Wednesday, January 26, 2011

428 Finger Knit Heart Wreath

About a week ago I discovered Gussy Sews. I have loved reading her blog, and I have been so inspired by her. (even more so now that she is running a series of interviews with blogger/crafters who have quit their day jobs) Well, a week ago I found this post on finger knitting necklaces and garlands. Of course we all did this at least once when we were kids, but I hadn't thought about it in years... now I am hooked! Katie has claimed each necklace as I have tied them off. I have made one with each yarn that was within arms distance (I have a stash at my end of the couch). Chenille, Homespun, Eyelash, Baby Weight ...
It was when I finger knit the pink variegated eyelash yarn that I had the idea for this wreath.
As usual I had to use what I had on hand (by the way, I had bought the yarn about 4 years ago on clearance. Super stash clearing) so I grabbed a wire coat hanger. I actually couldn't find the wire cutters right away, and I didn't feel like searching for them, so I just bent the wire back and forth until it snapped. It didn't take that long. Then bent the wire into a heart shape.
 Wire ... a little yarn ....

A quick tutorial on finger knitting though Gussy Sews probably did it better. 
Warning: Do not look at my cuticles. I am NOT a girly girl. I have never had a manicure, and fingernail polish feels heavy on my nails. I mean to take care of my nail beds, but it seems to slip my mind. 
Tie a knot, leaving a 6-12 tail and a finger sized loop.
Place the loop on your pointer finger, yarn underneath if you have you palm facing up.

Weave the yarn through your fingers. Under the middle finger, over the ring finger, around the pinky, under the ring finger, over the middle finger.
 This first time you will go back around the pointer finger and repeat until each finger has two loops.

Take the first loop on your pointer finger (the one closer to your palm), pull it up and over the second loop, and over the tip of your finger. 
 Repeat for each finger, and you end up with a single loop on each finger and the start of your chain on the other.

To create the second set of loops you will take your yarn around your pointer finger, under the middle finger, over the ring finger, around the pinky, under the ring finger, over the middle finger. Loop over and keep repeating until you have a long enough chain. For a necklace that is about a foot, for the wreath I finger knitted a 5 foot garland.
 After a few rows, take the tail you left at the beginning and weave it through each loop of your first row, go through it twice to make sure. I finsihed it off with a slipknot. Stretch the chain as you go to have a more accurate idea of how long your garland will be.

 Like I mentioned earlier, I created a five foot long garland.

 I secured one end to a loop and started winding it around the wire. Around and around and around and around...

 Join the two sides together, twisting the wire to secure. I wrapped the tails around a few times and made a slip knot to secure. Tie a knot to create a loop to hang.
 Cute, fuzzy, and pink ... the perfect Valentine's Day decoration ... or year round, because love should be present all year.
Not only was this wreath CHEAP ... it was FAST! Finger knitting goes so quickly, and it is perfect to do while the tv plays ... or the kids play.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

427 Our New Family Member

A week ago we added one more member to our family. Katie was still trying to spend her Christmas money from Mimi and PopPop, and she had decided that she wanted fish ... again., but when Chip took her to the Petco near our house she changed her mind. She fell in love with the Longhair Teddy Bear Hamsters. Chip was able to get her out of the store without purchasing one that night by telling her she had to clean her room, but she talked non-stop about those fuzzy little rats.
She cleaned. We researched hamsters online. Then last Tuesday Katie and I headed back to Petco. The gold and white hamster she wanted was still there. Katie is very shy around adults, and she will go out of her way not to have to walk near or talk to one, but she was so excited about her hamster that she insisted that she be the one to get someone to help us. Once she had her hamster in its little cardboard carrier we had to pick out all the goodies to go along with it. Come to find out we shouldn't have bothered because Mimi had an awesome hamster cage just sitting in their storage room. Katie did have fun looking at all the hamster paraphenalia though.
A cold and dark ride home, and ...
Our new family member was home. Katie wanted to name her Agnes (from Despicable Me), but Chip convinced Katie to name her Kimmy. He thought her tiny brain might better grasp a simpler sound. I think it won't matter either way ...
Kimmy sure is a cutie though!

I do feel kind of sorry for her. Everytime I turn around Katie has her out of her cage. No matter how many times we point out the stress this places on the poor rodent.

Katie snapped this picture.
And Kimmy does enjoy a nap on Katie.

She has lasted a week, and the newness is wearing of slightly. Katie is bothering her a more acceptable amount of time.
I just hope we don't have to take advantage of the 15 day guarantee ....

Saturday, January 22, 2011

426 Quick Crochet Headbands Tutorial

My mother-in-law makes the cutest knit headbands, and I have been inspired to try my hand at some headbands, but crochet. There are a few problems with this.
One- my knitting skills leave A LOT to be desired. (my crochet is somewhat better)
Two- I want INSTANT gratification.

I searched around on the internet for some patterns. There are a ton of great ones out there, but when the headband itch hit me I didn't take the time to pull one up. I had a tiny amount of yarn left from the cowl/mini-purse projects, and there wasn't much I could think of to make. I just grabbed my K hook and my scraps of yarn and winged it.
I said this is a tutorial, but I don't know if something this simple really qualifies, but here it is. Oh, and I didn't really plan this out, so there aren't any pictures of the progress.

Skinny Crochet Headband
Size K hook
Caron Simply Soft Yarn
approximately 4-5 yards in main color
approximately 1 yard for flower

Chain 3
single crochet (2)
chain 1, turn, SC (2)
Repeat for about 50 rows
Slip stitch two ends together.

chain 4, slipstitch to join.
chain 6, join to ring with a slipstitch.
repeat 4 times (5 petals)

Then take better pictures than I did :) Connor grabbed it and stuck it on his head.

He said he was a "doctor". I can see that, the grey flower looks kind of like the little headlamp.  Then Katie grabbed it and slipped it on Flower Child style.

All together it might have taken me 15 minutes. I think these would be adorable for babies, just make them a little smaller. They would be much softer, and look more comfortable than those elastic bow bands.

Today I tried one that is a little ... more. It is thicker, and I made it with a button closure. Still, no pattern, but I tried to remember it the best I could for y'all. I might go back and do a little border, or add a couple of flowers, but it is cute as is. It doesn't use a lot of yarn, but you will want more than several yards.

Headband 2
Size K hook
Lion Brand Homespun (this one is Caribbean)

Chain 5
Row 1 - Skip one, Single Crochet in 4
Chain two, turn
Row 2 - Double Crochet in 4 (this row will be your button loop)
Chain 1, turn
Rows 3-6 - Single Crochet (4) for 4 rows, Chain 1, turn
Row 7 - Increase by one on this row. Ending up with SC (5), Chain 1, turn
Rows 8-11 Single Crochet (5) for 4 rows, Chain 1, turn
Row 12 - Increase by one. Ending up with SC (6), Chain 1, turn
Rows 13- 41 SC (6), Chain 1, turn 
Row 42 Decrease by one. Ending up with SC (5), Chain 1, turn
Rows 43-46 SC (5), Chain 1, turn
Row 47 Decrease by one. Ending up with SC (4), Chain 1, turn
Rows 48-55 SC (4), Chain 1, turn.
Finish off both ends.
Choose a cute button, sew it on ... you know how.
This might have taken 30 minutes.

I was going to make my own button with Sculpey, but I managed to make them too big. Luckily I had a regualr button in the right size. My Sculpey buttons were cute though. Just mixed red and white (not totally) rolled out and cut out buttons. The circle is an old film canister, the heart I cut with a knife. Poke holes if you want to use as a button. I used some rubber stamps to give design and texture. Now I have to figure out what I want to do with them.

Sorry my tutorials are so sad :) I will learn not to be impatient one day ... but until then I hope you can make sense of my babbling.
If you whip up some headbands I would LOVE to see them!

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

425 IT SNOWED ... (nine days ago)

I know I am really late posting pictures of the snow we had over a week ago, but I have been preoccupied. First with playing in all the fluffy white stuff, and then with trying to get things battened down around the house. As usual there are big plans to get this house in order and running more smoothly.
But, before we get into all those doomed plans ... THE SNOW! 
Katie and Connor were ecstatic to wake up to a winter wonderland, but I had to play ogre and insist we eat and get bundled up before we ran out to play. Just about the time we were ready to head out to join our friends, there was a knock at the door. We'd had our first snow injury. I think Kaitlyn was mainly cold, but she had fallen off a sled and said her elbow hurt. We became warm up central. Luckily these are our dear friends, so we were able to go back and play and just let people come and warm up as they liked. One of the perks of backing up to the neighborhood park. Chip headed out shopping for snow boots... poor guy missed most of the fun (AND COLD) on the first day. 
I tried to put the camera away and play, but I HAD to take pictures! The kids can't have all the fun!
Yes, Katie is wearing pajama pants over her other 3-4 layers of pants. It is my punishment for asking Twitter if wearing your pajamas in public was the new thing .... apparently it is.

We supplied the sleds, and Kaitlyn's family provided the four wheeler. Redneck sledding here we come!! Kaitlyn was so sweet with Connor. She made sure he wasn't left out. All the moms also took a turn or two on the sled. It was a blast!! Sorry, no photo evidence I did it :)

Connor was getting tired, and he was annoyed that I asked him to sit still.

We stayed out for quite a while, but eventually we all headed back inside to warm up. The girls came to our house and we had a little lunch and made s'mores!
 I kept them inside as long as I could, but it is impossible to keep Southern kids out of the snow.

And Connor finally got to make his snow angel! Don't laugh ... we live in Mississippi, snow angel wings have grass here!
Snow Day Two was SO FUN! We all got out and drove around the school where there are some great hills. Maybe we weren't supposed to be there, but there were people in the building for voting and no one came to tell us to leave. It was frigidly cold and there was a biting wind, but we stuck it out to get some sledding in. I took pics for about fifteen minutes, then put the camera away and just had fun with the family.

Chip even took the camera and took a couple pictures with me in them!

I LOVE THIS PICTURE! Chip was snapping away as we came down the hill.

 We got COLD! And Katie was freezing because Chip could not find boots in her size, so we headed to the Target in Olive Branch. We grabbed some hot chocolate at the Starbucks.
 And Katie got some boots! They are boys, and technically too big, but they work ... and they will work next year (and eventually for Connor). Did I mention this is the South and snow is a rarity? Boots meant for snow get very little wear, so we do what we can to make sure they get some use. After Target we hit the slopes again! We played until my head had enough of the cold. I finally had a splitting headache, and after having meningitis I prefer NOT to ever have headaches again! For some odd reason they scare me to death.
School was back in on Wednesday ... and I needed the rest!