Posted in Afghans, Blankets, Blocks, Crafting, Dishcloth/Washcloth, Embroidery, Fair Isle, Intarsia, Kal, Knitting, Lace, Shawls, Squares, Stitch Patterns, Stranded, sweaters, Winter, WIPS

WIP Wednesday – Progress Report

It’s WIP Wednesday and I figured I should give a bit of a progress report. First, Blocks for the “Beat the Winter Blues” KAL. 10 finished blocks (4 sewn together) and 2 blocks partially finished. Including the Block Challenge #5, snowflake block on the needles at the bottom of the picture. I’m really happy with this block as I’ve had a bit of problems with Intarsia before. It seems to be working much better for me on this block. YAY!!!

Making pretty good progress on the Grand Forks Cardigan. Still miles and miles of stockinette to go….

Also, making good progress on the Spring KAL shawl. I think this will be a fun knit for Spring. If knitting shawls or lace appeals to you, be sure to clear your WIPs and make room for a little shawl knitting!

Finally, is my latest distraction. I found a fun “new to me” embroidery project, while wandering the aisles of my local JoAnn’s store. It’s called Zenbroidery , and it is a stamped design similar to an adult coloring book. You add embroidery stitches in any color you wish (you can also embellish with beads and sequins if you like). I had forgotten how much I enjoyed embroidery! Well, that’s the progress report for now. How are your projects coming along?

Happy crafting!

Lori

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Posted in Crafting, FALL!, Melt & Pour, Pumpkin Spice, Soap, Tutorials

Tutorial Tuesday – Pumpkin Spice Latte Soap

Fall is the perfect time to start thinking about gift giving. Handmade soap is a perfect last-minute gift idea, because, other than waiting for the soap to dry, it takes like 5-minutes to melt, mix and pour into your molds! I had been seeing lots of Pumpkin Spice soap ideas, but decided to add coffee grounds since they make a nice exfoliant.

Just so you know, I’ve only ever made “Melt & Pour Soap”. I just don’t trust myself to venture into the whole “Lye Soap” thing. I’m not really a rule follower. I feel like that might be bad when dealing with lye. Not to say that I don’t read Lye Soap articles/recipes…..I just haven’t convinced myself that I won’t “blow up my house” or “have a serious injury” yet. Maybe someday. For now, I’ll stick with “Melt & Pour”….

Pumpkin Spice Latte Soap:

Materials:

(I got mine at Michaels crafts, but there are online sources as well)

  1. 1/2 lb. Melt-able soap base (goat’s milk or Shea butter)
  2. Soap colorant….a couple drops each of orange and gold (or any color or combination of colors to get you to a tan color)
  3. 1 tsp. pumpkin spice
  4. 1 tsp. dried, used coffee grounds
  5. Soap fragrance….a couple drops of Vanilla (or any other coffee fragrance desired)

And. Soap molds….Aren’t these honeybee molds ADORABLE?!?! (….and, you’re not limited to just soap molds either, those silicone candy and baking molds work great too!)

Directions:

A few days before I was ready to make my soap, I dried some used coffee grounds on a parchment lined cookie sheet on the counter. It’s better to use dried, used coffee grounds. That way the oils aren’t too potent…..

Cut 1/2 lb.  of your soap base into cubes for easier melting. Put your soap base cubes into a microwaveable container and microwave for 1 minute until it’s smooth and pourable. If it’s not smooth, continue microwaving with 10 second intervals until it is. (If you prefer, you could also melt your soap base on the stovetop)

Working quickly (Your soap base will start hardening fairly quickly), add: Pumpkin Pie Spice, Dried coffee grounds, soap fragrance and colorant. Stir until smooth. Pour into your molds, tap lightly to settle soap, then let set a MINIMUM of 40 minutes. The longer the better though….I usually let mine set overnight.

Gently unmold your soap….

Grab a cup of coffee or tea and sit back and admire your handiwork for a moment or two! 😉 Then wrap your finished soap in some pretty fabric or paper (maybe even a pretty washcloth….) and tie with some raffia or twine all ready for gift giving!

Happy Soap Making!

Lori

 

 

Posted in Crafting, Tutorials, YARN!!!

Tutorial Tuesday – Large Pompom

Knitting up Fall and Winter hats? Here’s an easy tutorial to make those Large Pompoms you see on hats! It’s a generous 4″ diameter size. Let’s get started!

Start by making a cardboard pompom form. Cut a 6″x7″ rectangle from heavy cardboard. Cut a 1″x4″ slot from the middle of the rectangle.

Wrap yarn approximately 70-80 times around the form (be sure to stay below the top of your “slot”).

TIGHTLY tie a piece of yarn (I used about 12″ long) in the center of  your yarn wraps.

Cut yarn along each side of your form.

Fluff out your pompom. I do this by holding your center tied “tail” and shaking it several times.

Gather the pompom into your hand (don’t you wish someone could take a good picture of their hand…..) and trim. Fluff it out again and continue trimming until it looks even.

Whoohoo! You’re done! Use the center tied “tails” to sew your pompom onto your hat.

Happy Crafting!

Lori

Posted in Crafting, Crochet, Knitting, Valentine's Day, WIPS

Crafting for Valentine’s Day

While looking for buttons for a current project, Inspiration hit! Do you see it?

How about now?

I don’t even remember why I bought this package of heart buttons, but it occurred to me, I should maybe use some of them! I’ve been on a Valentine’s Day Pinterest search lately…..and there are some CUTE Crafty ideas out there! Want to see some of what I’ve found? My Valentine’s Day Board has lots of fun ideas! I can hardly wait to try some of these ideas out!

Yes folks, that’s how it happens…..sweater distraction!