Monday, May 23, 2016

Pink Pom-Pom Garland

Even though the weather hasn't been cooperating lately, spring flowers are blooming like crazy in our garden. The peonies are getting ready to pop, and I see cherry blossoms and dogwood trees blooming all over the neighborhood. Those pretty pink flowers gave me the idea for this week's blog project--a super-simple pink pom-pom garland. Just perfect for warm-weather decorating, don't you think?

The first step is making a bunch of pom-poms. I used this pom-pom maker--one of my favorite recent purchases--which makes the process much easier than the cardboard template method.

Follow the directions that come with your pom-pom maker. For the model I have, you wrap the yarn around the "wings" on both sides . . .

then cut through the loops and tie a piece of yarn tightly around the center.

When you open up the pom-pom maker, you have a perfect little pom-pom. Just trim the ends even and fluff it up a bit. Be sure to leave the tail ends of yarn as is.

When you make as many pom-poms as you like, tie them to a piece of baby rickrack and trim the tails even with the rest of the yarn strands.

I love the look of this pink-on-pink garland, but I must confess--I chose the color scheme because I had some pink yarn and rickrack on hand that I wanted to use. Now that I've made one garland, I think I'm going to have bunches more in lots of different colors.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Cross-Stitch Veggie Hoop

I love veggies--cooking them, eating them, and stitching them. I'm not much of a vegetable gardener, but I did make this little veggie cross-stitch hoop to celebrate gardening season. I stitched the radish, carrot, asparagus, peapod, and tomato design with DMC embroidery floss on 18-count white Aida, and it fits perfectly in this little 3-inch hoop. If you would rather use a different size of Aida or even-weave fabric, just adjust your hoop size. Click download and print the chart and color key.

If you're new to cross-stitch, this is a good beginner project. There are only seven floss colors, and it stitches up really fast. I finished this carrot in a few minutes while I was watching TV (or, more accurately, listening to TV).

And here it is, all finished and framed. Those veggies look good enough to eat, don't you think?

Monday, May 2, 2016

Crochet-Covered Earrings

Who wouldn't love a pair of crochet-covered earrings for Mother's Day? They're cute and cool and--best of all--easy to make. I started with a pair of plastic earrings that I found in a jewelry box and some bright blue worsted-weight yarn. 

If you don't have any earrings just like these, don't worry. You can crochet over many types of hoop earrings--use your imagination. And of course you can use any color yarn you have on hand. I had just bought a big skein of this beautiful blue, but you really only need a small amount. You could also try yarn of a different weight, but I really like the coverage and texture that the worsted-weight created.

There are no tricky stitches involved--just single crochet. To begin, wrap the end of the yarn around one of the earring hoops and start working in single crochet. Just stitch through the center of the hoop as if you were working through a crochet stitch. As you crochet around the hoop, work over the starting end of the yarn. I spaced my stitches so they were close together, but not bunched up; I wanted to let a little of the hoop peek through. When the stitching is finished, cut the yarn and knot the last stitch closed. Use a large-eyed needle to pull the yarn ends under the stitches, and then trim any stray ends that try to poke through your crochet stitches.  

Repeat the process for the second earring and you have a one-of-a-kind Mother's Day gift--or a new pair of earrings for yourself.