Hand-Knitted Ear Warmer/Headband

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The days and nights are getting chillier. Fall is just around the corner. And beyond that…winter is coming… (Sorry, had to make *some* mention of the Game of Thrones finale).

For the knitters out in our little crafting world, I wanted to pass along this very simple pattern that I came across on the interwebs. I have adapted this a bit to custom to varying head sizes. This pattern works best with chunky soft yarn. I prefer the Lions Brand Hometown USA. Whichever yarn you use, make sure that it has a little give because you will want the headband to stretch.

You’ll want to have US size 10 needles and a pair of scissors and a yarn needle handy as well. You will need two different color yarns; one will be what you knit the band out of and the other will be your accent color to finish the warmer. If you want to dress up your headband, you can also have a plastic or fabric flower handy or some felt shapes cut out to be stitched to the band. This is also a slightly more difficult pattern in that it uses the seed (or moss) stitch. This requires knowledge of the knit stitch and the purl stitch.

First thing to do is the make sure you’re spotted. I like to have a knitting buddy for this.

Just make sure your buddy doesn’t try to play with the yarn. *wink*

Cast on 10 stitches. On row 1, start with one knit stitch, then purl. Repeat this to the end of the row.

Row 2: *p1, k1; rep from * to end of row.

All odd numbered rows will start with a knit stitch; all even numbered rows will start with a purl stitch. I highly recommend using a stitch counter to track your progress. You can lose track of which stitch you need to start on very easily if you’re not paying attention. Your seed stitch should look like this.

Continue this pattern for 70 rows. You’ll want to keep your tension loose so that the headband will still have some stretch and give. If the tension is too tight, the headband will not fit. Once you get to row 70, bind off your work.

Then stitch the ends together to make a knitted circle. Then take the ends and tie around the ends to bunch the band in one spot.

 

Once that’s tied off, you will take your accent color and pull it through the center of the band. I usually have about 3 feet of yarn on each side, then wrap it around in a chunk. Once you have it fully bunched up and covered in your accent color, you will tie off the ends and snip it close. Then tuck the knot into the threads to hide it. Flip your band inside out and you are finished! You can decorate the band with anything you choose; buttons, flowers, whatever ideas you can think of.

This pattern can also be adjusted for head size by either increasing or decreasing the number of rows stitched. It can be completed in a couple hours and make great gifts!

(Note: you also may want to make sure your buddy doesn’t fall asleep on the job. LOL).

~Scribe Sarah~

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Knit Your Own Wonder Woman Sweater

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Wonder Woman movie got you feeling like you need to fill your wardrobe with something to match? Well one woman has seen fit to help us poor mortals out by not only releasing an easy to adjust knit sweater pattern; she also did it for free.

Here’s what you need for this project:

  • Medium (4) Weight yarn – 1456 – 1872 yards (1331 – 1712 m): Cascade Yarns Hollywood recommended
  • US Size 10 (6mm) knitting needles (or size needed to obtain gauge)
  • Natalie Bursztyn’s awesome pattern

Now I’m not a knitter so I can’t weigh in on how easy it is to read or not, but my guess is this would be intermediate level of difficulty. Worth it to dress your self in awesome Wonder Woman garb this winter though. 😉


Fantasy Tights for your inner Nymph

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Tights have been making a resurgence lately in fashion, but not in the way they originally were. Now they come as brightly decorated and embellished as your heart desires! One New York based artist Lirika Matoshi is bringing her vision of fashion tights to the masses with stunning fishnet tights, that are beautifully embellished with faux flowers, stones, and beads.

While the boring self that I am can only think about how they would get caught on all the yarn in my room just putting them on, they are absolutely stunning in their design. You can find all sorts of themes to fit your needs/style in her Etsy shop. 🙂


DIY Laundry Supplies

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I don’t normally post “life hacks” types of crafts, but I’ve been looking into more of this stuff to suit my family allergy needs and I figure I shouldn’t just hoard it all to myself. 😉 So today I’m gonna give you the info you need in order to make your own laundry detergent and an anti-static wool ball.

 

Washing Detergent

  • Borax
  • Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (NOT baking soda)
  • 5.5oz Fels-Naptha Soap (you can also just about any bar soap really, but this one is made specifically for laundry)
  • water
  • 5 gallon bucket
  • Hand Grater (Yes, like the one for cheese)
  • Essential Oils (Optional; only used to add a scent to the clothes)
  • 5 Gallon Bucket (for liquid detergent only)

Once you have you ingredients gathered you have 2 options. Powdered or Liquid. The first step for both requires you to grate the Fels-Naptha Soap bar. A normal house hold grater will do just fine. Then for powered detergent simply multiply this out depending on how much you want to make:

1 cup Washing Soda

1 cup Borax

½ cup – 1 cup grated bar soap

That’s it! Use maybe a ¼ cup per full load. You’ll likely adjust to suit your needs after a few experiment loads.

If you prefer liquid soap, you’ll need to perform a few extra steps. First, take your grated soap and add it to a pot with 4 cups of hot water.  Put it on the stove on medium-high, and stir until completely melted – about 10 minutes. Take that 5 gallon bucket and fill it half way with water, then pour in your liquid soap. Stir in 1 cup of borax & 1 cup of washing soda into the bucket. If you want to make it scented, now is the time to add your essential oil. You’ll need ½ – 1 oz total depending on how strong you want the scent to be. Stir that in as well to combine. Now, fill up the bucket with warm water all the way to the top – and stir again.  If you don’t have a utensil long enough to reach the bottom, just put on a pair of rubber dish gloves beforehand. SNap the lid on the bucket and let it sit for at least 24 hours so it can gel up.

Once it’s done, you’ll likely notice it’s got clumps, or if you made it while it’s humid out it may still be pretty thin. This is normal/fine and you should still use it like normal. If you really want it to have that store bought consistency instead of being lumpy though, you can take an immersion blender to it to smooth everything out. Disperse it into other containers (empty detergent or milk gallons for example) and voila. You’re no longer beholden to the detergent industry.

Anti-Static Ball

I know we’ve all heard the aluminum foil ball thing, but this one will leave your laundry smell nice instead.

  • 100% Wool yarn would into a ball
  • Essential Oil

Make sure your ball of wool is tightly wound and wash it until it becomes felted. Then add a few drops of essential oil to the ball, letting it set before using. It will not need to be rewashed (bar anything happening to it), just add more essential oil again if the smell fades. Simply it toss it in when you are drying your clothes and bam. No more static. 🙂 If you really need that dryer sheet feel you can soak the wool ball in fabric softener instead, but the wool is key to help get rid of static.


Talking Gloves

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I know winter is behind us, but I only just found these recently and I don’t wanna wait until it’s cold again to share them. 😛

Based in Istanbul, Talkingloves makes adorable knit clothing with a fun twist. When you put the gloves together, or sometimes position them just so, they contain a special adorable shape. The kitty ones above are my favorite, cause I love cats, but it’s the concept in general that I caught my attention. Perhaps it’s the romantic in me, but I’d be super cute to get 2 pairs of the heart one so that when you and your significant other hold hands it forms a little heart on the inside that only you know about. ^_^

A bit more on focus for those of us going into wedding season, they also make bridal gloves and accessories that are sheer and light instead. Including very delicate looking ring pillows that suit a variety of modern/traditional styles. If you like cute knit and sheer items definitely give their store a look thru as you won’t be disappointed. 🙂


Custom Felt Witch Hats

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I know it’s not the ~typical~ season for it, but too bad cause these things look awesome!

This is just one example of a custom designed felted witch hat made by etsy shop owner HandiCraftKate. You can customize each of the main 3 parts (brim, colors, and end curl direction) to suit your needs. Wanna be a rainbow witch? Done. How about a frosty Ice Witch? Done. Or perhaps you’re less witch and more Pixie or Druid? She even makes custom woodland inspired things like these lovely fox and deer hoods.

All her hats are handblocked from 100% wool, and will keep you warm and looking cool come this fall. Her items are on the higher scale ($200+) for cost, but you’re getting a wonderful and unique piece that will certainly last. I highly recommend giving her shop a look through.


Dragon Hair Barrettes

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Back before puberty and genetics completely changed my hair, I used to very thick and wavy hair. Like, can barely put a hair tie around it think. Some days I miss it, but other days I don’t miss the brushing and maintenance involved. One thing I wish I’d had then? Awesome hair pieces like these:

Created in Bulgaria by artisan Ivaylo Zlatev, these are beautifully made hand carved wooden hair barrettes. They’re beautifully created and simple enough to accent just about any outfit so great for daily wear. If Dragons aren’t your thing though, they do make lots of of designs like an Octopus or even just simple geometric shapes. All of them are beautifully done, and if you’re like me and have thin hair, you can instead pursue the lovely collection of hand made woden decorations and toys that are also available in their shop. 🙂


DIY ‘Leave Me Alone’ Sweater

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It’s winter and I’m an introvert, so I already get the isolation I need most of the time, but sometimes….sometimes people just don’t get the message. Instead of running off though, I can now do like I did as a child and hide in my sweater thanks to this awesome instructable!

So what will you need to make this awesome custom refuge? Not much actually; though understanding of sewing clothes/patterns does help.

– Sweater that fits you (to use for sizing)

– 2 yards of fabric: Ideally a thick warm knit

– Zipper: She used a 22 inch zipper and cut it down to 14 inches. Use a longer zipper if you want your sweater to be able to go more off the shoulder. YYK is an excellent brand from something sturdy and long lasting. (~$3)

– Thread ($2)

Tools required:

– Sewing machine

– Zipper foot

– Hand sewing needle

– Jean needle for Sewing Machine (for use when sewing the zipper on. The thick weave will break normal needles)

The full instructions can be found here on instructable, but the quick and dirty has you taking the fabric and cutting it to size, using a current sweater you own as the template for sizing. From there you can alter the bottom length, but the top will be extended to give and extra long cowl that the zipper will get attached to. The idea of not having to talk to anyone will certainly be a big motivator for me to finish it. ^_^


Illuminated Couture

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So in my search to find a good shade providing umbrella, I’ve stumbled upon this wonderful Etsy store called Illuminated Couture. They specialize in light up clothing and accessories, including this awesome tie-dyed umbrella.

Vegas artist, Ronnie Brust, has been pushing is costuming limits for over a decade and LEDs have become his latest passion with them. His glowing products allow you to stand out however you chose; be it with a subtle pocket square or an elaborate headpiece. All of his work is well made an guaranteed to show the world just how much you glow. 🙂


Kids Animal Coats

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In the spirit of staying warm and enjoying Halloween, I found a clothing maker who can help your child dress up all winter long. 😀

This adorable coat (and many more like it) were designed by British best friends (Naomi and Nat) to create a clothing line they’ve called Oliver and Vince. It’s all clothing specifically for children that’s made in bright and bold colors and patterns that children are drawn to. Their coats are so popular that you can only pre-order right now for coats to arrive in Spring of 2017. If you know how to sew however, there may be hope!

They’ve just released a new pattern book that you can order right here, and make your own super cute coats and clothes for your own kids! It ships world wide and you can even chose the option to have your copy signed for no extra cost. 🙂 I was already thinking of experimenting with clothing making, and now I think I’ve found some motivation!