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.

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