Posts tagged ‘product’

I-Cord Necklace Tutorial

At the Etsy Craft Party I attended on Friday I got a chance to play with an I-cord machine and talk to people about the different ways to make a cord (the machine, spool knitting or double pointed needles).  I wore the bracelet I created for the rest of the night and put it with my daily jewelry (watch, college ring and small silver hoop earrings) when I went to bed.  The next morning I decided that just wearing this bracelet wasn’t going to be enough, I needed to make more I-cord!

Since Saturday was Knit In Public Day it seemed fitting to choose the double pointed needle method.  If it hadn’t rained I would have biked to the park and knit there, but it was an icky day out and I’d been at the Etsy Party for 4 hours the night before, so the most public I was getting was twitter (and this blog, a few days late!).

I’m not sure that I’ve knit anything since Christmas of 2009, and even then it was just a few tiny snow people.  I was pleasantly surprised that my hands just knew how to hold everything, although it took a long time to get into the rhythm of things since the rows are so short!  Still, by the end I was able to do 7 inches of cord in about 10 minutes, which I thought was pretty good for someone who hasn’t knit anything substantial in more than 10 years.

My go-to website for basic technique has long been Lion Brand’s, they didn’t fail me this time either, giving a simple explanation of how to make an I-cord.

I started as instructed: casting on 3 stitches (yet another thing my hands magically remembered how to do), sliding, knitting, sliding and knitting some more.  Before I’d even gotten this technique down, I already knew that I wanted to experiment with the size of the cord, expanding and contracting to make different embellishments.  I ended up doing something like this:

Cast on 3
Slide to other end, knit 3 (basic cord pattern)
Repeat for 7 inches
Knit, cast on, knit, cast on, knit
Knit 1 row
Knit 2, cast on, knit 2, cast on, knit
Knit 3 rows
Knit 1, k2tog, knit 1, k2tog, knit 1
Knit 1 row
Knit 1, k2tog twice
Knit basic cord pattern for 1.5 inches
Knit, cast on, knit, cast on, knit
Knit, *cast on, knit* repeat from * 3 times
Knit 1 row
Knit 1, k2tog across
Knit 1, k2tog across
Knit basic cord pattern for 1.5 inches
Knit, cast on, knit, cast on, knit
Knit 1 row
Knit 2, cast on, knit 2, cast on, knit
Knit 3 rows
Knit 1, k2tog, knit 1, k2tog, knit 1
Knit 1 row
Knit 1, k2tog twice
Knit basic cord pattern for 7 inches

I apologize for the lack of abbreviations or standard notation.  (Did I mention how long it’s been since I knit something?)  I should probably say that you continue to slide at the end of each row.  If you can understand my pattern, you will end up with a necklace with three bobbles, 2 large and a small one between them.

I Cord Necklace

The problem is, they change size depending on how you push and pull the cord.  I was looking around my apartment for something small, a marble would be ideal, to stick in the spaces.  The best I could come up with without leaving home (still raining) was some styrofoam.  I’d recently purchased an exacto knife so this seemed like a fun experiment.

I cut the styrofoam into a rectangular prism at first, but quickly realized the cord wasn’t tight enough and the corners would stick out.  So I sculpted a bit until I had a piece I liked.



Then I pulled at the yarn around a small hole until it was big enough to fit the foam.  Once it was in, I wiggled it around and stretched at the cord until the hole had nearly disappeared.

I repeated the same process for the other two bobble spaces.  Squishing the styrofoam helped a bit, and I was even able to cut out protruding corners while the foam was inside the cord.

  Overall I’m happy with the design, although I may end up looking at the thrift shop for some marbles or other small spheres to use instead.  The styrofoam is just a bit more visible than I’d like it to be.


June 13, 2011 at 6:00 am Leave a comment

Blocking Experiment

So far I’ve managed to avoid blocking.  Mostly I work with thicker yarns and often with round objects.  Recently I made some square coasters though that came out a bit crooked and decided to finally figure out blocking.  I went with the soaking method rather than spraying since it’s a thick yarn and pinned them all down to a towel.

Pre-Blocking Coaster

Blocking Coasters

Turns that I don’t have as many pins as I thought (I don’t sew) so I was only able to pin the corners (even then I had to use some needles).  I stretched and squished the edges until they lined up with the ruler and hopefully they will dry that way.

Drying in the sun

I set the whole thing up in the sun and hopefully it will all go smoothly!

Do you have any tips or tricks for blocking?

June 6, 2011 at 6:00 am Leave a comment

Summer Table Setting

I was in Michael’s one day (always a dangerous place to be) and saw this adorable bright pink yarn on clearance.  I’m not usually one for pink, but I’ll always take good quality yarn on clearance.  I’m so glad I did because I just love what I’ve made with it so far:

Don’t the placemats remind you of watermelon and checked picnic table cloths all at once?

Both sets are available for purchase now:

Pink and White Round Crochet Coasters

Watermelon Placemats (Pink and Green Basketweave)

May 25, 2011 at 8:46 pm Leave a comment

Entrelac Lotus

All the blog gurus say that it’s important to write about what people want to read.  Since I’ve only had one comment and no other way to communicate with you, I looked at my search terms.  So far, four people have found my blog via search and they’ve searched for the following:

  • channel islands knitting illegal fishing
  • opposites crafts
  • how to do an entrelac square
  • how to make single crochet enterlac
I think the first comes from a funny fact I Re-Tweeted on twitter: (RT @LionBrandYarn Apparently it’s illegal for men to knit during fishing season on the Channel Islands) and the second is for a treasury I created, but I don’t have a lot more to say about either of those.  Entrelac though, I can talk about that!  I still haven’t tried single crochet entrelac because I’ve been busy with tunisian entrelac projects.

I finished my vase cover:
Upcycled Vase Crochet cover

And started the full size bag:
Tunisian Entrelac Crochet Bag

I’ve also been thinking about a future entrelac project.  Browsing Etsy and Ravelry I’ve seen some cool crochet banners and I have a set of tibetan prayer flags that hang above my window.  These two concepts would appear to be totally unrelated, but I’ve decided to merge them and attempt to crochet prayer flags.

Based on the research I did today my flags are not traditional- I have one strand of lotus and another strand of a variety of symbols.  Even though it wouldn’t be authentic, I think a string of crocheted lotus flags would be pretty and potentially spiritual.  While searching for crochet lotus patterns I recalled the entrelac circle pattern I had seen which I think could easily become a lotus using the correct colors:
tunisian entrelac in the round
Perhaps I will try this pattern in single crochet, especially since that will make it easier to transition from entrelac circle to traditional crochet square to finish off the flag.  Plus, this is a great excuse to buy more yarn!  The flags come in 5 colors and a lotus can be white, pink, red or blue depending on what it symbolizes.

What would you like to hear more about on this blog?

May 22, 2011 at 12:16 pm 2 comments

5 Things Friday

If you live on the east coast, then you know that it’s been a seriously dreary week.  My Wordless Wednesday post was of bright blue skies since I needed a reminder that they existed behind all of the rain/clouds/fog which have dominated this week.  This week’s five things were certainly influenced by the weather.

1. It rained so much that my morning walk turned into an obstacle course of avoiding puddles (especially that deceptively deep one which offers the potential for sinking and being splashed by passing cars) and the slugs that seem to be multiplying like crazy.

Even the geese were confused by the rain- they thought that the tennis courts were a great spot to set up for the day.

2. I got some work done on a new coaster design while proctoring the state test (MCAS) for 6 hours this week.  I think I want to felt them before selling, but I haven’t decided for sure.  Do you have a preference?

Square Crochet Coasters

3. I listed two new items on my Etsy shop.  First, the felted bowl I wrote about Monday.  Then, the hemp basket I described yesterday.  I have some bright coasters and placemats ready too, those would have been good for this dreary week!

4. Since I was stuck inside, I worked on updating this blog.   The layout is new since last week, I really like the green, plus it’s nice and clean.  And I added the “Etsy Shop” page.  It’s up at the top next to “About.”  Go ahead, read all about me, and then check out the awesome products I have for sale.  It took a bit of finagling to make the page work, but I’m happy enough with it.

5. I was very sad to learn that Pom discontinued their glass containers for tea.  They claim it’s the greener choice but I’m just not buying it.  I was really looking forward to making a nice vase from one.  Instead, I bought a random plastic bottle that was skinny enough to fit in the entrelac piece I’d made.  Last night I cut the top off (after my brilliant insight to use a rubberband to make sure my circle would be level) and this evening I hope to finish the cover for this upcycled vase.

Upcycled Vase

That’s about it for this week.  What have you accomplished over the past 7 days?

Again, thanks to Allison for the “5 Things Friday” theme.

May 20, 2011 at 4:55 pm Leave a comment


I’m a little bit late, but I’m celebrating the 2nd Annual Hemp History Week (it was May 2nd-8th). I was one of those young girls fascinated with friendship bracelets, lanyard/gimp/boondoggle (depending on location? or just who taught you?) and macrame.  So hemp was something I used to make necklaces/bracelets.  I liked the natural color better than the dyed hemp because it was softer and easier to work with (which I’m sure has a lot more to do with how the hemp was processed, not the dyeing). As with most crafts I picked up, the hemp, beads and clasps were all packed away in a storage bin that lived under my bed.  I didn’t think about hemp much at all, except on the occasion that someone would mention hemp clothing as ec0-friendly or how silly it was that the FDA couldn’t tell the difference between hemp and marijuana so growing it is banned in the US. Then a few weeks ago I was browsing my favorite online yarn shop which specializes in eco-friendly yarn.  They had hemp yarn and so I figured I should try it out (you should too – it’s on sale for the month of May!).  It’s a bit stiffer than other yarns, but not nearly as bad as that ‘dyed stuff’ I used as a kid.  I decided it would make a nice sturdy bowl/basket and set to work.


When I finished the basket I had some yarn left over, and decided to see how rusty my macrame skills were.  I dug into that bin under my bed, and there was my set of hemp, beads and clasps.  I don’t know if it makes me really organized or a pack rat, but either way I had everything I needed and knew exactly where it was 2 moves later!  Turns out my macrame skills come back as easily as a riding a bike does.


For more information about hemp check out this fact list.  I had no idea that Turkey has grown hemp for 2,800 years for rope, caulking, birdseed, paper and fuel!

May 19, 2011 at 12:01 am Leave a comment

The Felted Bowl Saga

I am new to felting, so far I’ve felted two things.  The first time I tried I sort of followed a bag pattern, then read a little bit about felting and jumped right in.  And it worked great!  I’d made a small clutch, just the size of a short drinking glass, in a nice wool yarn.  Then I stuck it in ice water, boiled it several minutes, ‘agitated’ it (using classic yellow dishwashing gloves), repeated a few times and then blocked the whole thing around a couple glasses (one for the bag and another for the handle).  Everything worked exactly as expected aside from a slight burn on my palms (felted wool really holds onto the boiling water!).

Impressed with the ease of this new technique, I set about to make a felted bowl.  I’d seen a pattern for a really cute knit bowl in a flower shape, but I wanted to crochet it.  Not to worry, I’ve made plenty of double crochet circles, I can make a bowl.  After a few tries with the petals I had a nice looking but slightly floppy bowl, I thought the felting would solve the floppy problem, not so much.  I started out just felting with ice water/boiling water like before.  It amused my audience (I was visiting my parents house for Easter weekend) but resulted in an almost flat piece of fabric that wasn’t very well felted.  Still feeling somewhat hopeful I set it in a bowl to dry overnight and hopefully regain its shape.

The next day I could clearly see that it would flatten with even the least bit of pressure, so I thought I would look up some fabric stiffeners.  One homemade recipe just involved watered down glue.  With renewed enthusiasm I painted some on and put it back in the bowl to dry again.  A few hours later I checked back to see that little had changed, if only it looked nice when flat I would have quit there and sold it as a trivet.

Finally, I decided to try putting it through the washer/dryer on hot with a full load of laundry to get as much felting as possible.  I didn’t think it would do much, but it was my last hope.  I’m not sure whether it was the washing or drying or combination of both, but at the end of both cycles it was finally felted!  The only problem was it had dried with a crease…  Not wanting to wet it completely to risk undoing all of my progress, I steamed the crease and massaged it back into a smooth curve.

All in all I crocheted, iced, boiled, agitated, glued, washed, dried and steamed this bit of wool.  It was an awful lot of drama for one bowl.  Next time I’ll just use double strands or single crochet!

This item is available for purchase now!  Felted Red Flower Bowl (Crochet).

May 16, 2011 at 6:00 pm Leave a comment

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