Christmas Aftermath & a Bucket of Poms

Anyone else having trouble finding a spot on the couch today?!?¬† ūüôā

I love Christmas!!! It’s my favorite holiday! Once the preparations are complete and the food bought for the big meal, I can finally relax.¬† ¬†After the gifts are open, we all just spend the day enjoying each other, eating way too much good food and a napping in front of a few great old movies.

Even on special days you can usually find me crafting something and Christmas Day is no different.¬† I am working on the cutest pom-pom rug project!¬† It will take me a couple of days to complete, but I think the outcome is going to be beautiful and it’s so easy to make pom-pom’s if you have the right tools.

Here’s a peek at the bucket of pom-pom’s for the project so far….

Bucket of Poms.jpg

There is so much color and movement in here!!!  I love Poms!!!

This project idea came to me about 3 or 4 days before the holiday.¬† I have been organizing my working spaces and trying to sort things in a way I can understand so that I can share them with you and I kept coming across little balls of yarn….everywhere.

So many leftover stashes of yarn….leftovers from projects I have worked over the last year stuck in bowls, boxes and corners that I had to do something.¬† I hate to waste anything crafty…I’m just sure as soon as I throw something away I will be back at the craft store buying it all over again.¬† It’s happened before…several times…and besides, I hate throwing away unused yarn.

Now, I would keep stashing yarn in little balls all around my crafting space, but I just can’t do it.¬† The clutter of it all makes me feel unorganized and not knowing what to do with it all….well, lets just say I had to come up with something.

The results of searching for ways to bust a yarn stash came down to two projects.¬† One is to make yo-yo’s for a¬†Cluster Blanket¬† like Sarah London offers in her tutorial.¬† Her photos are stunning and the blanket turned out just lovely.¬† Yo-Yo’s are easy to make and work up quickly…it is a beautiful project.

The other was to create a pom-pom rug from the left overs.

Since I still feel a little stressed from working patterns through to Christmas Eve, I welcomed the pom-pom project hands down!  I knew I had the tool to make it easy, quick and fun!  All the things I love about a project!!

Gracie got a kids crafting book for Christmas last year that taught her how to make pom-pom kitties.  The bonus for me is that it came with a pom-pom maker!!  She brought me the tool and even helped me make some poms before she disappeared to play with her new gifts again.

I’ve made so many poms that Hubs was laughing last night at the bucket and inquired if I had enough pom-poms yet or not….so I beat him with a couple of them, lol!

Seriously though, it’s going to take a lot of pom-pom’s for this rug….I’m just getting started.

Pom Pom Rug 1

I bought the non-slip rug piece at a local dollar store months ago for a different rug I had made.¬† It was suppose to be the non-slip backing I needed, but I never got around to attaching it and now it’s getting a new purpose!

You don’t have to have any experience with yarn or making pom-pom’s at all to make one for yourself.¬† If you don’t have a stash of yarn, that’s even better.¬† You can go to the store and pick out some colors you love and get started.¬† I would buy one skein of each color and pick a minimum of three.¬† My pom-pom maker creates 4″ poms and I think they are perfect, but you can get various sizing pom makers at any craft store or online.¬† There are also some really creative ways to make them without even buying the pom tool.¬† Some use cuts of cardboard and others recommend wrapping yarn around your fingers.¬† What ever way is most comfortable for you is the right way!

I have made poms in the past by wrapping the yarn around cardboard and although it did the job, there was a lot of trim work necessary to make the pom look uniform.  Yesterday using the pom maker I realized not only how easy it is to use, but the mess is minimal with only a few stray long strands of yarn that need to be trimmed.  When you finish the pom and you are ready to place the knot around it, make sure you leave a long enough tail to wrap around the mesh of the non-skid rug.

There is no right way or wrong way to attach your poms to the rug.¬† I used a surgeon’s knot to secure the poms together and also to the mesh, but you can use what ever method to secure them you wish.¬† If you don’t know how to make a surgeon’s knot, there is a great YouTube tutorial¬†here.

The color coordination is totally up to your taste and preferences.  You can use any kind of weight of yarn you want, just  be aware that the finer the yarn, the more wraps it will take to make your pom.

Since the rug isn’t complete….or really started yet, I will post completed photos when it is done and let you know if I run into any issues either in putting it together or with the wear and tear of the piece.

I hope you are enjoying a few days off of work to enjoy with your family.¬† No matter what holiday you celebrate, it really is about the spirit of it all.¬† If you decide to work up a stash buster project of your own, I would love to hear about it.¬† I’m always interested in new ideas and project sharing.

Happy Hooking!

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Last Minute Gift Creation In Under 30 Minutes

With almost no days left to spare I have finished my Christmas creations!!  Most of the time I am up late on Christmas Eve stressing out about finishing up gifts for Christmas morning; which is why this year I am feeling pretty proud of myself!  I can credit my awesome new sewing machine and tons of free patterns for my success.

After getting everyone out the door this morning I sat down to find a project I have been putting off…aka. scrolling Pinterest.¬† I lost a whole hour drinking coffee and typing in different search words to find some wonderful patterns….maybe too many patterns…

I’m stuck with an idea and I can’t match a pattern with it…..yet…..

While I sort out which object I want to make, I’m going to take a few minutes to share a pattern that I created just this fall for a Travel Mug Cozy.¬† ¬†This pattern is quick, easy and it’s a beginner pattern, so even if you haven’t been working with yarn for long, you can make something beautiful to gift as handmade!

To finish off the beauty of the gift, I’ll provide a link to a printable for wrapping your cozy around.¬† Just print it on some nice card stock of your choice and it’s ready to go!!

Travel Cup Cozy.jpg

Aren’t they great?!!?

The buttons are part of a multi-pack I bought from Wal-Mart.  The one on the left is wood with painting on it and the other is made from coconut shell.  You can add any kind of embellishment you want.  If you know that the recipient loves flowers, charms, bling or plain; you can add anything to the piece you want to make it unique!

Grab your cotton yarn and your favorite hook…..heck, grab any yarn you have on hand….this pattern will work up right if you stick to the measurements…

Travel Cup Cozy

Cotton Yarn

H Hook

Button or other embellishment

Fabric measuring tape

Tapestry needle

You will need to know the following stitches:

ch-chain

sc-single crochet

dc-double crochet

sl st-slip stitch

*If you choose to work with a smaller yarn thickness or a different sized hook, you will need to adjust your beginning chain.¬† Chain your beginning chain until your piece measures approximately 3″.¬† Be sure to turn your piece and begin your work on an odd number (ie., ch 17, turn and begin in 2nd ch from hook).¬† This way you are working the stitch pattern on an even number of stitches.¬†

Start:  ch 9.

Row 1:  sc in 2nd ch from the hook, *dc in next stitch, sc in next st*, Repeat to end, ch1, turn.

Row 2:  sc in same st, *dc in next st, sc in next st*, repeat to end, ch1, turn.

*Repeat row 2 until your piece measures 8″ or it fits around your travel mug without too much stretch.¬† At the end of your last row, ch1, turn.

Last Row:  Bring both ends together and sl st through both your 1st row and your last row at the same time.  Fasten off and weave in your ends.

Align your embellishment to the opposite side of your piece from the seam you created and attach using yarn or embroidery thread with a complimentary color.

That’s it!!!!¬† Beautiful, right?

Let’s finish the piece with a beautiful printable to wrap it around and gift this baby like we worked on it all day!!!

If you like the cup cozy printable I wrapped my work around, you can find the link here.

This Southern Girl Can has patterns for her cup cozy too and they are beautiful and work up quickly too.  She also has a ton of other patterns and printables, so go check her out and give her some love for the freebies!

If you decide to create some mug cozies of your own, please post some photos below.  I would love to see what you make.  If you notice any problems with the pattern, give me a heads up.  This is one of my first patterns, so I hope you love it as much as I do.

Happy Hooking!!

I’m making Christmas Stockings!

Check out how cute this is…..

I made this stocking in under an hour!!!

It’s beautiful!!!

I hate to stop working on the other three I need, but…..

I’m off to do some holiday shopping today.

When I come back I’ll show you where I found this free pattern and talk about my learning curve.

Oh, before I forget, I finished Mom’s birthday gift! It’s super cute. Maybe a bit advanced for my skills, but I did pretty good and I’m pleased. I’ll share photos and that free pattern after the New Year.

Lots of reasons to check back frequently…sign up for my newsletter or follow me on Facebook for all the latest projects cause you won’t want to miss a single one.

Just a Peek

Today, I’ve been working hard on the pattern that recently had me off the rails. It’s been frustrating to say the least.

So today I picked out some fabrics I thought would match nicely. I’ve created three attempts on this pattern and all three have been fails…honestly, I’m fighting through frustration to work this pattern correctly.

I’m sure it will be beautiful when I get it right.

Some times I forget that good crafting requires you slow down…be patient and accept imperfections for the beauty they can create.

Anyway, here’s a peek at the fabric I’m working with…all of these squares came from other nice projects I made for family.

I didn’t post yesterday because I had to take a “sick” day. I definitely had too much spirit ūüéĄūüéČ at the Christmas party on Wednesday night. It seriously took me a whole 24 hours to feel normal again…I’m a light weight and clearly not in my 20’s anymore. It was worth it to spend some time with friends.

If you’re working on any patterns or projects that are frustrating you, please share. I’d love to hear your story.

Christmas Coasters

This weekend I worked feverishly on several sewing projects as Christmas gifts for family and friends.¬† It was a good weekend for it since the weather in South Jersey took a turn for the colder and we had our first snowfall of the winter.¬† I captured a picture from out back to share.¬† It wasn’t a lot of snow and it’s mostly melted now, but I used it as an excuse to hunker down for the weekend and get holiday stuff completed.

First Snowfall for Christmas.jpg

Even though I was not working on Christmas coasters this weekend, I did put a few sets together between the start of fall and today….mostly on our 5,000 mile road trip in October.¬† I love making coasters because they work up quickly and they don’t require a lot of space to work in so car rides are a perfect time to whip some up.¬† These three are basic patterns, work up quick and put pretty little pops of holiday cheer all around the house (they store easy too)!

Christmas Coasters

I’m still trying to find the pattern I used for the snowflakes.¬† I know it was designed for a pattern that worked with thread instead of yarn and it was designed to be stiffened with starch and hung on the tree.¬† I used worsted weight yarn and an H hook so the piece would work up larger than original and they are a perfect coaster size.¬† As soon as I can track down the pattern, I will post it.¬† In the meantime, there are some amazing free patterns for snowflakes out there….many are intermediate designs, but some can be done with minimal stitch knowledge.

Snowflake Coasters.jpg

These adorable Christmas tree coasters were so fun to make.¬† I had to remind myself they would be having things set on top of them because all I wanted to do was add some beading as ornaments on them after I placed the little stars.¬† I found this free pattern¬†here.¬† You will need a Ravelry account to access her pdf file, but it’s a great pattern for a basic tree form.¬† They are really cute.¬† I stashed mine under some candles around the living room.

Tree Coasters.jpg

Lastly, I made a set of mittens that are adorable.¬† The pattern is free and you can find it¬†here.¬† The pattern includes instructions to add a snowflake pattern in the middle of the mittens, but I didn’t have time to add them when I made them and they are pretty cute plain.¬† I used them for wine glass coasters, but they would work for anything.

Mitten Coasters.jpg

If you are looking for a cute project that will work up quickly, coasters are the project for you….with the holidays upon us, it’s a last minute great gift idea.¬† Enjoy the free patterns and as always….Happy Hooking!

Artist Journal Wrap

In honor of Panda and her birthday this month, I made a gift personal to her using the new sewing machine that Hubs gave to me for Mother’s Day this year. ¬†I haven’t had a ton of time with my machine yet, but I have worked on some basic ¬†patterns that I found free on the internet and dove right in learning the mechanics of my machine.

This particular project I had to modify from its original because the measurements I needed in order to accommodate the sketch book was larger than what was called for in the original pattern.

I did make a couple of subtle changes, but the basic pattern can be found here.  Deena Rutter has a wonderful blog full of free patterns and ideas.  Her tutorial comes with a ton of photos to help you along if you are a beginner like me and if you are an advanced sewer, you should have no problems at all putting it together.

Artist Journal 2.jpg

Like I said, I had to change a few things with the original pattern, but I followed her directions and steps to keep on track with the pattern.  I used an upholstery fabric for the inside and outside panels and the pockets were made with lightweight cotton fabric.  I did still put tacking in between the inside and outside panels for added toughness.  The pattern also called for the pen/pencil slots to be to the left side of the pocket that would hold the notebook/sketchbook.  I needed to modify it to work better for Panda who likes to write to her left side and reach right for her materials.  I also created a pocket right beside the sketchbook pocket that is large enough to hold her erasers and a small sharpener.  This way she will have all her sketch tools with her no matter where she goes.  The compact size and soft covers keep it flexible for storage and easy to carry.

I don’t know if you have a use for an Artist/Journal Wrap for yourself, but I bet someone you love would love to have their writing or drawing utensils in an easy to carry case. ¬†Heck, make one for the kids to use when you are in the car or out to dinner. ¬†This would be sure to keep them occupied and if it gets dirty, just take the supplies out and throw it in the wash.

The pattern took me an afternoon (or about 3 hours) to put together. ¬†Remember though, I am a beginner, so I hit some snags…..took a few breaks to play games on my phone…..and got generally frustrated with my lack of knowledge on my new machine. ¬†If you are a pro, I bet this could be done in no time at all.

If you do decide to create one, I hope you will share your finished product with me here or with Deena Rutter on her blog.

 

All Tied Up Crop Top

Thank you for all of the wonderful comments on the Basic Bralette¬†I posted earlier this week. ¬†I love that you love it and I can’t wait to work the pattern into something I am really proud to put my name on.

Speaking of really proud……I am so in love with this purple top that I’m calling the All Tied Up Crop Top. ¬†It is made with T-shirt yarn, so it’s very comfortable against your skin in the heat of the summer…..it’s absorbent (that’s a plus for most of us) and it’s a sturdy top that makes you feel secure when you are wearing it. ¬†The form holds well and the ties in the back are not only really sexy, but they also keep you¬†feeling secure. ¬†The bonus is that you don’t have to wear a bra or¬†any type of coverage because the stitching is tight enough you won’t be able to see anything underneath it.

Purple Crop Top Back.jpgI have found after creating a few of these tops they work up quickly and can be created specific for one person by getting measurements, or can be done in a general sizing of S, M, L, XL….the one posted here will fit XS-M chest size.

I will be posting the pattern for this top after I have finished writing it up and I will be offering the ability to pre-order your size in a variety of colors when my store site is finished in the next few weeks. ¬†Be sure to sign up for notifications on my page so you won’t miss a thing and follow me on Facebook at Knot Your Way. ¬†As always….

 

Happy Hooking!!