Sunday, 30 October 2011

Lavender and Citrus burst soaps!

Another easy method of making soap is rebatching. This involves grating a ready made bar of soap, melting and adding approximately a cup of hot water. This is a great way of turning bog standard soap into something original and posh!
I used Tescos basic soap which costs 30p for two bars. I grated one bar using a normal grater, placed in a glass jug , added 1 cup of warm water and placed in the microwave. I stirred repeatedly. This type of soap will not melt entirely but the little specs add to the handmade charm. The mass becomes gloopy. Add essential oils, lavender for the lavender soap and a drop of food colouring and dried lavender, pour into a mould and cool. When completely cool remove and slice and allow to stand to  cure for at least 24 hours.
For the citrus burst I added lemon essential oil and the zest of a lemon and a drop of yellow food colouring.
For some reason you do end up with more soap than you originally had- must be the water and air. I sliced the lavender into four chunky bars and the lemon into five. You could add all manner of other oils and plants ie peppermint essential oil and mint leaves, almond essence and decorate with whole almonds, rosemary, vanilla just about anything. These wrapped imaginatively will make great presents at a ridiculously low cost. Why not give it a try?

Friday, 28 October 2011

Bath bombs for presents!

Here's some bath bombs I made. They are very fizzy and smell great.
I  used 2-3 oz sodium bicarbonate
         - 1 tbsp citric acid ( got it from Wilkos in wine making section)
         - 4 drops essential oil ( lavender)
         - 4 drops another oil like lemon
          - a  pinch chopped flowers/herbs ( I used marigold, you  could use lavender or mint, whatever)
         then I added a couple of squirts of olive oil from a spray and a tiny drop of colouring. Then you squeeze the whole thing together. My powder seemed very dry but I pushed it into moulds ,  put them in the freezer, left them to set and they were fine. You could use the powder just as bath salts if you want too. Easy as pie. Happy bath bombing!

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Easy rib scarf pattern to knit.

Here we have an easy knit rib scarf. I used double knitting in black and grey fleck, size 6 needles and a darning needle to weave in the loose ends.
Cast on 30 stitches and knit 3 ,purl3 and repeat to the end.  Repeat adding fleck stripe every 30 rows. When the desired length has been reached cast off, weave in loose ends and lightly press.
I made this in a couple of evenings and it will make a lovely, practical present. You can vary the colours and use different wool to create different effects. Why not give it a go.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Makes exquisite soap from soap flakes!

Here is my home made lavender soap. I used three cups of soap flakes , use either lux or dripak pure soap flakes, 200ml of water and 50ml of  olive oil. Place in a jug and microwave on full for several minutes until the soap is all melted and stir the mixture. Do not leave unattended and check on the mixture to prevent it bubbling over. When all melted, allow to cool slightly, add lavender essential oil and dried lavender flowers. Poor mixture into a a tray, or moulds and allow to cool. Leave until well set and turn out. This soap is beautiful and would make a lovely original present and can be wrapped imaginatively. You could use all manner of other items such a vanilla and honey, orange zest, orange essence, peppermint essence, different colourants and plants to create new and exciting combinations. These would make great presents. Why not give it a try!

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Lace scarf in pink!

This lovely and simple lace scarf is based on the pattern previously noted but instead in pink. I used  half a ball of Woolcraft double knitting and it took a couple of evenings. The pattern is quite straightforward when mastered and the plain knitting on the edge gives it an extra special something. I  used size 6 needles and the double knit works really well. For further details go to and look up easy leaves scarf.  I think this scarf is beautiful and well worth the persevering with. It would make a lovely gift too. The double knitting cost £1.50 so half a ball equates to 75p!

Friday, 14 October 2011

How about jumpers for presents?

Here' a picture of the jumper that I've just finished. I got it from a pattern in November's version of Knit magazine, the All the Jazz jumper. I used a merino wool mix and the jumper is really warm and soft. I used about 11 balls of wool at £3.00 each which for a really luxurious item like this would cost ,I reckon, at least £60 in the shops. You can also use a half wool/ half acrylic mix , which  is cheaper about  £2 a ball  and you'd still get a good result.
The pattern, which is really easy stocking stitch is available on the mag's website Happy knitting.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Make an easy lace scarf!

Here is an easy lace scarf I made in a couple of evenings. The lace pattern was a little tricky at first but I persevered and the effect is really nice. The lace pattern makes it grow quickly but does require a little concentration but  is well worth the effort. I used a half a ball of black double knit and size 6 needles. I am looking for other patterns but there are literally loads of free ones on the net and lots of good magazines to inspire you whatever your knitting skill level. Again the internet caters for complete beginners to advanced knitters and there are really great step by step instructions. Most shops now sell wool such is the craft revival so why not give it a go? I was going to make this as a present but it is so nice I might just keep it instead!