Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Waste Not Want Not Wednesday: New Life For a Sweater

Picked up this name brand sweater thrifting. It was partially felted by the previous owner. I put it through the wash to see what the result would be. It came out the perfect size for my daughter, but the bottom edge and sleeve edges were sort of lettuced and the neckline was too tight to go over a head.

Solution? Break out the serger and fully lettuce them. I couldn't decide whether to use matching or contrasting thread. When I uncovered the machine I found it already threaded with this pretty blue and thought the finished result would be nice with jeans, so I went with it.

The serging cut off the tight portion of the neck and prettied up the other edges. What do you think of it?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Pink Chemo Hat

Made from more of the pink yarn I got last year in the OA Pink Ribbon progressive auction, this is a two strand, loom knit, two over one stitch made on the green loom. It is so very soft, I hope the recipient finds it comforting.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Tasty Thursday: Gluten-Free Vegan spoonbread

This recipe was adapted from one I googled when I had the whim to make cornbread. The consistency is more of a spoonbread, fluffy and moist, so although it wasn't what I was looking for at the time it is something I enjoyed and will make again.

Set oven for 425F.

Bring 6 Tb water to a boil in a small pan. Add 2 Tb flaxseed. I used the flax with added blueberry from Trader Joe's. That added a color element to the finished product but didn't add any taste. I'd kind of been hoping for a hint of blueberry. If color is important to you, you'll want to try something else.

Lower heat, continue to cook, stirring occasionally until thickened, about three minutes. Set aside.

Mix together:
1 C gf flour mix I used Bob's Red Mill mixed with a little Soyquick; it was what was on hand.
1 C cornmeal
1/4 C sugar
4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp finely ground sea salt

To dry mixture add:
Thickened flax
1 C non dairy milk I used almond, our preferred milk.
1/4 cup oil I used corn, again because it was what was on hand.
3/4 to 1 C frozen corn kernels

Coat cast iron pan with vegetable spray, turn batter into pan, cook for about 25 minutes then set out to cool.

The texture is a little grittier than I personally care for but the consistency is perfect for spoonbread. So nice and tasty with a little Earth Balance. Next time out I'm going to add some onions.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Waste Not Want Not Wednesday: Delicious Yarn From a Thrifted Sweater

I picked up this gorgeous alpaca/wool, name brand sweater at Salvation Army for $2.25. The moment I saw it I turned it inside out in order to gauge the possibility of unraveling it and was thrilled to find the right kind of seams. Yay!

The seams came apart like a dream! They'd been joined with a yarn of a slightly different color which meant it was simple to snip them free without concerning myself I would accidentally snip something I shouldn't.

As you can see, the added design element was 'sewn' on. I snipped off the knot shown in the photo above and easily pulled it out.

I thought the rest of the unraveling would go just as smoothly. Boy was I wrong. Not being a knitter I simply had no clue of the intricacies of putting together a patterned sweater. As you see above, the front panel is made up of three parts woven together. So it was frog one side, untwist from center yarn, frog center yarn, untwist from other side of yarn, frog second side, repeat. I won't lie, I thought that was tedious. Then I got to the arms/back, none of which had any design, but that didn't mean the parts were knit in a single panel either.

It took almost an entire morning and afternoon to unravel this sweater.

Here you can see the results. With the sweater being a men's large I sure did get a nice quantity of yarn. I'm hoping to get a double layer hat plus a single layer hat out of it. Just two days before I found this sweater to unravel hubby ruined his nice, heavy, double layer alpaca hat so he definitely needs a new one. I think I'll get started on this project today. Despite the frogging being so much work, the yarn is just gorgeous and I think it was worth all the effort.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I Love My Snap Press!

These cute little straps took all of ten minutes to make. When my kids were small I had a couple attached to each side of the high chair and stroller to keep the binkies and toys from making it to the floor when the babies went through the 'I love to throw things and watch Mom pick them up' stage. If I remember correctly that happens around nine months old.

The two short ones are intended for attaching binkies to clothing straps - a good length but not long enough to get wrapped around the baby's neck (natually they're not intended to be used unsupervised) and two for stroller or high chair use. The ones I had in the 80's were plastic. Wish I'd had a snap press back then - my kids would have had a strap to match each outfit!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Thrifty Thursday: Handmade Baby Sweaters

Is this a score or what? Seven brand new, handmade baby sweaters, freshly tagged and placed on the rack at Salvation Army.

For .39 each!!

Can you believe what great timing I had? I feel so lucky that seven babies will get a sweet little handmade sweater from Online Angels, something I can not usually send them since I don't know how to make baby sweaters, for $2.73.

Another happy little find was this Hello Kitty flannel fabric. Two yards for .49!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Waste Not Want Not Wednesday: Fun Letters

What do you get when you combine the legs of old jeans whose tops you've already used to make purses, some felt you bought for a Halloween costume that never got made and a valance you got for a great price at Salvation Army?

Well, before I answer that I have to share the process, right? First, stack the fabrics up, trace the letters, which can be found at Happy Together, onto the fabric and pin. Be careful to leave enough extra around the sides as your fabrics may shift while sewing and you don't want to find yourself short on the edge of one like I did.

Next, cut them into individual fabric 'sandwiches', sew, then trim off excess.

You get these very cool letters for a terrific little boy who is turning four!

I think they look cute tied up with the jeans seam.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Thrifty Thursday: Spider-Man Valance

I picked up this brand new looking Spider-Man valance at Salvation Army for $1.99. Gosh, I love that place! The person who donated it surely blessed me.

My little great-nephew's birthday is next month and I thought of him the moment I saw it; I have an idea in my head for what to do with it. I've started off by washing the piece, pulling out the seams and ironing the fabric up. It is quite a bit of fabric, 22" x 120", and I'm really excited to get to work with it.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Waste Not Want Not Wednesday: Pantyhose/Tights Crafts

My work requires me to wear black hose or tights. I prefer the tights and as a result have quite a few no-longer wearable pairs collected. I can't just toss them. Beyond the $5-$7/pair cost, I just can't see throwing them in the trash. There must be good craft-supply uses for them.

Some things I've done with worn out tights so far -

Ties for holding up tomato plants
Tube bra (from the panty portion, not the legs LOL)
If only the feet were worn out, cut them off and wear as footless tights
Stuffing for soft toys and pillows
Store onions by placing them inside, tying a knot between each one and hanging up. When you want to use an onion just untie or cut off a section to release it
Cover the end of the vacuum hose and run over the rug when looking for a lost item such as an earring back. It will be lifted off the rug, but not sucked up into the machine

I've got an idea for a quilt. Take two squares, fold them over on the diagonal and sew together on the fold. Stuff each of the resulting triangles with tights and sew closed. These should be nice, weighty squares and make a warm quilt when sewn up, don't you think?

But I'd really love some crafty ideas, maybe a pin cushion or some sort? Or a children's toy of some kind? This faked potato looks like a fun toy! I wish a faked eggplant (since all my tights are black) could be just as much fun, but who eats eggplant in the skin with the insides mashed up and butter on top?

I would love for some folks to share their ideas on this with me!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Travel Tip Tuesday: Looking for Free Attractions?

Here is a website to start with. Search by state and find parks, museums and other attractions which are free of admission charge.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Looking For Artisan/WAHM Made Items?

Stalk Shop is a multi-vendor Artisan/WAHM mall. You'll find lovely clothing and household items as well as crafting supplies such as hand-dyed yarn.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Waste Not Want Not Wednesday: Time Can Be Wasted Too

Have you ever sewn something only to find that it did not work well for your body shape? I know I have and it is one of the main reasons I struggle with sewing from a pattern. I am so frustrated by the waste of time, effort and fabric when my end result is not as useful as I'd hoped.

I've been reading a little about slopers; today this link showed up in my email box. It's a sign, right?

I hope some of the information there - I've just begun going through it - helps keep your crafting time productive and not wasted.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Travel Tip Tuesday: Bahama Breeze $10 Gift Card

It's no secret my favorite travel destination is Orlando. Although I've not yet been to Bahama Breeze, I have passed by many, many times. Maybe the $10 gift card one can sign up for here will be incentive for me to try it on my next trip.