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Kaleidoscope of Krafts

For your reading convenients below you will find all the kaleidoscope of krafts published in 2019

February 2019

Welcome once again to all readers to the February Kaleidoscope of Krafts. For this month we will be doing a craft we've done before, but making something a little different. We will be using macramé to make a wall hanging. Macramé is still popular and I was fortunate to have recently come across a fairly easy pattern that I am sharing below. The original article, including the pattern and pictures of the process and finished wall hanging is mentioned under the sources at the end of this article.

This pattern is an easy one for beginners. The cord used in the original project has a thickness of 3/16 inches, but you could use any thickness and kind of cord you like. Just keep in mind that the type and thickness of the cord you use will determine the size and appearance of your finished wall hanging.

You will need:
One dowel rod [about 7/8 inches or 2 cm) circumference and 28 inches or 70 cm long]
Two ceramic or wood knobs to fit over the ends of the dowel
Five 100-foot rolls of cord of your choice, e.g. cotton clothesline (3/16 inches was used for this project))
Scissors

You will need to know how to do the following two knots to complete this project.
First, the lark's head knot:
This knot is used to mount or tie your cords onto the dowel from which your macramé creation will be hanging.
1. Fold your cord in half by joining the ends together.
2. Place the folded “loop” behind your dowel with the two ends hanging down.
3. Bring the ends up, in front of and around the dowel and towards the back through the loop.
4. Pull tight to secure the larks head knot.

Secondly, the square knot, which includes the alternating square knot and the double square knot.
To make the alternating square knot, do the following two steps:
Work with four cords:
First step: take the right cord and bring it over the two filler cords and then under the left cord. Then, take the left cord, bring it under the filler cords and pull it through the loop on the right. Pull on both sides to tighten your knot. This completes the first part of your square knot.
Second step: take the left cord and bring it over the two filler cords and then under the right cord. Then, take the right cord, bring it under the filler cords and pull it through the loop on the left. Pull on both sides to tighten your knot. You have now completed one square knot.

To do the double square knot:
Work with eight cords instead of four.
First step: take the two right cords and bring them over the four filler cords and then under the two left cords. Then, take the two left cords, bring them under the four filler cords and pull them through the loop on the right. Pull on both sides to tighten your knot. This completes the first part of your double square knot.
Second step: take the two left cords and bring them over the four filler cords and then under the two right cords. Then, take the two right cords, bring them under the four filler cords and pull them through the loop on the left. Pull on both sides to tighten your knot. You have now completed one double square knot.

Step 1. Preparation and setting up:
Cut the cord into 28 pieces, each 16 feet or around 5 metres long. Tie the cords onto the dowel, using a lark's head knot as described above.

Step 2. Working the pattern:
Now that you have 28 lark’s head knots (56 cords in total) tied onto your dowel, and you’ve mastered the Square Knot, it’s time to begin weaving the wall-hanging. The project consists of 25 total rows. Remember to always start on the left, from the cord indicated in the pattern, and work your way to the right for each row.

Macramé pattern key:
K = square knot or alternating square knot
DN = double square knot
S = skip
Tip: When skipping spaces between rows, check constantly to make sure they are even.

Pattern:
1. Start with 1st cord: 14K
2. Start with 3rd cord: 13K
3. Start with 1st cord: 3K, S4, 6K, S4, 3K
4. Start with 3rd cord: 2K, S8, 5K, S8, 2K
5. Start with 1st cord: 2K, S2, 1DN, S2, 4K, S2, 1DN, S2, 2K
6. Start with 3rd cord: 2K, S8, 2K, S4, 2K, S8, 2K
7. Start with 5th cord: 2K, S4, 2K, S8, 2K, S4, 2K
8. Start with 7th cord: 4K, S12, 4K
9. Start with 9th cord: 3K, S16, 3K
10. Start with 11th cord: 2K, S20, 2K
11. Start with 13th cord: 1K, S10, 1K, S10, 1K
12. Start with 11th cord: 2K, S20, 2K
13. Start with 9th cord: 3K, S16, 3K
14. Start with 7th cord: 4K, S12, 4K
15. Start with 5th cord: 2K, S4, 2K, S8, 2K, S4, 2K
16. Start with 3rd cord: 2K, S8, 2K, S4, 2K, S8, 2K
17. Start with 1st cord: 2K, S12, 4K, S12, 2K
18. Start with 3rd cord: 2K, S8, 5K, S8, 2K
19. Start with 1st cord: 3K, S4, 6K, S4, 3K
20. Start with 3rd cord: 13K
21. Start with 1st cord: 14K
22. (Begin this row about 5 inches lower than the last row.) Start with 1st cord: 14K
23. Start with 3rd cord: 13K
24. (Begin this row about 5 inches lower than the last row.) Start with 9th cord: 1K, S8, 1K, S8, 1K, S8, 1K
25. (Begin this row about 4 inches lower than the last row.) Start with 3rd cord: 1K, S8, 1K, S8, 1K, S8, 1K, S8, 1K

Step 3. Trimming the bottom:
There are many different ways to cut or trim the ends of a wall hanging. For this project, a V-shape is suggested. Alternatively, you might want to cut the ends of the cords to hang in a straight line and depending on the type of cord you used, the ends could be pulled apart to create a tufted look.
If you don't feel up to doing the cutting, perhaps ask someone to help with this last step. Place the hanging on a flat surface, straighten all the cords and cut the ends into the preferred shape.

Step 4. Finishing touches:
Attach a knob to each side of the dowel or alternatively, you could simply tie a short piece of cord near the ends of the dowel in order to keep your hanging in position.
Once the project hangs straight from the dowel, a final check can be made to ensure the bottom ends are neat and form the desired shape chosen in the previous step.
One of the advantages of a knotted wall hanging is of course that it will not only serve as a feature against a wall but the texture will be nice to feel as well. When choosing cord, consider things such as the color scheme of the room where you'd like to hang your creation as well as the look you want to achieve. For example, silk or satin cord in a soft color could work well in a formal room while jute or twine might look better in a more informal setting.
Along these lines, consider hanging the macramé piece directly against your wall, or you could hang it on or within a frame that will serve as a background for the wall hanging.

As always, please feel free to write with any questions or comments and I hope you will try out this project for yourself.

Sources:
http://www.myfrenchtwist.com/macrame-wall-hanging-for-beginners/
https://blog.denbypottery.com/2017/12/22/how-to-tie-basic-macrame-knots-with-robyn-gough/

April 2019

With the heat of summer finally subsiding as we move into autumn here in the southern hemisphere, it is once again a privilege to welcome readers to another edition of Kaleidoscope of Crafts.

Some might remember making the craft I am sharing this month from childhood, but there is, of course, no reason why you could not make it again or try it out for yourself right now for the first time.

We will be making a pillow from two washcloths. These pillows are easy enough to make with kids or as a special gift or keepsake from a sibling, parent or grandparent. They also work well as festive décor for special occasions or other holidays; and, as the first source I came across for this craft mentions: ". if you have a room for watching sports, having a washcloth pillow made of your team’s colors can be great for throwing or burying your face into when your team makes a big blunder!"

What is great is that one can find such a variety of washcloths in all shapes and sizes these days, which will put a modern spin on this retro craft project. Apart from plain colors, you will also find cloths with different motifs and theme or picture cloths are very popular as well. You can also use soft dishtowels, bath towels or beach towels; however, you will need to cut them to the appropriate size and then fold and sew the cut edges to keep them from fraying.

I am including an alternative way of doing this craft, so make sure to read all the instructions before starting your project. You will be able to choose either method 1 or 2 from the steps below.

You will need:
Two washcloths of a similar size
If the two washcloths are not exactly the same size due to manufacturing quality control issues, that’s okay. This craft is very forgiving of small differences in washcloth size.
1 or 2 colors of coordinating yarn
Depending on the method you choose below, for attaching the fringe, size zero crochet hook or large darning needle
Small pointed scissors
Small piece of cardboard (around 2 3/4 inches x 3 inches)
Polyester fiberfill or similar for filling

Steps:
A. Prepare the yarn
1. Cut a piece of cardboard 2 ¾ inches high by 3 inches (or more) wide.
2. Wrap your yarn around the 2 ¾ inches high cardboard.
3. When the width of the cardboard is full, cut the yarn at the top of the cardboard, which will give you your fringe pieces.
4. Do this as many times as you need in order to have enough yarn pieces.

B. Attaching fringe (Method 1 using a crochet hook)
1. Lay the two washcloths on top of each other with right sides facing out.
2. Hold the two pieces together at a corner and insert the pointed scissors through both pieces, just below the finished edges. This will make a small slit. You can work from either the front or the back of the pillow, just be consistent.
3. Remove the scissors and insert the size 0 crochet hook through the slit you just made with the scissors.
4. Hook two pieces of your cut yarn on the crochet hook and pull the yarn tightly on the hook so that the small hook grips the yarn. Then use the crochet hook to pull both pieces of yarn through the hole in the washcloths, stopping when the yarn is about halfway. If the hole doesn’t seem big enough to pull the yarn through, then try making a slightly larger slit in the fabric with your scissors.
5. You will now have four fringe pieces on one side and two loops on the other side. Bring the four fringes through the two loops and pull tightly to secure.
6. Repeat this step on the other three corners so that all four corners are secured.
7. Then repeat this step halfway between each corner so that you have the two washcloths secured at eight points.
8. You can now select one corner and begin working around the washcloths.

C. Attaching fringe (Method 2 using a darning needle)
1. Lay the two washcloths on top of each other with right sides facing out. If your cloths are very soft with a loose weave and it is possible to pull your needle and yarn through fairly easily, you do not have to cut slits into your cloth.
2. Hold two yarn pieces together and thread them through the darning needle.
3. Make sure all 4 ends of the yarn meet.
4. Starting at a corner, insert your needle from below through both cloths and pull through until 2 strands of the yarn emerge. You might have to hold two of the strands in place beneath your cloth while pulling the yarn through. You will now have two strands beneath and two strands above your two washcloths.
5. Holding the yarn in place, gently remove your needle and tie the strands together in an overhand knot. Pull tight enough to secure the yarn but not so much that you distort the edge of your cloth.
6. Repeat this step on the other three corners so that all four corners are secured.
7. Then repeat this step halfway between each corner so that you have the two washcloths secured at eight points.
8. You can now select one corner and begin working around the washcloths.

D. Finishing
1 Continue securing the washcloths with the yarn using your chosen method until you have about a 3 to 4 inch opening on one of the sides. You will need to leave an opening large enough to insert your hand. Make sure that your fringe is uniform all around your cloths and that there are no spaces where stuffing will show or poke out.
2. Stuff the pillow with polyester fiberfill.
3. Continue to secure the washcloths with the yarn until the opening is closed.

For other washcloth crafts I have shared in previous articles, visit www.TheBlindPerspective.com
Look for the Kaleidoscope of Krafts column and then, for the word "washcloths" under the different years you will see listed.

I hope you will give this craft a try, and get in touch with questions, comments and suggestions. As always, happy crafting until next time.

Sources:
https://thediycreativelife.com/how-to-make-retro-style-washcloth-pillows-for-kids-or-adults/
https://dollarstorecrafts.com/2009/02/washcloth-pillow/

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