Tuesday, December 29, 2009

How to make Tarn (t-shirt yarn)

Lay out your shirt. One with little to no printing on it is preferable.
The printing sits on the surface of the material and thus makes it harder to work with as tarn.

Cut from arm pit to arm pit and cut off the bottom seam.
Save these parts for another project.
If there is printing below the arm pits, then cut off that to.

Fold shirt from side to side leaving about a half an inch of a single layer exposed.

I like to use a ruler and a rotary cuter to cut my tarn. Cut 1/2" or more leaving about a 1/2" uncut on one side. The smaller the width cut, the thinner the yarn, and the more yardage.
You can just use your scissors and cut around and around in a continuous circle. It takes a little longer, but it works.

This is what it will look like after you finish cutting.
Notice the uncut side?

Now open the shirt up so that the uncut section is visible.

Cut one piece to get it started.

Then cut from the next cut line to the next cut line on the other side.
Keep cutting in this manner.
It will make a continuous strip of material.

Now give a little tug (with both hands) to stretch it.
The sides will curl in.
Do this to the entire length of material.

I recently bought a ball winder, however you can just make your own ball. Its easy to do.

The 2 on the outside were cut at a 1/2" width.
The one in the center was cut at an inch width.
If you have a lot of white shirts, you can dye them before cutting them to make more colorful tarn.

I am apart of a RAL (rug-a-long) in the Trash to Treasures Ravelry group (link on the right side of my blog). I am making my rug out of tarn. I crochet 8 stitches into a ring, and then increased as normal to keep it flat. I am using a size J hook.
8 st in magic loop
R2: 2 sc in each chain = 16 sts
R3: (2 sc in chain, 1 sc in chain) repeat = 24 sts
R4: ( 2 sc in chain, 2 sc in chain) repeat = 32 sts
R5: (2 sc in chain, 3 sc in chain) repeat = 40 sts
* Just at the number of sc (single crochet) for each row.*
The total number of stitches is a multiple of the number that went into the magic loop. In this case it is a multiple of 8.

Monday, December 28, 2009

itouch cozy & plarn bag

I finished knitting my itouch cozy tonight. Now I just need to add a button and a loop to keep it closed. The pattern? Size US 3 needles. Worsted weight yarn. Cast on 40 stitches. Knit in garter stitch, 10 rows black and 2 rows blue. Repeat until you get the width that you desire. Then bind off 10 stitches and knit an equal amount of rows. Fold in half with right sides together. Sew bottom and one side closed. Turn right side out. Then add a closure.

Here is the bottom of a new plarn bag that I am making. I am using a size M crochet hook. I made 10 stitches into the center loop, increased for 9 rows, then single crochet in each chain after that. On row 12 I switched from the plain Hannaford plarn to the Hannaford plarn plied with some boa yarn.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

itouch cozy & plied plarn and boa yarn

My husband surprised me with an itouch for Christmas. So aside from buying a knitting app and 2 quilting apps, I began knitting an ipod cozy. I just made up this pattern. The blue yarn is Lion Brand's Pound of Love, and the black speckled yarn is from Red Heart. I cast on 40 stitches on size US 3 needles. Knit 10 rows of black and 2 rows of blue, then repeat. After 4 repeats, bind off 10 stitches. This creates the flap for when it is finished.

Tonight I got the urge to use the spinning wheel that I am borrowing from a friend. I spun my Hannaford plarn. Hannaford bags are a weird color. Not cream and not grey.

I'm really tired of making fun fur and boa yarn scarfs, but I have a nice stash of it. So to spice up the Hannaford plarn, I plied it with some boa yarn. I used up 4 skeins of boa yarn tonight doing this. I want to crochet a bag out of it. I'm thinking that the bottom of the bag will be just plain Hannaford plarn.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Catnip Balls

Its around midnight and I just finished making these 2 catnip balls for my cat and a friend's cats. We are cat sitting for Christmas. I used the same mistletoe ornament pattern to make these balls. I crochet 2 strands at once to make it more dense so that the catnip wouldn't fall out. You crochet the the whole "ball" pattern, then insert a funnel to put the catnip inside. I used the yarn ends to sew it closed.

This is my cat. He loves his new Christmas toy.

This is one of the cats that we are cat sitting. He couldn't care less about the catnip while I was in the room. However we heard some noise coming from the room after I had left. Hopefully they like their Christmas present.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Amigurumi apple and Mistletoe Ornament

I made another mistletoe ornament today. The pattern can be found in the post before this one. I used Red Heart Holiday yarn for this one. The other one I used Vanna's Choice yarn.
Even though they are the same patten and colors, they look different from each other.

I also made an amigurumi apple today. The pattern can be found at lionbrand.com. I thought it would be fun to do a sock monkey version of the Twilight book cover. Next time I'll try to have a darker filling. The white shows to much.

Mistletoe & Holiday Trash Bash Challenge

I was up until 4 am last night sewing the binding onto my son's Christmas quilt (as seen in a post earlier this week). I finished it!!! Yeah!!! This morning I made something for me. It is a mistletoe ornament (free pattern link). I used my stash yarn, Vanna's Choice. I also used a size J crochet hook, because thats the closest size that I could find this morning.

I recently became a moderator for the Trash to Treasure Ravelry group (the link is on the right hand side of my blog). Ravelry is an online knitting, crocheting, and spinning community. Well one of the moderators just posted a Holiday Trash Bash Challenge. I'm going to copy and paste the information below.
Here’s the first challenge of the year:

Holiday Trash Bash:

  • Toilet Paper Rolls
  • Scrap Fabric
  • Wrapping paper
  • Tissue Paper
  • Bottle caps
  • Old Christmas Cards
  • Used CD’s
  • Overmaxed/Expired Credit Cards (eta and gift cards)
  • Ribbon

Must use at least 3 of the items above. Voting for the winner will start Jan. 15th. With the winner announced on the 31st. Winner will receive a small prize.

I am very excited about this challenge. It fits right in with the eco craft challenge that I will be doing from January - March. I'm scoping out all the unopened presents under the tree and coming up with ideas of what I want to make. Anyone else want to join in?

Home made gift poll results

Are you making most of your Winter gifts this year?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Have a Merry Christmas

Sackboy & other Christmas items

I finished making sackboy for my oldest son tonight. Sackboy is the character that you play in the PlayStation 3 game Little Big Planet. The head and body pattern had to be modified so that the stitch count matched. The first one that I made was brown, which matched the color of the starter character in the game. My son said that if I ever made another one, that he would like a white one. I want to try and make a Santa hat for him as well before I wrap him up for Christmas.

This is the fabric postcard that I received in exchange for the one that I made.

This is a project that I made last year. I took several clothespins and painted them red. I then glued a strip of Christmas ribbon on both sides of it. Then I placed a long white piece of yarn across my window (connected to the curtain rod). I use the clothespins to hand and display my Christmas cards. Its a great way to display my cards.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas projects: quilt & crochet

For my mom's birthday in March I made her an elephant just like this one. I then started making this elephant for my toddler. I was pretty much done within a week. However this week I sewed the remaining ear onto it. Just in time to become a Christmas present.

Here are the 2 Christmas fabric postcard that I made for my quilt guild. I got a pretty one in exchange. I'll take a picture of it and post it later. I'm going to make 2 more of these sometime soon.

The next 3 pictures were taking during show and tell at my quilt guild meeting. This one is the quilt that I am making for my 10 year old. I just need to finish the binding, and he will finally (after 3 years) get it for Christmas.

This is the "Steps to the Stars" quilt that I made for my grandma. It was suppose to be finished in July, then again by Christmas. Now I'm going for New Years. I just need to finish sewing the binding on it. If you did not know this already, all of the fabrics used were from my stash. I only bought 1 fat quarter to match a fabric that I ran out of. This is also all hand quilted.

This is the quilt that I got in exchange for making my grandma a quilt. My great-grandma pieced it using clothing that my mom and other family members had worn. My grandma quilted it. It needs some repair. It was much loved and much used. I'm so happy to have it. The backing was made from pig feed sacks. Right now I am the only blood relative who quilts, and we have a pretty big family. My grandma just loves that I am carrying on that family tradition.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Quilt bindings, guild projects, and knitting/crocheting

Last night and today I machine sewed the binding onto 2 quilts. I started to hand sew the binding to the back of the CHristmas quilt for my son. I didn't get very far. I can only work on it when he is in bed or at school. I should hurry. The other binding was for my grandma's quilt.

I also made my box exchange block for tomorrow's quilt guild meeting. I'm not posting a picture of it, because I don't know who in my guild looks at my blog. The box exchange is suppose to be a secret until the end. I started making 4 Christmas fabric postcards as well. I'm making 2 for the guild. One is for the sales table for the guild, and the other is to exchange with someone else. The 2 extras... one is for me to keep and the other I'm going to send to my grandma. I need to finish 2 of them tomorrow before the guild meeting. I also need to finish coloring in a quilt design for the meeting.

I'm worked a little bit on the white knitted sack boy. Last night I sewed the ear on a crochet elephant. I made most of the elephant in March. The ear was the last thing that I needed to add. My toddler will be getting that for Christmas.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Gingerbread houses with my kids

Two years ago I bought this blank cookie jar house during the after Christmas sale ($5).

My toddler and I used the permanent markers that it came with and had fun coloring.

He colored the top & I colored the bottom.

I did help a little with the roof though. He really enjoyed coloring this.

Then my 10 year old wanted to make the gingerbread house.
Of course they both munched on candy the whole time.
While typing this, I caught my 2 year old eating some of the roof candy.

The roof keeps sliding off. I'm trying to let it dry / harden before we work on it some more.

Gingerbread Festival

I remembered that a friend of mine had one of my juice pouch lunch boxes. I think she won is at a silent auction last winter. Well she said that her 2 daughters are always trying to be the one to take it to school. In October I had made one for my TV show. I was not able to finish it on the show though. This morning I quickly finished it for her so that her daughters no longer have to share the other one. I delivered the lunch box and the plastic bag wreath to her this morning. She looked surprised to be receiving 2 gifts from me. It totally made my day.

Then my toddler and I went to our library for their gingerbread festival. He made a paper gingerbread man, decorated a gingerbread man cookie (and ate it on the way home), and listened to 2 gingerbread men stories. It was fun.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas gifts (friends don't peek!)

I saw a friend today who asked if I had any reusable bags for sale. She had seen some that I had made for myself this summer. I had planned on making 3 or 4 sets of 4 as presents for family this year. However I never finished them. I explained to my friend that I did not have any finished ones, but that I could finish some for her. She said maybe after the holiday. I know that she would like to give them as a gift. So as a surprise I finished 4 of them today.

I stamped them with a fabric marker using the "go green" stamp. I also included 4 cloth napkins with owls on them for her. I wrapped them all up in a gift bag. I'll see her tomorrow at a library event. She'll be surprised (unless she reads this blog entry before then).

I wanted to make something for another friend of mine for Christmas. So here is the plastic bag wreath that I made last month and embellished today. I hot glued Sprite and Coke bottle caps onto it. This is the first time that I have ever made a ribbon like this. Ok, so I used wrapping paper to wrap it in. I had nothing else large enough to wrap it in. At least I know that she recycles her paper. She is also an eco-crafter, so maybe she'll find another use for the paper. I'm going to drop it off at her house tomorrow. There is suppose to be a big snow storm tomorrow night, so I want these presents delivered before then.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Burnout

After Thanksgiving I crashed in the creative department. I did not want to make anything. Then I was really sick for a few days. I have made a few things since then, but only things that had a deadline. I've been putting off finishing 2 quilts in time for Christmas. They both need a binding, and one needs a little bit of hand quilting still. I also did not finish making the reusable shopping bags that were ment to be presents. I decided not to worry about them. Most people who are receiving gifts from me have something made by me included. Therefore why stress about making even more stuff?

I forgot to take a picture of the finished product, but I made a hot pad to go with a set of 6 dishcloths. The hot pad was made using the leftover yarn on a spool knitter. I also finished sewing in all the ends of all of the dishcloths that I knitted. Not all of them are presents.

I've been working on the quilt design for the next raffle quilt for my quilt guild. I'm the head of that comity. The design is my own. The comity liked it a lot so we went with it. I made 3 versions of it in 3 different sizes. There was one size that was just better than the rest. So the comity is making several different colored versions of the quilt. We need 3 different versions of it for Monday's guild meeting. The guild will vote on the one that they like the best. Then that one will be made into a quilt over a 2 year span of time.

My burn out has continued. I think that it is because of the holiday and the stress that it brings. I had most of my shopping done before December. What's my secret? I have a plastic bin where I keep presents in. This way I never loose them (which has happened in the past). I shop throughout the year. If something is on sale or is a good price and I think that it might be good for someone, then I buy it. I start shopping on December 26th. It saves me time, aggravation, and money. The bin is for birthday presents as well. When December rolls around, I just open up the bin and see who I still need to shop for.

Today I might have had a bit of a break through with being creative again. I started to clean my studio. It was such a mess. It still is, but at least I can walk in it now. I discovered several unfinished projects, some of which are quick and easy to finish in time for the holiday. I also cut several plastic bags today in preperation for making a plastic bag wreath. I also started knitting a 2nd sack boy for my oldest son. I made him a brown one in February. Sack boy is the character that you play in the Play Station 3 game Little Big Planet. Well my son asked me a few months ago if I could make him a white one. Maybe I'll finish it in time for Christmas.

I just wanted to say that I'm still here... just taking a break.

Monday, December 7, 2009


Some of you may have noticed that I am no longer on twitter. I deleted my account on there last week. I also deleted a lot of applications on my facebook page. I did this so that I would spend less time online and more time being productive.

Raffle basket & Angler fish

It has been a while since I last made a blog post. I basically crashed in the creativity department. It happens every so often where I don't want to make anything for at least a week. I did make things for deadlines, but nothing for myself or for presents. Then as I was starting to get the creative itch, I became sick. I couldn't do anything for a few days.

I made this juice pouch tote bag last week. It was a part of some items that I was donating to my church's holiday fair for the green comity's raffle basket.

Here are the items that I donated for the raffle table. The two baskets were used to hold money and tickets for one of the two raffles. The other items went into the green comity's raffle basket. There were a lot of Earth friendly products in that basket. I worked at the raffle basket table from 9 am - 3 p.m. on Saturday. The green comity's basket got a lot of tickets, which was great.

My 10 year old had to make a brochure report on the angler fish. You might remember the angler fish from Finding Nemo. He also had to make a model to go with the brochure. He made his out of clay. I told him that I would knit him one as well. I stayed up until 3 am on Sunday to finish it in time for him to take to school this morning. The pattern also has how to make the parasitic male. I might make that one tomorrow. I used a recycled bendy juice box straw to support the light. This was not an easy thing to knit. My fingers hurt. I learned a few new techniques. The instructions were very easy. The pattern came from a book on amigurumi knits.

Tonight I am sewing in the ends of the knitted dishcloths that I made.