Making an art journal with a very old, much loved and used cookbook starts with one cookbook that has well-stitched pages and a tub of glue::I use mod podge and glue three pages together, then three more, then another three and leave them open to dry before moving on to the next lot. Before gluing, I’ll tear out pages then go to the corresponding side and tear out the set that’s on that side of the stitchery, thinning the book this way as it tends to get bulky with time and collaging. I like to get all my pages glued before beginning arting in books, but it’s not necessary and I know folks who glue as they go along instead. I work on our dining table, which I keep covered with an old shower curtain. Continue reading
Teapot Cosy/Warmer: pattern from Farrokh Namazi
Two sides to be knitted either in one color or two contrasting colors.
Medium weight wool: 1/2 of a 3 oz. ball x 2 in two different colors or a whole 3 oz. ball if making the back and front in one color
Number 7 needles
Cast on 48 stitches
Garter stitch (11 knit rows)
Purl 12th row to create blocks of ridges
Knit three blocks of 5 garter ridges
Then a further 3 ridges (5 knit rows)
On 6th row which should be on the WS (wrong side), begin decrease as follows:
K1 ssk k10 pm (place marker) ssk knit 18 k2tog,pm, knit 10 k2tog k1
Rows 2-4 St.st (knit one row, purl one row)
5th row – (on wrong side) k1, ssk knit to marker, sl marker, ssk, knit to within last two stitches before marker, k2tog, sl marker, knit to last 3 st, k2tog, knit 1
Continue working this decrease row every 4th row twice. Then every other row 5 times. Bind off all remaining st. (Should be 12)
Make two of the above.
Sew side seams up to 1 1/2″. Leave 4 1/2″ open on each side for spout and handle. Sew the top 3″ opening
Make three 3-4″ I-cord ropes in same colors with one additional color. Stitch them into coiled loops on top.
Cotton Newborn – 6 month Beanie Pattern from Farrokh Namazi
Set of #5 double pointed needles
1 ball of cotton yarn (will make two caps)
Cast on 2 st and make an inch long icord
Knit 1, make 1, k1 m1
Knit next row
(after each increase row, knit one row)
Knit 2, make 1, repeat to end
Knit 3, make 1, repeat to end
(Divide equally between 4 double pointed needles)
Knit 4, make 1, repeat to end
Knit 5, make 1, repeat to end
Knit 6, make 1, repeat to end
Knit 7, make 1, repeat to end
Knit 8, make 1, repeat to end
Knit 9, make 1, repeat to end
Knit 10, make 1, repeat to end
You should have sixty stitches on four needles
Continue knitting, for next 3 inches without any increase or as long as you want it to be.
Purl three rows
Along comes a rainy day (like today), the sort that appears out of the blue sunny sky and drops a heavy feeling of gloominess upon yourself . . . . which then vibrates outward and affects all those around you, until you all feel grey and glum . . . . well on a day like this one, making playdough was really very uplifting. Surprisingly so. And it was incredibly easy to make. Here’s how you can make some too, even if you have no kids, try it . . . . it gives a very healing finger-touchy feeling :0)
1 cup water, 1 cup flour, 1/4 cup salt, 2 tsp. cream of tartar, 2 tbsp. oil (I used olive), and some essential oils of your choice (lavender is a nice one, so is peppermint, or lemon . . . play around and see what feels right to you if you have some on hand :0) . . . .also, food coloring if you want it colored instead of creamy. . . . .I used 4 x the recipe, so all the chittlins had enough dough.
You’ll do this:
Stir the salt into the water vigorously in a saucepan, then bring it to a boil. Lower the heat and mix in the cream of tartar, then the flour. Add the oil, and keep stirring till it comes together in a ball. It’ll be lumpy, don’t worry about it, just stir it till it’s a ball like clump. Turn off heat and let it cool down till you can handle it, some like it hot, I like it a bit more than warm, but not scalding.
Put the mass on the counter, add the essential oils, and begin kneading. This is the fun part. Just knead any lumps away. Fold. Roll. Pinch. Slam. Swirl. Knead. We kneaded our blues away :0) When you’re done, it should be a smooth, lump-free, ball of yummy smelling playdough. This is where you can add coloring or not. And then it’s good to go have a play day with!
when ella baker passed on, her daughter held an auction. ella had been a waldorf teacher 30 or so years ago, and was also a master of the loom and mistress of the spinning wheel. the auction was for all the items in her studio: wheels, looms, wool, her own dyed wool samples with tags showing what the ingredients were, fabric strips, knitting needles, anything and everything related to spinning, weaving, and fabric arts.
i heard about the auction after it was over and was lucky enough to speak with ella’s daughter and go over to look through the leftovers: treasures for me. i filled my bags with lots of goodness, and then her daughter showed me the folders with patterns, (dolls, puppets, animals, gnomes, and more) which i added to the bags. at the time i couldn’t knit, but i knew the folders held jewels that perhaps i could use later. and i now can. one of the patterns was for a gnome doll. i modified it to fit the bulky wool i have on hand, and here it is. want one for yourself, your child, grandchild, or a friend but can’t knit or don’t have time to? let me know and i can make one for you :0)
- size ten knitting needles
- main color bulkywool
- flesh color bulky wool
- contrast color bulky wool
- wool batting
- wool for eyes and mouth if you want them
- wool for hair/beard
- big eyed needle that can have wool threaded on it
Head and Body
cast on 20 stitches in main color. knit 4 rows in main color. switch to contrast color and knit 8 rows, switch back to main color and knit 9 rows. switch to flesh color and knit 14 rows, then knit the last row decreasing by 1 on either end. do not bind off. instead cut the wool about 18″ away from the knitting needles and thread a sewing needle with this same wool. pull the needle through the stitches and remove them from the knitting needle (they should now be on the wool). pull to gather and stitch the seam down to the end. leave the bottom open. stuff with wool batting. stitch through the ‘neck’ and gather it tightly. stitch the bottom close. using wool for eyes, sew two eyes on if you want a seeing doll. if the doll wants lips, pick a color of wool you like and stitch them on too. take the needle all the way through to the back of the head when sewing the eyes. you now have the dolls’ head and body.
cast on 10 in the contrast color. knit 12 rows, then switch to flesh color and knit 7 rows. knit the last, 8th row, and decrease by 1 on either end. again, don’t bind off but thread the sewing needle with the same wool (as above), pull through, gather and stitch down the side. make two of these. stuff the legs and stitch closed. attatch to the body, be sure to take the needle through to the other side of the body while sewing.
cast on 9 stitches in main color. knit 8 rows, switch to flesh color and knit 4 rows. do not bind off, instead pull the threaded needle through as above, gather, stitch down the sides, stuff with batting, then stitch shut. make 2. attatch these arms to the body, pull the needle to the other side while sewing.
cast on 30 stitches in contrast color. knit 12 rows then begin decreasing by 1 on either end until there is 1 stitch left. thread the needle and pull it through the stitch, then stitch the seamas together. you now have a hat with a point. before sewing it onto the head, you can give the doll hair. i made the hair by threading lots of wool on a needle, and sewing it on with big loops that i stitched over here and there to keep it on the head. after you’ve made the hair, pull the hat on and sew it in place with wool. your doll’s done, and can have a beard added on if desired :0) it’s appx. ten inches tall.
we’re preparing for our solstice walk. this summer we made pinatas out of balloons, so using the same technique, we made lanterns to hold our candles. later they might make nifty baskets. the materials involved are:
- strips of newspaper
- elmer’s white glue
- a big mixing bowl,
- colored tissue paper
first we blew up the balloons. then we poured 4 cups of warm water into the mixing bowl and added 3 cups of glue, then swished it in thoroughly. this mixture was used on 6 balloons. start with less and mix more as you go along if you’d like and don’t be afraid to add more glue if it’s not sticky enough for you. the newspaper strips were dunked in the paste and stuck on the balloons, we laid them on in many directions so they overlapped to make a thick layer when dry. some of us slathered glue on the balloon and then stuck the newspaper on and so forth. once sufficiently papered, for lanterns we focused on sturdy bottoms, we strung them and hung them up to dry. it took ours three days.
once we’d played with them to our hearts content, we popped the balloons by poking them with sharp implements. then we scissored the tops off about halfway through the balloons, more or less. these made fun hats for a while. the bottoms were covered with tissue paper, glued in the usual dab/squirt way. then we made holes on the edges and hung them with yarn until the shortest day of the year comes around :0)