Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Four months to Christmas/Yule!

This is Isabella Cane's dog collar and leash by Bella Dura textiles.

Why not weave your own for your pet or a friend's pet?

What about making reusable produce bags for everyone you know? You could stamp the bags with your own design, each bag by a special design just for the owner, or with the things you assume are going to end in the bag, like apples.

Canon has published printable cube puzzles. So cute! I loved those things when I was little. You can also make them with your own images. If you cannot figure out how to fit the pieces of image on the pattern in some photo editing program, just print out them and cut and paste in real life :-D Don't forget to seal the images, by varnishing the cubes, or by putting on a self-adhesive plastic. Yeah, I know, not very green idea, but you could choose biodegradable plastic bags, and fuse the plastic on paper with the help of an iron. That should do it.

Knit and felt your own yoga mat. It's as easy as knitting a scarf.
(Well... four scarves. A bit tedious. But so worth it. You can have any patterns and colors and figures you like.)
Use any 100% wool yarn that has not been superwash-treated.
Felting takes away about 5% of the width of the finished article, so check your cauge - it can be anything - and cast on as many stitches as your cauge (x stitches / 4 inches) times 6,5.
That is, if your cauge is 16, you need to cast on 104 stitches.
The length is going to be reduces a little bit more, so take your cauge (x rows / 4 inches) and multiply that with 19, and you'll know how many rows you need to knit.
When your scarf - or shawl as it is right now - is ready, felt it in washing machine. See that all the ends have been nicely finished, because if they aren't you'll get a not so nice hanging bits of felt in the finished object.
Wash it in 40-60, and when it's felted and nice, block it to keep the edges as straight and flat as you can. After this you can embroider it or needlefelt it or leave it as it is.
You might want to make your mat non-slip. You can use silicone, sew on strips of leather or paint it with latex, or other things or you could use an ordinary non-slip rug pads.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Funny how the time flies...

Not even five months to Christmas. The darn thing comes again this year, and four of these months will pass without you even noticing. I don't like to stress you or anything, but I think you could take some time from your summer vacation and update your card list and gift list NOW
- yes, now. 
Stop reading, write the lists and update the addresses. 
When that's done, you can continue reading.
                                                                                           , so that that's done and you won't wake up in November and find out to your shock that you need to do that, and there's no time and you're so stressed already because everything elseneedstobedonetoonowand...


And take a small amount from your "allowance" and get materials so that you can prepare something nice for present for all the people you care about, like the nice lady who always greets you so sweetly by the door or what ever. You don't need to make gifts to people you don't like, care about or hardly know, just for the obligation, but... I know, give them a deck of pretty cards and a little book of solitaires and other card games and tricks :-)

But make something nice for the rest. It doesn't take long to knit or crochet a pair of wrist warmers, and most adult women appreciate those. Most adults - men and women - appreciate such silly things like knee warmers. Okay, so we get old and achy. Big deal. Socks are also very much appreciated by all. Nevertheless, write the list and decide to make a rotating project list; one project for you, one for someone else and one for charity, and keep it. Start biting yourself throught the thousand and one night project list I know you have. Get yourself something pretty you have always wanted, make the gift you know you can so that you don't need to feel bad next gift giving time and make something for charity. Charity projects are quick and easy, and if you can't think of anything else, make a couple of potholders and take to your local charity shop.
Really... don't you always admire the people with the "energy" and "skills" to do a lot of stuff for charity or as gifts or just for themselves, and you know you could to the same, or at least some of it, but there just isn't enough... time. Or something. Take fifteen minutes every day when you sit down and knit, sew, crochet, papier mache or what ever you like to do. We all need more fiber in our lives, don't you agree?

Anyway, I'm aching today. My feet decided to start acrobatic exercises while I was having a shower and it ended with me on my back in the bath tub with sprained fingers and legs. There's a bruise a foot long behind my right knee and my left hand is almost unusable. Nice. I just came home from two week's trip to Finland, and my husband (with ADHD and Asperger's) hadn't done any housework and the home looks like it too... I mean, I don't do much housework, but I at least do the dishes every now and then. But, I can write, so I will be planning my Yule presents and watching MBC :-D