Author Archives: Tesla Ripberger

About Tesla Ripberger

Tesla Ripberger. A geeky crafter from Indiana. I like to make pretty things! Always learning, always stitching. Instagram: alwayzstitching

Coffee Cozy Trio

Need a last minute Christmas gift? Looking for a more sustainable coffee sleeve? Dress up your cup! This is a super easy project that only takes about 20 minutes to complete. To jazz them up you can sew on buttons, motifs, or patches. The possibilities are endless!

Materials:
Worsted weight yarn of natural fiber (cotton, wool, jute twine, etc.)
5mm Crochet Hook
Survival kit

Pattern:
Cast On 28 stitches, join (careful not to twist)
R1) Sc around, do not join, place marker
R2) Hdc around in ** loop (see stitch section for A, B, or C)
R3-5) Hdc around ** loop
R6) Increase, hdc 13, increase, hdc to end
R7) Hdc around, bind off, weave in ends
Optional: Add a cute edging for round 8. Scallops, puffs, or even some kitty ears!
**STITCH SECTION**
A – Hdc in both loops
B – Hdc in loop just behind the back loop
C – Hdc in back loop only

 

 

Women’s Rights, Human Respect

This election and a short conversation with a family member has got me wanting to share my opinion. The country was floored by Donald Trump’s “locker talk”, his racist comments, and his blatant disrespect for virtually all minorities. My heart is broken that America really made a man like that president. There’s more to this life than the pointless bickering, money, laws, and politics. We are all living on borrowed time. We should view one another with love no matter our religion, disability, skin color, sex, or income. We should all agree to disagree respectfully. We should always be humble and remember that all life is life. However, when I look at my Facebook feed or talk to (most) of my friends and family, I come to realize that they share the same negativity.

“‘Merica!”

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Upcycled Shirt Treat Bag

One more day until Boo At The Zoo and we realized we didn’t have treat bags for the twins. I have made myself so many of these upcycled t-shirt bags but have never made a tutorial for them. This is a super simple project that is great for kids who can handle scissors well. These little guys can stretch out and the handles are great for tying closed. They are strong, stretchy, and very portable. These bags are a great way to re-use that old Metallica T-Shirt from yesteryear… (Dad, I’m talking to you!) Here is a tutorial for turning that old favorite into a functional accessory! These are mini treat bags for pint-sized looters, but you could make them any size!

To begin you want to cut the sleeves and collar of the shirt. It doesn’t have to be perfect. If there is a little extra seam when you’re done just snip that off too. Next you’ll cut two notches in the very bottom of the shirt where the seam is. This creates a tube for closing.

Upcycled bag, trick-or-treat, trick or treat, upcycled tshirt, halloween, treat bag, upcycled t-shirt,

Photo: White Mage Knits

Upcycled bag, trick-or-treat, trick or treat, upcycled tshirt, halloween, treat bag, upcycled t-shirt,

Photo: White Mage Knits

Now, turn your shirt inside out. Take some string (I used cotton yarn for strength) and thread it through the tube with a safety pin, darning needle, or bobby pin. Go in one notch, all the way through, back in the second notch, and come out next to where you went in. Pull tight, tie a knot, then wrap both strings around to make a bulge at the bottom of the bag, tie a bunch of knots. This makes sure there is no hole and adds weight to the bottom of the bag so it isn’t so floppy. If you don’t like how this looks you can actually sew the bottom instead. You could even add a lining if you want. I made these purely for utility so behold my unruly bulge closure, beautiful right?

Note: If sewing I usually sew the shirt flat across the bottom using a zig-zag stitch.

Upcycled bag, trick-or-treat, trick or treat, upcycled tshirt, halloween, treat bag, upcycled t-shirt,

Photo: White Mage Knits

Finally, turn the bag right side out and give the bottom a good pull in all directions to get as much of the shirt out of the string bulge as you can. Give your straps a little tug to finish your edges (some roll, some don’t). Viola! Your very own upcycled shirt bag! Have you made a shirt bag? If so leave a photo in the comments! Happy Halloween my crafty friends!

Amigurumi Tips

One of my favorite things to knit is amigurumi. Amigurumi is the art of knitting and/or crocheting stuffed toys. These projects mostly take small amounts of yarn, can be done with any weight, and can be easily customized. It took me a long time to figure out the ins and outs of creating lovely little stuffies. I decided to put together a list of tips for anyone new to knitting or crocheting amigurumi. I hope you find it helpful!

Garden Mouse Mobile Amigurumi

Photo: WhiteMageKnits

Gauge doesn’t matter. – You want to use a hook or needle two sizes smaller than recommended. If you’re a lose knitter you can even go another size down. It’s better to knit with a smaller needle than to try knitting super tight.

Don’t over stuff. – With crochet you can stuff a bit more than knit. If you want a firm toy, go for crochet. If you soft and squishy, go knit. Reason being, it’s easier to see stuffing through knit stitches. Remember it’s easier to stuff as you go for skinny items like some arms, horns, etc.

Stuff with stuff! – You can stuff with just about anything! I prefer to use polyfil for toys that will be given to children because they will need more washing and it stays nice and fluffy. If it’s something for an adult (or myself) I prefer to use wool. You can also stuff with rice, pellets, yarn or fabric scraps, etc. I’ve even taken the stuffing from an old ripped up stuffed animal Marley Jane didn’t want anymore. (Reduce, reuse, recycle!)

Customize! – Use different weights and textures of yarn. Make the ears or arms different than the pattern calls for. Change it up and make it your own. Pattern calls for safety eyes and you don’t have them? Try embroidery, buttons, or felt. I like to needle-felt some details such as the pink insides of ears, hearts, glasses, etc. For children under three use embroidery and sewing instead.

Assembly – Some people prefer to assemble after all of the parts have been made. Some prefer to do it as you go. If you pick up stitches where you want to place your appendages (instead of casting on and then attaching later) you’ll save yourself some time. Two detailed tutorials on this can be found here for knitting or here for crochet.IMG_20150708_035943

Weaving in ends – When you thread in your lose ends put the needle in close to where you are and bring it out on the other side of your toy. This way when you cut it the tail is left inside. The tail is less likely to come lose and begin sticking out this way. It is also very useful if you ever need to do maintenance on your toy. Always split the yarn before weaving in your ends with super bulky yarn.

Get in the loop! – For crochet use the magic loop cast on to avoid a hole at the beginning. For knitters that do not want to use double pointed needles (they can be intimidating) check out the magic loop method! You can also use this method to knit two things at the same time. This is especially helpful for legs, arms, and ears. When knitting toys for my twins I always do this.

So there you have it! My tips and tricks of the trade. Featured is the most recent amigurumi I have done. It is a mouse from The Garden Mice Mobile by Susan Anderson. I used worsted weight instead of the lightweight the pattern calls for. To see more of my amigurumi works you can find me on facebook and instagram. Once you’ve made a few it’s easy to begin designing your own. You can also mash different patterns together. The elephants below are modified. I free-handed the ears to add to Anna Hrachovec’s pattern, Bob.  Any tips you would add? Let me know in the comments below! Happy crafting!

Elephant Amigurumi Knit

Photo: WhiteMageKnits

3 Hour Shawl: Crochet

I’ve searched far and wide for a shawl pattern that is fast, pretty, and uses minimal yarn. I learned how to do the corner to corner (c2c) stitch from Youtube. The Crochet Corner To Corner Afghan Project video tutorial from The Crochet Crowd. I used c2c for some lovies in the past few months and realized how incredibly fast this stitch worked up. Of course I hit Walmart up for the black Friday yarn sale and got a few giant skeins of Red Heart With Love (370 yards). My grandmother’s birthday is coming up and I had just purchased a jumbo hook. The results were wonderful! I finished this up in three hours. This is a great gift for any occasion but this luscious red would be wonderful for Valentine’s Day!

You can use a shawl pin, button, ribbon, or lace for closure if you’d like!

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jimmy beans wool, beanie bags, yarn subscription, knit, crochet, amigurumi

Happy mail for yarn junkies

Do you crochet or knit? Would you like a cute little bag full of yarn samples, patterns, and notions delivered to your mailbox monthly? Beanie bags is the yarn subscription for you! For just $10 a month you can’t beat it! You can find more information and my detailed review here. These samples are perfect for amigurumi, accessories, and small projects. Share with your friends and fellow crafters! As always, craft, create, and conquer!!

So long, Filofax

Like many “planner girls” I used to see a photo or video featuring a beautiful Filofax Malden and swoon. I’ve went through three personal sized ring binders. The first was a simple brown Day Runner Harmony. The second was a Valentine’s Day gift, a Filofax Saffiano in Raspberry. The third purchase was that lovely hunk of supple plum-colored leather, the unicorn they call the Malden… Yes, this planner was beautiful. It had all of the pockets I wanted in a planner, a long strap, large rings, and felt like heaven. Yeah, she was beautiful; but she didn’t mean a thing to me. (Death Cab For Cutie) Continue reading

House Cup Cozy

Recently I have been in a Potter mood. As the months get colder I tend to favor hot drinks. I knitted this cozy and wanted to share it with the world. This cozy pattern can be applied to any chart and adjusted to fit your needs. I used worsted and dk yarns. Ideally you want to use the same weight to avoid any pulling and bunching around the color areas.

Materials Needed:

  • Two “house-colored” yarns
  • Size 7 (4.5 mm) straight, double pointed, or circular knitting needles
  • Stitch markers
  • “Houses Chart”
  • Scissors
  • Tapestry needle

CO 32 stitches

R1-3 K1 P1 ribbing around

R4 (Working in sockenette stitch) K2, inc, knit to last 3, inc, K2

R5 Purl (or Knit if working in the round) across, placing marker for beginning and end of chart section

R6 K2, inc, knit to first marker, work chart, knit to last 3, inc, K2

R7-12 Work chart in sockenette stitch

Repeat rounds 4-12 until chart is complete, with a single additional round of main color

Finish off with 3 rows of K1 P1 ribbing and bind off

Seam together, weave in ends, and enjoy.

houseschart

TIP! When changing colors in knitting twist your two yarns over one another at the point of the color change, over one way then back on the next change. This will prevent gaps from forming resulting with holes in the finished project.

Green Tea Latte

I do love a plain cup of matcha, but sometimes I want a latte like from Starbucks. I’ve been experimenting and I’ve finally got it perfecto! It tastes just like a Starbucks Green Tea Latte from down the road. I wanted to share so I can give others the recipe easily. Here is what you will need:

  • Blender
  • Sauce pan, kettle, or something else to heat water in
  • About 1.5 tbsp Matcha Powder
  • 2/3 cup Milk (can be dairy free if you prefer)
  • 1 Heaping tbsp Coconut Oil
  • .5 – 1 tbsp Honey (optional, we use local to help with allergies)
  • About 1 and 1/3 cups Water

Bring water to a boil, remove from heat, and set aside. Add milk and other ingredients to the blender. Blend a little. Add hot water. Blend until smooth and frothy on top. If your coconut oil stays solid or separates immediately, blend more. Transfer to a cup and enjoy!

Personal: Relieved, Released, Rekindled

Over a year ago I let go of one of the most important things in my life, my best friend. I thought I was doing the right thing at the time. I thought I could spare her the pain of having to deal with my pain, or carrying the burden of worrying about me, wishing she could fix my problems. I thought it would help my relationship by allowing me to spend less time yearning for the past where I lived close to her and we could go to one another whenever we wanted. I thought maybe removing the one person (outside of Joe and my parents) that I actually confided in, trusted, and truly connected with, would fix the trust issues in my relationship.
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