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Handmade Pom Pom and Cork Tree Christmas Ornaments

Although I keep announcing that I’m not making anything for Christmas this year, I guess I keep proving myself wrong, because I got inspired and had to make a cute handmade ornaments to give out, gift, and decorate with! These handmade ornaments are made from pom-poms, corks, ribbon, and buttons – all things that I had readily in my craft supplies. Even if you don’t compulsively stash craft supplies like I do, you should be able to find what you need pretty easily. To make the pompom trees you need pom-poms, cork, something to cut the cork with (I use a little metal saw), a hot glue gun, ribbon, and buttons. If you don’t have pre-made pom-poms, it’s really easy to make your own! Wrap yarn around a couple of your fingers. Pull the yarn off carefully, and tie a knot around the center with another piece of yarn. (I …

5

The Beginning of a Purple Mystery Organ Needlepoint

I’ve started a new needlepoint project to follow up my Anatomical Heart Needlepoint. I decided to do it in 6 shades of purple that I hand dyed. It will be several inches larger than the heart, perfect for turning into a pillow for our couch :) I tied a bunch of hanks of natural 50% wool 50% silk yarn (following my own tutorial) and dyed them in a pot on my stove. I wantonly mixed red and blue dye in two different batches (the top and bottom rows shown above) so I ended up with two slightly differently hued sets. To get the variety of shades along the top row, I put the first hank in for 15m, the second for 5 min, the third I dipped in, and the last two I got wet before dipping in. Dying them in sequential order, the earlier hanks take up the majority …

5

How to Tie a Yarn Hank for Dying

I have a large cone of undyed wool that is perfect for hand-dying to use in needlepoint projects. The last time that I dyed a large batch of it, I ended up with tangled messes that took me hours to untangle so that I could use them. Super frustrating. So, this time around, I decided to be smart about it and appropriately secure the yarn for dying. The first step is wrap a length of yarn off of your cone (or skein) into a circle. It’s convenient to wrap around the back of a chair or to wrap holding one end in your hand and the other around your elbow. By wrapping the yarn into a circle, you are turning it into a hank of yarn. Lay one hank of yarn down on a surface. (I made a bunch of hanks of yarn at once and then went through and tied them all). Putting one twist in …

1

Hand Dyed Yarn for Needlepoint

Rather than buy a bunch of yarn for my new hobby of needlepoint, I decided to dye my own yarn from a spool of 50% wool 50% silk yarn that I already had (I’m almost done with the sweater I’ve been knitting out of the yarn, slowly but surely). I measured out lengths of yarn in different size bundles corresponding to the different amounts of each color in my finished design. (Having never actually needlepointed before, I took a wild guess as to how much yarn I would need and figured better too much than too little).

1

Needlepoint, SF

Add one more hobby to my list – needlepoint. I was recently drawing a pattern for what I thought would be a cross-stitch. But when I got it finished, it struck me that it would be beautiful as a needlepoint. So, I set out to start a needlepoint project. My first stop was Needlpoint, Inc., a retail store in downtown San Francisco that is dedicated to, you guessed it, needlepoint.

Knitting Plans

I got a little excited. And bought more than a little yarn. I seem to be very cyclical in my knitting in that I knit from my stash for a long time and then all of the sudden I go crazy and buy a bunch of new yarn. But (unlike my fabric stash) I only buy yarn with specific projects planned for each skein of yarn. So here’s the new projects I will be knitting.