It’s beginning to look a lot like way too much knitting…

Happy November!! We have been very busy this month and we suspect a lot of you are busy too, preparing for the holidays and making things for people that you love.

First I have a confession to make. I am a lunatic and have pretty much no concept of how much knitting I can accomplish in a month. This little Advent stocking project has been an adventure. First I procrastinated and was no where near done…so I rewrote this entire piece confessing my not finishing but having the patterns ready to share. And then I discovered I had the deadline wrong and I had a whole extra week to knit. Which would have been very helpful had I knit on the actual project that week. And then! I got one more week and I don’t even know why and finally I got 24 tiny stockings knit. I would say based on how many I have knit and how much time I have wasted not actually knitting,  you could get this project done before the first day of December. I would love to hear about it if you do.

This is the face of someone who’s relieved to be almost finished with 4 feet of  lucet cord for the Advent calendar. (And then she did all four feet over because she liked icord better. Lol!)

Let’s talk for a moment about shiny yarn. As a general rule I pretty much HATE metallic yarns. They are rough and difficult and I will avoid them at all costs. And then I got a box of Vegas. This yarn is lovely! Its got lots of sparkle and shine, it feels nice and even if I had to rip back a bit the yarn cooperated nicely. Some red and green and I was happily knitting an assortment of sparkly little stockings. The cones go a long way…and Cee Cee’s project this month uses Vegas too so you might just need one in every color.

I knit four sizes of stockings using two patterns and every bit of my willpower to actually fininsh. I made one that is 16 stitches around and one that is 24, and then I did a few of the stockings holding the yarn double which created a little more variation in size. If you hold the yarn double, just know I added an extra row or two on the foot before doing the toe so the foot would look long enough. Turning a tiny heel is just as amazing as turning a full grown sized one, and that little bit of wonder will help you carry on when you are somewhere between 15 and 20 and its turning into a LOT of little stockings.

I make probably between 50 and 100 of these during the holiday season, because they are a great little gift. I keep a few on hand in case I need a hostess gift or a little something for someone. Last year all my students got a tiny stocking for Christmas. This year I sold a bunch that someone will be tucking Christmas bonus checks in. They make great package ties instead of a bow, They are a fun way to make a small gift extra special. The smallest size holds a lip balm very well, so that’s a fun way to make an inexpensive thing a special thoughtful gift. And even before I finished this project and when I was still very tired of knitting stockings, a friend needed 8 for her staff…and I agreed to do them without even flinching. They really are that delightful. 

Cee Cee has been busy and actually does things with sticks beside knitting….here she is playing steel drums with composer Tyler Swick at her fall concert. (she knit him an elephant). 

And then we went to see something that had been on our bucket list for awhile, the Chihuly Exhibit at Maker’s Mark in Loretto, Kentucky. And it was beautiful…

Her project this month is awesome because it involves buttons, a very small amount of yarn and a very short amount of time. The folks at Loome have figured out how to make one tool do a variety of braids, pom poms and tassels.They have a few different models to choose from, and also a tool to help you trim a pom pom that doubles as a kumihimo braiding tool. Makers’ sent her the loome tool she had been wishing for, and she got a chance to experiment with using it as a lucet and learning a very old craft. She’s a totally history nerd so she loves learning how to do really old things…and making a square braid on a lucet is a really old thing. Lucets have been made out of bone, deer antlers, and all sorts of things. This one would be fun to add a doodle to, or personalize, but she hasn’t decided what she wants to do yet.

Cee Cee says “This would be a great gift for kids to find in their Christmas stockings!”   (I expect that was a hint to have  every variety Loome makes in HER Christmas stocking) And I think ages 10 and up would have a lot of fun with it. The folks at Loome have a fabulous Instagram feed and lots of videos on YouTube. A lucet braid is a very simple braid to learn and hey, if you’ve got some travel time this holiday season, this would be a great thing to do instead of playing video games or watching movies the whole time.

We attach the button to the square end where we start, and then make a loop just big enough for the button when we sew through the end and securely finish it off. Don’t stop with one length…make a bracelet that wraps around 2 or three or more times. We use a lot of scraps but are very fond of CoBaSi for lucet braids…the stitch definition makes for a beautiful bracelet.

Cee Cee discovered that not all yarn makes great lucet cord and had an afternoon of frustration with beautiful ombre wool that she was crazy about. She tried and tried but the tugging on the lucet made it too tight and it would occasionally break when she was tugging it. And then she remembered the icord.                                       

This bracelet was done in icord and then finger crochet and finished off with a gorgeous button.

This one is a triple wrap icord and a bright pop of color for a button.

And since we’ve been seeing pom poms dangling from bags and keychains, she decided to try that too!

And one final gorgeous button with just a little sparkle and some icord. (Vegas yarn is so elegant used in a bracelet!)

A three stitch icord or lucet braid is so easy and works up quickly so it’s easy to have a last minute gift… less than ten yards of yarn for any of our projects here, and nothing took longer than an hour and a half.

She has two more really pretty bracelets in progress, but you’ll just have to wait to see them (since her Mom had her braiding 4 feet of cord for an Advent calendar.)

Cee Cee really enjoys giving gifts…this whole journey began with her desire to give something to comfort others. So I asked her to tell me why making gifts to give is so important to her. “When you make something to give, it shows that you took time to create something one of a kind for that person to enjoy. I love the joy of creating something that a person loves to receive and is just especially for them.”

The other thing we’ve been thinking about is presents… it’s the season for choosing things to get for the people we cherish. (And both of us absolutely love making a wish list because getting stuff is fun too!) The best part is, you can make  a wish list too and somebody is going to win a wonderful prize! So here’s a list of things that both of us love from Makers’ Mercantile:

  1. This has been on Cee Cee’s wish list awhile…it’s a coloring book by Franklin Habit. Cee Cee got to meet Franklin a few years ago and she adores his artwork.
  2. We’re both working on improving our knitting skills so we want to try out Alterknit. It looks like a great book!
  3. Buttons…this idea was all Cee Cee. Choose a good hand full of glorious buttons and sprinkle them in a stocking. (You can point your crafter to this post, or Franklin’s post about cufflinks if they need an idea or two)
  4. We are both bag obsessed, and Cee Cee loved the Crafters gonna craft craft craft bag ( the tune sounds familiar) and the Love Sack bag in the blanket stripe pattern
  5. CoBaSi…. Just get all of it in every color. Trust us. It’s a great yarn. (The sock yarn is awesome! I’m knitting Cee Cee a gift out of it for the blog next month. Shhhh! It’s a secret )
  6.  And because we are constantly taking them away from each other…more Flipsticks. We really like having two different tips on a needle, and Cee Cee loves that they are different colors because that helps her keep track of which needle she is on.
  7. : Mumbles something about olive wood interchangeable needles, hot pink scissors and a delightful sewing box:
  8.  And maybe more yarn. Because….yarn.
  9. Sheep pull toy. We can’t have a real one and this one would be a beautiful addition in our crafting space.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving friends. We will see you next month with some fun last minute Christmas ideas.

P.S. Cee Cee says I have to share the little nutty moment I had 3 seconds after knitting the final stocking. I was done. You know how it is. You love a project, it’s wonderful but it is done. After counting twice, much to the amusement of my dear daughter I was coming up with 23 instead of 24 stockings. I jumped up and started fussing and Cee Cee started laughing at me…I was sitting on number 24! So as you hustle through your last minute holiday crafting, don’t forget to check the chair cushions for missing parts.

-BeLinda

ABOUT 

CeeCee1Cee Cee Creech is growing up in a home full of creativity. Mom BeLinda loves making things, and Cee Cee loves it too. In 2011, Cee Cee changed their lives when she wanted to knit elephants to comfort the residents of Joplin, MO after a tornado destroyed their town.

This mom/daughter team has raised thousands of dollars, and made/distributed toys for charities all over the world. Today, Cee Cee is a high school student, curious maker, and the teen craft ambassador for Makers’ Mercantile. Follow their adventures on the Craft Corner.

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Craft Corner – Felted Acorns

I’ve tried to start this post with about a dozen different cheery “It’s fall y’all!!!” greetings, but as I write, it’s the first week in October, and there’s just a lot of bad news. Cee Cee and I have been talking about recent events, and it’s no surprise she likes hearing the survivor stories because they give her hope. As one way of dealing with this, she made a couple of bluebirds to give to friends. Our conversations have nudged me from worry, to feeling hopeless, to being hopeful. Cee Cee and I have found that connecting with friends to spread hope and joy around is contagious. And of course our favorite way to connect to joy,  is to create! So let me tell you what we’ve been up to.

We’re not what you’d call fancy people. In fact 97% of my phone’s photo album is full of images trying to avoid shots of our very outdated dining room wallpaper! Well, This month brings a project that helps our decor dilemma. Thanks to wool felted acorns, a couple of pumpkins and some gold paint we have a lovely Fall table centerpiece! Every time I walk past it, it makes me smile. We tried a few different techniques, including needle felting, wet felting, and artFelt® to make Cee Cee’s acorns. ArtFelt was definitely the most fun! We added a few drops of essential oil and now they smell good too. We created our “wooly” pumpkin by gluing roving to every other section of its orange little body. We were surprised how the colors matched perfectly. Cee Cee wants a whole field of wooly pumpkins!

CeeCeeacorns

October is also known for not only Halloween, but also for something called Black Cat Awareness Month. Cee Cee loves cats so of course she wants to celebrate it. She says there are stories about black cats being treated badly because of being associated with witchcraft. When I asked her where she learned this, she answered “in a cat magazine!”

Time for a little fact checking. We sat down at the computer and started searching for facts to support this statement, and learned that according to many sources, this is more of an urban legend than reality. (Cee Cee was relieved!) We did learn however, that black cats (in October and all year long) are less likely to be adopted, and spend more time in shelters. She made a sweet little black cat to remind people to be a little extra kind to our feline friends, and to consider adopting a black or tuxedo kitty next time you’re ready to grow your fur-family.

feltcat

She sketched out a simple cat and stitched him up in an afternoon. You can make your very own by getting the pattern on the Makers’ Mercantile website HERE. She’s including the pattern even though she thinks you should be brave and trust your own artistic abilities to sketch out your own cat pieces.

Find yourself a little joy this month and make something. Even better, make something and give it to someone else who needs a little joy. We’re busting out the knitting needles and turning lots of heels for a November project to help you get ready for the holidays.

Now for an exciting giveaway: This felt cat will get to come live with one of you! Cee Cee is giving him away….all you have to do is leave a comment in the blog (tell us what you love to make in the Fall) and we will choose a winner! Winner will be selected and announced in November’s Craft Corner post.

Have a wonderful month!!!

-BeLinda and Cee Cee

P.S. Don’t forget to leave us a comment!! Cee Cee can’t wait to find out who wins her little black cat!

Tools and Materials Appearing in This Issue

artFelt® Acorns

artFelt® paper
artFelt® tackboard
artFelt® needles
Makers’ Mercantile® Felter’s Wool (assorted colors)

Cee Cee’s Felt Cat

Black Felt
Scissors
Embroidery Floss

ABOUT 

CeeCee1Cee Cee Creech is growing up in a home full of creativity. Mom BeLinda loves making things, and Cee Cee loves it too. In 2011 Cee Cee changed their lives when she wanted to knit elephants to comfort the residents of Joplin, MO after a tornado destroyed their town.

This mom/daughter team has raised thousands of dollars, and made/distributed toys for charities all of the world. Today, Cee Cee is a high school student, curious maker, and the teen craft ambassador for Makers’ Mercantile. Follow their adventures on the Craft Corner.

Introducing Craft Corner

Craft Corner

It’s a rainy afternoon in September in Kentucky. I’m busy finishing a hat for a birthday, Cee Cee is tucked in on the couch stitching a cat and we are watching Tales of the Green Valley. We had the felt out earlier practicing stitching and working out an idea for a cat, but more about that later.  We are enjoying a quiet afternoon together…. making stuff is our favorite.

Some of you have followed Cee Cee since she started Elephants Remember Joplin (how has that been over six years already?!) And some of you are just friends we haven’t met yet. We are so  excited to be part of the Makers’ Mercantile family. We’ve been planning projects, working on blogging, creating a crafty bucket list…it’s going to be so much fun! Cee Cee is so inspired by being the Teen Craft Ambassador for Makers’ Mercantile (and how awesome is it when adults empower young people and listen to their ideas and help them grow?) We spend lots of time together…and lots of time making things, and now we have the opportunity to share the fun with you! 

ceeceestitching

We want to inspire you to make our projects… we’ve all had cheap kits and ideas that looked great but couldn’t be done. We want to share quality projects that are fun to do. We want to learn new skills and share with others.

So welcome to Craft Corner… even the name comes from mother/daughter crafting. My Mom had a shop on the Main Street of our little town when I was a teenager, and it was called Craft Corner. I spent lots of time there with my Mom, and lots of time creating!

We hope that you will join us as we find projects for teens and tweens and great projects to do with your Mom, Dad, daughter, son, or friend. The only thing  more fun than making stuff is making stuff together!

-Belinda (and Cee Cee!)


About 

CeeCee1Cee Cee Creech is growing up in a home full of creativity. Mom BeLinda loves making things, and Cee Cee loves it too. In 2011 Cee Cee changed their lives when she wanted to knit elephants to comfort the residents of Joplin, MO after a tornado destroyed their town.

This mom/daughter team has raised thousands of dollars, and made/distributed toys for charities all of the world. Today, Cee Cee is a high school student, curious maker, and the teen craft ambassador for Makers’ Mercantile. Follow their adventures on the Craft Corner.