Not all crafting is successful

I did mention that I’m a brand new knitter, have never taken a class, etc., right? Okay, because it’s nice to have a reason for my poor little bunny who doesn’t quite look like a bunny. To be honest, I was a bit confused by some of the directions in how to assemble the bunny. Also, it was supposed to be knit with #2 needles, which I couldn’t do since they are so tiny, so I used #4. I’m sure that probably meant that I had to change some of the other instructions, but since I’m such a novice, I didn’t really know how to do that. Oh well. First attempts are always worthwhile! Perfection is not necessary in crafting. I’ll leave perfection to my friends with OCD and to mass manufacturers conforming to ISO standards and whatnot.


He looks much cuter in the pictures than he does in real-life. He’s a bit lopsided. My younger son seems to like him though. It was my first completed knitting project however. Hooray for me! I enjoyed the knitting and actually figured out how to bind off a project, so those are good things. The videos at Knitting Help were excellent.

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Knitting little bunnies

I am not a knitter. I’m a wannabe knitter but have never made the effort to learn beyond getting some supplies and trying it out a time or two. So I was looking through my latest issue of Living Crafts magazine (awesome, awesome craft mag!), and saw these adorable little knit bunnies. They looked pretty simple. (Yeah, right.) Well, they are supposed to be knit on size 2 needles. Those are tiny. So, after several failed attempts, I stepped up to size 4, and progress went a little better. I finally have my swatch ready to bind off, and then, you tie it off in different places to make the ears, and sew up the body, do some embroidered eyes, etc., and voila! Of course, I’m having a bit of trouble binding off since I haven’t ever actually done that before. I’ll figure it out. I’m going to check out the “how to” videos at Knitting Help. And, I think I am going to start a class at my LYS (local yarn store). So, hopefully a picture of a bunny with be forthcoming.

Wet felted Easter eggs

Just made my first wet felted Easter egg using Resurrection Fern’s tutorial. Lots of fun! I’ve been wanting to wet felt something for a long time, had all the supplies, and just never made the time to try it out. So, I saw Resurrection Fern’s new tutorial, and figured with Easter right around the corner, the time was prime for some wet felted eggs! Of course, I just bought some adorable ones in the Wool Food Mama‘s Easter egg co-op, but hey,..more is more, right? I don’t have quite the right wool roving for Easter eggs though, in terms of colors. The white and brown that I have worked perfectly. So, since I had some bright blue and green, I decided to make “earth” Easter eggs. Now, I need some new wool roving! Lucky for me there is a Peace Fleece co-op going on right now. How opportune.

Here is the wool (this is wool batting that I normally use for stuffing wool felt play food), wrapped loosely around the plastic Easter eggs in about five layers. You wrap each layer in a different direction, which helps the fibers bind together. My Dawn dish soap (2 parts water, 1 part Dawn) in the cup behind.

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Here we are in the rubbing on the bamboo mat with soapy hot water phase. Hmm…probably shouldn’t have used my husband’s sushi mat. It sort of smells like wet sheep now. It will probably dissipate after the mat dries. Hopefully. I should get a washboard, it’s probably easier. I might have used too much water, but I’m not really sure. I’m still a wet felting newbie. But, it turned out okay, so maybe I was fine.

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And here’s my completed egg! It’s still drying. After about 24 hours, it seems dry, but I might let it dry a bit longer before I cut it open. I will be cutting it open with sharp scissors across the side. Then, pull out the plastic egg. Then, I will blanket stitch the opening with some embroidery floss or cotton perle, a la Wool Food Mama’s eggs.

Wet felted wool egg

And here are the four of the five eggs that I made! How do you like the “Earth” ones? I think they are cute. My son helped me with a fifth Earth egg, and we had some better polar ice caps on that one. I used two layers of the white wool, then one layer of green, then a top layer of blue.

Try it out! It was fun, and satisfying working with the wet wool with your hands. It probably took me about 20 minutes to make one egg. And pretty easy prep phase and clean-up phase, since you are pretty much only using soap and water.

Squirrels and Acorns

How is a crafty mama supposed to resist $2/yard snuggle flannel at Joanns?


I love the owls! I think I’m going to make the boys flannel lounge pants. I did some “recycled” ones a few weeks ago (using Daddy’s old ones, and making use of the fact that they were already hemmed) and I think I might make some from scratch now that I’ve done it once.

But, the squirrel and acorn fabric was the reason I went to the store in the first place. I bought the adorable wooden acorns from Caseys for my youngest son’s preschool class, and I wanted to make a cute little drawstring bag to store them. Aren’t they adorable?


So easy too. I just cut a rectangle about 8″ by 16″. Sewed a pocket for the drawstring on the top of each side. Then folded it in half, inside out, and sewed up the sides, keeping the drawstring pocket open. Sewed a little line on both sides of the bottom to make it a little flatter when sitting up. (See Super Eggplant’s tote bag tutorial here.) Turned it right-side out, and then threaded the cording through. To thread the cording, you thread one piece all the way around. Then, start on the opposite side and thread another piece all the way around. Then knot each piece. I put a little tacky glue on the ends, so hopefully, it won’t fray or become unraveled. We’ll see if I was successful.

I just love the squirrel fabric! Hubby said I couldn’t resist kitsch, LOL.

Felt Gnome Tutorial

Ah! Here it is, as promised! How to make these cute little gnomes!


Supplies Needed:

1. Wooden people. I have the people from Casey’s Wood, #20 Man and #1006 Little boy. (Note: the Little Boy pegs are out of stock until March 2008, if you don’t see them on the website. They are definitely continuing to carry them, and will put them back up on the website when they come back in.)

2. Wool felt in two coordinating colors (“A” for the under-clothing, and “B” for the cloak and hat). Obviously, you can use acrylic felt as well, but the wool is just much nicer. And you use very little of it, so it’s pretty cost-effective to use wool. I purchase my wool from either Weir Dolls & Crafts, or my local quilting/yarn store. A Toy Garden sells some wonderful little gnome pairs if you are looking for color inspiration.

3. One piece of acrylic felt (the 20 cent craft kind) to make the patterns of the clothing.

4. PDF pattern for the clothing.

5. Cotton Pearl (size 5) in a color that would be set off well against the hat/cloak (I use a color that matches the under-clothing “A” felt)

6. Hand sewing needle with a big enough eye to thread the cotton pearl (which is rather thick)

7. Glue, I use that gold bottle tacky glue

8. Scissors for cutting the felt

INSTRUCTIONS

So, gather your supplies, imagination and steady fingers, and let’s get started!

1. Print out the paper template. You can either use this to cut out your felt clothing pieces, but I prefer to make templates out of inexpensive felt. I find the heftier weight easier to use for cutting out the real pieces, and they hold up better over many gnome creations. There is a pattern for the “Man” size as well as the “Little Boy” size.

2. Cut out your felt clothing. Use color “A” for the under clothing and “B” for the cloak and hat.

3. Wrap the underclothing piece around the bottom of your gnome and glue with tacky glue. It will overlap a little at the end. I place it so that it is just a smidge over the edge of the bottom of the wood person. The wood can be a little wobbly sometimes on the bottoms and this removes this as an issue.

4. Next step: Cloak. Thread your needle with the cotton pearl. We will use a blanket stitch to edge the cloak. If you don’t know how to blanket stitch, there is a great tutorial here by Futuregirl. Starting at the top corner (either side), start going around. When you get all the way around to the other top corner, wrap the cloak around your person’s shoulders. Hold in place, and tighten around the neck so that the two top corners are together. Now, just stitch the two corners together several times, just running your needle back and forth. It will look like a nice “clasp” and will hold together well without any need for glue.





5. Now for our pointy gnome hat. Blanket stitch across the bottom of the hat piece.


Keeping the needle in the fabric, fold the hat in half lengthwise, inside-out. (You will turn it right side out when you are done).
Now, just stitch up the side using a whip stitch. I’m not too careful with my stitches personally, because I like the homemade look, and I think it’s nice to see the stitching when you turn it inside out. Future-Girl also has a nice tutorial here about the whip-stitch.


Then turn the hat inside out. I use a metal chopstick to get it turned all the way to the point.

6. Now, place the hat on the gnome’s head. You will have to glue the hat on, otherwise it will fall off all the time.

7. All done! Happy gnomes! Creating the little gnome is exactly the same as the larger gnome, just smaller.

Please share any feedback or questions about the tutorial. This is my first tutorial, and hopefully I have been clear and not confusing. I’d also love to see photos of any creations!!

A Gnome Teaser


When I get my tutorial completed, this is what you will be able to make! I’ve even drafted patterns! Aren’t they just adorable?!

Welcome!

Hi, this is my new blog devoted to craftiness. I will hopefully be sharing my own attempts at craftiness, and tutorials and photos as applicable. I make a lot of different stuff, most of it centered around the home and my children. I love to work with my sewing machine, as well as doing handwork with wool felt. I’ve just started to learn to embroider.

First tutorial will be upcoming: Little Gnomes made with hand-stitched wool felt clothing.