DIY t-shirt bracelet

In attempts to distract myself from a splitting headache, tonight I settled into bed watching DIY videos on YouTube while Matt made dinner.

While looking for something totally unrelated, I came across a great little video by JewelryTutorialHQ for a DIY jersey knit t-shirt bracelet tutorial. It looked interesting so I had a look.

Before the video had even finished, I was up fishing out an old sun-faded black t-shirt and getting started.

Formerly black tee

Formerly black tee

IMG_2170

Cut into strips

Making t-shirt yarn

Making t-shirt yarn

Finger knitting

Finger knitting

First I set out the old t-shirt on the floor in the spare bedroom. Then I set about cutting the strips to join together and make “t-shirt yarn.” I then commenced weaving/finger knitting the bracelet.

Pattern up close

Pattern up close

The video was really easy to follow, so it didn’t take long at all. And best of all it really helped distract me from my headache. Sadly the effects have since worn off, but it was a fun little project that only took about 10 minutes.

Finished product

Finished product

This bracelet is a design using three fingers to knit. It can also be made thinner or chunkier by using two or four fingers instead. I can’t wait til some prettier tees wear out so I can make more. Check out the video and try it yourself!

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Fingerless mitten success

Tonight I achieved something pretty exciting. I started a new project right before bed last night and worked on it while watching the Packers game this morning (4:15am start Perth time, it was brutal). I finished it up this evening while skyping my good pal Lauren who’s just arrived in Sydney — and will hopefully be with us for Thanksgiving.

Cable twist fingerless mitten

Cable twist fingerless mitten

I am a big fan of fingerless mittens, so it was an exciting project to take on. I decided to just wing it, vaguely settling on what I wanted the pattern to look like as I went. I’m happy to say that my guesses were pretty accurate as far as sizing of both the overall glove and the thumb hole space. It feels good to use nothing but my own prior skills and instincts to invent something totally new for my repertoire.

When making my headbands, I know exactly how they’ll turn out, because at this point what I’m making is at the very least similar to something I’ve done before. It feels great to go in blind and just use my knitting knowledge to create something totally new for me. Honing my skills and logging in so much practice (aka failed projects) has really helped me be brave and take chances.

Proudly showing off my brownie creation

Proudly showing off my brownie creation

I urge other crafters out there to be courageous and not worry about making mistakes. As many projects as I’ve messed up and will continue to botch, it’s such a high to nail it on the first try. I can’t wait to make the left one!

A day at Perth upmarket

The perthupmarket is a great fair held every couple of months at the University of Western Australia. It features handcrafted wares including jewelry, clothing, paper designs and all sorts of other knick-knacks.There are also food stalls with coffee, cakes, macarons and other substantial fare to keep people happy while they hang out all day in the gorgeous setting of Winthrop Hall.

Handmade hairbands and clips

Handmade hairbands and clips

I ended up buying a few items, but my favorite booth showcased some lovely homemade earrings, necklaces and hair accessories. I love button jewelry, and these designs were just beautiful.

Fancy stuffed animals

Fancy stuffed animals

Claire and I couldn’t help but stroll quickly through the baby section of the fair. These stuffed animals and helicopters were too cute! I wanted an elephant for myself.

Crochet cacti

Crochet cacti

The kookiest thing we saw was certainly the crochet cacti, but I have to say I total love them!

Who can resist a macaron?

Who can resist a macaron?

I am a sucker for sweets, and today I got to try a Cherry Ripe flavored treat. It was pretty Aussie.

Coaster designs

Coaster designs

I was very impressed by today’s batch of Perth crafters. It’s inspiring to see so much passion and originality out there. I just hope there’s a place for handmade knit headbands in the mix!

Trial and error

There is a wide margin of error when it comes to crafting. When you really enjoy it, a project that didn’t quite work out is much more of a learning experience than a failure. Even when I have to take out several rows of knitting, or start completely over from the beginning, I don’t mind at all.

One of the reasons I got back into knitting was that I wanted to make my own boot cuffs. I’d always admired them on other people, but had never seen them in stores. They are available on Etsy, but I was certain I could make them myself.

Oatmeal boot cuff

Oatmeal boot cuff

Boot cuffs are tricky because when made on straight needles, you almost have to guess how long to make it and how many stitches to use, since it has to fit over your leg. This one does fit me, but the needles I used weren’t wide enough, so when it stretches over my calf, it doesn’t quite look right. Not unwearable, but I’m curious to see what it looks like when made with 8mm needles instead of 6mm.

It’s AFL finals here in Australia, so Matt and I had a big footy day, with a break to take a long walk and make yummy homemade pizzas for dinner.

I love to knit while we watch sports. It’s so much better than sitting around idly. It was an exciting day, with two major upsets!

Tomorrow I’m busy all day, but I can’t wait to have another crack at these cuffs. Hopefully there’s enough yarn left in the lovely oatmeal shade to complete the project.

Death by knitting

Hello world and welcome to knits by emma!

To learn what this site’s all about, visit the About page. For now I’d like to paint a picture of just how all of this came to be.

Since getting engaged to my marvelous Aussie beau, I’ve become a bit of an Etsy and Pinterest troll. I wouldn’t exactly say I have an eye for design, but I do know what I like. One can certainly get lost jumping from blog to blog and shop to shop looking at all the beautiful handmade DIY ideas perfect for the big day.

Somehow in this process, I ignited the dormant crafter in me. As a knitting beginner back in high school, I went through a very short lived phase where I made ugly scarves for everyone I knew.

This time, I was ready to learn more and perfect my meager skills. I started out by stocking up on materials and proceeded to play around with patterns and techniques for the next few weeks.

Kiss my cowl

Kiss my cowl

It wasn’t long before my little projects were taking over our living room, and now my yarn, needles and other tools have two drawers of their own. Even so, we were being buried alive by my finished and unfinished projects.

Controlled chaos

Controlled chaos

Rather than bombard my loved ones with “gifts” they may not actually want, I came up with the idea to sell my knit crafts online both for fun and to fund my yarn habit.

So far my friends have shown interest, and I hope to start out with a small loyal following of customers. But mostly I feel motivated to keep learning and getting my DIY on.

Headbands on parade

Headbands on parade

I recently read a book that described the concept of Flow. According to psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, ‘During flow, people typically experience deep enjoyment, creativity, and a total involvement with life.’ Knitting is an activity that I enjoy simply for the sake of it. Being creative helps me achieve flow, what works for you?