Everyone’s Doing It…

Everybody is making mesh wreaths!  So, of course, I had to try it too!  Considering I’ve seen these big Deco Mesh wreaths going on Etsy from $150 and UP, I thought it’d be cheaper to do it myself.  Mine is a Christmas wreath, but it could be made for any occasion!

So here is my way to DIY a Deco Mesh wreath (told in pictures):

Supplies:

2 rolls Deco Mesh

1 wire wreath frame

24 pipe cleaners

ribbon

cute add-ons

hot glue gun

and maybe wire cutters

Needed: 2 rolls Deco Mesh, 24 pipe cleaners, metal wreath frame, hot glue gun, and cute add ons.

Basics: 2 rolls Deco Mesh and pipe cleaners.  Ideally, the pipe cleaners would match the mesh!

Deco Mesh: 21 in. wide by 10 yd. long.

Deco Mesh: 21 in. wide by 10 yd. long.

I bought the wire wreath at Hobby Lobby for $4.99.

I bought the wire wreath at Hobby Lobby for $4.99.

I bought matching ribbon and other cute add ons!

I bought matching ribbon and other cute add-ons!

Twist pipe cleaners around the wire frame at regular intervals.

Twist pipe cleaners around the wire frame at regular intervals.

Gather the Deco Mesh and twist the pipe cleaners around the end to get started.

Gather the Deco Mesh and twist the pipe cleaners around the end to get started.

Gather the mesh after about 6 inches to create a pouf and secure to the next pipe cleaner.  Repeat all the way around!

Gather the mesh after about 6 inches to create a pouf and secure to the next pipe cleaner. Repeat all the way around!

Here is what my wreath looked like after one round.  I decided I needed more poufs, so I added more pipe cleaners and started over.

Here is what my wreath looked like after one round. I decided I needed more poufs, so I added more pipe cleaners and started over.  It wouldn’t be a craft project if I didn’t mess something up!

Here is my redo.  I think it looks better with 24 pipe cleaners instead of 12 (making the poufs smaller).

Here is my redo. I think it looks better with 24 pipe cleaners instead of 12 (making the poufs smaller).

After Round One, I got creative and made bigger poufs and securing them where I thought it looked best to fill out the wreath.

After Round One, I got creative and made bigger poufs and securing them where I thought it looked best to fill out the wreath.

Tip:  Cut 10 inch long pieces of ribbon, snip the ends to make a V-shape, and tie in to the wreath to add texture or a splash of color.  Ribbon also makes a great filler!  Try tying three different kinds of ribbon to the pipe cleaner to make a cute bow!

I hot glued on my add ons, tied lengths of ribbon to some of the pipe cleaners to add texture, and tucked in the pipe cleaners.

I hot glued on my add-ons, tied lengths of ribbon to some of the pipe cleaners to add texture, and tucked in the pipe cleaners.

I am ever so proud, and now I want to make more!

I am ever so proud, and now I want to make more!

This is going to go on my office door until school lets out for Christmas break, then it is going to hang proudly over my mantle!!!

Now try and make your own!  If you send me a pic, I will add it to my blog!

Here is my most recent wreath creation.  My mom and I had a Valentine's wreath making day!

Here is my most recent wreath creation. My mom and I had a Valentine’s wreath making day!

A Ticking Clock

The husband and I were talking about having a baby today. Let me back up. Yesterday, one of my favorite people in the world, Allyson, got married. I took a few pictures for her bridal shower invite and blogged about it in: I Shot Allyson. We’ve known each other since she was five and I was eight. At her wedding there were tons of cute photos of her and her brothers when they were little. I don’t have any brothers and sisters, but I consider Allyson and her three brothers my family/siblings. I babysat them when they were young! This brought on my husband’s comment about how he wanted a little one of our own. He said he’s ready. I think I might be ready… So the plan is to “poop one out” as husband says next May (not this May as in 2013, but NEXT May 2014, MAYBE). It’ll be the end of my second year as a school counselor, and I’ll be ready to pop after finishing my classes for my doctorate. I figure I can take my time to write my dissertation while I care for my baby!

This had me thinking about that baby hat I knit for a photo shoot for Love and Grace Photography . I completely forgot to add the gorgeous pictures they took! It’s also time for me to knit a baby hat for Minna, who is one half of Love and Grace Photography.

For the original post and knitting pattern see: Size Doesn’t Mater.

This is baby Ryder in the hat I knit.

So adorable!

Minna said the pictures with my hat were her favorites!

Size Doesn’t Matter

UPDATE January 2013:  I used my own pattern (below) to knit a hat for my wonderful friend and hair dresser, Minna.  She’s half of Love and Grace Photographs, who take beautiful pictures and have enlisted me to knit a prop hat in the past.  The hat turned out so much better this time using Jogless Stripes than last time!  I did 6 rounds of white for every 3 rounds of color, following the pattern written below.  Instead of braiding, I just knit a really long icord and attached an extra large pom pom.  I also made a large pom pom by wrapping yarn around my fingers a BUNCH.  I pulled yarn through the loop (sliding along my fingers), tied it, and cut.  Need a visual on how to make a pom pom?  Go here.  Martha also has great directions using cardboard (which I didn’t have, so I used my fingers!).   Here’s the hat I knit for Baby Amelia!  

Amelia's rainbow hat

There will be pictures of an adorable baby wearing this hat coming soon!

The rainbow and white yarn had little sequins attached. Darling!

The rainbow and white yarn had little sequins attached. Darling!

I’ve been trying to knit a baby hat for a couple of months now. I’d found a free pattern through Ravelry.com for a new born long tail hat. It was perfect! Except the person is better at knitting than I am, so the directions were not exactly made for a noob like me. I frogged it once (A knitting joke: What does a frog say? Rip it! Rip it! Meaning I pulled the whole thing apart and started from scratch) and started and stopped several times, but the time finally came for that baby to be induced, and I had to finish it. I would not let some tiny little hat conquer my fat fingers. Plus, I always keep my word, or at least try my damnedest to. My friends over at Love and Grace Photographs were counting on me to get this hat done for their photo shoot! Side note: they’re fab, check them out! This minuscule maternity prop would not best me! How could something so small be so hard?

Here is what it looks like:

It is pretty cute, if I do say so myself.

Here is what went wrong:
1. I used a smaller gauge yarn (but it was so soft and pretty). Tiny yarn is hard to knit with!
2. I did not use “jogless stripes”, which caused my hat to have stripes that slanted and created a look of a seam, even though I knitted in the round. See pic below!
3. I didn’t pull the stitches tight enough between my double pointed needles, creating two columns of looser stitches.

This is the ‘backside’ of the hat, where the stripes don’t meet up.

I now know how to make it better for the next time! Here’s my pattern adapted from the pattern at Ravelry:

Audrey’s Long Tail Tiny Baby Hat

Ingredients:
Size 7 and 8 double pointed needles
sport weight yarn in three colors. (I used brown, green, and blue- mine was baby yarn, I think it is sport weight, but I threw away the packaging.  Use worsted weight to make)

Here is the pattern; corrections are in bold.

Band:
Cast on 66 stitches on size 7 DPNs (This makes a tighter band around the head).
K1 P1 all the way around for 6 rows to create a rib. On my hat this part is brown.

Color change (stripe):
Switch to size 8 needles and k 1 round in your next color. On my hat this is green.
On the second row of your new color pick up one stitch of the previous color and slip onto your left needle. Knit the first two stitches (two colors) together. Finish K the row. This is called “jogless stripes”! Google it for more info, that’s what I did!
K another round (3 total rounds for the stripe).

You are going to repeat the color change stripe directions 3 times for a total of 9 more knitted rows. I’m putting the exact directions below (for noobs like me!). If you’re a pro skip to the decreasing.

k 1 round in your next color. On my hat this is blue.
On the second row of your new color pick up one stitch of the previous color and slip onto your left needle. Knit the first two stitches (two colors) together. Finish K the row. This is called “jogless stripes”! Google it for more info, that’s what I did!
K another round (3 total rounds for the stripe).

k 1 round in your next color. On my hat this is brown.
On the second row of your new color pick up one stitch of the previous color and slip onto your left needle. Knit the first two stitches (two colors) together. Finish K the row. This is called “jogless stripes”! Google it for more info, that’s what I did!
K another round (3 total rounds for the stripe).

k 1 round in your next color. On my hat this is green.
On the second row of your new color pick up one stitch of the previous color and slip onto your left needle. Knit the first two stitches (two colors) together. Finish K the row. This is called “jogless stripes”! Google it for more info, that’s what I did!
K another round (3 total rounds for the stripe).

Now to start the decreasing!

  1. *K9 K2together* repeat that all the way around! On my hat this starts the blue stripe.
  2. K the next row (remember to do the jogless stripe thing on this row)
  3. *K8 K2together* repeat that all the way around!
  4. K the next row (should be a new color. On my hat it is brown.)
  5. *K7 K2together* repeat that all the way around! (remember to do the jogless stripe thing on this row)
  6. K the next row
  7. *K6 K2together* repeat that all the way around! (On my hat this starts the green stripe).
  8. K the next row (remember to do the jogless stripe thing on this row)
  9. *K5 K2together* repeat that all the way around!
  10. K (On my hat this starts the blue stripe)
  11. K (remember to do the jogless stripe thing on this row)
  12. K
  13. K (On my hat this starts the brown stripe)
  14. K (remember to do the jogless stripe thing on this row)
  15. K
  16. *K4 K2together* Repeat all the way around! (On my hat this starts the green stripe).
  17. K (remember to do the jogless stripe thing on this row)
  18. K
  19. K (On my hat this starts the blue stripe)
  20. K (remember to do the jogless stripe thing on this row)
  21. K
  22. K (On my hat this starts the brown stripe)
  23. *K3 K2together* Repeat all the way around! (remember to do the jogless stripe thing on this row)
  24. K
  25. K (On my hat this starts the green stripe)
  26. K (remember to do the jogless stripe thing on this row)
  27. K
  28. K (On my hat this starts the blue stripe)
  29. K (remember to do the jogless stripe thing on this row)
  30. K
  31. K (On my hat this starts the brown stripe)
  32. K (remember to do the jogless stripe thing on this row)
  33. K
  34. K (On my hat this starts the green stripe)
  35. K (remember to do the jogless stripe thing on this row)
  36. *K2 K2together* Repeat all the way around!
  37. K (On my hat this starts the blue stripe)
  38. K (remember to do the jogless stripe thing on this row)
  39. K
  40. K (On my hat this starts the brown stripe)
  41. *K1 K2together* Repeat all the way around! (remember to do the jogless stripe thing on this row)
  42. K
  43. K (On my hat this starts the green stripe)
  44. K (remember to do the jogless stripe thing on this row)
  45. K
  46. K (On my hat this starts the blue stripe)
  47. K (remember to do the jogless stripe thing on this row)
  48. K
  49. K (On my hat this starts the brown stripe)
  50. K (remember to do the jogless stripe thing on this row)
  51. K
  52. K (On my hat this starts the green stripe)
  53. K (remember to do the jogless stripe thing on this row)
  54. *K2together* Repeat this all the way around!

There should now be 3 stitches left!
Put all your stitches on one DPN. You will K this as an Icord. Repeat the three steps below to make the tail as long as you like!
K (On my hat this starts the blue stripe)
Slide the stitches to the other end of the DPN and DO NOT TURN! You will pull the yarn from the other end and it will seem weird, but it will be okay!
K (remember to do the jogless stripe thing on this row)
K

When you’ve made it as long as you want, pull the yarn through the 3 stitches to hold them and end the hat. Braid the end. I tied on several more strands and grouped the colors to make the braid thicker!

Ta Da!

If you knit one, would you put pics and tips in the comments on my blog? Thanks! You’re the best!

How I killed Tasha Yar

If you don’t get the title, then you are definitely not a Trekkie (my nerd is showing).  I’ll explain.

Last night, I wanted to make chocolate covered frozen bananas.  I had one a couple of days ago from a local popcorn shop, and I was reminded of Bluth’s Frozen Bananas from Arrested Development.  It was so tasty!  It was $2!  Surely I could make this frozen treat at home for less!  I figured there are like three steps to making frozen bananas.  1. Melt chocolate 2. Dip bananas in chocolate 3. Freeze chocolate bananas.  But just in cases I googled it and found a foodnetwork.com recipe.  There are four steps: 1. Freeze banana with popsicle stick up its you know what for an hour. 2. Melt chocolate.  I never got to the other steps, because I messed up step two.  I followed the directions and put my chocolate in a double boiler with butter (the directions called for it!).  It started to get kind of fluffy not melty, so I switched to microwaving it.  I kept stirring and nuking this stuff.  Eventually, it liquefied, but there was an inch of clear liquid on top of the chocolate.  Weird.  Maybe that should have been a red flag.  The chocolate was also black.  So naturally, I got out the bananas and tried to spoon some of the ‘chocolate’ onto it.  The chocolate slid right off and started hissing.  Hmmm.  Spoon didn’t work, so I know!  I’ll shove the whole banana into the mix!  It started hissing and spitting.  IT STARTED HISSING AND SPITTING AND IT NEVER STOPPED.  That banana will never be the same, either.  I dumped it in the trash and went upstairs to warn my husband that it might ooze out of the trash like the sludge from Star Trek and kill us in the middle of the night.  Just like it killed Tasha Yar!  I created the monster!

I think I know what the problem was.  I bought chocolate flavored candy coating, and added butter.  I should have left out the butter, or bought real chocolate and added butter.

Today I trekked back to Kroger and bought real chocolate chips, and tonight we will be having a yummy dessert!  Below is the recipe that worked!

 

How to make chocolate covered bananas:

Ingredients:

4 bananas

12 oz. bag semi sweet chocolate chips

4 wooden skewers (or 8 popsicle sticks would work.  I just used what I had available.)

Wax paper (enough to cover a baking sheet)

OPTIONAL: 1 package chopped nuts (like for ice cream topping)

Directions:

Peel bananas, cut off ends (about 1/2 an inch), and cut in half.  Stick banana halves on sticks.  Line a baking sheet with wax paper, and put bananas on wax paper.  Freeze bananas for an hour.  Using a double boiler, melt chocolate chips and 1 1/2 TBS butter.  When good and melty, dip bananas one at a time in chocolate and use a spoon to help poor over the nanners.  Roll in nuts immediately after dipping and put back on the wax paper.  Freeze for about 10 minutes to harden the chocolate.  Don’t freeze too long, you don’t want freezer burned nanners!  After the second freezing, I put mine in a tupperware container in the fridge.

                                             

Click the link (thanks youtube!) to watch Tasha Yar’s death and the resemblance between my chocolate mess and the sludge that killed her! http://youtu.be/a9G3g8OSPBw