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Tag Archives: Yarn Stash

  • Crafters - Make a Yarn Basket from Your Stash!

    I have always used yarn in some sort of craft even before I "learned" the basics of knitting and crocheting as an adult. Two memories encouraged me to crash-the-stash of yarn and get weaving! When I was a Brownie Girl Scout, my troop learned how to craft a God's Eye or Ojo de Dios; a cultural symbol showing a woven motif created by using several colors of yarn wrapped around twigs. That is the first time I recall being amazed how several objects by themselves look and function one way, but used together in a different manner created an entirely new object! It was a magical transformation of sticks and yarn into a beautifully patterned piece of art. When I was an older Girl Scout, I made a woven basket. It took two weeks of soaking and weaving, soaking and weaving, until the basket was completed. It's funny how images from a current book can take you back in time, inviting you to revisit a past passion. Whether you discover the uses of yarn for the first time, or rediscover the transformation of your supplies into new objects, it's time to create a yarn basket project!

    The small project that caught my eye was the woven basket on the outside front cover of Leisure Arts' item 6758 - Yarn Crafts. Not only was it cute (small, compact, and uncomplicated), I could fit this project in to my schedule of other items on my to-do list. Plus, I had [minimal] weaving experience -- come on, decades' old hands-on knowledge still counts, right? Right - I immediately jumped on to making this project!

    This cute woven basket on the front cover (Leisure Arts' sku 6758 - Yarn Crafts), looks perfect for some discontinued yarn I gathered from our yarn stash! This cute woven basket on the front cover of Leisure Arts' item 6758 - Yarn Crafts, looks perfect for some discontinued yarn I gathered from my yarn stash!

    Reviewing the directions in the leaflet, I decided to add some coloring to the cardboard base of my basket. After reviewing my various coloring book choices, I chose a page from Leisure Arts' item 6704 - Natural Wonders Color Art for Everyone.

    I have chosen the page I want to color for the cardboard base of my basket. The page is from Leisure Arts' item 6704 - Natural Wonders Color Art for Everyone. I have chosen the page I want to color for the cardboard base of my basket. The page is from Leisure Arts' item 6704 - Natural Wonders Color Art for Everyone.

    This added step of coloring a page to add to the basket's cardboard base was not the hardest step, but it did take the most time!

    After reviewing the steps on how to weave the Yarn Basket, I decided that my piece of cardboard used for the basket's base would be covered by a coloring book page. After reviewing the steps on how to weave the Yarn Basket, I decided that my piece of cardboard used for the basket's base would be covered by a coloring book page.

    Of course I wanted both the inside and the outside of the basket's base to have a colorful design, so I colored the whole page. I used markers for this part of project, then sprayed acrylic sealer on the page after it was colored.

    Oh, yes; adding my colored sections from a coloring book page will be the perfect addition to the cardboard base (two circles, one for the inside and the other for the outside of the basket). Oh, yes; adding my colored sections from a coloring book page will be the perfect addition to the cardboard base (two circles, one for the inside and the other for the outside of the basket).

    Once my colored pages were cut into circles the same size as my cardboard base, I glued them to each side of the cardboard using a spray adhesive. Next, I used a sharp needle to puncture holes through the paper (that would be the inside of the basket) into the cardboard. Remember my earlier picture showed the cardboard already had the punctured holes; this was done before I made a final decision to add some coloring to my project. After the colored circle was glued to the cardboard, it was easy to puncture a new "layer" of holes going through just the coloring book page into the prepunched cardboard.

    Following the directions outlined in the Yarn Basket project found in Leisure Arts' item 6758 - Yarn Crafts, I inserted toothpicks into each hole and used hot glue to hold them in place. Some toothpicks would not stand straight up so I amended the directions by placing a pony bead around each toothpick. Then I added a different glue that would remain flexible after drying; I used E6000.

    Following the Yarn Basket's directions, 37 toothpicks have been glued into holes into the cardboard. I chose to add pony beads thinking these might add extra stability. (My cardboard example has been covered with a coloring book page). Following the Yarn Basket's directions, 37 toothpicks have been glued into holes into the cardboard. I chose to add pony beads thinking these might add extra stability. (My cardboard example has been covered with a coloring book page).
    Here's a side view of the toothpicks glued into the base cardboard. Most stood straight in place. Here's a side view of the toothpicks glued into the base cardboard. Most stood straight in place.

    I gathered three different bulky or super bulky weight yarn skeins. All three colors used were from partial skeins of discontinued colors. I began weaving - it was so easy and the pattern developed so quickly I wished I had more 'reeds' as my toothpick frame was quickly becoming a recognizable basket. I decided to quit for the night and had no worries regarding "where to start" in the morning.

    The first stage of weaving. A third color has just been added to the basket's body or frame. The first stage of weaving. A third color has just been added to the basket's body or frame.

    I changed colors as often as I liked; I didn't have a master plan. TIP: It was very easy to unweave rows when I decided to change colors at a different location. That's a great bonus - especially if you run short on a yarn color since you might be using up your stash of partial skeins! HINT: As you are weaving, gently push the yarn down each toothpick sliding it as close as possible to the woven row below it. This was a technique taught during my Girl Scout basket weaving experience and I started doing this automatically when weaving my current project! Following this technique gives the yarn basket a compact and tightly woven look.

    After the weaving is completed, a finger crocheted chain was added to the top of the basket. I placed the back ridge of each chain around the tip of each toothpick. Use some glue to hold in place as necessary. Here's a close-up showing both the top and base of the basket. The top shows the crocheted chain in place and the cardboard base with some toothpicks and pony beads still visible.

    A sideview close-up of the basket almost finished. I decided to add E6000 glue (over the hot glue); E6000 remains flexible. A sideview close-up of the basket almost finished. I decided to add E6000 glue (over the hot glue); E6000 remains flexible.

    I made another finger crocheted chain and glued it to the base's ridge. I wanted to conceal the pony beads as much as possible; these were used as structural support rather than as embellishments. A piece of single strand yarn was used to wrap around the basket near its top. As shown in 6758 - Yarn Crafts, I filled my basket with a variety of whole nuts.

    Woven yarn basket is finished and sitting on my countertop! Woven yarn basket is finished and sitting on my countertop!

    What a perfect container for a small space -  but this one little extra container will add definition to any side table, countertop or shelf. I hope to have this basket for years to come. Oh, by the way; I still have that Girl Scout basket I made all those years (decades) ago in summer camp! Fiber art lives on to tell us stories and create memories. Make some art today - enjoy!

    Martha

  • Fiber Art: Yarn Bombing, a Yarn Doll and Yarn Crafts

    I have been intrigued by yarn bombing for years but put my interest on hold after seeing only knit and crochet pieces used in the "bombing".  Since I had only started to learn how to knit and crochet, I couldn't imagine trying to create something quickly enough to use as self-expression in the greater outdoors. But as Craftsy has noted, the common denominator for this decorative self-expression is yarn. As a result, the artistic talents of many individuals may be creations that include multiple needle craft and fiber art categories.

    Some additional background information suggests that yarn bombing alters the visual landscape usually found in an urban setting. It is taking the craft of knitting and crocheting from the stereotyped image of grandma to the next level of free-form textile artistry that is a non-destructive way of voicing your opinion.

    Earlier this year, the inside of Leisure Arts started showing signs of fiber artistry appearing in open spaces. I gasped in an, "A-Ha!" moment; these office embellishments were versions of indoor yarn bombing. On the first floor, Tina's coat rack was covered with granny squares.

    A coat rack gets a yarn bombing makeover -- love the pom-pom hairdo and craft supply goo-goo eyes! A coat rack gets a yarn bombing makeover -- love the pom-pom hairdo and craft supply goo-goo eyes!

    The lobby furniture had its transformation, too.

    Add a lampshade tassel, tabletop cover and ripple wrap to an end table for a yarn makeover. Add a lampshade tassel, tabletop cover and ripple wrap to an end table for a yarn makeover.
    Complimentary colors are used for the longer table runner. Complimentary colors are used for the longer table runner.

    The use of textiles in artwork and home decor is not limited to crochet, knit, plastic canvas or other traditional skill categories and uses of yarn. Fiber art is alive and growing; it can be done by many as a way to decorate their homes with handmade artwork. Look at one of the pieces done by Jen, a Leisure Arts' friend. This owl dreamcatcher is her interpretation of one of the projects found in Leisure Arts' item 6758 - Yarn Crafts.

    A trio of dreamcatchers connected together with added feathers to form the shape of an owl. A fabulous interpretation of a project found in Leisure Arts' item 6758 - Yarn Crafts. A trio of dreamcatchers connected together with added feathers to form the shape of an owl. A fabulous interpretation of a project found in Leisure Arts' item 6758 - Yarn Crafts.

    I thought a yarn doll needed to be sitting on the lobby's settee; Tina and I started brainstorming! A shopping bag of partial skeins of yarn was collected as Tina thought what to use as the framework to hold the yarn as it was wrapped. The solution: an inverted sofa table.

    A life-sized yarn doll is going to be part of the Leisure Arts' yarn bombing decor. In order to make a life-sized yarn doll, many partial skeins of yarn would be wound around the legs of an inverted table. A life-sized yarn doll is going to be part of the Leisure Arts' yarn bombing decor. In order to make a life-sized yarn doll, many partial skeins of yarn would be wound around the legs of an inverted table.

    As the wrapping continues, watch as the mound of yarn skeins on the couch diminishes as the wound yarn around the sofa table legs increases.

    Around and around; look at all of the yarn gathered for a life-sized yarn doll! The table legs are acting as a frame to hold the yarn before gathering and tying off by sections. Around and around; look at all of the yarn gathered for a life-sized yarn doll! The table legs are acting as a frame to hold the yarn before gathering and tying off by sections.
    Many colors, textures and weights of yarn are wound around the legs of an inverted table in preparation for the life-sized yarn doll. Many colors, textures and weights of yarn are wound around the legs of an inverted table in preparation for the life-sized yarn doll.

    The next step in creating the yarn doll is to separate its form into sections. Since this yarn doll is going to be life-sized, the yarn needs some extra support. To add extra stability to the form's framework, Tina added cut pieces of a pool noodle into the yarn sections. The cut sizes of the pool noodle pieces are based on the proportions of your own life-sized yarn doll creation.

    Deciding the best way to shape this size doll! A pool noodle is cut into sections; one piece is bent in half to use for the head. The body and legs are gathered and tied in sections. Deciding the best way to shape this size doll! A pool noodle is cut into sections; one piece is bent in half to use for the head. The body and legs are gathered and tied in sections.

    The yarn doll sections are tied with a stronger material than yarn; Tina used jute instead. Tina did not care for the look of the legs so she untied them, but the head, arms and body remained. The yarn doll sits comfortably in a recliner; it really is life-sized!

    Reviewing the doll and deciding on the next step. Look at this yarn doll's dimensions as it sits in a recliner! Reviewing the doll and deciding on the next step. Look at this yarn doll's dimensions as it sits in a recliner!

    Hands are created by cutting the looped yarn at the ends of each arm. The legs have been untied, and the yarn doll will appear to be "dressed" and wearing a skirt. The yarn strands of the untied legs are separated and cut at the bottom to give the free-flowing look of fabric.

    The legs of the yarn doll are going to be "hidden" as if hidden underneath a skirt. The yarn loops at the bottom of the skirt and hands are cut. The legs of the yarn doll are going to be "hidden" as if hidden underneath a skirt. The yarn loops at the bottom of the skirt and hands are cut.

    It's time to prepare the head for some extra embellishment. The yarn doll is now a female who is wearing a skirt. She needs some kind of head covering and maybe some hair. Look what was discovered; how to make your own yarn curls for doll hair!

    The yarn doll is female and she can't have the one tied-off section at the top of her head be visible. She at least needs hair and maybe a kerchief. First, start by making curls. The yarn doll is female and she can't have the one tied-off section at the top of her head be visible. She at least needs hair and maybe a kerchief. First, start by making curls.

    As I am making and baking yarn curls, I started to crochet a granny kerchief. It seemed like it took me hours to complete this easy pattern, but I knew I was anxious to see the finished piece with curly hair and a kerchief. Tina made the yarn doll a bodice or vest; Tina created her own pattern and just estimated the garment's dimensions by holding it against the body of the doll as she progressed. As my kerchief neared completion, the yarn doll was taking on a personality and needed a name; LeiAnn Skane was born.

    The yarn doll now has curly hair and a crocheted kerchief. A crocheted bodice or vest was made, too. Her name is LeiAnn Skane. The yarn doll now has curly hair and a crocheted kerchief. A crocheted bodice or vest was made, too. Her name is LeiAnn Skane.

    At about the time LeiAnn was completed, I joked with Tina that LeiAnn needed a friend  -- or at least a dog to be her buddy. I was thinking of a dog similar in construction to this yarn doll. But Tina remembered as a young girl she would make yarn dogs with the use of a hanger as the wire frame. What a fun addition and fabulous creation was this yarn dog!

    A yarn dog is made using a wire hanger as its framework. Start with the same steps for making pom-poms. A yarn dog is made using a wire hanger as its framework. Start with the same steps for making pom-poms.
    After the winding and tying of each pom-pom is done, tie each onto the frame; the loops of each are not cut. The future dog has been named, Pom-Pom! After the winding and tying of each pom-pom is done, tie each onto the frame; the loops of each are not cut. The future dog has been named, Pom-Pom!

    Of course LeiAnn's dog would need a name, too. Look at the final creation. LeiAnn sits casually with her pooch. Can you guess what the dog's name is before reading any further...

    The yarn doll, LeiAnn, sits with her yarn dog, Pom-Pom. They are the perfect yarn bomb additions to the lobby at Leisure Arts! The yarn doll, LeiAnn, sits with her yarn dog, Pom-Pom. They are the perfect yarn bomb additions to the lobby at Leisure Arts!
    LeiAnn and Pom-Pom wear their IDs! LeiAnn and Pom-Pom wear their IDs!

    LeiAnn and Pom-Pom will greet you in the lobby; they proudly wear identification as members of the Leisure Arts' family. We love the added yarn bombing embellishments to our office decor!

    Martha

     

  • Summer Yarn: Finger Crochet a Scarf or Necklace in Cotton

    I do love scarves as a great embellishment to most outfits. They can be fun and funky, or sleek and classic; chunky for coats, silky for dresses. Now that summer temperatures and humidity are looming, I don't want anything heavy, bulky or scratchy around my neck.  But I do want to wear a little extra color and pizzazz to more casual outfits. The perfect solution is a light-weight, airy Finger Crochet Scarf or Necklace in cotton yarn!

    After choosing my yarn colors, I was off making chain after chain. I did hold my yarn a little differently than demonstrated in Leisure Arts' Finger Crochet video, (this video is found as an additional video listed with the, "Learn to Arm Knit" video. Scroll down below the initial viewing window and select the Finger Crochet video). Once I got comfortable with how I was finger crocheting, I easily fell into a rythym.

    Make chain stitches one after another creating a long chain for your Finger Crochet Scarf or Necklace. Make crochet chain stitches one after another creating a long chain for your Finger Crochet Scarf or Necklace.

    I knew Leisure Arts had both a video tutorial and pattern associated with finger crocheting, so all I had to do was to rummage through my cotton yarn stash and choose some colors. When I learned how to arm knit, I remember seeing a bonus finger crochet pattern shown in the leaflet, 75517 - Learn How to Arm Knit. If you don't have a stash of yarn but are quite intrigued by arm knitting and finger crocheting, you might consider purchasing a kit that has all needed supplies included! The kit's contents found in 47134 - Learn to Arm Knit includes yarn, an instruction booklet with a finger crochet scarf pattern and tassel/pom-pom making techniques.

    My Finger Crochet Scarf or Necklace is growing. Finger Crochet is described in several Leisure Arts' items: 47134 - Learn to Arm Knit Kit and 75517 - Learn How to Arm Knit. My Finger Crochet Scarf or Necklace is growing. Finger Crochet is described in Leisure Arts' items 47134 - Learn to Arm Knit Kit and 75517 - Learn How to Arm Knit.

    I chose colors that were definitely summery that elicited thoughts of beach breezes, mild winds, shoreline discoveries, porch swings, bare feet...relaxed fun. Trying to look fresh and cool during the summer can sometimes be difficult. In order to remain comfortable while adding some relaxed embellishment to my outfits, I wanted to use cotton yarn. It is light-weight and breathable. Both of these characteristics were necessities for my scarf or necklace that I planned to drape around my neck during the summer!

    Lily Sugar 'n Cream cotton yarn in colors Cornflower Blue and Cool Breeze Ombre. The Learn to Arm Knit booklet that is included in the kit; note the Bonus items listed on the front cover. Lily Sugar 'n Cream cotton yarn in colors Cornflower Blue and Cool Breeze Ombre. The Learn to Arm Knit booklet standing next to the box is included in the KIT; note the Bonus items listed on the front cover.

    I knew I had to have a very long chain to loop multiple times around my head in order to drape properly. I just kept in the zone of chaining; it was much easier to keep going once I started rather than breaking my time up into crocheting segments. I never did measure my final length of chain; I can only guess how long it was if the inside loop measures 27" in diameter when I laid it on the table.

    Close-up of the length of chain looped around and around trying to determine the final appearance of the scarf or necklace. Close-up of the length of chain looped around and around trying to determine the final appearance of the Finger Crochet Scarf or Necklace.
    Finger crochet chain - chain - chain to whatever length you desire! The inside circle loop measures 27". Finger crochet: chain - chain - chain to whatever length you desire! The inside circle loop measures 27" inches in diameter.

    As I was crocheting, I thought of adding a little something more to finish the scarf a little differently than the examples that I had seen showing bulky yarns. I did not want to add weight to my project because that would defeat the purpose of the scarf or necklace being light-weight. I returned to my stash and found a solution!

    Other supplies used: 7-9mm Freshwater Pearls, Stretch Magic bead and jewelry cord (0.7 mm / 0.28 in), and a wooden button (1.5" in diameter). Other supplies used: 7-9mm Freshwater Pearls, Stretch Magic Bead and Jewelry Cord (0.7 mm / 0.28 in), and a wooden button (1.5" in diameter).

    I strung some Freshwater Pearls onto Stretch Magic Bead and Jewelry Cord before weaving into one section of my project.

    Fresh water pearls strung on the Stretch Magic cord to add a little glimmer to the chain. Freshwater Pearls strung on the Stretch Magic Bead and Jewelry Cord to add a little glimmer to the chain.

    I attached the scarf or necklace together as described in leaflet 75517 - Learn to Arm Knit or instruction booklet contained in the 47134 - Learn to Arm Knit KIT. Then, I added a wooden button as my signature - I love buttons, too!

    The final Finger Crochet Scarf / Necklace has seven loops, not six as pictured when the innermost loop measured 27" inches in diameter. The final Finger Crochet Scarf or Necklace has seven loops, not six as pictured when the innermost loop measured 27" inches in diameter.

    The Finger Crochet Scarf or Necklace is in summer colors and is a free-flowing pattern of loops. it is light-weight even with its added Freshwater Pearls and wooden button, and will feel cool hanging around my neck since it is made using cotton yarn.

    A snapshot at the end of the day; the necklace is a good length. A snapshot at the end of the day; the necklace is a good length.

    This is a great way to end a few long, hot days -- and summer hasn't officially begun! Until next time, stay cool!

    Martha

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