Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Belt Mug Holder (or Mug Frog)

In my last post, I babbled about ALL THE THINGS I was going to make for my costume. It is now Wednesday, we leave Sunday morning. I managed to complete TWO THINGS!! Ok, one doesnt really count because it was a pre made item, but I still did something to it!. But here we are primarily discussing my mug holder, or mug frog. Started out like this: 
sometimes breakfast gets interrupted by brainstorming

I was testing out my frog material with Patons SWS and Noro Silk Garden. One because I knew it felted like a dream, the second because I liked the colour and I had some to use up. After some back and forth, frogging and erasing, I finally got it all together. Felted, only the Patons worked out. Not discouraged, I stitched and played around with both, and completed my objective! The Noro went to another needed accessory (photo at the bottom).

You will need:
  • less than a full ball of feltable heavy worsted wool. I used Patons SWS which is discontinued, but if you can get your hands on a suitable substitute (or a wool you are comfortable with). The Patons website suggests using Classic Wool Roving.
  • size 10 straight needles (gage really isn't important)
  • one button (your preference for size
  • heavy sewing thread or embroidery floss
  • needle that can handle the above mentioned thread and felted material
  • something for your loop, I used a piece of yarn. you could braid yarn, floss, hemp, whatever you like
Please note that a few of the pictures include the Noro attempt. I didn't take any of just the Patons, and didn't think to until after I had already stitched it up. Ignore the brightness please :)

Cast on 8 stitches and work in garter for approx 7". Bind off. Weave in ends, felt. 
pre felting

I tossed mine into the washer (in a pillowcase) on a hot cycle with towels, and it felted to just the right size. If you are a bit more nervous about sizing, felt however you prefer and keep checking. It does have a slight bit of "give" after it comes out, I gave mine a few stretches to make sure it would be right.

post felting

Now is where your sewing begins. Fold over about 2" of your strip of felt, and stitch it down to create your loop. Don't be fussy about your stitching skills, nobody is going to get close enough to notice if you match the thread :)

Once you have that nice and secure, attach your button (after you make sure your needle will fit through. I didn't and had to find another needle). Keep it loose, you'll need to make a shank.


Knot that off after you are done with the shank, and trim your ends.

Now for your loop closure. I used a length of the Patons yarn. Use whatever your preference is. Thread your needle (or if you are using something heavier, a snip in the felted fabric and a crochet hook to pull it through would work), and stab through to the other side.

Check to see how long you need your loop, too long and it will lay flat instead of holding it up all jaunty.

Knot off your loop and trim the ends.

Tadah! You now have a mug frog!

testing it out

Now in case any of you are wondering about the Noro strip, I managed to use it on my kindle cozy as a temp belt loop:

 Looks horrid, but nobody will see this anyways. Temp stitching but it will hold :)

I would love to see all of yours! Please share photos and projects :D

Monday, July 22, 2013

Pirates, ahoy!

Ren fest soon, yay! Working on some last minute accessories to complete the pirate wench look (that will be inaccurate anyways, but who cares). For you purists, yes I know that pirates and renaissance do not go together. However, our fair has a Pirate Invasion Weekend just for fun. Currently trying to work on a mug holder (one that slips over your belt and holds a tankard) that matches my outfit. Ok, not match, but at least look ok. No luck on rav, so guess what? Making one! Using Patons SWS, it is discontinued, but I'm going to test it in other yarns. I know this felts well and I need something sturdy. If I have time (haha, time. whats that?), I want to make my mug cozy to match  my outfit, especially as that will be more visible. But for now, start small. I forgot how much frogging is involved in "creating" a project, even for one as wee as this. Really puts a damper on things, but I will finish it! Some of you might wonder why I don't just purchase one there. And I might do that anyways (the leather shop down there is heavenly). But I'd like to wear the mug in, I might be tempted to bash a rude patron if I were carrying it. When (no if, damnit!) it is finished, I will post instructables :) Whats on your needles?

Monday, July 1, 2013

Dear blanket, screw you. Love, me.

A friend of mine bought yarn for me to make a baby blanket with. No rush, she just wanted one on hand for a gift (she was thinking grandkids and knowing how old her kids are, I have loads of time). I started this once, dropped a needle, gave up and stuffed it away. Now because the darn yarn is in the way, I'm making it again. It's basically a giant dish rag. I have the pattern posted somewhere, need to update tags on my old posts yet but if you are impatient, here is a pattern link of the blanket: 

I'm not following it to the letter, I'm using Red Heart Buttercup yarn and ohhhh does it SUCK! It sticks to my dry skin, knots are almost impossible to pick out because you can't see through all the fluff, and it grabs onto every stray hair and lint ball in the air and doesn't let go. It is quite fluffy and soft, but I would hate to have it for anything other than a photo prop. I'm using size 17 needles so hoping it goes fast. The halfway point will be when I get to the second ball, we'll find out just how big it turns out then. In the meantime, I'm just going to curse at this knot that is preventing me from finishing a row with TWO STUPID STITCHES LEFT. Maybe this will inspire me to finish my ugly hat!