The Finishing Touch

Remember my mesh t-shirt I made a while back? Well, I wore it once and then tossed it in my repair bin. Not because it fell apart when I washed it, but because I didn’t like the way the bottom looked.

It was constantly riding up as I wore the shirt, plus it just looked unfinished as a raw edge:

So I decided to do something about it. I picked up stitches across the bottom at a ratio of 4 in every large space (I think it’s a chain 3 space?) and 1 in each small space (between two single crochet stitches).

Then I knit that in a 2×2 rib on size 4 needles for about an inch, bound off with Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off, and wove in the ends. Basically a 30-minute project that gives the piece the finished look it was missing.

Being 100% cotton yarn, the ribbing doesn’t actually hold anything in place. The extra inch seems to help in not feeling like the shirt is riding up all the time, though. Or perhaps that is thanks to the jeans I was wearing holding onto the new waistband. Either way, I’m liking the shirt much better now. Amazing how much difference something so small can make.

Am I Making This Easier?

I’m currently using my “both sides at once” technique to make three scarves at a time. Because, in my brain, I’m only having to do the row once, rather than doing it six separate times.

Not only does this lead to very full needles, but things can get a little messy. Try as I might to keep the strings nice and untangled, like this:

it usually looks like this in a matter of minutes:

Which means I am having to stop and untangle them every few rows just to keep going. I’m probably not helping myself as much as I think I am by doing this. In fact, I know I’m not. But I have the delusion that this is making me be able to get everything done quicker. So I’m going to keep believing it wouldn’t just be faster to do this one at a time. Even though it most likely would.

Yummy DIY: Rugrats Bouncy Ball Cookies

After watching this Nerdy Nummies episode, I have been determined to make Lego Piñata cookies.

Unfortunately, I’ve been having a ridiculous time trying to find rectangular shaped cookie cutters. They were completely sold out at Michael’s this morning, so I finally just let the baby decide what shape our cookies were going to be and what shape we should put on top. He picked circles for the main cookie and stars for the topper, so what popped into my mind was Tommy’s bouncy ball:

I still made all four colors of the cookies:

(See, I’m even watching the Nerdy Nummies playlist in the background.)

And I set the out in groups so I could alternate the colors.

Unlike the original ball, I tried not to repeat any colors in each cookie. Due to my inability to divide the dough correctly, I ended up with three cookies worth of blue and yellow, but only two cookies worth of red and green. So some colors got repeated.

The filling suggested in the video is mini M&Ms, but we found candy covered sunflower seeds to go in the centers of these instead. I just didn’t take any pictures of that part.

The two cookie cutters I used to make the center cookies were really close in size, so the center rings were a bit flimsy:

(Hey, is that the O from the Nickel-O-Zone? Anyone else even remember that? Just me? Yeah, pretty sure that’s just me.)

To fix them a bit, I put the cookie cutter onto the baking sheet and sort of pressed the O back into the right shape so it would fit well in the middle.

I don’t know that any of the kids I’m feeding these cookies to would get the reference if I explained it to them, but I’m sure there have to be at least a few people out there who still get it. 🙂

DIY Birthday Present: CD With Label and Sleeve

Home-made gifts are always the best, right? I had a flash of brilliance when the four-year-old went on a field trip to the recording studio. (Side note: Where were these awesome field trips when I was in school? Pretty sure we took the same trip to the zoo on the same day every year as our field trips. With the occasional trip to the botanical gardens thrown in every few years.) He was slightly disappointed because he wouldn’t be able to sing “Rainbow Connection” during the class recording session because it was too long. So I made a mental note to revisit that idea for his mom’s birthday.

I got a lucky break when they went out of town on a surprise trip last week and we had four days to record. But even if you don’t have the equipment (or desire) to record the recipient’s favorite songs, you can still make a mix CD. Yes, I said CD. I know you can just email them a playlist, but isn’t it more fun to give a physical gift? That said, you know your own friends and relatives and you know who will just give you a funny look as if they don’t remember how we purchased music before smartphones.

I’ll leave you on your own for the burning of the CD, since every computer and system and program handles that differently. But I don have a few tips to make it even more personal:

1. Make a paper sleeve.

There are all kinds of tutorials for all different kinds of paper sleeves, but I used this one to make a sleeve similar to ones I’ve bought CDs in at the store. That gave me more room to add things like pictures of the kids recording, a track list, “liner notes”, etc. It’s got a space for the CD and a flap that folds over. I used Photoshop to create the case, using the downloads from the tutorial as guidelines. To keep the finished product free of lines, I made the template “layer 1” and just set it to invisible before printing on cardstock, then printed the templates out on plain paper and used them as cutting guides.I also made two of the folded cover, one to be the inside and one to be the outside.

2. Create your own cover art.

I tasked the four-year-old with coloring a picture to be the front of the CD cover, scanned that picture in, then resized it into the outer cover layer. You can also just take a picture and use it the same way.

3. Make a label.

I just grabbed a pack of Memorex CD Labels which have two labels per page, plus jewel case labels and downloaded this Illustrator template which I used in a manner similar to the CD case templates, except I didn’t have to print a copy of the template since it printed directly on the labels.

There you have it: Three easy steps to a one-of-a-kind (or however many you want) birthday gift. Or graduation gift. Or Mother’s Day (which is Sunday!) gift. Or…you get the picture. Have fun with it. Be creative. Especially if you are giving a mom a CD of her children singing her songs. She will love it. And possibly cry.