Tuesday, January 4, 2011

421 Bye Bye Stash and a Tutorial

I have decided to make resolutions ... not resolutions for just this year though.  I am making life resolutions.  One of the biggest resolutions I want to stick to is committing to using up my craft stash.  I have a room overflowing with fabric, paper, yarn, and paint! Literally overflowing... You probably think I am kidding, but Hoarders called to ask if they could do a show just about my Craft Cave. I told them "Heck no!" because they might throw away a piece of pretty paper.
One of the things in my room was the book and kit I Taught Myself Knitting from the Boye company.  I used their book I Taught Myself to Crochet several years back and the instructions were clear and easy to follow. They provide words and pictures, so no matter how you learn it is perfect. I knew I wanted to use their knitting book when it was time to learn to knit. I bought it at least two years ago with a coupon from Michael's. I think I paid $8 and considering all the stuff you get it was a BARGAIN! However, it has sat in my room virtually untouched all this time. I did take it out and learned how to cast on, but I got distracted by kids and put it back. Over the years I have flipped through many knit and crochet books, and I have been disappointed countless times because some of the projects I love are knit. I will be intimidated no longer! A few days before New Year's Eve I broke out the book and a ball of yarn from my stash, and I got to learning.  I cast on ... I learned the knit stitch ...
 And then Connor had a meltdown ... Katie had one of her BFFs sleeping over and they were both playing with their pillow pets, but Connor did not get a pillow pet. Santa must not have been thinking clearly. I wasn't about to buy him one, and I knew he would probably rarely play with it anyway, so I set about creating a pillow pet-ish creature for my boy.

First I found one of the oldest pillows in the house, and I cut it in half.

I had this lamb-y type fabric leftover from Connor's Viking costume from Halloween 2009, so I brought it out for this project. Lay it out in a double layer, place a half pillow on top and cut around it. (I have mentioned I am a lazy crafter, yes?)

I was also too lazy to break out the sewing machine... So, I hand-stitched around it leaving an opening large enough to turn and stuff it.  Notice I did cut it out on a fold, so that was one less seam to sew. *taps forehead* I am always thinking .... of ways to be lazier. Turn it, stuff it, and stitch it closed. You now have a pillow ... congrats!

Connor asked for an elephant. Clearly from my fabric choice it would be more of a Wooly Mammoth. And clearly, from the shape I freehanded out of the other half of pillow, it isn't much of either. I did tell you that Connor was a bit upset ... and I still needed to cook dinner ... I was in a bit of a hurry.

And, as usual, I stopped taking pictures of the process in my haste.  Once again, I lay the fabric down in a double layer. I went right sides together so I could trace around my pillow piece.  Trace it. Cut it out. Stitch around it leaving one side of the head open to turn and stuff. Stitch it closed.
I just stitched the head onto the pillow very securely with lots of stitches, and then I stitched some eyes on his face.
Voila! Wooly Mammoth (or an anteater according to my husband) I also forgot to put velcro on his sides.
 Easily fixed, a ribbon around his tummy and he is a "pet" ... Connor seems to like him at least!

And eventually (the next day) I was able to work on my knitting a bit more. I am still not great. I dropped some stitches, I probably added a few too. I did learn to knit and purl... I just shifted back and forth between stockinette and garter stitch whenever I felt the urge.
I ended up with a rectangle ... not very inspiring or impressive (not that what I did changed that). I stitched it together along the long sides and made a tube. Perfect for Katie to have an arm warmer thingy. Not a very good size for me though ....  

It is a start toward using my stash. Hopefully I can make a dent in it this year. And even better, hopefully I can come up with some fun crafts to make and share.

Also, I am going to start posting some links to projects I love. I have seen so many great ideas on other blogs, and I just want to share them. If you have a crafty blog please leave a comment with the link and I will add you to my CRAFTY links.


kath said...

That elephant is amazing. The split pillow? Stroke of genius.

Keep knitting my friend, it will become a brand new obsession! There are some great youtube tutorials too that can help you out ....


Mique (as in Mickey) said...

Thanks for linking up to my Pity Party! Fun projects. And I love that you're making life resolutions. I need to do the same!