This scarf was lying here trying not to be sent to Goodwill. I liked it but it was so small that I didn’t use it, so it was added to the pile to be moved on.

Last night I saw it again and had a sudden inspiration. And strangely, it was a quick and simple inspiration. 🙂 (Perhaps the past year of working full time, plus trying to keep up with photography and a social life have something to do with the slightly less time consuming inspiration.)

It was to be a cozy little rice bag. The whole project took about 45 minutes and would have been finished much sooner if I hadn’t added the flower or had to take out some seams.

In the process of envisioning the finished product, I wasn’t thrilled about the fact that one side would have a wide blue strip and it would look strange, but then I decided to add the flower to make it look like the blue end was meant to be there -the best part of upcycling things, you are presented with more or less options, it just depends how you look at it!

I started by sewing the flower to one end of the scarf. It’s a simple ruffle spiral made from an old worn polo shirt.

Then I folded the scarf in half and sewed the two layers together with a zigzag stitch, but it looked really bad and stretched the scarf so I took that out and sewed a straight stitch instead. This worked much better. Once both sides were sewed, I added the rice.

After adding the rice, I sewed that end closed. All the seams were top-stitched. The thread isn’t visible since the weave of the scarf absorbs the stitches.

It’s that simple. And a great way to use a $1 scarf. Now all that needs to be done is to heat it in the microwave for a minute or two, drape it around one’s neck, and grab a book and a cup of tea to enjoy its coziness.

Stay warm!

P.S. Is it acceptable to give an upcycled project as a gift? 🙂


Heading for an Adventure!

Guess what! We’re going to Oregon, on the train, in June, to visit our uncle. Enough prepositional phrases? 🙂 This brainstorm hit me last November. I thought we would wait until I had been out of school for a year. But then I couldn’t wait. So we’re planning to go in June. You should see lots more about it, especially during and after the trip. Our uncle is a photographer and a wonderful cook, so besides the train trip, we should have quite a number of blogging opportunities. 🙂

Last week we had a snow day so I had a chance to do more calligraphy. Here’s what I came up with. I love the gold on blue…


Cozy Flannel Blanket

Sewing this blanket was the big project over my Christmas break. I found this flannel at Jo-Ann Fabrics when Keturah and I were shopping after Thanksgiving. I’d been wishing for a flannel blanket for a while. Of course, when it’s only $2.00 a yard you must buy some, right? 🙂 

I wasn’t sure what pattern I was going to use, so I ended up having to do some creative piecing. I later bought the solid peach at another store and tea dyed it. That really helped pull out the floral colors. And tea dying was necessary to turn the peach from a baby peach to the vintage peach I was hoping for. 

I nearly despaired when I was doing the last of the sewing. The blanket looked bunchy and the edges of the fabric were uneven. Keturah assured me it would look better after it was washed. It sure did! Because I used triangles instead of squares I had to cut out some of the thick seams where eight corners came together.

I think it’s surprisingly warm and heavy considering it’s only two layers of fabric. It turned out to be the perfect size and it’s wonderfully cozy. I’m quite happy with the results!


Handmade Mittens

Sometime around Thanksgiving I became convinced that I needed mittens. Maybe because I left my gloves at home and was forced to rely on my coat pockets to keep my hands warm. Maybe because I’ve made so many fingerless gloves for other people. Maybe because mittens are old fashioned and vintage. Yes, all those reasons counted, but especially the last one.

After endless pacing at Jo-Ann Fabrics I found this yarn. It changes from red to brown to shades of grey at random intervals. I like the odd changes rather than a pattern that changed colors every row. I did the first rows of these gloves so many times! It took me a long time to find a crochet pattern I liked. I ended up using a pattern for fingerless gloves that used the same size hook and then I added the rest of the mitten.

I love how they turned out! They’re warm, but the yarn is still thin enough that I can do things with my hands. (The first pair I made with thicker yarn made me feel like a helpless child. 🙂 )

That was my first project of Christmas vacation. Hopefully two more crochet projects and a sewing project will show up here in the next few weeks!

That’s all for now.