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Blog: Pam's Pennypinching With STYLE

Pam's recounting of how her ancestrally thrifty habits have helped her in modern life in ways none of her foremothers could have imagined!

Showing 6 posts in the Craft Projects category for this blog.
Dirty Knitting
Friday, February 21, 2014

For the past few days I have been knitting up a storm & have almost finished a stole/shawl made out of my yarn stash.  That's one way I save on yarn costs by collecting yarn from sales & thrift shops in bits & pieces and them putting the yarns together to make scarves or shawls.  I have made it faster by using TWO strands of regular worsted weight yarn (& sometimes THREE with a specialty yarn such as a mohair) to create a tweedy effect.  I put it on size 11 needles - casting on 50 stitches. Then I change the combination of yarn every 3 to 4 rows (at the end of the row). 

As I said, this creates a tweedy effect - in rows. And I am adding just a bit of fun fur along the beginning and ending edges just for a bit of flare. (I didn't have enough fun fur to do more than that & I mixed the fun fur with a strand of worsted weight, and a strand of a light novelty yarn.) 

There is not fixed formula - you mix and match yarns as you will and according to what you have in your yarn stash.  I found out that I wound up following a loose pattern of alternating yarn colors - & as I get closer to the end, I am trying to reproduce the pattern at the beginning of the shawl with more accuracy.

And that's it! Quick & VERY easy technically with a satisfying artistic effect. (I use the knit stitch throughout  as I think it has more of a hand-knitted effect.)  It is also very forgiving of errors. I did a blue one before I started this one with a white/green/purple mix and I could go back and make knots where I found holes or dropped stitches somehow - & the effect is so "dirty" - so craftily messy - that it doesn't really show or matter. (That one was an experiment and was done on larger needles with 100 stitches across, which was almost too wide for the needles, but I jammed the yarn on there & continued.)  But then these are really all experiments of a sort - which is what makes them interesting.

The lesson is that even with knitting you can use your own creativity.  And of course, it makes all those balls of yarn go together in a  version of a rag rug - but with more chic. I love the shawls that come out of it.  And in California weather shawls are perfect for cool evenings.  I wear them by themselves, or draped over a jacket for when it's chillier.  So that's it - what I call  "dirty" knitting.  I am looking for an excuse to wear my NEXT new shawl - & there's still stuff in the stash for another one or more!

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Summer Projects
Friday, June 29, 2012

Thought I would share with you some of what hubby & I have been doing over the summer -

  • The aeriel snapped when hubby took the car through a new car wash with less than soft fiber parts - And when he asked the mechanic about it, he said it would cost $60 to replace!  So hubby went to a bargain store knew of where he could get one for $10 & then put it on himself with dollar store epoxy - And spliced the wires himself - Voila! All fixed for $50 less!
  • Hubby has also been on the hunt for good USED tires - there are a LOT in our neighborhood off wrecks, etc. - & now we have 2 good ones ( $50) to add to the others we got ($60). Now - those would be $400 new & good enough for our 16-year-old Mercury!
  • I found a 50's/60's jewelry box - the leatherette kind with a lock - for 50 CENTS at a junky thrift shop. The inside is a lovely red satin & red velvet - but the top was battered & down to the cardboard. So I went looking for the perfect thing to decoupage on top. I found a 50's black & white vintage fashion image from BAZAAR & applied it with my homemade MOD PODGE (just white glue thinned with water!) It has dried & now looks fantastic - as if the image had always been there! So a new jewelry box for $.50!!

By the way, the Carmex people are giving me more of their product for a giveaway - I will keep you posted & please send in your names & addresses so I can forward that to Carmex.

Anybody out there? I miss your comments! Please tell me what you think - even if you think I stink?


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Fashion Fixes
Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Suppose this is me being crafty - I have been FIXING costume jewelry & clothing lately.  Have to admit - I enjoy it!

Numero Uno - I bought what I found out was a Schiaperelli bracelet (famous 30's designer, Paris, surreal see pic) in Sacramento at a thrift shop - but it was a bit worn - so I FIXED the finish slightly with gold-colored nail polish - just a bit here & there where the gold finish was worn - & voila! lovely bracelet - which I couldn't afford otherwise - even in vintage. (Also touched up a worn bit on a pair of "gold" earrings - wore both with bargain new bracelet to concert on Sat. - in $7 Chico cropped pants set I had bought in Ventura & a pr. of silk? flats in a golden color $1 same place in Ventura - I am a good customer of theirs.)

Two -  Fixed a spot on a nice light turquoise cotton jacket with waffle texture -

I got it for $1 because of 2 slight coffee spots in the front - So I bleached them just slightly with hydrogen peroxide - & it did make a lighter patch - which I could then fill in with water -soluble felt pen in turquoise applied on wet cloth - Worked!

Spot cleaning technique is very valuable for repairing/restoring vintage, etc.

Three  - I tinted the ribbon "soutache" on a 99 Cent Store Vest

Did it with a light brown permanent marker (I have a whole set) - & colored the white plastic "dots" with dark blue nailpolish AND the white plastic buttons with the same light brown marker (I probably will replace them eventually).  Now it will look fine with my dark blue & black Indian pants - with the 99Cent white chiffon blouse I also bought at the 99 Cent Store. That's how outfits are born!)

I have also colored white plastic buttons (they look so cheap) on a dress with light pink pearl nail polish to go with the dress.  I liked the dome shape & once colored, just kept them.  Never even had bothered to unsew them.

See- more secrets of the frugalista trade!



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Craftlink Experiment
Thursday, February 10, 2011

Just linked up with Suzy's Sitcom, a craft site

Here she has a tutorial for FAUX Cast iron from toilet paper tubes??? Daunting. (I would have looked for it in the decor section of Ross!)


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Recycling Crafts
Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Just wanted to post about this charming recycled project from - They have some really good ideas about making something out of nothing - including what to do with old RAKES.

This project is a sewing kit made out of an egg carton.


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Art Collection - Another Pt. of View
Wednesday, April 09, 2008

I am really into vintage - and most of my art is THAT one way or the other - from a reproduction of an old sailing print - to a 19thC. sailing colored lithograph to a Monet reproduction to an early 20thC Fr. Perrier Poster ( and more)

But if you are into more moderne stuff check out this video on (a favorite crafty site) - for some ideas and a project, too -



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