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Create A Day

One creative project every day for a year

Apr-25-2013

Day 339: “Plarn” Pencil Holder/Can Cozy

Posted by annagrace under Days 301-365

Yet again it has been quite awhile since I posted last, but between moving and trying to find a job, I haven’t really had much free time to post. I’ve got several projects that I’ve finally uploaded the pictures to my computer, so hopefully I can bust out a few posts and get back on track!

At any rate, today’s creative is for my Dad’s birthday! For once I actually have a present ready on the actual date it should be given, so I thought I’d go ahead and post it! Of course, I still have to mail it, but baby steps people! In case you don’t know, my dad is amazing! And one of my favorite things about him is how environmentally conscious he is! I wish I was as good as him with composting and buying local/organic goods, but I’m sadly not at a place where that’s possible at the moment… maybe once I actually have a job! But the point is, he’s more environmentally friendly than anyone I know, so I thought why not make him something for his birthday that embraces that eco friendly side of him? Enter “plarn.” I don’t know if you all have heard of it, but Plarn, or plastic yarn, is made by upcycling used plastic grocery bags into a long strip or ball of “yarn” that can be used for crocheting or knitting! I found this great website that gives you step by step instructions to make your own if you want! I came across this a few months ago when a friend of mine was making a plarn basket. I wanted to make something for Dad with this material, but didn’t have that many plastic bags (my loving boyfriend recycled the huge pile I had… he knows now to save them :P ), so I found this project for a can cozy/pencil holder that uses about 10 bags!

I went around the house and gathered up all the bags I could find, but ended up only having about 6, so I thought, why not use some used zip-lock bags as well? I had several lying around from a recent trip that had holes in them or whatever, so I made do! Following the instructions in the tutorial, here is my ball of plarn!

So then I started crocheting. Before I post the final pictures there are a few things I learned that will help with future plarn projects, so I thought I’d share with you. First of all, try and get fairly new bags. A couple of the bags I had were probably at least a few months old and were holding stuff from my move. Because they were so old and worn, when I was tying them together, they were tearing super easily! Secondly, if you want to use zip-lock bags, I would do the entire project out of them. Since they were a thicker plastic, the rows that I used zip-lock bags on were a lot thicker, so the holder doesn’t look as uniform as I would like. And finally, while the zip-lock bags were a lot easier to tie together because they were so strong, they were much harder to crochet with. If you use those, I would use a much bigger crochet hook (this project called for the H size) and reduce your stitch counts. They always say to do a test square to see how big your stitches will be, which I never did, but I think this is definitely one case where that would be beneficial! At any rate, it was a bit of a struggle at some points, but here is the finished project!

And here it is with pens/pencils in it.

No pictures with a can in it for now, but you get the idea. :P I’m pretty happy with how this turned out, especially since this was my first plarn project! I think my dad will really like it and I will be making many more projects with plastic bags!

Happy Birthday, Dad! You’re the greatest! I miss you and love you so much!

Anna Grace

Jan-4-2013

Day 323: Crocheted Teddy Bears

Posted by annagrace under Days 301-365

It’s been FOREVER since I posted last. BUT I’ve had a complete life change in the last month and a half or so, so I think it’s forgivable! At any rate, I’m now living in Atlanta with my Aunt and Uncle and have been working as a nanny for a precious newborn! As per usual, I made all of my christmas gifts I gave away this year! Two of my favorite things I made were crocheted teddy bears! I made them for two of my little second cousins! I used the pattern on this website for the most part, but I changed it up a bit by making a teeny scarf instead of a bow tie!

I started out with a pink bear for Wells. This being the first bear I made and the first time I had crocheted in awhile, it turned out a bit wonky, but I was still happy with it!

The yarn I used on this pink bear was a bit thinner than what the pattern called for, so that’s why you can see the stuffing so well, and it was sort of hard to work with! Fun fact: I bought a ton of cotton balls at the dollar store and used those to stuff the bears!

The second go around went a lot better, mostly because it was the correct yarn and I knew what I was doing! I made this bear blue for Gunnar!

I feel sort of bad for Wellsie that Gunnar’s bear came out so much better, but they both liked them a lot! And honestly, Gunnar will probably be much rougher on his as a rambunctious 3 year old boy! My aunt sent me this picture right after he opened his saying “He can’t stop hugging him!”

I’m so glad they like them! I hope they will keep them forever and appreciate that their awesome second cousin made them especially for them! I think I might make one more for the baby boy I’m nannying!

I made several other gifts this holiday that I’d like to post on here, but forgot to get adequate documentation of them! So, I’ve texted all the recipients to send me pictures, so more present posts coming soon!

I’m going to try and get one more post in tonight, but we’ll see! I’m not sure if I will be able to finish this 365 project by the time my birthday rolls around next month, but I’m really going to try!

Anna Grace

I spent a long time today working on the rose washcloth I started yesterday and I finally finished it!! I actually didn’t do as many rows as it said, but it was getting really big, so I decided to stop a few rows short! I think if I had finished it, it would have been bigger than my head! Here is the finished product.

I had a little fun and decided to do a mini photo shoot to better showcase its purpose as a washcloth and show the size. B) I used the regular camera on my phone and retro camera app with the Little Orange Box and the Xolaroid 2000.

I think that now that I have done a whole one, I should be able to make more without many problems. These could also be used in the kitchen as dish towels or hot pads.  This will be a fairly easy thing to use for presents in the future!

Anna Grace

A few weeks ago, I went to Borders liquidation sale and bought a few books for super dupe cheap. Among those was a crafting book called the Chicks with Sticks Guide to Crochet. I’ve been looking through it a lot trying to decide what I wanted to make and then I finally decided to make the Smellin-Like-A-Rose washcloth!

Now, I haven’t ever really followed a pattern for crocheting… I’ve just sort made my own patterns. So when I started this, I had to restart it a few times, so it ended up taking a lot longer than I originally thought. Because of that and the fact that my fingers feel like they’re going to fall off, I didn’t finish it today, but I thought I would go ahead and post where I am so far!

Here it is after the first center color was done and I had started the petal color.

That was the easiest part… the petals seemed like they would be easy, but I didn’t understand some of the stitch terminology the were using, so it took a few tries and some research to figure it out! Here’s where I’m at now.

You can sort of see how the variations in the stitches curve to form the petals of the flower at this point, but I’ve still got 12 rows left to crochet!! I will hopefully be finishing this up tomorrow!

Anna Grace

I realized a few days ago that the deadline for Skull-A-Day’s Skull Quilt Project is this Sunday, a week from today, and I had still to mail them all in! I’ve already made 3 other quilt squares, but I decided I needed one more since the proceeds from auctioning the quilts goes towards Becky’s Fund. My original goal was 6 squares, but the deadline sort of crept up on me and this last one took awhile!

Anyways, for the square, I used the same fabric from the 1st square as my 12×12″ base. Then, using a blue yarn, I crocheted a square that was roughly 10×10″, alternating between a shell stitch and double stitch. I used the shell stitch just so it would go a little faster since they take up more room and to see more of the background, but after I finished the square I thought they sort of looked like the shape of skulls! Here’s a close up with a little help from photoshop to see what I mean!

Hahaha that looks terrible! But you get the idea… I actually started to use a pink yarn and make the little faces on all of the stitches, but I quickly realized that it was going to take forever, so I tore out the yarn and ended up just making one big skull in the middle with the pink yarn. I turned out sort of skinny and stretched out looking because I wasn’t using a pattern and the way the yarn stretched, but I’m still pretty happy with it! I then just stuck the crocheted part to the fabric with some hot glue. I decided it needed a bow, so I used a scrap piece of the orange fabric from the second and third quilt squares and made a simple one with it just by folding and wrapping. I glued that down as well and I was done!

I think it turned out really well and all of the squares will be a great addition to the quilts!

Anna Grace

Mar-5-2011

Day 32: Skull Quilt Project Square 2

Posted by annagrace under Days 1-100

Today, I continued my progress in making Skull Quilt Squares for Skull-A-Day’s quilts to be auctioned off for Becky’s Fund. For my second square, I started with a 12×12″ square cut from a t-shirt that had a massive paint stain on the front!

BRIGHT orange square!

Then I took some fibrous purple yarn and crocheted the basic shape of a skull. (By the way, I had no pattern.. just kept looking at a picture of a skull and dropped and added stitches where I thought it looked right!)

Plain Skull… sort of lumpy, but I like it!

After that, I used some gray yarn to crochet some simple flowers in two different sizes.

Flowers. The bigger size is pictured.

After that, I took some pink yarn and added the details of the skull (eyes, nose, mouth). I then placed the skull where I wanted in the square and lightly traced it, and using that as a guide, pierced small holes into the square around the outline. I  used that same pink yarn to sort of sew the skull onto the shirt, using the holes I cut. I also crocheted a little bow! :D (Really wish I had gotten pics of all the steps… sorry!)

I finally completed the square by attaching the flowers in random places. I attached them by piercing 2 small holes right next to each other, pulling the two ends of the flowers through, and finally tying them together on the backside of the square.

Done!

I left the petals of the flower loose to add more texture. I’m really happy with how this turned out! I think it’s so fun and cute! It took quite awhile to make because I can’t do too much crocheting in one sitting, but I think it was totally worth it!

By the way, tonight I went to the Tennessee Theatre and saw Spring Awakening! I originally saw this musical on Broadway in 2008, and immediately fell in love! It’s such a unique musical that brings to light issues of young adults that are never discussed. And I absolutely love the rock and roll style music! I recommend that if you ever get the opportunity to see this, GO! There is a lot of sexual content and swearing (just take a look at the song list…), so it’s not for kids or the easily offended, but I love, love, love it!!! It’s currently touring around the country, and I have to say that the cast is AMAZING! Many of them are better than the actors on Broadway! Even if you think you don’t like musicals, you are going to like this one!

Excuse me while I go listen to the soundtrack on repeat for the next 10 years…

Anna Grace

Feb-14-2011

Day 13: Crocheted Mini Pillow

Posted by annagrace under Days 1-100

This project is one that I’ve been working on for awhile. With my RA, I can’t do a whole lot of crocheting in one sitting without hurting my hands, so every once in awhile, I did a few lines, until I finally finished it tonight. I’ve been crocheting for a long time, but this is the first time I’ve made a pillow. I started by making squares that were about 3×3″, 2 in gray, 2 in purple. I then stitched them together with the aqua blue yarn. This ended up being about 6×6″.

For the back of the pillow, I made a 6×6″ square by alternating rows of double stitches with rows of shell stitches with the aqua blue yarn.

Sorry it looks so curvy because it’s on my knee :)

I then stitched the front piece and back piece together with the aqua yarn on three sides. I found an old tye-dye t-shirt that has a big hole in it that was the perfect blues and indigos to match the pillow, so I folded it up and stuffed it into the crocheted case. Finally, I stitched the final edge and it was done!

Front

Back

Sitting in my favorite chair (don’t worry, I didn’t pay that much for it :) )

I think the best part about this project is that it was absolutely free! I already had all the yarn from older projects and the stuffing was an old t-shirt! Maybe I’ll make another one so I’ll have a set… :D

Happy Valentine’s Day, everybody! I hope it was amazing for all of you, whether or not you have a significant other!

Anna Grace