Kristin Lavransatter is going to have to wait a bit while I finish or at least catch on up my local library’s summer reading program (they do one for adults and it is so fun this year) and the epidemics book.

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    What I’ve Knit Recently

    An Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief made with copper colored Knit Picks Diadem for a friend with an autumn birthday.

    Matching baby and toddler knit dresses for the same friend’s little girls. I used a cardigan pattern as a loose guide, but I also was figuring things out as I went along (hence why the sleeves aren’t as striped; I didn’t want to have to end in the middle of a stripe or not on the third stripe; I should have calculated the stripe size based on the sleeve lengths). Eventually I want to do these patterns again and work out the issues and then I’ll post here and on Ravelry.

    I knit this seed stitch scarf (I knit it long enough to be an infinity scarf and added buttonholes) ages ago and had it blocked and ready for when I could purchase the perfect buttons. I finally ordered these darling flowers (when you order, pick the “with hook” option and then make a note to seller that you would like the hooks on the bottom like shank buttons).

    Baby blanket #1 (there will be at least 4 this year for 4 family babies!!!). I just made this pattern up; one square basket weave, one square garter, one square moss, and one square seed stitch. I already had this started and had my fingers crossed one of my cousins would have a boy, and sure enough.

  • Handicrafts

    Discovering Knitting: How I Became a Knitter

    I don’t remember exactly my age when my grandmothers first introduced me to knitting, but I know I wasn’t near a teen. One grandmother gave me a family knitting basket and needles and also a learn-to-knit set. My other grandmother gave me my first lesson . . . which didn’t stick.

    A lady at my childhood church often brought her knitting when she worked as the church librarian. And once she brought a lace shawl once. Purple and delicate and elegant. I set my heart on lace.
    When I was around 13, this lady invited some ladies and girls to a knitting class at her home. I struggled in the beginning; I ended up knitting back and forth combining left and right-handed methods instead of switching the needles and so instead of garter I had a twisted stockinette! Also, a couple other girls our age attended, and we often spent time talking and running around outside.

    But I was truly interested. I loved seeing everyone’s work, especially our teacher’s. And our teacher gave us knitting catalogs which featured gorgeous yarn and patterns (I especially loved the ethereal lace), and I loved pouring over these. I eventually began to progress, but after awhile the group stopped. As I didn’t have access to many patterns and lacked purpose, style, and resources, I knitted sporadicy at best during much of my teenage years. I continued to look over the catalogs, and my sister and I received an excellent book that I still use as a reference (I got another copy).

    Over recent years a couple things happened which combined to act as a catalyst to my knitting. I got jobs (rather essential to a hobby). A lady at church showed me how to knit Continental style which for me at least is much faster. I looked up the online stores of those old catalogs and learned about Ravelry via a blog. Other bloggers inspired me. So, I began to knit more. I ventured out of my comfort zone to learn lace and fingerless gloves and baby sweaters. We also joined up with the more serious knitters of the older group sporadically.

    And now, I need to start venturing into more difficult territory. I’ve balked at sweaters which I really need to work on that because that is one of the most practical items for me personally.

    If you know how to knit how did you learn? What inspires you/where do you find patterns?