Friday, January 27, 2012

finished projects

Through the recent series of postings "7 days - 7 unfinished projects"  Kim inspired many of us to dig through our bins and finish up some of the projects that had been set aside and forgotten about.  I was no exception.  Although I wasn't able keep up the pace of one per day, it was still very satisfying  to get them out of my bin and into the hands of those they were intended for.  I had things in my bin that had been neglected for up to 2 years, but when it came down to finishing it off it only needed a few minutes of attention!  Why hadn't I done it years ago?!?

For example, these barefoot sandals, only needed the ties on one to be redone into a longer length.  Finished it off in about 10 minutes and they are now in the hands of my sweet, sixteen year old friend who I had promised them to when I was finished.

These fingerless mitts just needed a thumb made and attached. My little guy put dibbs on these fingerless mitts long ago.  Thankfully they still fit!!

And finally, a project for me!  It was sitting half done in my project bag, just waiting for me to wind the second skein so that I could carry on.  This is the Extreme Pom-Pom Scarf minus the pom-poms, obviously, and a fringe in its place.  It seemed a little more me.  I fell in love with this chunky hand-dyed alpaca, shetland wool blend at my LYS and this scarf was the perfect project for it.  Love it!!

I have a few more projects that I have finished off as well but I will save those for another day.  What have you been working on??


Monday, January 23, 2012

current project.

I'm very pleased with how this bag is turning out! I am working with Nordic Montoya Beach which is a 100% Linen. I just started in on my second ball. The yarn has a pretty sheen and seems to be a good fit for the bag. I think that I will take the advice in the pattern and chose a light coloured lining to highlight the lace and the relief pattern.  


Sunday, January 22, 2012


Nadin Sandler of of Nadin Art Design and Nadin Art Glass put together a beautiful treasury full of inspiration.

We love Lianka Azulay's  of Bonita Patterns new pattern for the Crocodile Stitch Booties. Aren't they super sweet?

Thanks Nadin for sharing our pattern for the Vintage Inspired Felted Cloche in your "Patterns" treasury! 

kim and tara.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

knotsewcute myth busters - can you felt wool by boiling it?

Sometimes we get questions about boiling wool to get it to felt. Since it is a combination of moisture, heat and friction that causes an item to felt I'm a little sceptical about the boiling method, but I'm still hopeful. Anything that would make my life easier is worth a try.

Using Patons Classic Wool I crocheted a 7x7" test swatch.

I placed the test swatch in a pot of water and set it on the stove to boil. Since I was a bit nervous about a kitchen fire I kept a close eye on it and using tongs I swished it around once in awhile.

So, how did I make out? Well, after an hour of boiling...


From what I understand soap makes water more soluble and the felting process occurs more readily when the pH level of the water is higher so I thought that I would try again, but this time I would add soap. I opted for a bit of laundry soap so that I wouldn't   have bubbles boiling all over my kitchen.

...still nothing. So, unless I am missing some crucial step, "boiling your wool project in a pot of water on the stove does not work"! The only thing that I accomplished was that my entire house was scented with the "knot sew" delightful smell of wet sheep :)

According to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia "Boiled wool is a special type of fabric primarily used in berets, scarves, vests, cardigans, coats and jackets. It is created using a mechanical knitting process which involves a set pattern that is then shrunk. It can also be a woven fabric which is shrunk, compressing the fibres together." Sounds an awful lot like fulling or felting to me.

I think that the misunderstanding arises from the term itself and it is perfectly understandable. If someone told us to boil some eggs...we would never throw them into the washing machine on the hot cycle :)

You may also be interested in our other felting posts:

What is felting
Felting tutorial


Friday, January 20, 2012

michaels app.

Just in case you haven't heard...

did you know that you can get a free Michaels app for your phone?  No more clipping coupons only to forget them at home!!! This has changed my life! I love this app!!

I don't get the current flyer in the newspaper but no worries...I am always in the know as the app includes the weekly ad as well as any featured deals.  Also, you can surf products, projects, and events to keep you inspired.  Of course, my favorite aspect of the app is the availablility of coupons.  The current coupons are always on your phone! Simply show the store teller your phone and it will be scanned and the discount will be applied to your order!  Yay!

Want to get the app?  Just search the app store for "Michaels Stores" and install. I recommend it to all crafters out there!  It will make you so happy!


Thursday, January 19, 2012

day seven of 7 days - 7 unfinished projects.

This is day seven, the last day, in a seven day series :)

Not only did I get all 7 projects completed but I also managed to sneak in an extra project, so I'm doing a happy dance!

Here are my last few projects...

I finally lined the "Touch of Africa Shoulder Bag"!

I am almost embarrassed to admit it, but I released the crochet pattern for the "Touch of Africa Shoulder Bag" way back in August of 2010 and the bag has been sitting ever since just waiting to be lined. I wasn't sure if I would get this project done this week so I'm pretty excited and so is my daughter as she is the happy recipient.

If you are interested in purchasing the pattern for the Touch of Africa shoulder bag you can find it here.

A Touch of Africa Shoulder Bag

I also finished the "Ladies Felted Chapeau"!

Ladies Felted Chapeau

On October 5th, 2011 I posted a felting tutorial and at the end of the tutorial I showed what the Ladies Felted Chapeau looked like after it was felted but there was still some finishing work to be done. At the time I was a little discouraged as I got so involved in the tutorial that I shrunk the hat a bit too much. I tried steaming it and stretching it but without a head form I really wasn't getting anywhere. I figured that I would finish as is and pass in on to someone with a smaller head, but after I added the cording and the top stitching I gently washed the hat in lukewarm water and I found that I was able stretch it while it was drying and now it fits perfect!

If you are interested in purchasing the pattern for the Ladies Felted Chapeau you can find it on our blog under hats.

Other than a couple of patterns that I am working on I am officially caught up....yay!!! Now as a reward I have my eye on the Lacy Shopping Bag by mycraftyideas :)


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

day six of 7 days - 7 unfinished projects.

This is day six in a seven day series...

Whenever I design a pattern I usually make several test samples. I just finished the crochet pattern for the "Honey Bee Beret" and this is the last test sample that just needed a bit more work to finish up.

Only one more day left of "7 days - 7 unfinished projects" and I can't believe how much lighter and more organized I feel. I am not allowing myself to start any new projects until the end of the 7 days so I am getting very excited and can't wait until Friday so that I can start on a new project...I already have a new pattern picked out :) I hope that this series has helped to encourage others to complete some of those nagging unfinished projects.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

day five of 7 days - 7 unfinished projects.

This is day five in a seven day series...

Originally, this "Bottoms-up Felted Coffee Cuff" was one of Tara's unfinished projects. My daughter really wanted one of these coffee cuff's so Tara generously offered me this one (some assembly required). Of course I snatched it up.

All I had to do to complete this project was to needle felted the swirls onto the pockets, attach the pockets and the pink heart, and buy and attach the belt buckle. All went well until it was time for me to sew the belt buckle on. You can automatically add a month onto any project that requires me to fire up the sewing machine.

Completion of this project took me all of 10 minutes most of which consisted of gathering the supplies and threading the sewing machine. It's amazes me how a bunch of small unfinished projects can start to add up and weigh on your mind...

If you are interested in purchasing the pattern for the "Bottoms-up Felted Coffee Cuff" by Tara Schreyer you can find it here. Please note that the instructions for the little felted pink heart shown on the front are not included with the pattern.


Monday, January 16, 2012

day four of 7 days - 7 unfinished projects.

This is day four in a seven day series...

Some time ago in "current projects" I posted about this gorgeous, artsy, handpainted wool from "Hand Painted Knitting Yarns". I had planned on trying my hand at free form crochet but part way into the project I realized that it was not going to work. Either that or free form is just not my calling.

This yarn was a giant collection of 12 mini skeins ranging from fine merino to boucle and glitters and all handpainted in the same gorgeous colours. I was planning on making motifs and joining them together to form a shawl, but as I was working on my third motif I realized that some of the motifs would work up rigid and stiff while others would work up soft and floppy. I didn't want the different weights and textures of yarn pulling the shawl into some weird mishap so I ditched the project.

My daughter came up with the idea of a vertical striped scarf. As soon as she said it I started thinking of all sorts of different designs when I remembered that I already had a scarf pattern that would work great.

Easy Striped Scarf - Crochet Pattern

The Easy Striped Scarf was the perfect match for the yarn. I added some random beads tied at different heights and in the end I even liked this finished project better than the original. If you are interested in purchasing the pattern for the Easy Striped Scarf you can purchase it here.

What does this have to do with "7 day - 7 unfinished projects"? Well, when I had finished the first scarf I realized that I had enough yarn to make a second scarf. It was the second scarf that took me some time to complete. For at least a month it alternated between decorating the top of my coffee table and the top of my TV stand. I had originally planned on adding a few more rows, but in order to get the project done I finished off where it was, I blocked it, and I trimmed the fringe. Excluding the drying time and the beads the finishing off part only took me about half an hour.

Now, not only did I finish up another project, but I also finished up the blog post that I had originally promised...yay!


Sunday, January 15, 2012

day three of 7 days - 7 unfinished projects.

This is day three in a seven day series... 

It's not that this project has been in the works for long it's more that last summer a friend asked me to make the Vintage Inspired Felted Cloche for them and I just didn't have the time until very recently. I feel bad that it has taken me so long, but I happy that it is finished and I can't wait to give it to her :)

If you are interested in this pattern you can find it in the hats section of our blog.


Saturday, January 14, 2012

day two of 7 days - 7 unfinished projects.

This is day two in a seven day series... 

This project wasn't actually on the hooks that long. I found this yummy yarn on sale and I just couldn't wait to make something out of it. The yarn is called "Panguipulli by Araucania" and it is a super soft merino wool that is delightful to work with. Although, I should add that I would have been a little disappointed if I had paid full price for the wool. The 2 skeins that I bought had several joins and imperfections that had to be cut out:( 

All in all, the yarn was still dreamy to work with and "The Boyfriend Cowl" was the project that I started when I should have been working on finishing all of the other projects.


Friday, January 13, 2012

day one of 7 days - 7 unfinished projects.

This is day one in a seven day series. My goal is to complete 7 unfinished crochet a day for 7 days.

I made this bag using the Scallops and Ruffles Felted Purse pattern (which you can find under free patterns in our blog). I had a vision of autumn coloured leaves blowing across the front of the bag, but I just couldn't get the leaves to look right so, frustrated, I removed the demented leaves and the needled felted swirls that were suppose to represented the wind and I tossed the bag into a basket. This is where the bag has remained neglected and unloved for well over a year.

I gave the bag a good washing to ensure that all remnants of the needle felted swirls were gone and then I reshaped the bag and allowed it to dry. I found these felted flowers for $2.49 a piece at Michaels and I thought that they would be a quick and easy way to embellish the front of the bag. I needle felted some different vine like swirls onto the bag, sewed on the flowers and first of 7 completed projects. I am already feeling lighter!


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

new crochet pattern - honey bee beret.

by kim miller

Skill Level: Easy/Intermediate

Whether you wear it as a beret or slouch it up this crochet hat is sure to be a wardrobe favorite. This hat is fun to make and as shown in the bottom picture it makes a beautiful addition to the Honey Bee Scarf - Crochet Pattern. Please note that this purchase is for the Beret pattern only.

This detailed crochet pattern includes instructions on how to make 3 different hat sizes ranging from 21" in circumference to 23" in circumference. The pattern calls for 1 ball of Patons® Lace or comparable yarn and uses the following techniques and stitches: adjustable ring, double crochet, front post double crochet, and back post double crochet.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

7 days - 7 unfinished projects.

I seem to have a habit of having several crochet projects on the hooks at once and over the course of time this adds up to several unfinished items lying around the house. With the start of a new business year I wanted to get caught up and finish some of these neglected projects. To keep me motivated I thought that I would commit to posting pictures of my completed crochet a day for 7 days. I will start on Friday, January 13th and I will go until Thursday, January 19th.

If you would like to join me there are really no rules. You can finish one project or more, you can employ the help of a friend, and you can even alter a project and turn it into something else. For example, can that afghan that you barely started and can't seem to finish be turned into a scarf? The goal is just to finish up as many crochet projects as possible so that with a clean conscience we can buy more yarn and start in on a new project...or two :)


If you have some unfinished crochet items that you would like to complete and you want to join in and share your pictures, please feel free to post a link in the comments section or send us a picture to We would love to see your finished crochet projects and hear their story (how long they have been neglected, etc).

Updated links:

day one of 7 days - 7 unfinished projects
day two of 7 days - 7 unfinished projects
day three of 7 days - 7 unfinished projects
day four of 7 days - 7 unfinished projects
day five of 7 days - 7 unfinished projects
day six of 7 days - 7 unfinished projects
day seven of 7 days - 7 unfinished projects

Monday, January 9, 2012

and the winner is...

A big thank-you to everyone that participated in this month's "first friday freebie!!!

We also wanted to take this opportunity to announce that we are going to be phasing out "first friday freebie" and replacing it with "random friday freebie". We are finding that life is random and the first friday of every month does not always work with our busy schedules. We still plan on having lots of freebies and giveaways so be sure to visit us on friday's. We always send out a newsletter announcing our friday freebie so if you would like to be contacted in this way just send us an email to Be sure to put "mailing list" in the subject line and we will be happy to add you to our mailing list.

Now for the exciting part...the winner of this month's giveaway for the sweet little robin pincushion from "Blue Daisies" is.....

the person that left the comment "absolutely adorable pincushion!" Congratulations!! Your comment was drawn randomly using

Thanks for leaving your email address. You will be contacted directly via email and we will be able work out the details. If you don't receive anything don't forget to check your junkmail/spam folder.
Thanks everyone! Have a great day!

tara and kim.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Friday, January 6, 2012

first friday freebie.

We are very excited to be featuring our dear friend and fellow Etsian, Donna, of as part of this month's "first friday freebie". Donna is the artist and creative force behind "Blue Daisies". Donna's specialty is pincushions and when you visit her etsy shop and see all of the amazing one of a kind pincushions that she handcrafts and meticulously embellishes we are sure that you will agree that she is a true artist in every sense of the word. We feel very fortunate to have acquired one of Donna's unique pincushions and we are offering it as this
month's giveaway.

Last spring Donna participated in another giveaway so if you would like to learn more about Donna and her passion for pincushions then you will want to visit "the sew weekly" and read her interview. We just love this comment from Donna,

"For anyone who is nimble with a thread and needle, a pincushion has huge sentimental value. Every pinhole in them represents all the projects that they helped you with over the years. I think that’s why so many people love them! :)"

The draw will begin today and will end Sunday, January 8th, 2012 at midnight (Pacific StandardTime). The winner will be randomly picked using on Monday January 9th and they will be contacted the same day by email. Be sure to check back on Monday to see if you are the winner!!

Note: The pincushion is as shown and is from a smoke free, pet friendly environment and we are happy to add that we ship internationally.

To enter the draw:

Just comment to this post, even to say "Hi". Please make sure to leave us your email address in your comment so we can contact you if your name is drawn. If you prefer to keep your email private, just email us at

To receive a second chance to win, simply tell your friends about our blog via facebook, twitter, personal blog, whatever and come back and share the link with us in another comment. Again, please leave us your email address.

Maximum of 2 entries per person. All entries must be in by Sunday, January 8th, 2012 midnight PST to be valid.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

a quick reminder.

Just a reminder that this Friday January 6th is "first friday freebie". We have something very special planned for this month, and although we have strayed a tiny bit from our crochet theme this months giveaway will be sure to brighten up your favorite creative space.

Here's a tiny peek at what we have planned....

See you on Friday!!!

kim and tara.