Sunday, June 29, 2008

How-To: No Sew Ottoman

Project 101

Learn upholstery 101 quick & easy. You'll need minimal experience (almost none!) Also a piece of Old furniture that has simple lines (we chose an ottomnan.) Enough fabric to cover the piece. Some talismans to enhance the ottoman. And a "staple gun."

Supplies:

  1. Ottoman (cushion needs to in good condition.)
  2. Fabric (Measure across and down in both directions. Fabric should be at least 6 inches wider & longer than ottoman total width and length.
  3. Staple gun & staples
  4. Corded tassel



Measure the ottoman in both directions.

Clean prior to covering to remove odors

Instructions:
Step One

  1. Start with a cleaned upholstered ottoman. (Note: ours even had an attached 4 inch cushion.)
  2. Lay fabric onto ground.
  3. Place ottoman upside down onto wrongside of fabric.

Step Two

  1. Find center of each side of ottoman bottom. Mark bottom of ottoman center with a small marker line.
  2. Find center of each side of fabric. Staple each center to match each center of ottoman. Staple. Pull tight and continue stapling remaining centers.
  3. Next staple each "short edge of ottoman only.


Staple short width sides only.

Pleat Corners & Pull tight Step Three


  1. Pleat excess fabric.
  2. Pull fabric toward center of long side of ottoman. Then pull the fabric back to edge to make straight pleat. Pull tight. Staple to hold in place.
  3. Repeat for each corner.
  4. Staple long sides of ottoman.

Step Four

  1. Once all sides are stapled down, then, flip ottoman right side up.
  2. All sides should be nice and flat.


Finishing Up

We added a corded tassel to the edge of our ottoman. The embellishment helps hide the ridges of the four inch cushion. We also added knots to give it a detail to the sides. Pull tassel & cording tightly when securing to your ottoman.

How-To Crackle: The Art of Weathering

Instructions:
Clean your object using mild soap & water (if non porous only). If wood or plaster, then clean lightly with damp tack cloth to pick up dust, etc.


If choosing an item to "refaux" then, sand gently to allow underlying paint to become "slightly rough." This rough texture allows the new coats of paint to stick to the old coats.

Base Coats
We suggest using an all purpose primer to base coat the vase. Allow to dry for 24 hours.

Base coats seal in "new woods." They also create a "light" one tone layer to paint over. It also results in using fewer coats of "paint."

Crackling (the art of weathering) is as easy to do as painting 123. There are a variety of crackling techniques. You can find a variety of items to crackle. We chose a vase.


Crackling on woods with "country colors" can give your object an aged weathered look (like grandma's lost table.) Or crackle a piece of faux art to create an elegant vase like ours here.

You will need the following tools:
  • Paint brushes
  • Light colored paint
  • Dark colored paint
  • Crackle medium
  • Clear polyurethane finish
  • Sand Paper (extra fine)
  • Gold Metallic paints (acrylic paints)


Painting Object

We used an "Apple Green" on our sample vase. We applyed one coat of latex paint on vase. Allowed to dry overnight.

TIP: Paint in 60 to 80 degree weather. When painting in too hot or too cold temperatures, paint drying times and characteristics of drying changes.

Applying Crackle Medium

There were a lot of "tricks" to applying the medium and the varied results on this particular vase.

  1. We experimented with the crackle medium to achieve the fine crackle.
  2. Large crackles were a result of "thickly applied" crackle medium.
  3. Thinned with water "crackle medium" and thin application resulted in smaller cracks.
  4. The vase is approximately 26 inches tall. Due to the height and shape, the crackling started to "SLIDE!" OOOPS! It was too late to do anything with it at this point. SO slide it did! We fixed this later.
  5. Paint crackle in ONE direction only. If you paint across and then up & down, your cracks will go ACROSS & UP & DOWN.
  6. Once you have applied crackle medium and allowed to dry: Paint top coat-Do NOT re-touch painted areas. Paint one THIN LAYER OF TOP COAT paint only in one direction.

We chose the "thinned crackle application method." Applied the crackle medium per the manufacturers instructions. Allowed to dry for 4 hours.

Applying Paint
Apply top coat. Use a THIN layer of paint only. Paint in one direction. Do not "back into painted areas." Use long strokes.

The paint will begin to crackle immediately. DO NOT TOUCH THE AREAS that you have painted on. OR OOOPS will happen!

Allow to dry for 24 to 48 hours. Crackle medium has been reactivated when applying top coat and will take longer to dry.

FINISHING TOUCHES

With a paint sponge, dip sponge into gold paint. DRY BRUSH off excess gold paint. Lightly paint in same direction as crackle highlights of gold.

Allow to dry.

OPTION: If you find large cracks and what to thin the cracks: Dip sponge into light paint. "Highlight large cracks with paint." This will hide the large cracks. DO NOT do this to all the cracks.

Apply Top Coat
Paint one to two coats of varnish onto vase following manufacturers instructions. After first coat, lightly sand varnish. Dust off with tack cloth. Paint second coat.

Learn to Dry Florals

Preserving flowers is a wonderful way to recycle natural materials and enjoy them year round by arranging them in vases, creating wreaths, candle holders and other home decorations. Flowers are not always available year round. Preserving them allows you to enjoy a larger range of flowers in & out of season.

There is a large variety of flowers that preserve well. Well known flowers worthy of preserving that you may have in your yard. Included are daffodils, carnations, delphinium, geranium, hibiscus, honeysuckle, hollyhock or jasmine. Country gardens often offer lavender, iris, marigolds, tulips, sunflowers, roses, violets and forget-me-nots!
Don't forget to try preserving herbs like chamomile, fennel, lemon leaves, pepper mint, rosemary, sage or thyme for a fragrant decorative arrangement. Herbs can also be ground in a blender or coffee grinder for use as a cooking seasoning.

Instructions:
To dry flowers or leaves smashed flat for use in bookmarks or suncatcher crafts, seperate the flower from the stem and put it in between the pages of a large phone book. Be sure and mark the pages so you can find the flowers. Pansies are beautiful dried in this manner but it does not work for all flowers.

A more advanced way to air-dry flowers preserves the stems as well. Start with fresh flowers that are picked during the driest part of the day when the sun has dried the dew. Strip the leaves off the flowers and tie them in small bunches grouping the same kind of flowers together. Choose a dark, part of the house like a closet or attic to hang the flowers. You can also insert the flowers into a paper bag to stimulate a dark room. Turn the flowers upside down and hang securely from a hook or nail.

There is not a set guide on how long drying will take. The determining factors are the temperature, humidity and air flow. You can check the flowers every other day and remove them when the petal feel slightly stiff with a paper consistency. If you will not be using your flowers right away, store them away from direct sunlight and damp conditions.

Flowers can also be air-dried by laying them on a cookie sheet that has been covered with newspaper or paper towels. You could also dry them upright if you have a wide lattice screen the flower stems can poke through. This method will keep the flowers upright and open. Prop the screen or cookie sheet under a bed and any area that has low light and dry warm air.

Silica gel is a sandy compound that automatically removes moisture from the flowers. It is available in craft or flower stores and can be re-used over and over. You will need a box of gel and a plastic storage box or recycled ice cream bucket with a airtight lid. Fill your container a little over half way and gently put your fresh cut flowers in the gel - petal side up. Sprinkle more gel on each flower and even in between the petals. You can dry several flowers at once in the same container. Once it has been sealed for several days you can check the flowers. Thick stemmed flowers will take more time of course but generally flowers are preserved in four to five days.

It can be tricky to remove the flowers without breaking the tiny brittle petals. Using a slotted spoon or spatula can help remove the flowers and filter the gel out at the same time. Fore best results, store flowers in a airtight container with a little of the gel left in the bottom. If you do have petals break off you can glue them back on with a paint brush.

Practice makes perfect so don't give up when trying this craft for the first time. Flowers are worth preserving but can take time to be successful.

Make Your Own Magnetic Frame

Instructions:

Displaying and enjoying pictures of your family and friends is important & should be displayed in a location of your home where they'll be seen often. For many families, that would be the kitchen. But quite often, our photo's get hastily stuck on the fridge with a small magnet from our local realtor or even with tape that discolors the fridge!

Make a magnetic fridge frame as a wonderful gift giving idea or a it creates a unique way to display a collage of several pictures without cluttering up your fridge. Magnetic frames can be a quick fix for organizing your office file cabinet too!

Supplies:
  • Scissors or Utility Knife
  • Ruler
  • Oval, Square or Circle Template
  • .20 mil or heavier piece of flexible magnetic sheeting

Step One
Choose the photo's that you wish to display. Determine the shape of the individual "holes" that will frame and highlight your photo best.

Step Two
Arrange photos in a layout. This will determine the "size" of the magnetic framme. Measure your "size" of frame.

Step Three
Use paper to draw a "sketch" or "diagram" of your frame. Include "holes". Use your templates to draw frame holes. Allow adequate spacing between frame openings.

Lay drawing over magnet sheet. Cut following diagram.

Step Four
Use the right weight of magnetic sheeting. You can purchase this at office supply stores or by the foot from signage printing companies. Manufacturers recommend .20 mil weight for refrigerator and home use. .30 mil for car signage.

You can find magnetic sheeting readily available in a white laminate top. Also in basic solid colors. It is easily cut with a utility knife or scissors.

Step Five
You can paint or embellish the frame. Signage manufacturers recommend using a plastic based paint that dries fairly quickly. Basic enamel or craft paints require a long drying time. OR decorate your frame using wallpaper or contact paper. Put it on your precut frame as a complete piece. Smooth wrinkles. Use utility knife to trim out the holes from the backside.

The strength of your magnet frame can generally hold your photos without the use of tape or glue. However, adding new photo's to your display will be easier if you use a small amount of acid free tape to secure in place.

Knitting: The Amazing Multi-colored Shawl

You can create this shawl using contrasting or coordinating yarn. Choose a variety of colors and textures for the most effective combinations.

Materials:

  • approximately 750 yards of worsted weight yarn including mohair, rayon ribbon, wool, chenille and novelty yarns
  • 1 set US 10 circular needles, at least 24" long

gauge: 10st = 4" in garter stitch

Get Going:
Note: This shawl is worked from the center out. You may cast on with one yarn, and knit until you run out, or knit several rows in sequence. Since this is a loosly knit item, new colors are best added at the beginning of the row.

Cast on 3 stitches.
Row 1: Knit
Row 2: K1, yo, K1, yo, K1
Row 3: knit
Row 4: K1, Yo, K1, yo, K1, yo K1
Row 5: knit
Row 6: K1, yo, k3, yo, K1, yo, K3, yo, K1
Row 7: Knit
Row 8: K1, yo, K5, yo, K1, yo, K5, yo, K1
Continue knitting all odd (wrong side) rows.
Continue increasing all even (right side) rows by two stitches on either side of the center stitch until desired length.

You may wish to add your favorite lace edging, a decorative knit border, or simply bind off loosely, and fringe the edges. You may wish to double this pattern, and sew the edges together, leaving an opening for your neck to form a poncho.

Knitting: Vine Lace Sock

Delicate, lacy ankle socks will make a wonderful start to your Spring and Summer wardrobe. Great with open style shoes or sandals, these durable socks are a snap to knit. I used the newest member of Berroco's fine family of "wardrobing" yarns: Linette. This yarn is a blend of linen, nylon, viscose and acrylic. Creating a fabric with a lovely hand with a slight sheen, which is surprisingly machine washable.

Materials:

  • 2 skeins Berroco's Linette (Acrylic, viscose, nylon, linen; 110yds/ 50g)
  • 1 set US 7 double pointed needles
  • stitch marker, if desired
  • 1 blunt end tapestry needle


Gauge: 5.25 sts = 1" in St.st.

Vine Lace Pattern:
Row 1: Knit all sts.
Row 2: * YO, K2, SSK, K2tog, K2, YO, K1* ;repeat from * to *
Row 3: Knit all sts.
Row 4: *K1,YO, K2, SSK, K2tog, K2, YO* ;repeat from * to *

Get Going:

  • Cast on 45 stitches over two needles held together. Remove one of the needles and distribute these stitches evenly between three needles.
  • Round 1 :Join stitches, taking care not to twist the round. Begin Vine Lace pattern as above by knitting all stitches for the first round. Repeat this pattern until sock leg measures 4" or desired length, ending with a row 4 of pattern.
  • Next round: Knit all stitches.
  • Set up for heel, by knitting 9 st, turn. Sl1, p8 and the first 9 st from the next needle. These 18 st will form the heel. Place the remaining stitches on the remaining 2 needles for future use.
  • Row 1: *Sl1, K1* repeat from *to*
  • Row 2: Sl1, P all remaining St.
  • Repeat these stitches for 2-1/2" ending with a K row.
  • Turn the heel as follows :
    Sl1, P11, P2tog, P1,turn(without working the remaining stitches)
    Sl1, K7, K2tog, K1, turn (without working the remaining stitches)
    Sl1, P8, P2tog, P1, turn (without working the remaining stitches)
    Sl1, K9, K2tog, K1, turn (without working the remaining stitches)
    Sl1, P10, P2tog You should have 12 st and a beautifully turned heel.

  • Rejoin the heel to the instep of the sock, as follows:
    With needle 1, pick up 10 stitches knitwise along the side edge of the heel.
    With needle 2, work vine lace pattern beginning on row 2 across the 27 st held in reserve before you began the heel, placing all 27 st on the second needle.
    With needle 3, pick up 10 stitches knitwise along the remaining side edge of the heel. Continue using this needle to knit 6 of the 12 heel stitches. Place the remaining 6 heel stitches onto the first needle.
  • Work the heel gussets as follows:
    Round 1: needle 1: k to last 3 st, K2tog, K1
    needle 2: work vine lace pattern
    needle 3: K1, SSK, K remaining St.
    Round 2: needle1&3: k all St., needle 2: work vine lace pattern
    Repeat these rounds until there are 45 st.total
    (needles 1&3=9ea. needle 2=27st.)
  • Continue in round 2 until foot measures 2" smaller than desired foot length.
  • Begin toe decrease as follows:
    First round: needle 1: K to last 3 sts, K2tog, K1
    needle 2:* K1, K2tog* repeat from * to *
    needle 3: K1, SSK, K remaining sts
    Round 1: K all St.
    Round 2: needle 1: K to last 3 sts, K2tog, K1
    needle 2: K1, SSK, K to last 3 sts, K2tog, K1
    needle 3: K1, SSK, K remaining sts
    Repeat round 1 & 2 until 16 sts. remain, placing the bottom 8 st on one needle.
  • Weave the toe seam as follows:
    Cut the yarn, leaving a 12" tail.
    Thread this tail through a blunt needle, to stitch the toe closed. Hold the needles so that the top of the sock is facing up, and the threaded tail is to your right.
    Step 1: Insert the needle through the first stitch on the back needle, like you would be knitting this stitch. Pull the yarn through, but leave the stitch on the knitting needle.
    Step 2: Insert the threaded needle through the first stitch on the front knitting needle, as if you were knitting this stitch. Pull the yarn through, and let this stitch drop off the knitting needle.
    Step 3: Insert the threaded needle through the next stitch on the top knitting needle, as if you were purling this stitch. Pull the yarn through, but leave the stitch on the knitting needle.
    Step 4: Insert the threaded needle through the stitch you left on the bottom knitting needle (in step 1), as if you were purling this stitch, pull the yarn through , and let this stitch drop off the knitting needle.
    Repeat these steps until you have dropped all of the stitches off the needles, and the toe has no seam!!
Make another sock if you insist on a matching pair!

Knitting: Triangle Hat

Inspired by a technique printed in TKGA publication "Cast-On" this hat is quick to knit, and a great way to use up those odds and ends!

Materials:

  • 1 skein of worsted weight yarn (or the equivalent of various yarn in coordinating or contrasting colors)
  • 1 set of US size 8 needles
  • blunt end tapestry needle


Get Going:

Note: This technique is similar to entrelac, except that you are working with triangles. The size of the hat can be altered by changing the number of stitches involved in the triangle, or the weight of the yarn. This is definitely a "cast-on and try-it" sort of project!

CROWN
Cast on 21 stitches and create your first triangle as follows:

* Purl all stitches.
K1, SSK, Knit until 3 stitches remain, K2 tog, K1.
Repeat these rows until 5 stitches remain.
K1, (Sl1, K2tog, PSSO), K1 P3 Sl1, K2tog, PSSO *

You've created your first triangle! You should have one stitch remaining on your needle.
Now we'll add a triangle to the left of this triangle.

With right side facing up, pick up and knit 20 stitches along the left edge of the triangle.
Repeat the above triangle pattern from * to *.

Continue in this manner until you've made 6 triangles, forming a hexagon, with one opening from the center to the edge. (Pretty cool....!) This will form the crown of the hat.

Body

Now we will construct the brim, or body of the hat. You should have one stitch remaining on your needle.

With wrong side facing up (purl side), pick up and purl 20 stitches along left edge of triangle previously worked. Repeat the above triangle pattern from * to *.

With one stitch remaining on your needle, and right side facing up pick up and knit 20 stitches along right side of triangle previously worked. Repeat the above triangle pattern from * to *.

Continue creating triangles which form a strip, by alternating the above steps until 12 triangle have been created, forming the brim or body of the hat. Bind off the remaining stitch, leaving a long tail for finishing.

Finishing

Using the blunt-end tapestry needle and beginning with the tail, stitch the open ends of the triangles together to form the body of the hat.

Continue with the same tail, and stitch the body to the crown, matching triangle edges.

Continue with the tail, and stitch the center seam of the crown. Secure the tail end and pull to the inside of the hat, and trim.

Along the bottom edge of the hat body, pick up and knit 126 stitches (21 per triangle).

Make 4 rows of garter stitch, and bind off loosely. You could also finish the edge with I-cord, ribbing, moss stitch...use your imagination!

Quilting: Nine-Patch and Diagonal Cross

This quilt is comprised of 37 reproduction fabrics from P&B Textiles Cocheco Print Works Collection, originally produced in Dover, New Hampshire in the 1880's. The collection was reproduced from samples archived at the American Textile History Museum. Royalties earned from the sale of the Cocheco Print Works Collection help support the American Textile History Museum.

Nine-patch and Diagonal Cross Quilt


Finished Quiltsize: 52" x 52"
Finished Block size: 6" square

Supply List
Quilt uses all 37 different fabrics from the Cocheco Print Works Collection

  • 1/4 yard of each fabric from the collection
  • plus 1/4 yard for inner border
  • 3-1/4 yards for backing
  • 3/8 yard for binding
  • 56" square batting

Nine-Patch

You will need 24 blocks. Cut 2-1/2" strips from a variety of light, medium and dark fabrics. Cut strips into 2-1/2" squares for blocks. For each block, you will need 4 squares of one pattern and 5 of another. Make some combinations with darker corners and some with lighter corners. The excess strips will be used in the pieced borders.

To construct the blocks, sew together 3 squares to form a strip. Make 3 strips with alternating squares. Press seams of top and bottom strip in one direction, and seams of the middle strip in the opposite direction. Sew strips together to form the block.

Diagonal Cross Block

You will need 25 blocks. For each block, cut one 6-1/2" square. Cut diagonally twice to form 4 triangles. Cut one 1" square for the center. Cut four 1" x 5-1/2" strips for the cross. Sew two strips to the center square to form one long strip. Press seams open. Set aside. Sew one triangle to either side of the remaining strips to form two larger triangles. Press seams open. Sew the long strip to the long side of one triangle. Sew the other triangle to the opposite side of the long strip to form a square. Press seams toward triangles. To square off corners, place a 90-degree angle on the block, lining up block sides with the edges of the ruler, trim.

Quilt Assembly
Sew blocks together, alternating one nine-patch with one diagonal cross block. The four corners of the quilt will be the diagonal cross block. Press seams of each row in alternating directions.

Inner Border
Cut two strips 1-1/2" x 42-1/2" and two strips 1-1/2" x 44-1/2". Sew the shorter strips to opposite sides of the quilt. Sew the longer strips to the remaining sides.

Pieced Borders
You will need two pieced borders. Take the leftover 2-1/2" strips and cut ends to 45-degree angles, all in the same direction. Sew together to form approximate lengths for quilt sides. Sew to edges of quilt, one side at a time. Note: Try to begin and end border strips that butt up to each other on adjacent sides with the same fabric. This way corners will "wrap around" with the same fabric, as shown in the picture. Repeat for the outer border.

Decorating: Sheer Tent

This tent requires little effort, if you are using one of the sheers which already has a pre-finished weighted hem. Attach two loops of ribbon or string to hang the tent from the ceiling over a bed creating a romantic mosquito net.

Materials:

  • 15 yards extra-wide, euro-hemmed sheer fabric
  • thread to match
  • 3 yards ribbon to match
  • 15 yards single shirring/gathering tape
  • plastic embroidery hoop

Get Going:

  • Side hems and closure: Finish the side edges of your sheer fabric in a double 3/4" hem. Cut the ribbon into six 18" pieces. Attach the ribbon to corresponding side hems, beginning approximately 20" from the bottom hem and spacing the ribbon approximately 20" apart.

  • The top hem: Apply the shirring tape to the wrong side of the top edge of the sheer (the unfinished selvedge), by stitching along the top and bottom edge of the tape. Pull the cord within the tape to gather the sheer. Place the top of the sheer in the embroidery hoop, with the wrong side facing out, adjust gathers and tighten the hoop to secure.

  • Flip the sheer fabric so that the right side cascades over the embroidery hoop, hiding the hoop from view. Attach the hoop over the top of your patio umbrella.

Decorating: Sheer Draperies

A GUIDE TO EXTRA-WIDE SHEER FABRIC

  • Extra-wide sheer fabrics are those which exceed 54", and are intended to be used railroaded, in order to produce full-length seamless draperies on wide windows.

    Do-it-yourself decorators are often confused about the concept of railroaded fabric. Typically, home decorating fabric is woven and printed so that the cut edges become the top and bottom of the finished product, and the selvedges become the side seams. Railroaded fabrics are woven and printed so that the cut edges become the side seams and the selvedges become the hem and heading of the drapery. Some of these fabrics will include a decorative border or a beaded weight or "Euro-hem" finish along the hemline.

  • Determine the style of drapery and the type of curtain rod you will be using prior to purchasing your
    fabric.

    Some issues to consider are:

    If the draperies need to be drawn frequently for access through a door, or to a view, you should consider a traversing mechanism on your curtain rod. When the curtain is opened, where will the fabric be stacking, and in which direction? Do you wish for the curtain to clear an opening
    completely? How much space do you have beyond the glass for the fabric to stack?

    If you are using the sheer fabric for privacy or as a light filter, and may occasionally require access to the window, a decorative curtain rod with rings can be considered. This treatment usually requires multiple drapery panels, in order to properly support the curtain rod while allowing the rings to function smoothly over the decorative rod.

    Standard utility curtain rods with rod pocket draperies can be used for top treatments or for treatments which are moved infrequently.

  • Use the chart below to determine the number of yards required for your project.








































Width of area
to be covered

(include any extensions for stacking the draperies beyond the door
or window)
EXAMPLE

72" slider

+ 6" ext. on each side

= 84"

Add drapery
rod returns

4" return
per side

=8"

Add drapery
rod overlaps

(if using a center draw)
3" overlaps
per panel

=6"


Multiply by amount of
fullness desired

(usually 3 times)


84"


+8"

+6"

= 98" x 3 = 294"

Add
side hem allowances
6"
per panel

=12"

=306 total

Divide
by 36" to determine yardage required
8-1/2
yards


Get Going:

  • Cut fabric for the drapery panels, including 3" side hems for each panel. Take care to ensure a straight edge by pulling a thread as a guide for cutting.

  • Make the side hems, by turning the side edges in a double 3/4" hem making certain the cut edge is flush with the side crease. Finish this hem by hand, or by machine using invisible thread and a blind hem stitch, using a slightly longer stitch than normal to avoid puckering.

  • Determine the finished length of the drapery panels. Allow a scant 1/2" clearance over sliding glass doors or floor-to-ceiling windows. Allow 4-6" clearance above baseboard heaters for safety. If a functional overdrapery is to be installed, make the underdrapery 1" shorter, allowing 1/2" top & bottom so the sheer will not show when the draperies are closed. Add 10-12" for a deep hem, if desired. Add allowance for casing or heading, depending on the curtain rod used (6-10" for a double pleated heading, 6" for a doubled utility rod pocket and heading). You may need to trim the fabric based on your determined cut length. Pull a thread or follow the pattern to ensure a straight and even cut.


  • Make the bottom hem (if there is no border or "euro-hem") by removing the bottom selvedge, turning up a deep double hem (usually 5-6") making certain the cut edge is flush with the bottom crease.
    Finish this hem by hand, or by machine using invisible thread and a blind hem stitch, using a slightly longer stitch than normal to avoid puckering.

  • Make the heading according to the desired curtain rod being used. You will most likely add pleats for traversing rods and decorative rings. A rod pocket with a heading will be used for utility rods. Be sure to use a sharp needle and a slightly longer stitch on your machine to avoid puckering while stitching.

Note: These lovely sheers can be used for many other decorative purposes, such as one-piece swags, shower curtains, hourglass door panels, easy dining room chair slipcovers, and more!

Decorating: Beach Mat/ Drawstring Bag

Beach Mat

Great for the beach, the park, or for indoor use. This mat turns into a drawstring "bag" with just a pull of the cords, for transporting toys in a jiffy.



Materials:

  • 1-1/2 yard of canvas, denim, burlap, Sunbrella, textilene or other similar durable fabric.
  • Thread to match
  • 1 package of 8 large brass grommets
  • 6 yards nylon drawstring cord
  • 5 yards nylon bias seam binding



Get Going:

  • Fold your fabric into quarters.
  • Using a pencil, or disappearing marking pen, and a 27 inch string, mark a quarter circle from the center folded corner.
  • Cut along the line to form a 54 inch circle, when the fabric is opened.
  • Apply the seam binding to the outer edge of the circle.
  • Apply the grommets along the outer edge of the fabric, evenly spaced.
  • Cut the drawstring cord in half, knotting one end of each piece.
  • Thread the free end of the cord through the grommets until you have gone through 4 grommets.
  • Knot the remaining end.
  • Repeat this process with the remaining cord.
  • You may wish to untie the knots, knotting to including both pieces of cord on opposite sides of the mat.
  • Fill with beach toys and hope for a sunny day!

Decorating: Flanged Lace Pillow

Flanged Lace Pillow

A quick and easy way to add an elegant touch to your home for the holidays. Thanks to Mary Ellen for this fabulously simple idea!



Materials:

  • 3/4 yard home decorating lace or sheer fabric
  • 16" - 18" decorator pillow (solid colors work best)
  • Disappearing fabric marker

Get Going:

  • Cut your lace or sheer fabric 7" larger than the pillow you will cover.

  • Stitch the lace or sheer fabric , right sides together using a 1/2" seam. Be sure to leave a generous opening for turning and inserting the pillow (9-12").

  • Turn the pillow cover, and press.

  • Using the fabric marker, trace a stitching line 3" from each side, forming a square centered in the outer cover.

  • Carefully stitch along 3 sides of the square you have made in the above step.

  • Insert the pillow.

  • Carefully stitch the last side of the center square, taking care not to catch the pillow.

  • Finish the outer opening by machine stitching along the outer edge of the entire pillow, or whip stitch the opening by hand.

  • Optional trimmings: You may wish to add some fun trimmings to the center square, and pillow before you stitch the openings closed. Try wrapping the pillow in a metallic ribbon, painting the pillow with fabric paint, writing a favorite poem or holiday greeting on the pillow using fabric markers, adding sequins, ribbon roses or if using sheer fabric you could even sprinkle in a little glitter!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Knitting: Honeycomb Dishcloth

Honeycomb Washcloth

designed by: Nancy in SC

Rating: Medium

Materials: Sugar and Cream MC, and CC (divided into 2 balls), Size 8 US Needles, Guage = 4 1/2 sts. to inch


Instructions: A multiple of 6 stitches + 2, size can be adjusted by increasing or decreasing number of cast on stitches by 6. All slip stitches are done as if to purl.

With CC cast on 44 stitches. Knit 6 rows (garter stitch Border). Keeping 3 stitches on each side in CC and garter stitch. (Knit every row) For side borders, begin pattern row 1 on center 38 stitches. Continue in pattern adding second ball of CC on row 3 for right border.

Row 1: Right side. With CC, P1, with yarn in front Sl 3, P3, Sl 3, etc across. End P 4. Yarn should lay loosly across front of work.

Row 2: With CC, K 4, with yarn in back, Sl 3, K3, Sl 3, K 3, Sl 3 across. End K1. Yan should lay loosely across right side of work.

Row 3: With MC Knit across.

Row 4: With MC Purl across.


Row 5: With MC, K 2, KUL (knit under loops by inserting right hand needle under the 2 loops laying across work and knitting the next stitch, at the same time slipping the loops over to the back of the stitch), K 5, KUL, K 5, across, end K 5.

Row 6: With MC Purl

Row 7: With CC, P 4, with yarn in front Sl 3, P 3, Sl 3, P 3 across, end P 1.

Row 8: With CC, K1, with yarn in back Sl 3, K 3, Sl 3, K 3, Sl 3, etc across. End K 4.

Row 9: With MC knit across.


Row 10: With MC Purl across.

Row 11: With MC K5, KUL, K 5, KUL, K 5, end K 2.

Row 12: With MC Purl across.

Repeat 12 rows for pattern, working rows 1, 2, 7, and 8, in CC all others in MC

When cloth is 1 inch less than desired length ending with either row 6, or row 12 break off MC and with CC knit 6 rows. Bind off loosely.


Knitting: Doily Style, Garter Stitch Eyelet Dishcloth

Doily Style Dishcloth

Deisgner: Unknown

Sent to me by: Sharon

Rating: Medium



Materials: 1 ball 50 gr. Bernat Cotton Yarn. Set of 4, #7 US or 4.5mm needles

Directions:

Cast on 8 stitches

Divide stitches onto 3 needles. Place marker at first stitch.

Round 1: Knit through back of loop of each stitch to end of round

Round 2: (yarn forward and knit 1) 8 times (16 stitches)


Round 3: and all odd rounds, Knit

Round 4: (yarn forward knit 2) 8 times

Round 6: (yarn forward knit 3) 8 times (32 sts)

Round 8: (yarn forward knit 4) 8 times (40 sts)

Round 10: (yarn forward knit 5) 8 times (48 sts)


Round 12: (yarn forward knit 6) 8 times (56 sts)

Round 14: (yarn forward knit 7) 8 times (64 sts)

Round 16: (yarn forward knit 8) 8 times (72 sts)

Round 18: (yarn forward knit 1, yarn forward knit 2 tog. Knit 6) 8 times (80 sts)

Round 20: *yarn forward knit 1 (yarn forward knit 2 tog) twice knit 5. Repeat from * to end of round. (88 sts)


Round 22: * yarn forward knit 1, (yarn forward knit 2 tog.) 3 times. Knit 4. Repeat from * to end of round. (96 sts)

Round 24: * yarn forward knit 1, (yarn forward knit 2 tog.) 4 times. Knit 3. Repeat from * to end of round (104 sts)

Round 26: * yarn forward knit 1, (yarn forward knit 2 tog.) 5 times. Knit 2. Repeat from * to end of round (112sts)

Round 28: * yarn forward knit 1, (yarn forward knit 2 tog.) 6 times knit 1. Repeat from * to end of round. (120 sts)

Round 30: * yarn forward knit 1 (yarn forward knit 2 tog.) 7 times. Repeat from * to end of round. (128 sts)


Round 31: Purl.

Round 32: (inc. 1 st in the next st knitway, knit 15) 8 times (136 sts)

Cast off purlways.



Garter Stitch Eyelet Facecloth

Rating: Easy


Materials: 1 (2.5 oz) skein of worsted weight Lily Sugar 'n Cream, Size 6 (US) needles


Guage: Unimportant but mine is 4 sts to 1-inch, 7 rows to 1-inch.

Directions:

Cast on 41 stitches.

Row 1: through 4: Knit.

Row 5: Knit 3, * Knit 2 together, yarn over * repeat between *'s, to last 4 stitches, end Knit 4.

Row 6: Knit.




Repeat this six row pattern 12 times.

Knit 4 rows. Bind off.

I prefer to make facecloths/dishcloths a little longer than wide because they stretch so much horizontally.

Knitting: Double Diamond Circular, Checkerboard Dishcloth

Double Diamond Circular Dishcloth


Rating: Medium

Materials: 1 ball of cotton yarn. Size 4.5 mm (or US #6) needles.

Size: Finished size 23 cm. (9")


Abbreviations: YO - Yarn Over , SKPO - Sl 1, K 1, psso, PSSO - pass slip stitch over.


Cast on 18 stitches (note, count stitches after 12th and 24th rows only)

Row 1 and all odd rows: Knit

Row 2: (K 1, yo) twice, K2 tog, yo, K 2 tog, K 11, turn.

Row 4: K 1, yo, K 3, (yo, K 2 tog) twice, K 9, turn.

Row 6: K 1, yo, K 5k (yo, K 2 tog) twice, K 7, turn.


Row 8: K 2 tog, Yo, K 2 tog, K 1, K 2 tog, yo, K 2 tog, yo, K 8, turn.

Row 10: K 2 tog, yo, K 3 tog, yo, K 2 toh, yo, K 8, turn.

Row 12: K 2 tog, yo, K 3 tog, yo, K 8, turn.

Row 14: (K 1, yo) twice, K2 tog, yo, K 2 tog, K 5.

Row 16: K1, yo, K 3 (yo, K 2 tog) twice, K 3.

Row 18: K 1, yo, K 5, (yo, K 2 tog) twice, k 1.


Row 20: K 2 tog, yo, K 2 tog, K 1, K 2 tog, yo, K 2 tog, yo, K 2.

Row 22: K 2 tog, yo, K 3 tog, yo, K 2 tog, yo, K 2.

Row 24: K 2 tog, yo, K 3 tog, yo, K 2.

Row 26: Knit to end.

As you can see you are knitting to one stitch less than in the previous row every time. These 26 rows form one "wedge". Repeat 6 more times. (7 wedges in total).

Finishing: Fold cloth with right sides together, cast on edge held behind the needle. Knit 1 loop from needle, one from cast on dege to form one stitch. Cast off in the usual manner, knitting the cast on and cast off edges together as you do so. Sew in ends, and draw up center of cloth.


Checkerboard Washcloth

Rating: Easy

Materials: Use a sport to worsted weight cotton, (1 - 50gram ball or less) and #3or #4 US needles.

Instructions:


Cast on 46 stitches.

Row 1: Knit across to last 3 stitches and slip them one at a time, with yarn in front, to the right needle.

Row 2 - 4: Repeat Row 1.

You now have 2 ridges of garter stitch with the beginnings of an applied I-cord border.

Row 5: K3, *k4, P4, repeat from * to last 3 stitches and slip them, with yarn in front, one at a time to the right needle.

Row 6 - 10: Repeat Row 5.

Row 11: K3, *P4, K4, repeat from * to last 3 stitches and slip them one at a time to the right needle.


Row 12 - 16: Repeat Row 11.

Repeat Rows 5 - 10.

Repeat Rows 11 - 16.

Continue in checkerboard stitch, working applied I-cord at the edges, until piece is square.

Continuing to work I-cord edge, work 4 rows garter stitch (all knit).

Cast off. Done!

Run the tails of yarn down through the little I-cord tubes at the sides - they're very well hidden there.

I think the alternating knits and purls help keep this washcloth from stretching too far out of shape the way an all garter stitch cloth can. A very utilitarian pattern!

Knitting: Lattice Stitch, Star Dishcloth

Star Dishcloth
Designer: Unknown
Rating: Easy

Materials: 1 ball Sugar and Cream will make two dishcloths, Size J crochet hook.

Directions:

Rnd 1: Ch 2, 6 sc in second ch form hook, join to beginning sc.

Rnd 2: Ch 1, sc in same sc, (ch 1, sc in next sc) around, ending with ch 1, sl st in beginning sc.

Rnd 3: Sl st in ch 1 space, ch 1, sc, ch 2, sc in same ch 1 space, (ch 1, sc, ch 2, sc in next ch 1 space) around, ending with ch 1, sl st in beginning sc.

Rnd 4: Sl st in ch 2 space, ch 1, sc, ch 2, sc, in same ch 2, space, (ch 1, sc in next ch 1 space, ch 1, sc, ch 2, sc in next ch 2 space) around, ending with sl st in beginning sc.

Continue in this manner until 11 rnds or desired size is reached. Fasten off.


Lattice Stitch Dishcloth

Designer unknown
Finished size about 9 x 9
Rating: Easy - Medium

Materials: Cotton Worsted weight, 2 1/4 oz (50gr). Crochet Hook size I (5.50mm)

Directions:

Chain 34

Row 1: (Right side): Sc in second ch from hook, * skip next ch, dc in next ch, ch 2, dc around post of dc just made, skip next ch, sc in next ch; repeat from * across: 9sc and 8 ch-2 sps.

Row 2: Ch 4 (Counts as first dc plus ch 1), turn; sc in next ch-2 sp, ch 1, skip next dc, dc in next sc, * ch 1, sc in next ch-2 sp, ch 1, skip next dc, dc in next sc; repeat from * across. 17 sts and 16 ch-1 sps.

Row 3: Ch 1, turn; sc in first dc, * skip next ch-1 sp, dc in next sc, ch 2, dc around post of dc just made, skip next ch-1 sp, sc in next dc; repeat from * across.


Row 4 - 18: Repeat rows 2 and 3, 7 times; then repeat row 2 once more; do not finish off.



Edging:

Rnd 1: Ch 1, turn; sc evenly around entire piece working an even number of sc and working 3 sc in each corner; join with slip st to first sc.

Rnd 2: Ch 1, do not turn; sc in next sc, working loosely around sc just made, sc in same st as joining. * skip next sc, sc in next sc, working loosely around sc just made, sc in skipped sc; repeat from * around; join with slip st to first sc, finish off.

Knitting: Chain, Lacy Crochet Dishcloth

Chain Dishcloth
Designer: Unknown

Materials: Two colors of worsted weigh yarn; crochet hook size H.
Size: 9" x 10"
Directions:
With color A, ch 62.
Row 1: (right side) sc in 2nd chfrom hook, (ch 3, sk next 3 chs, sc in next ch) across: 15 ch-3 spaces.
Note: Mark right side.
Row 2: ch 1, turn, working in back loops only, sc in 1 st sc, (ch 3, sc in next sc) across.
Row 3: Repeat row 2, end off color A.
Row 4 - 5: Join color B, repeat Row 2, end off.
Repeat Row 2 for the rest of the dishcloth. Do 4 rows of color A and 2 rows of color B. Repeat until you reach desired length. Make sure you end with 4 rows of color A. The designer did 5 groups of color A and 4 groups of Color B to get the 9 x 10 size.
Edging: Ch 1, do not turn, sc evenly around entire dishcloth, working 3 sc in each corner, join with sl st to 1st sc, finish off.



Lacy Crochet Dishcloth
Designer: Unknown

Materials: Worsted weight cotton, Size 5.00m crochet hook (US H/8)
Directions:
Ch 41
Base row: Dc in 3rd ch from hook, dc in next 2 ch, *ch 1, skip next ch, dc in next 3 ch, rep from * to end, turn. (39 sts.)
Row 1: Ch 2, *dc in next 3 sts, ch 1, skip next ch 1 sp, rep from * to last 3 sts, dc in last 3 sts, turn.
Row 2: Ch 2, *dc in first st, ch1, skip next st, dc in next st, 1 long dc (insert hook in ch 1 sp 2 rows below), rep from * to last 3 sts, dc in next st, ch 1 skip next st, dc in last st, turn.
Row 3: Ch 2, dc in first st, *ch 1, skip next sp, dc in next 3 sts, rep from * to last 2 sts, ch1, skip next sp, dc in last st, turn.
Row 4: Ch2, *dc in first st, 1 long dc over next sp, dc in next st, ch1, skip next st, rep from * to last 3 sts, dc in next st, 1 long dc over next sp, dc in last st, turn.

Repeat rows 1 - 4 until work measures 11 in, from beginning. Fasten off.

Edging : Work 1 rnd sc evenly around entire outer edge, working 3 sc in each corner, sl st in first st.
Next round: Ch 2, dc in each st, working 3 dc in each corner st, sl st in top of turning ch. Fasten off. Tie in loose ends.

Knitting: V Stitch, Ballerina Dishcloth

V Stitch Dishcloth

Designer unknown

Finished size about 9 x 9
Rating: Easy - Medium


Materials: Cotton Worsted weight, 2 3/4 oz (80gr). Crochet Hook size G (4.00mm)



Stitches Used:

FPdc: To work Front Post double crochet - YO, insert hook from front to back around post of st indicated, YO and pull up a loop (3 loops on hook), (YO and draw through 2 loops on hook) twice.



Directions:


Chain 41.


Row 1: (Right Side) Dc in fourth ch from hook (3 skipped chs count as first dc), skip next ch, (dc, ch 1, dc) in next ch, * skip next ch, dc in next ch, skip next ch, (dc, ch 1, dc) in next ch; repeat from * across to last 3 chs, skip next ch, dc inlast 2 chs: 30 dc and 9 ch 1 sps.

Row 2: Ch 3 (counts as first dc, now and throughout), work FPdc around next dc, * (dc, ch 1, dc) in next ch 1 sp, skip next dc, work FPdc around next dc; repeat from * across to last dc.


Fows 3 - 16: Ch 3, turn; work FPdc around next FPdc, * (dc, ch 1, dc) in next ch 1 sp, skip next dc, work FPdc around next FPdc; repeat from * across to last dc, dc in last dc; do not finish off.


Edging:

Round 1: Ch 1, turn; 2 sc in same st, sc in each dc and in each ch 1 sp across to last dc, 3 sc in last dc; work 35 sc evenly spaced across end of rows; working in free loops of beginning ch, 3 sc in first ch, sc in next 37 chs, 3 sc in next ch; work 35 sc evenly spaced across end of rows, sc in same st as first sc; join with slip st to Back Loop Only of first sc. 156 sc.

Round 2: Ch 3, do not turn; 2 dc in Back Loop Only of same st, * dc in Back Loop Only of next sc, (dc in Front Loop Only of next sc, dc in Back Loop Only of next sc) across to center sc of next corner 3 sc group, 3 dc in Back Loop Only of center sc; repeat from * 2 times more, dc in Back Loop Only of next sc, (dc in Front Loop Only of next sc, dc in Back Loop Only of next sc) across; join with slip st to first dc, finish off.





Ballerina Dish Cloth

Rating: Easy - Medium

It is more likely to be used as a decoration than a dishcloth, but it is very pretty, so I had to include it. I will get a photo as soon as possible.


Materials: Bedspread weight crochet cotton - main color and small amount of contrast color. Steel crochet hook size 1.50 mm


Directions:



Waist

Using Main Color:

Round 1: Ch 36, join with sl st to form a ring. Ch4, skip 1 ch, dc in next ch, *ch2, skip 1 ch, dc in next ch, repeat from *. Join.

Round 2: Ch 4, dc in dc *ch 2, dc in dc, repeat from *. Join.


Round 3 - 7: Repeat round 2.



Skirt

Round 1: Ch 4, dc under ch, *ch2, dc in dc, ch 2, dcunder ch, repeat from*. Join.

Round 2: Ch 4, dc under ch, *ch2, dc in dc, ch 2, dc under ch, repeat from *. Join.

Round 3: Ch 4, dc under ch, ch 2, dc in next 4 dc, *ch 2, dc under ch, ch 2, dc in next 4 dc, repeat from *. Join.


Round 4: Ch 4, dc in dc, *ch 2, dc in dc, repeat from *. Join.

Round 5: Ch 4, dc under ch, *ch 2, dc in dc, repeat from *. Join.

Round 6 - 13: Repeat round 5, join, cut thread.

Round 14: Join cc in dc, ch4, *dc under ch, ch2, dc under next ch, ch2, dc under next ch, ch 2, dc in dc, repeat from *. Join.

Round 15: Ch 4, dc in dc, *ch 2, dc in next dc, ch 2, dc in dc, repeat from *. Join, cut thread.


Round 16: Join main color in dc, ch 4, dc in dc, *ch 2, dc in dc, repeat from *. Join.

Round 17: Repeat Round 16. Join, cut thread.


Edge

Join cc in dc with a sc, *ch 3, sl st in 3rd chain from hook to make a picot, sc under ch, repeat from *. Join, cut thread.


Finishing Waist

Join cc in dc, ch 3, sl st in 3rd ch from hook to make a picot, sc under ch, repeat all around top of waist. Join, cut thread.


Shoulder Straps


There should be 9 open meshes for front of waist and 9 for the back. Join main color under ch. Ch 4, sc under same ch *ch 3, turn, dc between dc, repeat from * 7 times. Join under ch at back of waist, fasten, cut thread. Repeat for second strap.


With cc, ch a chain long enough to braid through waist and tie into a bow.