stuff i love // pillows

design sponge room

via // design*sponge

Design*Sponge always has “sneak peek’s” into tons of awesome homes and I usually quickly glance over them, but I saw this place today and completely swooned. What really got me was the eclectic mix of pillows on the couch. I love pillows. As I’ve started filling up our house with various pillows I’ve made (here, here, and here) I’ve been wondering where to put all of them because I’ve been stuck on the concept that a well-styled sofa or bed should have one or two “accent” pillows amongst more neutral coordinating pillows. But that couch is chock-full of accent pillows, and it looks great!

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another loop pillow

via Sunderland Stitch & Salvage

During a routine Etsy perusal I came across this pillow that is very similar to the oh-so-tedious felted loops pillow I did a couple months ago. This version looks a little more friendly; rather than knitting a super long rope, the loops were made by pulling out yarn from the stitches and using a super soft and bulky yarn. No matter how it was made, I like it! Check out the other cool things in her shop!

Broomstick Lace Crochet Cuff

Broomstick lace crochet cuff

I’m embarking on new yarn territory.  Broomstick to be exact. I normally knit cold weather accessories with heavy, chunkier yarns, but it’s been so nice here lately (I think I’ve said that for the last 3 or 4 posts now?) that I don’t want to think about making a heavy wool anything. I found this post on Cult of Crochet a few months ago and bookmarked it because I knew I wanted to try it out.

Welp, I did. And that’s what I made as a little birthday trinket for a friend.  I’m not going to do a whole tutorial because she does a pretty good job of it (and for lefties, too!). These are the instructions I used for learning how to make the actual stitch. I used a giant crochet hook as my “broomstick.” Those instructions say to use a giant knitting needle which I think would be easier so you don’t have to go around the hook, but you gotta use whatcha got, you know?

I’m sort of on a broomstick lace kick now, and I’m currently working on a headband for myself. I’m growing out my bangs and they’re at that horrible inbetween stage of too short to pull back but too long to not look like a shaggy dog. I’m doing the same thing as the cuff, just making it long enough to go around my head.

broomstick lace crochet cuff

I started perusing the web for more broomstick lace ideas and came across a ton! (surprise, surprise, name one thing you can google and not get a ton of results…) Here’s some fun ones:

broomstick lace crochet inspiration//  1. another donkey design  //  2. stitch diva studios  //  3. yarn pearl  //
4.  //  5.  //

Inspired yet? Go get broomstickin’!

How To: Make Plarn

how to make plarn

Have a bunch of plastic bags stashed away in one big plastic bag waiting for the day you actually remember to take them with you to the grocery to recycle? (I always forget).

Stop trying to remember and make something out of them! Here’s a tutorial for making Plarn, err, plastic yarn, that is.

plarn tutorial

To cut the strips:

plarn tutorial

I haven’t made anything with mine yet, but I’ll let you know how it turns out!

Happy Saturday!

Button Scarf (pattern)

purple knit scarf

I made this scarf a while ago, but then I wasn’t sure if I liked the fabric button…

…I’ve decided I do, and it’s blog worthy.

Like all the scarf patterns I’ve put on here, this one is also very simple. It is just a rectangle that is folded over and then buttoned through both layers. Refer to this handy diagram I made for you:

scarf dimensions

I did a seed stitch which is knit one/purl one on every row. That way you end up with an alternating pattern that gives it a nice texture. I used size 11 needles.

I got the fabric for the button at Sew To Speak, but if you have any sort of fabric stash, you’ll definitely have enough for covering a button. I must have had large ambitions of making lots of covered buttons with all the fabric I got for the sole purpose of this project.

If you’ve never covered a button before, don’t worry, its super easy.

covering a button

I would suggest getting the buttons with the little teeth around the edges. The buttons without the teeth require another tool to put it together. Make your life simpler, have less tools! You can get the buttons at any fabric or craft store.

button teeth

Then you just cover the fabric over the button, hook it under the teeth all the way around and snap on the bottom piece. Sew on the scarf wherever you like.

see? What’d I tell ya, easy peasy!

Knit RSS feed pillow

knit pillow rss feed

Brandon and I are both sort of super nerds, so I thought this pillow was more than appropriate to celebrate my new found love of blogging and Brandon’s longtime love of all things web.

I started this pillow in the middle of the felted loops pillow and worked on it when I was especially frustrated with the other. I got the idea from DIY Maven’s crochet and cross stitch pillow. But rather than cross stitch the second color, I used the pdf she made as a color guide for knitting.

I learned a new knitting technique while making this: Intarsia Knitting, which allows you to knit with two colors without getting holes in between them. (good video tutorial, actually, the whole website is full of great videos for different knitting techniques…check it out if you’re stumped on something!)

The back is constructed in a similar fashion as the felted loops pillow with two halves buttoned together.

knit pillow back

I figure I should make the back cute enough so if we ever need to hide our nerdiness we can just flip the pillow over.

The knitting was loose enough that I didn’t need to knit button holes, the buttons just fit through the stitches.

knit pillow

I can’t believe it’s already Friday! Enjoy your weekend, and thanks for stopping by!

Felted Loops Pillow

felted loops pillow

Finally! I finished it!

It ended up being a little lopsided and not quite as even and perfect as the picture in the pattern, but that just gives it character, right? I was also expecting to make an 18×18 inch pillow like the pattern said, but ended up with 12×12. I even had a couple extra feet of yarn rope, I don’t know how you would get an 18″ square pillow out of this! The loops would have to be so much smaller…

There was actually a lot of handsewing I had to do post felting. Looking back on it, I don’t think the “lattice” strategy of sewing the loops together was very effective.  I ended up sewing most, if not all, of the inbetween spaces after it felted. Also for some reason, I made bigger loops in the corners, so they kind of stick out further than the rest.

felted loops knit pillow

I also bought some fabric the same color as the yarn and lined the pillow form with it to help camouflage specs of pillow showing through the loops. The back of the pillow is two felted pieces buttoned together. To make the buttonholes I simply cut small holes into the felted fabric.

felted loops knit pillow back

Now I just need to find the perfect place to put it.

missed part I? check it out here

WIP: felted loops pillow

felted loops pillow

I saw this pillow in the lion brand catalog and immediately fell in love. “I must make it,” I thought, and promptly pinned it to my things I want to make board on Pinterest. Well, turns out, easier said than done….waaaayyyy easier said than done. This has turned out to be quite the process. I’ll bring you up to speed with my felted loops pillow process. The pattern is free on Lion Brand Yarn’s website, you just have to sign in with a free account to access it.

Lion Brand Fishermen's Wool

I loved that pillow in the picture so much that I opted not to alter at all. I got the exact yarn it called for, color and everything. It calls for three skeins…not a lie, you need all three.

The back of the pillow is pretty simple, just two solid knit pieces.  I did those by hand no problem and continued on. However, the next step says to knit 5 strips at 6 yards each (yup, 6 yards…18 honkin’ feet each) Each strip is only 6 stitches wide. When I started I felt like all I was doing was turning and turning and turning and my first 18-foot-long strip was barely getting there.

Ugh. There had to be a better way.

And sure enough, there was.

When I moved out of my parents’ house. My bedroom turned into the “ultimate craft room” complete with tons of yarn and two knitting machines. (how perfectly amazing is that?! My room, in my absence, is reincarnated into a knitting shrine…totally meant to be.)

My craft extravaganza a few weeks ago with all the projects I highlighted was mainly for two reasons, the knit berry hat baby gift, and to make 30 yards of yarn rope for this project.

knitting machine

So, Saturday morning, I wake up and my mom is starting to set up the knitting machine to get this yarn rope started. By the time I’m out of the shower and ready to go, I see this on the floor:

Holy cow, so much yarn-rope, so little time! And trust me, I’m not very high maintenance…I didn’t even wash my hair that day… this rope was made uber-fast.

knitting machine

Throughout the weekend we did shifts of 500+ rows of yarn rope…you can work up a sweat moving that knitting carriage back and forth! I thought I was going to be sore the next day…I was (very) relieved that I wasn’t. Come Sunday morning, we had this massive pile o’yarn:

felted loops pillow yarn rope

Total tally: 92 feet! I came home after the weekend boasting to Brandon all of our accomplishments and showed off this tangled mess of yarn. I don’t think he felt the same sense of satisfaction…

Next step, pin the yarn into loops on a foam board.

The first time (and second, and third) I just winged it. I tried to guesstimate how big the loops should be, but then get half way through and realize that there was no way I’d have enough to get to the end.

felted loops pillow pinning the loops

So then I got smart. I drew a grid on the board, 13 x 13, so I could pin the loops at all the intersections.

Because I’m an archi-nerd, and I know my archi-friends reading this thought the same thing when they saw that photo, I have to bring up the similarity to Superstudio’s Continuous Monument project…however I highly doubt the idea for this project stemmed from a knitting project…

superstudio continuous monument

Yup, that’s an architecture project.

I digress.

I also divided the 92 feet into 13 equal segments and marked each row with a pin so I would know how much rope I could use per row of loops.

***If you decide to venture into making this project, make sure you do this from the start…it will save you time!

All pinned and ready to sew together!

felted loop knit pillow

The next step is sew all the loops together.

felted loops pillow sewn yarn loop

My strategy was to sew every individual loop together and then a “lattice” strategy of sewing the rows together.

felted loops pillow

Whew! Finally all sewn together. It’s time to felt! I was super nervous to do that after all this work! Tossing it into the washing machine just seems so daunting and permanent. There’s no going back once you add some hot water and detergent!

felting yarn freak out

Needless to say I had a slight “felt freakout” before putting it in the washing machine.

What happens next?! Talk about a cliffhanger! I guess you’ll just have to come back to find out how the pillow turns out! Be sure to subscribe (if you haven’t already) to not miss out on the action!

knit berry hat baby gift

Remember this?

knit baby berry hat

click here if you don’t remember, want a refresher, or love it so much you just can’t get enough.

Anyway, I always had bigger plans for this little knit hat. I just had to find the time to finish its counterparts! I wasn’t able to go to a baby shower for my good friend from undergrad back in October, but still wanted to get her something for her new baby.  I knitted these hats with her in mind from the get go.

On positive side, being fashionably late with this gift allowed me to wait until I knew the baby’s name. Last weekend my mom and I completed the gift with some more personalized additions. So here is the completed knit berry hat gift:

embroidered baby gift

How adorable is that!? The baby’s name, by the way, is Abigail, so the A’s are more than appropriate.

embroidered baby onesie

My mom has a fancy schmancy embroidery machine (I can talk about that more in a later post) which made the applique pretty easy to do. I basically said “I like that A, this fabric, with this thread” and watched the machine do its magic.

Same for the strawberries:

baby onesie and knit hat

The burp cloth is my mom’s specialty. She gets all the credit for this. Like with the embroidery machine I said, “I like this A and this fabric” and she did her magic. Thanks, Mom!

custom burp cloth

They’re made from cloth diapers. She’s made these before and even has her own label for all of her fun creations.

custom burp cloth

This all makes for one happy, stylish baby!