Archive for the ‘Crafty Must Haves’ Category

When we stumbled upon the DIY Ombre Dyed Yarn tutorial by Xandy Peters we were inspired! That weekend we went to our local craft store for yarn and grocery store for Kool-Aid to have a little dyeing party. We also experimented with yarns we had around that we knew were wool, the results were amazing. Not only was this project super easy, the combinations are endless!

We used black cherry, watermelon-cherry, pink lemon-aid, lemon-lime and ice blue punch to come up deep reds, corals, bright blues and minty greens. The first task was to wind the balls of yarn which was the most time consuming task. The yarns we ended up dying were 100% Fisherman’s Wool in Natural, Stitch Nation ‘Full O Sheep’ in Honeycomb and some other hand-me-down wool yarns.

We took Xandy’s tip and used spoons and tongs to maneuver the yarn balls in the dye bath. Once they had boiled the two rounds in their dye baths, the tongs were lifesavers as we rinsed the yarn balls in the cold water. These suckers get super hot!! Half way through dyeing the yarn we came up with the idea of creating a 2-tone ombre by dyeing the yarn – rinsing it / letting it cool, unwinding, rewinding with the new color in the center and re-dying. What we created was a Christmas-Italian-Watermelon inspired colored yarn. I can’t wait to see how this knits up.  Each one took the dye in a unique way, the most interesting was Stitch Nation yarn. Since it was already Honeycomb we weren’t sure if it would take color but it took the Black Cherry Kool-Aid wonderfully, creating a fiery color combo.

Mary and I highly recommend trying this out. As they say “if we can do it, so can you!” It was a lot of fun and we plan on sharing some finished projects soon!

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We love when a specific holiday gets closer, our inboxes become full of emails boasting free patterns! This Valentine’s Day is no exception. With the romantic holiday about a week away, you have more than enough time to complete one of these little goodies. Perfect for gifting to that special someone, friends, family OR better yet yourself.

Crochet tote from Lion Brand Yarns : you have to sign up but once you do you have access to a treasure trove of free pattern goodness! This tote could be customized with a bit of monogram color work or applique. Fun!

The clothing company ModCloth has a great blog featuring all kinds of indy inspired crafts including these “upcycled” sweater mittens!

Sweet crochet heart garland from Skip To My Lou, so perfect for decorating or gift wrap accents.

Knit up this Valentine measuring tape from Spud and Chloe for all your crafty friends. This pattern can easily be customized with duplicate stitch embroidery with your own candy heart message!

Another great “upcycle” idea from Thimbleanna, adding a delicate crochet edge to any vintage or funny postcard.

Heart lace work scarf from Knit Culture is definitely on my crafting to-do list!

Nothing warms the heart (we love our puns!) like this knit mug cosy. By Kristen TenDyke, this pattern features color work and a sweet little cable detail. Make it a complete gift by giving it with a coffee mug and either coffee or tea!

Lastly this oversized candy box filled with yarn would make any crafter or fiber artist squeal with delight. Leave it up to the folks at Craft: Zine to take a simple Martha Stewart paper craft and make it even more awesome!!

What ever you end up making, make it with love and you simply can’t go wrong. (okay you can but that’s content for another post!) 

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(via theglitterguide.com)

This ‘8os inspired trend is tempered with the stark contrast of warm neutrals, making neon approachable for all style tastes. This is a trend that we can get behind… and perhaps get a bit carried away with! Neutral yarns are easy enough to get your hands on, but luckily this trend is finding it’s way into the fiber art community and it’s easier than ever to get your hands on neon yarns.

1) ACID : 100% merino wool / Manos Maxima

2) NEON ROSE : 100% superwash merino wool / Madeline Tosh via Purl Soho

3) EDISON BULB : 100% superwash merino wool / Madeline Tosh via Purl Soho

4) NEON ORANGE : 100% cotton / Yarn Market

When searching for the perfect neon yarns we came across this great home decor crochet project from The Purl Bee. This “Elegant Granny Blanket” shows how neon can add just a touch of elegant whimsy to any project. This is a must craft before winter!!

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This Christmas Mary gave me the best Christmas present EVER! No, it wasn’t a shopping spree at our local craft store (I wish!), it was the new kooky craft book Simple Times, Crafts for Poor People by Amy Sedaris!! Mary and I are HUGE fans of Amy Sedaris and the night I got the book I read it cover to cover. Being a knitter or crocheter you accumulate quite the yarn “stash” and the “Knitting Holder Can” craft (featured in use on the front of the cover) caught my eye. I knew that Mary could use one SO I broke out the Quaker oats, glue gun, oil cloth remnants and the puff paint and went to town. Mary’s squeal of delight was totally worth 3rd degree glue gun burn that Amy had warned me about. I also did not do the suggested stretching before crafting and really regretted it the next day.

Ta-Da!! The finished product. I added some velvet zig-zag and hot pink duct tape accent trims to finish the piece. There are puff paint details on the lid (not shown).

We loved everything about this book. The humor, retro photo styling, the crafts… it’s just awesomeness cover to cover.

This got me thinking… “What else can you make out oatmeal containers?”

Wall yarn holder – shown is using coffee cans but you could use oatmeal containers
Hair things holder – could be used to hold whatever. Just bring out the puff paint and label accordingly. (we love this blog!)
Pin hole camera – Star Wars and crafts… can it get much better? I submit it can not!!



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Recently Pantone published their color picks for Spring 2011. Pantone is the leader in color trend; influencing everything from fashion to home decor. If it’s color, they’ve had a hand in making it popular. Last years color of the year, Turquoise was seen everywhere. No doubt each of us dabbled in this lovely color this last year with some project or another. This Spring Pantone’s IT color is “Honeysuckle”, a muted pink. Mary and I have our own opinions, but pink is not showing any signs of stopping. I wouldn’t say pink is the new black but it’s pretty damn close. We love that this color group can be mixed and match to create any of our signature color stories. All these colors are right up our alley, so much so that we felt the need to share with the masses… SO what better way than help you get your hands on the colors of the upcoming season by featuring Etsy seller’s yarns. (It’s true we’ll find any reason to dig around on Etsy) Support handmade and look haute!!

... BUY ME!

yarns go from left to right, top to bottom row

HONEYSUCKLE  aka  Adore Me made by Funkyyarns

REGATTA  aka  Blue made by SpinSpanSpun

CORAL ROSE  aka  Embers made by HarrisonWheelworks

BEESWAX  aka  Honeycomb Mine made by SpringtreeRoad

PEAPOD  aka  Irish Fog made by HeartstringsbyDee

BLUE CURACAO  aka  Aqua Blue made by SentimentalValu

RUSSET  aka  Dark Brown made by Jenadoles

SILVER PEONY  aka  Cream made by AlpacaAvenue

LAVENDER  aka  Latvain Lavender made by Lambsear

SILVER CLOUD  aka  Nutmeg Brown made by HardySupplyCo.

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Found this little gem on Design*Sponge —  have I said how much we LOVE them. (The Polli link is worth the jump, their jewelry is wonderful) Just in time for fall and like previously chatted about on our last post, this is the perfect quick knit to spruce up your home decor. If you were particularly crafty you could modify this very simple, beginners pattern to feature any fun stitch pattern. Lacy patterns work best; they let the light and the color of the lampshade through. Imagine the combinations you could create!

The crochet pattern comes from an equally loved site, Pickles. This is a clean and simple pattern perfect for beginners yet can be worked to scale up as needed – it’s as simple or complex as you want to make it; again endless possibilities. What’s better is for roughly 5 bucks (pending the yarn you choose) you can have a brand new lamp! I’ll be working on one of these this weekend, just have to pick the victim… I mean lamp. Get pattern here.

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We are inspired to create wearable goodies for ourselves all the time, but how often do we knit (or crochet) goodies for our surroundings? For most of us it is not until the fall / winter months that we start to want to surround ourselves in these delux textures. Well… it’s that time of the year and here’s my list of knit decor must haves for the season. These are so fashionable that they can be used / on display around all year long.

Casamania Granny Knitted Lamp Shades recently featured on one of our favorite haunts, Daily Candy.

cb2 knitted pouf, simple yet stylish and super useful. Comes in the season’s color must haves. Personally I’m getting a bit tired of orange so the grey really appeals to me, a neutral good for year around.

Biscuit Scout’s hand knitted cream aran armchair slip cover is quite possibly the coolest twist on utilitarian object EVER! This beautifully crafted “chair sweater” is perfect for those chilly winter nights. This would be perfect in front of a fire place, with a book and draped in… you guessed it… a matching aran blanket! I have about 3 chairs I can think of that I’d love to cover but I’m not sure if I’d have the heart to sit on them.

The last but not least is this beautiful porcelian knit texture bowl from Annette Bugansky Design. We saw this trend blow up last season but it’s one that I personally hope never goes away. Check out the links for awesome options of these faux knit beauties.

What are your favorite knit decor items this season?

– Brandy

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A crafter’s to-do list is often long with no end in sight. (is that just us?) You need to pick up some yarn for that new lantern date night bag you want to make (now that you are on the scene), check your needle gauge and put a hex on that ex-boyfriend of yours.  How will you ever get it done!?  Thanks to the “I Needle U” acrylic needle gauge you can complete two tasks in one.  It comes in neon pink and neon green acrylic.  He measures standard metric needle sizes 2 mm, 2.5 mm, 3 mm, 3.5 mm, 4 mm, 4.5 mm, 5 mm, 5.5 mm, 6 mm and 7 mm.  And let’s face it… he’s a lot more reliable than that ex anyway.

This product comes from a site we love;  Ponoko … an indy crafter’s dream.  They do small manufacture runs on materials that traditionally are very hard to get your hands on or the minimal set up costs are just not realistic for someone just starting out.  You can choose from felt, wood, acrylic to name a few to create your custom designs.  You submit your designs, they make them and then you list them on their shopping site.  There is also an option to hook you up with designers if you have an idea but don’t know how to bring it to life.  We spent hours flipping through the pages of great products.

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We are such big fans of upcycling. Making what was old new again and most importantly keeping perfectly good items out of the landfill. We love going to vintage and thrift shops searching for that next craft book gem. About a year ago Mary happened upon Ex Libris Anonymous, the original makers of upcycled book journals, and was hooked. Details we love, each book is preserved in the state they find it in. Being careful to keep details intact such as library inserts pasted in place or small children’s doodles, forever capturing the book’s journey. They make great crafting journals, perfect for jotting down that next knit or crochet pattern. We love them for gift giving too. And while you can use what ever pen you have around to jot down those thoughts, Mary and I have highlighted our personal favs. It’s no joke that Mary has an addition to Sharpies. Remind us to show you her donkey Sharpie caddy, again not a joke. While I prefer novelty pens, fun shapes and colors. My latest addition… plastic quill pens. Talk about vintage inspiration, modern style!

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For those needle artists out there who have an iPhone, most know about the Stitchminder (free), Knitminder ($4.99), KnitBuddy ($4.99) and Knit Counter ($3.99) apps. The must haves of any tech-savvy crafter. Now to Mary and I’s excitement, Lion Brand has launched an app!

Per AppstoreHQ.com the Lion Brand Yarn app features:
• Pattern Finder: get exactly the pattern you need – search by pattern type, yarn, size and more. Or just tell it what
you are looking for!
• Locate a store that carries Lion Brand Yarns
• Receive the latest updates from Lion Brand Yarns

Screen Captures:

Logging off to go download now. Will review in the next few days, in the mean time get yourself this app and feel free to share your thoughts.

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