Saturday, August 15, 2009

"Cactus Cakes"

Here's a link to the "Cactus Cakes" tutorial:

What a great way to recycle, upcycle, reuse, and redo something old to something new.
No, you don’t eat them silly, you display them, anywhere you want. They are made from leftover wool knitted or crocheted mishaps. I can’t bear to throw anything fiber related out. I must admit I didn’t come up with the name “Cactus Cakes”, though. I was just calling them "Cactus". A fiber friend marked this as a favorite and said they looked like “Cactus Cakes”, hence (who says hence anymore) the name “Cactus Cakes”.

What You'll Need:
1. Long pieces of felted knits/crochet fabric. The long strips will depend on the size "CC" you are going to make. 24"
strips will make a decent size "CC"
If you don't have any pieces from past, "OOPS, I accidentally washed my favorite cashmere sweater".
You can also go to any thrift, salvation army, or your neighborhood garage sales to find old knitted/crochet blankets,
sweaters, etc.
Or just go through your closest, I'm sure there is something just collecting dust that can be felted for this project.
If all else fails, then just knit or crochet a flat piece of fabric using yarn that will shrink (felt).
2. Very sharp scissors or rotary cutter.
3. Fabric glue or needle and thread.
4. Fun fur or any brand of eyelash novelty yarn.
5. Beads, embroidery, studs, sequins, etc. can be added as well.

How to make:
1. Take your felted fabric and cut it into long strips approximately 24" long and approximately 1"-4" wide.
(Remember these are just suggestions. You can make your strips any length or size you want).
2. Take your first strip and now you are going to cut V's across the top border from end to end. Repeat this on all
your strips. You will need to make some longer and shorter then others if you want to roll one inside another in order
to be able to make them into different levels.
3. After you have completed cutting all your strips, you are going to roll them into your "CC". To make them stay you
can either sew them (I like to use upholstery thread, they come in many colors.) because it is extremely strong. Fabric
glue is another option. Either way is fine.
*Optional, you can add beads, embroidery, studs, sequins, or whatever you can find to embellish your "CC".
Make one or make a ton. They will bring color and character to any room.
You can also add them to headbands, or as a brooch, the options are endless...

"My Big Fat Hairy Cacti" Pattern:

Yarn Fjord color dk. green
Mystique by Knitting Fever

Optional* Laines Du Nord Opaline Yarn used for Desert Flower
Needles 9 US set of 4 DPN's You can use the magic Loop method or 2 circular needles. Whatever feels good to you.
Darning needle
With your DPN's and green yarn CO 48 sts. dividing them evenly onto 3 needles and join to work
in the round.
Round 1-25 Work 4x4 ribbing for 25 rounds.
Rnd 26 Decrease round: K2tog,(staying in pattern) k2, p4, k2tog, rep to end ending with p4.
Rnd 27-30 Follow the pattern evenly as follows. Knit the knits, purl the purls.
Rnd 31 Dec. round: K3, p2tog, p2,rep. to end.
Rnd 32-33 Work in pattern.
Rnd 34 Dec. round: K2, k2tog., p2, rep. to end.
Rnd 35-36 Work in pattern.
Rnd 37 Dec. round: K2, p2tog., p1, rep. to end.
Rnd 38 Work in pattern 2x2 ribbing.
*Optional you can add eyelash yarn held together with MC if you would like to add to the top
Rnd 39 Dec. round: K2tog, k1, p2tog, p1, rep. to the end.
Rnd 40 Work in pattern.
Rnd 41 Dec. round: K1, p2tog, k1.
Rnd. 42 Work in pattern.
Rnd 43 Dec. round K2tog to end. (6 sts)
With your darning needle sew through these 6 stitches and gather and seam through to secure the
cacti. Cut yarn.
*Optional If you used wool, you can hand felt your cacti to had firmness and stability.
Take your filler and fill your cacti until it is evenly filled.
To secure the bottom of the cacti:
You will need your DPN's, pick up sts. evenly onto 3 needles. join.
Round 1: Purl
Rnd 2: P2tog to end.
Continue rounds 1 and 2 until you have a few sts. left.
Then with darning needle, sew through remaining stitches and secure. Cut yarn.

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