Quick Crochet Baskets

I’ve got another quick project for today: crocheted baskets. I’m hardly an expert when it comes to crochet (most of my projects are knitted or sewn for that reason), but even I found these baskets super easy to make. In the past, I’ve used them as weird little reusable gift bags: I lined them with tissue paper and filled them with an assortment of nail polish, mini bottles of hand lotion, chocolates, and all sorts of adorable little mini things (I can’t tell you how much I love the travel aisle of Walgreens). I’m planning to use my most recent one for storage– probably to corral the random objects that mysteriously collect on my bedside table. I added little crocheted handles to mine which although not mentioned in the pattern are easy enough to recreate.

basket1

Here’s the pattern:

Materials

  • bulky yarn (I used the heaviest I could find in my stash)
  • 6.50 mm crochet hook

Finished Dimensions

6″ tall by 6″ wide by 18″ diameter

Notes

This pattern is worked in double crochet unless noted otherwise.

Basket Pattern

  1. chain 8, connect ends
  2. chain 2
  3. 10 sts
  4. chain 2 and turn
  5. 20 sts (2 per hole)
  6. chain 2 and turn
  7. single crochet 20 sts (this forms the corner of the basket)
  8. chain 2 and turn
  9. 20 sts
  10. repeat steps 8 and 9 four times
  11. single crochet 20 sts (this forms the edge)

Quick Crochet Baskets-- Olivia Simone

It finally feels like spring here, and only a few little lumps of grayish snow currently decorate the streets and sidewalks, slowly melting away as the days pass by. Only two more weeks until spring break and endless hours to spend on Pinterest and (hopefully) writing. I hope that wherever you are, it’s warm and spring-like too.

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Easy Knitted Bookmarks

I’ve been making a lot of cute little projects recently as a kind of treatment for my cabin fever, and as I was looking at the little stash I’ve collected, I realized, Hey, these would be really cool to share on my blog. The mind of a blogger works in strange ways.

Among my stash is a set of knit bookmarks made from a ball of tie-dyed yarn I found at the bottom of my yarn basket. One is in seed/moss stitch, one is done in a kind of lace stitch, and the last one has a cable running down the middle. All of them are easy, quick, and perfect to make as a last minute gift.

Easy Knitted Bookmarks-- Olivia Simone

Materials:

  • sport or lightweight worsted yarn
  • size 4 needles
  • cable needle (cn)
  • yarn needle

materials1 (1)

SEED STITCH BOOKMARK

Finished Dimensions:

1 1/2″ by 8 1/2″

Gauge:

25 stitches to 4″

Seed Stitch Pattern:

k1, *p1, k1*

Bookmark Pattern:

  • Cast on 9 stitches
  • Work in seed stitch pattern until bookmark reaches desired length
  • Bind off in stitch pattern
  • Weave in loose ends

seedstitch

LACE STITCH BOOKMARK

Finished Dimensions:

1 1/2″ by 8 1/2″

Gauge:

20 stitches to 4″

Lace Stitch Pattern:

Row 1: k1, *yo, k2tog*

Row 2: p2, *yo, p2tog*

Bookmark Pattern:

  • Cast on 8 stitches
  • Work in lace stitch until bookmark reaches desired length
  • Cast off in stitch pattern
  • Weave in loose ends

lacestitch

CABLED BOOKMARK

Finished Dimensions:

1 1/2″ by 8 1/2″

Gauge:

26 stitches to 4″

Cable Stitch Pattern:

Row 1: k4, p1, k4

Row 2: k2, p2, k1, p2, k2

Row 3: k2, slip 2 sts to cn, k3, k2 off cn, k2

Row 4: repeat row 2

Bookmark Pattern:

  • Cast on 9 stitches
  • Work in cable stitch pattern until bookmark reaches desired length
  • Bind off in stitch pattern
  • Weave in yarn ends

cablestitch

It’s finally started to get warmer here– I didn’t even have to wear a winter coat today! I’m really looking forward to being able to spend time outside without freezing to death, although the weather has brought me and Netflix very close. I hope wherever you are, it’s starting to get nicer out.

Keep watching for my next posts– I’ll see you on Tuesday.

T-Shirt Quilt

I’m ashamed to say that it was only a month or two ago that I learned to use my sewing machine, which had lingered in the basement for oh, say, close to 7 or 8 years. When I finally rediscovered it, lonely and dusty in its little corner, I went a bit crazy, piling on projects like nobody’s business. Luckily, it’s a good, sturdy model, great for a beginner, and fortune blessed me with very few injuries and a pretty smooth ride along my first few attempts to make it work (which it did).

sewingmachine
Here’s my trusty sewing machine.

One of the more ambitious projects, it would seem, is the quilt I started a few weeks after my rediscovery of the mysterious sewing machine. In reality, it’s turned out to be (at least so far) to be much easier than I had ever expected. Of course, as is usual behavior for me, I spent several hours researching how to make one, which led me to several terrifying articles about how one ought to spend at least several years sewing before one even thinks about making a quilt. Seeing as I had a maximum of two weeks’ experience, I wasn’t exactly in the best position, or so I thought.

I’m not likely to try piecework or some other kind of complicated quilty-ness any time soon, but I’m no longer horrified at the thought of making my own quilt (not yet, anyway– I’ll let you know how I feel once I finish the actual piecing and start working on binding). It’s not going to be especially large, since I may have underestimated the amount of material (t-shirts, in other words) that I needed to make a decent size quilt, but it’ll be a good size for a baby one.

This is one of about fifteen strips. Once I finish all of them, I'll sew the strips into the quilt top.

Basically, I found 6 or 7 t-shirts (I’d definitely recommend using more), cut them into 4″ by 4″ squares (a larger size would probably make it quicker, but I’m in no rush), and am currently in the process of stitching the rows into place. I can only really sew on my off days, but a good hour can usually put me through a row and a half.

sewing

‘Slow and steady wins the race’ goes the saying, and I hope that’s the case here, since I’d prefer not to have this turn out to be a giant (well, actually, baby-quilt-sized) mess. I’ll be updating you periodically throughout this long and arduous process, so fingers crossed that I don’t screw up too badly and end up embarrassing me in front of the entire population of the internet.

T-Shirt Quilt-- Olivia Simone

That’s it for today! I’ll see you again on Tuesday in a continuation of my series on character development (you can find my first post here), but until then, my prayers to those of you stuck in the snowbanks of the East Coast, and a snarling side-eye to those of you who happen to be in places warmer than the Midwest (it’s March, after all). Bye!

Handmade Hand Warmer

I am so sick of this freezing weather and completely ready for spring. But meanwhile, I’m going to do the best that I can to stay nice and toasty within my room and in reach of Netflix. As a part of that, I whipped up a quick, easy sewing project to keep my hands warm during these cold winter months– a giant hand warmer.

Finished Dimensions:

10″ by 20″

Materials:

warmer2

  • 1 piece of fabric: 21″ by 21″
  • sewing machine (if you’d like to use one– it’s faster than sewing by hand)
  • needle and thread (for sewing up the open end)
  • uncooked rice

Notes:

I used cotton fabric for my hand warmer, although I think flannel might work better.

Directions:

  1. Fold fabric in half with the right sides together
  2. Straight stitch around the edges with a 1/2″ seam allowance, leaving an inch or so gap at the end
  3. Turn the pouch inside out, making sure to fully pop out the corners (I used a ruler to do this, which made it much easier)
  4. Fill the bag about 3/4 of the way (more or less) with the rice
  5. Sew up the gap carefully so no rice can spill out
  6. Heat for 20-30 seconds in the microwave (try to avoid overheating so you don’t accidentally burn the rice)

Like I said, it’s super easy, and great for tucking your hands under while *ahem* watching Supernatural on Netflix (not that I would know). I’m planning to make a few more, probably in a smaller size that’ll be easier to put in my pockets to keep my hands warm when I’m out and about.

Handmade Hand Warmer-- Olivia Simone

I hope you enjoyed today’s post, and be sure to read my next one: a continuation of a series on character development in writing.

10 DIY Projects to Try

Last Sunday I posted about last minute DIY Valentine’s Day gifts, and since I haven’t gotten the time to do anything especially crafty this week (whoops), I figured I’d continue that idea and list 10 DIY projects (by my definition, anything remotely crafty that doesn’t require a great deal of knitting, sewing, or crocheting) that I’d like to try. Here they are, in no particular order:

elvishcrown

Elvish Crown by Rachel Ann Poling

sharpiemug

Easy Dotted Sharpie Mugs by Designer Trapped in a Lawyer’s Body

(Sorry, no image) DIY Handbag Update (I couldn’t find the original source but the tutorial is on this website)

anthrobracelet

Boho-Anthro Hankie-on-my-Wrist by Sadie Seasongoods

chanluu

DIY Chan Luu Inspired Wrap Bracelet by make it and fake it

bathbombs

How to Make Bath Bombs by A Residence Blog

(Sorry, no image) DIY Tinted Mini Mason Jars by Blowfish Shoes

(Sorry, no image) Tassel Earrings by Bead&Cord

latticeshirt

Lattice Stud T-Shirt by WobiSobi

crochetshirt

Crochet Trim Seam by Trash to Couture (this one does have some sewing in it, but it’s the only one)

10 DIY Projects to Try-- Olivia Simone

You can find more projects like this on my DIY board on Pinterest. Hopefully next week I’ll have something slightly more creative than these lists for you– I just learned about a month ago how to use my sewing machine, and the second I get my hands on some more fabric, I’ll be going crazy. I’ve been working on a really pretty blue baby quilt made of old t-shirts, too, so I’ll try to keep you updated on my progress (although it’s been moving pretty slowly). See you on Tuesday!

DIY Athletic Number Coasters from Sweet Rose Studio

I don’t know about you, but the Super Bowl is kind of a big deal in my house. Not the kind of big deal where we throw a huge party to celebrate (as a whole, I believe my family prefers pajamas to parties), but the kind where we sit out butts down on the couch in front of the TV and don’t move for the next couple hours– exceptions are made for drinks and snacks.

I’m not exactly a ‘whoo-hoo team spirit’ kind of girl, but I do like to show my support, and today I’m going to share with you a quick, easy project I found to do just that: DIY Athletic Number Coasters from Sweet Rose Studio. No super sewing skills are required, just the ability to apply iron-on numbers to felt without burning yourself too terribly.

DIY-coasters-with-athletic-numbers-00

Aren’t they cute? It’s such an easy way to support your team, even if they’re playing a hundred miles away. Even though I’m supporting the Seahawks in this Super Bowl (boo, Patriots!), I’ll probably end up making these in green and gold with a number 12 for the Packers, much to the dismay of my little brother (a die-hard Carolina fan– he’s literally got a giant cutout of Cam Newton in his room and about a thousand pennants).

Seattle Seahawks

Let me know who you’re rooting for– preferably the Seahawks, but I suppose we can’t all cheer for them. I’ll be posting again on Tuesday, so see you then!

DIY Valentine’s Gift Ideas

Valentine’s Day is coming up, and like many of you probably are, I’m stuck in a rut for gift ideas. Luckily, I follow some of the most amazing blogs, and today, I’ve compiled a list of a DIY Valentine’s gift ideas I’d like to try. Here we go:

heart-hand-warmers2

Heart Hand Warmers Tutorial by Patchwork Posse

Super cute and super easy– I can’t wait to try these.

diy-sugar-scrub-bars-aic

DIY Sugar Scrub Bars by Adventures in Coupons

Because why not? Cheap, easy, great to use. . . let’s just say I’ll have a stash to last me for a couple years.

DIY Photo Pendant

DIY Photo Pendant by Saving with Sarah

So sweet and heartfelt, and they look professional too! A great way to keep your loved ones close.

Heart-Pincushion-Made-to-be

Heart Pincushion by Made to be a Momma

If you have a friend who sews, this is a perfect gift. I’m forever losing all my pins and needles– this is such a cute way to keep track.

Easy+Mug+Cozies+1

Easy Mug Cozies by Lemon Tree Dwelling

Not exactly a “Valentine’s craft”, but who could resist a cute, easy mug cozy? Perfect for curling up with a pot of tea and a rom-com.

valentine-painted-mason-jars-2

Valentine Heart Jars by Mason Jar Crafts Love

Maybe a little bit over the top, but it’s Valentine’s Day. It’s literally the patron saint of over the top. Plus, all that distressing . . . just gorgeous.

Seed Stitch Cowl-- Olivia Simone

Seed Stitch Cowl by Olivia Simone

Yup, my own project, but I honestly love this cowl so much. If you make it from super soft yarn in a pretty color like I did, who wouldn’t want it for a Valentine’s present?

diyvalentinesgiftideaspin

Thanks for reading! I hope these crafts spark Valentine’s gift ideas for you.