Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Iron Craft Challange #26 Camp Craft: Friendship Bracelets

This week the Iron Craft challenge was to make camp crafts. I was at a loss because when I went to camp we didn't do crafts. I did a search online for camp crafts and came across several I liked including friendship bracelets. I kept them in my head while I was out running errands on Saturday. While I was shopping I swung by the crafts department and found a kit to make friendship bracelets. It came with 36 skeins of "friendship thread" aka pearl cotton embroidery thread. I thought about it for about two seconds and snapped up a kit. 

My adult niece and her little boy are staying with us for a while so she and I decided to make these bracelets together. At first we were dumbfounded by the directions. I watched a few youtube videos which explained the patterns pretty well but not the method so I was still not getting good results. Eventually I figured it out on my own but it took some doing so I'm going to try to explain it a little better on here. 

First off you need to measure out your thread, this measurement depends on your wrist size so you may need to experiment with how much you need. I have a seven inch wrist so I use twenty six inches of floss per strand. Cut two strands of each color for an easier bracelet or a single strand of six different colors for a more difficult one. You are also going to need some tape, a safety pin or a clip board to hold your thread as you work. I prefer the clip board but the others will do fine as well. 

figure 1
Now tie a regular ole granny knot with all of the strands together leaving about a three inch tail. As an optional step to make wearing the bracelet easier braid that three inch tail and tie another knot to secure it. Secure your strands with your tape, pin or board and separate the strands by color. If you're doing three colors separate with the two strands of each color together, if you're doing six colors separate them as single strands.

figure 2
Working from left to right cross the first color over the top of the second color then under it and around it to form a loop. (figure 1) Now while pulling down on the second strand pull up on the first one and tighten it up to the top. (figure 2) Don't make your knots too tight, that causes it to buckle a bit. Tie that same knot again across each color, repeat the process for each row. When you are down to about three and a half inches of loose floss tie another granny knot with all of the strands making it flush against the knots. If you want to, braid that end as well. To wear them just tie the braided ends together. 

If you are still not getting it you can use a small thread crochet hook and make yourself some granny squares to form a cuff. I've still got to add some buttons to that one bit I think it is my favorite. My nieces favorite was the rainbow one I made when I eventually figured out how to do the knots correctly. BTW Yay New York! I've got a ton of ideas for color combos in my head along with a bunch of ideas of items other than bracelets to do with these so keep an eye out for that.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins

I know that most people think of fruit when muffins are mentioned but The Man is not most people. He is a chocaholic in the extreme. Naturally with all this muffin making I was bound to come up with a chocolate recipe eventually. Eventually is the right word there because I went through several trial and error recipes to get to the final one and I also learned a very important lesson, if you're trying out a new recipe put a cookie sheet under your muffin pan just in case you have a spill over. Anywhoodles we love this version and I hope you will like it too.

1/2 cup granulated sugar
5 tbsps melted butter
1 egg beaten
1 cup of milk
1 tsp vanilla extract 
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp each of baking soda and powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup of chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease or line 12 muffin cups. Start off by mixing the first five wet ingredients together and then in a separate bowl mix the last five dry ingredients together. Slowly add the dry to the wet and mix it until it is just combined, don't over mix. Pour it evenly into the muffin cups and bake for twenty minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Challenge #24: Something for Him, Embroidered Handkerchiefs.

I haven't done a project for Iron Craft in a little over a month because the past few themes haven't given me any inspiration. This week was different, I came up with an idea almost immediately after reading the challenge theme. I embroidered four handkerchiefs two for my dad and two for The Man's dad. 

I like the way they turned out. I printed the monogram and phrase out and then used washout pencils to trace them onto the handkerchiefs. After that it was a matter of simple back stitches. This is the sort of project I enjoy doing. Simple items that will get used rather than looked at. Pretty is nice but pretty and functional is better.