Thursday, January 19, 2012

Acrylic vs cotton, dish cloths

I've talked before about acrylic dish cloths versus cotton but I was doing some research yesterday on tawashi patterns and one of the things I found was that with acrylic yarn, some people weren't using detergent to wash their dishes with! Now, I will always use some kind of detergent, but wondered why they said that. Not much was said on it, but something along the lines that the acrylic could cut the grease on the food without any soap being used. I have found that I don't need to use as much when I wash with acrylic dish cloths...

I know some people have trouble with their dish cloths going sour, and if that's the case, try using a larger needle. I've heard that if the dish cloth is having trouble drying then it gets that sour smell. I try to stay away from knitting super tight weaved dish cloths because of this.

The nice thing about using acrylic yarn is that your cost is low.

For the pattern to the "easy wash cloth" I've mentioned before click here. It's fun to make but I've found that it's hard to remember what row you're on. (at least it is for me) So, keep track. I always try to end with either 3 or 4 and start with 1 and 2. Or vice versa.

This weekend if I can find my size "J" hook, I plan to crochet up some hats, try some new tawashi patterns, and possibly knit some dish cloths. Oh, and learn to crochet a rose.

until next time!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

How to make a knitted cell phone pouch with drawstring

I just realized I never posted the pattern for the knitted cell phone drawstring pouch that I made awhile back. Instead of using size 4 needles, I used size 8's. It worked out so much quicker!

I casted on 30 stitches using double pointed needles.
I knit around for 1 1/2 inches. Then, I made an eyelet row which worked out nicer than just poking the chain aimlessly whichever way. I did this by knitting one, then doing a yarn over and then knitting two stitches together. I did this all the way around then knit it the rest of the way in stockinette stitch (knit each round) until it was the desired size. Then, I just did the three needle bind off.

Heart knit dish cloth patterns

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, I thought I'd knit up some heart themed dish cloths.

Here are some links to share for making your own dish cloths:


Lattice Hearts
X's and O's
Quilted Hearts
Valentine Dish cloth

Topsy Turvy Hearts
Knitted "Love"
Scroll down to see February 2007

If you make any cloths, using their patterns, be sure to send them a photo of the finished cloth. I'm sure they would love to see it!

I made this one this one and this one from my Leisure Arts Booklet Dish cloths from the Heart!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

How to sew a crochet hook case

Before I got my new sewing machine, all I could think about was all the things I couldn't wait to make. A handy crochet hook case was one of those things. But after I got my machine, I worried that I wouldn't be able to make one. I don't know why. I made two crayon rolls for my niece and nephew that turned out fine. 

So, this morning after a nice big cup of coffee, I grabbed my courage and some flannel lined pants that I was saving for a craft and began cutting. I cut along the seam of one of the legs all the way up to the top. 

Then, I grabbed my iron and ironed both sides. I had hoped that the flannel wasn't sewn or glued to the pants. It wasn't. The only thing was that it was all wrinkled and uneven, so I just ironed both pieces.

I really didn't have any idea how long I wanted it. I poured over SO many patterns that all were different yet the said the same thing. Which I found frustrating and stressful. So, I just made up my own pattern as I went along. 

My crochet hooks were about six inches long and I wanted the pockets to be deep and narrow.

I cut out 2 pieces that measured 9 by 13 inches in the khaki material. Then, I cut out a piece of flannel that was 10 by 13. I wanted the material to be tall enough to be able to fold down to secure the hooks. I noticed when I made the crayon rolls that they had to be carried just a certain way or else the crayons slid right out of the pockets, even with it tied. 

I cut out a piece of material 4 by 19 inches long for the ties.  I sewed it with the right sides facing together and left an opening on one end. Turned it inside out. Pressed it with the iron and folding the insides together, I sewed it down and around the edges to make it lay flat. I ended up with 2 inch wide ties and about 18 inches long. (Only, if I could do it again, I would make it at least 25 inches long to begin with!)

What I liked about the flannel is that I didn't have to mark any lines. I just used the lines of the flannel as guidelines which worked out great!

I folded the flannel piece in half (10 by 13) and laid the material with the fold side on top and the raw edges at the bottom and laid it on the khaki colored piece with the right side showing. Then, I sewed the pockets based on the size hooks I had. I mainly use my hooks: "G", "H" and "I", but wanted to store my larger size needles too.

For the "G", "H" and "J" hooks, I sewed the pockets 3/4 inch wide. I didn't want them all the same size though you can make them however large you want. Then, for the "J"- "N" size, I made the pockets 1 inch wide. For the "P"- 1 1/8 inch wide and the "Q"- 1 1/2 inches wide.

I didn't start sewing the first pocket right along the edge because I would be turning it inside out. See note on picture to where I sewed the first pocket. I would say it measured about an inch from the edge. I hadn't planned on using the first pocket as a real pocket but found it held my size "D" hook nicely. -I didn't even know I had a "D" hook! lol

After I sewed the pockets and made sure to back stitch at the top of the pocket on each one, I positioned my ties to sew on. I wanted to measure where the ties would be AFTER the flap was folded down. There was about 2 3/4 inches on either side. 

This picture actually shows the ties in place before the pockets were sewn, but I forgot to snap a picture afterwards. 

Then, I took my other piece of khaki material and with right sides facing together, I sewed a 1/4 inch seam along the edge all the way around and left a 3 inch hole at the top to turn it inside out.

Turning it inside out and making sure that all the stitching was secure. I folded the ends on the top piece and then top stitched it about 1/4 inches around. I was worried that my machine couldn't handle the thickness and might break a needle but I had no problem whatsoever with it. 

Lastly, I just trimmed all my stitches.

Finished it measures 8 1/2 by 12 1/2. 

It holds 10 of my most used hooks.

Ready to go!

By the way, I learned that my larger sized hook,  "Q" did not fit in there, but that's okay! 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Kids Earflap Hat pictures

Here are some photos I took of the kids wearing their new hats:

(Teaching her to make a crochet flower)

better a little big than too small. :-)

I'm glad they all fit. (for the most part! lol)

Friday, January 13, 2012

How to crochet a flower

I got five of the hats done today and just have one more left to go. I'll take some photos of the hats tomorrow. On the last hat that I made I wanted to do a flower but wanted it to look a little different than the other ones.

So, here's what I did: I started out making the flower like on a blog I read, but then changed it a little.

I did the magic ring method, which I LOVE by the way!! If you don't know how to do it, learn. You'll be glad you did. Perhaps, I will try to do a video tutorial on the method. Anyways, after you do the magic ring method, chain 3 and put 11 double crochets in ring. Pull tight. Slip stitch to top of chain of chain 3.

Then, chain six, skip one space, and slip stitch in next double crochet. Repeat around finishing in base of original chain six.

Now, that you've got all the loops done, on the first chain loop, put a single crochet on loop, followed by 6 double crochets, then a single crochet. Move to the next loop. (don't slip stitch in between, just move on to the next loop. Go all the way around doing the same for each loop and when you get done slip stitch at the end. Leave a long tail for sewing on and you're done!

I used some Plymouth Encore for this hat as well, but it's not the same as the other colors. At first, I didn't like it as much. The colors are pastel instead of the rich colors of the other hats, but I do like how it turned out. I'm only wondering if I can find more of this pretty yarn!

I'm anxious to finish the last hat and hopefully my friend can come let the kids try the hats on soon. I'm going to be so disappointed if they don't fit, but there is no reason why they shouldn't. My gauge is what it should be and they look the right size.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sewing a soap saver

When I was a kid, one of the things I remember about bath time was that we had a special wash cloth with a pocket. I don't know where it came from or if my mom made it or what, but we only had one. And of course that meant, my sister and I fought over who got to use it.

With the pocket, we could put a bar of soap in it and not have to worry about dropping the bar. It made the soap lather up nicely too.

I've crocheted and knitted soap savers, but never thought about sewing one until now. I'm not even sure what reminded me of that old brown wash cloth with the pocket but, now that I have a sewing machine I'm going to have to make one. I may even sew a brown one! :-)

I thought about sewing a plain old boring one but then found this great tutorial to sew for kids!

Here is a plain style one for adults. It is made from a wash cloth folded over. Easy peasy!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

How to make clove tea

"First let me say I am not a doctor. I am just saying what works for me. You may have different results."

Almost a year ago, I mentioned drinking clove tea and how I got immediate results with a cup of warm clove tea. I don't know that I've ever mentioned how I make a cup, so here's how.

You'll need whole cloves.

You take ONLY 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of the clove buds and simmer them in a cup of water for about 10 minutes in a covered pot. It won't look really dark, but that's normal. The cover on the pot is to protect the good oils from evaporating more than necessary. You can even save the clove buds for another cup of tea. They're pretty potent little things! You can sweeten the tea with a little honey, vanilla or milk if you want. But if you're sick with a cold the last thing you want is to drink some milk or dairy products. I found it only creates more mucus to have to deal with.

If you simmer it for longer than 10 minutes, it will be pretty strong and numbing. Yes, that's right. It might tingle your tongue a little and make it go numb. Again, that's normal.

That's one of the main reasons I drink clove tea when I'm sick. It numbs the pain in my throat and makes me feel better. Breathing in the steam from my cup helps relieve sinus pressure and sometimes I don't even drink the tea if it's just my sinuses bothering me. I'll just leave the tea in the pot cover my head with a towel and breathe in the steam. Ahhh! relief.

I found this awesome facial massage video and combined with the clove tea spells relief. The self massage is so easy to do and I can instantly feel a difference while I'm doing it!

Clove tea also helps me relax before bedtime. It has a calming effect so that especially when I'm sick, my body can relax and thus heal faster.

Clove tea also helps break up mucus and helps you cough it out.

I learned all about the benefits of clove tea plus so much more in this book. I recommend it! I will say I have not tried Chaparral or some of the other herbs mentioned but just stuck with the herbs found in my cupboard and local grocery store.

Peppermint, onion, cayenne, ginger, clove and garlic. With just these herbs I have found plenty of help!

happy reading!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

And the winner is...

I had one person enter who did not leave me any contact information, so I did not include them in the drawing.

And the winner is....

Drum roll, please...

Jen said...

I am in! I tried to win from her, lol! I would want #2 and either spearmint or patchouli. Thanks!
I have your contact info already. Let me know which soap scent you want, unless you want me to pick and I'll mail it out on Tuesday.


Cell phone zippered pouches

Last week a friend asked me to sew her a cell phone holder that she wanted to give to a friend. So I took out my supplies and started to d...