Saturday, June 23, 2012

Magic Eight Ball - Ravelry Style!

I don't know about you, but I had never heard of a "Magic Eight Ball" or "Magic Yarn Ball" swap - but then again, I'm new to the world of swapping in general, lol!  Basically, it is a gift-filled treasure, made for another person that comes from the book The Children's Year (Hawthorn Press).

The gift giver wraps neat little treasures up in a ball of yarn, with a few of the beautiful gifts peeking out at the edges. As the recipient crafts with the yarn, the treasures fall out one by one, and they get to discover the fun as they knit or crochet.

I recently made one of these for the Ten Dollar Swap on Ravelry, and I thought I would show the gift from start to finish so that you can make your own Magic Eight Ball for a special friend!  First, start with something round-ish for the center, and begin wrapping one end of your yarn around the object.  I used a small knitted jingle ball that I had made for my recipient to give to her pet ferrets.

I continued on by adding another jingle ball and a ducky themed project bag and wallet I had sewn that I folded and rolled up very tightly around the ball. Anything your fellow knitter might appreciate (such as a tapestry needle, a few point protectors, special stitch markers or knitting notions) would be perfect for your Magic Yarn Ball.

Keep wrapping and adding objects and watch as your Magic Yarn Ball grows bigger, and bigger!

At the end of the ball, finish with a few lovely objects that will show, and secure the yarn end.  Here is a glimpse of my finished ball, as well as picture of all of the goodies that I included for my intended recipient based on her likes and dislikes (before wrapping them in the yarn!)

In return, my swap partner sent me this wonderful goodie package!  Here’s a first glimpse as I opened the box:

A beautiful blue project bag from the pattern, Bag! You’re It!, blue dangly stitch markers packaged with an orange accent ribbon as well as a package of my preferred flavor combination (PB & Chocolate) and a lovely gourmet coffee “Hazelnut Cream”, and a collection of nicely packaged sea shells and shark’s teeth collected for my children (that she had thoughtfully BOILED! Thank you, thank you, thank you, lol!)

Next came two MORE coffee selections, “Caramel Latte” and “Sven’s French Roast” (yum... I love coffee!)...

and then my ball finished with some Peach Citrus hand lotion, two packages of blue buttons, a yummy sounding recipe from a place she had recently visited for “Door County Cherry Muffins” and a package of Wilton’s Buttercup Yellow icing coloring so I can do some more dyeing experiments :)

The whole wonderful package was wrapped with a skein of Washable Ewe in the Duckling colorway (which is kind of funny because of all the duck themed goodies that I included in my package, lol!)

Here is a close-up of the beautiful bag full of my thoughtful, personalized goodies…

I hope that my swap partner has as much fun unwrapping this ball as I had putting it together (and that you share a Magic Eight Ball with someone special as well!)

Sunday, June 3, 2012


Felting that little monster change purse was so much fun... I decided I needed to knit up something else that could be felted!  I wanted to knit a little credit card sized wallet that I could haul around in my purse (in my favorite color, of course)... but after much internet searching, I couldn't find anything that was quite right..

So, enter my very first pattern (lol), the "Felted Embroidered Wallet".  It took some doing to figure out the construction and design aspect, but I persevered.  I knit up two samples (one from the same yarn I unravelled to knit the coin monster here, and the purple from a previous unravelling attempt).

I also had to sit down with my vector drawing program, and figure out how to illustrate the embroidery stitches and placement... so I came up with these little drawings to include in my pattern:

After several attempts, and some math, I uploaded my first free pattern to Ravelry:

and here are the finished pictures:

Recycled Monster

I love getting mail on Ravelry..... it's almost as much fun as getting "real" mail in the mailbox, lol!  But this time, I received a lovely suprise from Betsy (enw001) for sharing my "Un-Raveled Ball Bands" --The "Coin Pocket Monster Fish" pattern from my Ravelry queue!

I couldn't wait to get started :)....... and I had the perfect, feltable wool yarn that I had just reclaimed from this Abercrombie and Fitch sweater (another Goodwill find!)

Besides... it has been the week of disapointing knitting (you know... the kind you are all excited about at the start... and then as it progresses, you realize how it just isn't turning out quite the way you had envisioned), so I needed some "knitting therapy reinforcement".  This cute little guy turned out to be just the thing!

Here he is, pre-felting (kind of looks like a big-mouth frog... doesn't he?)

As for the felting... well..... let's just say that I have never felted anything before (on purpose), and I wasn't quite sure how long this whole process was going to take.  Per the pattern directions, I decided to do it by hand in a bowl of soapy water.  I had to leave it alone for just a second, and this is what I found when I came back to the table;

Everyone wanted in on the action, lol!  Luckily, this was something where a lot of swishing, rubbing, and dunking was EXACTLY what I needed, so my little helpers had a blast!

Putting that zipper in wasn't exactly a picnic either... but I finally prevailed, and here is the finished product (modeled by another of mommy's little helpers!)