Wednesday, August 9, 2017

CRAFT HAUL


It's kind of weird that I have a craft blog, yet have never done a craft haul.

I mainly just buy yarn here and there, and maybe needles or a hook in a new size as needed, but I don't really buy things in bulk.

Well, now I did.

An online shop I buy books from, Adlibris, was having a sale on their craft products and that was the first I realized they had craft products. 


I think I went slightly insane with the amount of yarn. But hey, it was 40% off. Also, for some reason, cotton yard is really hard to find around here. I guess with the weather being what it is, Finland is all about wool. This was really nice thick cotton yarn, perfect for amigurumis. Look at those colors! I'm just dying to make some play food for the Kiddo.
Look at that. That's box with 86 different colors of wool for needle felting. Eighty-six. I got really into needle felting after Christmas last year. So far I've just made a few white stars with the help of a cookie cutter, but I have plans for more.
And then some random stuff. I've always just used hairpins as round markers, and just lamented when stitches have slid off the end of a needle, but thought maybe it was time to invest in some actual tools. Maybe. So I got a row counter, a bag of stitch markers, needle stoppers, and a 40 cm and a 60 cm cables, you can supposedly use to convert any size needles into a circular needle. These weren't even expensive, just a few Euros. 

I hope these will make knitting and crocheting even more enjoyable!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Crocheted Camp Fire

Look at this crocheted camp fire! Isn't it cool?!

You can find the pattern HERE, buuuuuuuuuut it's in Dutch. So, er, anyone know anything about Dutch crochet terms? I tried Google Translate, but just can't figure it out.

I'd appreciate help so much! I desperately want to make this for my baby.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Amigurumi Cloud Troubleshooting

Hands down the most popular pattern on my blog is the pattern for the amigurumi cloud. It has probably more hits than the rest combined. It's also the pattern people seem to have most trouble with. And I get that. I wrote it the best I could, and couldn't really figure out how better to explain it. But I think I finally figured out a way to help! If you follow this guide, you'll just need to know the number of increases and decreases as marked at the beginning of each row of the pattern and you don't need to count the sc in between.

So here is a step by step guide to crocheting my amigurumi cloud pattern

Saturday, June 10, 2017

How to Make a Stroller Mobile

I made this simple stroller mobile and thought I'd share the process in case you (like me) have a stash of amigurumis lying around. If you don't, never fear! I have patterns for those linked as well.
Here's the mobile spread out. You could use any amigurumis for this, this is just what to my eye looked cute.
You'll need some amigurumis (I used cloudsbirds and a rainbow, click for the patterns), some sturdy cotton yarn (I don't recommend wool for this, because sometimes it can thin out and break, if you have elastic yarn, you could use that too), and two clips (mine are from an old pair of suspenders I got at second hand for 50 cents).
  1. Measure your stroller where you want to hang the mobile, your amigurumis will need to fill this space.
  2. Then the fun part, making amigurumis! I made cloudsbirds and a rainbow, but there are tons more free patterns on my blog and around the internet. I have links to some of my favorites on my amigurumi Pinterest board. Or use what you already have.
  3. Plan how you want to arrange your amigurumis, and measure them so that you have the right length for your stroller.
  4. Thread through the amigurumis. If your needle isn't crazy long you'll need to "come up for air", just push the needle out from the side, then push it back in at the exact same spot and thread on (the two upper pictures). When you reach the end just pull the yarn tight and it'll settle nicely inside the amigurumi. You'll also have to pay attention where you place the thread, too low and the amigurumis will flip over. Cut the yarn and leave a long tail.
  5. Take your clips and single crochet over the loop like you would in a magic ring. How many sc you crochet will depend on your clip.
  6. Take the yarn with the amigurumis and sew each end firmly into the middle stitches of the clips. Knot the yarn firmly and hide the ends on the backside.
  7. Clip on to your stroller out of the baby's reach.

Here's a close up of one end. As you see, you'll probably need to thread the yarn a lot higher across the amigurumi than you'd think.
I'm not an baby safety expert, I used mine as just a mobile to be looked at. But if you do hang this so that the baby can play with it, please don't leave your kid unattended with it.
 And here it is hanging in our stroller.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

How to Crochet an Amigurumi Tooth Fairy Pillow

So, my baby just cut her first two teeth, so she isn't going to be loosing any anytime soon. (At least, I hope not.) And we don't really have a concept of a tooth fairy in Finland. But you see this cute stuff from other cultures (on Pinterest, mostly) and I'm a sucker for cute stuff. And you know I love amigurumi.
I started this blog to have a place to post my amigurumi patterns to, then my interest sort of waned. And how many stuffed animals can a person make and never use? The answer is of course as many as she likes. But, yeah,  I was trying to be an adult and I stopped.

Cue baby, and I'm like bring all the amigurumi!
So, here's a pattern for an amigurumi tooth, which can be used as a tooth fairy pillow (i.e. put a tooth in the pocket in the back, and see it magically turn into money during the night. Only works for children, I've heard.)
I used wool/polyamide mix yarn called 7veljestä, and an EU size 1,75 hook, but I crochet loosely, so if you crochet tightly, maybe use a bigger hook.
Amigurumi Tooth Pattern

Make a magic ring
  1. Sc 6 times in the magic ring (6).
  2. Sc inc around (12).
  3. Sc in the next 5, sc inc twice, sc in the next 5 (14).
  4. Sc around (14).
  5. Sc in the next 6, sc inc twice, sc in the next 6 (16).
  6. Sc around (16).
  7. Sc in the next 7, sc inc twice, sc in the next 7 (18).
  8. Sc around.
  9. Sc in the next 8, sc inc twice, sc in the next 8 (20).
  10. Sc around.
  11. Sc in the next 9, sc inc twice, sc in the next 9 (22).
  12. Sc around.
  13. Sc in the next 10, sc inc twice, sc in the next 10 (24).
  14. Sc around. 
  15. Sc in the next 11, sc inc twice, sc in the next 11 (26).
  16. Sc around.
  17. Sc in the next 12, sc inc twice, sc in the next 12 (28).
Finish off leaving a long tail (this is for sewing "the crotch" i.e. where the roots meet, shut later). Stuff.

Make another root the same way, but don't finish off. Mark this spot, from now on this will be the beginning and ending of the rounds. Join the two roots by crocheting where you left of on the first root.

18. Sc around (56).
19. Sc around (56). Around here is a good place to sew shut the small hole where you joined the roots together, later on it'll be more difficult.
20. Sc around (56).
21. Sc around (56).
22. Sc around (56).
23. Sc in the next 7 stitches in the back loop only, sc in the next 42, sc in the next 7 stitches in the back loop only (56).
24. Sc around (56).
25. Sc around (56).
26. Sc around (56).
27. Sc around (56).
28. Sc around (56).
29. Sc around (56).
30. Sc around (56).
31. Sc around (56).
32. Sc around (56). I recommend you start stuffing now, because as you decrease the hole will get smaller and stuffing more difficult.
33. Sc in the next 10, sc dec three times, sc in the next 24, sc dec three times, sc in the next 10 (50).
34. Sc in the next 9, sc dec three times, sc in the next 20, sc dec three times, sc in the next 9 (44).
35. Sc dec around (22).
36. Sc dec around (11).
37. Keep sc dec until you have a very small hole, then sew the hole shut and finish off leaving a long tail.

Thread the yarn on a sturdy needle and push it through the top of the tooth in to "the crotch" and back again, molding the top of the tooth as you like. Knot between the roots and hide the yarn inside the tooth.

Flip the tooth over. On the back where you on round 23 crocheted in the back loops only there are the front loops visible.
Sc across (14), turn. Repeat for 9 rows. Finish off. Sew to sides of the flap onto the tooth.
Embroider on a face. I went with blue eyes because black felt too much like cavities, but you can embroider on any face you like, of course!

You are done!

Saturday, June 3, 2017

DIY Felt Antlers

I've seen quite a few faux taxidermy decorations for kids rooms, but they are usually heads, which even if they are faux, still creep me out. 

Then I came across this tutorial for felt antlers by Mereta from One Mushroom and thought that it was the coolest thing ever! Felt antlers! For some reason I'd never thought of that.
There was no actual pattern for these (or if there was I missed it), just a tutorial, so I made the antlers slightly too big and heavy for the plate, but I think they are still pretty cool. The tutorial didn't mention how to hang them either and with a slightly heavier build, I'm not sure what will be the best way.
I love working with felt, because there is no fraying. Just cut and sew. The whole thing is hand sewn, but it didn't take that long. And once you get going hand sewing is kind of meditative. 
The best thing is of course that no animals were harmed in making of these!
These are definitely going to my kids room, once we have one for her. And once I figure out a way to hang them. Any ideas?

Sunday, May 28, 2017

DIY Very Easy Baby Bow Headband

Truthfully, I didn't think I'd be a one to put a bow on my baby girl. We mostly stay pretty genre neutral, but here we are. I had some yarn left over from my cowl and I thought "beige isn't too girly, right?"
This bow takes both very little materials and very little time to make. All you need is some yarn and a pantyhose. That's right, a pantyhose. It makes a perfect headband for a baby, because it's soft and very stretchy. It's comfortable and doesn't leave a dent.
Sorry for the weird plant photos, it's so rainy and dark and by the window was the only place with any light, but  to make the band, just cut a about 4 cm wide piece out of the thigh portion of a pantyhose.
And stretch!
For the bow cast on 11 stitches.
Row 1 "knit 1, purl 1" repeat until the end, turn.
Repeat row 1 for 10 cm. Bind off.

Place the rectangle you made against the headband and wrap yarn around the middle binding the bow and the headband together. Knot together the ends and weave them in. You're done! Put it on your baby and go "awwww"!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Misdirected Cowl

I've been on a look out for a light weight summer scarf for some time. I'm basically wearing leggings and a long t-shirt most days (aka my momiform) and I was thinking maybe throwing on a scarf would make it seem like I wasn't wearing pajamas all day long? Maybe? But I didn't want anything that would feel suffocating or add any warmth. Also something that I could easily throw on and take off without extensive tying.
Ever since I rediscovered Ravelry I've been scrolling it obsessively and found this knit cowl I really liked. As knitting is my new passion I went for it. The pattern is called misdirected cowl by Liz Abinante.
I really liked the pattern. There was a bit of a learning curve definitely, but once I got the hang of it it was very logical. I learned to do a provisional cast on and then join the two edges seamlessly aka the Kitchener stitch, and it really is like magic.
I chose this beige color because I really like neutrals and I think the pattern brings the scarf enough interest. I used a bamboo yarn that is very breathable and soft. Because it is an infinity scarf it's very easy to use.
I've never been a big accessorizer, but now I feel like, add earrings and a scarf and you are dressed. If I'm delusional, please don't tell me! 

Monday, May 22, 2017

DIY Breastfeeding Pillow

When I was pregnant I wasn't sure if I wanted or needed a breastfeeding pillow. I mean, before you give birth to your first baby you really have no idea what you will actually use. There are so many things for babies and mommas, and it's like "I have no idea if this is essential or useless". Hint, a lot of it is useless.

So what I did was buy what I thought bare essentials (a bed, clothes, stroller...) and bought all the rest after we had the baby as it became apparent that we did need things (baby monitor, bottles, swaddler...)

But despite not knowing if I actually needed a breastfeeding pillow I did decide to make myself one. These things can be pretty pricey and it seemed fairly easy and cheap to make one. And with uncharacteristic foresight I thought I'd not get anything done once the baby was born. Yup.

The materials cost only about 4€ and I figured I could just take it apart if I didn't end up using it.

This is based on the popular Boppy pillow. I found the pattern for a slipcover from blog called vanilla joy

I used the pattern to make an insert pillow from an old sheet, stuffed it with poly-fill from an old pillow and sewed it shut.
I then made a removable (read washable) cover with a zipper from an old bed spread I found at a thrift store. The pattern had the zipper on the underside, but I put mine on the back edge.
So was it worth it? Yep! I used this a ton when Zelda was a newborn and I was just learning to breastfeed. Because my episiotomy I mostly fed her lying down for the first few weeks, but after that this was great. 

Where it really shined was when you are exhausted and hangry and the baby wants to feed. I'd just sit at the table, plop this on my lap, support the baby with one hand and proceed to eat with the other. During those first few months when it felt like the baby was feeding constantly, this allowed me to eat as well.
Totally recommended. You can also use it later on for tummy time or to help support the kid when she is sitting.

Only thing I'd do differently is to make TWO slipcovers. Things got a bit, ahem, messy at times.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Basket Tune Up

It feels a bit ridiculous to include this as a DIY, so I'll call this a "tune up". 

This isn't exactly something you can replicate either, since it relies on finding a basket like this. It's more like: if you find something fun, but it isn't the color you'd like just paint it!
What this means is: I found this interesting basket with an elephant on it from the Red Cross flea market for 4.90€. I thought it was cool, but you know, bright pink
Well, luckily  that's easy to fix. Enter a can of white spray paint. I removed the eyes and just sprayed away.
Only it was kind of tricky to get all the nooks and crannies. The pink kept showing from underneath and in the ended up taking the whole can of paint. Not the cheapest thrift store project, but I think it was worth it. 

I replaced the eyes a bit wider, because I thought it looked cuter that way. Then I left it outside for a few days to remove the paint smell. (Side note, I'm not giving this for the baby to play with.)
I think it'll look really cute in the kiddos room. Once we get that set up, for now she just has a nursery corner which I've tried to keep very calm and minimal as she pretty much just sleeps there.
But someday!
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