Archive for the ‘Discovered DIY’ Category

Have you decorated for Halloween yet? We like Halloween at its most kitschy, with swinging skeletons and moaning ghosts (soundtrack supplied by the old tape deck in the entryway). It’s such a great season to knit and crochet something bizarre, imaginative or just plain fun to spookify your home. Crochet cobwebs, decorate your coffee table with the perfect knitted pumpkin, or startle the kids with a cheerful bat hanging from their bedroom ceiling!

Here are some of our favorite knitted and crocheted Halloween patterns and decorations. (You may need to log into Ravelry to see some patterns).

Row one: Boo the Bat pattern and Pudgdageist pattern.
Row two: Hocus Pocus Cowl pattern and Zero the Ghost Dog pattern.
Row three: Pumpkin Head pattern and Ghost Octopus by Max Alexander.
Row four: Baby Monster Hat pattern and Ghost with Chains decoration.
Row five: Amigurumi Vampire Bat decoration.

Need a quick project to get in a spooky mood? Try Lion Brand Yarn’s free Halloween Ghost Ornament pattern.

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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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When I stumbled across this ombre knit bandana on Ravelry, I was mesmerized. I have a love of all things ombre but to achieve a great knit or crochet gradient my heart starts to beat fast and I begin to imagine the horror of color work (which I’m hell bent on mastering) and finishing all the ends. As I began to read more about this pattern I learned that this is a single strand design and it’s all about DIY gradient yarn. You can create a complex look with very minimal effort. Best of all Xandy Peters gives great step-by-step how to dye your own gradient yarn on her cool blog. I will be forcing Mary to have a yarn dyeing party 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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Halloween is here again and with exactly 16 days remaining until the big night Mary and I have a lot of crafting to do to be ready for trick-or-treaters. This year we’ve decided to decorate my home as a haunted or un-dead funeral home. I live in the suburbs so I always get tons of trick-or-treaters but this will be the first time I’ve decorated the exterior of my home. We are going to pull out all the stops. We’ll be turning our cars into hearses, using mannequin parts for victims and putting fresh graves on the lawn. Don’t worry, we’ll post pictures!

In celebration we’ve gathered some of our favorite internet craft freebies! Who doesn’t like free? Click the picture to access the pattern.


Decorate with singles or put 5 or 6 in a jar for instant science lab! OR string together for an eye-popping garland. (we just can’t help ourselves!)

This pattern is for adult & child matching hats BUT we love how it turned into a yarn-bombing opportunity!

These are cute as-is OR swap googley eyes for buttons and they would make great tawashis!

Great pattern to customize to look like your victim of choice…


Eye always look out for the crocheters, we wouldn’t leave you out…

Severed finger chapstick cozy! You had me at severed finger.

Yana Knits also provides the pattern for a cozy web for your spider to live in. Add a red hour glass to it’s back and make it deadly.

It wouldn’t be a Rewind post if I didn’t link to some amigurumi! Look at these cuties…


We just had to include this. It’s a fan fav on Pinterest and for good reason! A great way to use up lace bits you may have around your house… or is that just me??

Please refer to each of the blogs linked in this post for the credit due for each craft. 

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For the past year these t-shirt strip necklaces have been quite popular. Not one to ever pay retail on something I know I can make, I decided to research how to turn old tees into yarn. There’s so much you can do with this versitile material once it’s been converted to “yarn”. Also unlike most yarn crafts it’s not messy and you more than likely currently own everything you need to make your very own upcycled tee accessory.

Step 1:

Turn the tee of your choice into yarn by cutting as much as you can in one continuous strip. I’ve found two very good resources that show two different ways to accomplish this. The more circular cutting method can be a bit harder to control gauge if you are wanting to knit a very specific pattern. The straight cut method allows you to measure and then cut however you do end up with a bit more waste than with the circular method. Each will get the job done. Play with color and pattern with the tshirts you choose to use. Tye-dye will create a great verigated yarn while screenprints can create interesting patterns/textures. Be careful when you pick tees that have been screen printed. Choose tees that have been washed enough to relax the ink or you could end up with rough thick spots in your creation. Then again this could be the look you are going for – sky’s the limit.

Step 2 (and the final step):

Freeform knit, crochet or craft your very own upcycled accessory. Mary and I tend to craft by the seat of our pants however if you watch your gauge you can very easily adapt this yarn to any commercial pattern.

Here are some inspirational craft and product links. You know that once Mary and I finish our upcycled goodies we’ll have them posted! Enjoy.

Braided rugs (we know what you are thinking, but check out the link. This artist worked with the colors to create an ombre effect; an updated modern take on this style of rug.)

Crochet Nesting Bowls

Knit Market Tote

T-Shirt Necklace

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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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