Thursday, June 22, 2017

Pride Headband - DIY Rainbow Tulle Flower

June is Pride month!  I designed some fun twisted rib Celebrate Equality Wristbands, but Lucky claimed these "bracelets" as his own.  I planned to create some kind of fascinator to show my support for the LGBTQ communities.

I picked up some tulle in rainbow colors.  There were many different options to chose from, so I selected the brightest options I could.  I purchased 1/4 yard of each color which would be more than enough for multiple headbands and was only a couple of dollars total.

When I laid the squares out on the table, the gradient they formed was stunning.  I took MANY photos!

My original inspiration was to create some kind of rainbow poof headband.  However, I LOVED the way the tulle stars came out from my patriotic headband, so I wanted to create similar petals for my rainbow pride headband.  (Even if the tulle was a pain to work with!)  The plan for this headband is to make six petals in a ROYGBP colorway.

I cut two 5" squares in each color.  Just like with the tulle patriotic star flowers, I folded the double tulle on the diagonal twice and then created a running stitch through the raw edge.  As I pulled these closed I formed a six petal flower.  

The finished star is about 5" across in either direction.  

The star/flower went together quickly.  The frustrations that I had working with the tulle last time were absent this time.  I think that after I had created a few petals I got the hang of it and it was much easier to complete.

The finished flower is adorable, but it was missing something.  I decided to add a huge rhinestone to the center of the flower to give it some sparkle.

Next, I turned the flower over and glued it onto a plastic headband I purchased from the dollar store.  I got a pack of four headbands for $1!  I made sure to put glue under the headband to help the flower keep its hold on the hair accessory.  

This cute little headband was complete!  Notice how I glued the flower off center. I wanted it to be on the side of my head, not on the top of my head.  I also placed the flower so the purple, blue and green petals would show on the side of my face since these are my favorite colors.

This flower is darling.  It doesn't have the poof exuberance that I initially envisioned, but I am so excited about how this flower turned out.  I have a feeling that I will be making more tulle headbands in my future, and I look forward to wearing this flower proudly for Pride month.

I have some ideas for knit Pride hats, but it is just so hot right now that I can't even think about trying on wool hats with the air conditioning running.  Showing support for Pride is relevant for more than just in June, so these designs will come out of my sketches someday!  For this Pride month, we are sharing our support for our friends, family and community with warm weather friendly wristbands and headbands.  

Lucky is 3.5 years old.  We told him that this year that his "bracelets" mean that we believe in equality for everyone as a family, and that we believe that people should be able to express who they are.  Marriage equality doesn't seem like an issue for debate to Lucky, it is just a fact and is completely normal that people can marry who they love.  Working for acceptance and tolerance starts in the home, and I hope to teach my boys to stand up for their friends.  

Monday, June 19, 2017

4th of July Tulle Headbands

For the first time ever, I have my own patriotic outfit for the 4th of July.  I purchased a watermelon LuLaRoe dress this Spring which is a very happy blue and red ensemble. The print of the dress is pretty busy, so my usual light up star necklaces might not make a big fashion statement.  Why not make myself a fascinator?

I wanted to create a pinwheel-esque shape, but I found some pointy flower tutorials and thought I would give it a try.  With 5 petals these just might look like a star!

I purchased 1/4 yard of tulle in Red, White and Blue.  (Technically I had 1/2 yard of the blue and red since I purchased these colors for my Pride fascinators, too.)  I purchased some fun plastic headbands from the dollar store.  Four headbands for a dollar, can't beat that price!  I debated between using the navy polka dot headband or the lighter blue, and decided to wait until I was ready to assemble the headband to decide.

For this project, I also used a needle and thread to assemble the flowers, some rhinestones to add some bling and a hot glue gun to add the tulle flowers to the headband in the end.

I decided to start out by cutting 5" squares of tulle.  I thought that I would cut 5 squares for each flower, but then I decided to double up the tulle for each petal.  Therefore I cut 10 squares of each color.  It was a bit of a pain to cut the tulle on my cutting matt.  The tulle was self clingy and just didn't want to stay lined up.  Plus with the white I could barely see it!

Each petals was formed with two 5" square pieces of tulle.  I folded each square in half along the diagonal, and then in half again to create a triangle with all of the raw edges along the long side.  I formed a running stitch through this long edge and then pulled it tight to form the petal.

I didn't cut the thread between the petals, and soon one petal grew to three, then four then five.

I forgot how annoying tulle is to work with.  Trying to keep two squares together to fold them and then stitch them was really hard.  Whoops!

I repeated this process until I had red, white, and blue star tulle flowers.  

Now that I had my three flowers/stars, I had to decide how to orient them on a headband.  I didn't want a crown going across my head, I was hoping for a more fascinator vibe.  They are a little too poofy to stack on top of each other well.  If I were going to do that, I shouldn't have tied the bottoms closed right away or I should have gradated the sizes a bit better.

Since these stars were going to take on a more flower appearance, and the center of these tulle star flowers is a little sloppy, I hot glued some rhinestones into the center of each flower.  

I decided to clump them close together.  You loose a bit of the star appearance, they definitely look more like flowers than stars now.

First, I glued the white star to a spot on the headband where it would fall on the side of my head.  Once this cooled, I pushed the sides of the white flower up so I close glue the blue and red flowers close to either side.

I think that if I wanted these flowers to have a more flower shape, versus trying really hard to stay flat, I could have wrapped the thread around the bottom, or pulled it even tighter so it wouldn't stay as a flat shape.

This headband isn't exactly what I envisioned when I started out with this craft project, but it is certainly patriotic!

Patriotism isn't synonymous with conservatism.  I want to celebrate our country, while working to use my democratic voice to help encourage the change I think we need in our society.  I plan to use my voice and fight for the liberty and freedom of all members of our community.  This is what is in my heart as I gear up to celebrate Independence Day this year.

I'd forgotten how much I enjoy using my hot glue gun.  I really could use a new one that would give me some more control on stopping when the glue comes out, but for now this old crafting tool is serving me well.  

This is only the beginning of my venture into creating custom headbands and fascinators for myself.  Stay tuned for the construction of a similar themed Pride headband in the next post!  

Thursday, June 15, 2017

A Fox Cowl

When the chunky Failynn Fox Cowl pattern crossed my path, I knew that I needed to make it.  (There is a crochet version, too!  Flint Fox Cowl.)  It is constructed out of super bulky yarn which meant it would be a fast project PLUS it was super adorable.

I made the toddler size and used KnitPicks Tuff Puff yarn in hand dyed by me orange (340 g, 150 yards), white (13 g, 6 yards) and black (26 g, 12 yards).  I dyed 4 balls (~400 yards) of the white tuff puff before starting this project since there wasn't a suitably foxy orange available at the time.  The nice thing about creating food coloring dyeing tutorials in my kitchen is that when a color I need is back ordered I try to create my own!

For the first time Lucky helped me wind the yarn into balls.  He kept winding the yarn and saying "I'm making a fox hat!"  If only a little crank was all it took!

The pattern is well written and this fun hooded cowl comes in multiple sizes.  I made one adjustment to the pattern.  After the last cowl decrease round I knit 22 sts and started doing the hood back and forth rows there.  This way the round beginning with the stripe would be on the back of the hood, not front and center.

I started using felted joins to add new balls of yarn after I realized that i would have ends to weave in near the edge of the hood.

While the hood was in progress I tried it on Lucky.  The hood measured 9.5" on the stockinette and I had knit 33 or 34 rows.  This seemed super short and I thought i would need to knit to the child size 12 inches, but then I tried it on him again a few rows later and it looked like it would close okay.  In the end I knit 43 rows that measured 11.5" before closing off the hood.

I love a project where I can try it on the intended recipient during the construction.  There was very little worry about it being too small!  (However, I was nervous about running out of yarn.  This is one of the downsides of using a custom hand dyed colorway!)  Lucky was so excited to put on his hood that he started howling, even without the ears.  

On the ears, I changed some of the decreases to SSk or P2tog-TBL where applicable so the decreases would be symmetric on either side of the ear.

I wasn't sure what the two rounds of SC crochet would add around the edge of the  hood but it really finished it off nicely. I think I have one ENORMOUS crochet hook somewhere, but the only hook I had on hand is a Size K, not the M recommended in the pattern.  I just made sure to keep my SC's really loose on the edge of the hood and around the ears.

By the time I finally knit and finished this hat it was springtime, there were very few cold days left. I think it might still fit Lucky another year (he wore the same hat for the third winter in a row this year) but if not then Rowdy will be able to wear it.  

Lucky has requested that I make him an elephant hat.  I will wait until the end of the summer before I start his new hat for next winter to make sure that he still wants to be an elephant.  

Lucky was so tiny when I knit him his first fox hat!  Even after wearing this for almost a whole winter the hat was in great shape for Rowdy to use this year.  

Also featured in this photo are the birthday shirts I made for Lucky and Rowdy this year.  I can't believe how much they've grown even since taking these photos just a few months ago!