My Daughter’s Crochet Bracelets – First Time Project!

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My daughter is crocheting up a storm.  She is using an aluminum bangle for a base, and adding a row of single crochet in a sparkly purple yarn courtesy of her mother’s store.  She chose a purple bracelet too, in case some of the bracelet shows through when she’s done.

This is the first time she has crocheted anything besides long, long chains, so I am excited for her.

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Oops, it’s not quite her first non-chain project.  A few minutes ago, she already finished a bracelet using polyester satin cord.  The cord was nice for her to use because she didn’t have to deal with shredding her yarn.  I remember learning to crochet many, many, many years ago.  I shredded a lot of yarn, and I remember lots of sweaty, dirty, knotty messes.  Wherever my daughter gets her ways, she seems to have missed the messy yarn gene!

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Almost done…

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She rocked it!

More of those crochet basket bowls, DIY fabric yarn tutorial

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I have been knocking together a few more of those baskets.  Sometimes I make them into bowls.  It’s a great way to use up my knit fabric stash, and they make nice gifts.

I found the pattern that got me started.  It’s here on Ravelry.

I make my own yarn out of knit fabric.  I don’t remember how I learned to make it, so I’ll just show you what I do.

First I dig out a piece of knit fabric.  I sometimes use funny-looking polyester knits from way back when.  This light blue is a great example of that.

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Sometimes I get lucky and have a piece of fabric that’s in a tube.  Other times I sew it together.  I sewed this one.  It has a sort of basketweave patchwork pattern knit right into the fabric.  Somehow I got a little goofy about that, and I felt like I needed to match the pattern when I sewed it.  Of course the fabric was cut crooked when I got it.  I would have evened that out anyway, but I went a bit overboard with the matching because of the pattern.  That’s just me though.

Instead of a regular seam, I overlapped the fabric to sew it.  It just seemed (seamed, get it?  Get it?) smoother to me for when I crocheted later.  That’s probably not important.  It is important to use a stitch for knits, because a plain straight stitch could come unraveled when you cut through the seam.  And then your yarn comes undone, which is a pain.

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Then I laid the fabric on the mat and used my 2 inch ruler to cut it into strips.  The seam I made is along the left edge.  I know it looks funny.  I turned the photo so that it was consistent with the photo above so you could figure out what I was doing.

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I cut strips across the fabric, leaving about 2 or 3 inches uncut on that left edge near the seam.

Did it bother me that the pattern in the fabric was just a little under 2 inches?  No silly, of course not.  Not much.  Just a little bit.  But I got over it because I am a grownup.

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Then I turned it and sort of opened it up.  This is what it looked like.  Like a monster with lots of arms. Arms that are loops.  It looked weird, but that’s normal.

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Then I started cutting.  I made diagonals from the top of the strip on the right to the bottom of the strip on the left.  I did that all the way up the fabric.

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See?  Like this.

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It got to be a massive amount!

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If I use more cottony fabrics, when I stretch the strips, they roll into that nice t-shirt yarn you see all over the place.  Not so with this polyester.  That’s OK.  It just makes bulky yarn.  I rolled it into a giant ball.  Sorry, I don’t have a photo of that.

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I got out my enormous crochet hook.  I bought it at a thrift store and it doesn’t have a size on it.  It’s about as thick as one of my fingers.

And then I crocheted this bowl.  Fun, huh?

As soon as I finished the bowl, I spilled my coffee all over it.  I tossed it in the washing machine and dryer, and it came out great.  Ahhhh, polyester!

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Here’s one in a very soft pink.  I used a thin cottony knit fabric like a thin t-shirt.  I cut 1 inch strips instead of the thicker ones for the blue bowl above.

Some people make their yarn without a seam even if they don’t start with a tube.  They cut the fabric differently.  I’m lazy, so I do it the lazy way.

You can use almost any kind of fabric to make yarn like this.  Knits are nice because the edges don’t come unraveled like most woven fabrics do.  If you’ve got one of those knit bed sheets and someone’s giant scraggly toenails poked a hole in it, you can cut it up and make yarn.  Wash it first, for pity’s sake!  Lots of people make yarn like this out of old t-shirts too.

Thanks for looking!

Another gift bag – much easier than it looks!

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Perfect for shipping a pattern!

It was a tiny bit more work than my usual bags, which is still not much work at all.

I started out with a crib sized dust ruffle.  If I had used the hem for the top of the bag like I usually do, it would have been upside down.  So I had to roll a little hem.  SIGH, so much work, work, work.  It took about 4 minutes to hem 10 bags.  I did the hem before I cut the bags apart.  🙂

I also had to cut off a row of wide white rick rack at the bottom of the bag, which made me a little bit sad.  But the dust ruffle had been washed and dried, and the rick rack had shrunk and it just wasn’t adorbs anymore, so it had to go.  Okay, okay, it also looked like a dog or cat had chewed on part of it, so it really had to go.

I love that I was able to make a bunch of people smile with something that could have ended in the trash!

Here are a couple more recent gift bags:

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Sorry I haven’t posted.  I’ve been busy, which I know is no real excuse, but there it is.

My mom came to visit, which was awesome.  When we were driving her from the airport to our house, we had a tire blow out on a big huge bridge.  We managed to pull over safely and conveniently at Sonic.  Nobody screamed or cussed out loud.  Except for maybe the tow guy who changed our tire for us, but if he screamed and/or cussed out loud, it was after he left and we didn’t hear him.  He might have screamed and/or cussed out loud because we had a toilet there on the curb at Sonic.  I took the toilet out of the back of the van to get out the spare.  Then I realized the spare was not in back – that was our old van.  So I just looked like an idiot with a toilet sitting on the curb at Sonic.  Nobody tried to use the toilet, so I’ll count the whole event as a big, huge win.  Why did I tell you all of this?

Big Basket for the Hubster

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I found a couple of yards of royal blue knit fabric at a thrift store.  Hey, that’s one of Glen’s school colors!

I’ve seen baskets like these all over the place on Pinterest.  I tried to follow one of the patterns, but it didn’t work for me.  I think my fabric yarn ended up being thicker than the stuff the pattern designers used, because when I tried to crochet the bottom, it turned out all ruffly.  So I ripped that out and went freestyle.

I used double crochet instead of single crochet, and I increased my stitches more slowly too when I was making the bottom of the basket.  I had a few false starts, but I eventually got the hang of it.

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I kept going until I ran out of the blue fabric yarn, and then I destashed some white polyester knit and made that into yarn too.  I just barely had enough to make the basket.

The basket is pretty good sized – about a foot in diameter.

He’s not sure what he’s going to do with it.  The kids had several suggestions.  My favorite was that he could put it on his desk like a tip jar.  He could seed the basket with a little of his own money to get people started.  Maybe even a $5 bill to offer a subtle suggestion.  Do professors get tips??  Where do my kids get these ideas??

Speaking of my one-and-only, here’s what he’s been up to lately.  And here.  Here too.  It’s giving him gray hair!