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:

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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….

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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!

 

Stay-cation

It has been days since I last posted.  My only excuse is that I took a little impromptu stay-cation thanks to the subzero temperatures and a blizzard that landed in South Jersey last week.

The benefit to a stay-cation and a lack of writing is that I began AND finished another beautiful rug and I have photos and links to this wonderful pattern as well!  So, you get two patterns for the wait 🙂

Last week I left off with a blizzard bearing down on us and three new cones of cotton yarn to create something with.

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In this photo you can see not only the cones I am using, but the lovely swirl stitched rug I already completed.

Let’s start with the small aqua colored rug I worked last week….

Granny Stitch Mandala Rug.jpg

This picture shows the size of the rug really well, but not the color.  I didn’t notice the color saturation until after I got started with this post.  The color that is just a peek in the first picture is the true aqua color of the rug.  It’s my favorite color right now.  I just love how cheerful this color makes any room.

So, last summer I bought some of the Bernat’s Home Decor yarn and made a lovely tote bag out of it.  As I normally do, I bought about 2 skeins too many for the project so I would have more to create something else with.

In case you haven’t worked with this yarn before, let me tell you what you are missing out on.  This yarn is made from jersey cotton which makes it soft and stretchy and the tubular shape makes it simple to work with.  Because the yarn is bulky, you can count on your project to work up quickly (the rug took me under two days to complete) and the material guarantees that it will handle well in the washer and to normal wear and tear.

As with all my patterns, I found this one for free!  It’s an easy pattern that is not only understandable, but comes with wonderful picture tutorials and help along the way if you should need it.  You can find the pattern here.

I followed the pattern exactly.  My rug is 25 1/2″ in circumference.  It lays flat and it is such a cute accent rug next to my side of the bed.  I plan to look for some more Bernat colors to work more of these rugs up and possible sell them at craft shows….or maybe I’ll just make a couple more for myself 🙂

On Thursday, as the blizzard closed in on us, it was time to find a rug pattern to use with the cone’s of Peaches & Creme cotton yarn I bought.  I went with “Panorama” because the base of the color is neutral and it has little splashes of pastel colors in it.

For the rug I decided on, the pattern called for 6 strands of yarn to be worked at one time.  The creator of the pattern used 28 balls of Peaches & Creme yarn to make her rug!  I could have broken up the cones and created 6 strings to work with, but I didn’t really want to hassle with it.  I figured worst case scenario I would just pull the stitches and start over with another pattern.

Luckily, I didn’t have to do that.  This pattern was super easy to work up.  It did take me 3 days to finish, but I set it down a few times to watch Netflix with the family and to do some baking; so I guess I will say that it works up in a “few” days.

Even if it takes you a week to do, it’s so worth it!  It’s so pretty and feminine!!!

Daisy Rug

Now, it’s not unusual for me to take a pattern and change it up a little to either fit with the yarn I have on hand.  For this rug, I wanted it to be as large as I could make it while still working within the constraints of only having three strands of yarn.  So, first things first, the pattern….

You can find the pattern here.  Yarnspirations is such a great resource to find patterns and a community of other crafters.  If you haven’t checked out this site, I highly recommend you do.  I get so many great ideas just browsing around!

Alright, now you have the link and you can see the beautiful pink rug that inspired me to make this one!  So, this pattern calls for a P Hook with 6 strands of yarn worked at the same time.  I only have three cones, but I wanted my rug big, so I started with the P Hook, too.

Nope, that was too loose of a stitch pattern for a rug.  Remember, they are suppose to be tight stitches on a rug……so I brought my hook down to an M Hook and it worked up nice and tight, but without the stitches being a struggle to work with.

I worked the pattern exactly as it’s written.  When I finished the last row around the rug, I fastened off and weaved in the ends.  I tossed it on the floor and…..I liked it.  I wasn’t in love with it.  It needed something more.

It needed a thick border on it to keep it laying flat (I work with loose stitches generally).  It just seemed unfinished.  So I grabbed my phone and surfed Pinterest for crochet edging and borders that could work.

I decided to do a shell stitch since it ‘s heavy and it leaves a ruffled edge that works well with the flower pattern.

To do the shell stitch, don’t fasten off after you make the last sl st of the pattern given, work the slip stitch and then chain one.  *SC into the same stitch, skip the next stitch, DC 5 times in the next sc, skip the next sc, SC in the next stitch.*  Repeat the pattern all the way around the rug and fasten off.

It’s really cute and easy to make.  The rug I completed measured 54″ in circumference which is just 4″ shy of the finished rug in the pattern, so not too bad at all for a first try.

I placed the rug in Gracie’s room because kids are a great tester for the durability of all things homemade!

I hope you decide to make one of these rugs.  They just add such a nice pop of color to the room!

Happy Hooking!

Bracelets You Can Make In Under An Hour

Yesterday afternoon Hubs and I loaded Gracie in the car and traveled north to fight with other mall shoppers and exchanged a few gifts.  There wasn’t as big of a crowd as we had anticipated, so we finished up shopping quickly and headed out for a nice bite to eat at our favorite Pho restaurant.   On the way home the NJDOT had updated the highway boards to warn of the winter storm that would be passing through the area in the next 24 hours.

I didn’t panic over bread or milk, I panicked over the thought of not having a project to do or the ability to get to a craft store to get a project going again!  So, with as little stress in my voice as possible, I asked Hubs if he would make a stop before home at our local Wal-Mart and I would head into the craft section and brainstorm something to work on during a snowy day.

My mind kept going back to a pattern I rediscovered while organizing my bookmarks this past week.  It’s for a lovely white triangle shawl that is made with cotton thread instead of yarn.  I knew I could find the size #10 thread I would need, even if I could only choose between three colors….so, white it is.  I will, of course, keep you posted on the progress once I really dig into it.

After I grabbed two spools of thread to start the project I couldn’t help but check out the jewelry section and grab some copper wire to play around with when I got tired of working on this shawl…..maybe I could twist some semi-precious rocks for my necklaces, or a ring….I’ll have to figure out where my skill set lies before I get too excited.

In the meantime, I still have some beading and elastic cording saved from before Christmas and that’s the craft I wanted to share today.  The supplies for this craft are simple and you can decide how budget friendly you want it to be with your choice of beading.  I think for these bracelets, I probably spent around $15 for everything.

Beads for Bracelet.jpg

So, here’s what you will need:

.08mm elastic cording (or equivalent to slide your beads on)

Beads or charms of your choice (enough to make at least one 7″ to 9″ bracelet) For this project I used lava beads, quartz beads and red jasper (I think).  I grabbed a box of mixed wood beads, too!

Scissors

A little dab of super glue (or crafters glue)

* For a woman’s bracelet- measure the wrist if you are able…if not, measure it approximately 10″ (8″ for the beading and 2″ for securing).  The average man’s bracelet should measure at 10″-11″ finished.

Here is where you can learn to do a surgeon’s knot.  This is how you will secure the bracelet.

Ready????  Then you will need to decide how you want your bracelet to look and begin stringing the beads onto the elastic cording….I suggest leaving it on the roll while doing this so the beads don’t slide off the other side.

When your bracelet is the size you need, then cut the elastic from the roll leaving a few inches to work with for tying.

Tie your two ends together using a surgeon’s knot.  Now, do a second surgeon’s knot and tug the ends tight again. Trim the ends down.  Dab the two knots with some super glue and let it dry.  Slide a bead over the knot and cover it and viola!!!  All done!  It’s gonna look great and last for a long time.

Check out the bracelets I made from these beads and a few I had left over from previous craft projects….they are really divine!

Finished Wood Bracelets.jpg

It seriously took me about an hour and a half to complete all of these.  I wear most of them everyday….they make me happy.  I can add essential oils to the lava beads on the bracelets for mood elevation, so that’s good for my anxiety.

These are so easy and so gratifying to make.  I encourage you to head to the craft store and pick out some of your favorite beads….you could have a beautiful statement piece for your jewelry collection before the day is out.

If you do make one (or several like I do), I would love to see your finished projects.  Any questions?  Need some help with it, leave me a comment.  I would love to hear from you.

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!!!