Felted Wool Ornaments

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I am pleased to be on the Christmas at Home blog tour sponsored by Hometalk and Country Living! I am so glad you are here!

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I have been working on a couple of tiny Christmas projects. We are in the middle of moving and I don’t have much time or space for a lot of decorating this year.

So, I decided to go tiny.

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You have probably seen the trendy HGTV show, Tiny Houses?

Just watching that show makes me claustrophobic. I like tiny decorations, I do not like tiny houses.

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I started my project with some rather tiny balls of wool roving. The wool is thick, unprocessed yarn, perfect for felting.

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The first step was to make the balls by twisting the yarn around my hand, then shaping it into a ball. I used several colors of roving for some of the balls and used just one color of roving for some of the others. I used red, green, grey and winter white yarns.

After I made the balls, I used a large sewing needle to secure the end of yarn inside each ball.

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The last step was to put the balls of yarn into a single sock and secure the open end with a rubber band or twist tie. The sock needs to be stretched tightly over the yarns ball in order to felt properly.

The balls in their socks were then washed in hot water in the washing machine with a small amount of laundry detergent. The agitation of the machine helps in the felting process. When they were done, I put them in the clothes dryer on the hot setting.

The dry balls were removed from their socks and decorated with pearl head straight pins in different colors.
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I used different designs for the pins including a snowflake, a star, a tree and just some random designs.

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The glass bowl sits on our coffee table and allows the balls to be admired from all angles.

Who knows, maybe going tiny for Christmas will be the trend next year.

Thanks for stopping by!

 

Knitted Afghan

 

 

I interrupt your nap time with a new project.

This homemade Knit Afghan is a popular fixture at our house. Our cat Pixel has decided it’s the perfect spot to snooze the day away.

It’s the perfect spot for me too. This blanket is so warm and cozy that I kept knitting and knitting, not just because it was fun, but because it was so nice to have on my lap.

This blanket started out as a project for my son’s bed. However, I like it so much I want to keep it on the couch in the living room instead. I was inspired by a similar project in a vintage knitting book. I can’t imagine knitting a blanket big enough to cover an entire bed, but that was the general idea. I am not that ambitious.

I do love how it turned out. The neutral color is great with any decor and this yarn was a dream to work with, so soft and easy to knit. The project, although large, went together quite fast, working with the larger yarn is very satisfying because you can really see the progress you are making.

 

 

The problem was, the kitty thought this blanket was pretty nice too. Have you ever tried to knit with a 10 lb. ball of fur on your lap? It’s easier said than done. Yarn makes for a very interesting plaything, especially when it is constantly moving about. I have the scratches on my thighs to prove it.

This project is super easy, a brainless thing to do while you are watching the TV and cuddling with your cat.

Here’s how to make one:

You will need:

36″ circular needle, size 15

12 Skeins Lion Brand Wool Ease Yarn, #123 Oatmeal

 

directions:

Cast on 113 stitches.

Knit 72 rows.

Cast off, weave in ends.

Using the leftover yarn (I had about 1/2 a skein left), cut 72 pieces of fringe 8″ long. Sew into short ends of blanket, folding the yarn in half, fringe will be 4″ long when finished. Trim ends if needed.

Finished size is 70″ x 90″, without fringe.

 

 

Be prepared to share your blanket with your furry critters.

They have claws you know.

 

Pink Wash Towel

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I have been knitting for weeks. It’s part of my winter routine, each night I spend an hour or two working on projects. You would be amazed at how much you can produce in such a small amount of time.

I made a number of small gifts for the holidays. My favorite gift combination was hand knit wash towels and home made soap. If you would like to make your own soap, check out my tutorial here.

Now it’s time to get back to my own knitting projects, I have been dying to make a couple of Wash Towels for myself.

 I love their soft cotton texture, it feels like a gentle exfoliant on the skin. They look as luxurious and beautiful as they feel.

The towels hold up amazingly well with regular use. They do stretch a bit as they are wet, but put them in the laundry and they shrink back to their original state in the dryer.

Who knew yarn was so resiliant?

in progress

The biggest plus of this project is it’s compact size, it’s easy to stick the needles and all in your purse and take them on the road with you.

This is Peaches and Cream 100% cotton yarn in Rose Stripes. I love how the variegated yarn makes stripes appear as you knit. It’s like the yarn has a story to tell you that is revealed as you work.

Who doesn’t love a good story?

For this project, you will need 1 skein Peaches and Cream yarn and a pair of size 8 knitting needles (I love the Susan Bates needles).

Here’s the pattern:

Cast on 44 stitches

*Knit 4 stitches, Purl 4* Repeat until end of row.

Repeat all rows the same until work measures 10″. Cast off, cut yarn leaving a small tail. Weave in ends.

Yarn Ball Wreath

Yarnball Wreath

 

 

I am normally not one to follow trends. I like to be unique in almost everything I do.

Sometimes though, the cuteness factor sways my opinion.

Like when it comes to making a Yarn Ball Wreath.

HUGE cuteness factors are involved.

I just had to steal this idea.

It called to me.

Many talented bloggers have had their own versions, and I must say I was tempted, but not completely swayed by them.

Until I saw the one over at Cherished Bliss.

She used twine in with the balls of yarn. It was the magic combination for me.

I was hooked!

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I also loved her idea of starting with a ball of newspaper and then wrapping the twine around it. Brilliant! It uses less yarn that way.

It’s also lighter, and easier to glue them down.

I used baking twine, regular twine, colored twine and scraps of yarn from my knitting projects.

I used newspapers until I ran out of them, then I started in on the Christmas catalogue pages. I have millions of those, could have made balls FOREVER with them.

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I hot glued them to a wire wreath frame and hung it on the door. Easy peasy!

Note to self: hot glue sticks to tables. Use plastic underneath to avoid the embarrassment of prying it off the table before dinner time in front of the family.

I almost stuck a candle in the middle and made it a center piece. Good thing the glue wasn’t really dry yet.

What do you have hanging on your front door?

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Homemade Knitted Gifts

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I have been hard at work making homemade knitted gifts for the Holiday. Several people mentioned how they enjoyed receiving a handmade gift last year and I am planning on doing the same type of thing again this season.

Lately, I have been cranking gifts out of my free time in the evenings while I watch TV.

It’s become a favorite past time of mine. No matter what sort of day I have had, no matter how much or how little I have accomplished, I relish the thought of sitting down for some quite time with my projects in the evening.

I am most productive later in the day it seems.

I was recently captivated by this beautiful super bulky yarn by Bernat. It is so soft and cozy, you can just feel the warmth.

I followed the directions on the pattern label to make this chunky scarf. It was very easy and involves only the purl and knit stitches. Love it!

I don’t make anything that’s complicated, by the way.

I am just not there yet with my knitting skills. Don’t know if I ever will be!

I decided need to make one of these scarves in every color, but I especially love the white.

White is soooo luxurious.

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Here’s the instructions:

Supplies: 1 skein super bulky yarn by Bernat and a pair of straight needles size 17 US

Cast on 12 stitches.

Knit 3 rows.

Pattern Row 1: Knit 2, yo purl 2 (repeat 4 times), Knit 2.

Repeat pattern row until you have used up almost the entire skein, about 57″ in length.

Knit 3 rows, cast off.

Simple and beautiful!

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Here are some other things I have been working on: This variegated scarf will work well for that anonymous gift exchange with the relatives on Christmas Day. Red and green is so festive!

This one is just a straight knitted stitch with bulky yarn on a size 11 needle. I didn’t really count the stitches, but I believe I used a cast on of 24.

I just knitted without really over thinking it.

I do that sometimes.

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My kids are very interested in the fingerless gloves that I made. They work well for those busy fingers that need to touch a cell phone at all times. I see a pair of them for each kid this season.

They too were super easy, just a straight stitch on straight needles and only required one skein of yarn. The thumb holes fall right on the seam so there is no need to reduce stitches, you just sew the sides together. I also love that they are not sized. My boys have rather large hands and if I had to figure out how many stitches it would take to fit them, I think I would go CRAZY.

These are definitely a one size fits all item.

Love it! I need a pair of these too. Perhaps in white to match the scarf? Oh, YES!

Santa is allowed to get a gift for herself, isn’t she?

Don’t answer that.

It’s our little secret. If my kids knew that Santa was allowed to buy a gift for herself, I would never get to be Santa again. The gig would be over.

SHHHHH!

Are you thinking Christmas yet?

I have a number of Christmas decorating projects in the works, so be sure and stop back for the update!