Sleep Deprived

Or, the laziest DIY Friday to date. Because a button sewing tutorial wasn’t lazy enough.

I have been awake pretty much since yesterday morning. Because my brain likes to sabotage my sleep when I have to be awake early. I got a bit of sleep, but only in 30 minute spurts. I know because I woke up and checked the clock about every half hour last night.

I’ve also been slightly busy this week working on computer things in the afternoon and so I didn’t make the thing I’ve been somewhat planning to make this week.

I did make a coaster yesterday, but technically it is a swatch for a secret project so I can’t tell much about it. I can say I made it using Wool of the Andes Superwash that I got from KnitPicks when they were offering a free ball to try a few months back. The colorway is Noble Heather.

Here is the DIY portion of today’s ramble:

Basic Coaster:
Worsted weight yarn
Size 7 (4.5mm) knitting needles
Yarn Needle
Cast on 24 stitches.
Knit 4 rows.
W(rong) S(ide) row: K2, P20, K2
R(ight) S(ide) row: K24
Continue alternating WS and RS rows until piece measures 3.5 inches, ending with a WS row.
Knit 3 rows.
Bind off.
Cut yarn, weave in ends.

Very simple, no? I’ve decided I need to make a couple coasters to have around my room since I have a coffee maker next to the end of my bed. It makes it easy when I have to get up 30 minutes earlier than normal after having slept exactly none the night before.

DIY Friday: Replacing Buttons

To some, it may be a simple concept to replace buttons on bedding or clothes when they break or fall off. Others will use the item until all buttons are gone, and still others will pass on an item when it’s lost even one button. This afternoon I replaced all 12 buttons (some broken, some still fine, and some completely non-existent) on the bottom of the duvet cover on my bed. I could have just replaced the four missing buttons and waited until the rest of the buttons fall off, but I decided it would be better to have all the buttons matching.

Because it’s how I spent my afternoon and I want to get a little more practice at writing tutorials like this, I’m going to show you my method for replacing buttons.

First, you have to remove the old, broken, button. Simplest way is just to cut the string right between the button and the fabric:

Next, thread a needle and tie a knot in the end of the thread. Then place the button where you want it to go and bring the needle up from behind through one hole of the button:

Go down through the diagonal hole, then back up and down through the remaining two holes in the same manner (If you only have two holes, just continue in a circle between the two holes):

If the old button pulled through the fabric and left a hole, it may be helpful to put the needle back through the knot to secure the button the first time going to the back of the fabric:

Once you’ve gone through each of the holes three to four times, tie a knot at the back and you are finished.

Hopefully this is helpful. Let me know if anything is unclear. Also, what do you repair instead of giving or throwing away that others might just get rid of?

Bonus tip: Make sure you have fairly sturdy needles before sewing. It’s never a good thing to break a needle while you are hand sewing.

In fact, that was the first time I have ever broken a needle that wasn’t attached to a sewing machine.

DIY Friday: Halloween T-shirt

One of the little ones I watch is at the age where he is really starting to get into holidays and recognize their signs. This leads to a lot of, “I know why they have pumpkins/ghosts/skeletons. It’s almost Halloween!” every time we are out. Not just once a trip either, but every window or yard we pass that is decorated.

All this talk of pumpkins and Halloween gave me an idea:

Halloween T-shirts for both boys. And they were so fast to create, I thought I would share step-by-step instructions. Click here to download a PDF complete with templates to cut out the felt pieces.

All you need is a plain, dark t-shirt, some craft felt, embroidery thread, scissors, and a needle. If you know how to do a basic running stitch, you are good to go. If you don’t know, here is a good tutorial.

Let me know in the comments if there are any issues with the file. Also, leave a link in the comments below if you make one of these or tweet me pictures @caseykayb. I’d love to see your version.

P.S.: I’m thinking of starting a weekly series of posting either my own DIY tutorials or links to some I’ve found that I’ve done. If you have any suggestions of things I should check out, let me know!

It’s Easier Done Right

This message brought to you by Captain Obvious.

But seriously, sometimes you just have to make do with what you have at hand until you have time to get the actual things you need to do the project. That is why (after stringing 350 tiny beads only to find out the yarn was not exactly strong enough to hold them all being pushed along with each few stitches) I spent a week or so threading dental floss through individual stitches to thread a bead on each stitch of a project I can’t quite show yet considering it is a surprise Christmas gift. But I can show you the painstaking process in progress:

Annoying, but effective if you have floss lying around and not a tiny crochet hook. But I kept avoiding working on this project because, again, 350 beads plus having to go through that whole thing for each individual one equals not exactly fun. So I finally hoofed it on over to Michael’s (is it still hoofing it if you ride a bike? I have no clue), and got myself a size 12 crochet hook. Much better, much faster, much less frustrating.

I get the bead, make the stitch, and thread the bead all in one smooth motion. Definitely going to save my sanity on a project which actually has 700 beads. The 350 is just for this half.

Clothespin Mess

That’s what I had on my hands after using my new clothespins for the first time. They had been packed so nice and neatly in their plastic tray, and then I just didn’t feel like trying to stack them all back up.

Easiest solution? Throw them in a bag. Only problem was, I didn’t have a bag like that lying around. So I made one.

Basic instructions (I didn’t write down anything as I was doing it, so very minimal instructions) are on the Ravelry project page. It has a drawstring closure

and sits pretty well when it is full.

It was actually a pretty easy project to figure out in an afternoon, so hopefully my vague instructions aren’t too confusing.

A Minty Hat

Because doesn’t that pattern in those colors make you think of mint leaves?

This is the Zooey by Cassandra Dominick. I made it from doubled fingering weight superwash wool yarn I picked up in Paris this summer. I used US size 9 needles for the body and size 6 for the ribbing.

Okay, technical stuff out of the way, this hat was super easy and quick to knit. Also the yarn I used was super soft, so that’s a plus. I actually “turned the pattern around” by knitting from the top down because I wasn’t sure if I would have enough, but I only used one ball of the main color and about a fifth of the ball of each contrasting color. I’m thinking matching finger-less gloves out of single weight may be coming about soon. Well, soon-ish. I have a ton of other things in line in my mind before I can start yet another project.

Now I only have to wait another two months for it to be cold enough to wear this…