That’s my mountain dulcimer taking up seat number 5… ūüôā

 

I saw several DIY PVC guitar racks being talked about online, and the one thing I noticed, besides that they’re ugly, is they really minimize the space they take up. We have 5 ukes, and a banjolele, though one uke is of the flying V body style so it won’t work in this, and while I have nice, pretty wooden stands, they take up quite a bit of space. And today I really wanted to build something, so here’s what I did.

Approximate Finished Dimensions

18″ high x 28″ wide x 16.5″ deep

Purchase List

  • 2 x 10′ 1/2″ PVC pipe ($4.16)
  • 14 1/2″ PVC pipe T fittings ($4.76)
  • 6 1/2″ PVC pipe caps ($1.38)
  • 11¬†1/2″ PVC pipe 90¬į elbows ($4.40)
  • pipe cutting tool ($7)
  • glue (optional and I only used to to glue the main sections together¬†in case I want to disassemble it in the futureand store it flat) ($6)

How to Prepare

You will need to do a lot of cutting. Here’s the breakdown of how many, how long. I only used 15′ of the pipe total.

  • 5 x 1.75″
  • 7¬†x 3″
  • 10 x 4″
  • 6¬†x 1″
  • 2 x 11″
  • 3 x 25.5″

How to Assemble

Top

  • Make the top bar with the neck guides by connecting these pieces in the following order:
  • Elbow + 1″ piece + T + 3″ piece +¬†+ T + 3″ piece +¬†+ T + 3″ piece +¬†+ T + 3″ piece +¬†+ T + 3″ piece +¬†+ T + 1″ piece + elbow.
  • Connect one 4″ piece into the open end of the T’s across (6 times). Then connect an elbow, and a 1.75″ piece to the first 5 of them. Add the 6 caps to all of the open ends. This completes your top bar.
  • On the downward facing open ends of the elbows, connect a 4″ piece of pipe. Attach a T to these so you can add the crossbar between them.
  • Place a 25.5″ piece into the open ends of the T where they face each other.
  • Connect a 11″ piece to the remaining open ends of the T’s, going downward. These will connect into the base.

Bottom

  • Create a rectangle, using 4 T’s, 2 4″ pieces, and the two remaining 25.5″ pieces. This will form the part of the base that the ukes will rest on.
  • Choose a side to be the back of the stand. Attach a 1″ piece to each open T side, and add another T, this one facing upwards. Your top section will fit into this.
  • Connect the remaining 3″ pieces to the backs of these T’s, then add 2 of the elbows, pointing down.
  • Finish the front of the stand by connecting the last 2 1″ pieces, and then the elbows.

Finishing

  • Fit the top into the bottom. Make sure everything fits. Try it out. Tiny ukes, like a soprano, will barely¬†reach the top bar, and if you have a sopranino, you’ll need to place the secondary bar lower. If everything looks good, you can glue things together now.

Let me know if this worked for you, or if I made any mistakes in the parts list! Happy making!

I haven’t posted in a few weeks but I’ve been busy with my crochet, some knitting, and I started a new craft last night. Let’s start at the beginning though.

Let’s start with my Mickey blanket which I was only able to finish with the help of a really nice fellow yarn crafter who mailed me a few yards of the orange yarn I needed to finish. I didn’t want to buy a whole new skein of yarn for just 8 or 10 yards worth that I needed.

I’m still not 100% sure what I’ll be doing with the Mickey blanket, but I suspect I will be gifting it to someone in the future. After that, I started a new blanket, and while I’ve done quite a bit on it, I want to make it bit enough to cover our Queen-sized bed, so I still have quite a ways to go. Here it is though with what I’ve finished so far.

More #crochet #blanket #progress. Still have a long way to go though. #redheart #yarn

A photo posted by Debra Leigh Wilson (@kittyloafdesigns) on

I’m hoping to have it finished in the new few weeks but it will be slow going, especially now that it takes me a good 40 minutes to do one round at this size.

I took a break from that blanket for a bit and knitted up this quick scarf, which turned out really really well and it’s definitely a keeper.

And last but not least, I decided last night to try out resin. I won a kit from a blog contest some time ago, and figured I’d give it a try. I wasn’t sure if the resin was too old or not, but figured worst case it didn’t set up and I’ve chalk it up to user error and if it happened again, to being bad resin. I placed some tiny seed beads into the molds and then poured my thoroughly mixed resin into it, letting it set up a bit before adding another sprinkling of beads. Then I left them to sit overnight and this morning I had this. I need to file down the edges a bit more because they are a little rough but all in all they turned out how I wanted.

I want to do more earrings but with tiny bits of threads in different colors embedded into them and I’d also like to create a light switch plate embedded with various tiny scraps of fabric. I can’t believe I never tried resin before this, it was so fun on my first try!

So all in all, I feel like this has been a pretty successful couple of weeks of crafting! I’m looking forward to more resin pours in my near future!

After exactly 6 weeks, I finished my second crochet project ever, my Granny Ripple blanket. This crochet blanket is just big enough for our queen sized bed. My original plan was to do 4 repeats of the rainbow but it turned out that 3 were enough. Aside from my foundation chain being too tight and it making my ripple a bit wonky on that edge, I had no issues with it and it turned out super well! A few suggestions were made about my foundation chain issues such as using a technique to use actual stitches for my foundation instead of a chain (forget what its called) or to go up a hook size when chaining.

IMG_20150423_153848197

I’m trying hard this weekend to finish my knit blanket so I can move onto my next project- I want to do a pink and white baby blanket using the leftover white yarn from my knit blanket, and the rose colored yarn of the same type I got super cheap off of Amazon.

Hopefully sometimes Monday I’ll be posting photos of my finished knit blanket too!

I got the idea in my head a few days ago that I needed to knit myself some slippers. I saw several patterns I really liked, but after reviewing several of them, I realized I have no idea how to read a knitting pattern that’s written as a diagram. Then I found this patter, the Parkspin Slippers by Joan Janes. The instructions looked really simple, the slippers are knitted flat in one piece, and I figured there was no way I could mess them up unless maybe my gauge was off or something.

details
Because slippers matter that the size is right, I did knit a gauge swatch and found with the yarn I was using (a black based bulk buy yarn from Joann’s that looks like some assorted neon colors puked on it. I think it was a regrettable purchase when I saw how it knit up, but Mattie loves it.) knits up the stitches in the right width when I used I think it was size 10.5 or 11 needles, but the length was a little short. I ended up doing a few more rows then the pattern called for in the first part of the design to get the right length, and in the second half, I stitched about an extra half inch than what was called for since it was for a ladies’ medium slipper and my feet are pretty big. Other then that, I followed the directions to a T. Stitching them up was super easy, and I did choose to add a felt sole to them which in hindsight I will need to find sturdier thread to sew them on better, but overall I am quite pleased with them.

fronts

 

I’m calling them my Ugly Granny Slippers on Ravely because honestly this yarn is just awful, but its sturdy and since this pattern calls for two strands of yarn, doubled up its pretty thick.

sole

 

There’s really nothing special about them other than the fact that they will keep my feet cozy and warm, and I left off the pom pom, and while I did add the fold over edge to them, I did not actually fold it over. I like it better up. The best part? I am not a fast knitter at all, and t took me about 4 hours to knock out both slippers including sewing on the soles! So quick and easy!

sides

 

And and check out (what you can see of) my new monster pants! Adorable monsters and they are having a dance party! I made those yesterday. ūüôā

Friday I decided to work on a project using the scant remains of a skein of yarn I had. The knitting bug has bitten me hard to say the least but I’m having so much fun with it! This yarn was the leftovers from my very short lived attempt at crocheting, and it also made up some of the stripes (about 1/4th of them) in my practice scarf. There wasn’t a lot left, so I decided to make a preemie-sized baby beanie with it. Apparently I judged the size of my project well because there was literally only about 18″ of yarn left after I finished it!

It turned out really well and I’m quite pleased with it. I’ve added it to my shop for purchase , so you can see it by clicking the link above. I plan on doing another one Saturday¬†while Mattie is out with his dad and probably while he is playing video games or if we watch TV. Its such an easy project to do and doesn’t take a lot of effort¬†to do it.

I did need some help is figuring out how many stitches I needed to cast on as well as the size of people’s heads at different ages, but I found these two really helpful pages.

Bev’s Size Charts, which gives head dimensions by age and sex, as well as finished item approximate dimensions. Super helpful!

Earth Guild’s Simple Hat Calculator, ¬†which has a handy chart for how many stitches you need to cast on depending on your knit size and the size head you want to fit. Its really easy to adjust the chart downwards into the preemie sizes mentioned in the first link as well with simple subtraction.

I told my friend Christy she helped create a monster in answering all my knitting questions so far. I’ve officially completed two projects, and I ordered some yarn from Amazon Thursday night as well as another circular needle all of which will be arriving over the next few days.

S9723EnvelopeSimplicity 9723 features a dress with two styles of skirt, and a jacket. At PatternReview.com, two people have reviewed this pattern and they have had mixed things to say. One, its extremely historically inaccurate. Two, there have been various issues with the pattern, which I was glad I read about before getting started. The bad comments were almost enough to make me search for another pattern to use for Halloween (yup this is the basis of my Halloween costume this year!) but in the end I decided to go with it and make corrections as needed.

I spent a small fortune on fabrics for this project and so far I seem to have overbought across the board but the fabric allowances given on the envelope back are given for multiple pieces of the costume together-  there is no measurement given for just the jacket, its the jacket and skirt together. This left to me guessing at the amounts needed and at this point I have an extra yard+ of silver pleather as well as a good 1.5 yards left over of the black poly-cotton broadcloth.

The jacket is done in a bright silver metallic pleather with a reptile texturing to it, with black poly-cotton broadcloth for the lining. The blouse and petticoat (which I am currently working on) is done in the same poly-cotton broadcloth, and the skirt will be done in a deep red medium weight satin.

S9723Front

 

The biggest complaint with this pattern, and I agree with it completely, is that the blouse and skirt are sewn as one item, not separates. This is easy enough to fix. I added several inches in length to the blouse, and instead of having a center back zip as was intended, I cut the center back on the fold, and inserted a zipper under the arm. The neckline is high and snug though, so I cut a slit into the upper back at the neckline, finished the edges with bias tape, and added a snap closure at the neck. That way I can pull it on easily, but still retain the same look as before. I thought the neckline would make me feel claustrophobic but oddly enough its pretty comfortable to wear.

S9723Back

 

People who reviewed this also complained that the sleeve cuffs of the blouse are too tight to close when worn. All I can figure is they took too large of a seam allowance because not only are they closed when I put it on, but I can slide my hands through them while they are fastened without issue.

S9723Piece

 

I have the main pieces of the petticoat stitched together at this point, and when I resume working on it, I’ll be stitching together the ruffle pieces and adding them to the bottom of the petticoat. Then it will be on to the outer skirt an after that I’m done. I’m not looking forward to the petticoat ruffles as I hate gathering, but its got to be done. I’m looking forward to finishing this one and getting to wear it out for Halloween!

 

babydoll

Another Pinterest find, this babydoll negligee is too cute with all the ruffles and light, fluffy layers. You can find the directions to make this here, and her instructions are very easy to follow. This uses 8 pieces total, and 5 of them are just strips of fabric to make the ruffles. Chiffon is inexpensive and most of us have some soft ribbon around to use or the ties, so this is would make a gorgeous low-cost alternative to store-bought (and pricey!) lingerie. I’d call that a win!

003I was browsing Pinterest (I have such mixed feelings about it but occasionally I find my way back to it) and looking for free sewing patterns. I came across some really cute ideas, but so many are not suited to my body type, or would take a lot of scaling as the patterns were only available in very small sizes. Then I saw this. This jacket has the prettiest draping and the shape is interesting given the way the seams run. Its made out of a stretch knit fabric, and I definitely want to make one for myself before winter comes.

The jacket is made from three pieces of fabric and the only pattern you really need is a few measurements form your tape measure. Here’s the link! Its from a few years ago but I absolutely love it.

Back in October, I sewed View B from Kwik Sew 1425 out of a wild pink and black knit that I loved. I decided this Wednesday evening to sew up View C, which is identical except for having a cross-cross detail on the back. I did make a few minor changes to the pattern, and I will list them off.

  • I added a band to the bottom hemline. I laid my pieces out and planned to make the shirt a few inches longer when cutting, then I spaced out and cut it as is. The band was added to the bottom hem to both add length, and I first ran elastic through it, which I ended up pulling out because I just didn’t like it.
  • I hemmed the neckline and sleeves edges rather than use the binding method suggested by the pattern. This was due to finding that the fabric I used, while stretchy, was not stretchy enough to make use of the binding strips as I cut them. Instead of re-cutting them a few inches longer, I just hemmed the raw edges instead.
  • I added 6 criss-cross bands instead of just the required 2 pieces. I may have gotten a little crazy there but I think it was a fun add-on and super easy.

Other than those two things, I followed the directions as they were. Yes, this is a traffic cone orange t-shirt. Its super, super bright, but the light pointelle jersey is so super airy and breathable and so comfortable to wear I can forgive its ridiculously bright color.

KS1425ViewC

 

When talking to Tracy last night, I noted I am wearing a lot more bright colors than I ever have. A few years ago there is no way I would have worn a top like this, or some of the other brighter colors I’ve sewn things up in. My Kelly green half circle skirt? No way! My white birds t-shirt? Nope. I didn’t wear white, ever.

Another thing I did yesterday was fix the quick strap I made to pull my bra strap down a bit for those tops and dresses with low backs. You’ve probably seen the fix on Pinterest in a dozen places, and while I made my own hardware clip to put on the elastic, the effect is the same, just cheaper.

lowbackstrap

 

Sorry about the great view of my fat! I’ve lost a lot of weight but still have a ways to go! Anyway, this fix would probably work better on someone thinner, because as we get smaller, our narrowest waist point tends to be lower, and that’s where the elastic ends up- at your narrowest point. I’m heavier and my natural wait is higher so this doesn;t make a big dramatic change n my bra strap location, but it does pull it down just enough.

Since my order I put in to fabric.com finally came in on Monday, I washed and dried my new fabrics this morning and got to work printing, cutting, and taping the pieces for this free pattern at Be My Goth. I’ve had this pattern bookmarked for ages but was on the fence about actually making it. When I saw the fiery red-orange crochet lace on clearance I knew that was going to be what I made it with. I already had a yard of dark grey rib knit in my stash from another project I’d bought for, so that was set.

bemygothlacefront

 

The pattern has three pieces- front, back, and the sleeve cuffs, but I made a few changes to it as I went. I cut the largest size, but did not add the seam allowances as instructed. My crochet lace has quite a bit of stretch, and I’m not sure her pattern was designed for a fabric with stretch in it. She doesn’t mention stretch in it anyway. I tried it on and found the neckline to be too wide, causing it to fall off of my shoulders, so I gently rounded over the corners at the edges of the neckline form the shoulders and brought it in about 3″ total. That helped with that issue, but I still felt it was a bit too open at the neck.

bemygothlaceback

 

I went ahead and cut a piece of rib knit a few inches smaller than the neckline measurement, and stitched that in place. I really liked how it looked, so I did the same for the bottom hemline. Because the crochet knit is so open, its pretty much impossible to finish the edges neatly, which was my other reason for applying the rib knit to the other raw edges, and while you can still see the raw edges on the seam lines, the end result is much neater and cleaner than it would have been just hemming them. The original instructions call for a rolled hem on this, but I’m not sure if that would have worked with this lace anyway.

The back hemline is quite a bit lower than the front one, which was an element of the original design, though Be My Goth’s original version was more of a cropped top. I’ve got enough of a full bust that most tops I make I need to add a few inches to, and this being designed to be short there was no way I wasn’t going to add some length to it. I think I used just over a yard and a half of the lace for this top, and probably would have been a yard and a half even had I not added the length to it. The amount of rib knit used barely put a dent in the yard I had. I’m not really sure what I will wear this with besides my black tank top, but I really hope I can come up with a few options because I am very pleased with it.

blocks21-241I also was able to stitch up 4 more squares for my quilt a few days before as well, and these ones are done using all squares instead of strips. I’d like to say I’m making a dent in my scraps but really I’m not. Its insane how many cotton scraps I have already cut and still more not readied for use.

The square making is going slower than planned but eventually I will get them done. I’m looking forward to that day when I can start arranging the squares and start stitching them together.