01 Feb 2015

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Journey To The Edge Of Space: Take The Global Space Balloon Challenge

On the 19th April at 9:00am (GMT) we launched our High Altitude Balloon from Inverness in the Scottish Highlands, it reached an altitude of 100,018 ft in 108min, recording a min temperature of -40C and a min air pressure of 14.2 millibars.Registration for this year's Global Space Balloon Challenge has just opened. Do you have what it takes to send a payload into near-space using a high-altitude balloon?

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01 Feb 2015 5:01pm GMT

Journey To The Edge Of Space: Take The Global Space Balloon Challenge

On the 19th April at 9:00am (GMT) we launched our High Altitude Balloon from Inverness in the Scottish Highlands, it reached an altitude of 100,018 ft in 108min, recording a min temperature of -40C and a min air pressure of 14.2 millibars.Registration for this year's Global Space Balloon Challenge has just opened. Do you have what it takes to send a payload into near-space using a high-altitude balloon?

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01 Feb 2015 5:01pm GMT

31 Jan 2015

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From Pantry To Paint: DIY Watercolors For The Family

allparenting_homemade_watercolors_01Looking for an awesome family-friendly weekend project? If you've got creative kids who love painting, surprise them with an afternoon of color-filled DIY fun! Make your own set of homemade watercolor paints using ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen with this easy-to-follow tutorial from Amy Vowles on […]

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31 Jan 2015 5:01pm GMT

From Pantry To Paint: DIY Watercolors For The Family

allparenting_homemade_watercolors_01Looking for an awesome family-friendly weekend project? If you've got creative kids who love painting, surprise them with an afternoon of color-filled DIY fun! Make your own set of homemade watercolor paints using ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen with this easy-to-follow tutorial from Amy Vowles on […]

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31 Jan 2015 5:01pm GMT

Masterpiece Of Soldering: You Won’t Believe This Handmade Electronic Clock

The collection of components that you see above is actually a clock, masterfully constructed by Gislain Benoit, who has been working with electronics for as long as he can remember. According to the description, this clock not only displays the time, but all of the components you would see in […]

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31 Jan 2015 12:01am GMT

Masterpiece Of Soldering: You Won’t Believe This Handmade Electronic Clock

The collection of components that you see above is actually a clock, masterfully constructed by Gislain Benoit, who has been working with electronics for as long as he can remember. According to the description, this clock not only displays the time, but all of the components you would see in […]

Read more on MAKE

31 Jan 2015 12:01am GMT

30 Jan 2015

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Manual Log Splitter

logSplitterA simple wood splitting machine that lets gravity do all of the hard work.

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30 Jan 2015 11:25pm GMT

Manual Log Splitter

logSplitterA simple wood splitting machine that lets gravity do all of the hard work.

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30 Jan 2015 11:25pm GMT

For Those About To Rocksmith: Hack A Custom Cable

rock1Rocksmith, if you haven't heard of it, is a video game that helps you learn to play the guitar, or bass guitar in "GearWalker's" case. Think Guitar Hero, except with an actual guitar. Although this is quite an interesting concept (and in some ways makes more sense than 'Hero), it requires […]

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30 Jan 2015 10:01pm GMT

For Those About To Rocksmith: Hack A Custom Cable

rock1Rocksmith, if you haven't heard of it, is a video game that helps you learn to play the guitar, or bass guitar in "GearWalker's" case. Think Guitar Hero, except with an actual guitar. Although this is quite an interesting concept (and in some ways makes more sense than 'Hero), it requires […]

Read more on MAKE

30 Jan 2015 10:01pm GMT

This Giant Floating Face Creepily Watches While You Gamble

SLS Face DisplayWalk into the SLS Hotel in Las Vegas and you'll be greeted by a giant golden face perched high above the casino floor, gently floating and bobbing over the throngs of people dreaming of riches. It's eerie enough that you might think you've found heaven, or that someone spiked your drink. The incredible […]

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30 Jan 2015 7:34pm GMT

This Giant Floating Face Creepily Watches While You Gamble

SLS Face DisplayWalk into the SLS Hotel in Las Vegas and you'll be greeted by a giant golden face perched high above the casino floor, gently floating and bobbing over the throngs of people dreaming of riches. It's eerie enough that you might think you've found heaven, or that someone spiked your drink. The incredible […]

Read more on MAKE

30 Jan 2015 7:34pm GMT

Level Up: These 3D Printed Thumbsticks Help The Disabled Play Xbox

sample configuration with horizontal loopSince the beginning of my hobby of producing 3D printed parts to help people with physical disabilities play video games, the thumbstick has been an issue. Unfortunately, it was an issue I didn't really have an elegant solution for. After some brainstorming, I believe I've come up with a useful […]

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30 Jan 2015 5:55pm GMT

Level Up: These 3D Printed Thumbsticks Help The Disabled Play Xbox

sample configuration with horizontal loopSince the beginning of my hobby of producing 3D printed parts to help people with physical disabilities play video games, the thumbstick has been an issue. Unfortunately, it was an issue I didn't really have an elegant solution for. After some brainstorming, I believe I've come up with a useful […]

Read more on MAKE

30 Jan 2015 5:55pm GMT

Head-Twisting Woven Sculptures Put a New Face on Art

portrait-360-1Go ahead and wrap your head around this heady series of sculptures by Italian artist Gianluca Traina called "Portrait 360."

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30 Jan 2015 1:01pm GMT

Head-Twisting Woven Sculptures Put a New Face on Art

portrait-360-1Go ahead and wrap your head around this heady series of sculptures by Italian artist Gianluca Traina called "Portrait 360."

Read more on MAKE

30 Jan 2015 1:01pm GMT

29 Jan 2015

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What Will You Explore If You Win This Drone?

The 3D Robotics Aero-M has 40 minutes of flight time for mapping and surveillance. Photo: 3D Robotics.OpenExplorer is offering free drones to intrepid adventurers with goals of science and discovery.

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29 Jan 2015 9:34pm GMT

What Will You Explore If You Win This Drone?

The 3D Robotics Aero-M has 40 minutes of flight time for mapping and surveillance. Photo: 3D Robotics.OpenExplorer is offering free drones to intrepid adventurers with goals of science and discovery.

Read more on MAKE

29 Jan 2015 9:34pm GMT

DiResta: Sawhorses

FullSizeRender (1)I needed new shop horses to manage different projects and locations in my shop. I went to buy them, but realized they were too big.

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29 Jan 2015 7:01pm GMT

DiResta: Sawhorses

FullSizeRender (1)I needed new shop horses to manage different projects and locations in my shop. I went to buy them, but realized they were too big.

Read more on MAKE

29 Jan 2015 7:01pm GMT

15 Jan 2015

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River of Doubt Bind Off

I'm having trouble finding a satisfactory bind off for River of Doubt. I'd like to do 4 rows of 1x1 ribbing and then bind off. I can't find a knitted (with the needles) bind off that I like; I wish I could, because I hate breaking the yarn to do a sewn bind off and hoping I have enough of a yarn tail.

Well, here are the ones I've tried so far.

(1) Interlock bind off which looked wonky.

(2) Interlock bind off in contrasting color to see why it's coming out wonky. I thought I could figure out how to make it look better if I could see the mechanics of the stitch. I used my tiny sock knitting needles (package on the left) and made the stitches around the needle (held flat along the top of the edge) to see if they would be more even, but it didn't work. They just came out loose and floppy.

(3) TECHknitting's tubular bind off which looks fine, but is a little puffy at the end because you're doing slip-stitch double knitting just before the Kitchener stitch graft. I really don't want a puffy edge around my neck, so this one is out. Also, forgive my goofy-looking swatch, I'd never done Kitchener before and it took a couple tries to get it right.

(4) Tubular bind off from the book Superstar Knitting (page 100) which looks fantastic. Fantastic! Well, on the left stitches where I was doing it correctly. haha! I feel like I've tried it before and had this same revelation.

Perhaps it's time for me to start documenting the details of my knitting adventures here (like I did for crocheting and hand stitching) so I can look things up later. There's room on the internet for a couple more knitting tutorials. Ha!

So I think I'll go with the Superstar Knitting sewn tubular bind off ... even though it's sewn ... because it looks great.

And, as I was looking for links for all the bind offs, I found this video for one I'd like to try (icelandic bindoff) so I'll just leave this link here for later.

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15 Jan 2015 1:00pm GMT

02 Jan 2015

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River of Doubt - Sleeve #1

I have made some progress on River of Doubt. One sleeve and most of the body.

I tried slightly aggressive blocking it to get rid of the buckling, but it didn't really work. Knit fabric in stockinette (all knits) curves or rolls in on itself. Since this fabric is a knit/purl combo, it's always curving toward itself when there is a large swath of knits (or purls, which are knits on the other side). So the middle of each diamond and zigzag row curves inward and the middle of each purl spacer row curves outward. This equals accordion sweater extraordinaire.

Makes sense now, but my swatch didn't curl like this. I thought I had enough of a mix of knits and purls to combat the curl. Lesson learned. You need to have more of an even number of knits/purls throughout the rows to make a non curling fabric **OR** you need to have a preponderance of knits or purls so all of the fabric is curling the same way and you only have to worry about creating a non-curling edging at the neck, cuffs, and bottom of the sweater.

This is not going to stop me. I'm going to finish this sweater. I'm going to completely soak and block the sweater (I only steamed and sprayed it last time). And, even if it still turns me into the hand knit version of the Michelin Man, I will wear whether it buckles or not.

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02 Jan 2015 1:00pm GMT

16 Dec 2014

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Grey Scarf

The (oh-so-slight) downside of getting your husband to go into fabric stores and yarn stores with you for a decade-and-a-half is that he will eventually learn that there are things there that he might like ... things that end up being projects for you to make.

In this case, a soft squishy ball of lovely mottled grey wool-silk blend became a request for a soft, light scarf. "Of course I can do that," I answer. And the giant ball of fingering weight yarn comes home with us.

Fast forward 7 months after countless swatches, needle size tests, calculations, and charts. It took me forever to settle on a simple linen stitch to show off the subtle bright patches in the yarn. I love the way the slipped stitches break up the colors and give the scarf a pixelated look, like the static of an old black-and-white TV

After the first 5 inches (seen here) I did a quick wet block. This yarn feels so incredible in linen stitch with a slightly stretched block (7 inches across became 7.5 inches). It will be a very light scarf, which is exactly what was requested.

I have put all my other knitting on hold until I finish this, which has lit a fire under me, for sure. In just 8 days, I've made it almost half way through the scarf! I set some aggressive goals for finishing it so I can be sure I'm not still knitting it over the holidays, because, although I'm happy to knit this for Andrew, plain linen stitch isn't very interesting to knit for 50-inches.

I calculated that this scarf will take 56,000 stitches and 31 hours to knit. I've never done calculations like that before, and I'm pretty sure I never will again. It's pretty daunting, to say the least.

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16 Dec 2014 1:00pm GMT

11 Dec 2014

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2014 Ornament - Tree-ception

I have a very good friend Pam who loves the winter holidays, so every year I make her a Christmas ornament.

When November 1st rolled around, I started brainstorming. Every time I had an idea I realized I'd already used the motif ... an owl, a pincone, a heart, and a star ... and I was starting to worry and then the cutest image popped into my ravelry pattern feed.

The Christmas Tree ornament (ravelry account needed for link) by beakaptur is so adorable! She hasn't published her pattern yet, so I did a ravelry search of Christmas Tree patterns (knit and crochet) and found Little Christmas Tree, and I loved just as much. Bonus, it is a free pattern!



My only modifications were adding random purl stitches to make the tree textured, and I crocheted the trunk because it's so much easier to crochet tiny things than to knit them.

I resisted an urge to sew every bead, bobble, button, and sequin I own to the tree; I kept it simple. In my imagination, I see the pearly beads and gold sequins as reflectors of whatever colors and lights are on the tree where it will hang. That way it will always coordinate and be a mini-me of the bigger tree.

A tree to hang on your tree = tree-ception!

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11 Dec 2014 1:00pm GMT

02 Dec 2014

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River of Doubt - Progress on Body

So much progress! The unblocked stitch pattern accordions into ridges, as you can see in the photos. Once it's blocked the fabric will be flat and the knit/purl design will be more noticeable. Right now it's hard to distinguish between the zigzag chevron lines and the diamonds.





Next step is to block it to make sure it's the right length (it should be a couple inches longer when it's blocked).

I'm thinking of doing a purl icord bind off. I will need to swatch that and see if it will look good.

Oh, let's not forget the arms!

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02 Dec 2014 1:00pm GMT

10 Nov 2014

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River of Doubt - The Source

I've started a new sweater named River of Doubt. It's come together from a lot of different sources:

I bought the pattern for Crazy Stripes Tee because I like the neckline (and would eventually like to make that sweater). I followed the directions for the top-down, seamless, contiguous set in sleeves. So fantastic!

I had to chart every row of the front, back, and sleeves so I could figure out where the diamond and chevron stripes should be so that they'd all line up once I got to the armpits and started knitting the body in the round. That took quite a bit of work.

And, about the time I got to the armpits, I realized I was making a sweater 3 sizes too big. My normal ... haha. So I frogged the whole thing, redrew the charts, and now things are moving much faster!

Here are photos of my progress over the last couple of months:










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10 Nov 2014 1:00pm GMT

15 Oct 2014

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Bermuda Triangle on Vacation

I made the sweater Bermuda Triangle (ravelry link) specifically to wear with this skirt on our vacation in LA this October. I assumed that it would be cool and a little extra warmth up-top would be needed to balance out this short skirt. Who knew that we'd visit right in the middle of a 90-degree October heatwave?!

Luckily, the sweater is cotton, so it was comfortable in spite of the heat. It was also nice that I departed from my normal tight-fitting hip-length sweater silhouette and created a billowy cropped top to show off the swingy skirt.

This is one of my favorite outfits now: a bright cropped sweater and a short swingy skirt with pockets. Never in a million years would I have guessed that I would even wear this combo. Live and learn!





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15 Oct 2014 1:00pm GMT

15 Sep 2014

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Golden - Finished!

I realized recently that I never posted an "I'm finished!" photo of this sweater, so I staged a mini photo shoot at the park. Golden took forever to make, but it was worth every stitch. I wear it to work once a week with this great purple v-neck. That's the only thing good about chilly San Francisco summers - perfect cardigan weather.

I love wearing this sweater. It's comfy and stylish. Those increase eyelets make it look designer. People complement the sweater all the time. If it's extra cold on my walk to work, I wrap the front wings over my chest and secure them with the strap of my cross-body bag. This pattern is highly recommended!

For pattern, yarn, and project details, see Golden on Ravelry.





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15 Sep 2014 1:00pm GMT

05 Sep 2014

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Bermuda Triangle

Somehow, I started and finished a sweater before I could even mention it to you! I still have to weave in the ends of Bermuda Triangle (ravelry link), but that's it. I hope to take some finished shots of it this weekend. I made it to match a new skirt because I was having a hell of a time trying to find a matching top. Woohoo!

All of these pictures come from my tumblr. If you're interested in seeing what I'm doing more than once every couple of weeks, check it out. FYI, you can't follow my tumblr with bloglovin because reasons.





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05 Sep 2014 1:00pm GMT

25 Aug 2014

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Mini Road Trips

For the last couple of summers, instead of taking one big summer vacation, once a month we rent a car for a long weekend and drive somewhere nearby. We have discovered so many amazing natural treasures within a day's drive of San Francisco.

This month we went to Owen's Valley and saw Devil's Postpile, Panam Crater, Alabama Hills, and (on a whim?!) drove back home across the entire length of Yosemite. Seriously amazing.

full-sized images here

When I first started this sweater I googled the name of the yarn color, basalt. I learned about a spectacular form of basalt, called columnar basalt that is lava that cracks into hexagons as it cools. This is what lead me to name my sweater Fractured.

When I discovered that we had a columnar basalt formation within a day's drive, I knew we had to go see it. That formation is a National Monument called Devils Postpile. We hiked out to it as the sun was coming up. Such a great way to start the day!

The formation is striking from below, where you can see the columns rising up ~60 feet into the sky. Then you can hike up to the top of the pile to see the hexagon tops of the columns. Bonus: there is a spectacular view of the valley below from the top.

Black bears are common at Devils Postpile, but luckily we didn't see any since we had enough black bear sightings on last month's hike to last us a lifetime.

This is a public domain photo of the Panum Craterfrom overhead.

full-sized images here

Panum Crater is an inactive volcano that is around 650-years-old. You read that right, 650-years-old. That means this volcano was erupting around the time the bubonic plague was devastating Europe.

Please note, if you plan on visiting, there is a weather cycle here near Mono Lake which brings 30-mile-an-hour winds around 3 PM. Ask me how I know ... haha. We hiked the entire rim trail (that outer circle in the top photo), part of the crater between the rim and the plug, and the plug. All in 30-mile-an-hour winds. When I wasn't taking phontos, I was literally holding my sun hat with both hands to keep it on. My arms were more sore than my legs after that hike!

The rim is made of loose pumice rocks about the size of ping pong balls. The plug is made of majestic spires of obsidian. Both pumice and obsidian are the same rock cooled at different speeds. In my photos above are some chunks of striped pumice *and* obsidian. So beautiful The floor of the plug is full of broken shards of obsidian so it sounds like you're hiking through broken glass ... and I guess you kind of are.

full-sized images here

Alabama Hills is right outside of Lone Pine, CA. It's otherwordly! In fact, it was used as a set for other planets in the movie Star Trek Generations and the show Firefly. Over 150 movies and a dozen TV shows have been filmed here.

The day we visited, we saw a couple other cars and two people. It was quiet and beautiful. We hiked and climbed and marveled. As you move through the rock formations, they morph and change. So many hidden wonders!

full-sized images here

On our normal route home, we pass through the city Lee Vining which happens to be where the "back" entrance of Yosemite on 120. We stopped to get drinks at the gas station and thought, "Hey, why not drive back through Yosemite National Park?"

I'd never been to Yosemite and Andrew went once about 16 years ago. We'd been avoiding it because you hear horror stories of people in 3-hour car queues just to get into parking lots. But it didn't seem like there were a lot of people driving in and out of the 120 intersection with 395, so we went ahead and drove in.

It was a beautiful day. Andrew convinced me to stop on a couple heart-attack-inducing turn offs that had us perched on the edge of cliffs. We stopped in Yosemite Valley and went for a couple hikes to see Half Dome, Mirror Lake (which had almost no water), and El Capitan. Hands down, it was the best drive home from a trip, ever!

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25 Aug 2014 1:00pm GMT

04 Aug 2014

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Fractured Arms

Just in case you don't already know, this sweater's name is Fractured. :) I didn't want you to worry I'd hurt myself!

One sleeve takes a little more than one skein of yarn.

I have a couple more rows to do of the left arm (the one on the right in the photo). I steam-blocked the body and will try it on after it is dry* to see if I need to frog back to the waist and redo the hip increases sooner. (please. god. no.)

*Or at some time in the future when I have the fortitude to handle the (potential) news that I have months-more work ahead of me to complete a sweater I started in January 2013.

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04 Aug 2014 1:00pm GMT

28 Jul 2014

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Introducing the Lucky Wristlet

There is at least one of you who has been waiting over 7 years for this pattern to be published! There are many more of you that have emailed over the years asking for this pattern. And now, here it is, the Lucky Wristlet, available as a free download.


I can't wait to see all the creative personal twists that you put on the pattern. There are so many ways to customize this using colors, materials, ribbons, etc. Plus it's a very quick project. You could have it done in a weekend. So far, no one's posted a project on Ravlery. Will you be the first? ;)

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28 Jul 2014 1:00pm GMT

05 Jul 2014

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Tutorial: Make a Ribbon Strap for the Lucky Wristlet

This is the photo tutorial for making a ribbon strap for the Lucky Wristlet.

The tutorial is broken down, step-by-step. Let me know if something isn't clear. I will be happy to help you out.

Detailed instructions (text is above its corresponding photo)

1. You'll need a crocheted Lucky Wristlet using my free PDF crochet pattern and one yard of ribbon.



2. Find the side of your wristlet that doesn't have a spike crochet "belt loop" for your ribbon. This side has a spike.




There's more! Read the full post -->

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05 Jul 2014 5:01am GMT

04 Jul 2014

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Tutorial: Make a Zippered Lining for the Lucky Wristlet

This is the photo tutorial for making a zippered lining for the Lucky Wristlet.

The tutorial shows, step-by-step how to make a zippered lining for the Lucky Wristlet. Let me know if something isn't clear. I will be happy to help you!

Detailed instructions (text is above its corresponding photo)

1. You'll need a crocheted Lucky Wristlet using my free PDF crochet pattern, fabric for the lining, and a zipper that is about 3 inches longer (or more) than your wristlet.

CUT FABRIC PIECES

2. To figure out the size of the fabric pieces you need to cut, you need to measure your wristlet. Measure the width of the inside opening. In this photo, my interior wristlet width is 7.5"




There's more! Read the full post -->

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04 Jul 2014 1:00pm GMT

03 Jul 2014

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Tutorial: Crochet a Lucky Wristlet

This is the photo tutorial for crocheting my Lucky Wristlet pattern.

The tutorial is broken down by each teeny-tiny step. Let me know if something isn't crystal clear to you. I will be happy to help you out.

First things first: download the PDF pattern for the Lucky Wristlet.

Detailed instructions (text is above its corresponding photo)

1. Gather your supplies: yarn, ribbon, and your crochet hook. I highly recommend doing a gauge swatch, but it's not required. For this project, size isn't a concern, but you might want to make sure the fabric your yarn-hook combo makes will work for the wristlet you're imaging (not too thin, thick, etc).

Don't be confused by the yellow ribbon. I originally thought I'd use the yellow, but I ultimately decided to use the blue you see in the top photo. Luckily, grosgrain ribbon comes in standardized widths in a wide range of colors so it was easy to find the blue I wanted in a 1" width to swap with the yellow.



2. Start the foundation row of foundation single crochet (FSC) stitches. Never done FSC stitches before? Learn how from my FSC Tutorial.

After a I make a couple of FSC, I always put a stitch marker in the top and bottom of the first FSC. In the photo, I have put a pink stitch marker in the top of the FSC and a green stitch marker in the bottom or the FSC.




There's more! Read the full post -->

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03 Jul 2014 1:00pm GMT

02 Jul 2014

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Making New Habits

I recently came across a bit of advice about forming new habits. I read that to successfully build a new habit you need to make it easy to incorporate into your life. Two ways to do that are:

- do it right before or right after a current habit
- give yourself a reason to look forward to the habit

I've wanted to get up a little earlier each morning to give myself time to relax before jumping into the day, so I tried it out.

(p.s. you're welcome ... I photoshopped out my oatmeal. wow, it looked awful)

Every night, before I go to bed, I measure out the oatmeal and make a cup of coffee and put it in the fridge (I drink my coffee cold). WITHOUT FAIL, I have gotten up at my new wake up time because I look forward to eating the oatmeal. It feels like magic.

A big bonus is that I also have time to read a little as I eat my breakfast. If you like crime novels, I can't recommend Åsa Larsson's series that features Rebecka Martinsson highly enough. Only four of her novels have been translated from Swedish to English and I'm looking forward to the other two coming out here.

I also love my brand new owl mug. Such a cheerful way to start each morning!



Do you have any great tips for creating habits? I'd love to hear them!

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02 Jul 2014 1:00pm GMT