Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Hogwarts Goodness

I've been working on this awhile and finished my Ravenclaw scarf based on the pattern from atypically knit. It's the prisoner of Azkaban style. I used a vintage dusty blue wool blend and moonlight mohair in the silver color way. I got the mohair for $1.50 a skein (used 2)and the blue in a lot off ebay that I bought for all the other yarn in there. I used all 4.5 balls that came with the order.

Overall it cost about $8. It's 6 and half feet long with fringe and 9 inches wide (knit in the round so it's a double layer)

The mohair gives it a nice aura and a bit of glitz.

Here is closeup of the fringe, striping and initial in duplicate stitch.

This scarf took upward of 50 hours of knitting including the fringing. It was my first time doing color changes and my first time doing duplicate stitch. Overall the project was easy, but time consuming.

A while back I did a swap and made this wand (alongwith the turtle and DNA pendant) It's a harry potter style wand made from recycled paper.

I've joined a Harry Potter Swap on, so you will eventually see more hogwarts goodness.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Recycled, Reused, Reduced

Recycled Gift bags

This week has been good for the environment. Most of what I've made has been with recycled or reused materials.

I bought an old wool sweater at a thrift store for 96 cents and felted it. I used it for craft projects before and had about half of it still sitting around on my craft desk so I made 4 gift bags.

The large one is made from the fronts of the cardigan. I left the pocket for added interest. The white ribbon down the sides is threaded through the button holes. The trick with reusing old clothing to make new things is utilizing whatever the garment gives you. The medium size bag is a sleeve with one end sewn up and a ribbon sewn on so I can be tied shut. I already used that one for valentine's day. The two little ones were made with the leftovers. One is a drawstring and the other has a flap that folds over. I had to embellish one corner with yarn because it had a small hole there.

Now I have durable, reusable gift bags suitable for many occasions.

Reusing old Valentines
My little Sprite came home with valentines on Friday so I took her valentines from this year and last year and made a place mat for her.

Placemat Materials:
cards/valentine themed stuff
plastic or cardstock cut to size of placemat
glue stick
packing tape

I laid the cards out on a piece of plastic (from a gift bag she also got) until they were arranged how I wanted them
Then I glued the back of each card to the plastic
Then I carefully laid down packing tape over the whole thing.
I did the same thing to the back side
Then trimmed the packing tape so it was just over the outside.

Reducing the Possibility of Loss
Then in preparation for the holidays (yes I'm starting early darnit or I'll never get any peace in the winter) I'm making my DH a gift certificate holder for his comic shop. They still give out paper gift certificates in plain envelopes, so I'm always afraid he'll lose it in the piles of paperwork on his desk. This should make it stand out. I used the same basic process for the envelope

Envelope Materials:
images from comics - I used pictures from the freebie preview newspaper the comic shop gives out
One envelope that I took apart
glue stick
packing tape

I laid the images out on the envelope until they were arranged how I wanted them - I love the skull, it's from a comic called apes and babes, which I know my DH does not read, but the graphic is awesome.
Then I glued the back of each comic to the envelope
Then I carefully laid down packing tape over the whole thing.
I did the same thing to the back side
Then trimmed the packing tape so it was just flush with the envelope.
I'm also planning on sewing on two buttons so It can be closed by winding string around them.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

My top thrift store finds

I love shopping thrift stores. It helps me feed my crafting addiction. Many of the things I've crafted recently are slated as gifts and haven't been received yet. I can't share them here until they are, so I thought I would put together a top list of things I love to find at thrift stores instead. These are the things I look for every time I go thrift store shopping.

  1. Other peoples crafts supplies - tools, fabrics, patterns, yarns and beads. Anything discarded by others because their stash got to big can add to mine. A dollar spent at the thrift store is about $5 at the fabric store so that equals big savings if I can find what I'm looking for.
  2. Great clothes that fit- I'm always on the look out for great clothes that actually fit. This is hard to find but when I do, oh the joy! My best find by far were a pair of Salvatore Ferragamo boots for $30 in a thrift store in San Fransisco.
  3. Clothes in great fabrics that are too big- Great fabric is great fabric and clothes that are too big allow me to tailor those clothes to make something that fits and is unique as well. I found this shirt recently for less than a dollar. It's got good front detailing. I'll need to take it in and re make the sleeves, but then it will be a great new work shirt! A gathered dress in a larger size can yield 3 or more yards of fabric to work with for any kind of project.
  4. Cashmere or wool sweaters- I felt these and then use them to make better fitting sweaters for myself if they are big enough, dolls and other soft toys, mittens, hats and any other small thing that would be good for wool if they aren't. For those doing cloth diapers, you can make them into great soakers. The picture is of a hat made from an angora sweater. (The sock was a simple recon for taking too tight socks and cutting off the cuff and re hemming to make more comfortable socks) I can pick up sweaters for 96 cents off season.
  5. Sweaters for recycled yarn- If you know what to look for you can dissect a sweater and reuse the yarn for your own projects. At the seam if the sweater it sewn with yarn and not serged together you take a seam ripper and carefully undo the sewn portions then unravel the sweater. This works great if you can convince your thrift store to give you the sweaters that are in such sad shape that they can't sell them. I got this one for 50 cents at a garage sale and will turn it into a cami adding some pink ribbon yarn for accents.
  6. Sheets - I can get plain flat sheets for $1 at the thrift store. Or a set for under $5. I have made pajamas, a 15th century style chemise, doll clothes, hand bags, reusable grocery bag, dresses, skirts, curtains and lots of other things from sheets. They are a great resource of woven fabric. Even if you don't sew they make ready curtains by just cutting at the very top to open up the large hem at both ends to slip a curtain rod through.
These are some of my favorite things to look for. What are yours?