Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas gifts I made - wreath ornaments

These were not only a great way to get rid of small scraps, but my son made some with me, so I loved making these! Jack made 3, one for each of his 2 teachers, and one he kept for himself. He got such a kick out of "sewing" these himself with a real needle, and he picked out each piece himself. I had to tie them in a circle for him & add the hanging loops, but he strung them all himself! I am kicking myself for not getting a picture of the ones he made for his teachers, but the orange & red one below is the one he made for himself with his favorite colors :)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas gifts I made, elf slippers

I posted the tutorial for this in November here, thanks to to the Mayamade blog. These are adorable! I made a pair for my son out of soft merino & cashmere for the, now traditional, elf picture for our Christmas card. They are adorable, but they slip off his feet when he walks in them. In in "secret Santa" I did with friends, I drew a friend's baby, so I was excited to make him a pair out of cashmere! On those I tweaked the pattern by curving in the pattern by the ankle. I am happy to report that they don't fall off after doing that! I will have to go back & fix Jack's next time I have my sewing machine out. I sewed pieces of non-slip on the bottoms from the stuff you put under a rug. The adorable elf is my son, and the "baby" is his old doll, Soupy, modeling the baby cashmere ones. They are much cuter in real life!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas gifts I made - trivets

These are simple to make & a very practical gift! I use mine every day. Since wool is insulated, the heat doesn't come through. One of my favorite uses for these is holding a hot bowl of soup on my lap while on the computer or couch without having to worry about getting burned. I used a pie tin as a template for the circles, and pinking shears to cut, then sewed them together, & added a loop for hanging up.

Obviously these are not trivets, but I wanted to sneak it in somewhere. I made this hat & mittens set for a friend's baby that just turned one. I was really happy at how it turned out.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas gifts I made, dryer balls

Wool dryer balls rock! I have several, and love them. Those awful PVC dryer balls they sell on tv are toxic, noisy, and tear up your clothes. Wool dryer balls are quiet, natural, gently soften your clothes, reduce static, and cut down on drying time. You save money by not having to buy laundry softener, and cutting down on dry time reduces energy!

I have great admiration for those that make large quantities of dryer balls! These hurt the joints in my fingers, & I had to keep taking breaks with each one, but I liked the way they came out, so I pressed on! I used strips of wool scraps, and wound them tightly into a ball, overlapping them as I went along to keep them in place, and stuck a pin in it to save my place whenever my fingers got tired. I learned that using chunky knits bulk up your ball fast, then using merino scraps at the end helps smooth out your ball for a perfect circle. For the covers, I used this pattern I found online, but tapered the ends a bit more. Since these turned out heavy & huge (about the size of a small grapefruit), and required so much work, I gave them individually instead of in pairs. I was pretty happy with how these turned out. The only problem with these is that a couple of friends reported that their kids claimed them as "my ball!", and they are unable to try them out in the dryer yet ;)

Since I had questions on these, I am adding this picture of some "naked" dryer balls that i'm working on. These are just waiting for covers. After I wind the scraps tightly I loosely baste stitch around them, so they don't unravel. This is what they look like, patiently waiting for their new outfits :)

ETA again: FYI... the tighter they are, the heavier they are, and the heavier they are, the better they work. For a reference, my dryer balls weigh over 8 oz. each. They may seem hard at first, but when you run them through a wash/dry, they become a tad squishier. Mine are so tight that they can bounce!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas gifts I made, tissue holders

These were a cute & simple practical gift. You know how those tissue packs get full of lint & fall apart in your purse? With these they don't! Mine is always in my purse. I saw the idea for it in a felt craft book (thanks for letting me borrow it Nata-Leigh!), which by the way, anything you can make with craft felt you can make with recycled wool! It was a simple rectangle of wool that overlaps a little. I liked using the hem of the sweater for the outside edge for a finished look. The pictures make them look unsymmetrical, but they look fine in real life.

The flower one looks wonky because I forgot to throw a tissue pack in it when I took the picture.

another no sweater Sunday

Sorry guys, but i'm having some allergy issues, and we got a foot of snow last night, so I will not be sweatering today.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Anyone want tiny wool/wool blend scraps of every color?

I use a lot of my scraps for projects, but I have way too many! Can anyone use these? Just pay for shipping & they are yours! Please note that these are tiny scraps (see pic for example)... I use 1" squares for ornaments, so most of this is smaller than that. If there is a lot of interest I can split it up.... I have a lot! I have several gallon sized baggies full. Just post to comments here or email me (krisnstevep at netzero dot com) if interested!

Christmas gifts I made, mittens

I'm going to take it easy this week, and just blog the things I made for Christmas presents, now that everyone has them. I will be adding a few things that I never had time to upload to my secret album too. Some of these ended up as birthday presents, since 3 of my friends have December birthdays, and the rest were Christmas gifts. They are not as wonky looking in real life as they look in these pics. To make these, I used this pattern I found online, but I cut the pattern off where the dotted lines are & added the sweater's cuffs in it's place. I made a pair for myself (pictured above) with cashmere & lambswool, and love them! They are super warm, and very water resistant, but I will lanolize (add lanolin to add water resistant properties back into them) them as well. One thing I really love about them, is that wool & cashmere is breathable, so I don't get sweaty or over warm hands in them. I hope my family & friends love theirs as much as I love mine!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Resweater Christmas card
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Merry Christmas, everyone!!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I used to pick, and the giveaway winner is......

.... Tricia! Tricia, please email me (krisnstevep at netzero dot com), so I can send the vintage knitting books to you! Congratulations!

For those of you that didn't win, have no fear... i'll be having more giveaways after the holidays!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


So i've given you plenty of ideas for Christmas presents, but what about a New Year's hostess gift? A recycled wool wine bag is the perfect thing! Catfluff's Artfire studio also makes adorable recycled wool kitties.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Nancy's Gone Green!

I stumbled upon this online store, Nancy's Gone Green!, and i'm glad I did! Their Re:awakened line is all recycled wool & recycled cashmere. I am in love with those cashmere hats. That has got to feel so decadent! Even their description is cute..."Put it on, adjust the folds "just so" and everyone will ask "Have you gone to Paris?" ".