Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Baby Cupcake Hat

After browsing hundreds of baby knitting patterns, I feel sure that the Wacky Baby Knits book is going to rescue my yet-to-be-born niece from a mundane baby life.

As soon as I found out that I had a niece on the way, I wanted to make every baby pattern I looked at, buy every baby yarn available.

But time and money were not on my side. For the January baby shower, I narrowed it down to the Wacky Baby Knits cupcake hat.

This slouchy little hat is going to look so cute on the baby! And a photo of her wearing it is going to make for a much better photo than this one.

The best news is that you don't even have to buy the book to make this pattern. The publisher has made the pattern free on, so hop over and get your free pattern.

Now, we just wait for the baby...

Friday, January 21, 2011

Hall & Oates Coin Purse

Ok, so my friend Danara is not really a maneater. But thinking about Hall & Oates reminds me of college when we played their greatest hits in her car.

Watch out, ladies.

For Christmas this year, some kind of ode to H&O seemed appropriate. I decided on something functional: a coin purse.

The Making
I ordered some metal frames from Tall Poppy Craft in Australia (why is it so hard to find frames in the U.S.?), then cut felt to fit the frame.

I cut the album cover (isn't it funny to call a cassette an "album"?) and the playlist from a cassette I bought on ebay. Using vinyl to protect H&O from the elements -- cause you can't be too careful when you have hair like that -- I sewed the images onto each side of the felt using my sewing machine, then I sewed the felt together into a coin purse. I slipped a piece of cardboard that I cut from an oatmeal box between the felt to make it sturdy.

The most difficult part was gluing the metal frame onto the felt. There were many moments of ?!@#%^ (that's me mumbling and cursing under my breath) as I tried to slide it into place. It looked a little wonky, but then, Hall and Oates look a little sexy wonky, too.

Notice the song "Open All Night." Mmmhmm.

If it were 1982, Danara would be the coolest kid in school. Instead, I have made her look like a sad adult longing for the days of spandex and slimy mustaches. I think she's ok with that, though.

Stay tuned for what I plan to do with the cassette tape that remains from my ebay purchase.

H&O, you make our dreams come true.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Down with Hand-Felting!

This weekend's lesson: hand-felting sucks!

Over the holidays, I crocheted the Posied Felted Crochet Bag, a free pattern from Red Heart yarn. The instructions say you can either machine-felt or hand-felt the bag when you're finished. Since I live in an apartment and have to trudge all the way over to the laundromat, I decided the hand-felt method would be better for me.


I boiled some water, put some soap on the bag to open up the fibers, and then used various kitchen tools to try and agitate the bag in the water.

After about 10 minutes, I felt like I was doing laundry with a washboard down by the river. The hot water was doing nothing. Laundromat, here I come!

The attempted "agitation..."

One glorious half-hour later (and thanks to some agitation help from my denim jacket and some jeans), the bag was perfectly felted.

Before and after:

Close-up of the flowers before and after:

If you want to try felting, I'd definitely suggest using a washing machine -- unless you're looking for an excellent arm-toning workout.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Stuart the Minion: The Making

Despite my incredibly insane holiday season at The Feisty Redhead, I did manage to squeeze in a couple of handmade gifts for my friends during the holidays. I am happy to report that Stuart the minion (from the Despicable Me film) is settling in just fine at his new home.

I used a pattern from WolfDreamer's blog, and made a few changes to give Stuart his own personality. (He's much more serious than most other minions.)

Stuart was presented to my friend Jenn as a Christmas gift and now resides happily in Queens, where he enjoys staring contests and making oatmeal cookies.