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:
Materials:
Worsted weight yarn
Size 7 (4.5mm) knitting needles
Scissors
Yarn Needle
Instructions:
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.

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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.

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.

Bathroom Caddies

I have a lot of toiletries. Lotions, toners, toothpastes, etc. And I use something different at night than in the morning. Sharing a bathroom with a little one who still puts everything from the floor directly into his mouth, I can’t exactly leave these things in the cabinets because that would put them directly at his level and I’d find him drinking lotion at some point, I’m sure.

That lead me to the solution of keeping everything on a shelf in my closet out of reach of tiny hands. But, I needed an easier way to transport everything back and forth without dropping something in the hallway and waking little bear up right after he goes to sleep.

Tada! Bathroom caddies. Nesting bathroom caddies, in fact. See, I started with a nice little roll for my toothbrush, toothpaste, and flosser:

Created a slightly large holder with handle for my facewashing things for the morning:

Then made a rectangular box with handles at each side to hold everything together:

Now I just take out the parts I need and have a handy little way to carry it all back and forth. The morning one worked really well today. Plus, they hold all my stuff on the shelf very nicely, even when it refuses to stand up.

Pretty Little Butterfly (A Review)

I had seen a bit about needle felting before, but this video from Bubzbeauty got me really interested. (In fact, I think her Totoro design is going to be the first 3D piece I try next.) I was wandering the aisles of Michael’s with a 50% off coupon one day and saw the Dimensions Feltworks Butterfly “learn needle felting kit”.

The kit comes with pre-printed felt, two colors of roving (unspun wool), yarn and embroidery thread, felting and embroidery needles. The first thing I would suggest is to get something better than the foam block included with the kit to felt on. The foam deflates very quickly, especially as much as you have to stab the needle into the felt to get it to hold. You can buy a special “felting mat”, but I went with a plastic-bristled scrub brush from the cleaning supplies aisle at Target.

The felting instructions are really easy to understand, as are the instructions on how to create the butterfly and use the finished butterfly. The embroidery instructions may be a little difficult to understand if you have never done embroidery before, but there are always great instruction videos on YouTube. All in all, this is a great little kit to get started felting, and a great project for beginning felters. Plus, it’s an adorable butterfly. What more convincing do you need?

Another thing, besides the felting mat I mentioned before, that might make it easier to learn is the Clover Pen-Style Felting Tool. You can use 1, 2, or 3 needles at a time, and it extends to two different lengths. Let me tell you, three needles at a time makes the whole process go a lot faster, at least when you are working flat.

Works in Progress

I usually write about my projects once I’ve finished them, but I constantly have many different things going at once. Kind of a creativity ADD, if you will. At the moment I have three different things on the needles, plus a sewing project in the “pile of fabric stage”, and some painting projects in various stages of completion/planning.

My carry-along project this week is the same one I was working on at the Hollywood Bowl. I’ve been naming this series of Earlybirds after appropriately colored birds, but I can’t think of a purple bird name. Any ideas?

My big project for this month is this little guy, a panda bear lovie for a certain Little Bear’s birthday on Labor Day. I’m just about an inch from the halfway point, where I will be able to start decreasing to make it go faster again. Don’t worry, once I’ve finished the body this little guy is getting black eyes and a nose.

Remember how I said I was going to remake these bags from the Hollywood Bowl night? They are currently my fabric pile. I’m also going to make some snack-sized bags to go along with them. If you want a tutorial to make your own, I got my general idea from this site. I made my own pattern based on the measurements listed on my plastic bags in the kitchen, though.

There are a few other things lying around my room that I am not currently actively working on, but I think this is going to keep me busy at least for this week.

Moving Right Along

I may be slightly behind on my 400 Stitches in 60 days project, but I am still clipping along at a fairly good pace. In 29 days I;ve finished 89 swatches. I may need to speed it up a bit.

Luckily, I got myself a yarn ball winder to make flat-bottomed, center-pull balls out of my yarn skeins and hand-wound balls. Much easier to deal with the yarn in this configuration. Also, way too much fun. So much fun that, when I mess up on a swatch or get a few done from a ball, I’ve been rewinding the yarn a few times.

Speaking of the yarn, I am really burning through the stash well. I have used up six colors so far in this project. According to the estimation on my Ravelry project page (which currently shows two extra colors of yarn I just wound and tossed in the basket today for the next swatches) I have used 1,628.9 yards of yarn already.

If you would like to see pictures of every swatch (because, like me, you have no real life), you can find them in this G+ album that gets updated almost every time I finish a color:

400 Stitches

You can also always see my progress on my project page on Ravelry. I’m also going to put a little bar right over in the side to keep track of swatches numerically. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go cast on another swatch to catch up.