Advertising

Candy Wrappers

A couple months ago I was surfing the internet looking for some inspiration. I wanted a new project that would not only highlight good design and craftsmanship but would also incorporate the use of recycled materials. Then, I stumbled across candy wrapper purses.

Unfortunately, I don't have tons of candy wrappers around, but I do have plenty of old magazines and comic books. I decided to start with those.

Also, the process of making an entire bag seemed a little daunting so my first projects were a little smaller. I started experimenting with the basic process of folding and weaving the paper pieces. My daughter liked one of my preliminary attempts when I made a comic book bracelet. Since then I have made a few other bracelets out of everything form magazines to pages from old books. My latest bracelet is my favorite so far. I used some scraps of Christmas wrap that were too small to cover any presents. The paper was shiny and silver, so the bracelet almost looks metallic.




After a few bracelets, I decided to try making a bag. There are plenty of places on the internet that describe how to fold and weave the paper into strips, but I couldn't find any good descriptions of how to form the strips  into a bag. That meant a lot of trial and error. The bottom part of the bag is the trickiest. But after numerous attempts (that ended up in the recycle bin) I finally figured out how to make a rectangular bag.







Good is never good enough, though. I liked the rectangular bags, but I really wanted to make something with a more polished look. I was back to the drawing board trying to figure out how I could improve the shape of the bag. After a few more failed attempts, I was finally able to fashion a more tapered bag. I still have to put the straps on, but that's the easy part. I'm hoping to post a few bags in my Etsy shop, http://www.etsy.com/shop/thechillydog, in the near future.



Crocheted Hacky Sack Pattern

Hacky Sacks are quick and easy to crochet. But why just make one when a 1.75 skein of sock yarn is enough to make 5 or 6?

Materials

  • Lightweight sock yarn in cool colors
  • Size 2 crochet hook
  • Small organza bag
  • rice (uncooked)

 

 

Directions


Chain 4. Join with a slips stitch to the first chain to form a loop. Chain 1.









Round 1: 6 sc in loop. From this point it is easier to crochet in a continuous spiral than in actual rounds. Your next stitch will be in the first sc and just keep working around and around.
Round 2: *2 sc in next sc* 6 times (for a total of 12 sc)
Round 3: *sc in next sc, 2 sc in next sc* 6 times (for a total of 18 sc)
Round 4: *sc in next 2 sc, 2 sc in next sc* 6 times (for a total of 24 sc)
Round 5: *sc in next 3 sc, 2 sc in next sc* 6 times (for a total of 30 sc)
Round 6: *sc in next 4 sc, 2 sc in next sc* 6 times (for a total of 36 sc)
Round 7: *sc in next 5 sc, 2 sc in next sc* 6 times (for a total of 42 sc)
Round 8: *sc in next 6 sc, 2 sc in next sc* 6 times (for a total of 48 sc)

Now just sc in each sc around until your word measures about 2 inches from the center of your ch 4 loop. Then, it's time to start decreasing around your work.









Round 9: *sc in next 6 sc, insert hook in next st and draw up a loop, insert hook in next st and draw up a loop, (there are 3 loops on the hook), yarn over and draw through all three loops* 6 times (for a total of 42 stitches)
Round 10: *sc in next 5 sc, insert hook in next st and draw up a loop, insert hook in next st and draw up a loop, yarn over and draw through all three loops* 6 times (for a total of 36 stitches)
Round 11:  *sc in next 4 sc, insert hook in next st and draw up a loop, insert hook in next st and draw up a loop, yarn over and draw through all three loops* 6 times (for a total of 30 stitches)

Let's fill it up! Set the small organza bag into the hacky sack, fill it with rice, and tightly tie it shut, or even better, stitch it shut. Make sure not to fill the bag too much. You want there to be a little give.








Round 12:  *sc in next 3 sc, insert hook in next st and draw up a loop, insert hook in next st and draw up a loop, yarn over and draw through all three loops* 6 times (for a total of 24 stitches)
Round 13: *sc in next 2 sc, insert hook in next st and draw up a loop, insert hook in next st and draw up a loop, yarn over and draw through all three loops* 6 times (for a total of 18 stitches)
Round 14:  *sc in next sc, insert hook in next st and draw up a loop, insert hook in next st and draw up a loop, yarn over and draw through all three loops* 6 times (for a total of 12 stitches)
Round 15:  *insert hook in next st and draw up a loop, insert hook in next st and draw up a loop, yarn over and draw through all three loops* 8 times or until the hole at the top is closed.

Cut yarn leaving a 6-12 inch tail. Pull yarn through the last loop to secure it. Carefully weave the tail into the last round or pull it to the inside of the hacky sack and trim it.

Have fun with one or make a couple more so you can impress your kids with your awesome juggling skills. It's great to surprise them with odd talents they don't suspect you have. My tutorial on juggling will have to wait for another day, though :)


Go Ahead and Ask

There are two questions my friends and family occasionally ask me that really get my creative juices flowing. The first is, "Would you teach me how to...  ?" The second is, "Do you know how to make a ...?" And recently, I have been lucky enough to hear both.

Would you teach me how to...?

Usually this question is about how to make a specific item, but sometimes it is about how to do a certain craft. A group of my friends have been asking me this one about knitting. So we got together for an afternoon of knitting. It was loads of fun, and yes, it was all about knitting and not just an excuse for a bunch of ladies to get together and drink wine. At the end of the afternoon my advice to them was to go home and practice, practice, practice.  Knitting is one of those crafts that you really have to experiment with and do repeatedly before you feel comfortable with it. In the beginning, it can be tricky to remember which stitch is a knit and which one is a purl. And quite often the edges of your work look like the path of a drunken sailor walking across the deck of a ship sailing on rough seas. That's not a look most knitters are going for.

Over the past couple weeks I have been hearing updates about people's progress. There was a little frustration and a few questions. Then one day this week someone showed me their first completed project, a simple yet well made scarf. It was absolutely beautiful. Way to go, Jennifer! She was happy that she was able to make something wearable, and I was happy that I sparked an excitement about crafting in someone.

"Do you know how to make a ...?"

I especially like this question when my answer is, "I don't know. I've never tried." I can assure you that I will spend the day thinking about how to make the item in question. It is also quite likely that the first thing I will do when I get home is start designing or crafting.

My niece asked me if I knew how to make fingerless gloves. I guess they are popular with the teen crowd right now. Personally, I like fingers on my gloves so my hands stay warm, but for some fashion is more important than comfort. Before long I got out my knitting needles and a new skein of yarn and voila! Fingerless gloves.


Of course, since there was still some yarn left I couldn't stop myself so the matching socks are in progress. Well, they are almost matching. The socks aren't going to be toeless socks because that would just be too crazy!

More recently I was asked if I know how to make crocheted hacky sacks. Again, my favorite answer. "I don't know. I've never tried." After a little bit of thought and a couple pretty close attempts, this was the result.

So go ahead and challenge me. I love those questions that spark new ideas and start the creative process!