Category Archives: Beyond Books

Beyond Books – Cross-Stitch

Contrary to popular belief I do have other hobbies aside from reading. Over the summer I moved into a new apartment and wanted to decorate it with some handmade things. I used to cross-stitch as a kid and so I decided to start again. I was a bit unsure of how to start so I took to etsy and ordered some kits.

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I started with this tiny hamburger cross stitch kit from etsy seller Quirkorium. She focuses on cute projects and patterns inspired by pop-culture. In addition to kits, she also sells finished works, and cross stitch supplies.

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I purchased this wolf pattern from ModernNeedleworks, which, as the name implies sells more modern and nature-based projects. She also sells home needlepoint cushions and home furnishings.

I purchased one more kit from Alicia Watkins because I wanted something with letters. I elected for the “Please don’t do cocaine in the bathroom” which is something guests always appreciate.

All of these sellers were great and the kits came with cloth, thread, needles, hoops, and an easy to read pattern with instructions for beginners. I highly recommend buying kits if you’re thinking about learning.

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I figured I was ready to try a pattern on my own so I downloaded this bird one from Martha Stewart and I think it turned out pretty well. I love the satisfaction that comes from finishing these projects. They look great in my apartment and make amazing gifts. Etsy is such a good resource for downloadable patterns too, as so many of the sellers focus on pop-culture related projects that you wouldn’t find in a craft store like Michaels.

Happy Crafting

Beyond Books – Knitting

It may not seem like it at times but I do have a life beyond reading and writing about books. I love to make things. Most recently I picked up knitting again, (the last time I knit anything was probably in high school) and am also trying to teach myself how to crochet. As beginner projects I knit some fingerless gloves for myself and a few scarves which I have yet to wear.

They're cute, but not overly practical

They’re cute, but not overly practical

I decided to make myself something I actually would wear and found this great pattern at LionBrand for a cozy fall snug. I love LionBrand yarn and their patterns are easy to follow. (Plus you don’t need to try and figure out your gauge, like you do with most patterns on Pinterest) I just picked up some super bulky Lion Brand Yarn and am working on cozy winter cowl.

The yarn is so soft and it knits up so quickly.

The yarn is so soft and it knits up pretty quickly.

The problem is, I always end up with left over yarn, which is not enough to start a new project with. I tried making some headbands off of patterns I found on Pinterest but they didn’t work out the way I wanted. Pretty sure my gauge was off, as neither of these projects are wearable.

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To be fair, the green headband was my first attempt at crocheting anything. Overall I like the idea of the braided ear warmer, but its just too narrow.

I normally use this leftover yarn to try new patterns or stitches that I find online. I really like this mini herringbone pattern and might try to make a headband out of it. Also since I’m figuring out how to crochet I might try and make some book or journal covers. Worst case scenario I’ll make a bunch of bookmarks that I can use. Any other suggestions about what to do with left over yarn?

All my yarn leftover from various projects.

All my yarn leftover from various projects.