Knotty Jewelry

That is a great name for the collection of jewelry pieces I’ve been designing since last week.  It all started with learning how to make the half square knot and creating some cool accent pieces for my beaded elastic bracelets….and now, I don’t know that it is an “obsession”, but as I am working a bracelet or anklet, I’m already thinking of the next one I can make!

There are so many inspirational photographs online and so many free tutorials it is easy to get swept away.   Look how pretty this beginner anklet is I made for myself:

Blue Bead Anklet KJ.jpg

I haven’t taken it off since I finished making it and it’s holding up beautifully and wearing very comfortably!  I just love it!

Once I broke out the seed beads….well….I’ve made two trips out for more colors of both seed beads and cording to work with; as well as buying a few things that will make working the bracelets up faster and easier.

This morning I am working on this pattern for bracelets and anklets…

Teal with Silver Beads KJ.jpg

The possibilities are endless for this pretty little piece.  The picture shows Red Heart Thread in Aqua #10.  The silver beads came in a multi-pack of beads I bought from Wal-Mart.

This is my favorite combination so far.  I’m making a bracelet now, but I will be making an anklet size for these as well.  When I have finished a few more of them, I will come back and share the free tutorials I used and a good list of supplies.

I’m going to get back to working on more pieces.  I have plans to make these two patterns in particular and add them to my booth when I sign up for a few craft fairs this coming summer.  Plus, I’m feeling crafty, so it is time to get back to it.

Happy Hooking!

 

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Twisted Knot Jewelry

Yesterday I made a run to the local dollar store in order to find all the last minute things I would need for creating an allowance system/chore chart for Gracie.  I’m putting the finishing touches on it today and getting it set up for her to use starting next week.  I will share all of my printables with photos in a few weeks.  I want to see what we find useful and what we don’t.

In the meantime, I spent most of yesterday learning a bit of macrame!  I had no idea how satisfying creating knots could be!!!

Seriously, I love the stuff I created!  Check these out….

Half Knot Bracelet.jpg

I loved the bracelet so much I made an anklet….

Half Knot Anklet

If you want to make one, you probably have what you need on hand.  It does take some time to complete, but if you get started now, you could have one before the end of the day!

I used Lion Brand Yarn 24/7 Cotton in Aqua and Burgundy.  You could also use cotton twine, hemp, leather cording, or baker’s twine.  Just make sure it is a tough thread for durability.

You will need a clipboard or something to hold it tight for you and a pencil or similar to wrap the loops of thread around at the beginning.

Do you know how to create a half square knot?  Well, I didn’t either, so I had to find a tutorial.  This video from Wool and the Gang was the most helpful.  I don’t have a background in macrame or creating knots for any other reason, so it took me a bit to get the hang of it.

I watched this video just to see how to finish the bracelet.  There are some great ideas online for ways to close these bracelets, so I guess it is up to your personal taste.  I wanted to wear mine long term, so I created a large knot on the finished end so it would fit through the loops on the beginning end of the bracelet.  For the anklet, I just tied the two ends together and snipped the ends leaving enough to fray with wear.

I have a sizing chart for both men and women’s jewelry measurements on my Pinterest board in case you are making one for someone else.  If it’s for you, measure it for a perfect fit.

I’m going to make a few more of these and learn some different knot patterns to create some other pieces.  I’ve been interested in using charms for the bracelets and small bells for an anklet.  If I get brave enough, I might even try to make a plant hanger or a boho wall hanging.

If you have an interest in working with macrame, this is a great place to start.  The investment is minimal and the reward is new jewelry!!

 

 

Braided Copper Toe Ring

Mondays are my day to get the week organized and it seems that this week I really have a lot going on.  The more I run the house like a CEO, the more I add to the to do list.

With that there is also a real sense of accomplishment when I can knock things off the list that I really do need to get done.  If you are in need of some organization for your home, blog, or yourself personally, here and here a post with some really helpful free printables.

Today, I am working on not only getting ready for the week ahead, but I am also tackling a scheduling project for Gracie.  This is in it’s infancy, so I will post more about it when I have it set up and functioning.  It’s just one of the many things I am trying to accomplish today.

However, I didn’t want the day to pass without sharing a really cute and easy jewelry craft I created in just a few moments!  Seriously!!  It takes no time at all to make this great toe ring and if you would prefer to wear it on your hand instead, it is size-able to any part of any finger!  It’s really cool!

Braided Copper Toe Ring.jpg

I made a couple of these braided rings and gave one to Elizabeth, my oldest daughter.  She likes wearing it as a cuff ring on her hand.  This little project is a win in my book because I hardly ever create something that my teenager wants for herself!

So,here is how I did it….I purchased the copper jewelry wire at Wal-Mart on a shopping trip.  I chose 14 gauge so it would be more flexible while I’m learning how to work with wire….remember, this is only my second wire jewelry project ever.

I cut three equal lengths of wire from the roll.  My lengths all measured 6″.  This is way more than you need, but I wanted to have lots to work with  in case I made any mistakes.

I began by twisting the three wires together at one end and while pinching this spot, I separated the strands so I could begin braiding.  I secured the twisted end to my clipboard (you could tape it down also)…and I braided it all the way to the end.  It comes together nice, but don’t try to braid it too tight, it ruins the look.

When you have finished braiding, you will need to flatten your wire.  I still have to buy a nylon hammer for my tool kit, so for now I placed the braided wire inside a folded washcloth and placed it on a flat heavy table top.  I grabbed my small household hammer (the one that made my husband laugh when we started dating…he dubbed it the “Tapper”) and gently tapped up and down the washcloth to flatten the braid as much as I could without damaging anything.

After I flattened it, I had to trim the piece down, so I actually cut a 1.5 inch piece from the center of the braid because it was the prettiest.  Make sure you tuck the three wire ends on each side of the cuff into themselves and pinch them flat with jewelry pliers.

Now all you have to do is decide where you want to wear your cuff.  I have one for my thumb and one for my toe and I love them both!!

I hope you enjoy the tutorial and have fun making some for yourself.

 

 

A Spring Pattern for this Weird Weather!

What is up with the weather?!?  I don’t know if it is strange where you live, but let me tell you I live in New Jersey and I am sitting in my room with the windows open, the fan spinning overhead and I’m wearing a tank top!  It would be a perfect mock spring day if the sun was shining, but it’s raining so bad out….and foggy….like a scary Stephen King novel.  I’m torn between wanting to go out and wanting to curl up with said author’s latest and greatest drinking hot coffee and scaring myself.

Figured while I am deciding my next move I would tell you about this beautiful Slate Crochet Vest pattern I found at  Busting Stitches.  This pattern is so easy to follow and she has even given the patterns for all the sizes from S-4XL!!!!!

For this project I am working with Woolike Yarn by Loops and Threads.  I have one skein right now in White.  If you aren’t familiar, it’s a super fine yarn that recommends working with a 3.5 mm hook.  I chose this yarn when I was on my trip to Florida.  I loved how soft it felt and I knew I could search my pins and find something beautiful to make with it.

Spring Vest 1.jpg

When it was -15 outside two weeks ago I was thinking about making an infinity scarf with this yarn and I still think that would be a beautiful project for winter, but working on this light-weight vest has me thinking about walking outside in the park.

Because this yarn is super fine weight, it takes more stitches and a bit more precision to work the pattern.  I love that the vest is made working with a 5.00 mm hook so there is some space between the stitches.

I don’t know how long it will take to finish.  I would like to say under a week, but I may set this one aside here and there and come back to it…..I can say that with some confidence now that I have put some organization to the patterns I’m working.  I have a great printout for my work in progress, so no more guessing what hook I was using or the type of yarn (if I threw out the label).  You can find that free printable here.

I’ll certainly post my progress with this project, but you don’t have to wait for me…get started on one of your own!  If you have cabin fever like my friends in Western Pennsylvania, this is a decently long enough project it could carry you through a week or two of work…..that’s a good brain break.

I know this warm spell in Jersey won’t last, so I’m going to head outside and hope the rain shower in progress will dull it down to at least a sprinkle.  Maybe our little town will be blessed to end today with a clear sky and a beautiful sunset.

I hope you enjoy the free pattern.  If you are feeling inspired today, I would love to hear about what you are working on.

Happy Hooking!

 

Teacher’s Gifts in Under One Hour

Today I want to share the holiday gifts I decided to make for my daughter’s teachers and caregivers.  I have limited time to work on side projects and even less money in the budget, so I’m always looking for the biggest bang with the least amount of wallet pains and I think I’ve found a few winners this year.

As you can see I made scarves for the ladies this year and I think they came out super cute!  The wonderful thing is they are all patterns that are easy for beginners to follow and they each are one skein so they are really affordable since most brands of chunky yarn cost about $5.00.  The dark pink scarf is made from Lion’s Brand Homespun yarn so I was able to work one scarf and had enough let for one; possibly up to 3 more!  Now that is a real bargain!

The first pattern I will share is for the dark pink Boho Scarf.  This pattern is not mine.  I found the pattern available for free at Classy Crochet.  She has wonderful instructions with photos to help you along.  There are also some other beautiful creations I can’t wait to check out on my next visit to her site.

The dark pink scarf was made using Lion’s Brand Homespun yarn and the only changes made from the diamond lattice pattern  was to use a “P” Hook so that it would grow faster and with bigger spacing.  She suggests it in her pattern and it works up beautifully.  I also added fringe in various places around the ends.  I didn’t count them or place a specific number of threads through at a time….nope, this time I only kept their length (16″ cut length) similar and varied the placement.  Next time I will add some all natural wood beads to the tassels and it will be perfectly me!

Chain Scarf

This beautiful chain scarf I made about three years ago as gifts for the women in my family.  They were all made from the super chunky yarn and the patterned worked up quickly while I watched television.  As with the other two patterns, this is an easy beginner pattern and I think when you make something quick and uniquely you, it makes you more confident to try other patterns…so don’t put it off…grab these quick supplies at any Wal-Mart or Target in town and make something you will love to wear…

For the Chain Scarf, you will need:

Any chunky yarn (1 skein)

P Hook

2 Buttons (about 1″ each)

Tapestry Needle

Sharp Scissors

*We are only using two stitches for this pattern so you only need to know how to chain stitch and how to single crochet.   If you don’t have a P Hook, any hook that have that is a K or larger should work.  Gauge is not important for this pattern so no need to worry.

To work the body of the scarf, just begin chaining…..keep going……yep, you want a big pile of chained yarn….I chained over 1,000 times for the one in the photo.  Make sure you stop and save some to create a cuff that holds the chains together.

Before we make the cuff, we need to wrap our chain around something that creates the length we want before we hold it all together with the cuff.  I used my dress form, but there are a lot of possibilities that you have on hand…I use Hubs a lot for these kinds of jobs.  He holds his hands at the distance apart I want and I keep wrapping until it’s perfect.  Now is a great time to grab the beginning chain and the end chain and secure the ends together….tuck the ends in with your tapestry needle.  Set your loops of chains aside to secure with the cuff.

My cuff was 5″ wide and I made it 10″ long so that I could wrap it around the chains but not choke them.

For the cuff:  chain 7, sc in 2nd ch from the hook and in each across, ch 1, turn (6)

*Repeat until the piece measures the width you want to wrap around your chains.  For me it was about 10″.  When you finish off, leave a long tail so you can sew your cuff seam around the loops.  Set your cuff aside for a sec and grab the buttons you picked for the piece.

The buttons pictured had two holes, but I picked various buttons with different ways to attach them, so you will have to decide how you need to attach the buttons to the cuff.  Make sure you work them opposite the seam…I didn’t for the one I photographed, but I did for the rest.

After the buttons are secured to the cuff, you want to wrap it around your loops with the button side facing out.  I used a slip stitch to secure my cuff, but you can grab up your long tail and secure the ends using single crochet stitches as well.  Finish off and weave in your ends.  That’s it!!! It’s that simple 🙂

Pink Chain Scarf

The light pink chunky yarn scarf is made the exact same way as the Chain Scarf patterned for you above.  The chain was looped longer so that it would hang much farther than the other scarf and I made four cuffs that were 1/2 the size of the one large cuff above.  I didn’t use any buttons since the cuffs and the chain loops give this piece a lot of movement already.

I hope you will give these patterns a try.  If you have any questions about them or need any help, just leave me a question in the comments.  I would love to see your work if you create any of these for yourself or your friends.

As always, Happy Hooking!

Barefoot Sandals!!

Last week I had the opportunity to make two pairs of barefoot sandals for Panda and myself when we made a day trip to the beach!  I have been wanting to make a pair for myself for sometime now, but I haven’t really had a place that I could wear them….as cute as they are, they have to be practical and comfortable.  I’m going to share the two patterns I followed so you can make a pair for yourself too before summer is gone!

Look at how cute these are:

barefoot sandals

They stayed tied in the surf!!!

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Sandy Toes!!!

Sandy Toes

When I showed Panda the ones made to look like hearts chained together she had to have them!!!  I love them too and they worked up in about 20 minutes….both patterns did!!!  I was lucky enough to find the heart and bohemian patterns for free AND they were made using worsted weight yarn (which I have plenty of).

You can find the pattern for the barefoot heart sandals here.  If you like the bohemian sandals, you can find that pattern here.  Both patterns are easy to follow and are written in US terms with tutorial photos and finished work to help you through to the end.  Go!  Don’t wait or it will be too late!!!

Happy Hooking!!!

Basic Bralette

Just in time for summer I have begun crocheting crop tops and bralettes!  It didn’t happen without a little coaxing from Panda who really wanted a cute top this summer that none of her friends would have.  I am so excited to share my work with you!!!  I created this top in one afternoon with just a few yards of cotton yarn I had in my scrap bin.

Panda asked me a few weeks back if I would try a pattern for her that she had picked out.  I looked at the top and although it was lovely, I thought it might be a difficult pattern to create as a first try, so I started super simple and came up with this M/L patterned basic bralette.

What I love about this pattern is that the shape of the bra can remain the same while changing up the bordering around the top will create several unique pieces.  The potential is there, but I have to be honest and say it is not my favorite creation…..yet.

Although the double crochet stitch helps work the pattern up much quicker than the single crochet stitch traditionally used, the spacing was greater than I expected.  Once again the biggest problem I face are my loose stitches.

Now, I may not be in love with the way the front of this top worked up, but I do love the back and the cute little bows used to tie it together.  I may make the ties a bit different when I create another one, but I do really like the way this top looks from the back.Basic Bralette 2

I’m heading back to the drawing board with another bralette pattern in single crochet and if I can get my stitching correct and completed before the end of summer, the bralette and a simple crop top pattern will be some of my first items listed for sale when I am ready to set up shop.

If you want to work up a top along with me, click here for a great pattern with lots of photos provided by From a Thread.  I couldn’t ask for a better tutorial!  Whether you are a beginner or advanced, I am sure this top will turn out lovely.  Happy Hooking!