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Yarn Con Slipper Class – April 2nd

YarnCon


Slipper Class

Saturday April 2, 2016 12PM to 1:50PM

We will be cutting up a felted sweater to hand sew  simple slippers   Each participant will use one sweater to make a one-of-a-kind pair of slippers to fit their foot.

Green & Grey Slippers

 

See YarnCon for details and to register.

 

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5 Day Facebook Artist Challenge – Day 1

Flower Pins
Flower Pins

I was nominated to participate in the 5 day art challenge on Facebook, by my friend Luz of Cocomocha Studios

Around 2006 I first started reclaiming sweaters into functional accessories.  I have made many types of flowers over the years here are a few.

 

 

 

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Day 5 – Necessity is the mother of invention

So creation – invention not sure where today falls!  I originally thought that I would be posting about the arm knitting that I have been doing, but in trying to take some photos of what I have made, I opened up a can of worms–How to take photos of scarves.  Of all the things I make it seems that I struggle most with photos of scarves.

I have a vintage mannequin which I tried to use today, but it wasn’t very successful.

IMG_7964_1 IMG_7950_1

So after freezing my fingers off taking photos outside and inside I am trying something new.

I decided to try a flat cardboard model of a head and shoulders that I can use to drape a scarf.

It was interesting finding out what dimensions to use.  I used 9″ as the head length and then the rest of the dimensions from this site.

 

So far I think I will like it, need to figure out how to hang it outside when taking pictures.  Not what was planned for today, but hopefully this will solve a long standing problem for me.

recycled cardboard mannequin

 

 

 

 

 

 

So this is the last day of my 5 day challenge to create something every morning.  I’m glad it’s over, the first two days I thoroughly enjoyed the process, by the third day I started to struggle with focus and staying on track.  But the biggest problem (??) is that even though I only intended for this to take up the mornings it really took much more time than that.

But overall I am thrilled to have repaired my car key, designed a new wreath, and worked on a new scarf mannequin, 3 out of 5 is not too bad!  And one unexpected pleasure was the blogging…..

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Day 3: How to make Felt Buttons from #recycledsweaters

Day three of my creative challenge started off a little bit differently with almost two feet of snow to shovel, so I didn’t get to my creative project right away….and almost forgot to do it!

Maggie Joyce Recycled Optical Lens Button

I have an idea for a neckwarmer that I think needs a button.  I immediately thought about using some of these fabulous buttons made from recycled optical lenses and I do think they might work beautifully, but somehow I got to thinking about felt buttons.

Since I have lots of little pieces of felt laying around, I started imagining a thickly felted wool button, with different colored layers that show at the edges.

 

Felt Button Recycled Wool 3

But instead I made a stack of offset circles of felt without button holes.

So this isn’t really a brand new creation for me, because I have made buttons like this before and used them to make wearable pins.  But I had never thought about using them as actual buttons…so that’s the creative challenge for today!

Felt Button Recycled Wool 2

 

 

I think the next time, I might try to add button holes and also try a stack of circles all the same size or adding the blanket stitch on the edges.

 

Can’t wait to show you the completed project!

 

Felted wool button from recycled sweaters

 

 

Here’s how I make a felt button or pin.

Cut three or four pieces of wool into squares bigger than the finished size desired.  I usually start with 4″ squares.  Because I am using scraps I cannot always get them that big, so I will also try with 3″ and 2″ squares.

I stack them in the order I want them and sew them together, down the middle with a sturdy stitch.

Felt them in a washing machine.

Trim them up into circles.

Hand or machine sew them depending on how tightly I would like them to stay together.

Add a button in the center if desired and a pinback.  Or you can sew them directly to your project.

Here are some examples of pins I have made in the past.

Thanks for stopping by!

wool button recycled sweater

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Day 2: Creative Keys – Not what you think!

Broken Car KeyDay 2 of my creative challenge to myself. For five days I will indulge in a new creative endeavor each morning.

So 6 months ago, I almost lost my car key because it had a crack in the plastic top (where you put the key ring.) It flew off my key chain and sat on the street in front of my car for 2.5 hours. Thankfully a friend helped me find it that night and I resolved to fix my key.

The first time I repaired my key I used a piece of lightly felted Turquoise wool to cover the key. That repair lasted almost six months, but eventually the felt wore a little thin at the top. So I have been carrying my key around without a key ring for several months, just waiting to lose it again!

Day 2 Key Collage

So today’s repair is with leather. I bought an old leather coat a while back and have a small pile of scraps from another project.

  1. Make a pattern: I traced the key on a folded piece of leather, which turned out to be too small. So used that piece to make a larger piece.
  2. Cut out a small opening in the middle of the new cover to slip in the key.
  3. Whip stitch all around the key top including sewing in a split ring.

I did have to sew it twice as the first time I used a running stitch which looked horrible. Whip stitch — much better.

diy leather key chain strap or wristlet

Since I finished that rather quickly I decided to replace the strap for my key ring also.   So after carefully measuring the width of the hardware, I cut a piece of leather twice as wide, folded it in half and machine sewed.  The leather I chose was a little stretched out and was difficult to sew without ripples which you can see in the photos…

DIY Leather Key Fob and Key cover

 

 

Not the most creative of projects but I got a chance to work with leather and learn some new skills —  Not to mention peace of mind!

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Resolutions or Revolution?

pine0001It’s January 29th not New Year’s eve, but after a month of frustration I have a new resolution.

I resolve to make one upcycled object for the next 5 days. I have seen many of you take on projects like this for one month or even a year, but that seems way too big for me!

Why am I doing this? As a working fiber artist there is a delicate balance between making the things I want, versus making the things I might sell. It’s a constant struggle to balance these two desires.   I have so many ideas that I struggle to hold onto until I have time to spend on them. So for the next five days I plan on spending the morning working on something that I have wanted to do for a long time for whatever reason!

Day 1.
A long time ago, my aunt showed me how to make a wreath with pinecones.  So this new wreath design is based on that idea.
Simple, but I like it.

Red Pinecone Wreath

 

If you would like to make one, take a look at my upcoming workshops.

 

Wreath pattern

 

I haven’t written up instructions for my new design yet, but I do have two other designs available as a downloadable PDF.

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Happy Earth Day

dryer balls from old wool yarn
dryer balls from old wool yarn

How are you celebrating Earth Day?  Are you doing something special?   Would love to hear about it !

Today in honor of Earth Day I am making dryer balls for the upcoming Earth Fest this Saturday in Oak Park.

I make dryer balls because I am committed to using up all the scrap material that I create.   This year I am making dryer balls from old wool yarn that someone donated to me several years ago.  The yarn had been sitting around for a long time even before I got it, so not in the best condition, but definitely okay for dryer balls.

Dryer Balls help your clothes dry faster and save energy.  My first choice is always hanging my clothing outside, but during the long cold winter dryer balls come in handy.

I will also be using some material that I received from ZeroLandFill to make lavender sachets!  Watch their video on upcycling

Looking for something good to do today for Earth Day?  Check out SCARCE and consider making a donation to them (I am not affiliated with them, but admire there efforts!)

Here’s to a healthy planet!

Denise

dryer balls from old wool yarn