Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Needlework Themed Gift Tags

In case you need some gift tags for those presents you'll be out buying this week (or that you're just finishing up making!), here's a set of six with a needlework theme.  I put them onto felt to go along with the fibers theme, but they can also just be printed out onto card stock.  Several of these images come from Graphics Fairy - you can find all sorts of vintage and other interesting images there!

*red and green felt
*1/8 inch ribbon
*printer prepared fabric - I used Iron-On Quick Fuse that can be printed and then ironed directly onto another piece of fabric after printing
*pinking shears
*tapestry needle
*craft knife
*gift tag file here

1.  Print the gift tags onto the printer fabric.

2.  Cut each gift tag out.

3.  Iron onto felt.  Note:  if you're using Eco-Felt or thin polyester felt, use a pressing cloth or a piece of paper under your iron to prevent it from melting on the iron.

4.  Cut out with pinking shears.  Using a craft knife, cut a small slit in the left hand side.

5.  Cut a 12 inch piece of ribbon, thread it through the tapestry needle, and pull through the slit.  Knot next to the gift tag.  I then use a fine point Sharpie to write on it.

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Monday, November 25, 2013

2013 Christmas Ornaments - Part 2

Wow - Thanksgiving seems to be arriving quickly this year, which means Christmas is close behind!  And closer this year with Thanksgiving being later.  I've been working on a few things I'll be sharing over the next few weeks.  Nothing that takes months to finish - I think I'm like everyone else this year and am way too busy for that!

The second two ornaments this year are a beaded snowflake and a quick and easy felt ribbon candy.  The first two ornaments for this year can be found here.

*Felt - white and a background color for the snowflake and red, green, and white for the candy
*assorted beads
*beading needle
*floss - a shiny, metallic and one that matches the background felt
*ribbon - 12 inches for each ornament
*hot glue gun for the ribbon candy
*Snowflake pattern found here - there is also a smaller snowflake on the pattern sheet in case you want to do a smaller version, also.


1.  Print off snowflake pattern, cut out, and pin onto a piece of white or sparkly white felt.  Cut out.

2.  Pin onto background felt.  I pinned it onto doubled felt (since I'll be needing a back) and then cut it about 1/4 inch away from the snowflake edges to make it easier to work with.

3.  Attach the snowflake to one piece of the backing with a blanket stitch, using the metallic floss.

I find it much, much easier to use metallic thread if I use a wider eyed needle and tape the loose ends of the thread before I try threading.  Cut off the taped piece before sewing.  Also, don't bother trying to use  long strand while embroidering - it gets funky after being drawn through the fabric after awhile.  About 14 inches seems to work.

4.  Bead the snowflake and then pin the snowflake/front backing to the other piece of backing.  Don't worry if the edges don't match.

5.  Fold the ribbon in two and insert the ends between the two pieces of backing - put about 1 inch of ribbon inside.  Using a running stitch and floss that matches the background felt, sew around the entire edge of the snowflake right up against it.

6.  Carefully trim the background felt close to the running stitches.

Ribbon Candy:

1.  Cut a 12" x 1" pieces of felt from green, red, and white.

2.  Layer the pieces of felt with the white on the inside.  Cut a small slit about 1 inch in from one end, double the ribbon, and insert about 1 inch of it through the slit.

3.  Glue the one inch piece of ribbon to the felt.

4.  Put a glob of hot glue on top of the ribbon and fold the felt over.

5.  Continue folding back and forth until you have the size ribbon candy you want.  Trim the ends.

6.  Hold until the hot glue cools completely!

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Friday, November 22, 2013

Friday Inspiration - Hats!

I'm on a hat kick!  Somehow over the years most of my hats have disappeared, been given away, or have just been worn out.  In my searches for new crocheted hat patterns, here are some stand outs that are also free.

This is a fun, colorful hat by Revlie Shuit available here on Ravelry.  It looks like it could be adjusted to an adult size without too much trouble.

I love this 1920's flapper style cloche!  The pattern is available on the Crystal Palace Yarns site here

This slouch hat by Tamara Kelly looks like it has just the right amount of slouch!  And only takes one skein!   Find the pattern here.

Foxes seem to be very trendy this fall - if you can't get enough of them, you might like this cute fox hat by Lisa Gutierrez.  The pattern can be found here.

And if you're looking for still more hats, check out the selection on CrochetPatternCentral - all free!

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Cotlin Cloche

Autumn in Phoenix is a little spring-like ... the temperatures cool off and everyone is outdoors again, flowers bloom, plants revive!  When rain is on the way, sunrises turn gorgeous!  Even the cactus seem more colorful.

So when I went looking for a new hat to crochet and found a spring type lacy cloche it seemed perfect.  Around here you don't need a heavy duty hat - just something to take the chill off!


This is Linda Permann's Little Sister Hat - the pattern for sizes baby through adult is available free here.  I used KnitPick's Cotlin and needed to use a smaller hook than called for to get the gauge, so be sure to make a gauge sample!  I'm usually right on, but not this time.

However, since I do spend part of the winter in the Northwest, I'm still looking for a warmer hat.  To be continued!

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Monday, November 18, 2013

Wool Eater Potholder

This time of the year, I start thinking about all the Christmas baking to come - not planning it, just thinking about it!  Every year I seem to focus on something different and I think this year it might be candy.  The good homemade, old fashioned types!  Luckily the humidity is low enough in Arizona that Christmas candy making usually works pretty well.

So to put me even more in the mood, this weekend I made a new potholder using Sarah London's Wool Eater pattern.  If you haven't seen this before, there are some gorgeous Wool Eater blankets on several Flickr groups - here's one.  That seems like a huge undertaking, but I'm thinking maybe pillows?  

I used KnitPicks Cotlin in Swan, Sprout, and Moroccan Red and a size E crochet hook.  After finishing one potholder, I decided it was to thin to safely use, so I made another one ....

put them wrong sides together and attached by single crocheting them together along the edges, beginning on a point.

To add a hanging loop, once I got back to where I began the single crochets (at a point), I chained 18 and attached it back onto the point.  I then single crocheted around the loop until it was all covered and then fastened off the yarn.

Bring on the candy making!!

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Friday, November 15, 2013

Friday Inspiration - Fabric Dyeing

Here are some fun fabric dyeing/painting tutorials to inspire you!

This awesome football tie dye tutorial is from BigKennyShirts.  I've always wanted to try a tie dye with motif and the instructions for this one look pretty good!

I love to doodle!  This technique from Aunt Peaches' blog is definitely something I'll be trying.

And I have quite a few shirts from Goodwill building up that would look great with hand painted embellishments like these from Alisa Burke! Maybe with a few beads ....

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Autumn is for Knitting

Just back from a working weekend at the Oregon farm, where autumn looks like it's nearing its end.  Most of the leaves are down, so that meant lots of raking and flower bed cleaning.  The chickens are laying eggs - they're delicious!  However, two of them decided to turn into mean girls and started pecking the feathers off the other hens.  Badly.  So enter Hector!  He's a very nice rooster - and within half a day had the hens shaped up. 

The scarf from the handspun alpaca/merino wool I bought in Vermont is almost done.  It's so soft and warm - perfect for keeping my husband warm when we're next up at the farm!  The pattern is from The Purl Bee here - very easy. There's just something about cool days, cold nights, a warm fire, and knitting .... they're meant to go together.

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Friday, November 8, 2013

Friday Inspiration - Amazing Amigurumi!

Okay ... every time I think I can't be surprised by what fiber artists are doing, I find something that blows me away!  A few days ago I found the most amazing amigurumi animals I've ever seen!  Now amigurumi is something I play with every once in awhile - and I usually go half crazy with all those tiny stitches.  

Then there's this family in Vietnam who makes the smallest crocheted amigurumi I've ever seen!  

They have an Etsy shop under the name Suami (the youngest member's nickname) where they sell their work - definitely take a look at it and the additional photos on their blog!

And if you want to try some arigurumi that's a bit bigger (and hopefully easier) the pattern for this sweet sleeping mother and baby fox is available free on the Michael's website.

Happy Creating!  Deborah