In honor of my province’s provincial holiday today I’m re-sharing the fleur-de-lys pattern I published many, many years ago. The design was intended as a dishcloth or washcloth, but with a simple swap of yarn choice can easily be reworked as a blanket square or even a flag to share your Quebec pride.
The pattern comes with 3 fully charted sizes and can be purchased through Etsy here or through your Ravelry library here.
Continuing Mario Month, today I’m going to show you how to make really easy character hats for Mario, Luigi, Wario and Waluigi.
I’d looked at a lot of online DIYs when planning my Wario costume for our Super Mario Bros skit, and I liked bits and pieces of each. In the end I compiled suggestions and ideas from a few different patterns and am sharing it as a tutorial so you can use it to make your own costume or cosplay pieces!
For reference, here’s Wario and his hat.
While it’s very similar to the other 3, his is unique in having the white circle cut off by the brim, and by having his initial oversized. As such I decided to make his first, and then focus on the 3 remaining hats for my castmates.
You will need:
felt – each hat will require enough felt of one color to cut circle A twice. Circle C and square D require minimal amounts in contrasting colors.
The first thing you want to do is draw a template on paper you can cut out. If you have bowls of the appropriate size then you can trace them, otherwise you can use a compass and ruler.
To save paper, draw your circles within each other. In my original template (above) I didn’t have a bowl with the diameter I wanted, so I traced my largest bowl then manually sketched in another circle about an inch wider, so there’s an extra circle showing. Also my pencil marks aren’t as easy to see so here’s a clean template with dimensions:
These dimensions are for an adult-sized hat but it’s easily customizable to make any size you’d like.
Cut out all pieces from your template. The easiest way to do this is to cut out your largest circle (A) and then cut circles B and C from within A. You can cut square D out from circle C after using it, or out of a scrap of paper (so you can keep all 4 pieces of your template for future use).
If you’re planning to make numerous hats you can preserve your template by laminating it with packing tape as I did for the Warp Pipe. You can also cut it from cardstock instead of plain paper for added durability.
Circle “A” is cut twice. One “A” will be left whole and will be the top of the hat. The second “A” will be the lower half. Circle “B” is cut from inside the second circle “A”. It should be centered evenly and then shifted down a bit to leave one section a bit deeper. (In the image below, you can see the hole is a bit higher and to the right vs centered, leaving more yellow on the lower left side).
If you are making Mario, Luigi or Waluigi hats, you can continue to the brim. Wario’s hat is the only one with a two-toned brim, so I traced half of template “B” onto white felt – “(B)” above.
All 4 characters have a white circle on their hats, so you can cut circle “C” from white felt.
Take circle “A” with the hole in it and position so the deeper section is upwards. This is where the details will go.
Position circle “C” into place (noting for Wario that his is the only hat whose circle is more obviously cut off by the brim) and then use matching thread to sew it into place. (You can also use hot glue, as I did for the other hats later in this post).
The other 3 characters’ initials will be cut from square “D”. Wario is the only one with an exaggeratedly large initial on his hat. Cut the “W” from felt and sew (or glue) it into place.
For Wario’s brim, first I lined up the white half on top of the yellow circle “B” and then cut off the excess. Then I sewed the half-circle edge together, leaving the straight edge open. Next I flipped it inside out and smoothed it flat, and then stitched the flat edge shut.
To easily center the brim, fold it in half and mark the center lightly. Do the same on the yellow circle. Line up the two marks, and keeping them aligned, sew the flat edge of the brim to the hat under the initial.
Place this completed lower hat piece upside down on the whole circle “A”. In the first image I had pinned them together, and the second image is after the stitching is complete.
Flip the hat inside-out and you’re done!
If you find the head-hole too small you can cut it larger, but you want to err on a more snug fit as felt will stretch over time. I used the 6″ diameter for all 4 hats and they fit perfectly, staying in place during 6 performances and multiple rehearsals!
The remaining character hats are all identical (except for color and initial) so I did them all assembly-line style. First cut out all template pieces.
Cut the initials from square “D”. I used scraps from cutting out the largest circle. I also switched to a glue gun for the details as it works really well on felt (though since the hats would be getting a lot of rough usage I stuck to sewing for the main construction).
Glue the details into place…
…fold the brims in half and sew them shut…
…then sew the brims into place. After that just sew the two large circles together and flip.
A final, optional step is to iron the edges to help keep them crisp and flat.
Each hat takes under 30 minutes to complete, making this a really quick and easy DIY.
They make a great addition to any Super Mario Bros costume or cosplay and would also be wonderful party favors for gaming-themed celebrations.
As last mentioned in my plastic canvas wall hangings update, back in 2019 I’d given myself a pretty ambitious resolution: a challenge to turn 19 “works in progress” into “finished objects”. The first project added to my “19 WIP-to-FO Challenge” was my wall of Project Memory Jars
I’ve had a longstanding tradition of keeping a little length of yarn from each knitted and crocheted project I’ve made (later adding plastic canvas projects as my fiber hobbies crew). It started as keeping a bit of yarn in case there was need for repairs, but other than mending some knitted socks, it didn’t really wind up being a useful hoard item. That said, I have a strong visual memory and it was lovely to look back at the various yarns and remember the projects I’d made. The small colorful scraps would often bring up vivid memories of the gift recipient or technique I’d struggled with or laughter with crafty buddies in a workshop.
Originally these remnants were rolled into a ball and tied on one after another. It made them easy to store but impossible to see all the yarns on the inner layers.
My first “solution” was to make them into something tangible. They’d still have the same memory placeholder and all would be visible. Back in 2012 I eagerly cast on for a crochet granny square and made a few large blocks, intending to one day sew them into a large scrappy blanket.
This worked…fine actually. It was a chaotic mess and I knew I’d love the resulting blanket. The problem was that it would never be finished. I’d be storing a bag of 12″ granny squares for decades because even though I work on 50-100 projects yearly, the amount of triple-crochet stitches I’d be able to get from a few yards of leftover yarn was minimal.
So I thought about it and came up with a different idea. A silly little memory wall that makes no sense to anyone but me, but makes me smile and remember all the projects I put my time, effort, energy and care into.
The shelves and brackets were extras from my previous job, so luckily I had those already on-hand.
Now that the wall was ready it was time to fill the jars. Which meant finally getting around to undoing the granny squares. Since it was the first item on my 19-for-19, it made sense to start with that one first.
1. FO Project Jars
What I said: I need to rip out all the individual lengths of yarn (1-10 yards long, each), match them up with what project they were from, and put the separated yarn into jars designated for each year.
What I did: basically exactly that. Only what took one sentence to type took hours to actually do. Frogging the granny squares was easy work, but before I could start I had to look at the center stitches of each block and figure out what project that was from, so I could put the blocks into a chronological order. (Luckily I take detailed project notes and my Ravelry page is mostly up to date!)
Once I’d figured out which blocks went where time-wise, I ripped them back and rolled them back into one big ball as I went, so the newest yarn was on the inside. Once everything was frogged I was able to start with the oldest scraps and begin to sort.
It was slow work but I moved through the yarn, cutting away the knots and putting a few inches of each yarn into the relevant year’s jar. Since the jars aren’t huge I only kept a bit of each and had a colorful pile of spaghetti left over at the end, which I later separated by length.
Anything that was a yard or more I rolled up and added to my mini ends bin, for use as waste yarn, stitch holders and row counters, or random craft projects.
I only undid knots for the cotton scraps because I had plans to re-use those. Every time I got to cotton yarn I added it to this growing ball, which I later turned into 2 scrappy dishcloths for my kitchen, using my own perfect, lay-flat, knitted diagonal garter dishcloth pattern.
I used about half of the scraps to make a smaller cloth with a hanging bit on the end, and then used up all the rest for the 2nd cloth. (The pattern is knit like a diamond so all you need to do to use up every bit of yarn is to find your center…work half the cloth until you hit the center point and then start the decreases to work the remaining half).
With all the jars filled and the extra bits used up, that officially marked the first of my 19 completed WIP-to-FO projects for my challenge, and now I have a silly bit of wall décor that confuses everyone who comes into my home office. I get to look at it and reminisce about all the people I’ve knit for and all the yarn-related creativity that moved between my fingers.
Here’s looking ahead to 2022 and all the projects it will bring.
Happy New Year!
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Back in January 2019 (!) I posted 19 projects I was determined to complete in 2019. Spoiler alert – I failed – but I have made significant progress on about half of the projects on the list. Inspired by the recent Masters of the Universe and Suicide Squad remakes, here’s the current progress on my trio of 80s cartoon girls.
What I said: I’ve never shown these before, except for the odd glimpse in the background of Instagram pics. I started this trio of plastic canvas portraits when I moved in August 2017. While I love how they look in black and white (and blue), I designed them to be in full color and I’d love to see them complete.
What I did: Quite a bit of progress!
I’d never shown them on the blog prior to that post, so here’s a look back at how they got to where they are now.
I’d moved in 2017 and was really excited to be able to fill my space with all the crafty, nerdy little things that make me who I am.
Every shelf and table has some item that references my varied interests, and I’ve even used some previous projects as home décor – see the Minecraft heads from my tutorials peeping from above the kids’ desk, along with an as-yet-unshown secret project hidden among the books – so I was really excited to fill a blank wall space in my dining room with a handmade project.
First I purchased three of the largest plastic canvas sheets I could find. When looking for inspiration for what to stitch on them I really didn’t need to look very far. There are Archie comics in nearly every room in my house, thanks to my kids enjoying them as much as I do. In addition to the coloring book from my last post, I’ve drawn Betty on the blog here before, and Henri had drawn Archie a few years back. (He was even an Archie comics character for Hallowe’en last year, and I’ll be sharing that project here in October.) So clearly, Betty Cooper would be one of my cartoon trio.
Initially I drafted up Betty, Archie and Veronica, and planned out a triptych of the three of them, but the more I thought about it the more I realized it was Betty specifically that I like, and that I didn’t care if I saw Archie and Veronica daily, so I scrapped them and looked around for more inspo. As soon as I had the freedom to look beyond Riverdale I knew Harley Quinn HAD to be one of them. I’ve adored her for decades, and she’s featured in assorted places around my house, including in two different spots on this one shelving unit:
Finally, it wasn’t hard to decide on Teela as my third girl. I grew up watching He-Man and playing with the toy sets along with my younger brothers. I don’t know if it’s that she’s a strong, independant woman or if it was because she often wore a cobra headpiece and had a snake staff, and I’ve always adored snakes… but either way she had to be the one to complete my cartoon trio. I’ve shared Teela and a portion of my 80s toy collection on the blog before, and they’ve now found a home in a cabinet along with other childhood relics:
The hard part done, the next step was to create charts for each character. Instead of doing it the easy way and importing reference images into a stitch software, I decided to go the hard route and chart them myself in Excel. I found reference images for each character, adjusted the Excel cells to be square and marked off an area with the same stitch count as my total canvas size. From there it was just a matter of redrawing each girl, pixel-art style, and tweaking the design until they looked right. I’d originally planned to use continental stitch to save time, but quickly realized the angles would be skewed and that cross-stitch would be best, using one stitch for every pixel/cell in my chart.
I ordered a bunch of yarn from Knit Pics, then got started.
Here you can see the initial stages. I didn’t want to have to refer to the charts throughout the entire stitching process so decided to start with the black outlines first, so I could then later fill them in, coloring-book-style. Plus I didn’t know how long they would take to complete into full color and wanted to be able to hang them on the wall in the meantime. Considering I started these in 2017 and I’m typing this post in 2021, I’m glad I had that foresight!!
After finishing most of Betty I moved on to chart HQ next. I bet you’re wondering why I left Betty mostly done instead of finishing the rest of her border? Took me a moment to remember too lol but it’s because I left myself things to work on that didn’t require concentration, so when I had more time I would work on HQ and follow my charts, and when I had the kids with me or was watching something that required more focus I could work on Betty’s border that didn’t require much thought or any chart reference. Basically it was the cross-stitch equivalent of having knitting or crochet projects of varying difficulty levels.
Once the outlining was all done I worked on each of their eyes, as I thought it would look better on the wall, and truthfully HQ was a bit creepy without them. Then, while I still had the blue out, I added Betty’s shirt. Her top was red in my reference image but blue is my favorite color so I swapped it out, plus I liked having a color that was in each of the 3 images, to help tie them together. The middle pic above is the one posted on the blog back in 2019, and where they sat for basically most of the last 3 years. At some point I filled in their mouths and got started on Betty’s skin, and that’s where I’d stopped and moved on to other projects.
Eventually I started working on them again. I’d always had it in mind to work on equal parts of each, so as they hung on the wall they’d look similar in completion. First Betty had the slow progress on her face and neck…
…and then this past summer Teela got the same treatment, using stash yarn so she wouldn’t have the exact same skin tone as Betty’s.
Technically I should have done Harley’s face next, for them to all match, but these sheets are large and get folded up against my body or resting under my arm as I work. Since Harley’s face is white, and clearly a focal point of the image, I decided to hold it off for last so it wouldn’t get dirty or faded, and work on her costume instead.
At that point I was on a roll! The new Netflix Masters of the Universe had just come out, and it was kinda cool to start working on Teela’s tiara while watching the premiere. In fact, I got so into it that I kept watching until I found I’d binged the whole first season!
Spoiler-free take: ignore the men complaining about the show. It’s awesome to see the old gang again, even Stinkor! (Man I can still remember the smell of that toy!) I love the focus on Teela and magic vs tech. Made me think about Skylanders and my girl Sprocket – guess I’m always drawn to my tech girls! Also, as a big Buffy fan, with Sarah Michelle Gellar as the voice of Teela, it’s fantastic to hear Buffy kicking butt again. ♥
This is where the girls are now. I’ll be working on HQ’s white bib and pompom next, to complete her outfit, and that will put me into the home stretch with only 2 sections left on each girl. At the end I’ll have to do one run of border around each one, as the edges are currently unfinished, and then finally attach rings for hanging them properly, as I’m currently holding them to the wall with thumbtacks.
I know it’s not conventional wall art for an adult woman, but I love them.
Seventeen years ago, on September 7 2004, I started this blog. Yes, this creative passion project of mine is officially old enough to be in college and donate blood. It began on Blogger in the boom of knitting/craft blogs that fed blogrolls and Yahoo swaps and RAOK groups. We’ve seen the onset of Ravelry and Worldwide Knit In Public Day, and welcomed pattern sources like Knitty, Craftsy, Twist Collective, St Denis Yarns and others before having to say goodbye to some of them.
With YouTube, Instagram and TikTok flooding the internet with video-based creative content, running a blog feels almost antiquated. I’ve been asked by friends and family why I don’t switch to another format but the truth is… I don’t want to. I love video tutorials. I follow a TON of craft-content YouTubers, and have saved a huge amount of “try one day” crafty TikToks to my favorites list too, so it’s not a critique of the other formats. They absolutely have their place, especially for some techniques or tutorials that can really only best be shown in video. That said, I still think there’s a place for blogs and photo-based project/pattern support.
My “blogaversary” this year falls on the first day of Rosh Hashana, which is the Jewish New Year. I think that makes it perfect timing for a long-overdue blog restart. (I know, I know, I’ve said this before. Shhhh!) Coincidentally I was born on was erev (eve) Rosh Hashanna (we won’t say how long ago!) so Happy birthday to the blog, happy sort of birthday to me, and happy Jewish New Year!
To celebrate 17 years in the public craft domain I’ve scoured the site, my notes, folders, and metadata and picked 17 fun, interesting or long-forgotten items from my blogging history.
Numbers 1-7 are from the archives. These are posts even I forgot about! Some are helpful tips, some are free patterns/tutorials, and all are added to the How To section above.
Even when I don’t post regularly I get a steady stream of visitors (thanks!) and I’m always curious to see what search terms bring people my way. So number 8 is my top referrer keywords from back in my Blogger days. Funny enough it’s a tie between two completely random things that have almost nothing to do with my site: “cute japanese cartoons” & “hangman”. I’m guessing the former is related to the time I knit a Japanese boy band, but the latter? NO idea.
Number 9 is the results of my top search terms after migrating the blog to WordPress. Unfortunately/fortunately Google has been encrypting the vast majority of search terms since 2013 so 9771 of my results are “unknown”. Of the list that remains the top three terms are: “Toothless”, “pocketbook slippers”, and “pocket book slippers”, likely linking back to these two projects (Toothless, slippers). Wanna know the lowest search result that brought someone my way? “Long hair cut feet”. I wonder how disappointed the searcher was to find my post was literally about a long hair transformation??
Number 10 is a really cool fact- I’ve had visitors from 170 different countries! The majority are, unsurprisingly, from Canada and the United States, but rounding out the top 20 are the UK, Australia, Germany, Brazil, the Netherlands, Mexico, France, Iceland, Spain, Italy, the Philippines, Israel, New Zealand, Poland, South Africa, Argentina, Hungary and Denmark.
Numbers 11-14 are my the top 4 posts since switching to WordPress. I had a hunch what these were because they keep Pinterest flashing up on my phone. What I didn’t expect was that the top post would outrank second place by more than double!
I’ve spent the last few months poring over my unshared projects and planning out a blog schedule for the year. For number 15 I thought it would be fun to look through my folders and see just how old my oldest unshared project truly is. There was a lot to wade through but I found it! Coming in at over a decade old a crafty hack that you’ll see on the block next year dates all the way back to February 2010!
Looking through all those projects was a fun trip down a creative memory lane. As number 16 here’s a little teaser of a post I can’t wait to share in full…
And finally, for making down this far: number 17 is a picture of me at the same age as this blog.
Whether you’ve been here since day 1 or day 6204, thanks for being a part of my creative adventures. I run this blog for me, but I love sharing it with you. ♥
*All search terms and other totals above were accurate as of the date of preparing this post.
Just in time for Back To School, I’m pleased to share my ear savers / mask lanyards! Mask are an important part of life these days, but they can cause more harm than good when you’re constantly fiddling with them to relieve pressure on your ears or keep them from slipping off your nose. And then there’s the issue of where to put it when you take it off to eat (or in class). Enter the ear saver / lanyard / mask buddy / mask mates / mask hooks (and I’m sure another half dozen names for them!)
There are many options and designs available online, from knit to crochet to sewn or 3D-printed. When my kids asked for something custom, I decided to try my hand at designing my own, in a medium I saw ill-represented – my favored plastic canvas. It’s soft, flexible, washable, and I knew would be excellent for this purpose.
Jakob asked for a Creeper, Henri asked for a Boom Slime from Slime Rancher, but I didn’t stop there.
Want something neutral, to match your hair and not stand out? Got it!
Want something bright and colorful? Got it!
Want to rep your favorite team’s logo? Got that too!
There are currently 13 designs, with more being added as custom orders come in.
All hooks are soft, flexible, made with anti-pill yarn and are completely washable.
All the designs are available in my shop page or here on Etsy. Local Montrealers who arrange for pick up (vs shipping) can contact me for a discount code good on any order!
NOTE: For those of you who’d prefer to make your own, I’ll have a PDF coming for that soon! If you’d like to be notified as soon as it’s available, email me or leave a comment down below.
I’ve been waiting so long to share this wonderful project with you, and I’m delighted that I finally can, because the book is officially out today!
Harry Potter: Knitting Magic – The Official Guide to Creating Original Knits Inspired by the Harry Potter Films
Featuring more than 25 projects, the 192-page book includes patterns for clothing, home projects, and keepsakes pulled straight from the movies – and even includes a few iconic costume pieces as seen on-screen.
There are projects designed with the movies’ actual costumes in mind, like the House Scarves:
…and the Beauxbatons students’ capelet:
…as well as projects inspired BY the movies like this gorgeous sweater based on Hermione’s time-turner:
…and this adorable hanger featuring the Sorting Hat and the animals that represent each House:
Even the staging and photography of the book is incredible- I mean COME ON-
This entire Umbrage scene is perfect!!
The book also includes fun facts, original costume sketches, film stills, and other behind-the-scenes treasures.
It’s official! And it’s also OFFICIAL! As in – it’s THE OFFICIAL HARRY POTTER KNITTING PATTERN BOOK, licensed and everything!
And now that it’s in pre-order status, I can finally tell you all (a little) about it!
I’m so excited to be a part of this gorgeous book, and beyond thrilled that my pattern was one of the ones chosen for the cover! There will be 28 patterns in total, 208 pages, and includes costume replicas, projects inspired by the films, film tidbits, behind-the-scenes info and more.
I can’t wait to share more info and pics as it becomes available, but in the meantime here’s the lovely cover.
It will be released on January 28 2020, and for those of you interested in pre-ordering, you can do so here.